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Aug 032012
 

Dungeons and Dragons- Wrath of the Dragon God is a sequel to the Dungeons & Dragons movie from 2000, but takes place centuries later. Damodar (Bruce Payne) returns to take his revenge on the Empire of Izmer. How is that possible, you ask? As it turns out, Damodar is cursed with undeath, thanks to Profion. At least Damodar doesn’t wear that blue lipstick anymore.

The hero is Lord Berek (Mark Dymond) the former captain of the King’s Guards of Izmer, who has missed being part of the action. That soon changes when a villager from Saragasso seeks his help. Berek and his mage wife Melora (Clemency Burton-Hill) go to investigate the poisonous gas from a dragon’s nose inside a nearby mountain. I’d hate to see what would come out the other end.

After returning to Izmer, it is revealed that Damodar intends to awaken the Dragon God Falazure with a dark orb to annihilate the world. Berek is given the task to stop Damodar by retrieving the orb. Berek is not alone, four selected comrades go with him on this quest. They are Lux (Ellie Chidzley) the female barbarian, Dorian (Steven Elder) the cleric, Ormaline (Lucy Gaskell) the elf wizard, and Nim (Tim Stern) the rouge.

Meanwhile, Damodar has somehow cursed Melora and she is slowly dying. Afterwards she will be like Damodar, cursed with undeath. It’s a race against time for both Izmer and Melora now.

Berek and the others head off on their quest. Their first stop is Heart Shorn Wood. There they face Klaxx (Aurimas Miliesius) the Lich and a group of specters. After that, Berek and the others arrive at the goblin village of Kurtl and find it deserted after an attack. There they find the map they need to find their next destination called Malek’s Vault. Luckily, Nim was able to detect the traps.

After that, the heroes face a fearsome ice dragon. It has blizzard breath that can instantly freeze anything, but it’s really the teeth that I find creepier.

They soon arrive at Malek’s Vault, which is sealed by a puzzle clue. Inside, the quest becomes more exciting when Berek and the others must face squid-like creatures called Darkmantles. Now I can see how the bloobers on the Super Mario Bros. video games can be fearsome out of the water as well as in.

Later comes another puzzle clue with a mirror and a booby-trapped floor. Once the heroes get past that, Ormaline manages to teleport them all to Damodar’s castle. Now how did he get a castle? The heroes succeed on their quest and escape, but the adventure is still far from over. Damodar is not one to give up easily.

This was a good sequel with exciting Dungeons & Dragons adventure. However, it’s a little difficult to compare it to the first film with all new characters replacing the old ones. Of course, the Dungeons & Dragons franchise is well known for having non-consistent characters with great exciting adventures.

Jan 202012
 

Even though Futurama ended in 2003, there have been several straight-to-DVD releases before the series returned in 2010. My most favorite is Futurama: Bender’s Game.

It starts with Leela losing her temper after rednecks insult her. That drives Leela to enter a demolition derby, which featured some creative ships. They include a LEGO ship, an Erector Set ship, and two mini Enterprise ships. One had George Takei’s head (voice of George Takei) and the other had Scott Bakula’s head. This combination was such an interesting parody to classic pop culture.

Meanwhile, Bender manages to develop an imagination while playing the Dungeons & Dragons board game as Titanius Englesmith of Cornwood. Unfortunately, it goes too far. Bender becomes insane and sent to the robot asylum, where we get to see the classic inmates again.

Fans might remember Roberto, the Mad Hatter bot, and the defective vending machine. There was also a bot, which looked like Rosie from The Jetsons. I couldn’t help but notice that her crazy behavior was a lot like from the Jetsons episode when Rosie ate the defective lug nut.

With fuel prices too high, the Planet Express group infiltrates a dark matter mine owned by MOM. It’s real exciting when they fly past the robot guards that blast at the ship. They also end up blasting each other because it’s hard to hear. After that, Fry, Leela, and Professor Farnsworth get inside past some more robot guards and to the heart of the mine.

Okay. The story is interesting so far, but I was expecting more of a fantasy adventure quest like it shows on the cover. Soon, it finally happens. After falling through the Earth, Fry, Leela, and Farnsworth end up in an enchanted world based on Bender’s imagination called Cornwood as different types of epic fantasy characters.

There’s also a dice of power, which is used like on the Dungeons & Dragons game. It’s definitely not a power source you would see in any other Dungeons & Dragons film.

This adventure soon becomes more like a Lord of the Rings quest, only with the dice of power that must be destroyed at the Geysers of Gygax from whence it came.

During the quest, Fry becomes obsessed with the dice of power and acts like Gullom. “Hands off the dodecahelicous,” he says. As Fry talks to his reflection, it becomes like a QVC ad. I found it funny at first, but the gag ran a bit long.

