Review: Merlin 101 The Dragon's Call
Overall Rating: 9.5
Merlin arrives in Camelot and learns that King Uther has forbidden magic, which is punishable by death -- yet, it is magic he uses to save the life of Arthur, the king's son. Watch the episode streaming online above.
The Dragon’s call, the pilot show for Merlin is really well done. It’s a great fantasy show and a well constructed pilot. They did a wonderful job introducing thoroughly and succinctly the main character’s, establishing the setting and showing us the magic of the setting. The writing is solid and a nice take on the Arthurian legends.
The look of Merlin is well done, I was particularly impressed with the castle used for Camelot. The show starts out with a Camelot in the background and at first I thought ‘wow what a nice use of the mat painting effect.’ They zoom in and I was even more impressed because it still looks really nice. Then they get up close and I realized it was not a mat painting effect but it was a real set or a real castle! After watching a making of special I was pleased to find out that the castle is a real castle in France. I very glad they used that for the setting because it adds so much to the believability to the show.
I really enjoyed how magic is handled in Merlin. Fantasy shows turn me off when they claim to have magic but push for a realistic look by removing and muting most of the magic. I’m also disappointed when a fantasy show goes so over the top with the magic that they undue the immaculate reality making it hard for me to get into the show. In Merlin they struck a nice balance in the setting where there is magic, it occurs, it looks really nice but it is not over the top.
The characters are likeable, charming and show room for growth. This is very promising for a pilot and I can’t wait to see what happens with Merlin, Morgana, Guinevere, Gaius, and Arthur.
Merlin is a must see for fantasy fans, and I would recommend it for everyone as well. I look forward to watching future episodes of Merlin and am thrilled to know that the BBC are already working on the next season.
- Very good job introducing the setting, characters, and rules.
- The look of the magic
- the set up for how magic works: there are spells, enchantments and natural / elemental in nature.
- Merlin character is likeable, charming, he has talent but unrefined, he has noble characteristics, and hot,
- I like the shift in focus where Arthur is a spoiled noble ass and the focus is definitely shifted onto Merlin.
- I love the introduction of Guwen with her watching from the window
- very intrigued with Morgan and how she was set up
- the witches spell rocked with her singing the song and stuff slowly changing
- Merlin’s teacher being a physician / alchemist
- the use of a real castle in France… i thought it was a matt painting effect and a really good one but they kept getting closer to the point where i realized it was a real castle.
- good fantasy show
- two inept guards
- A Dragon
- the young adventurer in a new town picking fights without discerning who they are fighting with.
- lots of magic
- Sword play aka medieval weapon play daggers, morning star!!!, ect.
Dislikes / Concerns
- the music is a little lighthearted at times when not necessarily appropriate like the fight scenes between Arthur and Merlin
For more read Exploring: Merlin
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Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Review
Brian: Technical Rating: 7.0
Gut Rating: 7.0
C. E. Dorsett: Technical Rating: 7.4
Gut Rating: 9.0
I love DragonLance, this picture is not all of the books that I have read but all of the books that I still have. I must say that I kind of like the movie. I will end up owning it because it is one of those types of movies that will grow on you over time. I would recommend renting it first just because there are some problems with the animation and for some of you out there that is a deal breaker in owning a movie. I did find the movie fun to watch they really hit some of the main points that I was looking for in this and that is how are the dragons, Draconians and how did they do with Rastlin all of which they nailed. As far as how it compared to the books... well read the books, also by the way if you are a fan of the book then before you watch this film I should warn you they stick to the main plot and that is it.
- It was fun and campy: they did a great job at capturing the table top roleplaying feel epically with the jiggling boobies and focus on Kittera's trunk junk which for you table top players know that has come up during a gamming session.
- The Voice Talent was very well done
- Cool Dragons: they looked good and represented well, in other words the red dragons breathed fire and the black dragon spit acid!
- cool Draconians: they looked nice and when slain they turned to stone trapping some weapons in them when they changed
- Rastlin was well done: his golden hourglass eyes looked cool and they did a nice job portraying him as a haunted person with a dark cloud over him. They did not portray him as an evil character which he is not and I was very pleased to see.
Concerns / Dislikes
- Animation that was 20 years too late: The animation style was western but lacked all of the lesions and techniques learned over the last 20 years. It was jarring and looked terrible.
- The show felt hollow: They rushed, and missed a lot of notes that exist within the story that would not have taken any time to put into the movie so that I feel that if I had not had all of my previous exposure to the Dragonlance setting I may have had a harder time following the story or found it very one dimensional.
- The fight scenes looked weak: they were terribly animated and in many instances I found myself thinking 'hey he is off balance wouldn't he just fall over'
- Lacked good tension and conflict: I got bored at several points throughout the film which is very sad considering how much I love the setting, story, and characters.
- Many of the characters came across as flat and lacking depth: take for instance Tanis all the film tells you about him is that he is 1/2 Elven and lacks faith, that is it. Many of the characters had that problem that they were just there, once again I was able to just fill in all of the missing information because of my familiarity but a film should not require that background knowledge.
