Hello, all. Well, it was an interesting day at my house. Me and my movie partner, the gorgeous Bren, had just frolicked from our respective jobs. We were ready to relax on our 48 hour reprieve from labor. We were deliberating on the movie we would see, citing the fact that we are both pumped to see all the Oscar-nominated films while they are in theaters, when a sudden bout of indecision gripped us. Paralyzed with inactive fluids, we sat unwilling to budge until we could decide on a movie. A big problem for us lay in the fact that many of the Oscar noms are being played at AMC close by, but AMC is the dirtiest, most depressing theater in town. They could make a theater with 12 screens built from human bones and it would not be nearly as uncomfortable as AMC. If I were rating theaters right now, and I just may in the future, I would give the AMC Willowbrook 24 4 disgusting, stained, and smelly movie theater seats out of 10. You’ve been warned, AMC. My legions of fans are now onto you, and they will crush you with the impunity of a stampede.
So anyway, that theater was momentarily out of the question, but we still wanted to see a film. So we deliberated for hours, it seemed. Bren was not interested in Slumdog Millionaire which was playing close by. We were interested in seeing The Wrestler, but AMC, the only theater near us showing it, put a stop to that. And many of the others that I ever so wanted to see were playing far away, and at that point it was not a promising proposition. But I still wanted to see a movie. Have you ever had the feeling that doing what you wanted was just going to be more hassle than enjoyment? That feeling lingered in the air for a while. But, damn it I wanted to see a movie!!
Bren said to me, “I hunger, lover. Let us avaunt with haste that we may partake with good cheer.” (That is verbatim what she said to me; why would I lie?). But we could not make up our minds where we wanted to go or what we wanted to see. Our minds were sapped from the day’s long journey into night. So we looked around at our side of town and checked off theater after theater until we decided upon the movie theater closest to us, the Studio Movie Grill literally across the street from us. I never understood the name of Studio Movie Grill, by the way. They’re three different concepts thrown together to make a title, and one of them does not even make sense. It is a movie theater that serves food, so I understand the “Movie” and “Grill” part, but “Studio”? How so? Do they make their own claymation short films as well? Do they shoot amateur porn in the back alley? It sounds like when the Japanese try to market American things for their own people but they don’t care how it sounds as long as it sounds American. “Wa doko desu ka HAPPY BURGER FOOD! Ohaiyo!” So thanks, Studio Movie Grill, for turning me into Andy Rooney for a second there.
Anyway, out of all the movies playing there that we had not already seen, pickings were slim. And for the time bracket we were shooting for, it was between Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Oops, just threw up in my mouth a little from typing that), The Uninvited (Ehhhhhh…), or Underworld: Rise of The Lycans. And out of those three, we at least had seen the other Underworld movies, so we had some history with the series. Plus, if I see Kevin James’s chubby face insisting to me how funny his fat ass is just one more time, I’m going to find the person closest to me and just start swinging. So, the choice was made. I wanted to see a damn movie and I did see a damn movie.
But I’m sure you’re wondering why I keep spouting off anecdotes and not reviewing the movie. Well, sadly, that was the most exciting part of the movie for me. Seriously. I had more fun deciding which movie to go see than I did watching the movie. You want to know what my experience watching this movie was all about? Blue filters. That’s right. Blue camera filters. The thing that piqued my interest the most from this whole scenario was how everything that was shot looked through a Kool-Aid Berry Blast Super Blue Filter. Naked Attractive People (patent pending), dungeons, castles, daytime; everything looks like it might just be blueberry flavored. That seems to be the theme of this series, and I cannot fault them for it, but it is an odd artistic choice to use for nearly every single shot.
You want the plot? Basically, in medieval times, Vampires are a ruling class and werewolves, aka Lycans, are slaves. Treated like animals because most werewolves cannot change back to human form, they are hunted like dogs. One Lycan however, named Lucian, is born with the amazing ability to change at will, and is cared for by the leader of the vampires. The movie follows his life from slavery into freedom, from love into heartache, from victim to avenger. Watch the first Underworld movie. They actually give a good Cliffs Notes version of this that explains everything. That is the problem with this movie. It was completely unnecessary. It does not cover any new ground. It does not open up any new information for the fan or casual viewer alike. You are watching a longer version of the explanation of Lucian’s character that we already know and understand. They add virtually nothing to the mythology. It was almost as if just showing these characters and their first meetings with one another would carry the entire emotional weight of the film.
Michael Sheen is decent as Lucian, and he might have been better if he had been given more to work with. Bill Nighy chews more scenery than Bela Lugosi here as Viktor, leader of the vampires. He constantly gets pissed off in this film and at one point I thought he was actually going to explode. Imagine punching your dad in the gut, but when he yelled at you he could only scream out four or five exclamations from a word bank. Here, Nighy is given “MONSTROSITY!”, “LYCAN!”, “MY DAUGHTER!”, and “TRAITOR!”. I like to call these little moments “Nigh-gasms” because they are a blast and a half to watch.
Other than that, I got nothing. This movie seeped out of my head like a fever, and now it’s almost gone altogether. If you like stylized action and violence, mixed with faux-gothic tendencies and tons of theatrical posturing, this is the movie for you. For everyone else, drive to a theater that’s playing something non-vampiric. You’ll be glad you did. I give Underworld: Rise of The Lycans 3 1/2 Happy Burger Foods out of 10.
See you tomorrow, where we dig in for another surprise film. Is it a surprise, or am I still being indecisive? Find out next time!