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The Best Movie You Never Saw: The 13th Warrior

Sep. 13, 2013by: Paul Shirey

Welcome to The Best Movie You NEVER Saw, a column dedicated to examining films that have flown under the radar or gained traction throughout the years, earning them a place as a cult classic or underrated gem that was either before it’s time and/or has aged like a fine wine.

This week we’ll be examining John McTiernan’s THE 13TH WARRIOR, based on the novel “Eaters of the Dead” by Michael Crichton.

THE STORY:

In AD 922, an important emissary who is banished from his homeland. The nomadic outcast comes across a band of Norse warriors who coerce him into joining them when they are summoned to fight mysterious creatures legendary for consuming every living thing in their path. Eventually surrounded by the frightening and ferocious foe, Ibn must conquer his personal fears and help battle the illusive invaders--who emerge out of the shroud of fog in the black of the night.

THE PLAYERS:

Based on the 1976 book by author Michael Crichton (JURASSIC PARK), the screenplay was by William Wisher, Jr. (TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY) and Warren Lewis. It was directed by John McTiernan (DIE HARD, PREDATOR) and starred Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, and Omar Sharif, along with a host of unknown European actors, including Vladimir Kulich, Dennis Storhøi, and a host of others.

THE HISTORY:

Author Michael Crichton originally wrote the novel, Eaters of the Dead, in 1976 after hearing a lecture that said the legend of Beowulf was a boring story that couldn’t appeal to modern readers. Crichton took that as a challenge and created Eaters of the Dead, which sought to merge the legend of Beowulf with the travel journals of Ahmad ibn Fadlan, a 10th-century Arab traveler, into a taught, horror-filled adventure tale.

Twenty years later Disney shelled out $100 million to finance a big-budget adaptation of the book, hiring director John McTiernan to helm the pic, casting Antonio Banderas as the lead, who was hot off the recent success of THE MASK OF ZORRO and being primed as an action star leading man.  The rest of the cast was pieced together from unknown “Nordic” actors for the Vikings. The production took place mostly in British Columbia with sets being built on location to lend to the realism. The filming conditions were much more harsh than your standard “in studio” film with Banderas getting injured early on (a back injury). Production wrapped in the fall of 1997 at which point its real battle began.

Unhappy with McTiernan’s cut of the film, author Michael Crichton took over the film, shooting his own ending and addition scenes to replace the ones he didn’t like. Crichton  Strangely, McTiernan did his own reshoots, which were futile, as Crichton somehow had final cut on the film. In the end, Crichton’s version of the film was what was shown to audiences, although it made little difference as the film took two years to get in front of them, at which point Disney had all but written it off, essentially dumping it without promotion.

THE 13TH WARRIOR is one of the early examples of a big-budget film that spiraled out of control, due largely, it seems, to the tug of war that transpired between writer, director, and studio. It’s an intricate affair, to be sure, with a lot of folks remaining mum on the subject, but it seems that the battle ultimately led to the films box office downfall.

The film grossed just $32 million domestically and $61 million internationally, which is still a far cry away from its rumored final budget of $160 million. Reviews were middling, topping out currently at 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, as time has passed, many have come to appreciate the film for its rugged, visceral, and legendary feel, even if there’s still another version of the film (McTiernan’s cut) sitting in a can somewhere.

WHY IT’S GREAT:

I hated THE 13TH WARRIOR the first time I saw it. I was bored, mostly, and waiting for something different than what I got. When the credits began to roll I felt like McTiernan had dropped the ball, which was no small thing when you consider that he was (and is) my all-time favorite director. I simply could not get past it and I left the theater vowing that I never needed to see the film again.

Then, it hit video, back when I bought anything and everything, so I picked it up and gave it another shot. It was somewhat better since I’d gotten over the initial disappointment, but nothing to forgive what I saw as a failure. Years passed and at some point or another I popped the disc in on a whim and, for whatever reason, I felt like I was seeing a new movie. When it was over after that third viewing I realized that I not only liked it more, but I kind of loved it. How the hell does that happen?

It’s a rare thing, but does happen. Some movies simply age better than others. You miss things. You overlook things. Your expectations were unrealistic or misguided. Your mental state wasn’t what it is now. Whatever. For THE 13TH WARRIOR, I think what I overlooked, more than anything, was the true care and detail that went into making it such a cool f*cking movie.

