Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT DEADLINES
TODAY'S POLL
WATCH FREE FILMS
MOVIE VIDEOS
ARTIST PROFILES
Movies by Year
Movies by Director
Movies by Actor
Movies by Actress
Movies by Alphabet
MOVIE CHARACTERS
MOVIE FRANCHISES
2012 MOVIES
2012 MOVIE LIST
2011 MOVIES
Book of Possibilities
The Writer's Way
Film making TIPS
Sex Articles
Best of SEXY
KISSING scenes
ROMANTIC scenes
SMOKING scenes
TEEN Movies
ACTION movies
HORROR movies
FAMILY movies
Box Office Results
TOP 100 STAR WARS
STEVEN SPIELBERG
THE AVENGERS
DARK KNIGHT RISES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THERE BE DRAGONS, 2011
Movie Reviews!

Search 1,000 of MOVIES
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
wildcardWATCH - Best of FILM INDUSTRY VIDEOS!TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
2011 MOVIES2011 MOVIES
See all of 2011 films!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

CLICK HERE and WATCH Today's FREE MOVIES!

  MOVIE THERE BE DRAGONS
Movie Reviews

Director: Roland Joffé

Starring: Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott, Unax Ugalde, Olga Kurylenko, Pablo Lapadula, Golshifteh Farahani, Ana Torrent, Rodrigo Santoro

Review by Joshua Starnes

SYNOPSIS:

Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint's life.

REVIEW:

The life of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of the Opus Dei movement, seems ripe for dramatization regardless of what you may think of his accomplishments. Founded during the Spanish Civil War, Escrivá's order and the tumultuous times it and its founder had to pass through in during its gestation make for easy conflict.

And easy conflict is what we get. Write-director Roland Joffé ("The Mission," "The Killing Fields") has delivered a sermon on sanctity that practically lives on the nose. Which is really strange considering the film has gobbled up so many themes about life and death and love and forgiveness that it is also hopelessly muddled. I wouldn’t have thought those two things could possibly go together but I was wrong.

Escrivá himself is counterpointed throughout the film by his childhood acquaintance Manolo (Wes Bentley), the son of a wealthy industrialist who has a general disregard for man, and crosses Escrivá's path from time-to-time as the Civil War erupts. Which is where the muddling comes in because Manolo is theoretically our point-of-view character except that he's not, he's telling the entire story in flash back to his estranged son (Dougray Scott) as he tries to explain why he's been such a bastard for so long. And to put the capper on that bastardness, he makes sure to include stories about Escrivá, turning Escrivá into the point of view character.

"There Be Dragons" suffers continuously from this sort of over reach. It wants to be about so many things ultimately it's about nothing.

It doesn't help that each of the different segments suffers from a different level of heavy handedness. Escrivá comes across as so saint like through most of his dealings it's hard to see the actual human being inside him; a real problem for the man who made his name on the sanctity in every day life.

And Manolo gets it even worse. When he joins the communist side of the revolution as a spy he becomes infatuated with a Hungarian freedom fighter (Olga Kurylenko), but rather than testing his loyalties and beliefs she reaffirms his innate jealousy and lack of humanity by choosing another charismatic freedom fighter (Rodrigo Santoro) without giving him a second glance. Manolo quickly spirals into betrayal and it's difficult to care about him enough to give any notice to the films message (one of its many) about reconciliation.

It's a difficult subject and one that deserves talking about as the focus of a film, but "There Be Dragons" isn't up to it.

It's not entirely a waste of time; Joffé is too good a filmmaker for that and there is a tremendous amount of craft on display. The central performances from Cox and Bentley are generally good and the scenes work in and of themselves. But the focus on the individual pieces keeps them from working together to create a whole. For all of the craft involved, there's no skill.

There's a good movie in there somewhere but a lack of focus keeps "There Be Dragons" from reaching the lofty heights it's aiming for.

WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES! wildcardWATCH the best of SHORT FILMS on the NET!
 MOVIES by ALPHABET

See over 10,000 plus films!
 MOVIES by DIRECTOR

See over 500 plus film makers!
 MOVIES by ACTOR

See over 1,000 plus male actors!
 MOVIES by ACTRESS

See over 1,000 plus female actors!
wildcardWATCH - Best of PICTURE VIDEOS! wildcardWATCH and LISTEN - LAST RITE AUDIO BOOK!
wildcardWATCH - Best of SEXY MOVIES online!wildcardWATCH - Best of DRAMA MOVIES online!
wildcardWATCH - Best of ROMANCE MOVIES online!wildcardWATCH - Best of COMEDY MOVIES online!
wildcardWATCH - Best of 1 MINUTE MOVIES online!wildcardWATCH - Best of ART MOVIES online!
wildcardWATCH - Best of 100 WORDS fro... SHOW!wildcardWATCH - Best of DISTRIBUTED SHORT FILMS!
TOP 100 MOVIE QUOTESTOP 100 MOVIE QUOTES
SEE the best of film lines in movie history!
MOVIE trailersMOVIE TRAILERS
See trailers of all the upcoming films!
ACTRESSTOP 100 ACTRESSES of all-time
SEE THE LIST
ACTorTOP 100 ACTORS of all-time
SEE THE LIST.
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX SCENES of all-time
WATCH the revised 2011 list!
 TOP 100 NAKED MOVIE SCENES
WATCH the all! Best in cinema history!
TOP 100 TV SEX SCENESTOP 100 TV SEX SCENES
WATCH the best in television history!
wildcardWATCH - Best of ET Radio PODCASTS!

CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!


THERE BE DRAGONS