To be honest, there isn’t much info about tonight’s movie, The Crown and the Dragon: The Paladin Cycle, on the interwebs. IMDB only had one sentence about the plot–“A young noblewoman must fulfill her calling to become the long foretold Paladin,” the trailer just keeps mentioning something called a “Falarica,” and there’s no Wikipedia page. We know. There is a fantasy novel with the same name, but it appears to have been written after the movie. Unhelpful.
So, what’s a Paladin? Does the dragon wear a crown? What’s the Falarica and where can we get one? Will this movie pass the Bechdel test? These and other burning questions (we hope) will be answered!
Showtime is tonight, 9pm Central. Make yourself a cocktail, find yourself a comfy spot on the couch, tune in to The Crown and the Dragon:The Paladin Cycle on Netflix, and pull up the liveblog starting at 9pm CDT.
Bomb Voyage and Bomberella of The Bomb Squad: Dismantling bad movies one live-blog at a time.
Tonight’s movie is all about a strong female protagonist on some kind of journey involving dragons. So what better drink than:
The Mother of All Dragons Cocktail
4 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces berry vodka, such as Ciroc Berry Vodka (We’re using Effen Raspberry vodka. Because we had it)
1 ounce simple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus a slice for garnish
Finely ground black pepper
Pour the cranberry juice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake or stir and strain into a martini glass. Float a pinch of black pepper on top of cocktail and garnish with a lime slice.
The pepper gives it a little heat. Or, Dragonfyre, if you will.
In honor of the AWP Conference
descending on being held in Minneapolis & St. Paul this week. Writing geeks unite!
Tonight I am drinking herbal tea because I’ve been sick for a week. Ugh. I wish I were up for a Mother of Dragons cocktail.
It’s delicious albeit a little weird. I mean, pepper?
I should probably be drinking tea, though. Feeling like something is creeping in. And I don’t mean…I can’t think of something good that would creep in. Shoot!
Okay, is everyone ready?
Pepper = fire.
Ten seconds in and we already have an ocean of blood.
“Man and beast and the Earth itself collapsed.”
I just realized that you can basically divide fantasy into fantasy-with-dragons and fantasy-without-dragons.
You could say the same about orcs. Or swords. Or vaguely British accents.
Plot so far: a dragon killed a lot of people who expected a hero of light to appear. It didn’t happen and everybody was bloody instead of burned, for some reason.
Blood is so much cheaper to show on film than burned flesh.
I kind of like it when the dragons are good, though.
It’s true. That does make it more interesting.
Our heroine’s aunt (?) just gave her the Falarica, which looks like a unicorn’s horn. It’s prone to inducing flashbacks and random quests.
Pretty sure it’s a dragon’s horn or tooth or something.
Apparently goatees were popular in medieval England.
Cheapest way to kill someone on film: poison.
Look out, here come the hall monitors!
The next time I want some wine, I’m totally just going to go up to the bartender and say “I thirst.”
Whoa: 8 minutes in, the aunt’s dead, two prisoners escaped, Elann is on the run with the Falarica and at least one of the guards is dead. Oh, and they lost the nice box the Falarica was in.
“To enforce the law, I. Must. Have. Soldiers.” Settle down, man.
They’re going to regret not having that box.
I’ll bet a dollar that at some point a bad guy looks at the box and is all DAMMIT because the Falarica isn’t in it and he somehow knows it was the special Falarica box despite the fact she probably bought it at a thrift shop.
Word. It’ll be like the other movies where that happens.
She did manage to save the bird cage made of popsicle sticks, though. So.
But hey, Bechdel Test passed in scene two. We’re making progress!
So true! And so easily we almost missed it.
This is definitely an action-filled movie. Lots of cut-tos. Not sure I fully get what’s happening.
And 12ish minutes in: attempted rape. Blergh.
As far as I can tell, Prince John is attempting to depose King Richard with the help of the Sheriff of Nottingham while Maid Marian carries a unicorn horn somewhere.
Did he just call the river “Bitches Creek”?
And at least Maid Marian is finally getting her due.
Does biting things actually help you tell whether they are gold or not? And doesn’t it ruin the valuable thing you’re trying to find out about?
I’ve always wondered that. Gold is a soft metal, so it’s possible.
Right but then you’re like “Hey, it really is gold! Oh shit I ruined it.”