This is the animated tale based on the first book in the DragonLance Series, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, by Margaret Weis. The courageous heroes, Tanis, Flint, Tasslehoff, Rastlin, Caramon, and Sturm are meeting in solace as they have pledged years earlier. They are discussing the goblin encounters that they met on their way into Solace when trouble is stirred up. It turns out that the Dark queen Takhisis has risen and with her cleric Verminaard are hunting for the missing staff of light. During the confrontation a man is accidentally knocked into the fire and set alight. That is when we get to meet two new characters the cleric of light Goldmoon and her companion Riverwind. She heals the man with her staff and they all have to flee from the goblins that are attracted to the scene.
Project:Shadow 2007 December Newsletter
Are you concerned about keeping up to date on the latest Speculative Fiction, Culture, and Tech news? Would you like to talk with other like minded fans of sci-fi fantasy and horror? Then join us at the Project Shadow HQ at http://hq.projectshadow.com/where you can share with us your favorite finds or talk about your latest fascination. The conversation is here!
***Eric received a great write up for his novel Legends of the Jade Moon Book One: Liquid Sky here is an excerpt for your enjoyment.
Downwarden com Review by Nick Crabowsky
...What we have here is indeed science fiction ala Dune, though less detailed but just as vividly portrayed. Dorsett deserves praise for the execution of a story less intimidating for one more inclined to read other genres which require far less brain power to understand, breaks through those barriers and develops a narrative which renders a glossary needless and pretty much explains itself as is without asserting its vast mythology in explanatory rhetoric.
I enjoyed the damn thing. I think C.E. Dorsett is one powerhouse of imagination, inspired obviously by the greats of his craft. Liquid Sky is full of mysticism and spirituality, of themes centered on the search for one’s inner self and the meaning of the universe around him, where a youthful monk with adopted parents finds himself catapulted into an interstellar journey fueled by the death of the one he called Father and driven at odds by the results of saving him, by mysterious truth-sayers who aren’t what they seem and personal intuition telling him he’s destined to amount to something greater than himself and the savior of worlds. Ianus’ adventures and intrigue are entertaining and don’t smother us in the sort of over-explanation I’d read in other novels like this one. Liquid Sky is an extremely intelligent, very readable and delightful piece of work, and I’m glad to recommend it...
*** We at Project:Shadow have been working hard on completing PROJECT X. We hope to have an announcement later in the month with a date when project X will go live. For now all I can advise is to check back regularly for updates. All that I am allowed to tell you is that Project X is an entire site rework that will bring some really cool things to the community.
***Black Moon Rising is out and is a top seller at amazon. We want to thank all of the members who have already got their copy of the latest installment in C. E. Dorsett's series Fates Harrow. If you haven't already got your copy then visit www.ProjectShadow.com/shopping.
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***Brian posted a review of the Story Black Moon Rising here is a copy of it.
Wow! This is a great story! 5 stars (must own)
The story picks up from where we left off with Adir Radd in the hospital tortured by his visions of the future. I was caught up in Adir’s haunting vision. It is written so viscerally I could almost hear the screams and smell the stink coming off of the battle field. This heart felt tale took me through the events and choices that led Dov Lavan to become the famed villain I knew him to be from reading Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon http://astore.amazon.com/projectshadow/detail/0595369162/. The choices and motivations of Dov were very compelling. Reading his tale turned him into a compassionate and sad character. I could empathize with his frustrations and found myself thinking that if I were caught up in the same situation I would probably make the same choices. The conclusion was extremely rewarding even though I knew how the story would end I still found myself shocked, surprised and brought to tears with a beautiful, rewarding ending. To be cliché for a minute I literally laughed, cringed and cried while reading this.
Dark Moon Rising is the second installment of C. E. Dorsett’s Fates Harrow series which covers three historical characters in the Barren’s End setting. Their tale was first told in the book Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon but from the Jade Moon’s perspective.
In this episode Dov Lavan fears loosing his friends and culture, longing to save the ones he cares about he takes on a new master who promises to help him lead his people into a safer future. Dov rises to power, forming a new group, encouraging others to join him and stand for freedom. But, his childhood friends Tien Shaa and Adir Radd are concerned with the fire in Dov’s rhetoric, so they set out to try and stop the coming war.
We Love Net Flix! We have been a member of Netflix for more than five years now and it is great! Before that we would spend one to three hours in the video store every Friday looking and trying to decide what video we wanted to rent (a large chunk of this time was spent trying to remember what videos were out that we wanted to see), spend all that money on the rentals, and then have to go through the hassle of trying to watch and return the video so that we would not get charged a late fee. This terrible experience was flipped with Netflix. Now we have a list of videos that we want to see set up. Whenever we see a trailer for a movie or show that we want to rent we just add it to our list and when it gets released to dvd about a year latter the video just arrives! Now every week we get excited waiting for the mail to arrive so that we can see what new videos arrive. We watch them when we get time to watch them. Then when we are done watching it (in some cases this can take several weeks to accomplish partially due to some hectic event that takes up all of our time and in some situations it's because we end up watching it over and over again) we just drop it in the mail. If you don't already use Netflix then go to www.ProjectShadow.com and get your videos today!
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