I’m gonna take a short break from my manga rantings to rant about another subject near and dear to my heart. Dragons. Yes, ever since my brother introduced me to the Dragonriders of Pern series (the Harper Hall Trilogy to be exact), I’ve been in love with the flying reptiles. I have stuffed dragons on top of my monitor, all the McFarlane’s toys so far, just about any other toy that strikes my fancy and sculptures scattered around the house. So, of course, I like movies with dragons in them too. Just recently, two movies have been released that feature dragons. One I will warn you about, and one I will thoroughly endorse.
Dragon Wars aka D-War - This is a Korean movie that was filmed in Los Angeles, and completely in English. It is about the Korean legend of how dragons come to be. They start out as Imugi, serpent-like creatures, that receive the light of heaven, born in the form of a human girl, to become a Celestial Dragon. 500 years ago, the dark imugi Buraki, tried to steal the girl, and she died before the light could be passed on. In the present, in LA, the light is reborn, as is the warrior that died with her. The battle for the light starts again, as both the good imugi and Buraki fight for possession of her.
It’s a fun action/romance story that does keep you on the edge of your seat at times. But, the best part of this movie is when the Celestial Dragon makes it’s appearance at the end. It is one of the best oriental dragons I’ve ever seen rendered! The Imugi and dragon are all done in CGI, but it is GOOD CGI. The interaction between actors and the CGI is smooth, and they don’t stand out. They are rendered very believably. And the Celestial Dragon is so beautiful. My only disappointment with it was that it wasn’t on screen long enough! I wanted more!! Get this movie. It is totally worth it.
Dragonlance: The Dragons of Autumn Twilight - This is an animated film, made in India, with well known voice actors; Michael Rosenbaum, Keifer Sutherland, and Lucy Lawless. It’s based on the book by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman of the same name, and is set in the Dragonlance universe of Dungeons & Dragons. The gods of light have deserted men, elves and dwarves and left them at the mercy of the dark god Takhisis. But a group of friends still believe, and meet a woman with a staff that can heal. They go off in search of the possibility of the gods return.
This movie is one of the biggest turkeys I’ve seen *without a rifftrack* in a long time! The animation was absolutely horrendous! It was like being transported back to the 80’s and watching an episode of He-man. It was jumpy, and just plain bad. The dragons were rendered in CGI in this movie as well, only these were awful. It was soooo obvious that the dragons were CGI. They stood out like a sore thumb. The CGI and 2-D did not mix well at all. Most of the acting wasn’t any better, with very wooden performances coming from the actors, but I blame this on the director more than the actors. This movie is a travesty and a total waste of DVD. Avoid this movie at all costs. Even, or especially if, you are a fan of the book. You WILL be sorely disappointed. Just do yourself a favor and don’t bother. Your money is better spend on D-Wars.