HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 71:57)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • 2 Deleted scenes
  • Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - Rob Cohen
  • 2 Featurette - The Making of Dragonheart & The DragonHeart Archives
  • Production notes
  • 5 TV spot

Dragonheart - Collector's Edition

Universal/Columbia Pictures . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . M . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Jurassic Park was THE wow factor movie for the beginning of the digital effects era. I remember my first experience at seeing a lifelike dinosaur on the screen as I stared in amazement and wondered "how did they do that". Even so, it was still only some 5 minutes of onscreen time for the digital effects with the rest being animatronics. Along comes dragonheart, staking its claiming as having more than 17 minutes of a digital dragon onscreen, the most for its time. This was something different to the dinosaurs. This was one character with a speaking role which would require alot more animated magic to pull it off. The digital animators did and they took another big step toward replacing puppeteers with mouse clicks. Jump forward to today and the likes of the Phantom Menace dwarfs all others before it with 95% of the movie being digital but that's what you get when you own the company that all others come to for that binary baking.

Bowen (Dennis Quaid), a Knight of the old Code, is teaching young student Einen the ways of the noble and the fighting skills of the Knights while Einens father, the King of England, is raging a tyrannous battle against a small village. The King, thinking he has succeeded in destroying the village, soon realises he has fallen into the villagers trap and is killed. Einen, coming to his rescue is accidently pushed onto a stake by a young Kara (Dina Meyer) and injured. Bowen races him back to the castle to save his life - the only way to do so is for Einens mother (Julie Christie) to take Einen to an age old dragon who offers a piece of his heart to save the boy, only if the boy keeps a promise to be a good and noble King.

12 Years later, Einen has taken the place of his father both as King and evil tyrant. Bowen, believing the dragons heart has poisoned Einen, takes a vow to kill every remaining dragon only to realise he has met his match in the last remaining dragon, Draco (Sean Connery). A stalemate ensues and Bowen soon realises that killing Draco means he is out of job and Draco is not too fond of being killed so they come to a truce whereby Draco will terrorise villages and Bowen will arrive on the scene to 'kill' the menace, for a price.

When Bowen comes to terms with the fact that it is indeed Einen that is evil and not the dragon, he sets of to battle Einen and his army with the help of terrorised villagers who have been convinced by Kara that this is not the way people should be ruled. The problem is, Bowen can't kill Einen as his life blood lives within Draco so if Einen is hurt, Draco is also hurt. As long as Draco is alive, Einen shall never die so Bowen must chose to have Einen dead or his best friend Draco alive.

  Video
Contract

This is a good looking disc. I remember seeing the region 1 disc and seeing alot of edge enhancement which gave the image an artificial sharpness and detail. Alot of recent discs achieve much better image detail without artificial enhancement and it seems the region 4 release is from the same master.

That aside, the image is still pretty good. Shadow detail is very good given that night scenes are still filled with torch light or bright moonlight. I didn't notice any mpeg artifacting to deter from the visual experience and the bit-rate seemed a little higher on our release which should negate any inherent artifacting.

Color saturation and vibrancy is good. There are some impressive vistas throughout the movie but the color rendtion and detail in Draco is the most impressive aspect on this dvd. You can clearly see how much effort was put into his design and final rendering.

  Audio
Contract

Ahh, one of the more entertaining soundtracks of recent releases. As with the visual effects in these movies, the sound also has alot of effort put in to give it that extra realistic sound. Every nuance of sound that could possibly be heard from the onscreen imagery is clearly defined and dialogue is well balanced throughout the whole movie no matter the situation.

It's when Draco appears that the soundtrack gets that little extra treatment. Sean Connerys booming presence is emphasised whenever he's on screen and there's that hint of a rumble in his voice to accomodate the size difference between a human and a dragon. The one scene that stands out is where Bowen, on horse, is conversing with Draco who is swooping and looping around the entire sound stage from speaker to speaker with great stage imaging. An excellent soundtrack indeed.

  Extras
Contract

First up, we have exactly the same extras as the region 1 release so for those who don't know what to expect, here they are:

  • Making of Doco - A good look at the concept behind dragonheart, looking back at the original concepts, CG character design and special effects creation. Director Rob Cohen gives us an insight as to what he expected from the special effects crew with a chapter dedicated to Phil Tippets model creation.
  • Scene Outtakes - 2 outtakes that are found within the above doco, accessed via the chapter section of the above. Not particularly enthralling but you can see why they are taken out. I call them "plot bricks" because they'd only slow the plot down.
  • Thetrical Trailers - 2 trailers, one teaser and one full trailer, both of par quality video and audio. You can access these trailers via there own menu option or as chapters in the making of doco.
  • 5 TV spots - 5 full screen, sub-par quality TV promos. They are the same quality as the US release so don't worry there.
  • Feature Commentary - Director Rob Cohen provides us with an insightful commentary and gives us a clear picture that this movie is his pride and joy. There a dull moments and times when he gives you that "Oooh, that's interesting" reaction.
  • Production Notes - standard fare, althought a little longer than your 2 page average.
  • Cast and crew filmographies - standard fare.

  Overall  
Contract

Dragonheart was an enjoyable movie. You can't help but wonder that this was another CG effects experiment to see how much digital time they could produce on film and yet it still provides a simple fantasy story that is still very entertaining.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=162
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    ""
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Steve Koukoulas

    Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 1
    "... created for the Cartoon Network, made their way onto starwars.com in small quicktime versions and are now available on DVD."

    The Fifth Element - Collectors Edition
    "a truly special edition"

    Duel - Special Edition
    "Duel is easily the best bang-for-your-buck suspense car-chase, truck hounded thriller ever ... a must have for Spielberg and suspense fans."

    Dodgeball - Uncut
    "Sometimes the simplest of ideas for a movie pay off the best."

    Ultimate Matrix Collection (10 Disc Box Set)
    "If no-one can be told what the Matrix is, this Ultimate collection edition is the closest you're going to get to finding out."

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss