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I really haven’t been keeping up with my weekly writing regimen, but oh well. I’ve been swamped with homework and barely been able to breathe at all this semester. As I write now, we are in Seattle for SakuraCon - our yearly Spring Break adventure. Trevor (my husband) and I watched the premier of the Dragon Age animated movie. The creators of Dragon Age worked with Funimation to put it together, so we were pretty stoked. Right after that we went to a panel about sexism in the geeky-nerdy community and how we can fight it – so that definitely has colored our review of it. After the feminism panel, we went to a fantastic Indian restaurant called A Taste of India. As we waited in the incredibly long line to get in, we discussed the movie at length and jotted down notes for this article. Therefore, it really is from both of us. This will be heavy in spoilers.

 

Spoilers! )

 

Voice Acting

It was kinda obvious that there hadn’t been much in the way of directing of the voice actors. They were supposed to be so-totally-not-French accents, but the voice actors’ accents were all over the place. Many of the actors ended up blending accents or going back and forth between three or four different accents. Some actors gave up and just went British or their American accent. Other than that it was pretty good.

Animation

Definitely a low-budget production. The motioncapture looked great, but there were a few times that they didn’t use it which ended up looking really bad – especially with the horses. They cut a lot of corners, including almost never animating facial expressions. In fact, Cassandra’s face was left in a blank, emotionless state for most of the movie, which jarred with the voice acting often. The design of the scenes went for wow-they-were-in-a-hurry to Oh COOL!!!!, and there’s a lot more cheap shots than nice looking ones.

The animation of the magic was sometimes awesome, and sometimes lazy. The fire spell was really, really cool. The fight scenes – not so much. It basically consisted of throwing balls of light around like water balloons. We’d thought that the magic they’d use for fighting would involve making the environment fight for you, since the Templar can shrug off magical attacks with ease. Things like making the ground turn into quicksand to impede their movement or making lightening strike them or pieces of buildings fall on them. That would have been so cool! But, we get magic glowing water balloons instead.

In Conclusion

The cheapness doesn’t bother us near so much. Cheap movies can be awesome if the rest of the movie is well done, and this wasn’t. It really feels like a lazy, last-minute slapped together project built to cash in on Dragon Age – but it could have been a lot cheaper and a lot more offensive as an addition to the canon. This was mediocre, but at least it had a great main character and an a few admittedly awesome fight scenes.

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So, I just watched The Season of the Witch.

I’m still trying to hash out what I think of this movie… but I’m pretty sure that I don’t like it.

The first thing I noticed was that the music was all wrong. The music is a bombastic, heavy, orchestral, with screaming choirs (imagine listening to the Nazgûl theme from LotR for 97 minutes) and very much NOT 1300s sounding. It’s hard to put my finger on why exactly it bothered me so much. Maybe it was because it didn’t match the emotions on screen, and never tried to build a setting. There should have been at least a little madrigal music in there, but there wasn’t. The music was flailing its arms and yelling, “This is epic, dammit!” but the problem was – it wasn’t.  “Epic” is thousands of orcs attacking Minas Tirith. It isn’t four guys and a girl in an abbey.

The dialogue I could forgive for not being archaic. English at that time was pretty unintelligible to us. The catch phrases, I couldn’t forgive. “Tonight, you’re buying!” was repeated way too much, and I was left gritting my teeth every time I heard it. I get it. These are Men Of Action. I can see they are kicking ass. Can’t they do it with less banter? Also, the smell joke was really lame. It’s a supernatural horror movie set in the dark ages. They wouldn’t be making modern observations about the smells that they lived with daily.

 

Spoilers! )

 

I don’t know why, but I really wanted this movie to be good. I heard that it did poorly and that the critics didn’t like it, but I wanted it to have been good. It feels like it could have been. Maybe with a different score, and a few more months working on the script so it wasn’t so holey and hokey.

To give it an arbitrary value, I’d say that it’s two out of five. Parts of it were entertaining, but the excuses for the entertaining parts were so badly flawed that they drowned them out.

Also, WTF is with the title? Seasons had nothing to do with the story at all!

July 2015

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