Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
for
April 2014

So, you may have heard that Ragnarök was supposed to have happened a little while ago. Ragnarök, for those of you unschooled in Norse mythology, is a series of events of literally world-shaking consequence: a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Oh, yeah, and Fenrir the wolf was going to eat the sun. Afterward, the world would resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. And it was all supposed to happen on February 22, 2014. So in anticipation of this unique event, Anna Sue and I had found, and recorded, a movie that we thought might bear some relationship to the end of the world, and sat down to watch it on that Saturday. Alas, this "end of the world" bore every resemblance to every other "end of the world" events of recent years. That is to say, nothing much happened. Certainly nothing of global or universal destruction happened. In a way, that's good, because means that you get to read all about this particular movie, as Da'ud Bob reviews for you 2009's Valhalla Rising.

Starring Mads Mikkelsen as One Eye (an Odin-like figure), Maarten Stevenson as Are, the boy, Gary Lewis as Kare, Jamie Sives as Gorm, Gary McCormack as Hauk, and Alexander Morton as Barde, the synopsis of this Danish-UK co-production explains the movie this way: "In A.D. 1000, a one-eyed warrior escapes his captivity at the hands of a Norse tribe and boards a Viking ship headed to Jerusalem to fight in the Crusades." A more detailed, and only slightly more accurate, plot summary can be found on IMDb: "1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self."

Good points: It's only 93 minutes long. There's not a whole lot of dialogue in it; indeed, One Eye never says anything for the entire movie. The axes are nice.

Bad points: The longboat drifting upstream. What kind of drug was in that jug? (My best guess? Some mead that had gone really, really bad.) The shillelagh. As nearly as I can tell from the names of the actors, the American Indians were all played by south Asians. (No, really! Lhassam Gedun, Pasang Manor, Wangdu Dorjee, Tenzin Jigdal, Nagwang Kunchak, and Tashi Sangpo Murik, with others of similar names, all played "Indians.") The closing credits note that they had a Historical Consultant, Dr. Allan MacQuarrie. I really didn't see any evidence of it.

One breast. 2 gallons of blood. 13 dead bodies. Fist fu. Rope fu. Stone fu. Axe fu. Arrow fu. Knife fu. Club fu. Arrowhead fu. Dagger fu. Mud fu. Fighters roll. Gratuitous mud. Gratuitous head bashing with brain spillage. Gratuitous disembowelment. Gratuitous head on a spike. Gratuitous squelching sounds. Writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn conceived the film as some sort of acid trip. (That I saw evidence of!) The idea of One Eye being a mute came to him in a dream, where One Eye could not talk. He phoned up co-writer Ray Jacobsen and told him about the idea. (I can believe that, too!) Anna Sue says "It's more surreal than Fellini." And she should know; she's seen all of Fellini's films. A 72 on the Vomit Meter. One star. Da'ud Bob says, "I kept expecting to see, rising from the lake, the arm of a lady, clothed in purest samite, holding aloft a sword. Like Ragnarök, alas, it never happened. Check it out!"



Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

Now playing. Noah. The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe.

http://www.noahmovie.co.uk/

May 30, 2014 Maleficent. The "Sleeping Beauty" tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora. Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton.

http://movies.disney.com/maleficent

June 13, 2014 How to Train Your Dragon 2. It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons. Animated. Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill.

http://www.comotreinarseudragao.com.br/ (Brazil)

July 25, 2014 Hercules. Having enduring his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord. Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes.

http://www.mightyhercules.com/

October 3, 2014 Dracula Untold. Vampire mythology combined with the true history of Prince Vlad tell the origin of Dracula. Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Charlie Cox, Samantha Barks.
December 12, 2014 Exodus. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro.

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