The Librarian [2004-2008] (movie-series)

Librarian_king_solomon_mines_spirits

Do you feel like raiding Indiana’s high road to the doomed temple like Jack Hunter?  Or do you jones to crusade to King Solomon’s mines with Allan Quatermain where you will quest for national treasures discovered from secret books?  Possibly your star leads to a gate in Egypt where while searching for the Michelangelo Code an emperor’s mummy awaits.  Afterward, perhaps you and Lara Croft will bring back alive relics hunted in ancient tombs filled with lost golden monkeys.

"Ah, how do we get down?"

"Ah, how do we get down?"

Noah, which of the Librarian movies is this?

Noah, which of the Librarian movies is this?

If any of this sounds like a fun adventure to you, then you have what it takes to enjoy “The Librarian” series of made-for-TV movies.  They are Quest for the Spear [2004], Return to King Solomon’s Mines [2006], The Curse of the Judas Chalice [2008].  The sometimes likable, often hapless and almost always bumbling hero Flynn Carsen is played by ER alumni Noah Wyle.

Trying to blend in at New Orleans, can you spot the doofus in this picture?

Trying to blend in at New Orleans, can you spot the doofus in this picture?

Here Flynn Carsen shows Nicole how adept he is to woodland travel.

Here Flynn Carsen shows Nicole how adept he is to woodland travel.

Synopsis of a movie series in a sentence?  The “library” is a secret facility that hides for safe keeping the most powerful mythic objects in history (like the Ark of the Covenant or Fountain of Youth) which are obtained by the current librarian, the newbie Flynn in this case, who globe trots into trouble on a regular basis successfully retrieving the objects, avenging his father’s murder and totally striking out with the ladies.

Oh, and did we mention light saber fights?  He kind of has one of those too.

Oh, and did we mention light saber fights? He kind of has one of those too.

Just another day at teh office.. -er, library.  And you though cubicle farms were big.

Just another day at the office.. -er, library. And you thought cubicle farms were big.

The first movie paired the loner up with a tough but pretty woman, Nicole.  She acted as his guardian and shared the secret of the library.  However she surprisingly disappeared off the face of the Librarian universe (and into numerous recurring roles on half a dozen TV shows).  At least he retrieved the Spear of Destiny.

It would be sweet is all our entrances included dramatic curtain sweeps, over exposure and and an awesomely convenient black light.

It would be sweet if all our entrances included dramatic curtain sweeps, overexposure and and an awesomely convenient back light. Nice job Nicole.

Paul Atriedes -er, I mean Kyle MacLachlan is so evil.  Just look at his hair!  You know that spear is in the wrong hands.

Paul Atriedes -er, I mean Kyle MacLachlan is so evil. Just look at his hair! (AND he is wearing leather.) You know that spear is in the wrong hands.

The second move got him romantically involved with a pretty archeologist (aren’t they all pretty?) who was not impressed with his 22 degrees considering she had 25.  (Do not these types have hobbies?)  However in the end she goes off to another dig (and onto a co-starring role in Burn Notice).  At least he avenged his father’s murder.

Gabrielle Anwar plays your typical archeologist - assuming your typical archeologist is fabulously good looking and survives on a diet that would starve a rabbit.

Gabrielle Anwar plays your typical archeologist - assuming your typical archeologist is fabulously good looking and survives on a diet that would starve a rabbit.

Must we remind all bad guys out there yet again?  If there is lava anywhere around your final showdown... well, do we need to say it?

Attention all bad guys, must we remind you again? If there is lava anywhere around your final showdown... well, do we need to say it?

The third move was his most tragic love affair yet.  We do not need to tell you the dangers of falling in love with a vampire.  Sure it is great for a little while and she has all these powers and such, but in the end it just turns to dust (literally in this case).  But a least he recovered the chalice and stopped a very bad guy.

Ahh, ther is nothing more romantic than sharing a sunrise with a vampire... wait, that does not soumd like a very good idea.

Ahh, there is nothing more romantic than sharing a sunrise ...with a vampire? That idea seems flawed in some small way.

Vampires have some pretty fearsome powers in the Librarian universe.

Vampires have some pretty fearsome powers in the Librarian universe.

Jack Hunter seems more directly inspired by Indiana Jones and has all the love affairs in which he feels like engaging.  Flynn Carsen on the other hand is an over-educated goofball whose lucklessness with the ladies seems destined to keep this loner -er, alone.

However romantic troubles did not keep Flynn from dancing his way though ancient traps.  Why didn't Indiana Jones think of that?

However romantic troubles did not keep Flynn from dancing his way though ancient traps. Why didn't Indiana Jones think of that? The ancients foiled again!

At least Flynn has a best friend, the enchanted sword Excalibur.  (No we are not kidding.)

At least Flynn has a best friend, the enchanted sword Excalibur. (No we are not kidding.)

The visual effects are pretty good overall, though occasionally glaringly cheap.  (There were some nifty ones involving the vampires in the third installment.)  The music is adequate, sometimes dramatic, if not John Williams.  The director for the last two efforts is Jonathan Frakes (“Make it so number 1!”) and his skills are certainly up to the task.

Librarian_flynn_noah_wyle_vampire_stab

Bob Newhart plays the mysterious library curator Judson, who may be a thousand years old and the first most powerful librarian ever.  It is a plot arc they barely touch each installment.  The strong supporting cast ties the series together; a crucial function when entries are separated by years.  Other supporting cast are Jane Curtain as the annoying secretary with a heart of gold stereotype, and Olympia Dukakis as the mother who wants to marry off her son stereotype.

Yes, that is the Fountain of Youth glowing behind Bob Newhart's Judson.  Makes you wonder why Ponce de León had such a hard time finding it.

Yes, that is the Fountain of Youth glowing behind Bob Newhart's Judson. Makes you wonder why Ponce de León had such a hard time finding it.

Kelly Hu, your in this series too?  Why does such a nice looking girl end up playing so many heavies?

Kelly Hu, you are in this series too? Why does such a nice looking girl end up playing so many heavies? PS- Nice choker.

These movies are not Casablanca, but they are good fun on a TV budget if you are inclined to enjoy the adventure genre.

Okay, bad guy checklist:  Black gloves?  Check.  Slightly goofy items of clothing?  Check.  Facial hair/unshaven?  Oh yeah.  Sneers, cold stares and goofy expressions?  Double check.

Okay, bad guy checklist: Black gloves? Check. Slightly strange items of clothing? Check. Facial hair/unshaven? Oh yeah. Sneers, cold stares and goofy expressions? Double check.

If you like the Librarian series,

you may want to check out our take on

the Jack Hunter mini-series

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10 thoughts on “The Librarian [2004-2008] (movie-series)

  1. Kal, thanks for posting to my movie blog. I haven’t gotten around to watching the second and third films yet – but that photo of Gabrielle Anwar above is excellent motivation!

  2. i love the trilogy movie. I really got hooked up. I’m waiting for the fourth part of this movie. Hopefully there is. Make this a theatrical release for sure it would be a hit. I’ve been wanting to have this series my collection.

    • Judas Chalice was 2008. The movies have been consistently 2 years apart (2004, 2006, 2008) so we would expect it to be out in 2010. However there is nothing “Librarian” in sight for either Noah Wylie nor Jonathan Frakes who directed the last two installments. Too bad, this series is fun.

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