Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Night Magical Movie: Dragonheart

"A knight is sworn to valor.
His heart knows only virtue.
His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.
His wrath undoes the wicked."

Here's a classic fantasy that I always loved.  It's a story about honor, magic and dragons.  It's also lots of fun, and had cutting edge CGI for it's time back in 1996, and it won an Academy Award for special effects to prove it.

Bowen (Dennis Quaid) is a knight of the old code, and has taken on the training of Einon, prince and heir to the throne in 10th century England.  He teaches him not only to fight, but the virtues of honor and chivalry, in an attempt to nurture the values of a knight of the round table in the boy.  The king is a cruel man, and during a bloody raid on one of the villages the king is killed.  Einon rips the crown from his dying father showing his true secret nature.  His pride in taking the crown passes quickly however when he is stabbed in the heart by one of the girls of the village. 

Bowen and Einons mother Queen Aislinn bring the dying Einon to his mothers honored friend, a Dragon voiced by noneother than Sean Connery.  We learn that she also follows the old ways and is recognised by the dragon as a "Daughter of the Celts."  When they make Einon swear to the dragon to be a fair and just ruler and follow the knights code, he does, and the dragon saves his life by sharing half of his heart with the boy.

Now that Einon is king and his life has been saved, his true nature comes out for everyone to see, he decides to slave the people to build him a new castle and continues his fathers reign of terror over the people of his land.  Bowan, not wanting to believe that the boy had lied to him all along, blames the dragon for cursing his heart and sets out on a new path as a dragonslayer as he travels the land killing every dragon he can find as Einon grows into a callus and cruel king.

12 years later, Bowen having turned his back on the code meets up with Brother Gilbert (Pete Postlethwaite), a traveling monk, scribe and poet who decides to follow him and record ballads of his exploits.  Bowan ends up facing down what he soon learns to be the last dragon alive and after extensive battle and arguing throughout a dicey stalemate they decide it's best to team up, Bowen pretending to slay him and the dragon pretending to die, both benefiting by survival.  Bowen names the dragon Draco after the dragon constellation since his name is unpronounceable to humans.  They end up in several sticky predicaments, and eventually meet up with Kara (Diana Meyer) who once stabbed Einon as a girl and has tried to kill Einon herself again in revenge for her fathers death.  The realize the only way to make justice for the people is to train them for battle against King Einon.  What no one but Draco knows is that his life and Einons are tied together by the heart, as long as Dracos heart beats, so will Einons.

It's a clever story, with beautiful scenery and excellent costuming, music, it really pulls it all together, and was honored by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy adn Horror Films for their excellent contributions.  Sean Connery brings wonderful personality to Draco, the wise and lovable dragon. 

David Thewlis channels his inner bad guy brilliantly as King Einon, he really makes a great villain.  Queen Aislinn is one of my favorite characters, she is kind and wise and attempts to live her life with grace and dignity no matter what.  She is played by the beautiful and talented Julie Christie who was Lara in the 1965 film  Doctor Zhivago.  I also like the scene when Draco takes Bowen to Avalon where he heard Arthurs voice (uncredited John Geilgud) who reminds him of the old code once again. 

This film received mixed reviews, but I was happy to take it for what it was, a fun fantasy film with food for the imagination.  Jami Bernard of the The New York Daily News described Dragonheart as "a movie for people young enough to keep dragons in the menageries of their imaginations." As an "over 40" woman with a whole slew of fantastical creatures dancing around in my imagination, I'll take that as a compliment!


Monday Movie Featured Item:
Garnet Dragon 15 oz coffee mug, available in our Etsy shop!

Who wouldn't love to have a dragon fighting right at their side?  Our Garnet Dragon coffee mug will kindle the dragon in your heart every morning and keep the magic alive all day long.

The design wraps all the way around the mug, repeating the art twice with a close up detail view in the center of the mug. A parchment paper design graces the border. This design is printed right in my studio and hand pressed permanently into the surface of the ceramic mug. This mug is both microwave and dishwasher safe.

We've had many proud owners of these mugs praise how beautiful they are and well they heat up drinks in the microwave without the handle getting hot. We hate when that happens, so we love these mugs!  Dan and I use one every morning.

Bright Blessings,

3 comments:

  1. This is a great movie! But it makes me cry every time so I tend to not watch the end anymore.

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  2. Yeah, I totally understand! It's sad at the end. :o(

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  3. I've loved DragonHeart since I was a kid, being somewhat of a guilty pleasure, with Draco being one of my favorite film dragons. From learning about the film's development process, it's a shame that Universal messed it up as the film could have been more. After I found out about the novelization, I just had to get my hands on it and it was more than worth it. It's the true version of DragonHeart and one of the best novelizations I've ever read!

    The book fleshes out the characters, the world, and the story while the film only scratched the surface and dumbed some things down to be more family-friendly. It also reads like poetry, how Pogue describes the thoughts and dreams of the characters. The movie ought to be remade to be more faithful to the novel, with Sean Connery returning to voice Draco and Liam Neeson as Bowen. Remake petition link - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/919/037/836/remake-dragonheart/.

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