*** Official "THE SCORPION KING" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Orr, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Our base theater at Little Creek (Norfolk VA) is holding a free sneak preview of "The Scorpion King" on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. This is the same theater that recently sneaked "The Rookie", "We Were Soldiers", and Collateral Damage" well before they hit the regular theaters.

    For free, I'll go see this......

    Updated: The sneak is tonight. I'll post my comments on it later this evening!
     
  2. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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  3. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Let me say this right up front -- I do not watch wrestling, and therefore have no real exposure to the Rock outside of his flesh-and-blood and CGI cameos in "The Mummy Returns". That being said, one thing that kept coming to mind as I watched "The Scorpion King" tonight at a free sneak at a local Navy base was ... "Wow, this is pretty good!"

    I remember back in 1982, I was home on leave from the Navy, and spent an evening watching a little film called "Conan the Barbarian", starring someone I had never heard of, Arnold something or other. Now, 20 years later, I've just had a feeling of deja vu. Watching "The Scorpion King" took me back to that night in '82, watching another "athlete" trying to make in the movies, and doing a pretty darn good job.

    After a violent, but funny James-Bond style pre-title opening (Rock's character rescuing his brother from certain death at the hands of what I took as a bunch of Vikings)
    , we get into the main story. The current Scorpion King, who's bent on either wiping out or enslaving everyone who opposes him, is using a "sorcerer" to tell him when and where his victories are going to be. The last vestiges of free people in the region hire the last of the Arkadians - Mathias (Rock), his brother and one other - to assassinate the sorcerer. The assassination attempt does not do well -- Mathias discovers the sorcerer is a woman, the Scorpion King kills the brother and the other Arkadian
    , and Mathias is left buried to the neck as a fire ant snack, along side a horse thief who eventually becomes the comic relief sidekick
    .

    Of course, they escape, and Mathias is driven to seek revenge against the Scorpion King, while picking up friends and allies along the way [spoilers] including a cute kid, a "scientist" who's trying to figure out black powder, and Michael Duncan Clark. [/spoiler]. Oh, yeah, and there's Mathias' trusty steed -- the most cooperative camel I've every seen in a movie
    .

    I had a lot of fun at "The Scorpion King". I saw it in a packed house of folks looking for a good-time popcorn flick, and "Scorpion King" delivered. Forget the gripes about "bad" CGI (the fire ant scene was actually a lot funnier because of it). If you're looking for realism, watch the news.

    The BIGGEST strengths of the Scorpion King were the Rock and the humor throughout the film. I mean, this movie was very FUNNY, even more so than The Mummy duo. The Rock actually seemed to be enjoying himself a lot, and his fans in the audience cheered everytime he took out a bad guy or smirked. As the end credits came up, most of the audience stood up and applauded.

    The violence was Conan-lite, PG-13 style. Lots of arrows, thrown knives, swords, sabers and simtars, but very little blood actually shown. There is a quick glimpse of a severed head. There was some female nudity that's covered by strategically placed long hair -- nothing that wouldn't be shown on TV. Rock's pecs and biceps are on display in a couple of scenes, but not too much.

    "The Scorpion King" is not an original movie at all, but borrows bits from some of my favorites. There are gags straight out of Conan, Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone and a dozen other great films.

    Also, the film is only about 90 minutes long, and it FLIES. There's not a boring moment in the whole thing.

    I know there are a lot of folks who are going to knock "Scorpion King" sight unseen, and a few are going to just go into it ready to bash it senseless. But give it a chance. It's fast, it's fun, and I think the Rock could have a future in film if he plays his cards right and makes good role decisions.

    Out of four stars, I rate it a solid three, and maybe another 1/2 for being so humorous.

    Before the film started, there was a message from the Rock thanking those in the Armed Services for serving their country. We were then treated to four trailers, two of which I had not seen before.

    First up was the Bourne Identity, the same one that's been out a while. We also saw Undercover Brother, whose trailer is actually online somewhere.

    We saw Adam Sandler's "Mr. Deeds" trailer for the first time. Looks very funny, and I had no idea Winona Ryder was in it.

