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Monday, 21 January 2008

Blood and Guts: A Quick Guide To Epic Movies

I luurve epic movies!- The ones with lots of clashing swords, whizzing arrrows, duelling armies and flying heads. Ever since "Gladiator" cleared a path (with a chariot) to the box office for epic movies in 2000, audiences are treated to at least two epic movies a season.

But I shall endeavour to help you navigate the battlefield of recent epic movies. This is to ensure that you end up making a victorious viewing choice, and not a defeated waste of time and money.
Follow the key abbrieviations:

1. Blood Quotient (B.Q)- (in order of increasing severity) Pinprick, Stab Wound, Arterial, Geyser

2. Head Count- Measured on a scale of 1- 100. N.B.This does not refer to the number of heads chopped off in the movie. It refers to the number of heads that you feel like chopping off after you watch the movie. Only because a good epic movie should stir up your bloodlust.

3. Number of "Lord of the Rings" (LOTR) alumni in the cast.[LOTR Alumni No.]- Acting in the LOTR movies opens up more (of the same) acting opportunities!

4. Old Fart Numbers- The number of prominent, theatrically-trained and often British and Australian actors and actresses exponentially increases with running time. They add a sense of grandiosity to the movie, and make up for the lack of acting talent displayed by the younger and beefier cast members.

5. Running Time (Numbers in brackets)-  The length of the movie. It could also refer to the number of times that you have to run to the toilet during the movie.

Gladiator (2000)
Only Russell Crowe could wear a leather skirt and look as hard as nails.
Bloodshed: Stab Wound. There's alot of stabbing and spearing but surprising little spilt blood.
Headcount: 80.
LOTR Alumni No:0 (But only because LOTR was released in the following year...)
Old Fart Numbers: 3. Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi and Oliver Reed (who died during filming)
Running time (150 minutes)

The Lord of the Rings (2001) The Fellowship of the Ring. (2002) The Two Towers,( 2003)- The Return of the King

Total running time- 540 minutes (Its a trilogy - don't panic!)
B.Q- Arterial (If you are an Orc...)
Headcount- 60. 'The Return of the King' is very disappointing and brings down the average headcount of the trilogy. But 'The Two Towers' still makes me want to lay seige to my noisy neighbour's front door.
LOTR Alumni No.- Not applicable.
Old Fart Numbers- 4. Ian Mckellen, Christopher Lee, Bernard Hill (King Theoden) John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Troy (120 minutes)
B.Q- Pinprick. The battle scenes are sloppily choreographed and the CGI/modelwork unconvincing.
Headcount-1. This number may refer to the head of the director, Wolfgang Petersen.
LOTR Alumni No. :2. Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean (Boromir of Gondor in LOTR)
Old Fart Numbers: 1. Peter O' Toole.

Kingdom of Heaven (140 minutes)
B.Q: Stab Wound. But most of the casualties in this movie come from catapults, arrows and boiling oil.
Headcount: 50. It is a low number but only because this film provokes some sobering thought about contemporary religious and cultural conflict.
LOTR Alumni No.-1 Orlando Bloom (AGAIN!)
Old Fart Numbers: 2. Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons

Alexander (180 minutes)
B.Q- Pinprick. It's not a good idea to have Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins) narrate the movie, like an overlong Greek history lecture- too much detail and not enough action. Wasn't Alexander called 'the Great' because of his ingenuity on the battlefield?
Headcount- 0. I had such a refreshing nap that I felt no need to decapitate anyone for invigoration.
LOTR Alumni No.- 0 (Orlando Bloom was busy, I guess...)
Old Fart Numbers- 25 (Alexander's council)

300 (115 minutes)
B.Q- Glorious geyser! Why were the Spartans such an effective fighting force in Ancient Greece? They fought in their underwear, which would be enough to make any enemy army lay down their weapons- and laugh themselves to death.
Headcount- 300. (Including some elephants) Grrrr! Non-violence is for wimps!
LOTR ALumni No- 1 David Wenham- he played Faramir of Gondor in LOTR.
Old Fart Numbers- 30. (The council of Spartan Elders)

(Coming Soon April 2010: Clash of the Titans)

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