The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008)
|Genre(s): Action / Adventure|
|Sony || NR - 90 minutes - $24.96 || February 24, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-04-30|
Writer(s): David Titcher (characters), Marco Schnabel (written by)
Cast: Noah Wyle, Bruce Davison, Stana Katic, Jane Curtin, Bob Newhart
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The Librarian series has become a hit for TNT feeding off the historical adventure genre reinvigorated by the National Treasure movies (which was preceded by Indiana Jones in the 1980s). This third outing, Curse of the Judas Chalice takes the silver cup made from Judas’ 13 pieces that he received for betraying Jesus and combines it with another folklore, Vlad Dracul (aka Dracula).
Noah Wyle (TV’s “ER”) reprises his role as Flynn Carsen, a scholar who works for a secret organization that collects ancient historical relics. While questioning his service/commitment being a “Librarian” – because his relationships have suffered –, he takes a vacation to New Orleans based on a dream where a woman calls out for his help. Lo and behold he actually finds her at a hip nightclub. Simone Renoir (Stana Katic; Stiletto) is a nightclub singer who holds a secret (and I don’t think I’m spoiling that much here): she protects a coin that may lead to Judas’ chalice which is the key to bringing Dracula back to life!
Alright, so The Librarian series is a poorman’s National Treasure / Indiana Jones, but I actually have found all three movies, this one included, to be a lot of fun thanks in part to Noah Wyle’s bookish charisma and the fine love interests he has encountered (Katic FTW, however). He’s no Nicholas Cage (say what you will, but he’s good at comedy in the NT films) or Harrison Ford, but Wyle has carried the series nicely.
Stana Katic, an actress I actually never heard of -- or remember anyway -- until the recently released Stiletto, also has a series co-starring Nathan Fillion called “Castle”, isn’t spectacular in the love interest/adventure sidekick role, but she has good chemistry with Wyle and intertwines with the story very well (though the story itself has its issues).
The story for Judas Chalice is fairly standard and on one hand a little disappointing as even for low-budget television, I expected a little more in terms of global impact (although I guess they did a decent enough job integrating the history of New Orleans into the plot). It’s on this level that the movie falters but because of the cast, it’s easy enough to overlook.
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice is a breezy (90-minute running time) adventure flick that, if you’ve ever seen the first two, provides good entertainment value. Wyle and his supporting cast that includes Stana Katic, Bruce Davison, Bob Newhart and Jane Curtain, make the third entry a fun adventure.
The DVD includes 3 deleted scenes (7:09), 11 Visual Effects Deconstruction Sequences (6:55) and A Look Behind the Monastery Scene (2:35) featurette. The latter feature shows director Jonathan Frakes rehearsing with the cast.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85 aspect ratio) and for a made-for-TV movie, it doesn’t look that bad. The DVD also has a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and English subtitles.
With the success of National Treasure, The Librarian series (even though it debuted the same year) has taken off as its own franchise. This latest, Curse of the Judas Chalice is a semi-entertaining adventure flick with a likeable star in Noah Wyle.