Following a pompous Arabian ambassador named Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas), who is sent far away after seducing another man’s wife, the tale kicks into high gear when Ibn (as he’s called throughout the film) is pulled into a Viking mission to help a kingdom under attack by a mythological creature called The Wendol, also known as the “eaters of the dead.” Led by Buliwyf (Vladimir Kulich) and his team of 12 Vikings, Ibn must face his fears and test his courage (and faith) as he squares off a mysterious enemy that consumes their victims.

McTiernan, who keeps the camera moving and full of energy, has all his signature touches here, even with Crichton dipping his hands in the Kool-Aid. The sweeping dolly shots, the broad shots that look more like a classic painting than a frame of film, and the gritty, Earthy feel that makes you feel like you’re rain-soaked and mud-covered, even while watching it from the comfort of your couch.

The biggest thing I noticed while watching this with new eyes, was that this is a film chock full of practical and in-camera effects. It looks like a movie, not a CGI-filled cinematic. You don’t watch this and play the “that’s fake” game. From the severed heads, blood spatter, costumes, and realistic sets, it feels like you are truly on a journey with 10th Century Vikings. And, with John McTiernan as your guide!

"This is an epic film and we wanted to get that scope on a wider screen, so we shot it with an anamorphic ratio," says Menzies Jr., referring to the wider lens format used to photograph a horizontally extended image. "We did mount the camera onto modern vehicles and steadicams, and we used planes as well for some photography. Yet the audience still needs to be involved in the action and to move with the story, so we did a great deal of hand-held work which gave it that very involving, third-person sort of feel." - Peter Menzies, Jr., Director of Photography

There were complaints about Banderas early on as he portrays a faith-based Muslim, some saying that he wasn’t “badass” enough. To that, I can only say that they missed the point. Banderas’ Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan isn’t supposed to be a badass, but a man who becomes a warrior by facing his fears and overcoming them. He’s not a seasoned veteran at the opening of the film, but rather a flimsy, blasé ambassador who gets pushed into something he never expected. By the end of the film, he’s gone through a journey, instead of just showing up, swinging a sword, and going home.

The mythological aspects of the film are another thing that I’ve come to appreciate over time. The “reimagining” of Beowulf is evident from the get go and it’s woven into the narrative in a way that makes it feel new, rather than stale. The evolutionary aspect of the Wendol is a lot of fun, particularly as the truth of these “creatures” is revealed. That said, the story is choppy, with both a romantic and political subplot developing early on and then disappearing entirely by the end, which can likely be attributed to the tug of war between the studio, Crichton, and McTiernan.

As we push further and further into CGI territory and films like this are made less and less, my appreciation continues to grow for it. As cliche as it sounds; they just don't make 'em like this anymore. There are some genuinely cool moments, particularly the first confrontation with The Wendol, the sneak attack in the caves, and of course, the final battle in the village. Coupled with Jerry Goldsmith’s score (who replaced Greame Revell when Crichton “took over”), which I view as his last “great” one, this is a memorable slow burn of a film, which has joined the halls of my movie Valhalla forever.

Although I still hope to see McTiernan’s cut someday, it’s unlikely we ever will, especially with the famed director currently being stuck in prison and Crichton having died in 2008. Still, both men have left behind a very misunderstood and misrepresented film that is magnificent in all its imperfections and one of the best tales in the genre.

"I had never thought of anyone seeing this as a film. From a filmmaker's perspective, it is obscurely written and there is no effort in the book to bring any one narrative line to the surface. Yet I was entertained a lot when John McTiernan saw so clearly what the film story could be." - Michael Crichton

BEST SCENE:

I’ve dropped a couple scenes in there that are worth checking out, but the preparations for battle scene at the end is the one that always sticks out in my mind. Surrounded by The Wendol with the odds against them, the Vikings prepare to fight to the death with Ibn making his final call to prayer before reciting the Viking prayer as their attackers descend upon them. It’s a chest-beating moment and the clincher for Ibn, who is no longer trying to hide from being a warrior, but finally accepting it as death seems imminent. With Goldsmith’s score building the moment with each second it’s a truly rousing, kick ass scene.

SEE IT:

THE 13TH WARRIOR is available on DVD only as of now. Hopefully, there will be a blu-ray version released sometime in the near future, but I won’t hold my breath. Get the DVD here!

