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World of Warcraft: The Beginning is a Fantasy World Come to Cinematic Life
Fantasy Come to Life
So while 2015 brought us a live-action Dungeons and Dragons-based The Last Witch Hunter (based on producer and star Vin Diesel’s long-standing D&D character that (for better or worse) met with tepid response, and now, this year, we are being treated to a big-budget $160 million World of Warcraft film that combined live actors with motion capture Orcs and CGI-generated sets, that (again unfortunately) seems to be garnering the same sort of tepid response (according to Box Office Mojo after just over a week out, the film has just pulled in just over $7 million). Which on some level stands to reason as players of the on-line Blizzard game has dropped from an all-time high of 12 million users in 2010, to a mere 5.5m in 2015.
World of Warcraft - PC/Mac
World of Warcraft Game
Includes Expansion Packs: The Burnings Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria
30 days of free game time included
Includes levels 1 through 90
Subscription, Internet connection, and Battle.net registration required
When Worlds Collide
According to reports, production on the film actually began some 10 years ago, and follows plotlines developed in the game as well as in the novels. The story is set in the mystical world of Azeroth that is awash in both magics and mythical creatures. As the film begins we discover that the peaceful kingdom of Azeroth has been invaded by a clan of Orcs intent on pillaging the word of Azeroth, as the world of the Orcs is dying, and the Orcs need to conquer the world of Azeroth so that the Orcs themselves may live. Now the two civilizations are on the edge of war as its civilization as the Orc warriors attempt to flee their dying home to colonize that of Azeroth. Utilizing dark magiks the warlock Gul'dan (Daniel Wu) opens a portal to connect the two worlds, and to allow the army of Orcs entrance into the kingdom of Azeroth. As these two great armies face off against each other the fate of both worlds hangs in the balance.
WARCRAFT Movie Trailer
A Cinematic Achievement
We have to say that the film truly is an achievement in the melding of live actors, green-screen motion capture and CGI. Still while it all looks amazing, we do have to admit that some of it simply looks too clean and, well, pretty. To be sure the Orcs are all earthy and native, but the armor of the knights of Azeroth, often appear to be all but gleaming, even during the bloody battle sequences. Having just spent the past weekend watching the Game of Thrones full-on Battle of the Bastards, we understand just how messy these thing can actually get, so it is just a bit disappointing to see that the fight with the Orcs wasn’t quite so messy.
The Orcs have It
Enter the World of Warcraft
To be fair, we are not a gamer, so we’ve never actually experienced the game, save through observing others play it (our son was a big-time gamer when he was in high school), but we are a big fan of the genre. (We know it isn’t quit the same, but we did read Lord of the Rings when we were in high school, and loved those films when Peter Jackson brought them to life on the big screen). Still, with this film, early viewers do get to receive a coupon to receive a free download of the game, so don’t to forget to ask if it is still available when you go to check it out for yourself.