TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Sybil Pandemic
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
Click to see all our shows!
the agony booth

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
Posted on: Oct 12, 2008.
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
The Cast of Characters:
Alexander Ludwig as Will Stanton, aka The SeekerWill Stanton, aka The Seeker (Alexander Ludwig). The seventh son of a seventh son, and therefore blessed with great powers. He's supposed to seek out seven "signs," none of which are ever actually used for anything, and which doesn't seem to require much in the way of hard work. Being the last of a magical group called "The Old Ones" means he can do all kinds of nifty stuff including summoning fire and moving stuff with his mind, but he doesn't actually use those powers for anything remotely useful. In the book he was British; here he's been changed into a transplanted American for absolutely no reason. Likes to complain a lot.
Christopher Eccleston as The RiderThe Rider (Christopher Eccleston). The big cheese of Evil. Well, actually, he's the only evil character in the movie, pretty much. Aside from the evil old lady who only appears in one scene, and the traitor-in-the-ranks whose identity can be spotted within ten seconds. The Rider likes to, well, ride around on a scary white horse, wearing a big cloak and spouting eeeevil dialogue, although just what he wants to achieve isn't clear. The rest of the time he's masquerading as the friendly village doctor, which I found freaking hilarious.
Amelia Warner as MaggieMaggie (Amelia Warner). A local hot chick (well, Pioneertown Hot, anyway), whom Will has a very inappropriate crush on. She goes off with his older brother while smirking a lot and looking suspiciously unsuspicious. Since she has pretty much no purpose in the story, I figured out her real reasons for being there very quickly (aside from "add some sex appeal to the movie," of course).
Drew Tyler Bell, Edmund Entin, Gary Entin, Gregory Smith, etc. as Will's BrothersWill's Brothers (Drew Tyler Bell, Edmund Entin, Gary Entin, Gregory Smith, etc.). I put them all together since they don't have that much personality or impact on the plot. Reviewers have said they act an awful lot like the Weasley family in Harry Potter, and I'm sorta forced to agree—the twins (the Entins, I presume) act almost exactly like a less charming version of Fred 'n' George Weasley, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Mostly they're just around to prove that Will is, indeed, the seventh son, and they're almost universally annoying or boring (often both).
Wendy Crewson and John Benjamin Hickey as Will's Mum and DadWill's Mum and Dad (Wendy Crewson and John Benjamin Hickey). For no reason they've changed Dad's first name from "Roger" to "John." Dad is a burnt-out university scholar busy writing a nonsensical thesis, and Mum is your typical caring mother trying to deal with too many children, etc.
Emma Lockhart as Gwen StantonGwen Stanton (Emma Lockhart). Will's adorable sister, and pretty much the only person in his family who's got time for him. She doesn't do much except look adorable, rescue a kitten and be astonishingly calm about her bother's sudden manifestation of incredible powers.
Ian McShane, Frances Conroy, etc. as The Old OnesThe Old Ones (Ian McShane, Frances Conroy, etc.). A bunch of local eccentrics who turn out to be part of some kind of secret group of powerful freedom f- uh, defenders of the forces of Light, or some damn thing. They don't do much except give Will some rather half-hearted mentoring, drop in and out of the plot willy-nilly and recite "you are the Seeker" eight thousand times. Oh, and they also have the good luck to appear in one of the most memorably stupid scenes in the whole movie.
himself as Alexander Ludwig's SmirkAlexander Ludwig's Smirk (himself). This little fella appears so often in the movie I thought he deserved his own credit. It was a toss-up between that and the Ominous Crows.
The article continues after this advertisement...

The Critics Rave about The Seeker: The Dark is Rising!

"Sloppy, lifeless storytelling so limp it guarantees no sequels will be made."
—David Cornelius,

"Imagine Time Bandits confined to a boring Berkshire village and drained of colour, and you can see why this pig's ear of Susan Cooper's well-received children's story went belly-up at the US box office."
—Elliott Noble, Sky Movies

"Off-the-shelf teen fantasy not likely to satisfy the post-Potter/LoTR crowd but guaranteed to enrage fans of the source novel. The newly added quasi-religious overtones don't help either."
—Helen Ohara, Empire Magazine

"The excessive strobe effects may trigger epileptic fits, but the movie itself will induce narcolepsy."
—Jamie Russell, thelondonpaper

"By Americanising the hero and grotesquely distorting the plot, they can only alienate the fan-base and confuse the newcomer."
—Robert Hanks, Independent

"Given superpowers, Will does approximately nothing with them (he can command fire, but uses it mainly to throw cool supertantrums). He's as passive as a dead mackerel." —Kyle Smith, New York Post

"That seventh-son-of-a-seventh-son business sounds like Muddy Waters singing, 'Got my Mojo Workin'.'"
—Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer

"The ultimate question is, was the movie purposefully made into a blur to play directly into the pockets of the fans, or do we chalk this up to standard-issue directorial incompetence? I vote the latter."
—Brian Orndorf,

(Thanks to Mark "Scooter" Wilson for helping out with the formatting.)

