Dragon Age: Redemption
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Written by and starring Felicia Day (The Guild), DRAGON AGE: REDEMPTION is a six-part series based on Bioware's Dragon Age video game franchise. Taking place in the same setting as Dragon Age: Origins and during the same time period as Dragon Age II, DRAGON AGE: REDEMPTION tells a story of sword, sorcery and adventure.
Tallis (Day), an Elvish assassin, gets a last chance at redemption when she is sent to capture a rogue Qunari mage who is intent on wreaking havoc in the world. Complicating her quest is a Chantry Templar, Cairn, whose goals seemingly rival her own. Along the way, through battles and subterfuge, they join forces with a murderous Reaver, Nyree, and a lovelorn Dalish Elf, Josmael, to defeat the mage's hidden plot or risk massive destruction throughout the world.
- Bioware TV: Working with Felicia
- Dragon Age Trailers and Premium Content
- The Making of Stunts, Costumes and Characters
- Audio Commentary with the Director and Producer
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Pro: It was awesome after a couple years of watch the guild seeing Felicia in a feisty kick ass role. This whole thing looks very "do it yourself" which I'm fine with. That shows more love for the genre then anything I think television could manage.
Con: Some of the dialog is seriously lacking, not so much what is written but how it was delivered.
For me this one just missed the target. When I do buy it it'll strictly be in support of the idea, not so much the end product. You might ask why I'd buy it at all? Simple this stuff is not as easy as it seems. I have friends down in southern California who do everything from indie movie projects, to prop building, to weapons making for television. It's a lot of hard work getting your name out there for the stuff people take for granted, it's even more difficult to make your name as an actor/actress not to mention actually getting a product out. So I do encourage people to check it out. But that's all I can do.
They should sell the cover as a full sized poster, that would probably sell well.
Writing a snarky show like the Guild is not at all the same as writing a fantasy adventure (like DA:R), but I am happy to say that the story is ultimately what made this a 5 star set for me. Humor, which is so hard to do well in a fantasy setting, came out wonderfully. But more importantly, I was rapidly introduced to a completely new world, told in broad strokes with surprisingly deft skill. I was introduced rapidly to characters who I genuinely enjoyed. And in these short eps, I came to care about a ragtag band of adventurers, brought together for different reasons to confront a common evil. Yes, I know, it relies on a lot of fantasy tropes. That's ok. It is exactly what we love in fantasy. But DA:R does this very well. I was caught up in the adventure, and although my wife and I started this one night with the intent of watching only 1-2 episodes and then going to bed, we were unable to stop until we had completed the entire thing. We ended it with a smile on our faces. Great adventure.
Tallis, Cairn, and Josmael, and Nyree, as well as the big bad Saarebas, all had to be drawn in and outlined in a rather short period of time. If characterization flops, if you don't care about these folks as people, then the story fizzles. Fortunately, you do care. Not one but two love stories, an amusingly bawdy dalliance (Nyree: You have done this before, right? Josmael: No, never Nyree: Then do it for Fina!] , and backstory that was convincingly told and not shoehorned in all fit side by side. By the end, when tragedy strikes our band of adventurers, you feel the loss.
Very enjoyable. Done by a young composer who really created a wonderful backdrop without becoming a showboat. Added a lot to the atmosphere.
I have no idea what the budget on this production was--it was undoubtedly miniscule by any film standard. And it shows--you can't make magic out of thin air. But for the budget that they had, they used every penny well. I have seen many a TV show in my time that WISHED it looked this good. It is a testimony to how much things have changed that this is definitely up to TV standards from not that long ago. The cinematography is actually quite interesting--Peter Winther's direction is smart and interesting. The camera is often in motion in interesting ways, adding a lot of perceived action to the affair. Costumes are pretty good. No, we're not talking LOTR quality here. But certainly the costumes are acceptable, and at times, amazing. Doug Jones make up as Saarebus would not have been out of place on Buffy or Angel. Cairn's armor design looked just like the game, although it didn't look substantial enough for my taste. Tallis' outfit was apparently a pretty complex thing to design, but in the end, I think that they could have done just as well with leather as they did with latex/foam, but that's just my thought. Nyree looked amazing. Josmael looked fine, but I really wanted to brush the hair out of his face.
And the ears? Perfect.
5. The Extras:
Surprisingly large quantity of extra material--there are a lot of TV seasons that don't have half the amount of extras of this set. If you are always interested to know about the behind the scenes stuff, as I am, this is great. You feel like you get to be a part of putting this production together, and that is fun. Commentaries on every episode? Yes, please. Especially when they are fun and done by the star of the show! Blooper's reel? yep, and some of it was actually funny (bloopers reels are often funny for the cast, i think, but not so much for the audience). Plus, I didn't realize that there was any DLC for DA:II, and now I'll go back and play Tallis myself!
In the end, I <3 this little web series, and think that it raises the bar of what can be done with not much.
I can't imagine anyone doing better than this on a shoestring budget, and I can't imagine most folks doing better even with a bigger budget. Perhaps the best thing that I can say after watching it is that I wish there were more, and I hope that there is a second season (although I doubt there will be one). Fans of the Guild, rejoice. Fans of DA, rejoice. This is a lot of fun in a little series.