Warcraft

by JC Alvarez

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday September 27, 2016

Warcraft

Bringing the world of "Warcraft" - a landscape populated by knights in shining armor repelling a brutal force of invading Orcs - to the big screen was no easy feat. But for director Duncan Jones adapting the vastly popular strategy game, this was as much a passion project as it was an opportunity to ignite the next blockbuster franchise. Sadly, the film left little of an impression with audiences, at least stateside, while raking in quite the box office overseas. Now that the film is available on Blu-ray and DVD, diehard fans can relive the epic confrontation.

The film's epic scope is not unlike its contemporaries and is visually as inspired as "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "Warcraft" has all the familiar elements of the role-playing games that inspired it, like Dungeons & Dragons, with evil wizards (played by Ben Foster) and heroic warriors (played by Travis Fimmel). There are no damsels in distress, although the film features Paula Patton in full-on makeup, joining the battle. The alien terrain is purely medieval, but thanks to special effects the realm of Azeroth is vividly brought to life.

The Orcs also created for the film are extremely reminiscent of the ones appearing in the game, but through the magic of motion capture are more realistic than ever, thanks to the talents of Toby Kebbell and Robert Kazinsky. A Blu-ray bonus feature reveals how the filmmakers used motion capture technology to give the larger-than-life Orcs a place on the screen next to their human combatants. The battle to claim this world is on, and sides are quickly chosen in this war to save two civilizations from a terrible evil.

"Warcraft" is shiningly good adventure - the perfect popcorn flick. It's a perfect adaptation of the gaming universe first introduced and then later elaborated upon by Blizzard Entertainment, and for the fan "Warcraft" will undoubtedly appeal and meet every expectation. The film's narrative is very easily to follow for the uninitiated, and it is extraordinarily crafted to bring to life this alternate reality. You will believe that a man can ride a giant flying griffin!

The Blu-ray is also packaged with exclusive bonus features including a specially designed motion comic that elaborates on the live-action film's younger heroes. "The World of Warcraft" featurettes take the audience behind the scenes and reveal the makeup of the movie's cast entering into this world, the special effects necessary to create "Warcraft" and the motion capture technology that was used to create the Orcs and other characters for the film.

"Warcraft"
available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD
$24.99
www.universalpictures.com

Exclusive to the Blu-ray, the package includes a motion comic "Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood" that gives more insight to the film's young heroes and additional behind-the-scenes features that reveal the special effects of the film.

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Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".