5000 years in the making - (18mins 10 secs) Hyung Rae Shim presents the thinking and production that went into making the movie. It's actually 18 minutes of an introduction piece to an audience. The focus is on the technical special effects and the whole thing is presented in Full Frame SD. Seeing as the project was announced in 2002 and took a full five years to bring to completion the whole self-documentary type spiel is very uninspiring and your attention will soon likely start to wane.
Storyboard Comparison - (11min 19secs) 5 scenes from the film are over viewed in story board fashion. Bulco Attack, Hypnotist's House, The Café, The Altar, Liberty Tower. The screen is split into three with a static animated backdrop. The three split screens simultaneously show the artistic sketches, early special effects and the finished scenes. It's an attempt to show how the early artistic sketches actually translate into a filmed sequence.
Conceptual Art Gallery - Here is a selection of artistic drawings from the film that can be viewed as stills in slideshow. Most of the slides are sketches of the mythical creatures and animals depicted in the film as well as some being of the backdrops of the scenes. I did find strange that once I had entered this menu that I couldn't actually get back to the main menu on the disc.
Trailers - Theatrical trailers for three other films are include on the disc and all are presented in 1080P. (2mins 32secs) The Water Horse : Legend of the Deep, (2mins 32secs) Across the Universe, (1min 44secs) Saawariya
As a movie Dragon Wars starts off well with plenty of promise, the middle suddenly erupts into chaotic mayhem and then the finale brings all the proceedings to a predictable head. The movie lacks a gradual and sensible crescendo. Consequently, what it gains as a story early on is all lost in a senseless mish mash soon after 20 minutes. The disc package is also a pretty disappointing effort overall. As a HD release there are some merits to the picture but as a sum of the parts the whole presentation lacks the wow factor and the CGI soon tails off in its' quality and originality. The audio is a full on banging and bombastic affair from start to finish but it's not a polished audio presentation. It's not subtle and it's not inspiring, it just simply relies upon being loud.
I couldn't help but feel disappointment and bemusement with Dragon Wars. For a project that started off in 2002 and then came to being five years later you would be forgiven for thinking there was a great film in the offing in all that time. I was actually hoping it would be something akin to what Ray Harryhausen may or possibly would have conjured up. After all he was the master of bringing over-grown mythical creatures to life with his stop- motion techniques. Whilst the special effect techniques have moved on wholesale from his day, the story telling unfortunately hasn't. Hyung Rae Shim would have learned an awful lot from watching some of the Harryhausen classics to soon realise where he went so badly wrong in this one.
So, is the film any good and would I recommend it ? Well, think of a loose snake that's staring and hissing at you. Would you go anywhere near it ?
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