A few weeks ago I was chatting with an online friend about Dungeons & Dragons. The conversation for me in the mood to play, but the problem is I am not actively involved with a gaming group. So I played a little online and cracked open my old books and just started browsing, but that was not enough. I needed a new fix. I already own the amazing Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Animated Series and I have watched it innumerable times. So what do I do?
I had seen the first Dungeons & Dragons movie when it was released in theaters and like most of the world I was underwhelmed. I had not given it much thought in the intervening years, but as a I browsed Amazon looking for that next fixed it occurred to me that often a movie that is lackluster on the big screen, can be fun to watch on the small screen. With that in mind I went to order a copy of Dungeons & Dragons (oddly enough not in Redbox :P) and saw that the 2 disc Blu-Ray set had just come out. Having never seen the second movie AND noticing that I could get both of them for 15 bucks I thought, why not.
I will get this out of the way first. If you do not like D&D, you might have a hard time wrapping your mind around some of the things in this movie. Oh and if you loved D&D you might find some of things in the movie unsettling and just plain “wrong” in a silly sort of way. Still, I knew going in that the films were corny, but with that expectation in mind, I found myself enjoying both films, in the same way that I enjoy a good Sunday afternoon TV matinee. By the end of the first movie I found myself snickering often and was happy to watch the second film (which is not as good quality-wise and much more “serious”, but that just gave me many more unintentional laughs). The movies look just okay, I think they could have done better for Blu-Ray, but I got to keep in mind his will never be a high price release. Still, the movies look washed out. The sound was okay, but as I said before in other posts, I am not an audiophile. But it has the 5.1 and all those magical numbers.
After the movies were over I sat down to watch some of the extras and I was surprised by the number of them. They include:
Dungeons & Dragons
o Director Courtney Solomon and co-star Justin Whalin
o Courtney Solomon, cinematographer Doug Milsome and D&D game co-creator Dave Arneson
* Let the Games Begin: documentary
* Making-of featurette
* Special effects deconstruction
* Theatrical trailer
* Additional Scenes, Including an Alternate Ending
Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God
* Dungeons & Dragons Heroes Commentary featuring Wizards of the Coast D&D special projects manager Ed Stark and other D&D players
* Rolling the Dice: making-of featurette
* The Arc: A Conversation with Gary Gygax
The set was released to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online and the set included a DDO gift card that you can redeem for points in the game. I have not done that yet, but if you do play the game, this just makes this set more of a bargain.
These D&D movies will never be at the top of anyone best movies of all time collection, but in a world that is severely lacking in Sword & Sorcery fun, they fill a much needed hole. Plus they make for great lazy afternoon movie watching, just remember to relax and not take it all too seriously and you will be fine. Unless of course you fail your saving throw. Roll 20.
Order your copy of the Dungeons & Dragons 2-Movie Collection [Blu-ray] [@] Amazon
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