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reignoffire.jpg

Pajiba’s Overappreciated Gems

London’s Burning With Boredom Now

Reign of Fire / TK

Overappreciated Gems | June 12, 2008 | Comments (99)


Gentle readers, we are gathered here today because a crime has been committed. A crime that has affected us all, a crime of epic proportions that cost millions of dollars and cheated you out of hours of your life, not to mention your hard-earned money. A con job, a scam so insidious, so deceptive, that even the brightest and cleverest among us has been fooled. Through deft misdirection and parlor tricks, you have been duped, my friends. Well no more, I say. The time has come to cast off this veil of ignorance that so many of you unwittingly wear, and see how you have become accidental accomplices in a crime against cinematic humanity. The accused? Rob Bowman (already found guilty of other atrocities such as Elektra and Airborne). The crime? Reign of Fire.

These are the facts laid before us in its defense:

1) Reign of Fire has, without question, the best dragon special effects we’ve ever seen. This is indisputable. The special effects are so remarkable that at no point do you have trouble believing that there are real, living dragons interacting (and occasionally devouring) the people on the screen.

2) It managed to assemble one of the more impressive (not to mention visually… um… stimulating) male casts in recent history — Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler.

3) The scene at the beginning of the movie, where a young boy visits his mother in the underground tunnel that she works in (we’ll ignore the idea that a 12-year-old boy is allowed down there) and accidentally awakens a hibernating dragon, is one of the most remarkable action sequences you are likely to see. As far as setting the stage, it is top-notch. When the boy is frantically ascending in a rickety elevator, and the massive dragon climbs up the sides and explodes out into the daylight — simply a breathtaking sequence.

4) It is quite possibly the best dragon movie ever filmed.

Technically, all of these things are true, my friends. Each of these facts is irrefutable. Yet despite these truths, Reign of Fire is a total fiasco. What’s worse, however, is that not only is a failure, but that it somehow managed to convince people otherwise. It is the intention of the prosecution to show you why each of these facts is nothing more than deception, and that Mr. Bowman is nothing more than a snake oil salesman. By the end of this, I hope you can see through his clever ruse, and I pray that you will forgive yourselves. However, in order for us to understand these things, allow me to briefly summarize the story.

Twenty years after the sequence detailed above, dragons have essentially reduced human society to smoke and rubble. The premise is that dragons have always been on Earth — in fact, they are responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs — and for millennia have been hibernating. After the boy wakes them, they begin to repopulate and there are now literally millions of them, destroying everything in sight. Humankind is reduced to small, tribe-like societies, living on scraps and trying to survive. One of these communities is in an ancient British castle, where Quinn Abercromby (Bale) has become their de facto leader, teaching them all sorts of anti-dragon prayers and maintaining a sense of order and discipline, such as, “don’t eat the tomatoes.” His faithful Scottish sidekick is Creedy (Butler), and together they put on little Star Wars plays for the wee English moppets who for some reason all dress like pajama-wearing cult members. One day a team of dirty Americans in tanks and helicopters shows up, asking for lodging for the night. Led by the completely ridiculous looking Van Zan (McConaughey), they are swaggering, walking stereotypes - lovers of violence and warmongering fanatics. They show off their method of hunting dragons - something to do with triangulation, motorcycles, parachutes and good ole’ American know-how. Eventually, however, another dragon attacks the castle, destroying most of it, and Van Zan, Quinn and Van Zan’s pilot Alex (a terminally bland Isabella Scorpuco, of Goldeneye and Vertical Limit) traipse back to London, where it all began, to kill the father of all the dragons.

Sounds like fun, does it not? Surely, with a cast like that (minus the zombie Scorpuco), exciting dragon effects, the movie should be a slam-dunk! Alas, my friends, I cannot lie to you. The truth is, Reign of Fire is terrible. A failure on almost every level. With the exception of Bale and Butler, the acting is horrendous. McConaughey’s Van Zan is so overblown, so over-the-top, it’s not even fun in an ironic sense. His shaved head, giant beard and silly dragon tattoos are all just a bit too much - we get it. He’s the Ugly American. You made your goddamn point. There’s no need to turn him into some sort of John Wayne on steroids meets Snake Plissken meets Mr. Clean. His Texas drawl is so exaggerated that it sounds like he’s got Jell-O in his mouth, and for whatever reason, he walks like he’s on a boat in the middle of a storm while suffering from severe chafing. Scorpuco - I can’t say enough about how dead-eyed and wooden her performance is - in fact, let me stop before I start having fits.

The plot… yikes. It hurts to even talk about it. Never again will you find such a moronic confluence of coincidence and utterly implausible bullshit in one movie. Look, believe me when I tell you that I’m the King of Suspended Disbelief. I have a gold medal in gullibility, as well as a PhD in Being Completely and Totally Ignorant of All Things Scientific. My knowledge bas essentially consists of local sports trivia, the Marvel Ultimate universe, obscure hip-hop or punk music, and detective fiction. Anything else, I pretty much just buy it wholesale and assume that people did their research. When it comes to movies, I question nothing. Reign of Fire changed all of that. This is a movie that actually takes itself relatively seriously. The tone is not comedic or ironic; instead it wants to be a Serious Action Movie about dragons. Except for one problem: It makes no fucking sense, makes logical leaps that your average village idiot should be able to see through, and is completely dependent on the such outlandish coincidences that it strains all credibility. Allow me to elucidate:

1) Quinn Abercromby, the main character, happens to also be the little boy who discovered the hibernating dragon 20 years before. He also gets to be the one who kills the Papa Dragon.

