James Purefoy

Solomon Kane Movie

In an alternate universe, Solomon Kane would have been in theaters instead of the atrocious mess that was Season of the Witch. In another alternate universe, it would have been in theaters instead of Conan. Instead, this excellent, dark adventure from director Michael J. Bassett has hung around ever since Fantastic Fest 2009 for unknown reasons – none of which had to do with quality. Up until now, it’s only been available on import DVD, but with Bassett directing the forthcoming Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, there’s renewed interest in seeing his take on the famous Robert E. Howard character on the big screen. The trailer is a nice taste of the dirt and blood involved, as well as the stellar performance from James Purefoy. Grab a torch and check it out for yourself:

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Director Andrew Stanton, being somewhat of the miracle worker that he is, has managed to capture the strengths of the original Star Wars trilogy while avoiding much of what was wrong with the prequels with his John Carter. This Disney epic provides for all of a boy’s basic needs, wants, and desires that Lucas’s prequels didn’t deliver upon. Stanton knows their sweet spot – and yes, I know how creepy that reads – by hitting all the major checkpoints required for them: beefy hero, beautiful love interest, sweet weaponry, non-pandering comic relief, big aliens, and exciting flying things that could not look more like the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi. How do these amazing devices work, you ask? They just do. Stanton treats the more fantastical aspects of John Carter like George Lucas did, “It’s just there, and who cares how it works or how it got made?” Overall, John Carter bears both many connections and thankful distances to the Star Wars series. Just how Luke Skywalker saw the vast universe Lucas created, there’s not one scene of Carter condescending to the mechanics or bizarro nature of the world – Mars, which they call “Barsoom” – he’s thrown into and never saying something along the lines of, “Isn’t this costume goofy, guys? (*wink* *wink*).” When things get silly, Stanton and his cast always play it straight-faced and with nothing but respect, like the original Star Wars films did. Carter doesn’t question the idea of huge white apes, he […]

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While they’ve always been fairly popular, there seems to be a renewed surge of interest in medieval epics. Films like Valhalla Rising, Season of the Witch and Black Death as well as the impending premiere of HBO’s new Game of Thrones series are proof enough of that. Movie audiences love the mix of broadswords and blood, and Jonathan English’s new film Ironclad certainly provides both in more than ample quantities. Setting its sights on the real life siege of Rochester Castle in 1215, Ironclad is essentially a 13th century men on a mission film complete with Templars, misfits and enough carnage to sate even the most jaded genre fans.

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. Solomon Kane is good fun for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this type of film just doesn’t get made that often anymore. Swords, sorcery, monsters… there was a time when these flicks were commonplace, and that time was the 80’s. Movies like The Beastmaster, The Sword & the Sorcerer, Conan the Barbarian, and others are rollicking adventures made by people with a strong love for the genre, and Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane fits in perfectly with the best of them. Solomon Kane walks away from his father’s kingdom as a child and grows into a murderous mercenary who acts with greed and without conscience. His selfish ways meet their match though when the devil comes seeking his soul, but Kane escapes the demon’s wrath by leaving his violent ways behind and becoming a man sworn to pacifism. That oath gets tested when an evil scourge unfolds across the land and good people fall prey to a seemingly unbeatable foe. The people need a hero, and who better to face off against evil than one who knows it firsthand…

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A brand new image for Solomon Kane landed on our doorstep today to signal the upcoming footage they’ll be showing at Comic-Con on Saturday. And it looks fantastic.

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