This week I have been mainly watching…

The DVD and videotape collection is now overflowing from the shelves onto piles on the floor so it’s time for a cull. A lot have been bought second hand for a few pounds with the intention of watching and passing on. Over the years the incoming volume has far outweighed the outgoing but now it’s time for action.

This week I’ve managed to clear Dungeons & Dragons (2001 UK), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and Waterworld (1994) with mixed pleasure.

The D&D movie has somehow gained some charm since I last watched it when it came out. The things I found wrong with it back then from a gamer perspective are still there – the dumbing down of dragons and beholders, for example, is appalling; as an action movie, the fight scenes are amateurish in their choreography; the crowd scenes lack any spontaneity or life; and the Empress Savina is surely just a direct lift of the Child-like Empress from The NeverEnding Story. Time, though, has passed and now I appreciate Bruce Payne’s Damodar character – the dialogue, the delivery, the blue lipstick (OK, maybe not that). An example of something so bad that it becomes good. (As opposed to  Jeremy Irons’ Profion which is irretrievably bad.) The acting of the young lead characters was quite refreshing and left me with a more positive feeling for the film (which lost £11 million at the box office).

The instant ice age movie that was The Day After Tomorrow is still as bad scientifically as I had thought. Not as poor as the mutating neutrinos of 2012 but getting there. As much as I like for global warming to get an airing in a format that is accessible to the populace at large, this film just comes across as propaganda. I wonder if the film did more damage than good for the understanding of climate change. A thought has just hit me that the three young characters are pretty much the same as in Dungeons & Dragons – handsome male maverick, intelligent love interest with long black hair, and ethnic sidekick for comedy value.

Continuing on the global warming track, Waterworld is a lovely film and I’m disappointed that it isn’t regarded so favourably by others. It’s basically Mad Max 2 on water in so  many ways – the style of costumes and buildings, especially, and Mel Gibson/Kevin Costner could be easily swapped round. Dennis Hopper is a great villain from the you-must-be-funny-whilst-being-irredeemably-evil mould. The bad science, though, (which I have to work hard at ignoring here as it is the main goal of the film) is the idea that dry land would become a myth and everyone would be forced to live on water. In reality, we’re only looking at a maximum rise of around 66m so the map of the world is almost unchanged.

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