2) That Papa Dragon is actually the Father of All Dragons. ALL OF THEM. There are apparently literally thousands of dragons, all over the planet, and every single one of them is female, and they are all spawned from Papa Dragon, who is apparently quite the Dragon Pimp.

3) Despite the Papa Pimp Dragon spawning thousands of dragons for his now-incestuous dragon harem, he never apparently left London - despite the theory that he flies around and fertilizes all the dragon harem eggs.

4) The Papa Dragon hibernates for thousands, if not millions, of years, but somehow wakes up fully formed, fully-abled, and immediately fertilizes… what? A million year-old egg? That’s somehow still good? Folks, I don’t know if you know of the delicacy known as the Century Egg, but it is quite possibly the vilest thing I’ve ever heard of. A million years old? Really?

5) The dragons apparently feed on ash. Yes, ash. Yummy, nutritious, vitamin-packed ash. I fucking hate you, Rob Bowman. Between this and Elektra, you have officially used up your X-Files goodwill.

So just so we can fully understand the chronology: Dragons rule the earth. They destroy the dinosaurs. They go into hibernation. A young boy accidentally wakes Papa Dragon. Papa Dragon decimates London, goes on humping spree. Dragons repopulate exponentially somehow. Destroy the earth. Same boy becomes man who goes on to destroy the Papa Dragon who is the SAME dragon that killed his mother (and the Daddy of every dragon on the planet), thereby saving the world. I think I’ve proven my point regarding the stupendous, punishingly idiotic inanity of Reign of Fire.

Honestly, one of the things that made me angriest was its marketing campaign. I don’t know if you’ve seen the poster in a while or not, but here it is:

reign_of_fire.jpg

Looks pretty fucking sweet, right? London on fire, attack helicopters in dogfights with scores of dragons? How fucking cool is that? Except that none of that ever happens. London is shown modern and intact at the very beginning, and at the end it looks like the aftermath of the Battle of Stalingrad. You never actually see it under attack. Also, the helicopters are used basically for transporting people around - no dogfights or ‘copter-on-dragon goodness. In fact, until a 30 second scene at the very end, there is never more than one dragon shown at any time. Am I being childish about this? Perhaps. Does that make it any less disappointing? Absolutely not.

I meant it when I wrote that Reign of Fire is possibly the best dragon movie ever made. And that’s what makes the con so insidious. You see, we’ve been cursed time and time again with terrible dragon movies - a genre that, especially in this day and age, should be a no-brainer. But instead we’ve suffered through Dragonheart, Dragon Slayer, D-War, and God knows how many awful, awful Sci-Fi Channel dragon movies, including one with Dean Cain that actually made me cry tears of blood. So yes, stacked up against those travesties, it quite possible is the best… but that’s akin to being the proud owner of the nicest, loveliest, most beautifully formed pile of shit. At the end of the day, you’re still left with a pile of shit. That’s essentially what Reign of Fire is - the prettiest pile of shit in your DVD collection. Do yourself a favor - put it in a plastic baggie and throw it away. You can thank me later.

TK can be found wandering aimlessly through suburban Massachusetts, wondering how the hell he got there while yelling at the kids on his lawn. You can find him raising the dead in preparation for world domination at Uncooked Meat.









Chaos Theory | Pajiba Love 06/12/08













Comments

Ha! I haven't read your review yet TK, but I had to say I love how you are so willing to pick a fight with your fellow commenters.

(I'm in the "saw this once and promptly forgot it" camp)

Posted by: Julie at June 12, 2008 2:34 PM

I too have only seen it once, but I'm feeling a sudden urge to go rent it for the weekend and, well... make a drinking game out of it.

Posted by: Becky Tri-Tip Goddess at June 12, 2008 2:39 PM

Wow, I've never seen this and now I kind of want to. If only to see a pimp dragon. And Christian Bale doing anything.

Posted by: Sharon at June 12, 2008 2:40 PM

Counter-argument:

1. The level of 'love' or 'esteem' or 'interest' for this movie should be classified at a level of "wow that wasn't /completely/ godawful unwatchable shit. Go figure."

2. When I yelled at McConaghy (to be known as Shirtless McGrimace) to tear his shirt off in the fight scene with Bale, he quickly obliged me.

3. Screaming "America, FUCK YEAH!" every time Shirtless McGrimace and the World Police did something ridiculous/emo/ridiculemo was entertaining as shit.

4. Where did they get the budget to make such good looking dragons, anyway?

5. Bale. McConaghy. Same movie. Lots of water and/or sweat.

Nothing further, your honor.

Posted by: twig at June 12, 2008 2:41 PM

I haven't read this yet either, but I had to smile when I saw that TK was going to have this opportunity to have a whole posting devoted to ragging on RoF.

As I mentioned before, I've only seen parts of this movie, and it was on one of the TVs at a bar, so I don't actually have strong or even mild feelings about it.

Posted by: tamatha at June 12, 2008 2:41 PM

There should have been some Dragon Porn. Pimp Daddy Dragon giving his hunka hunka (literally) burning love to one of his daughter-wives might have been an interesting scene.

"Um, avert your eyes, please. Nothing to see here (gulp)."

And you're right. It wasn't a very good movie, despite the SFX eye-candy. Very disappointing to me, since I totally dig dragons too.

Posted by: The Wanderer at June 12, 2008 2:42 PM

Also, if they actually are making a His Majesty's Dragon movie and the screenwriter isn't a complete fuckup and the effects guys are, say, WETA...

