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ENTERTAINMENT ONE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Joe Lynch
Cast:
Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau
Writing Credits:
Kevin Dreyfuss and Matt Wall

Tagline:
'Tis about to get medieval up in here

Synopsis:
A group of costumed "Live Action Role Players," dressed as knights, elves and other medieval characters, take to the woods for "The Battle of Evermore." But when a make-believe wizard casts a spell from an ancient book, purchased on eBay, fantasy becomes reality as a powerful demon manifests itself. Can these pretend warriors muster the courage to save themselves and the rest of humanity?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$17,449 on 13 Screens
Domestic Gross
$68,680

MPAA:
Rated R

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 4/1/2014

Bonus:
• Peter Dinklage Interview
• “Summer Glau Hottie Montage”
• Steve Zahn Interview
• “Horr-O-Medy” 1 and 2
• Director Joe Lynch Interview
• San Diego Comic-Con Panel
• Theatrical Trailer
• Preview


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Knights of Badassdom [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 9, 2014)

Fantasy role-players meet their match in 2013’s Knights of Badassdom. Friends Hung (Peter Dinklage), Eric (Steve Zahn) and Joe (Ryan Kwanten) dress up in costumes to act out magical situations, and they find themselves in the middle of more than they expected.

Eric inadvertently locates an ancient book with real mystical powers, and when he reads a spell from it, he brings to life a succubus from hell – one who happens to look just like Joe’s ex-girlfriend Beth (Margarita Levieva). Along with sexy role-player Gwen (Summer Glau), the guys need to battle evil.

Knights brings us a fun premise and a good cast, but can it deliver much wit and cleverness? Not really. I like that it appears to mock with affection and not out of nastiness, but it doesn’t tend to offer much in the way of real humor.

Or plot. Or characters. Or much of anything else. For an 86-minute movie, Knights feels awfully long, as it tends to plod and meander and go not much of anywhere.

Though it aspires to provide a horror-comedy, Knights does neither element well. The scary scenes lack any drama or fright, and the funny sequences seem banal and predictable. The film doesn’t quite figure out a balance between the two so it fails in both regards.

I can’t say the actors bring much to the table, though I don’t know what they could do with their one-dimensional parts. Thin stereotypes abound, and we don’t find any reason to care about or embrace them. The actors fail to add pep to the characters so they remain as ordinary as everything else.

Honestly, a story like this would’ve been better as a short. At 30 minutes or so, Knights might’ve been entertaining, but stretched thin all the way to almost an hour and a half, it becomes a long, slow journey without any payoff.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Knights of Badassdom appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not flawless, the image was usually very good.

Overall clarity looked fine. A few shots displayed a bit of softness, but the movie mostly provided solid definition and accuracy. I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws were also a non-factor in this clean presentation.

Colors remained stylized and opted for an amber tint. A few other tones emerged but the golden side of things dominated. I thought the hues looked fine when I considered those choices. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and shadows demonstrated decent clarity and delineation; occasional elements appeared a little murky, but not to a distracting degree. This was a mostly solid image.

I felt fairly pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Knights, though it felt restricted due to its low-budget origins. This meant that we got a fair amount of activity from the five channels but the elements didn’t mesh as smoothly as I’d like. While the effects popped up in the right spots and moved around the spectrum, they lacked great smoothness/integration and could feel a bit awkward.

Still, the soundscape gave us a decent feel for the action settings, and audio quality was fine. Speech was distinctive and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music boasted nice range and clarity, while effects offered reasonable accuracy and heft. All of this combined for a good but not great mix.

A mix of extras fill out the set, and open with an interview with actor Peter Dinklage. This goes for one minute, 19 seconds and provides the actor’s thoughts about the film and its tone. It’s too brief to do anything other than advertise the movie.

Next comes a Summer Glau Hottie Montage. The one-minute, 59-second reel includes comments from the actress about the story and characters. Like the Dinklage piece, this one seems too quick to give us anything worthwhile.

We hear from another actor via a one-minute, five-second Steve Zahn interview. He tells us a few more basic notes about the film. It’s another borderline worthless advertisement.

The two parts of Horr-O-Medy occupy a total of two minutes, 16 seconds. These give us comments from Dinklage, special effects and makeup creator Bernard Eichholz, and actors Jimmi Simpson, Brett Gipson, Kim Stodel, and Sean Cook. They talk a little about effects but mostly tell us how awesome and old school the movie will be. Yawn!

An Interview with director Joe Lynch lasts seven minutes, 12 seconds and delivers his notes about themes, the depiction of the LARP community, story/character areas, his inspirations, and effects. Lynch gives us more info than we get in the prior pieces, but he tends to be too effusive and filled with praise to make this particularly valuable.

Finally, we find a San Diego Comic-Con Panel. It goes for 48 minutes, 34 seconds and includes Lynch, Dinklage, Glau, Simpson, and actors Margarita Levieva, Ryan Kwanten, Michael Gladis, and Danny Pudi. They cover story/character areas, research, cast and performances, and some experiences during the shoot. The panel exists to promote the movie, and it feels that way, so it includes very few interesting details. Oh, and Lynch needs some Ritalin – he’s so wired that he gets annoying.

The disc opens with an ad for Iron Sky. We also find the trailer for Knights.

On the surface, Knights of Badassdom looks like a fun comedy-horror romp. Alas, it comes short on humor, scares or any form of inspiration. The Blu-ray provides generally positive picture and audio but its supplements remain forgettable. Knights falls flat and becomes a dull disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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