Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: April, 5 2011

Finally, the third chapter to the Bloodrayne saga is upon us. All your questions will be answered such as is Rayne bi-sexual? Does she randomly visit brothels for no apparent reason? Does she have sex on more than one occasion? Is she bi-sexual? Does this movie have anything at all to do with vampires? Does she get naked? Most importantly though does she have sex?

Review Vital Stats:
Format: Blu-ray
Player: Playstation 3 Slim
Monitor: Samsung 40' LCD Series 5
Picture Quality: 1080p
Sound Quality: True HD - English

Loves: Movies that are so bad they are good
Likes: Uwe Boll, Natassia Malthe (the person), Clint Howard
Neutral: A lack of vampires in my vampire movie
Hates: Movies that are so mediocre they are boring
When: was the last time anyone actually cared about the Bloodrayne video game franchise?

So if you haven't already been able to tell by now Rayne has sex and gets naked. Why are her sexual activities of such importance you ask? Well because that is apparently what director Uwe Boll thinks all the "kids" out there wanna see, that and boobies in general. I am not going to partake in the Boll bashing that many other critics out there seem to revel in. I actually admire the guy, even in the face of constant adversity he somehow is able to make his movies the way he wants to (which isn't necessarily a good thing). His movies are bad though, very bad, but that is what I and most of his fans like about them. I would almost consider him to be this generations Ed Wood if not for the fact that he is fully aware that his movies are not very good. When I sit down to experience a Uwe Boll movie I have very little in the way of expectations. I want a bad script complimented with some bad acting and a story that makes little to no sense. The low production values is just like icing on the cake. But something has happened to the infamous director over the course of his career, his films have slowly gotten better (from a technical standpoint) and the acting is not eye-gougingly horrible but they are still not good or even decent movies. They have become what I like to call "boring-bad".

Once again we follow the exploits of vampiress Rayne (Natassia Malthe), a dunfear...dumfere...dumbf**k or whatever they are called, in other words the dam sunlight can't kill her. After dealing with medieval vampires and wild west vampires in previous installments she must now face off against nazi vampires. During a rather pathetic raid by some freedom fighters on a train carrying Jewish prisoners Rayne jumps into the action and starts carving up nazis with her trusty dual wielding blades. When she encounters the head nazi Commandant Brand (Michael Pare) she is wounded and must feed on him to regain her power but in doing so also leaves him alive just enough so that he eventually transforms into a vampire himself. Soon Brand is hatching a plan to create a vampire nazi army and it is up to Rayne to put an end to his reign before it is too late.

Peek-a-boo, I kill you!

That synopsis is giving the movie waaaayyy too much credit. While it is accurate it also makes it seem like the movie is much more focused that it actually is. Now I am not going to attack the movie for how illogical everything that transpires is, that would be like hating on a handicap person for being in a wheelchair. I am going to come at this from another angle all together. I am going to talk about the movie from the perspective of a Uwe Boll fan, not a hater. Why? Because I truly have a lot of love for the guy, I really do. He is a master of film disaster, he can make purposefully nonsensical things appear to be completely random and still can't stage a good fight scene to save his life even after a couple dozen movies worth of practice. Most of all though I love the guy because of how audacious he is, this is the guy that made a director's cut of Alone in the Dark where his only goal was to cut his leading lady Tara Reid out of the movie as much as possible due to him thinking she ruined his movie. I don't care who you are, in a world of filmmakers that kiss each others ass it is refreshing to know someone like him isn't afraid to say it like it is even if he is slightly misguided.

Usually when I or anyone for that matter watches a movie they have a set list of things in their subconscious that if not present will make them dislike most movies. Good acting, a good story, good production values and to be entertained overall are usually what is expected from any movie. But when I prepare myself for a Uwe Boll movie I take all those expectations and reverse them. The worse it is the more I will like it and for the most part he has never let me down...until recently. Now I know it is kind of silly to attack a filmmaker for not making the worst movie possible but my point is that a bad movie can be fun and Boll's creations are some of the best "bad" you will ever find. Where it gets a little hazy though is when a bad filmmaker becomes only slightly better and raises the level of quality from an extreme low to an extreme medium, but they still don't know how to construct a movie. What we are left with is a bad movie trying to be good by not being crazy enough and taking itself so seriously that any of the fun derived from its awfulness is sucked out and replaced with an enormous feeling of blah. Yes, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is bad, but it is also a laborious bore most of the time with little to no fun to be found in its horribleness.