You'll finally get your decent dragon movie.

Posted by: twig at June 12, 2008 2:43 PM

Pimp Daddy Dragon...

TK, you have just named Snoop Dog's next album.

Posted by: jM at June 12, 2008 2:51 PM

I am laughing so hard I am crying. This is awesome. I am going to finally watch this now since you made it sound so appealing.

Besides, somedays you only want to be a deep as your dog's wading pool.

Posted by: Melody at June 12, 2008 2:54 PM

That should have said "as deep as".

Stupid non-typing self.

Posted by: Melody at June 12, 2008 2:55 PM

I have Metallica in my head now. Thanks TK.

Posted by: thejodester at June 12, 2008 2:56 PM

TK you are a righteous man. You have summed up everything about this movie perfectly. Mrs. Bistro and I saw this in the theater thinking it would be totally bad-ass. Boy were we wrong and then some. This movie remains notorious to us as the worst thing we've ever willingly spent money to see (though it's in a very close struggle with the original Rat Pack version of Ocean's 11).

Posted by: Bistro at June 12, 2008 2:56 PM

Though I can't argue with any of your accusations, I also don't hate this movie. I find it to be perfectly acceptable background stupidity. It's also hard for me not to be amused at what was kind of the "money shot" that closed all the trailers: McConaughshirtless leaping through the air whilst swinging his axe. Because, honestly, did anyone expect what followed that shot?

Papa Dragon fucking ate him.

(Clearly, Papa Dragon appreciates beauty in both sexes.)

Posted by: Sean at June 12, 2008 2:56 PM

I believe it's "Scorupco".

But please don't ask me why I knew that. I have no answer.

(Oh, and according to IMDB, it's "Izabella".)

Posted by: RickO at June 12, 2008 2:59 PM

TK, you know that I know that you only wrote this and posted it because B-Slim and his passion for Reign of Fire are long gone.

It was B-Slim who loved this movie, wasn't it?

Posted by: Kolby at June 12, 2008 3:00 PM

I barely recognized McConaughey up there.

Random: I wonder how much longer that blogad with the lady holding her ta-tas is going to be on here. It's mighty disturbing.

Posted by: smash at June 12, 2008 3:02 PM

"His Majesty's Dragon"

Oddly enough, this is also a name for my penis.

TK, kindly violate yourself with a napalm dildo.
Thanks.

Now barring the glaring disregard for logic when they start the movie with one (male) dragon that somehow begat an egg to spunk all over, everything else falls into place if you rub two brain cells (or in your case, Bavarian hops) together:


1. There has to be some kind of emotional connection/motivation for his character to want to take on the Pimp Daddy Dragon. If not for the fact that it killed his mother, why the hell would he want to walk into it's den?

2. Wouldn't YOU wanna be the only male of your species (which I think you actually are).

3. Dude, if you just dragon tea bagged a million female dragons, would you really have the energy to get fly to, say, Africa?

4. Point conceded.

5. Aliens can have acid for blood, but dragons can't eat ash? I rest my case.

6. As far as the poster goes, I think they pretty much shot their budget wad on the dragon effects. If you look at the special features on the DVD, you can see all the work that went into the design and construction.

Posted by: Manny at June 12, 2008 3:03 PM

Papa Dragon decimates London, goes on humping spree.

There is just so much awesome in that sentence.

Posted by: Julie at June 12, 2008 3:05 PM

Thou shalt not disparage Dragon Slayer.

Horrible acting + ridiculous plot + sweet dragon action = a great way to waste a Sunday.

Actually, that sounds similar to Reign of Fire...

Posted by: Brigs at June 12, 2008 3:07 PM

I have my fingers crossed that WETA does a decent Smaug in The Hobbit.

Posted by: BWeaves at June 12, 2008 3:10 PM

BWeaves- How could they not? It is WETA after all.

Posted by: tamatha at June 12, 2008 3:11 PM

Hey, whatever happened to spoiler alerts??[/sarcasm]

Oh, and smash, I believe that is her bra. Or top. Or whatever. Not her actual hands, which is what I thought on first seeing it. The bra top is much better--at least she has a sense of humor...

Posted by: boo at June 12, 2008 3:12 PM

TK, you son of a gun. Excellent work. Even if I do hate you for cracking the spell of denial.

And don't worry. If those bastards don't give you a dragon movie that meets with your approval, I will.

I do find it funny that in Scorupco, there is a zombie (or zombie-like person) who you don't like, but I must admit, I am not displeased with. Frankly, if more zobies looked like her, I migth forgive Romero.

Fucking zombies. I hope really well-CGIed dragons charbroil them all.

Posted by: Vermillion at June 12, 2008 3:14 PM

Witness for the Prosecution your honor. I have seen EVERYTHING Christian Bale has ever been in. Good and bad. It's a compulsion I have and I gave up fighting it years ago. The one thing that nearly cured me of it?

This movie.

I only made it halfway through, and thats after a few times trying. I still count myself as having seen all of his movies though, because the multiple tries to get through this I count as a full viewing.

