Mythica: The Darkspore (Blu-ray) (2015)
|Category||Fantasy||Trailer-x 4 for other films|
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Anne Black|
|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|
Mythica: The Darkspore is the second film in a series of five and follows Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. It is, like the first film, co-written / directed by Anne Black, although subsequent films in the series are not. Each of these first two films is a separate adventure in its own right, so that the events which drove the first film, the quest for Teela’s sister Caeryn and the mysterious stone she carried, are only linked marginally.
This time the magician Marek (Melanie Stone), priestess Teela (Nicola Posener), soldier of fortune Thane (Adam Johnson) and part elf part man thief / archer Dagen (Jake Stormoen) journey into the wilds to find a deserted underground city, guarded by a dragon. There is gold in the city, but also one quarter of the Darkspore which, if put back together, will provide unmeasurable power to its bearer. The master necromancer Szorlok is after the stone and has sent his disciple Kiskhumen (Ryan Palmer) and an army of orcs to get it. Marek and her friends race to find the city before Kiskhumen; along the way they rescue another elf, Qole (Rocky Myers), who joins their quest and face a variety of enemies including two female bounty hunters seeking to capture Marek. Marek also comes to understand more about her powers including the fact that she is a necromancer and that when she uses her powers she draws the life force from her friends. Marek also has visions of Szorlok, seeking to bring her to the dark side. When the friends arrive at the underground city they find that Kiskhumen are his orcs are there. And as they go underground they find that the dragon is not the only danger they face.
Mythica: The Darkspore, just like Mythica: A Quest for Heroes, is a quest with our four (and sometimes five) heroes running across a hilly landscape with snowy mountains or lakes in the background or silhouetted against the sunset while the epic score plays; these are very reminiscent of sequences in The Lord of the Rings, especially as the score is very The Lord of the Ringsish! But the fact that there is little that is new here does not mean that Mythica: The Darkspore is not entertaining. The budget may have been small but Black makes the most of the stunning Utah locations and Melanie Stone remains an engaging and interesting hero as she gradually comes to realise both the advantages and disadvantages of her powers. As the first film set up the main characters, Mythica: The Darkspore is able to develop the relationships, especially between Teela and Thane, and the film also retains a sense of fun and humour. The CGI dragon and other ancillary creatures, funded partly through a Kickstarter programme, vary from pretty poor to OK on a fraction of the budget of The Lord of the Rings.
Mythica: The Darkspore is a good, old fashioned, fantasy adventure that is a lot of fun. There is something for all fantasy fans; we get a priestess, a magician, an elf thief / archer, an honourable soldier of fortune, a dragon, a dungeon and a villain with yellow eyes and as the fights do not feature severed limbs or spurting blood the film is suitable for most audiences.
Mythica: The Darkspore is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, close to the original ratio of 1.85:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
Shot using Red Epic and Red One cameras Mythica: The Darkspore 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.
Artefacts or marks were absent.
There are no subtitles available.
Feature audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
Dialogue is clear. The rears and surrounds feature music, rats, fighting and the dragon, including a number of pans and directional effects, certainly an improvement on the first film. The sub-woofer supported the music, battles and dragon effects.
The original score by Nathaniel Drew channelled Howard Shore on occasion and was generally epic and appropriate.
There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for Heavenly Sword (1:33), Lost in the Sun (1:48) and Christmas Eve (2:14) 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 A Blu-ray of Mythica: The Darkspore apparently includes a making of but I cannot find any further details. There is also a German Region B Blu-ray which is listed as having the making of featurette.
Mythica: The Darkspore is a good, old fashioned, fantasy adventure on a small budget. It has all the stock characters and a stock plot but the Utah locations are stunning and the film is colourful and entertaining. If you enjoyed the first film in the series, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes, you should also enjoy this one which is, if anything, better than the first.
The video and audio are good; 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|