Friday, October 30, 2015

Knights of Badassdom

When I'm putting my smallest child back to sleep at three in the morning, I will sometimes pull a show off Netflix to watch on Ye Old Laptop with the headphones.  Not always (usually it's just marching and playing Peter Cetera or Jimmy Buffet or some other random, easy listening music), but it has given me a chance to catch up on the occasional random flick that I wouldn't ordinarily be able to watch (because it's too rough for the the kids and too "not my taste" for the wife).

Last night, that flick was Knights of Badassdom.

I can't remember why I'd heard of this...maybe I'd done a search for Game of Thrones previously and this had been returned (because it has Peter Dinklage). Anyway, I was fairly surprised by the cast that had been thrown together for this fantasy-horror-comedy flick. Steve Zahn and Summer Glau are probably the biggest "names" besides Dinklage, but Ryan Kwanten (of True Blood), Danny Pudi (of Community), Michael Gladis (Mad Men), and Jimmi Simpson (of a bunch of stuff, including House of Cards) are all quality actors, and fairly recognizable (by face if not by name).

The movie itself wasn't great art by any stretch...pretty lightweight even for B-Horror (which is about the closest genre it gets to)...but it did have some pretty damn funny moments, and the quality of acting really helped elevate it. I wouldn't call it "camp" (it takes itself a little too seriously...not with regard to story, but with regard to production/performance), but it certainly borders on the absurd. The actual references to Dungeons & Dragons (something I can't ever recall seeing in film before), were all very amusing, in a way that anyone who's played the game, I think, can appreciate (I suppose I'm saying it's possible to be respectfully irreverent).

"Thou needst an ounce of killer shrooms."
That's pretty much all I want to say, except for one thing: Peter Dinklage is an absolute stud. He's riveting and steals every scene he's in...something he's been doing this for years (Living in Oblivion, The Station Agent, Elf, etc.). It's wonderful that he's had the opportunity to play such a fabulous role in Game of Thrones for years...most working actors would love to have a starring role in a popular, multi-season series. But it's not the role that's so excellent (though Tyrion Lannister gets most of the best dialogue)'s what he brings to it. Dinklage's role in Knights isn't specifically written for a person of small stature; none of the dialogue or action hinges on the character being a "little person." Likewise, he could have been cast as most any of the other (male) characters in the film (with the possible exception of the neanderthal-like "Gunther"). The guy is just a straight-up quality actor with great charisma...a "star" in other words. Unless a role specifically calls for someone who is tall, or non-white, or female, there's really no reason why he can't play anything on the screen.

Anyway. Just wanted to mention that.


  1. I absolutely agree! I think Peter is one of the best actors out there, and though Knights Of Badassdom wasn't all that good of a movie, what was good was definitely made so by his acting, and Summer's. I especially liked the music as well....

  2. Summer Glau and her "+3 ass of perfection?"
    ; )

    You know, the funny thing is I find her much more believable as a LARPer than as a doom metal enthusiast.

    1. LOL...Yeah.. Kind of like her character from Serenity... Bad ass, but still very feminine... Excellent actress through and through.