Immortal and Divine

I think everybody has a genre of movie that they will always watch, no matter how terrible said movie actually turns out to be. For some people, it’s horror films. For some, it’s thrillers. For still others, it’s romantic comedies.

For me, it’s movies dealing with ancient Greece, Rome, and the mythology of both.

300, Alexander, Gladiator, Troy, Clash of the Titans, you name it, I’ve probably seen it and enjoyed it far more than most normal people. (Except, perhaps, for Alexander, since that was more biopic and less action.)

And Immortals is right up that alley as well.

What can I say? I judged it from the trailer: more style, less substance, and any mythological accuracy would be more by accident than design. However, there would be action, swords, sandals, gods, monsters, and a plethora of buff men walking around without shirts on.

Luke Evans - Immortals - Zeus never looked so good.

Exhibit A

When you’ve spent the month searching your brain for words and throwing them onto paper, to the tune of several thousand a day, you get to the point that all you really want is a shiny movie with some swords and eye candy. And in that respect, Immortals delivers.

In Immortals, we have King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who’s leading an army in a rampage across Greece in search of the Epirus Bow. We have Phaedra (Freida Pinto), the oracle who can tell Hyperion where the bow is located. And we have Theseus (Henry Cavill), a peasant who loses his mother when his small village is ransacked by Hyperion’s army.

Little does Theseus know he’s been chosen by the gods to stop Hyperion, and so the fate of his people rests on his shoulders. Action ensues.

All right, objectively, it’s not a terribly good movie. The plot is kind of incidental. Where they ultimately find the bow (because of course they’re going to find it; you see that in the trailers) is an “oh, come ON” moment.

Stephen Dorff - Immortals

Exhibit B

There was little chemistry between Theseus and Phaedra, so the scene where they got together more perfunctory than, you know, the proper consummation of a relationship.

If you are at all familiar with Greek history/mythology, there will be much facepalming. (Like I said, any accuracy is more incidental than intended. Heck, I was just happy they got the gods’ names right.)

Visually, it’s well-done, for the most part, though at times it got too dark, which made it difficult to tell what was going on. And in the same way, the cuts during the action scenes sometimes went too fast, making it hard to follow the fights.

That being said, obviously, I enjoyed the heck out of it. Generally, I thought the cast did a good job with what they were working with. Mickey Rourke was awesome (as always). And John Hurt was an unexpected surprise. There are many actors that I love to just hear talk, and Hurt is one of them.

Also, I wanted to get a taste of Henry Cavill before he showed up as Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel. In the pictures I’ve seen of that film, he looks like he can pull off Superman, but I wanted to see if he could carry a film like this.

Henry Cavill - Immortals - Theseus vs. cannon fodder

Ladies and gentlemen, your next Superman. Also, exhibit C

Jury is still out for me. The man looks good, but I was just kind of “meh” on him as Theseus.

I walked in to this movie with my expectations set at a very specific level, and Immortals met them and gave me exactly what I wanted. Not exceeded, mind you. But met, and that was good enough for me.

Anticipated November Movies

Let’s face it, I’m going to have about zero time to hit the theaters this month, what with NaNoWriMo and all. That being said, if I have the time, these are the movies I’m going to try to see:

Immortals

Release date: November 11
Summary:
A mad king and his horde spill across ancient Greece, seeking a powerful weapon that will allow them to free the Titans and wage war on the gods. There’s only one person who can stop them: the villager Theseus. But will he be up to the task?

I am a sucker for movies based in and around ancient Greece, Rome, and the mythology of both. 300? Alexander? Troy? Clash of the Titans? Bring it on, brother!

Immortals falls into that category as well. Even though I’m well aware it will likely be more style than substance, I’m still excited to see it. It just looks fun, and I imagine if I do get to see this in November, it will be a nice brain vacation from NaNo.

I’m also eager to see if Henry Cavill can carry a movie before he dons Superman’s cape in 2013’s Man of Steel. To my knowledge, he hasn’t had a major starring role before, so this will be a first. (Though hot holy damn, that man looks good without a shirt on.)

Also, Mickey Rourke as the mad king? Hell yeah!

Arthur Christmas

Release date: November 23
Summary:
Over the years, the North Pole has gone high-tech, answering the question for how Santa gets all those presents delivered in one night. However, when Santa’s youngest son, Arthur, discovers that one present has been left behind, he takes off on his own to ensure that every child in the world has a merry Christmas.

I have a soft spot for Aardman Animation, since I enjoyed both Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. They have a way of making films that work well for both kids and adults, and this movie just looks adorable.

Stellar voice cast? Check. Fun Christmas adventure? Check. Santa on a giant, Enterprise-esque red ship? Double-check! It looks just perfect for the holiday season.

On the fence:

Hugo

Release date: November 23
Summary:
An orphaned boy lives in the walls of a train station, searching for the answers to the mystery left behind when his father died and left him a small metal man with a heart-shaped lock in his chest. When he meets a young girl with a heart-shaped key, the boy may be close to finding the answers he seeks.

If I were younger, I would be all over this movie. It has the same kind of “feel” that some of my favorite movies from childhood do (like A Little Princess).

Plus, it’s directed by Martin Scorcese, although I’m not entirely sure how well he’ll do with a kid-friendly film. (Then again, Peter Jackson did lots of gory schlock horror before kicking out The Lord of the Rings, so what do I know?)

My reservation comes because while it looks like a movie I would’ve enjoyed when I was younger, I’m not sure how well that enjoyment will translate now that I’m older.

As a kid, you’ll forgive a lot of problems that a movie has, something that’s far more difficult to do without the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia to help you out. And while I don’t think this movie will have problems, per se, it does look like it’s a lot more of a kid movie than a family movie (which tends to be geared toward both kids and adults).

If I have the time, I may catch it at a matinee.

What movies are you looking forward to this month? Or are you going to stick with DVDs?