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Today Only: The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series is $25
Deal of the Day: The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series is at a one day special price. Offer valid on July 25, 2016, applies only to purchases of products sold by Amazon.ca, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.ca site. Learn more.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
"Well, I'm glad that magic is fading from this world, the dragons are fading along with it."
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An amazing movie. Considering the age of it, the dragon is remarkable!Published 18 months ago by TNT
Still a special effects thrill and a welcome semi-adult drama addition to the Disney oeuvre.Published 20 months ago by Khufu
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 saidPublished on April 25 2014 by Barb M
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 on March 2 2014 by deborah.mcgrath
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
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