PARTING SHOT:

"John had a terrific vision of this film and he had the consistency and the passion to bring it into being, despite so many challenges. I think he is telling a very different story here. It's a classic done in a new key that is really contemporary and accessible. He immediately brings you into the story and takes you on this incredibly enjoyable and wild ride that everyone can enjoy."  - Ned Dowd, producer

Check out the original trailer for the film, back when it was still called EATERS OF THE DEAD. It really teases the imagination of what McTiernan's cut may be... 

And for a really in-depth look at the trouble production and ugliness of the struggle to get the film in theaters, check out this surprisingly candid making-of, featuring interviews with cast crew. Some really great stuff in here and well worth the watch...

Extra Tidbit: Be sure to Like, Share, Tweet, and strike back on The Best Movie You Never Saw!
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:48PM on 09/20/2013

I saw - vikings are still alive ;-) ...

...absolutely, the most thrilling and powerful movie I have ever seen :-) ...
...absolutely, the most thrilling and powerful movie I have ever seen :-) ...
Your Reply:



+1
2:35AM on 09/15/2013

Loved It...Still Love It

Loved the book, loved the film, and still love the DVD. Everything about it is great. I love history and I always like to think that The Wendol are old Celtic wildmen that have not advanced their civilization (like the muslim civilization that Ibn comes from or to a lesser extent the Vikings), and act in the old ways (like consuming their victims to take their warrior soul int them). I think Banderas and the european actors do an excellent job in their roles. If you have already seen it and
Loved the book, loved the film, and still love the DVD. Everything about it is great. I love history and I always like to think that The Wendol are old Celtic wildmen that have not advanced their civilization (like the muslim civilization that Ibn comes from or to a lesser extent the Vikings), and act in the old ways (like consuming their victims to take their warrior soul int them). I think Banderas and the european actors do an excellent job in their roles. If you have already seen it and felt underwhelmed...watch it again.
Your Reply:



+3
8:27PM on 09/14/2013

Loved it on 1st watch

I just thought the Vikings were friggin' badass. Like ancient Navy Seals.
I just thought the Vikings were friggin' badass. Like ancient Navy Seals.
Your Reply:



9:51AM on 09/14/2013
I think one of the defining moment in this film is when Ibn Fardlan created a scimitar for himself. A type of sword that was previously unheard of by the vikings and correctly described as a sword that is strong but light enough to be carried on one hand, as it is not meant to pierce but to behead while on horseback. It's actually the classic technology meets tradition story, as well as science meets superstition without any of the characters convert to atheism.
I think one of the defining moment in this film is when Ibn Fardlan created a scimitar for himself. A type of sword that was previously unheard of by the vikings and correctly described as a sword that is strong but light enough to be carried on one hand, as it is not meant to pierce but to behead while on horseback. It's actually the classic technology meets tradition story, as well as science meets superstition without any of the characters convert to atheism.
Your Reply:



4:53AM on 09/14/2013

Great Movie

I always loved this movie, I thought it had a great style to it, it felt like a D&D type movie that we never really got. Great fight scenes, loved that Banderas had to work at being a badass, the main viking was all kinds of awesome. I hope this comes out on blu-ray!
I always loved this movie, I thought it had a great style to it, it felt like a D&D type movie that we never really got. Great fight scenes, loved that Banderas had to work at being a badass, the main viking was all kinds of awesome. I hope this comes out on blu-ray!
Your Reply:



+2
3:34AM on 09/14/2013
Remember the scene in which he becomes completely fluent in another language in one night just by sitting round a fire listening to them speaking...
Remember the scene in which he becomes completely fluent in another language in one night just by sitting round a fire listening to them speaking...
Your Reply:



4:50AM on 09/14/2013
Did you even watch the movie? That was supposed to have taken place over months as they traveled across the countryside...
Did you even watch the movie? That was supposed to have taken place over months as they traveled across the countryside...
2:54AM on 09/14/2013
Great selection for this column. I think it's "taut" and not "taught", though.

I'd like to suggest The Negotiator, directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey, for a future "Best Movie You Never Saw" candidate.
Great selection for this column. I think it's "taut" and not "taught", though.

