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In 5th Century Britian, a young Merlin struggles for his place in his known land under the tutelage of The Mage, a local wizard whom sees the young man's potential for magic, as well as face off against his evil former friend, Vendiger, whom plots with a feudal warlord king to conquer all of Britian using an army of flying dragons, and only Merlin with the alliance of the local Prince Uther and Ingraine and a pair of mystical goddesses, can have the power to stop the evil from taking over the land. Written by
I liked it. It was not awful, and not the best film ever. But it was fun. Considering the usual fare on a lazy weekend, it's good enough. My wife writes fantasy and we watch plenty of films of this genre.
CRITICISMS: It didn't have huge surprises and the props and costumes needed a little help. The book, for example, was quite tattered on the outside, but the pages were a bit too clean, and the edges of them were perfect. Shouldn't they be dog-eared and worn with spots and smudges?
Costumes were TOO CLEAN - and in too good a condition. You would expect, particularly after battle, dirty clothes with rips and tears. And how does Merlin stay so clean shaven out in the field all day? And swords should be bloody after you run through a man with one. Small things like that.
Our biggest issue with the film-making was the sped-up parts of battle. That was - sorry for the word - cheesy. The special effects were not very special.
COMPLIMENTS: I think Info-11159 said it well in the "A good old fashioned - good VS evil fantasy film" comment. His (her?) point about needing a bigger budget and more time is really what was needed. We really enjoyed the horse scenes, but we're horse people. We always enjoy seeing beautiful horses handled by highly skilled equestrians. The riding was very good and a pleasure to watch.
The filming location was GREAT. I like seeing these kinds of stories in more authentic locations. Very beautiful countryside that contributed to the project. That's a sacrilege for me to say - we're in California and our son is a writer in Hollywood! But truly - filming in the UK was perfect for this.
The actors did well with what they were given and the story was just right for this genre.
Overall, I enjoyed the film. I do like the genre. I think to really enjoy it, you have to have the right expectations. Don't expect huge budget Hollywood fare - think of it as a fantasy B movie and just go with it.
If they do a sequel, I hope they use the same horse suppliers and riders - and don't speed it up. Those people were highly skilled and could handle the action just fine at the speed they would be performing at. Maybe get a little bit better CG software.
I would watch it again.
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