Posted by: MG at June 12, 2008 3:16 PM

"You see they have great vision during the day...and even better vision at night. But in the failing light, they can't focus....magic hour."
-
Couldn't disagree more with this review, except on the count of Scorupco, she is dead inside.
You're completely backwards on everything you said about McConaughey, he rules in this. I'm typically not a huge fan, but his Van Sant is so overblown, so over-the-top, it's INCREDIBLY fun in an ironic sense, while also INCREDIBLY fun in a total bad-ass in an action movie sense.
The effects are awesome, Bale is obviously more than capable of handling lead role status, and the story line is pretty kick ass.
You say
"Quinn Abercromby, the main character, happens to also be the little boy who discovered the hibernating dragon 20 years before. He also gets to be the one who kills the Papa Dragon".
That sounds like a pretty natural story arc to me.
While Reign Of Fire isn't going to win any awards anytime soon, it is indeed a very good time if you like action movies. and DRAGONS! So many dragons.

Posted by: tom3480 at June 12, 2008 3:18 PM

TK, my lovely, we have been over this. I know full well how bad this movie is, and I don't care. I like it anyway. It's kind of like how I love my brother despite the fact that he is clearly at least mildly retarded.

Besides, I am on record (repeatedly, I believe) about how Matthew McConaughey creeps me the hell out with his wee Tyrannosaur arms and his grunting and preening, and he gets nine kinds of eaten in this movie, which is nine kinds of AWESOME. I don't care if the dragons subsist on sunshine, rainbows, and the repeatedly reanimated corpse of Jimmy Stewart, just so long as one or more of them manages to eat Matthew McConaughey with spectacular gusto.

This movie could be remade ten times, getting progressively worse with each imagining, culminating in an animation + live action version directed by McG and starring Jack Black and Martin Lawrence, but if McConaughey shows up for the 30 seconds it takes to get eaten, I'll watch it every goddamn time. Happily.

Posted by: Sarina at June 12, 2008 3:29 PM

Ok, this? McConaughey creeps me the hell out with his wee Tyrannosaur arms and his grunting and preening, and he gets nine kinds of eaten in this movie, which is nine kinds of AWESOME. I don't care if the dragons subsist on sunshine, rainbows, and the repeatedly reanimated corpse of Jimmy Stewart

made me laugh so hard. I love you Sarina.

Posted by: Julie at June 12, 2008 3:32 PM

Where is Sarina? She hates McCon-whatevs. I think she refers to him as T-Rex arms.

Posted by: Melody at June 12, 2008 3:32 PM

I don't care if the dragons subsist on sunshine, rainbows, and the repeatedly reanimated corpse of Jimmy Stewart, just so long as one or more of them manages to eat Matthew McConaughey with spectacular gusto.

Sarina. Wow.

Wow. That was nine kinds of brilliant.

Wow.

Posted by: Sean at June 12, 2008 3:35 PM

I've always had a grudge against this movie simply because my mom's obsessed with it. I think she's watched it so many times she had to purchase the DVD a second time. If she likes it that much, it can't be good.

Posted by: Melina at June 12, 2008 3:38 PM

Hrmm...

An excellent review. Very solid.

But since when has Reign of Fire been overappreciated? This reminds me a lot of the review of that other "overappreciated" gem, Hellboy.

People who like these (like myself) enjoy them for what they are, stupid, goofy-ass action movies with some decent effects.

Of course McConaughey is horrible in this movie. He's ridiculously over the top, but that's the charm really.

You did seem to neglect one of the dumbest things about this movie. If I recall, the main tactic of McConaughey's crack dragon fighting team was to go up in the helicopter and jump out of it - without parachutes - to fight dragons in the air with net guns or something. It made no sense. Worse. Tactics. Ever.

Overappreciated? Really?

Posted by: ajax19 at June 12, 2008 3:38 PM

TK, I can only really refute one of your points above: Matthew McConaughey has never been better in any role (well, actually, he was mighty good in Frailty, but never mind).

Other than that, I simply can't argue with you...except to say that even acknowledging of your excellent points, I still like this movie. Alice Krige does a cameo. Alice Krige.

Terrific job, man.

Parenthetical observation: The photo of McConaughey-hey above looks NOTHING like Matthew McConaughey and EXACTLY like John Malkovich...Is that SFX?

Posted by: Jerce at June 12, 2008 3:39 PM

Is this movie actually appreciated by anyone who has a weakness for dragons, Christian Bale or The McCon?

I own this movie and usually get a lot of shit when people come across it. I usually reply with the Bale excuse.

Still Reign of Fire is hardly the worst film he's ever done. That my friends would be Equilibrium.

Nevertheless, TK made a lot of good points. The dragon pimp theory is a bit hard to swallow on first viewing.

Posted by: Teresa at June 12, 2008 3:43 PM

My former roommate has T-Rex arms. She can't even hook her bra up behind her back because her arms are so short. She also has a giant head, prompting me and my other roommate to constantly be the dinosaur from "Meet the Robinsons." And Matthew McConaughey has those same features...I guess...yeah, that's my justification for talking shit about my roommate.

Also, this may just be me, but I've always imagined that McConaughey would be a perfect Buffalo Bill in a remake of "Silence of the Lambs." It's something about the shape of his balding head.

[/digression from any sort of relevance to thread]

Posted by: Geetch at June 12, 2008 3:50 PM

ajax19, Gerard Butler's response to the description of those tactics pretty much sums up your point (and is maybe the funniest line in the movie):

"Well, you would, wouldn't you?"

Posted by: Sean at June 12, 2008 3:52 PM

kolby, have you forgotten that TK is holding B-Slim in his basement, hostage and incommunicado from the pajibaverse? Clearly this review must be the latest salvo in the psychological war. "It puts the Reign of Fire DVD in the basket or it gets the hose again." Hang on B-Slim, be strong!