I'd like to suggest The Negotiator, directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey, for a future "Best Movie You Never Saw" candidate.
Your Reply:



9:42PM on 09/13/2013

Was always a great film

I took my son to see this when it came out and we both loved it. The Beowulf theme was apparent to me and I explained that to my son (11yrs old). We bought the DVD when it came out and about wore it out. During the last holiday season with lots of company, a request was made for a great action adventure movie to be played and I dropped this baby in the player. When it was over I had to make a list for everyone who wanted to borrow it and watch it again. It stayed gone more than a month,
I took my son to see this when it came out and we both loved it. The Beowulf theme was apparent to me and I explained that to my son (11yrs old). We bought the DVD when it came out and about wore it out. During the last holiday season with lots of company, a request was made for a great action adventure movie to be played and I dropped this baby in the player. When it was over I had to make a list for everyone who wanted to borrow it and watch it again. It stayed gone more than a month, passing from friend and relative and back and forth. Most bought their own copy. To bad most have never seen it.
Your Reply:



7:34PM on 09/13/2013
My story is really similar. Saw this as a kid when it first came to video and thought it was just ok. Then after reading Beowulf in high school english my teacher decided to show this b/c it was similar to the story (this was about 3 or 4 years before the CGI Zemeckis Beowulf film). And I ended up liking it alot more. I agree with the comments about a rushed ending, but other than that I find it to be a solid movie.
My story is really similar. Saw this as a kid when it first came to video and thought it was just ok. Then after reading Beowulf in high school english my teacher decided to show this b/c it was similar to the story (this was about 3 or 4 years before the CGI Zemeckis Beowulf film). And I ended up liking it alot more. I agree with the comments about a rushed ending, but other than that I find it to be a solid movie.
Your Reply:



+2
6:49PM on 09/13/2013

Always loved it

I've always loved this movie, and most people I know who've seen it dig it as well. We were all generally pretty young when it came out, so it was definitely a really cool R-rated adventure flick for all of us. It's still one of the movies I regularly rewatch when I need some easy escapism
I've always loved this movie, and most people I know who've seen it dig it as well. We were all generally pretty young when it came out, so it was definitely a really cool R-rated adventure flick for all of us. It's still one of the movies I regularly rewatch when I need some easy escapism
Your Reply:



5:59PM on 09/13/2013

Love it!

Loved the movie since its release. The score is, in my opinion, Goldsmith's best. I've listened to it for inspiration during work, chores and writing. It's very powerful. The film's message is strong and deep. I feel it is Antonio's best film. The language transition is awesome, showing the progression of knowledge to teach ones self understanding in unfamiliar surroundings. Shame it doesn't get the credit it truly deserves.
Loved the movie since its release. The score is, in my opinion, Goldsmith's best. I've listened to it for inspiration during work, chores and writing. It's very powerful. The film's message is strong and deep. I feel it is Antonio's best film. The language transition is awesome, showing the progression of knowledge to teach ones self understanding in unfamiliar surroundings. Shame it doesn't get the credit it truly deserves.
Your Reply:



5:44PM on 09/13/2013

Pretty badass flick!

Having read the book, when I first saw this in theaters, I too was underwhelmed. Mostly because I felt like most of the graphic violence was toned down from the book. Crichton would go into great detail when it came to gore and violence. I remember seeing Congo in theaters and being bummed that they didn't show the apes completely evisceration human skulls with brain matter splattering everywhere. But c'mon, I was a teenager; all I cared about back then was sex & violence. Okay, I still care
Having read the book, when I first saw this in theaters, I too was underwhelmed. Mostly because I felt like most of the graphic violence was toned down from the book. Crichton would go into great detail when it came to gore and violence. I remember seeing Congo in theaters and being bummed that they didn't show the apes completely evisceration human skulls with brain matter splattering everywhere. But c'mon, I was a teenager; all I cared about back then was sex & violence. Okay, I still care about those things, but I'm now mature enough to know that sex & violence isn't everything in movies. Even the title, The 13th Warrior, felt toned down from the book. But I ended up watching it a couple times in theaters and just wanting everybody else to see it too. I just fell in love with the Vikings. They were all badass, and I even started to like Banderas in the movie. The first time I watched it, I didn't care for him that much, not because he wasn't badass enough, just because it was fucking Zorro, which I hated. I just didn't believe fucking Zorro stood a chance fighting the goddamned Wendol! But, again, after many viewings, I got out of the way of thinking; no it's not violent enough, yes it's got Zorro in it, but c'mon, he's pretty badass in the end. Look at all the grit, grime, sweat, blood, tears on his face in the end; he is one of the 13! Anyway, I guess I'm going to have to watch it now when I get home from work. Fuck yeah!!!!!!
Your Reply:



+1
4:55PM on 09/13/2013

Other underrated movies

Fracture - 2007 Starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling
Primal Feal - 1996 Starring Richard Gere and Ed Norton
Judgement Night - 1993 Starring Emilio Estevez and Denis Leary
Hearts in Atlantis - 2001 Starring Anthony Hopkins
The Last Castle - 2001 Starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini
What the Deaf Man Heard - 1997 Starring Matthew Modine (TV Movie).