The others gather allies at Wipe Castle, which is appropriate for what it’s based on. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. So now it’s just Bender and his team against the army of orcs. That becomes a real exciting battle, but it’s not over yet.

This was a well-made film. If there’s one thing Fururama is known for, it’s adventurous parodies that I find creative.

Mar 252011
 

The Dungeons & Dragons game hasn’t looked more adventurous than on The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. A group of friends, Cass (Brian Lewis), Leo (Scott C. Brown), and Gary (Christian Doyle) struggle with a gaming campaign with Lodge (Nathan Rice) as storyteller. Lodge has the story module figured out, but he doesn’t know how to put it together based on how the characters keep dying. I have never seen anyone take these role-playing games so seriously before.

The four of them decide to make new characters and add a fifth player, Cass’s ex-girlfriend Joanna (Carol Roscoe). Joanna is Daphne the charismatic warrior, Cass is Brother Silence the kung fu monk, Leo is Flynn the perverse bard, Lodge is Sir Osric the noble warrior, and Gary is Luster the wild sorceress. He inspires the look from his hot math teacher (Jennifer Page).

The quest begins with King Erasmus (John Frank Rosenblam) telling the heroes about the evil Mort Kemnon (Geoff Gibbs) and intending to use the Mask of Death to take over the world. Their mission is to kill Kemnon and retrieve the mask so its evil won’t spread. It sounds simple enough. However, Joanna seems to be the only one, who is true to her character, which is exactly what Lodge looks for in his campaign.

I must say that this quest is not only adventurous, it’s also hilarious. Flynn likes to seduce every attractive woman he can find and Luster is chaotic and gender confused. She also tends to use strong spells against N.P.C.s (non-player characters) when they’re not necessary. Even Brother Silence has his comedic moments. Don’t you just love these guys?

One major disadvantage for Flynn on this quest is that he’s not a warrior, which means he gets killed… many times. Luckily, the heroes have the staff of resurrection. Leo should have thought of that before choosing to be a bard. On the other hand, he has become a character that you just can’t get rid of.

The battle scenes are exciting. After fighting off a group of goblins, which Daphne practically killed single-handedly, the team stops at an inn to rest, where they face Kemnon’s zombie ninjas. What Dungeons & Dragons adventure wouldn’t have that kind of a scene? It feels more complete that way.

The heroes camp for the night and the adventure is on hold. Meanwhile, a group of pirates fight ninjas with pizzas in an office building. At first it looked like a random scene that was just thrown in. Then it’s revealed that Lodge was merely showing Joanna a different kind of board game. “Everything’s better with pirates.” Not bad for an intermission.

The next morning, the adventure resumes. The only one who can find Kemnon is the death demon Drazuul (Tallis Moore and voice of Steve Wolbrecht), who has taken over the town of West Haven. The heroes go there to investigate. They soon find Drazuul and zombies of the dead villagers. Luster decides to do a spell to stop them, but it takes concentration. So the others try to keep the zombies at bay, including Flynn’s 50 clones.

After going through a creepy mine, it all comes down to the ultimate showdown against Kemnon. However, he’s not alone, which makes the battle more intense. Kemnon has bodyguards who look extremely familiar. Other new surprises are also featured, including… a light saber? And a giant cat?

This is a terrific movie with Dungeons & Dragons fantasy. Although the story tends to go in and out of the quest itself, the hilarity is great all the way.

Jan 212011
 

Here’s a movie with the fantasy of Dungeons & Dragons and the adventure of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s called In the Name of the King – A Dungeon Siege Tale, and stars Jason Statham as the hero, Farmer, who sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife Solana (Claire Forlani) from the Krug army, who also killed his son, Zeph (Colin Ford). Farmer’s friend and mentor Norick (Ron Perlman) and his brother in-law Bastian (Will Sanderson) also help him out on this quest.

The lovely Leelee Sobieski plays Muriella. She is a skilled warrior, who wants to join King Konreid’s (Burt Reynolds) army. Unfortunately, she gets turned down just for being a woman. That won’t stop her from doing what’s right, after learning that the kingdom is in peril from the king’s arrogent nephew Duke Fallow (Matthew Lillard).

Ray Liotta does a great performance as Gallian the wicked sorcerer. Sometimes that reminds me of Profion from the Dungeons & Dragons movie.

Gallian leads the Krug, which are like orcs. They’re ugly, they stink, and they’re dangerous warriors by the hundreds.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Farmer and his comrades face many dangers on their quest. Starting with a rope over a gorge, which is difficult to cross. There are no enemies shooting at them. It’s just hard to cross.

