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January 28 2007

Tonight on SciFi - Amber Benson in 'Gryphon'. Tara of Arc fights a mythical winged beast.

This looks highly entertaining so please do post your comments on it if you've seen it.

Have not seen the movie but it is weird to see Benson in chain mail in the advertising.
Well, I am trying my best to survive this movie, but it is baaad. Amber rises above it, of course, but it is tough to take.
The gryphon looks ridiculous.

In other Whedonverse news, Larry Drake (the sorcerer) played Warwick Harrow in "Shindig" on Firefly.
This movie is positively horrible!
In a fun, hilarious sort of way.
Glad I am not the only one suffering madly through this for our Ms Benson.
I just noticed this is story #12345
I tried watching, but I couldn't continue.
Oi. It's not good. However, if you make up your own dialogue and imagine better effects, it's not so bad. Amber is as gorgeous as ever.
Unfortunately, the story is rather linear, with very little in the way of humor. So predictable. The special effects look like the pre-visualization a director might see, not the quality one expects in TV and movies today.

On the plus side, I enjoy seeing Amber perform again. She is such a good, under-appreciated actress.
Yeah, but the crappy dialogue overpowered her acting. Her performance was hobbling along in high school play hell.
Wow, they're really pulling out all the cliché stops on this one. The Romeo-and-Juliet type lovers, the warring nations united over a common foe, the evil wizard wanting the beautiful princess to be his wife, etc.
How dare Larry Drake call Amber not pure??? "He has soiled you with his seeeeeeeeed!"
Hmm... Ahh... Well... Amber was great!...
Amber swingin' a broadsword, beddin' down the prince (who, I think, is her cousin, and that's just skeevy), and in general being a skewer first, ask questions later hardass is remarkably fun to watch, and it just about makes the poor story, laughable dialog, and special effects done on an old Commodore 64 worth tolerating. ;)

And note to producers: That wasn't a gryphon, it was a roc. Get your mythical monsters straight.
Obviously they called it Gryphon because correctly titling it The Roc would have lead people to expect Sir Sean Connery playing the original James Bond escaping Alcatraz.

Obviously.
Well, it's a cut above Dr. Giggles for Larry Drake but for the other stars, uh ... oh dear.
Obviously they called it Gryphon because correctly titling it The Roc would have lead people to expect Sir Sean Connery playing the original James Bond escaping Alcatraz.

Nah, the only problem is that their writers are too busy rewriting the same *** for every kind of creature they can think of. Leaves no time to waste 5min of research into what that "thing with the cool name" is actually supposed to be.

So look forward to "Wolpertinger", "Cockatrice", "Banshee" and essentially every single beast you can find in your favorite pen and paper RPGs creature source book... depicting everything but whatever that thing should be.

[ edited by Trienco on 2007-01-28 09:06 ]
I love Amber, but I love myself more, yo. So, I went with my peeps (yes, as a matter of fact, I do have peeps -- why do you ask?) to see Smokin' Aces tonight instead of watching Gryphon. (P.S. How hard does SA rock? Pretty damn hard!) ;-)
Oh, man. It's awful, even by SciFi Original Movie standards. Hell, Boa vs. Python, Pterodactyl, and Bloodsuckers are far superior. Amber Benson is so terrible it's embarrassing, the gryphon CGI is so terrible it's embarrassing, and pretty much everything else is so terrible it's embarrassing.

Afterwards, we watched "Once More, with Feeling" to cleanse our souls. It was as amazing as ever.
I'm afraid that Amber had the sillest lines--some of the pseudo-Shakepearean dialogue probably read well, but really didn't speak well. I'm sure she did this just for a chance to see Bulgaria and get some money to put into another indie film. And it was a gryphon/griffin. A roc is just a really giant bird---ask Sinbad the sailor.
I managed to suffer through 50 minutes of this. As said above, the effects were terrible, as was the script. It was nice to see Amber again, but I thought she was miscast, and, of course, nobody could say those lines without looking foolish. I don't think this vehicle is going to advance her career any.

And, yes, this was a gryphon/griffin, and not a roc.
"And, yes, this was a gryphon/griffin, and not a roc. "

True, but it *was* a hard place ... (sorry ...)
Man, we have GOT to get Amber cast in some better movies that *she* doesn't have to make herself! I struggled through a half-hour of this drek, and then decided my life was too short to watch anymore. I have to say that I was struck by how much better her performance was than anyone else in it, and also by the fact that Larry Drake had won an Emmy for "LA Law" (I think) and clearly that killed any talent he might have ever had. :-p

billz, was "Smoking Aces" that good? I loves me some Piven, but the movie has been getting craptastic reviews.
Nice back, though. :-) Well, now that I think of it, nice front as well. :-)

When was the last time anyone saw Amber kiss a guy?

But, really really bad movie, oh lord.
We had the DVR set to record this but after reading all the reviews we decided not to.

Instead I started watching the first season of BSG. Up until last night I had only seen the original series from way back when. All I can say is it was a very late night. As soon as I get my coffee going I am firing it back up. I have 2 discs left.
Only saw a few moments, as we caught up on last week's 24.