Anyone else got some hidden gems that I could check out?
Fracture - 2007 Starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling
Primal Feal - 1996 Starring Richard Gere and Ed Norton
Judgement Night - 1993 Starring Emilio Estevez and Denis Leary
Hearts in Atlantis - 2001 Starring Anthony Hopkins
The Last Castle - 2001 Starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini
What the Deaf Man Heard - 1997 Starring Matthew Modine (TV Movie).

Anyone else got some hidden gems that I could check out?
Your Reply:



4:44PM on 09/15/2013
Check out this list I made of my favourite hidden gems:

[link]
Check out this list I made of my favourite hidden gems:

[link]
4:44PM on 09/13/2013
I remember getting this on video when it first came out. It seemed obvious even then that large chunks of the story were missing. But that final battle is all sorts of awesome.

The book is an interesting read, too.
I remember getting this on video when it first came out. It seemed obvious even then that large chunks of the story were missing. But that final battle is all sorts of awesome.

The book is an interesting read, too.
Your Reply:



4:41PM on 09/13/2013

Great Underrated Gem!

While it does have flaws (the aforementioned subplots going nowhere), it's a rousing adventure with absolutely gorgeous cinematography!

My favorite scene is very early on- After being brought abroad the mission (mostly against his will), Ibn and his companions are sitting around a fire. He simply listens and learns their language. The 'to black' editing, and the subtle transition from the 'Nordic' to English is amazing. It's small things like that, that really make me love this movie.
While it does have flaws (the aforementioned subplots going nowhere), it's a rousing adventure with absolutely gorgeous cinematography!

My favorite scene is very early on- After being brought abroad the mission (mostly against his will), Ibn and his companions are sitting around a fire. He simply listens and learns their language. The 'to black' editing, and the subtle transition from the 'Nordic' to English is amazing. It's small things like that, that really make me love this movie.
Your Reply:



7:31PM on 09/13/2013
Yeah, great scene. Such an simple but effective method to make the viewer personate with Ibn and the nordmans and how the managed to overcome the problem with the languages.
Yeah, great scene. Such an simple but effective method to make the viewer personate with Ibn and the nordmans and how the managed to overcome the problem with the languages.
+3
4:08PM on 09/13/2013
Yes, YESS! I love this movie. In fact I still to this day watch it every time I'm stuck at home with a cold. It's so choppy and unfinished at parts but you can't beat the overall mood. It makes me genuinely happy to see that other people feel the same.
Yes, YESS! I love this movie. In fact I still to this day watch it every time I'm stuck at home with a cold. It's so choppy and unfinished at parts but you can't beat the overall mood. It makes me genuinely happy to see that other people feel the same.
Your Reply:



3:57PM on 09/13/2013
There was a time I intended to name my first-born son Buliwyf. No joke.
There was a time I intended to name my first-born son Buliwyf. No joke.
Your Reply:



2:17PM on 09/13/2013
I really miss McTiernan but he'll be out of prison in 7 months. Thank goodness
I really miss McTiernan but he'll be out of prison in 7 months. Thank goodness
Your Reply:



+9
2:08PM on 09/13/2013
I think Joblo should simply rename this section Underrated movies because like many readers like myself on Joblo, we have probably all seen a vast amount of movies in our leisure time, so anything that underrated is more than likely been viewed by most of us.

However, this is a excellent section and I do look forward to seeing the next movie you guys bring up.
I think Joblo should simply rename this section Underrated movies because like many readers like myself on Joblo, we have probably all seen a vast amount of movies in our leisure time, so anything that underrated is more than likely been viewed by most of us.

However, this is a excellent section and I do look forward to seeing the next movie you guys bring up.
Your Reply:



1:51PM on 09/13/2013

Sweet.

