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 PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 37.99
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Dragonslayer Dragonslayer 4.4 out of 5 stars (61)
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Dragonslayer + Legend [Blu-ray] + Willow [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At long last ... Jan. 8 2004
I am still amazed that this film still looks and sounds as good as it does. It is a solid entertainment and most of the dragon effects can still stand alongside any seen in "Lord of the Rings", as they were done by ILM. One wishes that there was at least the movie trailer on this DVD, as it has no extra's to it. Perhaps they will put out a deluxe edition some time in the future. Those who write off early eighties fantasy films, (and there are a lot to write off!), as cheesy, really should take a serious look at this. The only time one wishes the special effects were better is in the Dragon's offspring, where they dont have the believability that the main dragon has.
This was one of the last roles for Sir Ralph Richardson, and he makes the absolute best of it. His scorcerer can stand alonside Merlin or any other.
The period detail is another plus. being made after "Excalibur", (as well as some fine lesser known films of the 70's), the costumes and other effects have a wonderful believeability to them.
So, if your looking for a nice distraction in the fantasy film department, you really can't go wrong with this film!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dragonslayer is very much like a Merchant-Ivory costume drama -only with a fire-breathing dragon! Like Merchant-Ivory films, Dragonslayer is well-written, beautifully photographed, designed with an amazing eye for authentic costumes, sets and props to the last detail and masterfully acted by all the supporting characters. Unfortunately, like other M-I films, there is little action and a very unsypathetic "hero".
The plot: For years, the kingdom of Urland has managed to avoid being incinerated by a dragon by offering up maidens as a twice-annual meal. Like the draft during Vietnam, the lottery by which the virgins are chosen is more or less rigged to guarantee that the children of the rich and/ or well-connected aren't conscripted as dragon bait. One thing the movie should have addressed is the question of why the virgins of Urland don't "dodge the draft" in a rather easy and obvious (and fun!) way.
Since there are no slots in the "champagne unit" of the Texas Air Guard available to a young commoner named Valerian, she has spent her youth dressed like a boy. However, she refuses to just sit by as other girls are devoured, so she and other peasants seek out a wizard to kill the dragon.
The only one they find is Ulric (played perfectly as an almost senile hermit by Ralph Richardson), an octogenarian who lives 300 miles away and appears to already have one foot in the grave. He doesn't even look like he can travel all the way to Urland, let alone fight a dragon. He is also handicapped by a a clumsy and dull-witted apprentice, Galen (Peter MacNicol).
Enter Tyrian (Jack Hallam) a wonderfull villain played by a wonderfull actor. He thinks the old magician is a fraud and a troublemaker and calls him out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slayer July 11 2004
Yes, of course it is showing its age. It was made in 1981. This does not change the fact that this movie totally owns. This rocked back in the day and it continues to rock if for nothing but the pure nostalgia factor (showing this movie to my older brother will be sure to conjure memories). 1981 seemed to be a big year for movies about Knights, swords and sorcery. This was one of the best and remained the best for a long time to come. Only today, with slick computer graphics do we see the failures of the special effects here and there. However, they tried their best, really they did. It remains an impressive tale about magic, progress, advancement, and heroism. One of the more memorable lines from this movie was something like :
"Well, I'm glad that magic is fading from this world, the dragons are fading along with it."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good when it came out--and still good now! July 8 2004
This has been a favorite of mine over the years, and its stood the test of time--I still like it! I especially like the characters, the way it lets you understand their motives without asking you to accept them. It shows you peoples foibles as well as their strengths. It includes several horrific scenes, but doesn't bog down in explicit detailing of gore (for example, when the princess sacrifices herself to the dragon, you don't see her killed, but only see a glimpse of her body where the baby dragons are feeding). Or, the old servant is murdered, and before he dies he says, "Someone's shot me!" in a voice of surprise, like he can't understand why someone would do that. And the dragon was believable to me. I accepted its sadness at being at the end of an era and without having a place in the new one. Dragonslayer is a good story supported by special effects and not the other way around--a movie with loads of special effects and no story--that would be boring!
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Fantasy is very much a sometimes thing for me. And I have to admit it's always interesting to see how genre fans respond to a given film. It's not always what you would expect. I found DRAGONSLAYER a little plodding at times, and the script didn't seem like much. In fact, I dozed more than once and had to thank the Force or the gods or whatever that I could hit my back button. So naturally, I was interested in what hardcore fantasy buffs would say about the film. Judging from the comments below, true genre films LOVE this film...and pretty much for the reasons you might expect: good special effects; beautiful and evocative settings; a couple of not-so-predictable plot twists.
On the other hand, there are those script problems. The dialog is not what you'd call scintillating. The best lines go to the minor characters (Sydney Bromley has a field day), whereas poor Peter MacNicol in the title role gets to say things like, "Yes, I'm in love, but not with the princess. I'm in love with you." Yeccchhh!
Peter MacNicol has one of those elfin faces that makes him a natural for a part like this. If you're doing a fantasy flick and Sam Neill is unavailable, you'd definitely want to consider Peter. Whether the now middle-aged actor would welcome that kind of casting after playing more grown-up roles on CHICAGO HOPE and ALLY MacBEAL is hard to say. But he's effective here and certainly looks the part.
Speaking of Sam Neill, here's where my not being a genre specialist leaves me scratching my proverbial head. I watched the series MERLIN a while back and rather enjoyed it. I was then pretty surprised to that series raked over the coals by fantasy lovers who posted on Amazon.com. I have no real clue why MERLIN left the fans cold, while DRAGONSLAYER seems to enthrall them.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
my grandsons loved this movie and so did I , it had a lot of action and it stood up to the super heros movies the boys said
Published 4 months ago by Barb McNamara
5.0 out of 5 stars Super happy!!!
Loved this old movie and was waiting a long time for it to drop in price. Ended up buying 2 copies one for me and one for my dad!!!
Published 6 months ago by deborah.mcgrath
2.0 out of 5 stars This movie was nothing special....
I never really liked this movie. Both the story, characters, and special effects all seemed to be below average. It came and went and is only shown rarely on TV.
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by D.W. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, but showing its age
Compared to modern Fantasy and effects it doesn't really hold up so well, but for its time it was very impressive, and on certain levels a new standard. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by GuanoLad
1.0 out of 5 stars NO REAL DIRECTERS IN THE 80S??
Well I rented this cuz I'm a HUGE fan of the brillaint Lord of the Rings trilogies of Peter Jackson. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserved A Better DVD
This movie deserves a better DVD treatment. The film has been released with no extras what so ever (not even the standar coming attractiong trailer)!. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see....
With all of the high tech special effect films out these days, it is very easy to forget about a movie that is over 20 years old. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by BRIAN MOOREHEAD
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD a bit Non-Standard??
First of all, this IS a truly great movie. A good demonstration of how some gems can get lost in the dross. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2003 by Amazon Customer
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