Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Crown and the Dragon: The Paladin Cycle (2013)

Number Rolled: 77
Movie Name/Year: The Crown and the Dragon: The Paladin Cycle (2013)
Tagline: Two dragons. One poisons the land. The other heals it.
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Arrowstorm Entertainment, Wulf / Gourley Productions
Producer: Saad Al-Enezi, Jason Faller, Marcia L. Gaines, Mike Graf, Kynan Griffin, Jennifer Kirkham, Peter A.T. McQuillan, Maclain Nelson, Justin Partridge, Russell Southam, David M. Wulf
Director: Anne K. Black
Writer: Anne K. Black, Kynan Griffin, Justin Partridge
Actors: Elizabeth Adams, Owen Barton, Lemuel Black, Angus Brown, Alana Clohessy, Claire Cordingley, Amy De Bhrun, Stefan Dubois, Jennifer Griffin, David Haydn, Ava Hunt, Tom Murphy, Clare Niederpruem, Ciaran O’Grady, Nicola Posener, Vidal Sancho, Tim Treloar, Janine Ingrid Ulfane

Blurb from Netflix: Joined by a smuggler, a young noblewoman embarks on a treacherous journey through dragon-filled lands on a quest to fulfill her calling. (Some of the blurb has been removed due to spoilers. Why Netflix included a spoiler in the blurb is beyond me. Trust the Dice does not support spoilers.)

Selina’s Point of View:
I have an issue with writing a review for this film. There was nothing wrong with it (considering it was a B-movie that required a ton of CGI), I just couldn’t get invested in it. The only reason I can really give for why I had issue, is that it was predictable.

Now, I didn’t read the Netflix blurb before I played the film, which I guess is good since there’s a spoiler right in it, but I still knew everything that was going to happen by about five minutes in. There was nothing that really made this film stand out among other dragon-type fantasy films and books. It was your run of the mill recipe without anything really spectacular to make it stand out.

The graphics were fine for a B-movie. The actors were alright and had acceptable chemistry. The script wasn’t bad, but there was nothing exceptional about it.

I can only think of two words to describe this film and that’s: extremely mediocre.

Cat’s Point of View:
I love love love the fantasy genre. Needless to say, when this movie came up, I was pretty excited about it. Fantastic stories with magic, dragons, and quests have always been quick to capture my imagination and whisk me away to the lands between the pages or on the screen.

I didn’t feel entirely transported this time, but I did enjoy the movie overall.

For all that this film was released just a few years ago, I don’t remember hearing anything about it. It likely suffered from under-marketing here in the States. I’m fairly certain that marketing wouldn’t have helped it much at the box office. I imagine that may be why it wasn’t.

This movie was a mixed bag for me.

The story felt rushed in a few places, and then muddled in others. I’m afraid the action sequences just weren’t up to my expectations, either.

Tim Treloar’s (Wondrous Oblivion, Framed, Maleficent) Corvus character wasn’t as convincing as he needed to be – though, that may be a combination of a shortcoming in acting skill and a fumble in story and direction. There were some underwater scenes that were meant to be significant – but didn’t deliver a clear picture of why.

For a lower budget movie, the effects for the dragon were okay. It looked and behaved like a dragon, at least, instead of just a lizard with wings.
All that being said, there were quite a few things that this movie got right.

I loved the fact that the young noblewoman needed help; but not because she was helpless. There’s more to her story that I absolutely adore – but revealing that would be major spoilers.

I really felt the connection between the characters Ellen and Aiden played by Amy De BhrĂșn (Lovelorn, Vikings, The Bachelor Weekend) and David Haydn (Two Strangers, Kundalini, The Trap). There was real chemistry just sparking in the air between them in some scenes. In addition to that, I could have listened to Haydn talk forever. His Scottish accent was swoon-worthy.

Angus Brown’s (The Power of Three, Angels in Notting Hill, The Dream Children) character, Leif, was also well realized; and reminded me of the English soldier that set events in motion to anger William Wallace into joining the Scottish rebellion in Braveheart (1995).

There were also some great comedic moments in the film that felt organic and even nicely tied some of the scenes together.

The filming locations were breathtaking and really fit the essence of the story. It was no surprise to me that the entire movie was filmed in Ireland.

I feel I must also give kudos to the music team for this film. The soundtrack felt enmeshed as part of the story and was hauntingly beautiful in quite a few places. I loved the use of the uilleann pipes, which is the national bagpipe of Ireland – and also my very favorite musical instrument to listen to.

As I was researching the filming locations to see if my guess of Ireland was correct, I discovered that this movie was at least partially funded by a Kickstarter project. This certainly elevates my perception of the execution of this film – they got a lot of bang out of their bucks.

All in all, I was entertained and wouldn’t mind recommending this movie to others that enjoy this genre.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 19%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 1.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer: 

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