    The trailer that got most people talking, though, was "Reign of Fire". Wow, I cannot wait to see this one. The dragons are fast and nasty, just like the dragon from "Dragonslayer". We are treated to what practically amounts to hand-to-muzzle battle between the humans and the scaly beasties. My favorite line in the trailer is one of the main characters trying to rally the troops by saying "These are not magical creatures. They are flesh and blood...." Tanks and helicopters against huge, flying fire-breathing dragons -- I am so there.
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Thanks. I had placed this pretty low as far as expectations, but this may be something to make sure I see with a full audience.
     
  5. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    After seeing some of the TV spots and clips of the movie, I began to think that this movie might actually be good. Glad to hear that it is.

    ~T
     
  6. Philip Klein

    Philip Klein Stunt Coordinator

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    Good news
    Reign of Fire sounds interesting
     
  7. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    Great review, now I am once again interested in seeing this.
     
  9. kevin_asai

    kevin_asai Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the review. Now, I am getting warmed up about this movie [​IMG]
     
  10. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    Stephen, thanks for the review. I enjoyed the first Mummy, I thought it was a fun movie. The second wasn't near as fun, but I didn't think it was as bad as everyone made it out to be. Having already promised to take my son to see Scorpion, I only hope it's as fun and entertaining as the first. From your review, it sounds as if that's what's in-store.
     
  11. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Here's something... it's the Post, but it's the 2nd positive thing I've seen (after this thread).
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04142002...ment/45510.htm
    This looks like it might be the surprise of the summer. Stephen's review took it from "never in a million, billion years" to "hmmm, someone who doesn't follow wrestling likes it? Hmmm..." and the above article puts it into "maybe I could use a funny mindless popcorn flick."
    Weird.
     
  12. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Stephen-
    Thanks for your sneak peek review! I was NOT a fan of The Mummy Returns, nor do I watch wrestling at all.
    But...
    I gotta admit that whenever I see The Rock (on talk shows or this past weekend's SNL, for example), I'm impressed by his sense of humor and general attitude. He seems like a very cool guy!
    On the other hand, this movie LOOKS awful...to me, anyway. I'll find out Tuesday night and I hope I end up as 'pleasantly surprised' as you did!
    (Keep in mind that I liked Resident Evil!) [​IMG]
     
  13. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I'm in the same boat as you Scott. My only problem with the film will be if The Rock takes him self to seriously...during the film. I know he did a great job at self-depricating humor on last weekends SNL, but unless he's that way in the movie...I'll prolly end up disliking it. Still...I might give it a chance.
     
  14. Duane Robinson

    Duane Robinson Second Unit

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    Scorpion Who?? There was mention of dragons and helicopters. WTF!! [​IMG] This sounds like something I need to see pronto. When is this film scheduled for release and what did you think of the trailer. I might have to go see the Scorpion King just to get a glimpse of that trailer. If the plot is decent and the dragons look as good or better than the dragon in Dragonheart then I'm all over this like ports on Xbox. [​IMG]
     
  15. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Review by Stephen Orr (aka Undercover Universal Review Guerilla). [​IMG] No just kidding. I really want to dislike this film, but like The Mummy, I think a good sense of humor could really save it, and elevate it from all the other bland action dross. Will be seeing this thanks to you. [​IMG]
     
  16. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Just a humble movie fan who happens to be in the service. I'm retiring from the Navy in a couple of months after 23 years, and moving on to my second career, which promises to be just as exciting, challenging, dangerous and rewarding -- elementary school teacher!
     
  17. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Did the Rock, at any point in the movie, arch his eyebrow?

    As soon as I heard he was getting his very own movie, I said to myself 'If he can actually go through an entire movie and NOT do a 'Rockism' then he's got a good shot to be the next Arnie or Sly.'
     
  19. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    Glad to hear it. After all of the negitave talk directed at Rock on this forum, it would be great if the movie, and more importantly The Rock's performance turned out to be great. I plan to see Scorpion King [​IMG]
     
  20. Iain Jackson

    Iain Jackson Second Unit

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