Dragon (2006)

   Usually when you get these “Dollar DVDs” they are of older vintage- 60’s or 70’s public domain movies that have been deteriorating on a shelf somewhere, so when you get one (from our friends at Digiview Entertainment, who do a nice job with their case graphics at least) that is relatively new AND includes features like Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, a Trailer (though not a trailer for the movie that you’re actually watching) and even Behind the Scenes footage- well, something is amiss. You might be surprised with this one…

 

   Dragon (the box art actually says “Leigh Scott’s Dragon”, like the name recognition- if it actually existed- of Leigh Scott would draw you in and make you say to yourself, “Wow- I’d lay down 100 pennies for a LEIGH SCOTT movie!”) is a fantasy adventure that promises (quoting the case blurb) “The Action of REIGN OF FIRE, the Adventure of LORD OF THE RINGS”. What it actually DELIVERS, however, is a movie that seems to be make in the backyards woods (with the end credits bragging about being “Filmed in Milwaukee”- which made me laugh) of some RPG geeks who have a modicum of talent and not a lot of money…

 

   The premise is a kingdom is being taken over by an evil force and it is up to the good Princess Vanir and her small band of hanger-ons to defeat the dark forces and get help from the neighboring kingdom. In order to fulfill her quest however, she’ll need to travel through the worst part of the woods to enlist her help, and that will mean doing battle with (dun-dun-DUUUUU) The Dragon…

  

   The Good: Well, it’s filmed very nicely; widescreen and clear and clean. The special effects are obviously effects, but they at least have a grand scale to them. It’s amazing what some dorks and enough computer power can do. They’ve also intercut some sweeping footage of mountain vistas to good use- trying to give you the epic feel of “The Rings Trilogy” or other medieval epics. I guess their hearts are in the right place- too bad the BAD outweighs the good. Also, as I pointed out before, the Extra are a nice touch on a budget release- the Behind the Scenes making-of is a concise (17 minute) overview of the low-budget filmmaking process that will probably be all you ever need to know about Dragon, but at least it shows some effort…

 

   The Bad: This is SO damn boring! Countless tight shots of the characters standing around babbling on and on about absolutely NOTHING. The acting varies WILDLY, from some passable European accents (some of the actors are actually British) to ones that waver in and out all over the place; sometimes within the same line of dialogue. Also, the sound is problematic- some of it sounds muddled and tinny and some of the audio effects are very mis-matched, with leaf-crunching underfoot sounding 5 times louder that (supposed) metal swords clanking in battle. I can’t recall a recent movie where I have been consciously aware of how distracting the poor sound has been; in this case it’s disturbingly weak…

 

   The Company that put this out (Asylum Home Entertainment) specializes in direct-to-DVD rip-off of major films currently in theaters- though not usually on a dollar DVD line (I’m guessing because they think that people are stupid and if they see their knock-off art on the shelf of a video store the customer is going to confuse their low-budget property with the real thing). Some examples of their look-alikes are: Hillside Cannibals (their version of The Hills Have Eyes); Transmorphers (their take of Transformers); Snakes on a Train (see if you can guess what THAT is a knock-off of!), etc. The director is nothing if not proficient- he has 12 Directing credits in a span of three years according to IMDB, which means that he must be incredibly busy; even if they are similar in scope to Dragon that would be a lot of work. Here’s hoping he’s getting some cash for his efforts…

   The movie is not rated, but would probably be PG-13 if it were, due to some blood and a bit of tension. The running time of 84 minutes isn’t short enough. Oh, and the box promises this as the beginning of a TRILOGY, which, to date, hasn’t been completed. They’re probably better off just forgetting to keep THAT promise. You should be able to find this one at any “Wal-Mart” across the country for $1.00- just look near the register and weed through the piles of Betty Boop cartoons and WWII documentary DVDs and it’ll be there…

 

  

   Dragon– 1-1/2* of 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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