Actor Michael Pare looks like he just found out who is directing the movie.

Back to the movie at hand though. So yeah, nothing really makes any sort of coherent sense in this movie. It isn't nearly as fractured as the first Bloodrayne but it also seems to be much less focused than Bloodrayne 2. And by that I mean the "story" that is taking place doesn't really seem to be happening for most of the movie. After Rayne bites Brand and he starts transforming into a vampire, instead of focusing on him we get this completely random scene with Rayne visiting a brothel in the middle of a nazi occupied town to get a massage. This whole sequence is pure Boll bliss though with cuts back and forth between scenes that have very little to do with one another. Forget for a second the fact that it makes no sense for her to visit a brothel for a massage after killing a ton of nazis only moments before, focus instead on the absurdity that Boll thinks his audience just wants to see Rayne make out with another woman. Sure there was probably some way a better filmmaker could have made it work but Boll doesn't care that it doesn't make any sense, all that matters is boobies.

That brothel scene goes on way too long as well but I wouldn't have it any other way honestly. For some reason the longer a horribly executed scene continues in a Boll film the better it becomes. And somewhere in the midst of seeing Rayne get it on with her female companion we get random cuts back to Brand who is scheming with the local nazi mad scientist Doctor Mangler (Clint Howard). I was on board at this point, this is what I came to see. The less anything made sense the more I loved it but at some point after that amazing brothel sequence everything slows down to a crawl. It's not that there was no action, we get a couple random street fights that had surprisingly decent choreography and it wasn't a lack of bad acting because we get that every time a character opens their mouth. What it was can only be explained as a narrative that already didn't matter being sidetracked by other bits of plot that mattered even less and it was all unfortunately handled so semi-competently I wasn't being entertained in either extreme, neither good nor bad.

Gotta have them boobies!

There is an unusual amount of dialog scenes in this movie and while that is usually a golden opportunity to find some great moments for absurdity mixed with terrible acting (see the entire film of In the Name of the King for more evidence) this all just felt so damn bland. It wasn't particularly bad acting, but it also wasn't good. The dialog made very little sense, but it was delivered competently enough. The sets and production value were slightly cheesy but it still looked good enough. There is one scene in particular that stands out to me as something that should have led to something fantastically awful but it amounted to nothing. We see Brand invade the home of his best "tracker" and he decides to turn him into a vampire tracker cause ya know, trackers are better when they are undead. After he is turned he immediately finds Rayne and is instantly killed by her.

What was wrong with that set up and pay off? First off all it is a staple of any Uwe Boll film to have story elements and characters come out of nowhere and then suddenly disappear like they were never there. It was just in the way it was handled here though. Brand comes into the home, he sits down at the guy's table, they share a few words and then he bites him. A few minutes later the tracker shows up at Rayne's hideout and gets killed and that's it. It is every bit as plain as I am making it out to be.  And save for maybe the brothel stuff and the stupid finale the entire movie is executed in this same cut and dry manner. The randomness is still there but without the comical editing choices, the poor acting and stilted fight choreography it just doesn't carry with it that same sort of trashy fun Boll's other movies had. I wanted to see that tracker do some crazy ass shit, I wanted him to show up when it DIDN'T make any sense or I wanted his death to be spectacularly ridiculous by having him do one of Uwe Boll's trademark death scenes (in which an actor cries out in pain with no expression of discomfort on their face and falls to the ground in such a manner that the actor doesn't get hurt in the process). Heck if he never showed up again after being introduced that would have been great as well.

Clint Howard is probably the best actor in the whole movie.

Probably the biggest detractor for any sort of glorious shittiness though is the lack of vampires in this thing. In a normal movie about vampires that lacked any real vampires I might be upset but somehow the lack of the creatures that are supposed to be the main point of this story is kind of awesome. I would have loved to see an army of nazi vampires but I almost prefer it this way. And anyone hoping for some sort of final showdown between Rayne and Brand should know better than to expect something so obvious from a Uwe Boll film. Their final conflict consists of yet another raid to free Rayne (who just finished having sex again) while being transported to a prison camp. After she is freed she proceeds to smash Brand's head in with a rock, the end.