I do appreciate the subtle humor in this.
The same guy who voiced Jabba the Hutt voices the bird man.
Hahaha that was awesome. He totally just dropped her in the muddy creek.
That was awesome. See, humor!
I think it was the same fake mud they used in The Neverending Story (RIP Atreyu)
Cut scene and now her dress is magically spotless. They must have stopped by a drycleaners.
Mud dries clear. Duh.
Oh I forgot.
Those continuity things do bother me, though. Like when someone is covered in dirt, or bloody, or has wet/wild hair and then suddenly everything is back in place.
I should get a job as a continuity person for films. “Your cigarette ash was much longer.”
Like this. She’s been traveling for at least a day and a half and her hair looks freshly washed.
Did people ever really just wander around the wilderness and sleep on the ground without even a blanket? That’s crazy shit.
The crow monster is pretty cool, though.
That bird man is a lot creepier than Michael Keaton.
He sounds like a pug with allergies.
It’s basically just a Ringwraith, now that I think of it. Only I don’t remember that part of Robin Hood.
Maybe you could give him some of your herbal tea. You know, for his congestion.
Or maybe he’s a rip-off of Dark Helmet.
Whoa, that kind of looks like the Cliffs of Moher.
Now a group of sirens/mermaids is trying to steal the Falarica while the bird man deals with Aidan. But the sirens did manage to scare bird man away, so that’s good.
Gratuitous dragon shot.
Oh, I remember this part. Soon they’ll start singing the pirate song and Jack Sparrow will try to put the moves on Miss Swan.
Maybe it’s the Mother of All Dragons talking, but I swear she just asked him what else he has in his hole. Um…
Stage directions: The swarthy convict stares pensively off camera while waxing poetic about his wasted youth.
Dragons are just living kites.
Oh, the awkward morning after conversation.
The writing here is a bit too subtle for me. Do you think she likes him?
“Come and sit, my wives shall entertain you.”
I dunno. I bet we’ll be able to tell better if she gets really huffy at him now that he’s been flirting with someone else.
I bet they dance!
Okay, this is definitely the Mother of All Dragons, but that string dance is actually kind of romantic.
Ugh, I’m definitely coming down with something.
“Lace those peckers away, boys!”
I wish I could laugh like that guy.
That castle is amazing. It definitely reminds me of Ireland.
We should have probably known that the other criminal was going to come back to haunt us.
He’s affecting a Hannibal the Cannibal impression. Quite well, actually.
“The battalions treat you pretty well, don’t they. Clarice. Wait, wrong movie.”
Aidan keeps losing his sword. I think he’s on his third one. Fortunately new ones just keep materializing out of nowhere.
They’ve figured out regeneration.
This undressing of her is a lot sexier than I would have imagined for basic medieval hygiene.
It’s probably the music. And the fact that Aidan just peeped on her. Who bathes with the door open anyway?
Well I know I was hoping for a bath scene.
Her hair wasn’t even that dirty!
Nothing says sexy like getting scrubbed by a bunch of old nuns.
Old nuns do know scrubbing. And cleanliness is next to godliness!
“Two dragons: one poisons the land, the other heals it.”
How does a dragon heal the land?
I don’t get why you’d have a picnic in dragon country.
I mean, it’s kind of like ants. You just have to expect that a dragon is going to show up at your outdoor feast.
I love his cow tablecloth, though.
Okay, we’re about halfway through. Still not sure what the Paladin is. Lots of sexual tension between Aidan and Elann. Not really sure about the Falarica, either. The nuns are like druids. And I’m pretty sure Elann isn’t going to live to die a virgin much longer…
She’s totally a speed reader. “To crown the dragon, you must first kill the dragon.” That makes no sense.
I love the nuns’ chanting, though.
I feel like it’s like “Bloody Mary.” They’re chanting it but they’re not really expecting the Paladin to show up.
I thought it was “kiss the dragon,” which seemed harder than killing it, actually.
And weirder. Why would you kiss a dragon?
That’s why I don’t date smokers. I’m here all week, folks!
For real, though: my breath is pretty dragony after that cocktail.
The crow monster is definitely one of the better baddies we’ve seen so far.
It’s true. Much scarier than most of the orcs we’ve seen. I think it’s because we can’t see his face.
