‘Name of the King’ is a lazy and stupid fantasy rehash
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
“In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale”
At Showcase and Quality 16

Emily Mayer
Emily Mayer

“In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” is like Grand-Theft Tolkien, a lazy pastiche of recent fantasy fare, with standards so low it doesn’t care how obviously it steals from other films. Yet another low in the craptacular career of German filmmaker Uwe Boll, “Dungeon Siege” is a movie you just don’t need to see.

The plot is as bare-bones as it gets: A peasant (Frodo), is attacked by goblins (Orcs) and must help his king obtain status (Aragorn) and face an evil wizard king to save his wife (any movie). Yet at over two hours, it’s harder to finish than the Boston Marathon.

“Dungeon Siege” is a big budget fiasco in which every lapse in judgment shows up right on the screen. The dialogue seems to have been written by a 10-year-old, scenes are like pieces of a loose puzzle and the acting is pitiful considering the somewhat recognizable cast – what did Jason Statham (Farmer, “Revolver”) do to be in this? In fact, the only worthwhile aspect of this film may be the opportunity to play drinking games every time Burt Reynolds’s (King Konreid, “The Longest Yard”) hair shifts.

Director Uwe Boll is an idiot, plain and simple. He tries really hard to be a notorious schlock filmmaker, making B-level films that could be fun. But “Alone in the Dark,” “House of the Dead” and “Bloodrayne” are embarrassing, and “Dungeon Siege” is no different.

Think of this as a public service announcement. Kids, don’t do “Dungeon Siege.”


NBC remake surprisingly entertaining
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
“American Gladiators”
Mondays at 8 p.m.

Never before was it so appropriate to yell, “Oh, shit!” while watching a game show.

NBC’s recently updated “American Gladiators” centers on amateur athletes competing against frightening muscle-headed “gladiators” for a chance at $100,000. Unlike the ’90s version, the Hulk Hogan-hosted remake focuses more on the contestants’ backgrounds than the sheer power of the opposing gladiators, forcing us to cheer for toilet paper saleswomen.

The challenges are as exhausting to watch as they are pleasing to ridicule. With instructions like, “get ball in hole,” it’s clear you don’t need an elementary school education to become a TV star – just deltoids the size of Cadillacs.

As the “Gladiators” host, Hogan is the only unnecessary element; his main role is to shove a microphone in the contestant’s face after challenges and ask, “How did that feel, brother?” Even more unnecessary: his bandanna. We know you’re bald, Hulk. Quit hiding your shame.

But while it’s obnoxiously testosterone-heavy (and sometimes just stupid), “American Gladiators” successfully fills the void left by the recent absence of “Monday Night Football.”


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