It's an interesting thing to contemplate. Within a year or so of this writing it'll be 2010. Ten years into, not just a new century, but a new millennium. I mean, for crying out loud—once upon a time, our ancestors thought the world would end when the year 1000 rolled around, and here we are, 1000 years on from then and still kicking. And they still haven't invented the flying car.

So it's a little odd that we're spending so much of this new millennium watching fantasy movies and reading fantasy books. Given that fantasy, by definition, is stuck in the past, it's a strange contrast to the fact that we're meant to be living in THE FUTURE! Maybe if we're still around in the year 3000, we'll be watching lots of movies about the Iraq War and those quaint devices called "iPods" (an appropriate device to pick, as we'll see).

Anyway, 2007 saw the release of at least one great fantasy movie—Stardust—and to balance it out they also released, well, this one. Again, this is a good comparison, because it was Stardust that indirectly led me to watch The Seeker. I was on holiday, and bored, and went to the local shopping maul to catch a movie. I was planning to watch Stardust again since I loved it so much, but found I'd come too late and they wouldn't be showing it again for hours. But while I was in the process of discovering this, I found out they'd just released this other fantasy movie that looked interesting, so I bought a ticket.

I went into The Seeker having not read the book it was based on, and also not having read or heard a single review. This is an unusual state of affairs, since I watch At The Movies religiously every week, and almost never go to see something unless I've seen it discussed by Margaret and David (the Australian versions of Ebert and Roeper). At the very least, I look up reviews on RottenTomatoes.

So I went in with a clean slate. Hell, I didn't even know the movie was out until I saw it on the board. The movie lost me about twenty minutes in, and after that I whiled away the rest of the time giggling behind my hand.

By the time we got to the big "climax," I was laughing my arse off and having a damn good time about it too. I left the cinema nearly crying with mirth, having openly riffed the movie once or twice and actually gotten some laughs from the other viewers, and thinking "man, I had so much fun hating that movie." Well, okay, I thought that after I'd thought "I wonder if they're selling commemorative snow globes?"

I wish they had. I totally would have bought one. Mind you, I'm a sucker for movie merchandise. In fact, later on I bought a poster for The Dark is Rising, which is now in a place of pride on my bedroom door.

Sadly, it's not likely there'll be anything else in the way of merchandise, because this movie tanked. Hard. In fact, it actually set a record for the worst opening weekend ever, which shocked me a bit because I didn't think it was all that bad. But in retrospect I have to concede that it probably was.

Why? Well, for one thing (and I could tell this long before I read it), it completely butchers the book it's based on. To the point, in fact, that there is virtually nothing of the source material left aside from a couple of names. I actually sought out and read the book just to confirm those suspicions, and boy were they ever. I didn't actually like the book much; in fact I prefer the movie. The book was too boring and entirely too Postmodernist for my liking (sorry, that's my literature major talking again), whereas the movie at least had plenty of delightful absurdity to keep me entertained.

For another, the acting is pretty bad. Some people claimed that Alexander Ludwig, the tow-headed kid playing the lead role, provided the only good performance. I beg to differ: he provided the absolute worst performance in the whole movie. The "best performance" wreath goes to the always-charming Christopher Eccleston as the villain (in fact, I was rooting for him by the end—anything to shut the protagonist up). I suppose one reason why I couldn't like Ludwig's character is that he reminds me way too much of Eragon—a blonde, whiny, ungrateful lunkhead who just won't keep his eye on the ball. And who likes to smirk at a chick who's way, way too old for him.

And finally, the movie is hopelessly over-directed. The director, apparently thinking the story didn't have enough "energy," threw in the current favourite "slo-mo followed by instant fast forward, then back to normal just as fast" gimmick, and then used it over and over again until it becomes distinctly comical. Slo-mo is overused in many of the action scenes too, and there's a memorable shot where the camera actually turns upside-down. Oh, and there's the poignant bouncy-balls. Can't forget those. You'll see what I'm talking about later.

Anyway, let's get on with it.

Latest Comments

Top Trackbacks (Pages linking to this recap)
(1829 hits)
(1153 hits)
(84 hits)

Popular Right Now

Posted May 23, 2016 by Jonathan Campbell
Posted May 19, 2016 by Rob Kirchgassner
Posted May 16, 2016 by Jonathan Campbell
Posted May 18, 2016 by Steven Birkner
Posted May 9, 2016 by Jonathan Campbell
Posted Apr 27, 2016 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Apr 19, 2016 by Rob Kirchgassner
Posted May 21, 2016 by Thomas Stockel
Posted May 16, 2016 by Joey Tedesco
Posted May 23, 2016 by Cecil Trachenburg
Posted Apr 18, 2016 by Unusual Suspect
Posted May 16, 2016 by Sursum Ursa
Posted Apr 26, 2016 by Joey Tedesco
Posted Apr 26, 2016 by Thomas Stockel
Posted Apr 5, 2016 by Thomas Ricard
About the Site:
Text Archives:
Video Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Our Patrons:
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.