Posted by: lordhelmet at June 12, 2008 3:54 PM

i can't believe you left out the best part - the bad-ass american dragon-killer team who are all tough and experienced and whatnot attack the dragon by...jumping out of a helicopter. with no parachute. after which, they plummet to their silly little deaths.

that's it. that's their entire strategy.


my head asplode.

Posted by: dan at June 12, 2008 3:56 PM

I always thought this movie was supposed to be terrible, and that's what made it so fun. I mean, Star Wars re-enactments - really? It's high-grade class B celluloid. Matthew McConaghey's performance is so hilariously bad, it fits right in. Now, I'm not so sure he was in on the so-bad-it's-good joke, but I don't care. There really are no words for when he jumps through the air brandishing an axe with full-on Crazy Eyes.

Posted by: LB at June 12, 2008 4:02 PM

Phugh!

Because of this egregious display, TK , young man, when I teach freshman English Lit this fall, I'm devoting an entire lecture to the pitfalls of literalism.

(So there.)

Posted by: Ranylt at June 12, 2008 4:03 PM

they have parachutes

Posted by: tom3480 at June 12, 2008 4:07 PM

I've never been able to sit through more than the first 30-40 minutes of this movie, but I kind of want to, now. There is something that's just way, way too enticing about getting to see Wooderson -- for shirtless wonder up there will always be Wooderson to me - being eaten by a dragon.

Posted by: thejodester at June 12, 2008 4:08 PM

Oy, did you just call Dragonheart a bad movie??

Posted by: Linda at June 12, 2008 4:11 PM

I think the only part of this movie I have seen is where McConaughey gets eaten. One of those times when the TV was one while I was vacuuming or folding laundry or something.

Is it worse than Eragon...? 'Cause that movie is so horrific I couldn't even stand to watch it for the fun of mocking it a second time.

Posted by: Wednesday at June 12, 2008 4:12 PM

I loved this film when it came out.

I honestly couldn't tell you anything about the plot until I read the review, though. I spent the entire movie making dreamy eyes at Bale, Butler and McC.

In that, it's like The One. I'm pretty sure it was a horrendous movie, but you can't argue with infite variations of Jet Li.

Posted by: Pea at June 12, 2008 4:13 PM

First of all, Sarina is my new bestest friend. Second, TK is my hero. While I would gladly let Pimp Daddy McCona-Rex-Arms/Bale/Butler inseminate me with tiny dragon critters, this movie is pretty much crap. We actually saw this in a theatre because it looked so freakin' awesome in trailers, but, damn...misleading much? My son, on the other hand, watches this about once a month. Of course, he's 13, loves dragons and violence and things that blow up.

Posted by: dammitjanet at June 12, 2008 4:20 PM

Oh, and just because I have to:

Reign of Fire...in my pants

Posted by: MG at June 12, 2008 4:25 PM

I liked this film until I realized that the whole premise came down to: kill the head dragon, and that destroys ALL the dragons. That is the lamest resolution to any movie, ever. That is so lazy! A 'bad' ending where all the humans died would have been far superior. For that matter, an ending where Bales and the Father dragon fell in love would have been superior. The movie turning into a gay furry porno would have been better...

Posted by: Keith at June 12, 2008 4:26 PM

gay furry porno

Cover up all that mancake with some stupid costume? For shame. For shame.

Posted by: twig at June 12, 2008 4:27 PM

Theresa Equilibrium was terrible, I couldn't believe people on here would even recommend it, it was laughable!

Posted by: Melina at June 12, 2008 4:34 PM

umm sorry, that comment wasn't so important that the entire thing needed to be bolded.

Posted by: Melina at June 12, 2008 4:36 PM

TK, if you were doing a trash job on one of MY favorite movies, wellll - I'd probably laugh my ass off even more than I did at this review.

If someone is stating an opinion about a subject I love and they clearly dislike, if it's at least done with the elegance and pinache you displayed here, than I'm more than ready to read it.

Excellent writing such as this should be appreciated for exactly what it is, whether one agrees with it or not. That should be a Pajiba credo.

Keep on keepin' on, my friend

Posted by: TMax at June 12, 2008 4:44 PM

Weak argument against a weak movie.
I don't understand why you're arguing about polygyny, there are polygynous reptiles and fish. If you wanted to argue that protogyny would be more likely and that suppression of sex changing would be removed after killing the bull, that would be a bit more understandable. Right now you're just bitching though.

God, I don't even know why I'm arguing about this, we're talking about a creature that breathes fire. Shit is not going to be realistic.

Posted by: Stew at June 12, 2008 4:44 PM

Geez, did a dragon jump out of your birthday cake and ruin your party when you turned 8? I see no other explanation.

Posted by: Adere at June 12, 2008 4:53 PM

So I have to ask--is this on par with The Skulls for really really terrible and thus beautiful cinema? Because I'm in desperate need of bad beefcake movies to fill my summer when it gets too hot out to watch things that make me think.

Posted by: dannon at June 12, 2008 4:54 PM

Dannon, that is doubtful. I actually own The Skulls simply because I think I payed $5 for it. That is one atrocious movie.

But so pretty.

Posted by: Melody at June 12, 2008 4:57 PM

I'm in desperate need of bad beefcake movies to fill my summer when it gets too hot out to watch things that make me think.

I assume you already have the beefcake buffet that is Predator all cued up and ready...?

A good recent entry in this category is Crank. It only has Jason Statham, but on the plus side, it has Jason Statham.

Posted by: Jerce at June 12, 2008 5:09 PM

I don't even need to read this article to know it's silly.

