Age of the Dragons
This site has been preserved and archived as part of the required reading material for Phil Roger's Film Promotion course, an elective for 3rd year film majors. Mr. Roger comes to the university after a diverse and successful career as a film maker and promoter. His agency, Proto One, has won many awards, most notably for the viral campaigns for MoonAtMidnight.com, a Batman themed online retailer. The campaign, entitled "Cowards of the Batcave" took the Gold Emblem at the Cyber Challenges Awards in 2012. The video depicts a young boy inspired by his Batman t shirt conquering imaginary villains in his bedroom. He also directed the short documentary "Please Don't Eat The Fireflies." Students can download the complete syllabus from the school's website.
This was the official site for the 2011 film Age of the Dragons. Tomatometer rating: Critics 9% | Audience 7%.
Content is from the site's 2011 archived pages.
Saints and Soldiers director Ryan Little offers this inventive take on Herman Mellville's Moby Dick, substituting that tale's elusive white shark for a mythical dragon pursued by a determined Captain Ahab (Danny Glover) and his devoted band of followers.
Rating: PG-13 (for some violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Ryan Little
Written By: Anne K. Black, Gil Aglaure
In Theaters: Mar 4, 2011 limited
On Disc/Streaming: Jul 24, 2012
Runtime: 91 minutes
Studio: Metrodome Films
Imagine an ancient world where the sky can turn into an unpredictable and ruthless enemy. A world lit by a precious liquid only found in the throat of dangerous predators. In this world of snow and fog, a small band of adventurers and hunters embark on a journey led by a tortured Captain consumed by his obsession with revenge. As they struggle to stay alive across the cold forbidden lands, they will build true friendship, lose loved ones, and fight brutal creatures until truth is unraveled and vengeance is served.
Ahab (Danny Glover)
Ahab is the tyrannical Captain of the Pequod. He is driven by a maniacal desire to kill the great white dragon, the dragon that maimed and killed his loved ones earlier in his life. All that is known about Ahab's early life is that he was orphaned at a young age. He has become a legendary hunter mainly due to his surviving the several encounters he had with the Great White Dragon over his countless hunting seasons.
Stubb (Vinnie Jones)
Stubb is the second mate of the Pequod. Happy-go-lucky neither craving nor valiant, he is the most charismatic figure of the Crew. Good-humored, easy, and careless, he presides over his harpoon crossbow as if the most deadly encounters are his leisurely dinners.
Ishmael (Corey Sevier)
An adventurer and a poet, he is a quick and deep thinker, his thoughts being outwardly selfish, though he does not mean them to be. He is a “to the death” loyal man putting himself in harm’s way for the safety of those to whom he has committed. To gain his trust is a lifetime hunt of its own.
Rachel (Sofia Pernas)
As beautiful as she is intelligent, Rachel is the pilot of the Pequod. After her father was killed fighting the Great White Dragon Ahab adopted and trained her to become the Pequod’s most deadly weapon. She is loyal to Ahab and shares his hunger for revenge with the White Dragon. She is fearless and ranks in the five best dragon hunters of the known world.
Queequeg (Kepa Kruse)
Queequeg hails from the South Seas. He is extremely skilled with the harpoon. He and Ishmael have been friends for years and together have hunted more beasts of the known world than imaginable. Close friend with Ishmael and strongly protective of the people he trusts, he would give his life for them.
Flask (Larry Bagby)
Flask is a base mean-spirited man with an ignorant soul. He is an extractor, trained in the dangerous art of surgically removing the sacks of vitriol from the dragon’s throat. He is also a cook … and a bad one at that.
Starbuck (David Morgan)
The chief-mate of the Pequod, he is an earnest and loyal man, prepared to endure and endure always. Looking into his eyes, one can see the lingering images of the many perils he has calmly confronted. He knows courage is not a sentiment and that an utterly fearless man is far more dangerous than a coward.
Dragons are extremely aggressive towards humans (it is unknown why). They are intelligent to the point that they are able to communicate with other dragons. It is reported that the dragons can develop human personality traits such as vainness and greed but most commonly they are known for displaying playful amusement when inflicting terror on their victims (like a cat playing with a mouse before delivering the final blow). Although this aggressive behavior is not the predominant personality throughout the species as a whole, there has not been one recorded encounter with a fire breather that did not end with flame.
