B Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Film: C+
is known for making tough guy action films that are often silly, but in
retrospect, his 1996 film Dragonheart
retains his better qualities as a filmmaker as he makes a film to appeal to a
family audience. Dennis Quaid is the
hero who must slay the evil dragon, but Draco (as voiced by Sean Connery) is
not as bad as he seems and the two form an amusing friendship out to thwart a
contract to kill the dragon for profit.
However, Draco is under a curse and may be doomed just the same.
the fantasy genre became so infantilized and silly, this was a film that
respected the intelligence of its audience and did not treat children
childishly. Connery would not have
approved of that approach and the film is not bad after 11 years. A popular catalog title, Universal has issued
it as later back catalog on HD-DVD after so much success with it on DVD and
other formats. I am not a huge fan, but
I give the film credit for treating its audience with respect, a type that has
too often been absent in blockbusters since.
VC-1 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image shows some age, especially in the
digital animation, but is the best looking the film is going to probably look
in this format. Director of Photography
David Eggby, A.C.S., shot the film in real anamorphic Panavision and that is
one of the reasons it looks so good for its age. Color is not bad and this is better than any
DVD we’ve seen of the material.
was originally a DTS 5.1 theatrical exclusive release with a 12” DTS Laserdisc
and DTS-only DVD release, all showing off the fun and amusing use of surround
design even as sampled on popular, hard-to-get DTS demo DVDs. Here, we get only a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
mix that sounds good, but sounds like it is also missing some of the richness
and nuance from the DTS master. Randy
Edelman’s score is not bad and makes sense for such a production.
include outtakes, original theatrical trailers, a making of featurette and
feature length audio commentary by Cohen.
- Nicholas Sheffo