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DVD Review

DVD cover

Journey to Promethea


Starring: Billy Zane, Marcelle Baer, Drew Battles and Gabe Begneaud
4 Digital Media
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: PG
Available 02 May 2011

For the most part reviews commence with a précis of the main narrative, not so with Journey to Promethea, as the narrative makes little sense in the first place.

Journey to Promethea (2010 - 1 hr, 24 min, 53 sec seemed much longer at the time) is a film written and directed by Dan Garcia. It’s full of people you have never heard of and, probably after this never will again, apart for Billy Zane and is pretty much guaranteed to kill off everyone’s careers.

I’m usually of the opinion that as well as finding fault with a piece of work, a critic should at all times remember that someone spent time on a particular project, regardless of its faults, even the most amateurish attempt has some saving graces, then I watched Promethea.

The jumbled plot involves a young man, it really doesn’t matter who, who following the death of his father inexplicably decides to go and kill the king in revenge. A heady task, but one made easier for our hero by the fortunate happenstance of meeting an aged and expert warrior, with a stick.

With such an auspicious start to his quest he is further aided by a random group of half-naked ladies, and very nice they were, who have more than a stick - they have swords. Now were cooking... a sword which glows like a really cheap lightsaber. So with sword in hand, batteries presumably in pocket, half naked ladies and an old guy with a stick, our hero finally faces off against the evil knight and his army of six other guys to finally revenge his father’s death. With this triumphant climax, I was glad to find I had only, in desperation to escape the spectacle, gouged one of my eyes and had the other left to write a review.

I could list the film's faults and they are many, but decided to concentrate on the plus side. The film has Billy Zane in it, presumably they had his family hostage somewhere and... No, I got nothing, Zane was the only good thing about the film, so let’s start with the kicking.

The film takes every fantasy stereotype, attempts to use them but in reality the writer/director has no idea about the genre. You get the usual lazy medieval setting, but instead of the dirt and deprivation that is normally associated with the era, the actor clothes are so clean you’re looking for the village launderette. Presumably these were rented on the understanding that they were returned in pristine condition. What special effects there are consist of some pretty poor graphics, which stand in for the castle. Don’t get me started on the script or the music, or the vocodered munchkin!

The acting is also very special, it’s very bad, but not in a way that you could enjoy it. If this were some kid's school project and he had roped in all his friends’ mothers and fathers I could understand what was going on, but asking people to part money for this is an insult. It really doesn’t get much better with the cinematography, which is minimal and the directing is pretty awful too, with shots jumping from crane shots to mid shots and close ups as if the director had no idea what he was trying to impart with each shot, rather like the news, he just thought it a good idea to change the shot every twenty second to stop the audience from falling asleep.

The disc provided by the PR company had a rather appalling version of the film, which reminded me very much of the old days of VHS, where the quality dropped the more you copied it. It was so bad that initially I thought my television was broken, it’s as if they knew it was bad an couldn’t be arsed to provide a reasonable print.

Even for reviews, some companies ask for the discs back, if they want mine they are welcome to rummage through the bin.


Charles Packer

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