I have been wanting to see this for awhile now and have yet to do so. I know that feeling of coming back to a movie you thought you didn't like and end up loving it... Prince Of Persia is one I can think of recently where I wrote it off as crap the first time I saw it. Popped it in a few months back and freaking loved it. Lovedthe way the action scenes and sword fights were shot. And I forgot how good looking Gemma A was. It's not perfect but def a fun movie. I know this is probably not a
I have been wanting to see this for awhile now and have yet to do so. I know that feeling of coming back to a movie you thought you didn't like and end up loving it... Prince Of Persia is one I can think of recently where I wrote it off as crap the first time I saw it. Popped it in a few months back and freaking loved it. Lovedthe way the action scenes and sword fights were shot. And I forgot how good looking Gemma A was. It's not perfect but def a fun movie. I know this is probably not a popular opinion haha.
Your Reply:



+0
1:27PM on 09/13/2013

Loved it

The only thing I disliked about this movie was the ending seemed rushed. I would have liked a little longer battle scene. Other than that, awesome movie (the book is really good too).
The only thing I disliked about this movie was the ending seemed rushed. I would have liked a little longer battle scene. Other than that, awesome movie (the book is really good too).
Your Reply:



1:15PM on 09/13/2013

Love it

It's good. Very under rated.
It's good. Very under rated.
Your Reply:



1:08PM on 09/13/2013
I just rewatched this 2 days ago. I still love it. After I saw it the first time, I was really hoping for the actor playing the Vking leader to be Thor.
I just rewatched this 2 days ago. I still love it. After I saw it the first time, I was really hoping for the actor playing the Vking leader to be Thor.
Your Reply:



+0
1:05PM on 09/13/2013

Yup....

I'm not quite as big a fan of the film, but I agree that it's tough to get started watching, but once you do you can't stop. It's completely realistic and very cool in multiple spots (personally I loved the way they transitioned the languages). I bought every moment of it and really thought Banderas did a great job playing someone who was tough, but certainly no warrior when the film began. His transition was great, and made the film quite memorable.
I'm not quite as big a fan of the film, but I agree that it's tough to get started watching, but once you do you can't stop. It's completely realistic and very cool in multiple spots (personally I loved the way they transitioned the languages). I bought every moment of it and really thought Banderas did a great job playing someone who was tough, but certainly no warrior when the film began. His transition was great, and made the film quite memorable.
Your Reply:



+3
12:35PM on 09/13/2013

Agree

The book and movie is based on real events though. Ibn Fadlan was a real person, who meet with Vikings (Rus), describing them (see references below):

"
I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor kaftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and
The book and movie is based on real events though. Ibn Fadlan was a real person, who meet with Vikings (Rus), describing them (see references below):

"
I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor kaftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and keeps each by him at all times.
"
References:
[link]
[link]
Your Reply:



+0
11:56AM on 09/13/2013
I remember seeing the initial teaser for this film in theaters (when it was still called Eaters of the Dead) and then it vanishing for almost two years before the theatrical finally happened but when it did I was there. I loved it for all the reasons I love most of McTernian's films (most.. not all) I think it was lost in a sea of pther films that didn't quite hit at the time (Christian Slater's Hard Rain being one) It's one of those films you just have to see.
I remember seeing the initial teaser for this film in theaters (when it was still called Eaters of the Dead) and then it vanishing for almost two years before the theatrical finally happened but when it did I was there. I loved it for all the reasons I love most of McTernian's films (most.. not all) I think it was lost in a sea of pther films that didn't quite hit at the time (Christian Slater's Hard Rain being one) It's one of those films you just have to see.
Your Reply:



11:54AM on 09/13/2013

My mother was a pure woman from a noble family. And I, at least, know who my father is, you pig-eating son of a whore!

Great flick even with its underwhelming ending and one of the few Viking epics out there (we need more of that). I can only dream of one day getting the Mctiernan cut. Does anyone know of a petition for it?
Great flick even with its underwhelming ending and one of the few Viking epics out there (we need more of that). I can only dream of one day getting the Mctiernan cut. Does anyone know of a petition for it?
Your Reply:



11:53AM on 09/13/2013
I actually have seen it, and yes it is good. I like how they transitioned from him not knowing the language to understanding it.
I actually have seen it, and yes it is good. I like how they transitioned from him not knowing the language to understanding it.
Your Reply:



