REVIEW: HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN

 

MAIN CAST

Elizabeth Gracen (Marked For Death)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Patricia Gage (American Psycho)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michael Copeman (When Hope Calls)
Torri Higginson (Stargate: Atlantis)
Julian Richings (Man of Steel)
Carlo Rota (Saw V)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Catherine Black (Loser)
Hannes Jaenicke (Half Past Dead)
Cedric Smith (Mutant X)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Tara Rosling (Impulse)
Lawrence Dane (Bride of Chucky)
Carl Marotte (My Bloody Valentine)
Karen Glave (The Tuxedo)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Shary Guthrie (Earth: Final Conflict)
Andrew Jackson (Smallville)
Michael Daingerfield (Arrow)
Noam Jenkins (Gossip)
Anne Marie DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Gordon Currie (Friday The 13th 8)
Polly Shannon (Men With Brooms)
Geordie Johnson (Dracula: The Series)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Jim Byrnes (Sanctuary)
Valentine Pelka (The Pianist)
Ellen Dubin (Mary Kills People)
Robert Cavanah (Pimp)
Lysette Anthony (Krull)
Glynis Barber (The Outpost)
Michael Siberry (Birdman)
Michelle Gomez (Chilling Adventuires of Sabrina)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)
Stephen Moyer (The Gifted)

With Highlander: The Raven, it became quickly obvious that this show wasn’t as good as the predecessor. The writing wasn’t as good, and some episodes were clearly not well done. That much I’m in agreement with everyone else here. But I would ask other viewers to also try to see the positive aspects that H:TR had. For starters, the chemistry between Amanda and detective Wolf was great.

I’m not sure why exactly, but these two were just perfect together, in both dialogue, thought processes and acting. I think that the writers here were trying to bring the world of immortals to deal with the point of view of a mortal, ie, Wolf, thus where we saw a mortal protagonist taking the heads of two immortals in the only season that this show was alive, the first by shooting at glass that decapitated his foe and the second (a very well-done episode) where Wolf used a sword to decapitate the immortal who was killing people for their organs.

That was basically the act of allowing a mortal to interact with immortals as their equal for the first time, instead of always running to a friendly immortal to do his bidding when another immortal was a villain who needed to be dealt with (ala Joe Dawson with Duncan). Here, a mortal took charge. There were other episodes that were truly gems to watch, the best being the one where Amanda had robbed a soldier during WW1 and inadvertently caused the deaths of 120 of his `brothers’, as that character stated in such a charming way. The one with father Liam and his doubts about his centuries-long faith in the priesthood was also a very good one, with Amanda baiting him to place himself between her sword and the woman journalist she pretended to wish to kill.

The very first episode where Wolf’s former partner had placed herself in between Amanda and a bullet, whereas basically leaving Amanda’s facial expression almost screaming out `WHAT DID YOU DO?!’ because she knew it was a sacrifice done for nothing, also leading her to possibly reconsider her values because someone who was dedicated to stopping her when she was a thief was still placing herself in harm’s way to protect her life. And, last but not least, the last episode where we found out that Wolf himself was an immortal now, and the science of immortality was clearly explained, at least to me, when he confronted Amanda about it. Just too bad we never got to see a second season to this cool show, thus allowing detective Wolf to be an immortal himself. But this will always be one of my favorite shows. Not as good as the great Highlander: The Series , but definitely one that was a joy to see every Saturday afternoon.

REVIEW: KRULL

CAST

Ken Marshall (Star Trek: DS9)
Lysette Anthony (Evil Beneath Loch Ness)
Freddie Jones (Dune)
Francesca Annis (Revolver)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter)
Lindsey Crouse (Buffy)

