Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
for
July 2016

I hadn't recalled seeing this month's flick in the theaters, and you'd think that I would have, since it was released fairly recently, in May 2015. Of course, that release was in Great Britain, and my suspicion is that it never made it to the theaters here in the U.S., or as I prefer to think of it, Greater Lonestarorra. Checking it's release dates on IMdB, it was released only in Serbia, Kuwait, the Philippines, and Japan before hitting the DVD market. So I hadn't missed it here, which was a relief to me, since I try to keep track of this sort of movie when they hit the theaters, and I was afraid that I might becoming senile or something. (Hey, it's a possibility! You watch some of the movies I've had to over the years and you can start losing brain cells from it.) Anyway, we'd found it on our new best friend, Netflix, and queued it up. Well, we had to, you know. The picture for the film had a guy in some kind of leather armor holding a sword, which meant that it was almost certainly a film I needed to check out for you. And so it is that this month, Da'ud Bob reviews 2015's almost-straight-to-video action movie set in newly-Norman England, Sword of Vengeance.

Starring Stanley Weber as Shadow Walker (yeah, there's a good "Norman" name for you!), Peter Chaffey as Lucan, Gianni Giardinelli as Artus, Milica Jevtic as Udela, Dave Legeno as Osgar, Kristina Jovanovic as Kwen, Edward Akrout as Romain, Misa Beric as Marin, Karel Roden as Durant, and Ed Skrein as Treden, the basic plot - if it can be called that - is that of any and all of the old Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name" spaghetti westerns, on this time set in what is supposed to be newly-conquered Norman England. The blurb for it on Netflix gave the synopsis as: "Freed from slavery, a Norman prince returns home to lead a group of exiled farmers in battle against their shared enemy - his father's murderer." Except that that's not really it, either. Why not? Well, first of all, he wasn't a Norman "prince," since there was not such thing then; he was the son of a Norman lord. He wasn't leading a group of exiled farmers; he aided some of the Saxons in order to use them in his quest to avenge his father's death by killing his uncle, who had murdered his father and sold him into slavery. And some of the settings were entirely incorrect for early Norman England; those huge stone castles didn't begin to show up until the reign of Edward I, nearly 200 years after the Conquest of 1066. But who am I to quibble about such things?

Good points: The Norman nasal helms. The Norman kite shields. Some of the chain mail was real.

Bad points: The Saxon round shields were too small. The sound effects. The soundtrack music, which went from "weird" to "annoying" to "okay, now it's just distracting it's so out of place." Shadow Walker's haircut, complete with cornrows and topknot. Most of the armor, both "Norman" and "Saxon." The costumes. The five-foot-long ladle. The "Saxon" face masks. Insufficient thatching for a roof. (What they used was in no way sufficient to even begin to keep out the rain or much of anything else.) The veil of chain mail or whatever it was supposed to be under the Norman helm. We never find out that our erstwhile anti-hero is called Shadow Walker.

Zero breasts. Eight gallons of blood. 98 dead bodies. Sword fu. Dagger fu. Rock fu. Aikido fu. Battle-ax fu. Fire fu. Noose fu. Arrow fu. Fire arrow fu. Spiked pit fu. Hands roll. Normans roll. Saxons roll. Gratuitous rain. (Even for what was supposed to be England, it was way too much.) Gratuitous, and graphic, throat-slitting. Gratuitous crow. Gratuitous fog. Gratuitous head butting. Gratuitous intestinal spillage. Gratuitous self-administered eye gouging. Gratuitous dirt and mud. Gratuitous katas. Gratuitous drool. Gratuitous candlelight sex scene. Gratuitous slo-mo. Gratuitous berserkers. A 97 on the Vomit Meter. star. Da'ud Bob says, "There's not a lot of dialogue to get in the way of the plot. And not a lot of plot to get in the way of the movie. Check it out!"



Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

February 25, 2016 in Israel; August 19, 2016 in the U.S. Ben Hur. A falsely accused nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Jack Huston, Nazanin Bodiadi, David Walmsley. Based on the novel by Lew Wallace, a remake of the 1959 classic that starred Charlton Heston in the title role.

http://www.benhurmovie.com/

Now in theaters. Warcraft. An epic fantasy/adventure based on the popular video game series. The origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both the Alliance's and the Horde's sides of their conflict. Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Daniel Wu, Toby Kebbel.

http://www.warcraft-themovie.com/

In limited release. The Last King. In the year 1206 Norway is raged by civil war. The King's illegitimate infant son, Håkon Håkonsson, which half the kingdom wants killed off, is guarded in secrecy by two men. A story which changed the course of the country's history. Anders Dahlberg, Åsmund Brede Eike, Elg Elgesem.

https://www.facebook.com/Birkebeinerne/ (in Norwegian)

February 17, 2017 Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur. The young Arthur runs the back passages of Londonium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he grabs Excalibur. Instantly confronted by the sword's influence, Arthur is forced to make up his mind. He joins the rebellion and a shadowy young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to understand the magic weapon, deal with his demons and unite the people to defeat the dictator Vortigern, the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown to become king. Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Katie McGrath, Eric Bana, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey.

No official website yet.

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