I TiVoed this movie off the Sci Fi channel and finally got around to watching it while I rode our spinning bike. I expected the movie to be, well, ass. Almost every other type of movie or media or what have you associated with the game has been terrible. I didn’t feel like walking downstairs to get a DVD, so I took a chance. I was well rewarded.
You have to understand my perspective on this. I watched Bloodrayne in it’s entirety while exercising. In other words, there’s not a lot that I can’t make it through (although I didn’t make it through Team America World Police, that truly sucked).
Is D&DWotDG as good as LoTR? Don’t be silly. Is it better than Bloodrayne? Yes, by an order of magnitude. The acting in D&DWotDG is very good. I suspect they picked up a cast of stage actors who, while unknown, have journeyman skills. Next, it’s well shot. The scenes are well framed and it successfully makes you believe that you’re in medieval fantasy world. Along with the good cinematography, it’s well directed. Finally, considering the genre, the writing is strong.
If you want to see a live action D&D story told in a movie, this is the benchmark. It felt like a campaign that opened up before my eyes. I appreciated the attention to history of the game as well. The goblin camp looked like a goblin camp. There were references to D&D deities and everything fit without being corny and without looking like an expensive fan film.
I was thrilled. Roy Marsden was particularly excellent, but the whole cast was strong. At times, the acting rose to Masterpiece Theater level (at times). It also sort of reminded me of HBO’s Rome series. I guess because that was a bunch of competent unknown actors in well shot, well written, well directed story too.
This movie should be seen by every director in the future who wants to shoot a fantasy movie. The message should be: if you can’t do as well as this, don’t do it. Don’t give us another Bloodrayne. Don’t give us horrifically bad schlock. Don’t blow your money on name actors, just look for Shakespearian stage experience. Give us competence in all categories. If you can’t do it, don’t bother.