It’s been one of those weeks…
IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE
First off, let me say I did not know Uwe Boll directed this. Had I known that, I would not have gone to see this movie last Friday night. Actually, I wouldn’t have had a choice anyway, my fiancee decided we were going on a date and picked this one (for me), but wouldn’t tell me what movie we were seeing until we got to the theater.
With that out of the way, I will say that the previews for this movie made it look cool (even though I’m not a Statham fan), and I did want to see it based on that. So… the verdict? It was actually fairly decent, even with Uwe Boll’s involvement (a revelation the credits shocked me with).
I love sword & sorcery flicks, so this was right up my alley. It’s not great, I wouldn’t even say it’s very good, but it’s definitely worth an OnDemand or DVD rental. It’s pretty cheesy at the beginning and the dialogue is lame at times, but the second half of the movie ups the quality and is mostly made up of fight scenes and that’s where it is enjoyable.
John-Rhys Davies did a good job (although I will always think of Sliders whenever I see him) and I actually wish they would’ve beefed his part and his character’s rivalry with the main villain a bit more. Ray Liotta is just a slimey looking person in general so he did well in the villain role (although a bit hammy). Claire Forlani was a delight ( >=) ) and Lelee Sobieski still creeps me out as the young clone of Helen Hunt. I will say that Burt Reynolds at this stage is just ridiculous to watch act. Hey, he was awesome during his 70s peak, and I’ve got respect for him as an action star during those times, but in the grizzled wise old king role he got here– it’s just not working. He just looks “fake”. The hair, the face… I literally laughed when I first saw him on the screen. Matthew Lillard, as the evil nephew heir-to-be, continued his streak as one of the most annoying actors of all-time.
Overall — 6/10. If you’re a fan of the genre and you go into this knowing it’s a B-movie based on a video game, I think you’ll have fun with it.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: THE COMPLETE ANIMATED SERIES
Wow. I got this series for Christmas last year and FINALLY just got around to finishing it after a few marathon sessions on my last few days off. Again, WOW. This cartoon is so great. I just love the scope of it where there are no limits to the characters, lands, creatures and challenges you can present to the title characters (much like with He-Man on the planet Eternia)… Just because you haven’t heard of it, doesn’t mean it’s not out there, somewhere, in the Realm. And the premise that they are constantly working towards the ultimate goal of getting home is great, especially when in many episodes they get THIS close to doing it, but for various reasons it just doesn’t happen. I love shows like that, where each episode is a different adventure, but there’s still a general story building as time goes by.
The show originally aired 1983-1986 with a total of 27 episodes. The show has loose ties to the RPG game of the same name, but that was never my scene. *I* first caught it back around ’99 or 2000, whenever Fox Kids was showing it in the afternoons. I was blown away by it, but it didn’t stick around for too long on Fox. I was excited when I heard about the DVD and it doesn’t disappoint.
My favorite episode has to be ‘The Dragons’ Graveyard’, written by Michael Reaves (a genius in the action/adventure animation field), where the kids FINALLY decide to stop screwing around the take the fight to Venger once and for all. The outcome was no surprise, but the darkness of this episode really made it enjoyable and logical after all this time of having Venger interfere in THEIR plans.
‘The Dragons’ Graveyard’ (Which during commentary Reaves points out is incorrectly titled ‘The Dragon’s Graveyard’ in the episode opening) was the first episode of Reaves’ planned unofficial trilogy. ‘The Dungeon At the Heart of Dawn’ was the second entry, but the final installment (and planned series finale) ‘Requiem’, never got past the script stage before the show was officially cancelled. Have no fear, the script is available online thanks to Michael, and the DVD has a special radio format presentation of the planned final show. According to Reaves, the show was
It’s a shame the show was ended due to declining ratings and financial problems at TSR (the owner of the D&D RPG game). Venger was a great villain and had a great backstory (alluded to, but never revealed until the ‘Requiem’ script) and I feel they could’ve easily carried this series on for many more years given the unlimited things they could do within the Realm. Since it was released during the same time Masters of the Universe came out and since that show was a HUGE hit, you’d think the show would’ve had stronger legs. But then, the D&D cartoon was never given it’s own toyline, so that might’ve led to their downfall.
One of the greatest action/adventure cartoons ever.
10/10 for the show, 10/10 for the DVD set presentation & features.