I finally saw Knights of Badassdom last night, a movie that I’ve been waiting to be released for years. It first started filming iway back in 2010. So the question remains, was it worth the long, long wait? You Betcha!! I’ll go ahead right now and say that this flick will easily be taking ranks in my top ten list in 2014. It’s really too bad that this one is getting such a limited release theatrically, because it’s better than half the comedies that are coming out these days and it works incredibly well as a horror movie too. When I first checked it out I wasn’t aware of how much the movie truly dabbled in the horror, genre I thought it was pretty much a straight up comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when the heads started rolling. Luckily I was able to catch it here in Portland, Oregon in the theater. I tried to see twice over the weekend but both times it was sold out. Finally we bough our tickets online! I was determined!
First though let me say the movie has a great cast, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau and Steve Zahn who I always love, serve up nonstop laughs from beginning to end. Dinklage has got to be the movie’s main draw and without him I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I did. I almost wonder if they’ve been waiting to release the movie because of how popular Dinklage has gotten in last few years with Game of Thrones and his upcoming role as the main bad guy in X-men: Days of Future Past?
The plot is ridiculously simple, metal head Joe, True blood’s Ryan Kwanten is dumped by his girlfriend and to cheer him up his friends get him ridiculously wasted and bring him along to their weekend LARPing outing. Joe’s a bit resistant until he notices his guild has the incredibly cute Gwen (Summer Glau) playing as well. To get the games started the Wizard of the group played By Steve Zahn chants a spell from a strange mystic book he found on Ebay and somehow awakens a succubus that greatly resembles Joe’s ex. She doesn’t show up til later though and in between we get a full on play by play from Dinklage of how to kick ass in the game of Live Action Role Playing that’s one of the movie’s finest moments as he continues throughout to steal the show.
The fun really begins once the succubus emerges from the shadows of the forest. Suddenly the movie starts feeling more like The Army of Darkness than a straight forward comedy. Something that I really enjoyed was all of the old school special effects. The movie features a little bit of well placed CG but by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering in your seat as the evil succubus becomes seriously a little less than human!
The movie is all out fun, the perfect Saturday night popcorn flick and it also delivers one hell of an ending that’s more than worth waiting for. It’s jam packed with, laughs, action, monsters, heavy metal and plenty of surprises! This one was directed by Joel Lynch who also did the awesome Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. If you see this playing near you check it out, it’s got a limited theatrical run before it’s released on Feb. 11th via VOD. I also hear this version may have been heavily edited so that’s just a little more incentive to check out the DVD when it drops!
Stallone has been teasing with directors for the upcoming Expendables 3 for quite some time now. We’ve heard rumors of John Woo and yeah even Mel Gibson for quite a while now. However in the end Stallone gave us an unknown “new blood” director, Patrick Hughes. You might ask yourself now who the hell is this guy? Well I decided to check it out by watching his one and only feature film he directed last night to see if he was the man for the job for the final film of The Expendables trilogy.
Red Hill is a 2010, Australian action thriller that Hughes wrote, produced and directed. I’ve gotta say Red Hill was an awesome film and I now understand exactly why Stallone decided to hand the reigns over to him. Sly said he was looking for a “hungry” film maker who reminded him of himself when he started out. I think he got his guy. Red Hill is a simple premise not much different than “The Last Stand” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last box office bomb. A new cop, True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten settles in a small rural Australian town with his pregnant wife and joins his new police crew in a manhunt for a severely scarred psycho escaped convict headed in their direction. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
The movie is heartfelt, action packed and unpredictable. It doesn’t take long for the action to begin and while it’s not quite in the same action genre as something like The Expendables it’s easy to see why Stallone is giving Hughes a chance. Once we finally meet the big bad guy it’s clear he knows his 80’s action villains. “Jimmy Conway” the movies big aboriginal villain is about as menacing as they come, a highly skilled hunter with one side of his face burned like Freddy Kruger. Once he enters town all hell breaks loose and the movies plot begins to twist and turn. Kwanten also shines in his starring role proving he’s a much more skilled actor than what we’re used to seeing on True Blood.
I’m very surprised this movie doesn’t have more of a following. Perhaps The Expendables 3 will open the door to this rad movie to more people. It surely achieved one thing for me, faith that the third installment of The Expendables will indeed be the best….