Pathfinder - trailer
#1
I saw the stand-up promotion for this in a movie theater and was instantly interested. A big, bulky, dark character dominates wearing Viking-esque armor. Little, scantily-clad but defiant hero type looks about to be overwhelmed. The trailer looks good too. Appears to be an invasion type story set in the Pre-Columbian Americas. So a kind of Native American defiance story. Fun!

And, in keeping with what appears to be a recurring theme of stealing lines from other movies for today, they quote from Braveheart: "Run and you may live; fight and may die."

Have I just been around too long and I'm catching these, or have I not been around long enough, and now I'm suddenly catching on?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#2
I just watched the first ten minutes, and it's absolute trash. I turned it off, I probably won't even bother finishing it. Zero historical reality whatsoever. I think I'll have to watch The 13th Warrior or The Vikings just to purge my system of it.
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#3
We had a review of the movie sometime back, and they said pretty much the same thing as I had expected. I still want to see this though. I'm fine with a complete lack of historic reality. I'm more interested in the cheese of the whole thing! I'll let you know what I think after I receive this from NetFlix.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#4
Well, it shouldn't disappoint, then. I never did finish it, but if the rest of the movie is as daft as the first ten minutes, you'll be in for plenty of cheese and general stupidity. :bg:
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#5
We watched this DVD just after watching 300. Yikes! Boomer is right, this was utterly awful. I was really looking forward to it since Karl Urban was in it, but it was sadly disappointing.
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. -Rita Rudner
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#6
So there I was, thoroughly warned, glass of mead (yes, actual mead) in hand, ready to see how awful Pathfinder truly was. Although I don't agree with above assessments that this was an utterly awful film, it certainly didn't fall in my good category. Let's call it poor-to-mediocre. Even for an action movie, which I generally place in a mediocre-to-good category when done right, this movie fell below that palatable standard.

The premise was so simple: Nordic shipwreck, out of which one child is found and taken in by Canadian natives. Fifteen years later, raiders show up to start the settling of the New World (historical fact, if two-hundred years too early) and there is the obvious culture clash.

Culture clash meaning the "Vikings" want to kill everyone and the natives would prefer not being killed. Those crazy natives!

Ghost (Karl Urban) is the Nordic child who survived the shipwreck, supposedly struggling with who he is, so much so that no one in the happy village of his adopted parents even seems to notice. Oh, sure, he's not allowed to take part in the "brave ceremony" that is supposed to help decide the next Pathfinder (Pathfinder if the name of . . . some kind of role that is never, ever clearly defined), but he's so choked up about it that he goes out with his sword (the only steel scavanged from the shipwreck of warriors!) and performs a kata. But hey, it's a Viking kata!

When the inevitable happens and his village is wiped out, Ghost, supposedly conflicted in his soul, takes arms against this sea of troubles. Chaotic battle scenes insue, the Vikings are many, big and mean. The natives are noble, honorable and courageous. Ghost is a lean, tough, slaying machine.

But he's a Viking-slaying machine!

And that's the story in a nutshell.

There were so many chances for some snappy dialogue, some funny one-liners, some character development that were not just missed but refused outright. Ghost comes to us at about 10 to 12 years old, so he would have been trained in his weapons, yet we see no real prowess from him until he starts slaying Vikings. Even in his flashbacks, all he does is drop his sword. Sure, it's when he's asked by his father to kill a child, but still, no prowess at all.

There is absolutely no animosity, one way or the other, between the natives toward Ghost, except when he starts eying the prettiest girl around, Starfire (Moon Bloodgood, and yeah, that name rocks!) then Blackwing (Jay Tavare) won't shake his hand. Oh, the SHAME of it all. Of course, it's clear who Starfire has set her sites on, but then, well, duh. He's a Viking Native!

The Vikings themselves are just big automotons who must have a Viking factory nearby, as they come in a nearly endless stream. There is no real distinction from one to the other, they even seem to all shop at the same store for their horned (utterly anachronistic, but still cool-looking) helmets and (not so cool looking) beards.

But hey, they're Viking beards!

The thing is . . . the thing is . . . the premise is so solid. Culture clash, Vikings, Natives, violence. It's such a simple formula, and for $28 million, you'd think they could have managed more than just the CGI blood.

Here's what I would have done to make this from a poor-to-mediocre film into a mediocre-to-good action film:

1 - Give Ghost some real conflict, internal AND external. He's clearly bigger, faster, stronger, better trained, etc. than the other guys in the village. SHOW IT! Feast day games of hitting each other with sticks, or wrestling, or racing, or hunting, or fishing, or lifting stones, or ANYTHING! Show him setting traps to capture animals, or kill them, or whatever. Don't just spring all this on us Predator-style and have us believing he knew how to dig punji pits, and make booby-traps on his own.

