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Knights Of Badassdom (Blu-ray Review)

knights of badassdom whysoblu thumbKnights of Badassdom is not so much of a good premise gone bad, as much as it just falls into the realm of instantly forgettable.  The idea of putting LARP-ers (Live Action Role Players) into a very real scenario, where they must fend off actual fantasy beasts, is a solid one, but finding the right tone and having the right comedic energy is a requirement that extends beyond having a decent cast to try and make it work.  When the Comic-Con panel is more entertaining than the actual movie, a problem really exists.

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Film:

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The film revolves around a group of LARP-ers, including best friends Joe, Eric, and Hung (Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, and Peter Dinklage) and the requisite hot babe, Gwen (Summer Glau), among others, playing a part in a game of make believe, until seeing becomes believing, when a blood-lusting succubus enters the Fields of Evermore.  While their skills may have only been tested with foam swords, the LARP-ers are going to have to do what they can to become true defenders of their realm.

Knights of Badassdom is a film more fun to recap than watch, as the film just never quite hits its stride.  Despite the talents of the performers involved, the results are not great.  Reportedly director Joe Lynch was not involved with this particular cut of the film and while that may or may not be unfortunate, I have to judge what I saw and the results were only mildly amusing at times.

The actors are certainly committed, even if some of them are in roles they could do in their sleep.  There is a certain thrill about seeing Peter Dinklage in a role like this, as he steps away from Game of Thrones and into a stoner/fantasy/horror/comedy, but Jimmi Simpson is really the one that steals the show.  Summer Glau pretty much fits right in as well, but that is expected, given how geek friendly all of her roles tend to be.

If there is praise to be given, it is to the practical effects that are used heavily, but that comes at a price, as the film tries to balance this aspect with some less-than-convincing CG, which is obviously the result of this being a low-budget film, but it doesn’t even play that element off in a way fitting of the tone.  Adding that onto a film that is already doing its best to work because of the energy the cast provides, but not so much the writing, and you have a film that is pretty much DOA.

I did not hate Knights of Badassdom, but it has nothing to really offer beyond an idea that does not really pay off.  There are some scattered bits of humor and a cast that put in their effort, but is more of an unfortunate miss than anything else.

Video:

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Encoding  AVC MPEG-4

Resolution:  1080p

Aspect Ratio:  2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  I was not expecting a really high gloss release, but at the same time, one can tell this is not the best example of Blu-ray video quality.  The image is clear enough, but the other aspects that I’ll get to take this score down a few notches.

Depth:  It is the low-budget nature of this film that makes it feel so flat.  There is something to admire in the establishing shots, given that it is trying to evoke an epic feel as far as LARP-ing is concerned, but this is still a cheap comedy.

Black Levels:  Here is where the issues lie, as the film takes place at night for the most part, but the black levels feel off for most of the film.

Color Reproduction:  Fortunately the colors pop on this disc, as the various costumes and other elements stick out in the right kind of way.

Flesh Tones:  Textures regarding the characters is also pretty solid.

Noise/Artifacts:  As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, while I had issues with other areas, the film doesn’t have any real flaws that stick out in this category.

 

Audio:

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Audio Format(s):  English

Subtitles:  English SDH

Dynamics:  Given the budget of this film, it seems like the Blu-ray suffers once again, based on this audio presentation that is clear, but not as engrossing as lossless audio tracks tend to be.

Low Frequency Extension:  At least the film delivers in the bass department, given the use of metal music and other elements that will play around with your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  The balance is there, though aside from Bear McCreary’s score, you’re getting a lot of sound from the front, as opposed to all over.

Dialogue Reproduction:  If there was one area that is completely fine, it’s the dialogue aspect, which is always clear and well represented on this disc.

 

Extras:

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I guess I did not expect a commentary, given the controversy regarding the cut of this film, but the best feature on here is the San Diego Comic-Con Panel, which is more entertaining than the film itself.

Features Include:

  • San Diego Comic-Con Panel – From 2011, this is a lot of fun to watch, as nearly the entire cast is present and plenty of enthusiasm is on display for a movie that would take years to actually be seen by all.
  • Joe Lynch Interview – The biggest curiosity is when this was recorded, as I have no real idea, but I assume it was not in recent months.
  • Summer Glau Hottie Montage – Labeled as such simply to entice more viewers, as it’s a pretty quick and fluffy interview.
  • Interviews with Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and others – Really quick looks at what these guys have to say (they are excited, but offer nothing of much interest).
  • Horr-o-medy – A few behind-the-scenes featurettes that are incredibly short looks at some of the practical effects in the film.
  • Trailer

Summary:

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I of course wish this was more entertaining.  The cast and premise suggest a promising film could have been the result, but Knights of Badassdom, compromised cut or not, is not a very fun film to watch overall.  The Blu-ray almost makes up for this by including the Comic-Con panel, but even the technical aspects root this film further into below average territory.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

2 Responses to “Knights Of Badassdom (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brandon Peters

    I share your same sentiments. Admittedly, I had a incredibly hard time imagining a Joe Lynch-approved cut improving anything that was here. The basic story and its vibe was all sorts of snoozer/lame and I imagine that among many other aspect would be retained in a longer or different cut. Unless they went and reshot 3/4 of it (they didn’t), i’d imagine it would have been met with similar results (or having to sit through this thing for even longer).

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Agreed. Comparing this to Fanboys was a good call, even though that film was the original director’s vision (and still was not very good).