I've yet to meet a single human being who thought this was a good movie. Not one. It is, without question, a ridiculous steaming pile of moronic shit, and nobody with an ounce of sense has ever claimed otherwise. Ever.

Posted by: Spork at June 12, 2008 5:15 PM

Since Kolby brought up B'Slim, has anyone seen Alex The Odd lately and hasn't PissBoy been terribly quiet? I'm starting to have this terrible fear that some anti-Pajiba forces are knocking us off one by one.

Posted by: Anonymous Poster formerly known as PaddyDog at June 12, 2008 5:26 PM

Somebody call the wahmbulance, TK's choking on his french cries.

Posted by: Skeggjold at June 12, 2008 5:28 PM

Well, AtO is starting that new job....isn't she?

Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at June 12, 2008 5:29 PM

AtO's new job is only a cover story. SoD, PaddyDog, I'd say the spambot/cylon/zombie army is starting to hit us where we live (that or TK's starting to run amok). Time to fire up the MurderTank and strike back, or MurderMaid and get the hell out of the system while we still can.


Now I don't have to tell you good folks what's been happening in our beloved little town. Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded, and cattle raped. The time has come to act, and act fast. I'm leaving.

Posted by: Reverend Johnson at June 12, 2008 5:40 PM

Wait a minute! This piece of crap is appreciated by someone?

Posted by: Case at June 12, 2008 6:32 PM

This could all have been solved in costuming. You know, if Papa Pimp Dragon had worn a really sweet hat.

Posted by: KateNonymous at June 12, 2008 6:37 PM

I'm for striking back. If we form a circle with the Murder Tank, Murder Dinghy, and some pro-Pajiba zombies (I'm giving TK the benefit of the doubt here), we can hold out for weeks. The Murder Tank is already stocked with supplies.

Posted by: PaddyDog at June 12, 2008 6:39 PM

And secret mics and camcorders...umm...for observational purposes...recon and stuff...yeah...

Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at June 12, 2008 6:42 PM

I love this movie and I am not ashamed of it. Yes, I am a geek and a dork and socially incompetent, but dude. I just like to see shit blow up. Also, dragons.

On a somewhat related note, when I first saw this movie in England, I thought, 'Scottish guy's pretty cute.' It wasn't until I watched 300 for the first time that I learned who Gerard Butler was. This only made watching RoF better when I finally found a copy of the DVD. If these movies could be somehow combined, I think I would have a total dorkgasm.

Posted by: Cuno at June 12, 2008 6:47 PM

Agreed. Reign Of Fire is subpar.

But c'mon! Dragonslayer rocks. Much better than this drek. It's the best dragon movie yet made.

But, my friends, if the live-action adaptation of Dragonlance ever comes to fruition, rest assured that will be the best dragon movie ever made. (Will The Hobbit count as a "dragon" movie?" If so, it will hold the title until that day.)

Posted by: DarthCorleone at June 12, 2008 7:18 PM

haven't read any of the comments but the 1st (Julie's), but I am also in the saw it once and promptly forgot it camp; i remember there was fire, and i think the good guy/(s) won. completely forgot that christian bale was even in it.
as for best dragon story put on film, i'm partial to "albie the racist dragon", which, while short on action, packs in a solid narrative with an important message, without being preachy.

Posted by: johnny anonymous at June 12, 2008 8:04 PM

I loved this movie.

Posted by: Pookie at June 12, 2008 8:31 PM

Just one dissenting point, if I may:

At no point before, during or after the movie, do you think this movie is anything other than B-level, cheese-fest featuring actors who were taking on a quick, action buckgrab.

To OVERrate something, you have to rate it first. Unlike Hellboy (which I do rate highly), I doubt there's a room full of people who ever thought Reign of Fire was any good.

Posted by: BFFredo at June 12, 2008 8:44 PM

Theresa you have it correct, girl. Equilibrium is by far and away the worst Bale movie. Even Mr. Pink, whose taste in movies runs to the rather suspect (He really liked Doom.), found it pretty damn laughable.

If WETA does anything resembling the job they did on that creepy fucking spider, then Smaug will kick ass. Best dragon ever.

I almost jumped up from my seat and hauled ass out of the theater when that damn thing came on screen. Guuuuh.

I hate spiders.

Posted by: Alabamapink at June 12, 2008 8:48 PM

I just remember going to a movie with some friends when the preview for this came on. "This looks like crap." I commented, having not learned the amazing sexiness that is Christian Bale.

They didn't agree, mostly because my friends from high school have always had crap taste in movies.

So we're sitting there, and .. the preview for this movie comes on again.

And again.

Four. Goddamn. Times. In. A. Row.

It's the only time I've heard an entire theatre full of people reciting a trailer. That was fucking awesome

Posted by: Mara at June 12, 2008 9:02 PM

But, my friends, if the live-action adaptation of Dragonlance ever comes to fruition, rest assured that will be the best dragon movie ever made.

Seconded...hard

Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at June 12, 2008 9:04 PM

dude, this movie fucking rocks

Posted by: DanDan at June 12, 2008 9:25 PM

Compared to a lot of the crap that's around, I thought RoF was reasonably entertaining and the effects were pretty good. Now if I subtract Christian Bale, would I have still liked it? Dunno but I've seen it a couple of times over the years and I probably wouldn't have bothered with a second viewing if he hadn't been in it.

Posted by: Subi at June 12, 2008 9:51 PM

I am shocked that you ever thought Reign of Fire was good. Even my friends who give junk like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Indy IV a pass called it crap way back when.

