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This 'untold legend' has a familiar ring

By Steve Persall
Published April 12, 2007


Advertising for Pathfinder (R) promises the "untold legend" of Vikings exploring North America and marauding through Indian culture. Didn't the producers see 1978's The Norseman, filmed in Pasco and Hillsborough counties with Lee Majors in a horned helmet?

Okay, maybe Pathfinder should be taken a bit more seriously than that turkey. The story begins with a Viking attack that leaves many dead and a child accidentally left behind. The boy is raised by Inuits, given the name Ghost (Karl Urban) and raised to seek revenge against his heritage. The title is the name of his mentor, played by actor-activist Russell Means.

Director Marcus Nispel is known for making music videos and 2003's remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not exactly an alluring resume. Urban may bring in some of the Lord of the Rings crowd after playing Eomer in Peter Jackson's trilogy.

Pathfinder wasn't screened in time for Weekend review.

Steve Persall, Times film critic


Hunger Force film is less than appetizing

Cartoon superheroes are a dime a dozen. The crime-fighting Aqua Teen Hunger Force could sell for 99 cents each at a fast food drive-through.

There's the super-sized floating box of french fries named Frylock, a fierce milk shake called Master Shake and a wad of talking hamburger named - what else? - Meatwad. The trio is a popular part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim collection of late-night strangeness and the center of a viral marketing campaign gone awry in Boston earlier this year. Now they're starring in a movie.

The title alone - Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (R) - signals the nature of the project. You can practically hear Beavis snorting, "Dude, he said 'colon.'" Who knew punctuation could be so amusing?

Co-creators Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis trace the origins of the super friends and their search for a piece of supernatural exercise equipment that could end the world. Adult Swimmers will understand. Not screened in time for Weekend review.


'Slow Burn' makes its leisurely entrance

Slow Burn (R) made a slow trek into theaters after two years of sitting on the shelf. If you have friends in Finland or Greece, perhaps they'll loan you the DVD version released there last year.

Ray Liotta stars as district attorney Ford Cole, who's caught between a rock and the rock-hard abs of LL Cool J, playing a gang member named Luther. Ford has 24 hours to negotiate a truce with Luther, who is holding hostages in a police station after his friend was killed. Ford deduces the killing was part of a citywide conspiracy. At the same time, he contends with a lawyer (Jolene Blalock) still haunted by a brutal rape.

Lionsgate announced that no advance screenings of Slow Burn would be provided for critics. Take your chances.


[Last modified April 11, 2007, 12:15:13]

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