11:49AM on 09/13/2013
It's actually a very good movie from the beginning to the end. Plus, it has one of my favorite actors - Omar Sharif.
Also, I'd like to suggest the remake of Assault on Precinct 13th (starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne) as a candidate for this column.
It's actually a very good movie from the beginning to the end. Plus, it has one of my favorite actors - Omar Sharif.
Also, I'd like to suggest the remake of Assault on Precinct 13th (starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne) as a candidate for this column.
Your Reply:



11:47AM on 09/13/2013
Goldmsith's score for this movie is incredible! Give it a spin.
Goldmsith's score for this movie is incredible! Give it a spin.
Your Reply:



+0
11:40AM on 09/13/2013

great flick

Loved this movie from the first time i saw it.... years later read the book...... Both are a fantastic story.
Loved this movie from the first time i saw it.... years later read the book...... Both are a fantastic story.
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+1
11:28AM on 09/13/2013
I havn't seen this film since its initial release on dvd, all I remember from it was that I loved the film. I havnt gone back and rewatched it again. I think this articule just made me want to pick it up on dvd now.
I havn't seen this film since its initial release on dvd, all I remember from it was that I loved the film. I havnt gone back and rewatched it again. I think this articule just made me want to pick it up on dvd now.
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+1
11:27AM on 09/13/2013
Loved the film when I first saw it upon release. Told all my friends about it and its now a favorite among my peers. We still quote one liners from it on a regular basis.

I LISTENED!
Loved the film when I first saw it upon release. Told all my friends about it and its now a favorite among my peers. We still quote one liners from it on a regular basis.

I LISTENED!
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11:31AM on 09/13/2013
that was such a great way how they handled the transition of language in that movie. That part always makes me smile when I see it
that was such a great way how they handled the transition of language in that movie. That part always makes me smile when I see it
11:24AM on 09/13/2013
I enjoyed this flick the 1st time I saw it. My only disappointment was that they weren't mythical creatures & the fire worm wasn't a real dragon. Still though, I enjoyed it. I'm not saying that I loved it or it even rated in my top 100 flicks of all time, but it entertained me at least mildly. I've also grown a better appreciation & more fond of it as I've watched it over the years. Now it's most definitely in my top 100 flicks of all time & probably closer to to being in mytop 50.
I enjoyed this flick the 1st time I saw it. My only disappointment was that they weren't mythical creatures & the fire worm wasn't a real dragon. Still though, I enjoyed it. I'm not saying that I loved it or it even rated in my top 100 flicks of all time, but it entertained me at least mildly. I've also grown a better appreciation & more fond of it as I've watched it over the years. Now it's most definitely in my top 100 flicks of all time & probably closer to to being in mytop 50.
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+3
11:16AM on 09/13/2013

Ya

Seen it. Own it. Always liked it
Seen it. Own it. Always liked it
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+3
11:01AM on 09/13/2013
I love this movie, it is underrated. Its a great movie with a great atmosphere and I love how movie develops with Banderas being the outsider that learns the way of Norwegians, which helps us understand what is happening throughout the film. Also the bond that grows between the men is outstanding, its a really entertaining story.

Though this isnt a film I would consider to be unknown to many moviebuffs. Again, Love this section of Joblo... keep em coming.

Two films that should be
I love this movie, it is underrated. Its a great movie with a great atmosphere and I love how movie develops with Banderas being the outsider that learns the way of Norwegians, which helps us understand what is happening throughout the film. Also the bond that grows between the men is outstanding, its a really entertaining story.

Though this isnt a film I would consider to be unknown to many moviebuffs. Again, Love this section of Joblo... keep em coming.

Two films that should be discussed are Judgment Night and The Last Castle
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10:47AM on 09/13/2013
This was a family film in our house and to this day my brothers and i quote the film on a regular basis. It was another Mctiernan Gem. Just a good solid fun film to watch.
This was a family film in our house and to this day my brothers and i quote the film on a regular basis. It was another Mctiernan Gem. Just a good solid fun film to watch.
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10:47AM on 09/13/2013

Brilliant film. One of my go-to's

When that conversation comes up of "Books are always better than their movie versions," I always bring up this film as my one exception to that rule.
Great, great selection.
When that conversation comes up of "Books are always better than their movie versions," I always bring up this film as my one exception to that rule.
Great, great selection.
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10:32AM on 09/13/2013
Loved the book. Remember the movie being kind of a letdown.

May need to rewatch it...
Loved the book. Remember the movie being kind of a letdown.

May need to rewatch it...
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