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The Look of the Whole Thing

Human Rogue: Was anyone here impressed by the technology? There’s been a lot of press about the motion capture stuff. In the close-ups, I think the orcs look great, but once you go into the wide shots, it wasn’t quite as impressive.

Half-Elf Ranger: I think the new Planet of the Apes movies are far more impressive than anything I saw in Warcraft.

Tiefling Barbarian: I thought it looked like rubbery CG. I wasn’t impressed by any of it.

Human Rogue: I did appreciate how they captured the look of the Warcraft world, which is cartoonish by design. The exaggeration proportions, the bright colors…I appreciate how it didn’t just try to look like another modern fantasy movie and embraced the style of the game.

Drow Warlock: I was not expecting that. I was surprised when I saw the first trailer because I was expecting them to Dark Knight-ify it, where everything is dark and dreary and gray. But they really went with the style of the games. It was unexpected.

Elf Sorcerer: If they had CGI-ed the humans, I would have appreciated it more. Because when you see them in the background of shots, it’s like blech, that’s green screen. It’s sooo green screen. If it was all animated, everything would have been more forgivable for me.

warcraft IMAX 3D

Maximum Irritation

Human Rogue: Half-Elf Ranger, was there anything in this movie that simply pissed you off?

Half-Elf Ranger: I don’t think I was ever really pissed. I was just bored.

Tiefling Barbarian: No, you were! There was one moment where you leaned to me and whispered “WHAT?” And that was at the end where the King’s like “You must kill me. Bring about orc and human peace!”

Half-Elf Ranger: Yeah, fuck that. That’s stupid.

Human Rogue: That’s one of my pet peeves in any movie. Never set up such an extreme cliffhanger when there’s no guaranteed follow-up.

Drow Warlock: Duncan Jones apparently has a trilogy planned, but only if it makes enough money.

Warcraft Featurette

Warcraft as an RPG Movie

Drow Warlock: One thing that is interesting, and it relates to this whole D&D group thing and if I have seen it in another fantasy movie, I can’t remember, but when they were doing spells you could feel them charging up for it or rolling dice or waiting on cooldown timers. People weren’t just like spell, spell, spell, spell, spell, spell, spell. They were were like “Okay, I’m going to do this spell now and I need to say the thing and do this and roll something…” Of all the fantasy movies I’ve seen, it most closely relates to roleplaying mechanics in the sense of how they pull off spells. I thought that was interesting. It wasn’t just “I’m a mage! Fireball! Fireball!”

Elf Sorcerer: You can also see that when the humans fight the orcs. The orcs should kill all of them immediately, but there’s that one guy who rolls perfect dice and takes them down.

Tiefling Barbarian: Or he just slides between their legs and slices up into their balls. That’s the easiest way to kill them, apparently. Here’s the orc thats been imbued with magical powers and is stronger than anyone else. Here’s the human that’s going to kill it instantly.

Drow Warlock: You slice open anyone’s balls, they done.

Elf Sorcerer: It’s a soft spot.

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Moral Conflict (and Birds)

Human Rogue: I appreciate the ambition of having a storyline where both sides are intended to be sympathetic and both sides are fighting for things they truly believe in. I just don’t think it hits the right emotional notes for that struggle to matter. Did this moral conflict work for anyone?

Tiefling Barbarian: Never. I could tell when it was trying to make me feel something.

Half-Elf Ranger: The conflict between what?

Human Rogue: How the movie tries to make you feel for both sides.

Half-Elf Ranger: I don’t think they tried very hard.

Drow Warlock: I appreciate what they tried to do, but I felt a lot more for the orcs than the humans. The humans got a lot less character work. I do think it’s an interesting attempt to show war and a –

Tiefling Barbarian and Half-Elf Ranger: Craft.

Drow Warlock: – and a refugee-type situation from both sides on a studio film. It’s not what you’d expect. For whatever problems people have with the movie, the fact that they try to show both sides with equal weight is not something you usually see.

Tiefling Barbarian: What’s with little baby orc Moses? You hear all of this voice over. Is he supposed to remember all of that when he grows up? I don’t care enough to watch any of the sequels.

Drow Warlock: He becomes a major character much later in the narrative.

Human Rogue: How long do orcs live?

Drow Warlock: I have no idea. I feel like I should know that.

Tiefling Barbarian: Oh, there were a bunch of three wattled bellbird sounds that I heard in the movie. That’s not right for that habitat, but I forgive it.

Drow Warlock: It’s not…it’s not on Earth. So couldn’t they be anywhere?

Tiefling Barbarian: They’re still adapted to specific places, even if it’s not on Earth.

Drow Warlock: But they could be magic wattled…whatever you called them.

Tiefling Barbarian: That’s it. Magic three wattled bellbirds.

Drow Warlock: That should be your new handle on everything.

Tiefling Barbarian: It’s pretty long.

Drow Warlock: I think it’s worth it.

Human Rogue: I think it’s very, very telling that we’re talking about birds right now instead of Warcraft.

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