2 - Set up a real rivalry between Ghost and Blackwing. Have them at each other's throats, in part over Starfire, in part over Ghost's heritage, in part out of just two guys throwing down. Heck, throw Starfire's father, Pathfinder, in the middle of it all, trying to keep these two great warriors apart. That way, when they do work together, it's because they have a real, albeit grudging, respect for each other. Then the handshake thing plays. Duh!

3 - Give the Vikings more depth. There were a limited number of men a single ship could carry with armor, and weapons, and supplied and HORSES. There should be a limit to them, not an endless stream, and they should have been definable so that some of them we loathed, some of them we hated, some of them we cheered when they died. Take a page from ANY OTHER ACTION MOVIE EVER.

4 - Drop the "kill them all" concept. Lame. Instead, make the threat much more real. Traditionally, Vikings came for plunder: tools, wealth, slaves. In some places they came for longer lasting plunger: land to go with their tools, wealth and slaves. That's the real conflict between Natives and Vikings. Ya know, they can take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!

So yeah, the movie was poor-to-mediocre, and easily could have been better. Much, much better. I'm not talking Thirteenth Warrior better but maybe Apocolypto better. After all, that CGI blood has to be good for something.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#7
Incidentally, I've never had mead until tonight. It's ok, I guess, but I expected something else somehow...
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#8
Boomstick Wrote:Incidentally, I've never had mead until tonight. It's ok, I guess, but I expected something else somehow...

I did too, and didn't like it initially. Afterall, it's based on fermented honey, so besides the sweet smell, I expected the taste to be sweet, and somehow thicker. <shrug>

But it's grown on me. I like to pick up a bottle every now and then. My preference is Ragnar's Reserve (tagline: As if Ragnar would have any reservations!). No sulfates either, which apparently is something desirable these days in alcohol.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#9
Quote: Give Ghost some real conflict, internal AND external. He's clearly bigger, faster, stronger, better trained, etc. than the other guys in the village. SHOW IT!.

Since he was a child when he was abandoned/orphaned, he might not have known much of warfare and weapons. But Viking children were allowed to use weapons in rough play. Their world was shockingly violent compared to ours. So his squeamishness about blood was out of place, and didn't fit the story. Especially when you consider that he's supposedly such a gifted killer.

Oh, and if he needs a love interest, let's get the 5' 10" Dutch/Irish/Korean music video model. Moon Bloodgood is seriously yummy. But she's too tall and eurasian for the role.


Quote: Give the Vikings more depth. There were a limited number of men a single ship could carry with armor, and weapons, and supplied and HORSES.

Right. Two average-sized ships could probably carry 20 -30 men each. They're not known as skilled horsemen, and to my knowledge, never took horses across the Atlantic. Livestock was brought, once they had promising settlement sites. But never any mention of horses.

And they should've been portrayed as BAD people, not as MONSTERS, per se.
Their armor and attire was so far out, it was insulting to anyone who knew history. They wore ridiculously heavy clothing that made them look like giants.

Excuse me? They're SCANDINAVIAN! They don't get cold! So what's with 17 layers of fur? And their armor was straight out of the Middel Earth Fall Collection, which looked more Orcish than Nordic.:mad:

Quote:Drop the "kill them all" concept. Lame. Instead, make the threat much more real. Traditionally, Vikings came for plunder: tools, wealth, slaves.

Plunder was a big motive for Vikings. Raiding was not only a way of putting gold in the pocket, and food on the table, but also a way for men to earn glory and respect. There's not much glory, respect, or plunder in tangling with these little brown natives in the fishing villages and trading posts.

No gold in these little hamlets. Just fish, fur, and beads. And Moon Bloodgood.
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#10
Well, I'm Scandinavian and I certainly get cold!!!
:paw: Speak up! Don't mumble!!
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#11
moif Wrote:Well, I'm Scandinavian and I certainly get cold!!!

:bg: I always got a kick out of it when people assume that I have some exceptional tolerance for cold weather just because I'm from somewhere that gets very cold (or used to, anyway). As though we all go out to the mailbox in our underwear mid-winter! :laugh:
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#12
Boomstick Wrote:As though we all go out to the mailbox in our underwear mid-winter! :laugh:

You mean....you don't? Well how disappointing Confusedo:


:bounce:
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. -Rita Rudner
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#13
I'm sure he'd make an exception for you CJ :poke:
:paw: Speak up! Don't mumble!!
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#14
moif Wrote:I'm sure he'd make an exception for you CJ :poke:

Who wouldn't make an exception for our lovely Super Mod?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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