Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Tragedy of Kevin Sorbo from Salon

Ed here: I always thought Sorbo was a pretty good B actor. I'm posting this because it's emblematic of how tough it is tob e an actor.

The tragedy of Kevin Sorbo
With a new straight-to-DVD offering, the "Hercules" star sinks to sad new lows VIDEO

Kevin Sorbo in "Tales of an Ancient Empire"

Movie reviewers will often say that a film is “painful to watch.” It’s an expression that gets thrown around quite liberally, but it’s actually very rare that a film is so incompetent that it might set off intracranial bleeding. “Tales of an Ancient Empire” is just such a film, and much of its ability to do irreparable damage comes from its near total lack of medium shots and wide angle shots.

And what’s even more of a bummer is that I’ve been looking forward to this thing since I first saw “The Sword and the Sorcerer” when I was 13 years old. “Sword and the Sorcerer” had just about everything an adolescent nerd could want from R-rated fantasy flicks: disgusting demons that made peoples’ heads explode, lots of bare breasts, a wicked sword that launched its blades like a hazardous toy, and a barbarian mercenary named Talon (Lee Horsley of TV’s “Matt Huston”) leading an army of swashbuckling johns recruited from a brothel to save a kingdom. In short, it was the best awful sword and sorcery film ever, and it even displayed generally competent filmmaking. But its end credits also promised that Talon would return in “Tales of Ancient Empire.” He never did. My teenage years were ruined.

Talon still hasn’t quite returned but director Albert Pyun has finally delivered something called “Tales of an Ancient Empire” after 30 whole years, during which he seems to have forgotten everything he had once known about filmmaking. White-haired Lee Horsley makes a cameo, but he’s billed as “The Stranger” instead of Talon, for some reason. Kevin Sorbo plays the lead ne’er do well swordsman this time around, which really makes me worry about him. Why is he in this thing? Does he need the money that badly? Can’t Starz give him a recurring role on “Spartacus: Shameful Amounts of Bloodletting” or at least that awful “Camelot” show? Sure, he’s got some crow’s feet around the eyes, but he still looks like the guy who flexed his way through six seasons of “Hercules: the Legendary Journeys.” Please, somebody show Sorbo some love.

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1 comment:

John Platt said...

Sorbo deserves better.

Oh, it turns out that he had three strokes while filming Hercules and the producers kept it quiet to benefit the show. He published a book about it last October.