Monday, September 10, 2007

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines

It's hard for me to resist a movie on this subject because when I was a kid I saw Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr in King Solomon's Mines. Even seen the really, really awful rip-off with Richard Chamberlain didn't discourage me.

This sequel to The Librarian is several orders of magnitude better than Chamberlain's. That doesn't make it a great movie, but it's at least entertaining. Noah Wyle plays the librarian who works for Bob Newhart at an unusual library where you can find stuff like Excalibur other exotic items. This time he's off to stop the bad guys from getting their hands on a magical book that will allow them to bend time and space. Or something like that. Doesn't matter. It's just a McGuffin to allow Wyle and his co-star, Gabrielle Anwar, to have adventures and crack wise.

Some of the jokes are funny, some aren't. If you've read a few mysteries or seen a few movies, you're going to know every turn this one takes well before it makes them. The climactic scene, as is typical, was far too long and drawn out. Still, I enjoyed the movie. The co-stars are appealing, the scenery is pretty, and Bob Newhart is always fun. This had been sitting on the DVR for quite a while, and I'm glad I got around to seeing it. If there's a third in the series, I'll probably watch that one, too.

7 comments:

Gerard said...

I bought both of these in DVD because, well just because this is a library. I have not watched both of them all the way through but the first one just seemed purposefully silly - which was good.

A third one should have Don Rickles in it. The though of Rickles and Newhart being friends always strikes me as funny - seeing them together on screen would be interesting.

Bill Crider said...

"Purposefully silly" is a good description.

gomer said...

when i was a kid i thought "king solomon's mines" was the most fantastic movie title ever. i think i saw the movie about three times and i have no idea of what was in it. i dont think i was able generate an interest in the matter great enough to penetrate my memory past or beyond that great title.

Bill Crider said...

A great title, for sure. Deborah Kerr was enough to penetrate my memory, though.

gomer said...

yeah, you must like them classy broads. i like 'em with a coupla teeth missin'.

Fred Blosser said...

Nature (and the entertainment media) abhors a vacuum, so Turner is doing its part to keep the Indiana Jones imitations coming until the next Jones flick rolls around. There was also a made for cable remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES on Hallmark a couple of years ago, starring Patrick Swayze as an Americanized Allan Quatermain. I didn't see it, but I suspect it was about on par with the '80s Richard Chamberlain movies. The 1886 Rider Haggard novel still kicks butt -- even the Stewart Granger version was weak tea in comparison. A faithful version incorporating all of Haggard's blood and violence would probably earn an R rating.

Bill Crider said...

Yeah, I remember how surprised I was when I read the novel after seeing that Stewart Granger movie as a kid. There's a decapitation scene where blood fountains into the air, and I thought it was great.