Reign Of Fire (2002/Blu-ray)
Picture: B+†††† Sound: B+†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: D
always felt like an attempt to do a digital update of Dragonslayer with gritty adults versus teens, Rob Bowmanís Reign Of Fire (2002) was an attempt by
the only occasionally tough guy director to makeover the fantasy genre in his
way, but ultimately, it just never works out.
McConaughey is Denton, an American in the year 2022, where the world is in
post-apocalyptic mode visiting Britain.†
There, Quinn (Christian Bale, now the bigger star for so many reasons)
is protecting his family and people from the arrival of dragons pouring out
from under the earthís crust.† Denton
says he can stop them, but the two men do not get along.† Can they work together long enough to save
everyone or will they kill each other first?
Well, The Odd Couple with swords and
fire-breathing dragons this ainít and that would have been better.† The creatures have a burn and scorch policy
that would do the Soviets proud crushing the Nazis, a possible reference in
vain, which sort of summarizes the film.†
Even with a supporting cast that includes Isabella Scorupco, Gerald
Butler and Alice Krige, all who are a plus, the digital dragons and a tired
screenplay (three writers?) cannot stop this from being Mad Max lite.† Of course,
Baleís growing success (including Disney issuing the terrific The Prestige on Blu-ray a week after
this) makes this the right time to issue this recent catalog title.† It remains a curio at best.
2.35 x 1 digital High Definition image is not without its flaws in the
transfer, but the cinematography by the late, great Adrian Biddle, B.S.C., saves
this from being a B-movie altogether.†
Despite all the digital and dulled color palate, Biddle is able to make
this look better than it would have, just coming off of the two Mummy films (see the HD-DVDs elsewhere
on this site) and the lesser Bond film The
World Is Not Enough (see our DTS DVD review), also digitally plastered to
no end.† Even though the effects, he knew
how to shoot these kinds of films.† The
PCM 16-bit/48kHz 5.1 mix is engaging with surrounds like the genre calls for,
even down to the comic Dragonheart,
which showed off its surrounds in DTS particularly.
include a Bowman interview, two making of featurettes and the trailer.† For fans and the most curious only.
-†† Nicholas Sheffo