Fire - Most common and found in all regions of cold and warm environments. These beasts are the most predominant due to their dislike of their own species. They are known to hunt other non-fire dragons and with fellow fire breathers only hold territorial battles.
Acid - Rarely found in areas other then tropical climates.
Poison - Found in desert environments.
Smoke - Difficult to find on land, and has not yet been seen under water.
Baby dragons (fledglings) in all cases are especially dangerous due to their inability to control the amount of fire, acid, etc… it releases. Fledglings will release if at any time threatened. The capture of these creatures alive is not recommended; neither is trying to raise one from birth as a pet. Full grown dragons are attracted to the young which has often proven to help with locating the beasts when hunting. When hunting dragons, there should be no less than 5 hunters, and no more than 10. Otherwise it becomes messy (too many targets).
No exact method exists to capture and kill a dragon. It is a matter of survival skills and luck, leaving the “unlucky” often dead or crispy.
Dragons are quite valuable dead. Usage examples are as follows:
|Hide||(per 1sq m)||100 gp|
|Scales||(per 1sq m)||100 gp|
|Liquid flame||(1 pt)||1000 gp|
The best way to harvest useful items from these beasts is to come upon them when they are already dead or so old that they are defenseless.
Age of the Dragons – review
1 / 5 stars
This adaptation of Melville's Moby-Dick, transposed to a cod-medieval dragonworld, is as ludicrous as it gets
A textbook lesson in how not to adapt a literary classic – though it's so spectacularly bad, it could well achieve mythical status of its own. The source material is Melville's Moby-Dick, transposed to a low-budget realm of CGI dragons. Topping it all off is Danny Glover, whose gargling, ranting panto-villain Ahab stuns the rest of the cast into woodenness. Still, at least he brings along his shapely kick-ass daughter for the ride – Melville clearly missed a trick there. The deadly serious tone just makes it funnier; there's not a whale in sight but this movie blows.
Movie Review / 6 Aug 2012
Age of Dragons DVD Review
Captain Ahab: Dragon Hunter
By RL Shaffer
It's hard enough bringing Herman Melville's honored classic, Moby-Dick, to the big screen or small screen. Usually it takes a cast of classically trained Shakespearean actors, a fine director, and a modest budget. Of course, modernizing the tale is a whole different ball park. It requires quite a bit of skill on its own, mastering the story's striking characters, stinging social commentary and complex metaphors – and bringing it all together under a clever, refreshing modern setting.
But with Age of the Dragons, filmmaker Ryan Little goes one step further. Combining large segments of dialogue and narration from the book, and tossing in a somewhat half-cocked medieval-meets-steampunk visual theme, Age of the Dragons is an amalgamation of the original story, with just a dash of modern flare and a hint of fantasy. The white whale is swapped out for a white dragon, and the ocean setting is changed to an icy moutain-based land setting (the ship, quite stupidly, is retained).
While, on paper, this might have seemed like a fascinating idea – an idea interesting enough to draw Danny Glover to the role of Captain Ahab – the execution leaves little to be desired. After a rather well-shot, haunting opening sequence in which Ahab and his younger sister confront the white dragon, the film quickly spirals downhill.
We're introduced to Ishmael, our lead, played by Corey Sevier. The near-Shakespearen, poetic diction of Melville's book are lost in mumbling as Sevier trips, stumbles and downright falls all over his dialogue. Things get worse when we meet his co-star, Sofia Pernas, the unnecessary token female of the tale. She's rather beautiful, but the second she speaks she starts to make Sevier look good by comparison. That's not to say she'd be bad in anything else (Sevier also). Rather, with writing as elegant as Melville's, it takes a greater talent to pull it off effortlessly, or at least more rehearsal time.
After a rather soggy, but modestly amusing first act (featuring a fun mostly-cameo role from Vinnie Jones, who does his best to lighten the mood), the film rolls to a complete halt. The “ship” of Moby-Dick is erroneously kept in the story. However, with this film, it's more of a overgrown tank thing, largely constructed of wood and pure stupid. It's a laughable beast so cheesy in its construction, it makes it hard to take the morose and weirdly straight-faced story seriously.