Posted by: EricD at June 12, 2008 11:38 PM

RoF is firmly entrenched in my personal "Yummy Cheese" category, along with The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element et al.

I understand that many people feel the same way about Showgirls (I myself do not).

Posted by: Jerce at June 12, 2008 11:48 PM

Aw Jebus I know it is bad, but I still watch it on TV for the pimp daddy dragon and the McConaughey crazy.

Posted by: Jules at June 13, 2008 1:41 AM

TK - I think you meant good ole'???

To whomever said equilibrium was awful...NO Ultraviolet was AWFUL. If we compare the two.... Equilibrium > Ultraviolet. Though, Ultraviolet scores some minor points with leather.

Fifth Element cheese?

Them's fightin' words!

Fifth Element is the bestest of the best. Granted, on first viewing I found it so over appreciated and was left thinking WTF...I did go see it again, and loved it and have on every further viewing.
The soundtrack is awesome!

I have yet to see Showgirls...

RoF is a must own over appreciated movie. As stated, it is the best dragon movie out there...

Posted by: WhoWhatWhere at June 13, 2008 1:43 AM

Okay, okay I get that it's a cruel piece of poo that hurts us deep inside but it has Matthew and Christian shirtless! Shirtless! And Gerard! Being sweet with children! The only thing better would have been if he was shirtless while being sweet to children. Am I right ladies or am I right? I mean, I shouldn't be totally embarrassed to have it in my DVD collection should I?

Posted by: Kelly at June 13, 2008 1:44 AM

What's with all the Equilibrium hate?

Bale, Emma Watson, Taye Diggs, and Sean Pertwee at his scenery chewing best...(I didn't list Sean Bean or William Fichter because they really aren't in that much of the movie)

Insane plot? Check!
Ludicrous philosophy? Check!
Inane "science"? Check!
Way cool action? Check!
Adorable Bernese Mountain dog puppy? Check!

Sounds good to me.

I so wanted RoF to be the war after the dragons got released, not the apocalyptic mess that ended up on screen. I like the entire cast, Bowman does a serviceable job directing (not great, not good, just serviceable),but the actual story just blows...It could have been something wonderful and that makes bay Godtopus cry.

Posted by: Adam C at June 13, 2008 2:04 AM

Sorry, TK, love the site, but anyone who expected cinematic brilliance out of ROF deserves what they get. Still, it was entertaining enough and if it comes across the screen while scrolling through on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I will not get out of its way...

Posted by: kevinf at June 13, 2008 2:38 AM

Unfortunately, my suspension of disbelief of totally shredded when, no more than two minutes into the film, an English miner asks for a Bud.

I mean seriously, people!

Posted by: Andrew M at June 13, 2008 2:53 AM

Unfortunately, my suspension of disbelief of totally shredded when, no more than two minutes into the film, an English miner asks for a Bud.

I mean seriously, people!

What???

I was ready to defend this movie by any means possible, but no more!

Away with this travesty!

Posted by: Adere at June 13, 2008 2:57 AM

...Be that as it may, Bowman still got your money, bitch. So yeah, all that build-up of just how bad this piece of cinema was...your contribution was still present. So, no matter how highly you and your remarks want to present themselves, you still saw it, dipshit. It's a movie, not a life-changing experience. Of course there is going to be some over-the-top things, but again, that's the reason they're not reality.

Movies. Just live with it, or don't see 'em at all, especially if you credit it while at the same time hating it afterwards.

Jesus Christ, asshat.

Posted by: Riley at June 13, 2008 3:50 AM

Kinda like how, despite disliking the article, he still got your hits?

That is a really weak argument, Riley. Just because he paid to see the film, that somehow supposed to keep him from saying it was bad? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Plenty of folks hate movies after paying to see them. In fact, wouldn't that immense amount of regret in wasting that money make their criticism stronger? I would like to think so.

And are you honestly saying you never did the same? If you are, you are either a) lucky enough to have never been disappointed by a single movie you have paid to see, b) are the King of Bootlegs and Torrents, or c) lying your ass off. All three pretty much make your complaint pointless.

If you didn't like him slamming the movie, just say so. Don't try to come up with some flimsy excuse so you can feel better.

And on another note: where is all this Equilibrium hate coming from? Did we watch the same movie? Did I miss some memo?

Posted by: Vermillion at June 13, 2008 6:14 AM

And on another note: where is all this Equilibrium hate coming from? Did we watch the same movie?

The one I watched was two hours of badly dialogued crap in a universe whose guide rules contradicted themselves, held together by a couple cool visual ideas and capped off with, admittedly, a really really badass fight scene.

If they made a better movie, same concept, I would totally watch it.

Posted by: twig at June 13, 2008 7:27 AM

Okay, okay I get that it's a cruel piece of poo that hurts us deep inside but it has Matthew and Christian shirtless! Shirtless! And Gerard! Being sweet with children! The only thing better would have been if he was shirtless while being sweet to children. Am I right ladies or am I right? I mean, I shouldn't be totally embarrassed to have it in my DVD collection should I?

No, Kelly, you shouldn't. I myself own several movies whose only saving grace is a hot man or two. Hopefully shirtless. Pantsless is nice, too (eg: 'Close My Eyes' - lousy film, but, nekkid Clive Owen!! Alan Rickman remains clothed, sadly. But you can't have everything..)

Bad movies with hot guys in them are porn for women who fear their nosy mothers would find the real thing in a heartbeat whilst visiting. ('I was just cleaning up a bit for you, love!')
Not that that has ever happened to me, of course.

