Sunday, August 29, 2010

Centurion (2010)

I can just hear director Neil Marshall's pitch for this bad baby "It is Saving Private Ryan set during the Roman occupation of Britain, and a whole legion gets snuffed trying to save him, then he has to save himself...Oh and there are amazons and more decapitations than the Reign of Terror in Paris now gimme dat money!"
Shit I know I'm convinced.
Okay so the plot meanders onto well charted military-chase movie territory, no matter the acting is first rate the action intense and well...gory...very very gory. Frankly, Neil Marshall would seem to be another Herschell Gordon Lewis in the making, I mean the man takes an artist's enthusiasm to flinging blood flecked viscera high in the air. Certainly "Centurion" felt like the sort of movie that Lewis would have like to have made circa 1969 before he bailed on directing entirely.
And where is this hymn to mayhem playing you ask?
"The Kendall Square Cinema" the very Temple of Apollo dedicated to art-house and independent Films.
Why is this exploitation flick at Cambridge's premiere high brow cinema you ask?
Because the intelligentsia can still find room on the schedule for kitsch and because there is no more market for all-out b-films with low budgets, no-name casts and scrappy ambitions.
In a properly run universe, "Centurion" would be running on a twin bill with "Piranha 3-D" up at the Tri Town Drive In in Leominster even as I write this.
But the Tri Town is plowed under, the Exeter Theater is gone, the Pagoda, the Cinema 57 all the local screens devoted to lowbrow entertainment are gone for good.
So an action flick that is outside the Vin Diesel orbit just as no chance save as a sort of goof booking in a art house.
Mind you, there is still a b-movie market out there but it has migrated to Basic Cable, just look at the Syfy Channels weekend schedule, stuff like "Giant Octo-Suid versus the Atomic Tornadoquake" for forty eight hours straight.
I mean the B-Market exists but the chances of something like "Centurion' finding a aud outside DVD and basic cable are nil, and that my friends is a bad thing as far as I am concerned.

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