Monday, August 23, 2010

Where is Solomon Kane? (Rant Time!)


It's been a while since I ranted and raved, so if you don't want to subject your nerves to such a strain...well I warned you.

For a good year the one film I've been waiting for has been Solomon Kane, director Michael J. Bassett's take on Robert E. Howard's Puritan swordsman that stars James Purefoy as Kane. The film has been teased with clips, trailers and posters. It also has an 83 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/solomon_kane/ from critics who have seen it. Mostly British critics. Yep here's the ranting part.

The film has already been released in Europe back in the spring and early summer and is even available on DVD and Blu-Ray in several countries (some have even been hawking copies on Amazon which is fine, if you have a region free player) and was just released south of the border in Mexico on August 13 with more release dates in South America (for those interested director Bassett has the dates here on his own blog http://michaeljbassett.wordpress.com/.) Yet for us in North America the only way it seems to see the film is either have one of those region free players and hope that the disc works or downloading it off some torrent site and hoping it isn't going to land you in court.

My question is why? Why is this film stuck in some sort of release limbo here in the States, yet utter junk like Vampires Suck, the latest Jennifer Aniston fluff or The Last Airbender get major releases. In some ways I can understand why-Solomon Kane isn't a well known character among most moviegoers, the lack of a big name star-no offense to Mr. Purefoy and his fans, he's a good actor but not a big sell like Leonardo DiCaprio or Will Smith in Hollywood's eyes-and the type of movie it is-an R rated sword and sorcery film. That type was big in the 1980s following Conan the Barbarian but today fantasy is confined to Harry Potter and the kids and studios can't seem to look beyond that. But at the same time Hollywood pours tons of money into utter dreck while a film that attempts to be different is stuck in limbo. Yet R-rated action flicks can find audiences-look at The Expendables, a throwback to the 1980s action flick that has been number one for two weeks in a row. Also you have to wonder-no studio will take a chance on an unknown character like Kane but will take a chance on Scott Pilgrim. Considering its poor box-office you have to wonder why was that one a property worth taking a risk with while Kane languishes. I hope Solomon Kane shows up at some point, maybe after the Conan reboot next year or before that. It's just a shame that a film like this gets the short end of the stick. Think about that next time you see Jennifer Aniston or Michael Cera on a marquee.

1 comment:

'77 - '80 Collector said...

I totally agree with you on the frustration. I waited ages for SK to arrive in cinemas here in Norway and it never did, so I picked up the DVD instead.

It's sad that a film which is better than 90% of big budget action movies gets shoved into the shadows. I really want Michael J. Bassett to get to work on a sequel but I can't see that happening seeing as hardly anybody has seen the original yet!