Monday, September 13, 2010

Merlin and The Book of Beasts (2009)

Genre: Fantasy, Arthurian Legends

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

 Grade: B-

You Know contrary to many peoples opinions on this movie I thought it had a really cool and intellectual story and premise. Those post King Arthur's death movies have some great potential going for them like this one and can be really good or they can really, really suck. Were would I place this one? well I would put it right in between crappy and really good. It was really just OK, kind of mediocre unfortunately. But it has enough edge to just miss a forgettable reputation and ends up being a little memorable.

Well as far as the story goes its pretty straight forward, Mordred's son, has taken over Camelot and placed it under a dark tyranny role of course, so its up to King Arthur's daughter to find Merlin and have him help her regain the kingdom. The whole thing is kind of predictable, but you know what its still kind of enjoyable. But i`ll begin with the pros of the movie first off it did incorporate one knight from the original round table and it was Sir.Galahad, to be exact the rest were apparently dead. Their was a couple good fights throughout the movie, but no full scale battles or anything along those lines, because this movie had a super small cast it had the equivalent of a plays size of a cast, at most i`d say their was only two dozen cast members. And also all the characters in the movie were not bland and boring, they were all pretty cool likable characters.
Now the Cons of the movie, one big thing that bothered me was it had virtually no background story about how, when, and why all the Knights of the Round Table other than Sir. Galahad were dead. I really wanted to know and was really curious and unfortunately it never comes straight out with the answer. Then it didn't stay close enough to traditional Arthurian legends like I would have liked, rather it incorporates randomly Greek mythology creatures like Medusa`s, which just simply didn't fit and ended up being super random. So I really don`t think the story was nearly half as good as it could have been.

As for the cast, James Callis who played Merlin was perfect, their wasn't a better person they could have chosen then him, everything from his voice, and his appearance made him perfect for the role. The rest of the cast was alright Donald Adams who played Sir. Galhad was also well chosen, he gave a great portal of a veteran knight of a once glorious power, which was now in shambles. So overall really well produced/casted movie, especially for a SyFy channel original movie. The movie provided a pretty tight soundtrack, as well as some pretty cool costumes. Then the sets were great, they were dark, and authentic looking. Not some cheap Ed Wood status sets.

Well i`ll finish this up by saying overall I thought it was a well directed movie and with some great artistic value. But it just wasn't as good as it could have been, so I was really disappointed in it. It strayed from the traditional Arthurian legends just a little to much for me and didn't provide a detailed enough background story. Plus the use of Greek mythology was a terrible choice, it just ended up being really random, simply didn't fit. But then on the other hand it had a pretty cool story, good direction, and a couple great fights so I'm a little torn on my decision on the movies quality. But I`ll have to say I overall disappointed in the movie, and believe it could have been much, much better.

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