5/14/2013 11:06pm, #1
"SINS OF THE DRAGON" - A MOVIE MADE IN 2012 THAT SOMEHOW DIDN'T STEAL THAT TITLE
Sins of the Dragon (yes, that's a link to its imdb page) has a listed runtime of 60 minutes- it's only actually 28- and an estimated budget of $2,000. This is very much a friends & family, student project, and for some reason they asked us to review it- presumably because they've never visited our site- and for some reason we said "why the **** not".
Here's the trailer.
So, now you have an idea what you're in for and what we went through- REVIEW!
The film is prefaced by this disclaimer:
The following film takes place in a fantasy world that borrows aspects from many cultures and practices in the pursuit of a better story.
The bad guy, Caligo, has been traveling the land collecting the "Dragons"- sharpie tattoos with magical, mystical universe controlling powers- all while working on his Sub Zero impression and leaving a swath of dead monks, villagers and his own employees in his wake. Henry is fated to stop him, and so Caligo sends his ninja minions to stop our young hero and his feisty female friend!
Cue the fight scene!
Before I get into (un)constructive criticism of the choreography, I just have to say, even with the greatest effects team on Earth and a budget somewhere around the net worth of a small country, a POV tracking shot of an arrow in flight will always, always, always look like ****.
So the fights begin and we see spinning, jumping, randomly striking weapons against weapons, some stretching/yoga moves as evasion of bad kicks, rinse and repeat; the choreography itself wouldn't be so hard to sit through if we hadn't all grown up sitting through it on Saturday morning in front of our TVs in the 70's and 80's. There is something to be said for an obvious homage- Yay, Dragon title-, but if you're going to do it you need to do it hard and fast and adding a motion blur filter with Adobe After Effects doesn't count.
Throughout the fight scenes- most of the movie- the ninja henchmen baddies come in droves and attack in the standard chop sockey flick manner: one at a time. However, while it's cool that our hero can do a gymnastics floor routine down a gauntlet of ninjas with terrible aim, having the bad guys just kind of stand there and scratch their collective asses after the swing and miss is just lazy.
The special effects are fun and kitschy, but there are a few too many "bad guy back to camera, slash throat" finishes. That said, the best bit has to be Henry going in to finish off the last ninja, kneeling down over him and slashing his throat. We don't see the slash itself- those effects are hard-, but we do get a physics defying bit of blood bukkake blasted onto Kaia who had at the time been standing behind the hero who was leaning over the baddy. This had to be on purpose as Henry comes away spotless, so I can only presume this has something to do with patriarchal privilege and the sexualization of violence against women, but I can't be bothered to mansplain it over the sound of my own micro-passive-aggression.
The sexual tension comes to a head as Kaia leaves Henry in the forrest- where the whole film takes place-, because he's a dick. She soon regrets her decision as she is set upon by three stooges intent on selling her into sex slavery somewhere between painfully delivering painfully long metaphors in a painful attempt at humor.
She beats the **** out of them, but is comically laid low when one of the baddies remembers he has a short blow-gun with a long dart. Ok, that was kind of cute.
Henry saves her. They talk about it. By this point, we have seen several odd, scene transitions involving hand drawn frames that are just odd.
Caligo hears his initial wave of ninjas got walloped, so he kills a few of the ninjas he was practicing on. The Darth Vader School of Management is not effective.
Henry and Kaia find their great foe, there's a big fight, !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! Kaia gets put in a refrigerator by way of throwing knife and Henry triumphs but he's really sad about it.
There, that's it. It is what it is. If you watch it with friends, you could enjoy yourself at its expense.
Warning: Due to the graphic nature of this review, it should not have been read by anyone involved in "Sins of the Dragon".
Foot Notes From Nick
- Script - The dialogue between characters is not the actors failing to read dialogue or emote; that is just how it is written.
- Sociology - The film claimed to borrow aspects from many cultures. At first I assumed they meant 'only Asian' cultures, but realized the folly of my ways about 15 minutes in to this movie. In addition to piecing together a random Asiatic culture they also take a very important part of culture from anime fans: Wishing they were Asian and not white.
- Goofs - There is a scene where the white guy is talking to the white girl, it cuts away to a reaction shot of the white girl and the mouth movement does not line up with what is being spoken. I just thought you�d want to know that.
- Positive - You managed to include numerous school clubs. And I suppose I smirked at the piss & beans bit.
- Negative - I'm never getting those 28 minutes back.
5/15/2013 7:42am, #2
Now I don't regret not making it down for the showing.
5/15/2013 9:38am, #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
- Kissimmee, FL
Wow... just... wow..
Fear my chrome plated butterfly swords.. they are not sharp enough to cut you, but they might chip and give you a splinter.
5/15/2013 10:33am, #4
Seriously. Bullshido movie. We needs to makes it.
5/15/2013 10:58am, #5
5/15/2013 11:02am, #6
5/15/2013 11:21am, #7
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
- Kissimmee, FL
5/15/2013 11:26am, #8
I'm going to start putting laurel wreaths around everything I say.
5/15/2013 11:28am, #9
Phrost gets kidnapped by a cabal of disgruntled Chunners, Ninjers and rogue elements of the ATA. IIF uses his ridiculous memory and quote manipulation skills to identify the villains. A crack team is assembled for the rescue, but first they must go and learn the secret art of face-blocking from Omega, and find inner peace with the help of DerAuslander.
5/15/2013 11:28am, #10The fool thinks himself immortal,
If he hold back from battle;
But old age will grant him no truce,
Even if spears spare him.