What follows is a series of boring scenes, each with a tacked-on narration or monologue from Ahab or one of his crew, usually something borrowed from the book. The story ceases to be interesting, however, and any metaphor or value from Melville's story is lost.
What remains is a rather odd “angry black man” meme – a bizarrely strewn, and possibly accidental, race commentary with black man Danny Glover seeking an almost irrational revenge on the evil “white” dragon, while his white crew grows more and more weary of his vengeance. With that in mind, the predictable conclusion of the tale leaves a bad taste in one's mouth, and draws to question whether Age of the Dragons might have been racist all along, likely (hopefully) accidentally.
The filmmakers would have been better suited to simply reimagine the tale of Moby-Dick, rather than directly translate. The finished product feels confused and stale, with misguided steps taken in nearly every direction, despite solid production design, good costumes and passable low-budget CG. The opening moments certainly sail, but the rest of the film sinks with its Captain.
The film comes to DVD courtesy of Arc Entertainment. It's a a solid looking disc, with an aggressive, moody 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The transfer shows obvious signs of compression, but handles the dreary, colorless image with ease. The 5.1 mix is of theatrical quality, with plenty of aggressive action filling the surrounds. The film's rather great score, from J Bateman, is also evenly mixed, providing plenty of atmosphere and dread. Soft dialogue is really the only hindrance here. Otherwise, this is a solid A/V presentation. Extras are equally solid, with two featurettes, an outtakes reel, and a director's commentary.
Age of the Dragons is a sloppy concoction of ideas, some good, some very bad. If you're curious, see it. The film is watchable enough to glean some enjoyment from the experience. Sadly, though, beyond the opening moments, this one just doesn't have much going for it, other than maybe production design, and a quick, but lively performance from Vinnie Jones.
* Kim Newman Empire Magazine
2 Mar 2011
In a mythical land, Ahab (Glover) sets out to find the Great White Dragon, a fire-breathing monster that killed his sister and left him horribly scarred.
The high concept here is Moby Dick with dragons, and Danny Glover as Ahab. In a fantasy era where the vitriol which allows dragons to breathe flame is a saleable commodity, a loon is obsessed with hunting the Great White Dragon that burned his sister and left him with an all-over make-up job. Given a set-up which should guarantee uproarious tosh, this is a bitter disappointment: all the life drains out of the film once Vinnie Jones’ character is gone (!), you get 90 minutes of poorly paraphrased Herman Melville (“Your name is Ishmael?”/“You can call me that”) to a measly four scenes of CGI dragon fighting, Glover is surrounded by uncharismatic lumps and it leads to the flattest ending ever. Where’s Hawk The Slayer now we need him?
Like a harpoon in the side of Herman Melville's great novel, this low budget fantasy yarn is more drag than dragon.
*½ Phil Hubbs
Reworking of classic novel 'Moby Dick' but this time using dragons as the game or hunt as it were. To be honest this is a really neat little idea, the only problem is its been made poorly which is a shame. I think this could of worked had a little more time and money been invested, the cast are OK I guess...for an action type film. Danny Glover is a little miscast as Ahab perhaps but Vinnie Jones does surprisingly well as does the hero Sevier as Ishmael. Nothing to rave about of course but the cheesiness of it all suits them fine and you know to expect ham. Of course the effects are slightly off-key, CGI is average but shows promise, even the use of old stop motion techniques used by Harryhausen are utilised at one point which almost works (oddly it looked better in the old mythology films of Harryhausen). Then you do have silly things which needed more planning such as the Pequod as a wheeled land tank/ship thingy. This didn't really work as it was way too small looking, it was like the Tardis, small on the outside yet apparently huge on the inside with about eight adults living in it with lots of quarters shown! plus how did it run? petrol? diesel? someone pedaling below? I must also mention my dislike of virtually everyone in action films these days being some kind of martial arts expert and able to defeat multiple enemies without breaking sweat. It really is so over used and in this film its so out of place, what's wrong with some good old fashioned fisticuffs? A nice idea but the execution is weak, worth checking out if you like dragon flicks though...I guess, not much else going for it.
