Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter doesn't cast a spell on audiences

Movie:    The Last Witch Hunter

Rating:   PG-13, 1 hour 45 minutes

Grade:   C

In a Nutshell:    Timed perfectly for Halloween, this creepy action flick features Vin Diesel kicking evil witch butt.    Unfortunately, the film doesn’t cast a good spell on audiences and is getting horrible reviews from critics.   The plot is thin and the CGI is thick.

Uplifting Theme:
·         “There are shades of evil everywhere.” – Kaulder      (Luckily, good conquers evil.)
·         “I used to think the universe ran in circles, repeating itself, always predictable.  Now, I don’t know what happens next.” - Kaulder
“You know what we humans call that?   Living.” – Dolan 36th

Things I liked:
·         Vin Diesel.  So, yeah.  The movie isn’t great, but if you’re a Vin Diesel fan, you’ll still enjoy it.
·         Supposedly, the witch hunter character he plays in the movie is based on a Dungeons & Dragons character he played for years.   
·         It’s always good to see Michael Caine in anything, although he’s mostly dead during the majority of the movie.  He plays “Dolan 36th”, who is a type of personal assistant to a rich playboy with fighting powers…sounds like his role in Batman Begins , eh?
·         Elijah Wood has the squeaky clean look of the priest he plays, but enough odd edge to make you wonder if he really is a good priest.
·         The beautiful French actress Julie Engelbrecht plays the Queen Witch, who is ugly and scary, but not very imaginative.  Her mother is the German actress Constanze Engelbrecht, who starred with Julie in her acting debut Adieu mon ami .
·         Fans of Game of Thrones: Season 4 [Blu-ray] will be happy to see the charming Rose Leslie play a “dream walker”.  I thought she had a kind of Kristen Stewart vibe.
·         The bar for witches was pretty cool with the floaty things and shimmering wisps.  Vin Diesel has special ways of identifying witches, but it’s not very hard: they all have tattoos, dress like Goths, and look like catwalk models. 
·         The visual design of the of the movie is pretty good, albeit mostly CGI.

Things I didn’t like:
·         LOTS of CGI effects, some of them pretty hokey.
·         It ends with some teasers to set you up for a sequel.  Do we want a sequel to this?
·         The plot is pretty predictable and is full of formulaic moments like slow-motion fighting, and swords driving home a death blow after spinning around a few times for dramatic flair.  Some things that happen are nonsensical.
·         Most of the scenes are dark and murky, just like the movie poster (pictured above).  This movie will get lost on a computer monitor.
·         Well, now the mystery of where all the bees have gone is uncovered.  They were saved up and used for this film.
·         Cliché creepy old doll.  Works every time though.
·         When the witches cast spells, it sounds like someone is playing a old LP record backwards like we used to do when we were kids to make a scary ghost sound.
-      There is a small amount of humor, but more would have made the film playful.  As it is, the movie takes itself pretty seriously.

Funny lines:  
·         “You want to quit?” – Kaulder
“No, I want a raise.” – Dolan 37th
·         “Please don’t think less of me.  I’ll confess it later.” – Dolan 37th after he punches a bad guy.
·         “There’s more to life than the dulcet tones of stewardesses.” – Dolan 36th
What do you know about stewardesses? – Kaulder
“I wasn’t born a priest.” – Dolan 36th
·         “You look like a terrible band from the 80’s.” – Grosette (Michael Halsey)

Interesting lines that are meant to sound cool and profound:
·         “The world is changing.” – Dolan 37th
“Only on the surface.” – Kaulder
·         “You know, paper is the past.” – Kaulder

Words to know:
Necromancy = a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead

Tips for Parents:
·         Some of the scenes are pretty scary, especially the opening scene.  SPOILER ALERT:  Thankfully, there is only one really bad, scary witch and you don’t see her again until the end of the movie.
·         Some profanity.  Lots of fight scenes.
·         Lots of bugs crawling around.
·         Creepy skeletons floating around in the place where witches are banished.

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