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Category:    Home > Reviews > Monsters > Horror > Comedy > Korea > Dragon Wars: D-War (2007/Blu-ray/Korea)

Dragon Wars: D-War (2007/Blu-ray/Korea)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C-     Film: D



Hoping that we may be in the beginning of a cycle of cheesy monster films, Sony has picked up Hyung Rae Shim’s Dragon Wars: D-War (2007) for DVD and Blu-ray, the latter of which we have here to look at.  It is bad, the way The Host was and a hit for Magnolia.  Both films admit the preposterousness of doing a giant monster horror film in an era with digital effects (bypassing Peter Jackson’s King Kong) that ruin the fun the pre-digital monster versions that are really genre classics.


So what if it is a guy in an outfit, stop motion, go motion or even hand-drawn animation?  Unfortunately, the new films play too much on the comedy and the results, along with the mix of bad effects of all kinds and sloppy filmmaking in general, complete with low-budget sloppiness no matter the high budgets.  Jason Behr, Elizabeth Pena and Robert Forster co-star in the 1970s tradition of getting American actors in their questionable genre productions.


Unless you think all genre films are just schlock, one of the biggest myths of all time, it is a bad film.  However, people still will want to watch for its cheesiness, but the problem with that it that it is cheesy on purpose, not by accident like the classics decades before.  The other problem is that it becomes an excuse to be bad and the overproduction betrays its intents as much as anything.  It is also a film that does not understand the true heart and soul fun of those original films.  It is why the new 1997 Godzilla was a disaster, why digital effects are overrated and why too many big budget films are not even as good as low-budget and/or B-movie equivalents of the past that mattered.


That leaves the ridiculous moments of this film the only reason to watch, if you want to waste 90 minutes of your time.  Unfortunately, as creatively bankrupt posers who want to cash in on franchising and recycling ideas continue to make this very same film, the novelty will wear thinner than the nonexistent script here.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 has some good moments of depth, definition and fidelity, but between the various effects, sloppiness of the effects and some bad digital work, this is not a great looking film and certainly not a consistent performer.  The Dolby TrueHD reveals all kinds of soundfield problems from the original Dolby Digital theatrical release, reminding this critic about how good the mono sound was on her classics.  The makers do not know what to do with 5.1, so it bleeds, it is all over the place in incoherent ways, a soundfield is never established and the higher definition of TrueHD makes this all the more apparent.


Extras include a conceptual art gallery, animatics and a short making of featurette dubbed “5,000 Years In The Making” that are all more interesting than the film itself.  Dragon Wars: D-War is a mess, there is a slim chance it will become a cult item, but when you can get the original Godzilla films and the likes of Ultraman or Super Inframan at home, why go with this?



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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