Uwe Boll needs to either get a whole lot better at directing or he needs to get a whole lot worse. This middle of the road crap is aggravating to someone like me that is just looking to have a few laughs at the expense of a group of people "trying" to make a movie. It's not that I hope they fail, it's more like they are most likely to fail so why not go out with a bang instead of a whimper? If Uwe Boll does continue to become a more competent filmmaker then I won't bash him for it, it is after all the goal of everyone to get better at what they do and in some sort of twisted way I hope he succeeds. However the most ironic thing about Uwe Boll's career is that the better he gets at making movies the less I care about them. How is that for some criticism?


What's on the disc?

I am not even going to attempt to criticize this thing for its lack of special features. For some it will be a disappointment but for many (myself included) the less there are the better it is. But at least the few things we get are pretty decent in their own way. The commentary is great for anyone that is curious how the mind of a mad man works and the documentary included is some sort of mad genius with how poorly made it is which compliments the movie perfectly in that regard. Nothing else needs to be said so if you want a peek into how a shitty movie gets made then these are for you.

The documentary is like a mini Uwe Boll movie in itself.

Audio Commentary - Director Uwe Boll and writer Michael C Nachoff engage in a conversation that might make some think they were watching a different movie than these two. Both of them talk about the film like they had made some sort of masterpiece which isn't too strange for Boll at this point given that one of his mantras is "More dialog is not good for the movie franchise". I have listened to almost every single commentary the man has ever done and he has always talked about his films as though he has made a good movie which just makes it even more hilarious. For anyone at all familiar with how this man thinks of himself this should be a fun if non-essential listen.

Making of "Bloodrayne: The Third Reich" (28:01 min) - Probably one of my favorite behind the scenes documentaries ever. Not because of how well it was produced (editing wise this is one of the poorest excuses for any behind the scenes doc I have ever seen) but because of how candid and off the shelf everything feels. It starts off with a montage of the cast and crew talking shit to all of Boll's naysayers and then later goes into a series of interviews mixed with full scenes from the movie but in low quality. You get some really good Boll-isms such as "It's always hard to convince female actresses to get naked" which he somehow segues into more Tara Reid shit talking (he really dislikes that woman). Probably the best bit in here though is a conversation between Boll and Natassia Malthe where he tries to convince her that the lesbian scene is needed because it is from the video game. Honestly, this documentary is a better example of your typical Uwe Boll movie than the actual movie itself and is a must watch for everyone.

Interview with the Writer (5:59 min) - A sit down interview with writer Michael C. Nachoff. He comes off as a pretty intelligent guy so it makes it even more peculiar that he is proud of this script he has bestowed upon us. I am starting to think that EVERYONE involved with Uwe Boll movies know they are making trash but are putting up this front for us that they are oblivious to that fact.

Natassia Malthe is a really sweet woman who just isn't a very good actor unfortunately..

Official Trailer (1:13 min) HD - Watching this trailer made me rethink what movie I had just watched. The movie cuts together much better as a minute long trailer it seems.

Alternate Trailer (1:14 min) HD - If you want more blood in your trailers then this is for you. It doesn't really add anything beyond making the movie appear to be more of a horror movie (which it isn't).

Final Verdict:

I cannot recommend this movie to anyone seeking an actual good movie. If you are in the market for a fairly entertaining BAD movie then Uwe Boll usually delivers and if you have exhausted all the other options from the infamous director's filmography Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is a decent enough pick for just such an occasion. The audio and video for the blu-ray are decent enough quality but let's be truthful here, nobody buys a Uwe Boll movie for the quality right? The extra features are pretty limp but the typical Uwe Boll audio commentary and completely incomprehensible behind the scenes documentary make for a much better set of features than I thought I would get. For anyone out there still unsure how I truly feel about this movie then let me set the record straight by giving my ratings for the first two Bloodrayne movies. Remember though, these scores are based off how bad the movies are and thus how much fun they are.

Here is how I rate the bloodrayne movies according to the Boll Scale of Shittiness:

Bloodrayne      -  B+ - This is probably one of the best/worst movies ever made by anyone.
Bloodrayne 2  - C   - This one gets knocked down due to some awfully boring moments.

The man has a good sense of humor about himself that's for sure.

Movie   -  D
Video   -  A
Audio   -  B
Extras  -  C+

For Uwe Boll Fans:

Everyone else:


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