Krull 2

A narrator describes a prophecy regarding “a girl of ancient name that shall become queen, that she shall choose a king, and that together they shall rule their world, and that their son shall rule the galaxy”MV5BNjE1MDQ5OGUtMGZhZi00ODJhLThmN2EtYjVlODhjZDcyYTM1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzc0MjU3NDE@._V1_The planet Krull is invaded by an entity known as the “Beast” and his army of futuristic “Slayers”, who travel the galaxy in a mountain-like spaceship called the Black Fortress. In a ceremony involving exchanging a handful of flame between the newlyweds, Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa plan to marry and form an alliance between their rival kingdoms in the hope that their combined forces can defeat the Beast’s army. The Slayers attack the wedding before it is completed, killing the two kings, devastating both armies and kidnapping the princess. Prince Colwyn is found and nursed by Ynyr, the Old One. Ynyr tells him the Beast can be defeated with the “Glaive”, an ancient, magical, five-pointed throwing weapon. Colwyn retrieves the Glaive from a high mountain cave before setting out to track down the Black Fortress, which teleports to a new location every day at sunrise. As they travel, Colwyn and Ynyr are joined by magician Ergo “the Magnificent” and a band of nine thieves, fighters, bandits and brawlers. Colwyn offers to clear their criminal records, successfully enlisting Torquil, Kegan, Rhun, Oswyn, Bardolph, Menno, Darro, Nennog, and Quain. The cyclops Rell later joins the group.
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Colwyn’s group travels to the home of the Emerald Seer, and his apprentice Titch. The Emerald Seer uses his crystal to view where the Fortress will rise, but the Beast’s hand magically appears and crushes the crystal. The group travels to a swamp that can not be penetrated by the Beast’s magic, but Slayers attack, killing Darro and Menno, and also the Emerald Seer, before he can confirm the next location of the Fortress. While the group rests in a forest, Kegan goes to a nearby village and gets Merith, one of his wives, to bring food. The Beast exerts remote command of Merith’s helper, who attempts to seduce then kill Colwyn, but fails. Ynyr leaves the resting group to journey to the “Widow of the Web”, an enchantress who loved Ynyr long ago and was exiled to the lair of the Crystal Spider for murdering their only child. The Widow reveals where the Black Fortress will be at sunrise.

MV5BY2IzYzc0NmYtMDJiNC00ODBiLTlkMDktY2U1MzcxM2I0NjdiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTMzNzQ3NA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,740_AL_She also gives Ynyr the sand from the enchanted hourglass that kept the Crystal Spider from attacking her and will keep a badly injured Ynyr alive on his journey back to the group. As the Crystal Spider attacks the Widow, Ynyr flees the web and returns to the group to reveal the location of the Black Fortress, as he loses the last of the sand and expires. The group capture and ride mystical Fire Mares to reach the Black Fortress before it teleports again. Slayers at the Fortress kill Rhun, while Rell sacrifices himself to hold open the huge spaceship doors long enough to allow the others to enter. Slayers inside kill Quain and Nennog, while Kegan sacrifices his life to save Torquil as they journey through the Fortress. When Ergo and Titch get separated from the others and are attacked by Slayers, Ergo magically transforms into a tiger to kill the Slayers and save Titch’s life. Colwyn, Torquil, Bardolph, and Oswyn are trapped inside a large dome. Colwyn attempts to open a hole in the dome with the Glaive, while the other three search for any other passageway. The three fall through an opening and are trapped between slowly closing walls studded with huge spikes, which kill Bardolph.
EDGAR WRIGHT TO REMAKE KRULL
Colwyn breaches the dome and finds Lyssa. He attacks the Beast, injuring it with the Glaive, which becomes embedded in the Beast’s body. With nothing to defend themselves against the Beast’s counterattack, Lyssa realizes that they must quickly finish the wedding ritual, giving them the linked power to shoot flame, with which they finally slay the Beast. Its death frees Torquil and Oswyn from the spike room and they rejoin Colwyn and Lyssa, then Ergo and Titch, as they make their way out the self-destructing Fortress. Colwyn and Lyssa, now king and queen of the combined kingdom, name Torquil as Lord Marshal. As the surviving heroes depart across a field, the narrator (Ynyr) repeats the opening prophecy that the son of the queen and her chosen king shall rule the galaxy.

All in all, this is a very honest and very watchable fantasy movie, now a little forgotten but worth (re)discovering. Not exactly a masterpiece but a very nice watch.