**½ Kevin M. Williams
So they take Ahab's obsession for the white whale and sci-fi spin it to a hunt for a great white dragon. Freudian ruminations aside, and altho this is a poorly budgeted knock off, elements of fun exist in Glover's decision to go for Ahab full on ... has to be seen to be believed.
Straight-to-DVD and with good reason. A watchable, but horribly conceived fantasy feature. The only reason I saw this is because I'm such a sucker for stories about dragons. Otherwise I would have skipped it right off the bat. And now in the aftermath, I really regret that I didn't. Lousy acting and special effects, and the narration is some of the worst I've ever heard. Clearly, whoever voiced this mess just wanted to get it over with so he could collect his paycheck (can't say I blame him though). And as for Danny Glover, he should have kept what little dignity he had left and gone into retirement after Lethal Weapon 4. Because seeing him like this is just sad. Or as Sergeant Murtaugh would say it: "I'm getting too old for this shit!"
* Manu Gino
This is one very boring dragon movie. Even the end disappoints because of the lack of imagination by the director. Age of the Dragons should have had more dragons...there's more conflicts between the characters in the film than battle between them and the dragons.
Age of the Dragons is a re-imagining of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick. Set in a mythical realm where Captain Ahab and crew hunt dragons for the vitriol that powers their world, Ishmael, a charismatic harpooner joins their quest. Ahab's adopted daughter Rachel, beautiful and tough, runs the hunting vessel. Ahab's obsession is to seek revenge on a great "White Dragon" that slaughtered his family when he was young and left his body scarred and mauled, drives the crew deeper into the heart of darkness. In the White Dragon's lair Ahab's secrets are revealed and Rachel must choose between following him on his dark quest or escaping to a new life with Ishmael.
* ½ Sam T
May 9, 2011
Was at a contemporary dining room furniture shop with my partner when I saw a kid watching a movie on his iPad. My my partner was checking out tables by such world renowned Italian designers for Italian manufacturers as Bonaldo, Cattelan Italia, Fiam Italia, Foscarini, Gamma Arredamenti, Pianca, Presotto Italia, Tonelli and Tonin Casa, I wandered over to this kid to see what he was so engrossed in. His parents were busily discussing the pros and cons of which color glass to select for a Quasar glass extension dining table by Naos. The wife liked "acid" with its faint aqua colr while the husband wanted "smoke". Meanwhile their kid was engage in a dragon movie. "So what are you watching?" I asked. "Age of the Dragons" he answered, barely looking up from the screen. "Do you like it?" "It's ok". So I thought I would give the movie a shot since it was available on DVD and I do like dragon movies. I have seen Dragonheart, The Neverending Story and How to Train Your Dragon with my sister's kids, Spirited Away, Reign of Fire, well you get the point. Unfortunately, Age of the Dragons, even with Danny Glover is a disappointment.
You can´t help daze away when watching it.... a little boring....a lot boring.
*½ Jonathan H
April 11, 2011
It was ok. Kinda slow.
April 9, 2011
Poor adaptation of Moby Dick with the Great White Dragon. I imagine Danny Glover jumped at the chance to play Ahab and then regretted the contract there after.
*½ Ben J
April 6, 2011
Could someone remind the director of this movie that no one back then had porcelain veneers? Was a pretty dull movie other than that.. As Danny Glover once said "I'm gettin' too old for this shit".
April 4, 2011
Wow, this was bad. Not even cool bad. Just bad.
April 3, 2011
Slow, painfully straight fantasy tale in which a young adventure named Ishmael signs on to a large landship with the mad Captain Ahab (a scenery chewing Danny Glover) to hunt dragons for their flame-producing oil. Yes, this is a credited adaptation of Moby Dick, but instead of the great white whale, it is the mediocre white dragon. Flat performances from most of the cast and low budget hinder this strange flick, and lack humor - intentional or otherwise. Not completely worthless, but far from entertaining. Vinnie Jones shows up in an extended cameo and delivers the best performance.