Browse Category: Antiquity

Immortals

Immortals (2011): Tarsem Singh

The massive success of 300 spawned imitators. The Clash and Wrath of the Titans movies certainly got made thanks to Gerard Butler and his band of shredded abdominals. Falling in middle is the bleak fantasy Immortals, featuring a future Superman.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Humble Greek peasant Theseus must avenge his mother’s death, find a weapon of mass destruction, fight the king of an army, and hope the Olympian gods defeat the Titans, all so he can live a simple life. 

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RECAP: The Great Wall

The Great Wall (2016): Yimou Zhang

Two thousand years ago, in China’s north, a meteor crashed into a mountain, turning it an ominous green. It also created and unleashed the Tao Tei, ferocious creatures that prey on humanity. These creatures were sent to remind humans “what happens when greed is unchecked.” And also to eat them.

Fortunately for humanity, the Tao Tei only descend their mountain in 60-year intervals. The Great Wall of China was built for many reasons, but keeping out the Tao Tei was the big one.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The Great Wall, the soldiers guarding it, and Matt Damon protect China from being eaten by space monsters.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Hercules

Hercules (2014): Brett Ratner

What if a mythological character was rooted in fact that generations of storytellers molded into legend? No, I’m not talking about the Bible, I’m talking about a 2014 movie about Hercules, aka Heracles, son of Zeus and a human woman.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Hercules sews his legend leading an army of Thracians against a mythic force.  Continue Reading

RECAP: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017): Guy Ritchie

Have you heard of the Camelot legends? You haven’t? Not for a few days? Have I got a movie for you!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Arthur, young and not yet a king, draws Excalibur and faces his uncle, Vortigern, a usurper.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Wrath of the Titans

Wrath of the Titans (2012): Jonathan Liebesman

Clash of the Titans hit theater in 2010, an homage and update on a classic 1981 film famous for its groundbreaking special effects. The updated Clash used terrific effects as well, but were hardly groundbreaking. This movie returns Sam Worthington to the role of Perseus, and with more hair.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Perseus, half human son of Zeus, must save his father, and Greece, from the release of the monstrous titan Kronos.  Continue Reading

RECAP: King Arthur

King Arthur (2004): Antoine Fuqua

Saddle up for another ride with the greatest king in English history, Arthur, a king who never existed.

Or did he? The makers of King Arthur, would have us believe that this new tale is based partly on the real past, on “recently discovered archeological evidence.”

(Keep in mind, the natives of northern Britain were Picts. Legend had them wearing blue woad dye in battle. All references to “Woads” are meant to be Picts.)

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In 452, Arthur, the man who would be king, takes his knights to the north of England to save a Roman boy and repel the Saxon invasion. Continue Reading

RECAP: Gladiator

Gladiator (2000): Ridley Scott

Coming out at the turn of the century, Gladiator represents Ridley Scott’s most successful film to date and in his best genre–historical epic.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Roman general left for dead becomes a gladiator to kill the man who orchestrated his demise: the emperor.  Continue Reading

RECAP: 300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire (2014): Noam Murro

Perhaps the world’s second-most-famous Noam made the second film in the 300 series his second feature directed. He took the reins from Zach Snyder, who moved on to bigger and bigger comic adaptations, and touched on a less famous and arguably harder to film sequel.

The key to understanding the film is its chronology. Rise takes place before, during, and after the events of 300, making it the only film I can think of to run parallel to its predecessor.

Science-fiction author Orson Scott Card penned the famous novel Ender’s Game. He later returned to that world and wrote a series about one of Ender’s compatriots, calling the novel Ender’s ShadowRise of an Empire is 300‘s Shadow.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: If you wanted to know what the seconds in command were doing while Leonidas and Xerxes were fighting at Thermopylae, here’s your chance. Continue Reading