Uwe Boll Film Festival
December 17 and 18, 2008
First of all, I would like to thank Uwe Boll, Michael Pare, Jessica Rooij (music composer, orchestrator for many of the Boll projects), and the cast of Tunnel Rats for their time and participation in the Festival. Several other cast members of the various projects were tentative, but did not make the screenings; therefore Michael's time was much appreciated by this lady! The two hours of driving 60 miles in hard rain was worth it!
A new independent screening theater was "host" to a two day screening of nine of Uwe Boll's projects and a week of Tunnel Rats. All but two, "In the Name of the King" and "Alone in the Dark" were also Michael Pare's projects.
In the week prior to the screenings, our weather in Southern California was unseasonably rainy, and the snow level down to 3200 feet in many areas. With the holiday season in full swing, many people who had plans to attend were not able to get into Los Angeles, and the turnout was not as anticipated. Uwe Boll was snowbound in Canada, therefore we had a daily internet hookup viewing and talking with him on the screen, and the few of us were able to pose questions, and he shared his insight into ideas, his casting and crews, and unique parameters for movie production. He may be a rebel, but contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with that!
Dr. Boll gave high praise to Michael's dedication to his craft, and talent for improv in the right situations. Watching so many of his movies in two days, it was amazing to see many of the same actors from one storyline to the next. Dr. Boll continues working with actors and behind the scenes crew when he finds those who work well with him.
Besides Michael's presence at the screening for Seed, Wednesday night and Tunnel Rats on Thursday night, "1968 Tunnel Rats" and "Far Cry" were premiered in the United States for us, and were exciting action movies on the big screen.
Michael's character in Tunnel Rats is that of a career soldier commanding a platoon in the jungle of Viet Nam (filmed in South Africa). Having the cast of Tunnel Rats, young men and women desiring to be actors, present for the premier in addition to Michael, brought forth whistles and hollers of excitement to see their names on the screen as the credits rolled. They all performed remarkably as the terrain involved poisonous snakes and insects, indigenous to South Africa. The tunnels in the movie were created in an old warehouse in Cape Town. Dr. Boll, Michael, and the rest of the cast and crew can be proud of their efforts. It could not have been easy, or fun, to spend weeks in the environment of this movie location.
Far Cry is a science fiction/action movie, and Michael's part is small but humorous as local law enforcement. I can imagine he probably enjoyed the change of tempo! The premise is a scientist on his own private island going awry, and Til Schweiger, unwillingly, is brought in to save the world. Til has great comedic talents in addition to his physical prowess. It was action, but for those of faint hearts, or stomachs, a fun movie in lieu of gory scenes.
Dr. Boll's works would receive more positive acceptance if viewed in a theater atmosphere!
I would imagine most of you reading this review have seen Blackwoods, Blood Rayne, Blood Rayne 2, Seed, and Postal via DVD, but it is a whole new game in a theater. Bigger than life is impressive and exciting, to say the least.
The always charming Michael Pare came over to where I was sitting, thanked me for attending the screenings upon his arrival both evenings, shaking my hand with his firm grip, and giving me a great smile. Ever the gentleman, he also stopped and said his good-bye to me Wednesday evening after watching Seed, and our Q & A with Uwe Boll via the internet connection, and asked if I would be returning for the Thursday screenings. I "quite calmly" managed to tell him I would not miss the next day of screenings, and he laughed saying he would see me then! My lucky year, as this was the third time in 2008 that I have talked with him in person!
I was the last person to chat with Dr. Boll, and mentioned the Forum, thanking him for the pictures he has graciously allowed TG to place on the site, and also for his interview. It is obvious to listen to him that he is passionate about what he does and how he accomplishes so much. In my way of thinking, that is what work should be all about!
Thursday evening we had only a brief Q & A with Dr. Boll prior to Tunnel Rats as it was getting late.
We had no photo ops or time for signings. I had hoped to get a picture of Michael with the Tunnel Rats cast after the screening, but it didn't happen.
We can only hope that Michael's works will be screened more often, and that all of us, at one time or another, may have the opportunity.
In closing, DVDs are quick and easy, but theatrical release is the very best, and a premier is awesome!
by Sandy Marcum, Senior Editor