Mostly saw Larry hamming, Amber frankly not looking very bright, and finally that... that moving plastic thing. Oh, ouch.

You know that shot in Return of the King, where CGI-Gollum is whispering to Frodo on the ledge, both faces filling the screen; and Gollum is just as "there" in the shot as the human actor is?

It was exactly like that.

Except the opposite.

Ow.
And they were pumping this movie up to be like, the greatest of all SCIFI Channel-produced epic magic and sorcery and divided nations story of all time.

Boy, was it lacking.
In Amber's favor, I'll just say this: It was a money gig. She did it, she took the check, and then she went on to do much better projects. In fact, two films she has coming out this year...Simple Things and Race You to the Bottom...have been winning awards and accolades on the film fest circuit. And Strictly Sexual, also due out this year, looks fun if only for Amber playing hard-edged and very un-Tara like...not to mention spending most of her time in her underwear or a schoolgirl uniform. ;)

As for the gryphon/roc thing, I'm standing by my assertion. A gryphon, traditionally, has a body much more like that of a lion. That thing last night was a giant parakeet.
Um, Shiai, what WAS that lion-like back end on last night's creature, then? Granted, the CGI was so awful it could be overlooked, but it was visible in the flying scenes.
Only saw a few moments, as we caught up on last week's 24.

Mostly saw Larry hamming, Amber frankly not looking very bright, and finally that... that moving plastic thing. Oh, ouch.


Gee, you too?

I saw the last five minutes, and...well...if they sprung for a Wii, maybe, or an X-Box the monster would have been more realistic. Ditto for a better writer. Sorry, Amber, but I'll wait for Race You At The Bottom instead.
Still, the "movie" is on again Thursday. I may risk life and limb to see it. Then again, where's the Satellite of Love when you need 'em?

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-01-28 20:09 ]
Then again, where's the Satellite of Love when you need 'em?

Ex act ly.

MST3K's motto could have been, "Making the unbearable, hysterical."
I am never living down making my partner sit through 25 minutes of that steamy pile.

The only thing this lo-fi sub-SCA extravaganza's got going for it is grubby chainmaily Amber waving about shiny weaponry.
Merciful Zeus, this fairly cried out for the MST3K-treatment - the SOL-folks were especially good with sword and sorcery flicks.

I was luckier than woo & hoo - I got my 25 minutes in before my partner got home, so by the time he arrived, he got, like Polter-Cow, Once More With Feeling all set up in the DVD player. I needed to see Amber in something good, and it's always a crowd-pleaser at our house.

But, man, Holy Bunnies, by All The Saints, Amber deserves to be in something worthy of her talents.
Amber is sometimes in something worthy of her talents. They should just be on TV so more people can see them. Hopefully, that will include Race You At The Bottom soon.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-01-29 04:28 ]
billz, was "Smoking Aces" that good? I loves me some Piven, but the movie has been getting craptastic reviews.

OzLady, Piven is barely in the movie, and basically his character is stoned out of his mind when he is around. And there is a LOT of bodies-exploding-when-hit-by-lots-of-ammunition, which is not for everyone. So I could see craptastic reviews being a possibility. This isn't The Devil Wears Prada or The Queen, lol. Or Dreamgirls, even though I think Alicia Keyes is waaaay better at singing and acting than Beyonce (oh no I didn't! oh yes I did!). ;-)

What I liked about SA was that the plot had some surprises I didn't see coming, it followed a LOT of characters of whom some were really interesting or funny and others, not so much, and with so many characters, some really stood out -- there were GREAT scenes with Nathan F-, er, I mean, Jason Bateman (it's JB, for sure, lol), Alicia Keyes, Ben Affleck, and Ray Liotta. The person who really stole the show? You'll never guess. OK, I'll tell you. Ryan Reynolds, yo. With Jason Bateman in second place. I would never call this a 10, but maybe a 7. So, if you don't like Tarantino type movies (and there were places where SA seemed like an imitation of Tarantino), stay away; if you like them, you might like this! :-)

[ edited by billz on 2007-01-29 04:40 ]
"Um, Shiai, what WAS that lion-like back end on last night's creature, then? Granted, the CGI was so awful it could be overlooked, but it was visible in the flying scenes."

Hmmm...I'd say more like a lynx, or maybe a bobcat. Anyway, my brain is starting to blot out the memories, so I can't be all that sure any longer. :P
By the way, an interesting discussion of this is going on at thekittenboard (for all you Willow and Tara fans out there). Click here .
Well, it started out interesting but then degenerated into a discussion of how to use various computer programs to download and view the movie, which I really don't feel like doing again.

I feel for Amber, though, really I do. THis is boilerplate work for her, a chance to see Romania and make a few bucks for a couple of weeks work. But it will not help her career, such as it is.

OT, forget about "Smoking Aces." If there is any utterly must-see movie right now, it's "Pan's Labyrinth." Which jumps to my list of greatest movies ever seen, just like that. Simply astonishing.
The best part was Amber-Warrior-Princess's repudiation of Evil!Larry with something like, "Curse you and your evil witches!" I laughed out loud.

It was pretty much all downhill after that. I fell asleep and missed the thrilling denouement. I presume they married and lived happily ever after?

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