Posted by: Tarn at June 13, 2008 9:11 AM

I have yet to see Showgirls...

That movie may well be the worst movie ever. I have some irresistible compulsion to mock it whenever I see it on tv. Gina Gershon must have needed a really nice boat and Elizabeth Berkley must have killed a lot of brain cells when she had that caffeine addiction as Jessie Spano.

It is so bad, it is awesomely stupid. I recommend it.

Posted by: Melody at June 13, 2008 9:26 AM

I have yet to see Showgirls...

I've watched porn movies with better acting and dialogue, with a decent payout at the end. Seriously, if I hadn't watched Hatchet a few months ago (BUCKETS OF BLOOD! SPLASHED AGAINST EVERY TREE!!!), it would be the #1 worst movie ever conceived and executed ineptly like a virginal prom groping in the back seat of dad's car.

Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at June 13, 2008 9:33 AM

Equilibrium: How can this be a good movie?

Exhibit A: The gunkata.
Exhibit B: Taye Diggs gets his face sliced off. Not his head. His fucking face. In one of the awesomest fight sequences ever not to happen.

The prosecution rests, y'honor.

Posted by: insertclevernamehere at June 13, 2008 10:15 AM

I actually saw this in theaters when it came out. I was 15 at the time and knew that this was pretty bad. I was actually duped by the advertising like some of you, expecting full-scale dragon warfare. But no. Christian Bale has sure been in some shitters in his time.

Oh and is Dragonheart really that bad? It has Sean Connery as a dragon! Come on!

Posted by: vadmspartan at June 13, 2008 11:18 AM

Equilibrium = awesome

The only thing I hated about the movie was Taye "most insincere smile in the world" Diggs. This gets canceled out when he gets facecapitated. Sean Bean is even good in it.

Posted by: jM at June 13, 2008 12:44 PM

I don't know what it says about me that I now want to watch this movie. Cinematic trainwrecks are my kryptonite.

I feel compelled to defend the poor, maligned century egg. Yes it's sort of gross looking. I think the sickly green yolk is what puts people off. Here in HK, century eggs are pretty popular. Vilest food ever, though? It's no
Balut
. Balut is a fertilised duck or chicken egg. I'm an adventurous eater, but I haven't managed to eat one yet. Apparently if you can feel feathers when chewing the foetus, you should stop eating, but the beak and feet are safe to crunch.

Eh, I guess I should be grateful they're not fertilised with dragon jizz. Small mercies.

Posted by: Naomi at June 13, 2008 2:20 PM

Balut are tasty and don't get enough love. I have freaked out several folks merely by enjoying eating them. However, the century egg probably has a nasty sulfur aftertaste that interferes with its complex aroma of flavors, leading to wicked ass heartburn.

Posted by: Adam C at June 13, 2008 4:12 PM

1. Tree seeds can be dormant for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Bacteria can go for even longer. I guess the dragon eggs act in a similar way.

2. The big daddy dragon just has to fertilize all the eggs, kind of like a fish. Which means he can fly over and 'spray' all over the place......ew.

3. Ash, umm, yeah I got nothin'.

I still like it....But yeah, definitely did disappoint in a few ways. Awesome dragons though.

Posted by: Bob at June 13, 2008 7:54 PM

Yes, Vermillion, I honestly have the tendency to see good movies, and rarely (and I quite honestly mean rarely)have I left a theater or a sit-down of a flick disappointed. Coincidence? Luck?

No, I just prefer to watch what I think will be good, and if I like it, well to hell what any other critic (whether they be Ebert to anybody else, really). That, and I watch what looks good...I don't allow myself to become dumb by succumbing myself to films like Zohan, Meet the fuckin' Spartans, Chuck & Larry, or any other thing that everyone should know right away that it will kill your brain cells faster than any hard-hitting alcohol can. The reason for that is because I at least like to think that I make better choices than some, and no, I don't make myself out to be higher than anyone because of that. People are people, and they can watch whatever the hell they want.

It's just that when people go over the top and say that "Oh, we've all been duped!", and make themselves to make it seem like we are all stupid for watching it, I find some things so overwhelming at times that I just feel as though I should remind everyone: It's a movie! A form of entertainment! And for the most part, some films shouldn't be taken seriously in the first place!! Taking a story about dragons to heart seems kind of ridiculous to do, anyway. It's like arguing whether films are better if placed in order by alphabetization or by genre...who cares? As long as I can find what I'm looking for, that's all that matters...

Same formula applies. If the movie entertains me in some way to where I'm content, that's what I set out for.

I will apologize for blowing up in a somewhat uncalled for manner, but I would more appreciate a type of review that argued from a calm, collected, and insightful form (see the review for The Happening, opposed to an over-bashing stance that is insulting to readers (I enjoy or at least am content with what I watch...sorry if you see movies just to piss you off).

Posted by: Riley at June 14, 2008 2:58 AM

I have never seen of, nor heard of this movie. I am SO going down to the nearest Blockbuster immediately and renting it for the sole purpose of ogling Christian Bale. What does this say about me?

Posted by: a very ashamed and horny dsbs at June 21, 2008 8:02 PM

My brother was one of the little pyjama-ed kiddies in this movie, and he had a great time. He did tell me that Matthew McConnaughey was a total ass, and that Christian Bale was the only nice one; he'd visit the kids while they were waiting for their scenes and chat to them to help them relieve the boredom.

God i love that man!

Posted by: Irish Girl at June 22, 2008 1:14 PM














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