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January 22, 2007

Filed under: movies»reviews»horror

Rayne O'er Me

In which I liveblog Bloodrayne. It's Uwe Boll: how bad can it be?

Elapsed TimeNotes
0:00 The movie opens with a series of faux-Renaissance frescoes, depicting the characters in the movie. I would love to have been the guy who got to photoshop Ben Kingsley into a fresco.
0:01 Hey, it says that Meat Loaf's in this! But his last name's credited as "Aday." Is that really his real name? Or is it a joke, like "A meat loaf aday keeps something at bay?" These are deep thoughts.
0:06 Kristanna Lokken as the half-vampire is being used as a freakshow attraction. They make her drink lamb's blood. It gives her a blood mustache, like a very morbid "Got Milk?" commercial.
0:08 I was hoping that Ben Kingsley being in this movie was just a sick joke, but there he is in white pancake makeup and a get-me-out-of-here-please lack of emotion. He's the only person in this movie with an actual accent, even though it's set in Europe during the 1600's. If I pretend not to know that fact, it's like I'm watching the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
0:12 I'll say this: Boll must have hired a decent DP for this. It's much more competently shot than House of the Dead. But he still can't direct actors, and he's emphasized that fact by hiring the least expressive actors he could find. Putting Michael Madsen and Michelle Rodriguez together in a scene is like watching the animatronic Presidents at Disneyland perform standup, except the robots are more charismatic.
0:22 Boll keeps doing these low establishing shots. I guess they're supposed to look very slick, but it's more like he's hired midgets to do his steadycam work.
0:31 There are movies based on videogames, and then there's this movie, which follows gaming logic to its disastrous end. Rayne sneaks into the basement of a monastary to steal something for some ridiculous reason, sees a sleeping guard wearing a cross, and then spies a cross-shaped hole in the wall. A normal person would think that maybe those both have to do with the monestary decorating motif, what with it being a religious institution and all. But Rayne knows that it's actually a lock for a secret passage. It's embarrassing that she leaps to this conclusion, and even stupider when she turns out to be right.
0:34 At some point my TiVo is going to catch up with realtime, and I'm going to have to watch those terrible Galactica promos with the emo rock. The exec who okay'd that must have been the same guy who decided to run Bloodrayne as a Saturday night movie. On the other hand, I'm actually watching it. Touche, tasteless NBC producers. Touche.
0:46 Meatloaf's not phoning it in. I respect that.
0:54 If I were a vampire, I don't think I'd put stained glass windows in my bloodsucking orgy lair. I also wouldn't let Michael Madsen and some generic minion just walk right in, swords drawn. But that's just me. Still, the movie does seem to prove my instincts correct.
1:08 Oh, look! Michelle Rodriguez is angry! That's different. And now for a training montage. I love a good training montage. Remember in Army of Darkness, when Ash trains the townspeople to fight with spears, all in unison? And then later on, when they face the skeleton warriors, they do the exact same moves, like it's a synchronized dance routine? That was awesome. I wish I was watching that movie instead.
1:24 All of the swords in this movie look like they were just cut from sheets of aluminum. They don't have any edge at all. It looks really silly, like they're fighting with large butter knives. I'm reminded of this because the characters have gone to some blacksmith to get weapons. He's also got holy water just sitting around on the shelves. I wonder if holy water has a sell-by date. I'd hate to use it on the undead, only to find out that it'd gone bad.
1:30 Rayne gives her cross medallion to Madsen's generic assistant as protection. Did anyone ever explain if other holy artifacts also work on vampires, or is it just the cross? In Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, the protagonist figures that the aversion to crosses is some sort of bizarre superstitious reflex left over from life, caused by self-loathing. The Jewish vampire is repelled by the Torah. Does that mean that atheist vampires are repelled by science textbooks and biohazard symbols? So much for Cobb County.
1:40 Every time someone gets on horseback in this movie, suddenly we get lots of helicopter shots. It's like Boll watched Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies and thought "Hey, I could do that."
1:43 Why doesn't anyone in this script use contractions? Is that supposed to make them seem like thespians? I'm going to have to try that sometime. "I think I will walk the dog," I'll say. I feel more dramatic already.

Also: thespian? I don't remember dating within my gender.

1:51 Last fight scene between Kristanna Lokken and Ben Kingsley. I can't believe I just wrote that. Why did he agree to this? He was Ghandi! Ghandi! I'm at a loss for words, frankly.
1:58 It's over! It didn't make any sense, but it's over. Looking back, it could have been worse. I mean, yes, the dialog, plot, special effects, acting, and set design were all terrible. But some of the camerawork wasn't too bad. If Boll is set on the subject matter, maybe he could just direct video game commercials instead of movies. But then, there's probably no tax loophole in that.

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