Does it feel like they’ve been walking the same patch of woods and field forever?
This is definitely a walking movie. Very Lord of the Rings, except if LOTR were actually all about Aragorn and Arwen going for a walk.
I guess fog has that effect on landscape. But still.
All I know is I want to visit wherever this movie was filmed.
I’m not a huge fan of how helpless our “heroine” seems. What, she can’t walk but he can carry her the whole way?
Somewhere in the UK. It feels like Ireland, but I think it’s the English countryside.
And now we’ve met Miracle Max.
I think she’s helpless like Leeloo in the Fifth Element.
I guess. She hasn’t earned that like Leeloo, though.
I’m not entirely sure how stripping her naked and painting calligraphy on her will save her…
It’s always worked for me.
Why is it that healers always live in out-of-the-way huts with herbs hanging everywhere?
So that’s what you’re doing instead of “drinking tea” this evening.
They probably get kicked out of towns because their huts smell weird.
People can be so intolerant.
I love it in sword fights when people punch each other with the hilt in hand.
That’s my favorite move, too.
It’s so badass. It’s like punching with a gun.
The sword-punch, I mean.
I got it.
I bet Aidan manages to have another sword in his hand within 30 seconds.
“Don’t worry, I wrote on her in a language only I can understand. They won’t know where the Falarica is. Oh. No, they took that, too.”
Is Aidan just the default dreamy-man name these days, by the way?
Yes. Blame Aidan Quinn and his ice-blue eyes.
Oh, it is actually a unicorn horn.
“It is a vessel of immense power.”
Speaking of vessels of immense power…
“Trial by combat Must. Be. Observed.”
“Win and she dies. Lose and she’s free.”
Wait, she’s a wiccan?
“Sleep. He wants you rested so he can kill you properly.”
Whoa, Aidan managed to come up with a suit of armor. I assume a sword, too.
The sword is a given. They’re a set.
So the bad guy is fighting the good guy for Elann’s life, but it got complicated when the bad guy turned out to be Elann’s biggest fan or something.
“Here is your itty bitty shield. En garde!”
And Aidan’s bleeding over his armor.
It’s a hubcap from a wagon wheel.
The Dragon Wagon, if you will.
Aidan’s armor looks like a bunch of metal tiles sewn onto leather.
His armor’s pretty badass, but I think Elann is about to stop taking everybody’s bullshit.
“The emperor has an interest in ancient artifacts. Whoever brings him the horn will be smiled upon.” Look, guy, if I’m bringing you a unicorn horn that is so important it has a name with a “The” in front of it, I’m going to need more than a smile, m’kay?
Elann’s definitely tired of taking everyone’s bullshit.
Actually I think the dragon just called a halt to all bullshit.
oh, crap! She just stabbed him in the EYE!
Hold on, is this the same castle again? Has there just been one castle this whole time and they just show it from a different angle every time they need to put a castle in a scene?
A white horse. How cliché.
I believe so. I think it’s been the same mile radius tract of land.
Oh yeah, that’s the same sea cliff they jumped off of a half hour ago.
Put the pieces of the Falarica together! For heaven’s sake.
And that’s the cave they stayed the night in.
She’s waiting for the most dramatic moment.
She’s waiting for Elmer to show up with his glue.
Why would you throw away your sword?
Why yes, stepping into the ocean with two pieces of an irreplaceable relic during a pivotal moment of the action while your lover is battling a dragon does seem like a really smart idea.
The water gets awfully deep awfully fast.
And again, she needs to be carried.
Eh, she just killed a dragon. She’s tired.
I liked it. She was adorable. Their relationship made me smile. And hey, dragon! Still, kind of forgettable plot. 3.5, maybe?
I’m a little disappointed with this movie. I was expecting a strong female lead, and instead she was kind of lackluster. Aidan seemed to be the true hero; she was important at times, but helpless in most. All that needing to be carried. The dragon was cool, the baddie was pretty bad. I did enjoy their relationship. I’m going to say 2.5.
So solid 3 average.
I appreciate that it passed the Bechdel test pretty handily and without much fanfare.
I can live with a 3.
Thanks for watching, guys! Tune in next week for Agency of Vengance: Dark Rising. And in two weeks, we’ll be watching Gigli and drinking Ruth Bader Gin and Juices! (Get. Excited.)