“Immortals” : Cathartic Gore-Fest

Self kept expecting to see Tom Wisdom in barely-there Spartan attire, but no. Instead we have a new face named Henry Cavill, and a familiar (passably hot) face in Stephen Dorff.  At least, self is fairly sure that was Stephen Dorff — he looked positively tiny next to Theseus! Plus his modern American twang kept interfering.  Self wished she could see Dorff in a real role, like the one he had in “Blood and Wine,” (1997) the movie where he co-starred with Michael Caine and Jack Nicholson.  J. Lo was in it, too, playing the hottest maid of all time. Self watched that movie at least three times and she could never figure out why — SPOILER ALERT! — J. Lo didn’t end up with Stephen Dorff. Instead, she ended up with, self thinks, Jack Nicholson, who played Stephen Dorff’s father.  But, enough of these digressions!  Back to posting about “Immortals.”

Freida Pinto was in the movie, strictly for titillation. Her ostensible role was that of a visionary named Phaedra. She is very pretty. Self somehow wished for the erotic abandon of the teen-age seeress in “300.”  Plus, self is of the opinion that Pinto’s gorgeousness simply cannot allow for the expression of stress.  She always looks so serene, even when forced to flee for her life.

But anyhoo, here are the things self loved about “Immortals”:

  • Mickey Rourke. He is so earthy, he totally grounds the movie in pain.
  • Mickey Rourke’s way over-the-top spine-like helmet.
  • Mickey Rourke’s enormous, hammy thighs, which peep out occasionally from beneath a voluminous (of course black) robe.
  • Many scenes of realistic torture, including a monk who cuts off his own — oh well, never mind what he cuts off
  • A very gory scene in which Mickey Rourke aka Hyperion ensures that a traitor will never again spawn from his blood-line. Mercifully, after a massive yell, the scene ended in a black-out, at which point all the young guys in the audience hooted in nervous relief.
  • The signature line is :  RELEASE THE TITANS!  These Titans are really marvelously scary.  They looked like Mud People.  Or like the natives in Peter Jackson’s “King Kong.”  They didn’t, come to think of it, look very “Titan-like.” They looked more tribal than “Titan.” Perhaps self was fooled by the word “Titan” into expecting “Giants.” (Self, there you go again, with your splitting of hairs and your annoying, long-winded digressions!)

What reason would Kanlaon have for spending a perfectly lovely Saturday evening watching such violence?

Every reason in the world! Have dear blog readers forgotten how ga-ga self went over “300”? Granted, there is no Tom Wisdom-like beauty in “Immortals” (except maybe for Zeus, and the hunk who played Poseidon, who resembled Taylor Lautner but thank God it wasn’t he — !) Meanwhile, hubby was off watching some even sillier movie called “J. Edgar,” which turned out to have Naomi Watts in the cast. But self cannot quite bring herself to watch a movie where the gorgeous Armie Hammer looks like he is wearing Pancake make-up, and — okay, where was self?

Did she already mention that Freida Pinto is very pretty? And looks great in red, as Woody Allen himself acknowledged when he put her in many red outfits in “You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger” ? (In contrast, poor Naomi Watts was always in gray, or variations thereof)

There is no way you can get self to take a movie like “Immortals” seriously, but after all, self is not there for serious cinematic analysis, she is there to thrill to the rousing fight scenes, the blood spatter, the gorgeous red and gold color scheme. She will say, though, that she finds the scenes of battle in a concrete bunker that looks like it might have popped out of the set for “Stalag 19” rather un-convincing. Why would Rourke aka Hyperion’s minions go charging in through such a narrow defile? Don’t they know that the first rule of battle, BATTLE STRATEGY 101, is: WHEN CHARGING, ONE MUST NEVER GO INTO A NARROW DEFILE ?!!@  Were they stupid, or what? Oh, right, self forgets: they ARE stupid! That’s why they’re with Hyperion and not with Theseus!

Who is that Zeus fellow? Undoubtedly, he was British. Only a guy with a British accent can get away with wearing gold and still look convincing as Zeus  (It was light years ahead of Liam Neeson’s Zeus in “Clash of the Titans.”  But then, Neeson was stuck with wearing a toga and there is nothing more disgusting than watching a sword-and-sandals epic where the men are in togas)

(Now self remembers where she’s seen that Zeus guy before:  He’s currently 0n-screen in “Three Musketeers 3D”! Oh, the horror!)

John Hurt was there, lending his eyebags and his wrinkles to the silliest, campiest gore-fest of 2011. Good choice, John Hurt! Now you will be known to a whole new generation of teen-age boys, most of whom probably don’t know that you are front and center of the most iconic science fiction scene of all time, the alfalfa-sprouts-spilling-out-of-the-corners-of-your-mouth scene in Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” just before toothy alien progeny comes spurting out from your rib-cage!

(Alas, oh lack-a-day, self has just read Eric D. Snider’s review of the aforementioned.  He did not enjoy it quite as much as self.  His grade:  C)

*          *          *          *          *

Oh, did self mention that last night was another insomniac night?  She thinks she finally dozed off at 3 a.m.  But this time, there was a good reason:  She started and finished a story called “Computational Outcomes.”  Of course, science fiction.

Why, oh why are all these crazy ideas buzzing around in self’s head? Especially at 2 a.m.? Could the reason possibly have anything to do with the excitement of battling rain and traffic to make it to Zack’s Yerba Buena reading, on Friday night? Anyhoo, to paraphrase from extremely famous hokey poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” hers not to reason why, hers but to do or die!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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