Tuesday, August 7, 2007

In Defense of Uwe Boll


Uwe Boll is probably the most despised filmmaker working today. Alone in the Dark registered an unprecendented 1% on the tomatoemeter and won both Mr. Boll (worst director) and Tara Reid (worst actress) a razzie award. I've had friends comment that House of the Dead is a stinking pile of excrement. Bloodrayne kind of escaped me in the theatre, but I was intrigued by the movie poster. Well, ok, I just think Kristiana Loken is hot. Still, everyone said it was worse than House of the Dead.

The first thing I noticed when checking out Boll's IMDB page is how prolific he is. Since 2000, when he started making english language films, he's helmed 12 movies. One is currently in post-production and another one is currently being filmed. Ok, I know quantity doesn't always equal quality, but check out some of the names he's had work for him; Casper Van Dien, Eric Roberts, Michael Pare, Patrick Muldoon, Jurgen Prochnow, Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff, Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies, Lelee Sobieski, Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Sir Ben Kingsley, Meat Loaf, Jodelle Ferland, and Verne Troyer. The list goes on and on. I challenge you to pick a bad actor out of this group. There must be SOMETHING about Boll that makes them want to work with him, right?

I've heard Boll described as an arrogant prick. I'm not really sure where this comes from. Personally, he seems like he's got a great sense of humor. This is the same guy, after all, that challenged his critics to a round in the boxing ring. Some of them even showed up. What he neglected to tell them was that he's a pretty accomplished amateur boxer. He wiped the mat clean with them. To me that's pretty funny.

To be honest here, I'm kind of going in fresh. You see, I've never seen a Boll picture. I thought I HAD until someone told me that AvP and Resident Evil were directed by Paul W. Anderson. They actually told me that Boll is worse than this guy, so I had to see for myself. I'm pretty sure every movie he's made is tied into a video game somehow. Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne, House of the Dead, even that Columbine movie he did. Now, I'm not a gamer at all. I've enjoyed 1 or 2 video game adaptations. AvP and Doom had their moments, but maybe Boll should try something else. Perhaps he's receiving all this rancor because he's ruining these games by converting them into films. Maybe the majority of his critics also happen to be fanatical gamers. As if there's any other kind. Try writing an original story, Mr. Boll. Or, if that's too much work, buy the rights to one. I'm just saying.

For my initial trip into the mind of Boll, I decided to go with Alone in the Dark and a movie that no one has ever heard of. I'm assuming this one aired on tv or went direct to DVD. It's called Blackwoods. Having now seen these two, I've got to tell you that Boll is not the worst fucking director in the world. He's not good, in fact he's borderline incompetent at times, but he managed to keep my eyes on the screen at least 75% of the time. Where I come from, that's a C. So, in defense of Uwe Boll....he IS decidedly average.

Enjoy...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boll Lover

Anonymous said...

You still need to see House of the Dead. No Boll retrospective is complete without viewing that garbage.
-Dan-

Paco Fox said...

People get confused about Boll. I agree with you. He's by no means a good director. He has some serious problems when it comes to storytelling. But he has some visual intuition, even though it's often lifted from other filmakers' jobs. That's something that really can't be said about many directors (specially from my country, Spain).
I tested the theory showing some extracts from 'House of the Dead' and 'Alone in the Dark' to some people (working in a tv channel in respected jobs) who didn't knew about Boll. They saw the isolated clips and, in fact, some of them praised them.
It's when it comes to putting it all together when evereything crumbles into dust. Boll has the hability for copying. But, unlike, let's say, the Wachowsky bros, He just doesn't have the criteria for building up the movie correctly.
People usually compare him to Ed Wood, but that's totally wrong. I see more like a modern Albert Pyun: as far as I've read, he is also a likeable person, he has a visual intuition, but most of his movies are a narrative mess. Although he has made some more or less interesting films, and it seems his latest is even good. So maybe Boll could sometime deliver a good film. Who knows.

Anonymous said...

"... also happen to be fanatical gamers. As if there's any other kind."
- Gee, what kind of hypocritic hardliner republican are YOU?!

Anonymous said...

LOL. You're calling Casper and Muldoon AND Verne Troyer actors??

Anonymous said...

I have to agree - Capser Van Diem and Verne Troyer aren't even actors, let alone good ones. I suggest you take a look at some real films with some real performances. Something is very wrong with your sense of what makes a quality film, my friend.

mutterhals said...

Michael Pare? What the fuck? I thought you were defeding Boll, not amping up the case against him. Don't get me started on Eric Roberts...

Kyle said...

Stephen Dorff, Lelee Sobieski, Meat Loaf...good actors? you have got to be kidding. And you must a really sick sense of humor if you think that Boll lying to a bunch of movie critis and then beating them senseless is funny. Did you know that he wouldn't allow anybody to fight him that actually *had* some boxing experience? Thats pretty low that he didn't even want anybody that could potentially hurt him. He beat up on people that had no chance, when they were told it was going to be a publicity thing. He is a horrible director and wouldn't know suspense if it punched him in the face. He can't direct anything but trite action sequences and thinks that they can adequately replaces a certain little thing called a STORY. Continuity is usually an important thing is movie. Boll must have been sick when they taught that at Nazi German directing school. By the way, why dont you do a little research on how he funds his movies. I'll give you a hint "Nazi Gold." His granddad confessed that he earned it during his time as a guard in a German concentration camp. How's that for your "not-so-bad" director. ANd you know what, if you were Christian Slater, Burt Reynolds, Casper Van Dien and you hadn't made a decent film in over 10 to 15 years, i'm sure you'd jump at the first paycheck handed to you too. When Dennis Hopper was asked why he appears as King Kooppa in Mario Bros. he said "My kids needed new shoes." So dont think that just because a decent actor or any actor is in a film that makes it a worthwhile film. I mean what kind of a guy splices in Video Game footage with his movies, Uwe Boll does (see House of the Dead). This guy is easily the Ed Wood for the next generation. So maybe before you decide to defend someone regarded with such infamy you do a little more research.

brian said...