The next danger is in the Sacred Forest. Amazon women swing in the trees and use magic vines to snare any man who comes by. It’s nifty, but these Amazons are not very likable. I prefer female warriors who are friendly.

Kristanna Loken, who I remember best as Rayne from BloodRayne, plays Elora the Amazon leader in this film. I met her at MegaCon 2010.

After getting through the forest, they find Solana and other villagers who were captured by the Krug. Unfortunately, Bastian and Norick end up captured themselves. Now Farmer is on his own until good sorcerer Merick (John Rhys-Davies) rescues him.

Some of the king’s warriors, who climb up the trees, are like ninjas. I like their smooth fighting style. Maybe that was where Farmer learned his skills. Then again, Farmer uses a boomerang as Xena uses a chakram.

Later on, Gallian and Merick have a unique type of wizard duel. They use swords, but with telekinesis. It brings a whole new meaning to the term, “Look, no hands.”

This is an amazing film filled with action and adventure. I never played the video game it is based on, but I can easily picture it with the way the story line was put together. Unless it were a quest game, because that would require even more detail.

Nov 302010
 

The most common creatures of fantasy adventure are dragons. There are many different types, good and evil. When a dragon is at a village, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that it will burn your house down. That is a possibility, but maybe the dragon doesn’t want to attack. The giant creature could just be walking by and decide to go to the bathroom in your yard. That may be as lethal as dragon fire, if not worse, but that’s no reason to slay it. Even if it did eat someone that didn’t agree with it.

Anyway, here are my ten most favorite dragons, good or evil. How to Train your Dragon wasn’t the first film to feature such a creative dragon assortment.

#10) Draco from Dragonheart: This dragon is honorable and magical since he used part of his heart to save a young man’s life. Draco is a skilled fighter, especially when it comes to catching large spears in midair. Of course that was from all the faking of his own death.

#9) Dulcy from Sonic the Hedgehog (90s series): She joined Sonic and the Freedom Fighters in season two. Dulcy is much different than many of the other dragons listed here. She breathes ice as well as fire, hangs upside-down and sucks her thumb while she sleeps, and is a total klutz. Dulcy is useful for air transportation, but she really needs to work on her landings.

#8) Thoran from Dragons, Fire & Ice: He is a dragon king that fights for peace for humans and dragons alike. Thoran doesn’t speak, but communicates with telepathy. His power comes from his Krystal Aurathon, which is powerful enough to open portals between the human world and the dragon world. No other dragons have that kind of power, which is unfortunate for them.

#7) Queen Narissa from Enchanted: This wicked queen turns herself into a dragon that can climb buildings. Even though it was only for a short time, she was still a cool talking beast. Who’d have thought that Narissa would be defeated by a chipmunk that’s just throwing his weight around, literally speaking.

#6) Granamyr from He-Man and the Masters of Universe (80 series): This old and wise dragon lives in the hidden mountain of Darksmoke. He’s a master of magic and loves his privacy. Granamyr doesn’t really trust the human race, but is truly one of a kind.

#5) Gleeok from Legend of Zelda: Gleeok is a huge dragon with two to four heads and spits out fire and laser beams. He’s a powerful boss on the video game, but I best remember Gleeok’s appearance on the cartoon series. It was hilarious. Expecting to fight Link, Princess Zelda arrives on the scene and fights Gleeok with fruit, which proves to be very affective since grapefruit gives him heartburn.

#4) Tiamat from Dungeons & Dragons (80s series): As the most dangerous dragon in the realm, she has five heads, each with a different power. More importantly, Tiamat is the only creature that’s more powerful than Venger is. I’m just a little surprised that with five heads, she doesn’t have any arguments with herself once in a while.

#3) Smaug from The Hobbit: Now here’s a dragon that is strong, gigantic, and smells really bad. Smaug doesn’t like uninvited guests. If you enter his cave, you’d be ashes in seconds. Heck, even his drool is hot like acid. And don’t bother trying to sneak in. Smaug’s eyes work like headlights, literally.

#2) Dragon from Shrek: When Shrek and Donkey search for Princess Fiona at an abandoned castle, they end up facing Dragon. However, she did turn from bad to good after falling in love with Donkey. Now Dragon is a great ally for air transportation and fire. Too bad she can’t come indoors.

#1) King Bowser Koopa from Super Mario Bros. franchise: That’s right, the Octo-dad himself. Although he’s not officially labeled as a dragon, Bowser has all of the qualities of one, including the look. Think about it. On the video games, Bowser guards a princess in a castle and fights the heroes by spitting fire. Oddly he never breathed fire in the cartoons, but he sure had some cool castles over the years.