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Warcraft
BLU-RAY disk
10.14.2016 By: Jason Adams
Warcraft order download
Director:
Duncan Jones

Actors:
Travis Fimmel
Paula Patton
Ben Foster

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A horde of orcs use dark magic to infiltrate the human world and as both sides gear up for war, key players must navigate heroes and villains on both sides to determine which is right.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?

It's a bummer that WARCRAFT isn't better. I was pumped for a full-on epic fantasy world to sink my tusks into and it seemed like MOON director Duncan Jones was just the man for the job. And while I do like how colorfully weird they were willing to go—orcs and humans riding giant wolves and gryphons, a massive golem fight, and magical portals out the wazoo—it can't help the messy, lackluster script that brings the whole thing down.

The first part of the film makes you feel like you're in for a total disaster. Things start off without much introduction for anyone who didn’t play the games (myself included), dropping you into a confusing world with what seems like an overwhelming number of characters and backstory. Even once you get acclimated, it's still obvious this is a very generic, cookie cutter plot filled with cliché players and constant exposition to try and explain what's going on. The film is over two hours and it feels like there's still an hour of deleted scenes and characters moments that were necessary to making this feel like a well-rounded narrative.

The visual effects, likely a bigger draw than the story for many, are overall very good. There are some shots of the orc characters that clearly represent the next level of CG animation. However, many scenes by nature are just completely animated from the bottom up and it can't help but feel like you're watching video game cut scenes. (Really good video game cut scenes, admittedly.) Even so, the CGI characters are still much more successful and compelling than their human counterparts. Part of that is the uninspired screenplay, but some blame falls on the performances. Typically dependable actors like Dominic Cooper, Ben Foster and Vikings' star Travis Fimmel come across stiff and aloof, unable to overcome both the dialogue and the greenscreen-heavy production. And poor Paula Patton is stuck with goofy orc tusks in her mouth, making her hard to understand and almost forcing her in to a Razzie-worthy performance. Suffice to say, every time the focus shifts to the human realm, you're left wanting to just spend more time with the orcs. I guess that's a win for the animators.

Once the third act kicks in, things in the script start to click as the film gears up for the finale. The story takes a couple surprising turns, finally escaping the goofiness of the setup and beginning to feel like a lived-in world. But even though it ends on a slightly higher note (and I would cautiously be open to a sequel based on how things are left off here), it still doesn't fix the character or story issues that plague a good chunk of the WARCRAFT.

THE EXTRAS

A group of quality special features rounds out this set.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (13:57): A handful of extra footage, mostly with unfinished effects. I know I said in the review that the film felt like it needed an extra hour to do the story/characters justice, but everything here is pretty inconsequential. You can safely skip it.

Gag Reel (3:25): An average gag reel with a few laughs.

The World of WARCRAFT on Film (33:50): This decent half hour feature is broken down in to six parts. One looks at the source material in the game and how Duncan Jones had to approach adapting all that story in to a movie. You also get looks in to the cast and how they were chosen, creating costumes accurate to the game, and the stunts used in fight scenes. Of most interest are the two featurettes on the visual effects and how they used motion capture to create the large number of digital actors.

The Fandom of Warcraft (6:36): Meet some of the games’ most hardcore fans (if you want).

Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood Motion Comic (53:47): This hour-long animated comic is actually not bad and actually is better written then the film itself. I just don’t know how many people want to watch a comic book on their TV for an hour.

WARCRAFT: The Madame Tussauds Experience (7:32): An advertisement for the wax figures based on chracters from the film and how they were made.

ILM: Behind the Magic of WARCRAFT (3:00): A series of before and after shots showcasing the film's effects in various stages, from raw mocap to finished footage. No talking or interviews, just a showcase for what ILM can do. Too bad it’s so short.

A DVD and Digital Copy are also included.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS

WARCRAFT needed a great script to help it reach a mass audience and in that respect, it is not successful. However, there are a few highlights, especially the visual effects and CGI characters, that still might make this worth checking out for fans of fantasy or gaming.

Extra Tidbit: King and Queen Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga also play Jesse and Tulip on AMC's Preacher.

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8:11PM on 10/15/2016
Never played WOW, just the original 1-3, so went in with low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. Many of my friends who are non-game/genre fans who have seen it liked it also.
Never played WOW, just the original 1-3, so went in with low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. Many of my friends who are non-game/genre fans who have seen it liked it also.
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+1
7:12PM on 10/15/2016
I admit, I'm a Warcraft fanboy and I loved this movie. What was a surprise though, was that my non-fan friends also loved it.
I admit, I'm a Warcraft fanboy and I loved this movie. What was a surprise though, was that my non-fan friends also loved it.
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4:32PM on 10/14/2016

GREAT MOVIE !

Period !
Period !
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