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Dungeons & Dragons 2-Film Collection
BLU-RAY disk
03.24.2011 By: Jacob Riley
Dungeons & Dragons 2-Film Collection order
Director:
Courtney Solomon

Actors:
Jeremy Irons
Marlon Wayans
Bruce Payne

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
There is a crisis in the fantastical kingdom of Ismer, the only chance for the survival of thousands lays in the hands of a small ragtag party of underdogs and their quest to find a legendary artifact.

For a synopsis of the sequel rinse and repeat.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Turn off your brain, polish off your armor and set your character alignment to chaotic neutral because you are in for one helluva ride!

Dungeon's & Dragons is bad, so very bad. Depending on how devoted you are to the source material (admittedly I am not) you will either despise it as the celluloid abortion that it is or find it moderately enjoyable in the campy MST3K kind of way.This 2-film collection contains both the original D&D flick from 2000 and the SyFy (Formerly SciFi) Channel 2005 follow-up. I'm going to take these on one at a time, hold on to your butts and break out your D20 because it's time to take on Dungeons & Dragons!

Where did this movie go so gloriously wrong? The craptastic dialog? The ridiculous over-acting of Jeremy Irons? Casting Marlon Wayans?! Maybe it would be easier to take a crack at what works in Dungeons & Dragons ... crap, I've got nothing. But maybe that is why that at any given time in the past 10 years if I see it playing on TV I just have to immediately drop whatever I am doing and watch it. The only way to describe Dungeons & Dragons is as a cinematic train wreck, sure it is horrible, but you just can't take your eyes off of it. All of the things that make it horrible when you look at them individually just sync up and not only make for a laughable viewing, but a pretty enjoyable one as well.

Let me make myself clear, so you don't think this is a positive review, Dungeons & Dragons is horrible. But is so horrendous you almost have to think somebody made it that way on a dare or something, "Hey Courtney, I dare you to out Uwe Boll Uwe Boll!" to which he quickly, and probably under some mind altering substance responded, "Challenge accepted!". So many things confuse me about this damn movie. I honestly can't tell of the main villain, a psychopathic megalomaniac mage played to the extreme by the usually talented Jeremy Irons, is overacting or if the character is just supposed to have been that over-the-top insane. And as ridiculous as Iron's character is his second-in-command is laughable at best and painfully annoying at worst (don't worry kids, he returns for the sequel!), this blue-lipped bastard must have graduated the Bill Shatner school of acting. He has long-winded speeches that are severely counter-productive, walks incredibly slow while trying to chase down our heroes and his only really redeeming quality is he manages to capture one of them and brutally slay them and toss their still warm corpse off of a battlement ... I guess I should have put a spoiler alert there, but you aren't going to watch this theatrical trainwreck for the story, so don't even try to guilt trip me man.

Oh man! Don't even get me started on the story, sure the premise is simple enough in a standard quest for legendary object sort of way, but it becomes convoluted fast. Not only does the story become unnecessarily complicated but I am pretty sure you could steer boat through some of the dragon-sized plot holes as well. Especially when it comes to the dwarf character, he disappears for entire scenes only to pop-up in the next one but he honestly is never missed. The CGI and special effects are shamefully bad as well, I know the movie is over a decade old now but it doesn't hold up at all from a technical standpoint. You would think a movie based on a incredibly popular fantasy role-playing game would have at least gotten the CGI dragons up to snuff, but sadly they come off awkward and at best cartoonish.

That was just the first movie, this Blu-ray is a double feature so we are only halfway through this beast ...

If the 2005 sequel (I use the word "sequel" loosely as the only thing connecting the two is our blue-lipped antagonist returns to wreak vengeance and it goes just about as well as you think) feels like a SyFy channel original movie, it is because it is. It was literally produced by and made to be played on the channel that brought us such classics as Megapython vs. Gatoroid, Sharktopus and, lest we forget, Mansquito. To this reviewers surprise Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon King was really enjoyable, and not just in the so bad it's good sort of way. If nothing else it manages to stay true to it's D&D roots, and that is an achievement that the first movie severely lacked. The production value, while obviously low budget, doesn't detract from the movie much. There are several practical effects and some of the creature costumes are pretty convincing (Anything CGI related pretty much sucks butt though) and the main actors all fit into their roles fairly well which automatically makes it better than it's predecessor (not hard, but still ...). There are two things that really made this movie extra enjoyable for me, however, the film was shot in some Eastern European country and several of the supporting actors were obviously redubbed for one. The whole process almost gives the whole thing a Spaghetti Western feel to it, and that alone kept me smiling.

But if there is just one saving grace about Wrath of the Dragon God it first strikes at about 18 minutes in. One of the minor characters, who we later find out is an assistant to the head mage, makes his first appearance in the background over the right shoulder of the mage. Look at the faces this motherf*cker makes, they are priceless. I probably paused and rewatched every scene this glorified extra was in because he is comedic gold. I was convinced that he had to be one of the producers special needs younger brother or something because the faces he make are stupid funny and they had me rolling on the ground in tears. That is not hyperbole, I was literally rolling on the ground laughing with water escaping my ocular orifices.

These considerations aside these two movies aren't anything special, in fact large portions of them are downright awful and I should really apologize for the ranting/raving in this review, the Dungeons & Dragons movies just seem to have a weird effect on me. Hell, maybe it is about time they make this a trilogy!

Long story short: Both of these D&D flicks blow, but you'll probably laugh at them anyway so they aren't a total loss.
THE EXTRAS
Don't worry fans, they are here and in abundance ...

Dungeons & Dragons Extras Include:

Two Commentaries: Director Courtney Solomon and co-star Justin Whalin, Courtney Solomon, cinematographer Doug Milsome and a spliced in seperate commentary with D&D game co-creator Dave Arneson. Usual run-of-the-mill shop talk, although some of Arneson's is pretty interesting.

Let the Games Begin (15-minutes): Lightning fast documentary that skims the surface of role-playing games.

Making-of featurette (21-minutes)

Special effects deconstruction of several key scenes (13-minutes)

Theatrical Trailer

Additional Scenes, Including an Alternate Ending (19-minutes): Take a look at stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor with optional director commentary. Yay!

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon King Extras Include:

Dungeons & Dragons Heroes Commentary: Worst. Commentary. Ever. Some "specialists" from Wizards of the Coast try to stay in character for the duration of the commentary, and they can't pull it off the way Robert Downey Jr. did for Tropic Thunder. Seriously, it is just painful.

Rolling the Dice (22-minutes): The cast and crew talk about D&D in general and why it has such a lasting appeal.

The Arc: A Conversation with Gary Gygax (17-minutes): D&D creator Gygax reflects on his life's work and vehemently defends Wrath of the Dragon God.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
No dice required to enjoy these two fantasy flicks ... but alcohol may help.

Honestly, neither of these flicks are good but they do possess a few redeeming qualities and, if all else fails, might make for a good drinking game movie. I suggest for the first movie every time Marlon Wayans squeaks take a shot and for the sequel any time you see an obviously dubbed actor take sip of your booze of choice. How is this not on the Awfully Good column yet? I am sure it is just being saved for a special occasion. Sidebar: JoBlo.com assumes no responsibility for alcohol poisoning.

For one of the greatest, and most in-depth, reviews of Dungeon's and Dragons head on over here, you're welcome.
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8:32PM on 03/24/2011

Can't believe this got a Blu-ray release.

These were beyond terrible. Why did they spend money to have this released on Blu-Ray is beyond me.
These were beyond terrible. Why did they spend money to have this released on Blu-Ray is beyond me.
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