Merlin Season 1-2

Merlin CastMerlin also known as The Adventures of Merlin is a British BBC One TV show that started in 2008.   It was created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps.   As of this recording in May 2011 it has three television seasons with another slated for next autumn.   The series was created to be a family drama that children to grandparents could enjoy together.

PLOT: Camelot has outlawed magic.   Anyone seen practicing magic or helping someone practicing magic will be put to death by order of the king.   No exceptions.   Magical creatures are killed on sight, whether they are dangerous or not.   The king even killed every dragon in the land save one, which he imprisoned below the castle to serve as an example to anyone who dares to defy the King.

Merlin is sent to Camelot by his mother to stay with the Camelot royal physician named Gaius.   Through a series of fortunate (or unfortunate depending on who you ask) he comes to be the manservant of Prince Arthur.   Now, he must use his powers in secret to help Prince Arthur become a great king someday, knowing that if he is ever found out to be magical he would be put to death.

OH My God.   We must never talk this long again.   It took me 7 hours to edit this episode.   This episode covers only season 1-2 of Merlin.   There are no spoilers for season 3 and onward.   We might go back later and do another episode that covers season 3.   This series has some problems, but I think its a fun ride and worth the effort of tracking down if you’re a fantasy fan.   The first two episodes are a little rough, but the show continuously improves as it goes on.

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Dragon Age

Dragon Age Origins Box ArtThis is a special episode where we review not a fantasy movie, but a fantasy game.  Dragon Age: Origins is a 2009 western role playing game from Bioware for the PC, Xbox 360, and ps3.  In this game you choose one of six different origins, choose between three classes, pick your gender, and create the look of your character.  The storyline isn’t anything too unusual.  You’re a special warrior that is called upon to save the land from darkness, but the game really shines in the writing.  The world is detailed and well realized.  Characters feel like real people.  Your choices mold how the story progresses and ends so you feel emersed in this world like few others.

We were intending to have this game only cover Dragon Age: Origins, but Dragon Age 2 (the sequel) had recently came out and bits of it kept slipping into the podcast.  We were both only in Act I of Dragon Age 2 when we recorded this so there aren’t any Dragon Age: 2 storyline spoilers.  However, we do speak at length about the game mechanics and how they compare to the previous game.  We also talk at length on video game rpgs in general.

And we complain.  A lot.


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Red Sonja

Red Sonja Movie PosterRed Sonja is an eighties fantasy movie about a red haired chick killing evil people with swords while getting hit on by the govenator.   Pretty sweet right?   In all honesty, this movie is terrible.   The dialogue is stilted, the acting is amateurish, and the special effects weren’t that impressive in 1985.   But for some reason, I love this cheesy movie to bits.   It’s got a lot of heart, and despite its many flaws its a fun ride.

Just a quick warning:   If you’re planning on watching this movie with kids around, there is a random female  topless scene.   It’s weirdly random even for a topless scene.   However, the edited for TV version is just fine for kids to watch.   I watched it all the time as a kid and I am mostly a non warped human being.

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Escaflowne

Escaflowne Cast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hadn’t done an anime in a long time, and it was apparently for good reason.   It took us forever to watch this!

Escaflowne is an odd mish-match of shojo and shonen elements with genres like fantasy, mechas, and romance all thrown into one big bowl and mixed around to varying degrees of success.   The story follows a typical Japanese high school girl named Hitomi Kanzaki.   Hitomi is fond giving tarot card readings and running track.   One day a mysterious boy with a sword shows up, and she’s suddenly transported to the fantasy world of Gaia.   There her tarot card readings becoming very accurate and she’s thrust into an epic war.

We remembered this show being better, for some reason. It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainty didn’t hold up to scrutiny ten years after our original viewing.

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Princess Bride

Princess Bride DVD CoverTalking about the film The Princess Bride is hard.

It’s not that it’s a particularly deep film with all of this hidden subtext.   In fact, it’s a pretty straight forward film of swash buckeling adventure where true love conquers all and the heroes ride off into the sunset at the end. This film isn’t good because it’s wrapped in a crunchy shell of childhood nostalgia.   It’s actually good.   And when films are  actually good, they’re very very hard to make fun of.

And here at the Fantasy Movie Podcast we’re all about making fun of things.

That’s the main reason why we put off podcasting about this movie.   We tried to make a go of it this episode, and I’m not sure how well we pulled it off.   How do you think we did listeners?

Thanks for requesting this film Sylvia!

If you want to request what fantasy movie we discuss, complain how we didn’t do this film justice, ask us to forward money to Nigeria, or make a general comment about the podcast, please comment below!

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Slayers Next

Slayers Next CastSlayers Next is the second season of Slayers, and by far the best. The series improves greatly from Slayers.   The animation quality increases, the humor hits home more often, and the plot can be quite powerful at times.

In this episode, we get into the nitty gritty of the plot of Slayers Next and also some of Slayers Try. As of this recording, however, we had not yet watched Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R so you don’t have to worry about being spoiled on those.

If you haven’t seen the show and are interested, the series is really easy to obtain. Deep Discount has the first three series (Slayers, Slayers Next, and Slayers Try) for less than $50 dollars. You can also watch all three seasons of Slayers legally for free on Funimation’s official website    and on some of the  episodes are also up on  Funimation’s youtube page.

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Willow

Willow Movie PosterWillow is a 1988 fantasy film directed by Ron Howard and starring Warwick Davis.   Willow is a young farmer who goes on a quest to save a baby’s life from an evil queen who believes the child is destined to overthrow her.   Along the way, he makes friends with a quirky cast of characters and finds the inner strength to become a hero.

What can be said about Willow? It’s a cult classic that’s been on our ‘to do’ list since first deciding to do a podcast.   The film holds up very well and is still a joy to watch with adult eyes.   If you’ve never seen this film, by all means look it up.   It’s readily available and is even on Netflix’s Instant Watch service.

We were both rather sick when we recorded this episode, but we only sound slightly froggish.

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Slayers

Slayers castIn this episode, we finally review Slayers! This nineties fantasy anime series is near and dear to me and Melanie’s hearts.   It was the anime series that made me an anime nerd and holds up quite well to this day. It’s still my favorite anime series.

Slayers is the humorous fantasy tale of Lina Inverse badass sorceress supreme who steals from bandits and gives to herself. Her love of money is only equal to her love of food.   Steal Lina Inverse’s ham sandwich and you’ll quickly wish you were never born.   Also, don’t mention she’s short, flat-chested, and has a bad temper; really it’d would be best to avoid her at all costs.   Maybe take a vacation to another city if she’s headed your way?

Lina is joined by a crew of quirky sidekicks all of which are pretty darn interesting in of themselves.   Through various circumstances the Slayers often have to save the world from total annihilation (mostly because they’d be  on  the world when the annihilation would happen).

Slayers is the first season of this totally awesome anime series which is followed by Slayers Next, Slayers Try, Slayers Revolution, and Slayers Evolution-R.   There are also some O.V.A.s where Lina runs around with different characters from the series, but I don’t recommend them.

Definitely check this series out if you haven’t seen it already!   The first three seasons are dirt cheap on Deep Discount.   Look forward to our reviews of the rest of the Slayers seasons on later podcasts!

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