Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Category||Fantasy||Trailer-x 4 for other films|
|Year Of Production||2014|
|Running Time||92:14 (Case: 95)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Anne Black|
Natalie Devine Riskas
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Marek (Melanie Stone) is a young female slave with a club foot and a brutal master. She does, however, have some budding powers as a sorceress and is learning magic from experienced conjurer Gojun (Kevin Sorbo). One evening she accidentally kills her master while protecting herself and flees to a tavern where she hears the priestess Teela (Nicola Posener) trying to recruit heroes to rescue her sister Caeryn (Natalie Devine Riskas), another priestess who has been captured by orcs after their temple was raided and destroyed. This is a dangerous, almost suicidal, job, and Teela has little money so gets no takers. However, as a runaway slave with no prospects Marek decides to help Teela to rescue Caeryn and manages to recruit down on his luck soldier Thane (Adam Johnson) and part elf thief / archer Dagen (Jake Stormoen). They journey into the wild and catch up with the orcs led by Mekru Nom (Kee Chan) but Caeryn is not there. Instead Caeryn, and the mysterious and magical stone she is carrying, has been taken by the huge, human eating ogre. Our party of heroes must journey further into the wilderness, facing orcs and other ferocious beasts, until they find the ogreís cave, and his captives.
†††† Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is the first film in a series of five films, the last of which Mythica: The Godslayer is, according to the IMDb, currently in post-production. The co-writer / director of this film is Anne Black, whose previous films were Dawn of the Dragonslayer (2011) and The Gown and the Dragon (2013) so her interests are pretty plain, although some of the later Mythica entries had different directors. Thus while Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is a complete adventure in its own right, much is left unsaid or open; for example just who Marek is and the extent of her nascent magical powers is only obliquely hinted at while the sister and especially the stone are unexplained, just things to drive the story.
†††† A group of heroes on a quest has been done a myriad of times in fiction, games and film and Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is nothing remotely new and with sequences of our four heroes running across a hilly landscape with snowy mountains in the background or silhouetted against the sunset while the swelling score plays is very reminiscent of sequences of Lord of the Rings, especially as the score is very Lord of the Ringsish! But the mere fact that there are so many revisits to this epic / hero / quest theme illustrates that it remains a popular one and Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is by no means the worst example you will see. Melanie Stone is very good, and very watchable, as the budding magician / sorcerer gradually learning about her powers (with some failures), the Utah scenery is spectacular and the film has a sense of fun and humour, with some of Jake Stormoenís deadpan dialogue very funny. The CGI monsters, funded partly through a Kickstarter programme, vary from pretty poor to quite good, on a fraction of the budget of Lord of the Rings.
†††† Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is old fashioned, not only in its plot and characters (hey, we have a priestess, a magician, an elf thief archer and a rather slow witted but honourable soldier) but also in the fact that the fights do not feature severed limbs or spurting blood but are clean kills suitable for most audiences.
†††† Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, close the original ratio of 1.85:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Shot using Red Epic and Red One cameras Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is sharp and nicely detailed both in close-up and wide shots. Colours are glossy and natural, the Utah landscapes looking beautiful as the film does not suffer the digital colour manipulation of a lot of recent movies. Blacks and shadow detail are very good, brightness and contrast consistent, skin tones natural.
†††† There is some noise reduction evident in a couple of dark sequences, but otherwise artefacts or marks were absent.
†††† There are no subtitles.
†††† Feature audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
†††† This audio is fairly front oriented. Dialogue is clear, except for some sentences from Jake Stormoen when subtitles would have helped. The rears and surrounds did feature music, crowd noises, chickens and the occasional directional effect, but were not overly enveloping. The sub-woofer supported the music, and some creature effects.
†††† The original score by Nathaniel Drew channelled Howard Shore on occasion but was generally epic and appropriate.
†††† There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for All the Wilderness (1:59), Break Point (2:20), Electric Slide (2:16) and Grassland (1:58) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††††The US Region 1 DVD of Mythica: A Quest for Heroes includes a making of (26:42), a music video (4:23) and trailers. Amazon.com does not list a US or UK Blu-ray at present, although there is a German Region B Blu-ray which is listed as having the making of featurette.
†††† Mythica: A Quest for Heroes may be lightweight and low budget Lord of the Rings but the role of the first film in a series of five is to introduce the characters and the mythical world, provide some excitement and to draw the audience in so that we go on to the other films in the series. I am a sucker for sword and sorcery films (I have the original Conan the Barbarian as one of my all-time favourite films) and I had fun with Mythica: A Quest for Heroes and look forward to the other films in the series.
†††† The video is very good and audio is fine; there are no extras other than trailers for other films.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|