The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 27 September 2007]

Movie roundup, part five

Pathfinder, Stalker, Pusher and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.

Pathfinder: Evil vikings wreak havoc on native Americans. Lots of hack-and-slash to very little purpose.

Pathfinder is one of those frustrating movies that could have been good, but is marred by a complete lack of humor. If it hadn’t taken itself so seriously it could have been a lot of fun.

Plus, why all the hating on vikings? Historically speaking, they weren’t that bad.

Stalker: Overrated Russian Sci-Fi movie from 1979. Essentially, this is a way overlong and molasses-slow Christian allegory.

The concept is that an alien spacecraft or a meteor has landed, and whatever it is has special powers, so the area around the mysterious item has been cordoned off and declared the Zone.

A Stalker is a person who knows how to traverse the Zone and lead people to a room which grants anybody who visits whatever they wish.

(Why a Stalker wouldn’t wish for a better job once he’s there isn’t really touched on in the movie, but was certainly on my mind.)

So the Stalker leads two men into the Zone: a writer who has lost the ability to write and a depressed physics professor.

Can you guess that the Stalker is an angel (messenger), and the physics professor is the man who depends on science and feels a void in his life, and the writer is the man who depends on his feelings and has been let down?

Can you? Cause I sure can. And it makes the whole movie really boring. And then there’s interminable Deep Discussions that feel incredibly late-night-in-the-dorm-room.

On the plus side, the cinematography is stunningly gorgeous. It’s almost worth seeing just for that.

Pusher: Danish movie about a mid-level drug dealer in Copenhagen. Filmed with all natural light and no soundtrack, so it feels like a documentary. Great, convincing acting (including Mads Mikkelsen of Casino Royale fame in a truly creepy role), and a strong plot.

Even though the closest I’ve ever come to a drug deal was watching Cops, and certainly don’t possess any expertise in the area, the movie feels real.

These Danish dope dealers make the crew in The Sopranos look slick and erudite.

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny: Extremely silly but with great energy. If you like Metal there are some scenes that will make you laugh out loud.

Ultimately, though, it’s way too stretched out and needs more material. Kind of like a lot of Heavy Metal concerts, when you think about it.

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