Hiiiiii Kyle,

I'm not sure how you can compare Uwe Boll to Ed Wood? Wood is so charming and loveable. According to you, Boll is...well....Hitler.

You suck and so does Uwe said...

You said AvP and Doom had their moments. That takes away all your credibility right there.

brian said...

Paco,

Thanks for the comments. Maybe I haven't experienced enough of Boll to properly defend him. I will sit though House of the Dead soon and actually plan on seeing Postal and A Dungeon Siege Tale. I've seen some Albert Pyun before. I thouroughly enjoyed Cyborg as well as The Sword and The Sorcerer. Kickboxer 2 has its moments. That's definitely a more apt comparison than Ed Wood, although no word on whether Pyun is actually a Nazi or not.

Kyle said...

I only compare Boll to Wood in terms of how the both equally deliver garbage to their audience. Although Wood did it with a little more flare.

brian said...

Kyle,

I get it now. Thanks. Also, I understand that several of these actors would be drawn to Boll and his "Nazi gold", as you call it. How do you explain Sir Ben Kingsley? I would think the guy that played Gandhi would have a little more integrity than that (if Boll really is as bad as you say he is).

brian said...

Mutterhals,

Have you ever seen Streets of Fire?

Kyle said...

Well, with Ben Kingsley i can't explain it. Maybe something about playing a Dark Vampire lord appealed to him. But remember, Kingsley was also in "Thunderbirds" So i'm also not going to say that his judgment in films in top notch, so to speak. That being said, I highly respect him as a brilliant actor. In the end though, for an actor, a paycheck is a paycheck.

Paco Fox said...

Kyle:

Brian said: 'He's not good, in fact he's borderline incompetent at times'. He's not really defending him as a good director. The article is just relativizing his consideration as the worst director nowadays. And I really agree there are far worse stuff out there.

Also, that 'nazi gold' thing is the kind of statements you can read in non very believable internet sources. The fact is that you can finance a film for international distribution with pre-sales to several markets. As far as I know, thanks to some contacts in the distribution field in my country, he is a very agressive salesman. The rights are cheap and the movies really do well on DVD. That's why he always plans his films to have some B stars on them: that's a very important thing for international markets. Add the german goverment money he managed to get early in his career (as far as I know, it got axed a year ago), some good financers avid for a tax cut, even if the film looses money, and you can get a picture that really doesn't need all that gossip about the nazis.
Still, it puzzles me he managed to raise the money for 'In the name of the king'. It was an awful lot of it!

As far as actors go, Kyle is right: money is money.

mutterhals said...

Re: Streets of Fire
Oh dear god yes, I was obsessed with that movie as a child. But, as an actor, Michael Pare has about as much range as a marionette...

Anonymous said...

i can actually point out a ton of bad actors on the list you mentioned...verne troyer being one...casper van dien...stephen dorff...christian slater..and meat loaf, which would be the big one. so yeah...probably would have been best if you just mentioned ben kingsley and called it a day.

Anonymous said...

To bring some light to the "How he can get such good actors" Question?!
Boll himself said that it is no big deal to get such actors. You just have to wait and look wich one needs money or has problems to get good roles. I mean e.g. Slater - this guy hasnt made a good movie for years .. no wonder why he accepted the role ... one exception in the list is maybe Kingsley.. but this guy is taking in generel almost every role he got offered. That means, the actors didnt take roles from boll because he is so great, they take them because the need money or got career-problems.

Whats funny - The guy complained about tara reids bad acting in Alone in the dark ... but truth is .. he didnt do a better job.

I saw a lot movies of Boll, everytime I just hope its getting finaly better, but it doesnt. Its always big crap.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

I think Boll is far below average. I agree with you that he may not be the worst of our (or all) time, but he's far below average. In terms of "style" and "flare" with action sequences, he's on par with anyone who directed an episode of the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. In terms of feature films (and especially theatrical releases), he's well below the average garbage.

Anonymous said...

Stop it. Just stop it.

Anonymous said...

No, Boll is not the worst Director of All Time. But he garners a lot of valid criticism because he IS pretty bad and, more importantly, he represents everything that we have begun to dislike about Hollywood - Namely, the current trend of churning out one bad movie after another with no substance and all for the sake of money. Yes, it's true that everyone in Hollywood is doing it for the money. However, the directors and producers we actually respect are the ones who try to put SOME kind of recognizable quality up there on the screen before cashing their checks. Worse yet, Mr. Boll, like Paul W.S. Anderson, will take a much-loved story idea and strip it of everything that made it a hit in the first place, and then fill the void with spinning back-kicks and Techno music. But the fact that he isn't slowing down at all is probably the hardest to accept. As you said, he is plopping out more and more movies despite each of his features being critical and (supposedly) financial disasters. In our everyday lives, any person who produced this kind of consistently poor work product would have been fired a long time ago... Unless they worked for some kind of government agency, of course.

beepy said...

Brian, your fans are still with you, Uwe Boll or no Uwe Boll.

Kyle said...

Re: sunshine

I agree, sunshine was a terrific psychological thrilling with great intensity without any discernible villain beyond that of the sun itself. Although i would equate more of what Boyle did at the end not so much 28 days later in space, but more an homage to what Event Horizon was trying to do so fervently

Also, thanks for reading, tell you friends :)

brian said...

Kyle,

I agree with the Event Horizon comparison. My reason for comparing it to 28 Days Later is because the movie takes a 180 degree turn during the last part, that's all. Good blog, by the way. Keep it up.