Unicorn City Movie Review

“Unicorn City,” the freshman effort by film-making brothers Bryan and Adrian Lefler, does a good job paying homage to the ritual of playing pencil and paper role-playing games (like Dungeons and Dragons) and to its fans. The movie is faithful to its source material and the research the Lefler brothers did into tabletop gaming translates into some very authentic glimpses into the social dynamics that make up D&D groups.

It’s funny, thrilling and has a high enough production value that, from the looks of it, you would never guess that this is the first feature-length movie the Leflers have ever made.

The story has some inside jokes meant as a wink and a nudge to regular players of D&D but the story as a whole remains very accessible to regular audiences.

Devin McGinn plays the title character, Voss, who plays the character Magmald Teufelschlager the Bardladin (a mixing of the classic D&D classes bard and paladin) during the guild’s gaming sessions. Voss wants nothing more in life than to work for the company that produces his favorite RPG: Warlocks of the Beach (A clever play on the name of the company that actually produces D&D: Wizards of the Coast.) During his latest job interview with Warlocks, his leadership skills are brought into question. With the help of his doting fan Marsha, played by Jaclyn Hales, Voss devises a plan to show off how good a leader he can be and land his dream job. To accomplish this, Voss decides to trick his gaming guild friends into letting him lead their group under the surreptitious pretence of creating a utopian society for gamers known as “Unicorn City.”

Players arrive at Unicorn City dressed as their characters, a practice commonly known as Live-Action Role-Playing or LARPing, and interact with each other as their personas. Voss’ all-consuming pursuit to prove his mettle starts off with some hilarious antics but eventually his obsession begins to alienate all of his friends and family. His selfish actions finally test the relationship with his most steadfast supporter Marsha, who all the while has been trying to get him to even notice her. Once she is driven into the arms of his arch-nemesis Shadow Hawk, played by Jon Gries of Napoleon Dynamite fame, Voss must decide what is truly important to him.

McGinn’s physical comedy, droopy eyed expressions and somewhat oblivious portrayal of Voss is very entertaining to watch. However, the breakout performance is by Hales who is very convincing as the anxious and lovelorn Marsha.


Posting from the iPad

Just got my iPad today and thought I’d do the obligatory post from it. Posting from the iPad is really easy and makes me feel like I’m in a super-futuristic movie. In five years I’ll be saying ” I can’t believe I was posting on that OLD iPad!”

So far my favorite apps are Kindle, Marvel Comics, and Netflix.

Great purchase!

Student Cam Fair Use – Bruce Collins

Bruce Collins does a great job explaining academic Fair-Use of copyrighted material.

The White Tie Affair – Candle (Sick and Tired)

I’m making up for not posting for a while by posting a lot. This song has a special place for me because I would sing it to my son Seth when he was in the NICU after being born 5 weeks premature (He’s doing great).

Cobra Starship – Good Girls Go Bad

These guys consistently put out great music. This is their latest. GO BUY IT!

Wolfsheim – Find You’re Here

Cool German pop-synth band. Has a really cool 80s vibe to it. Very Pet Shop Boys. Enjoy!

I actually wanted to feature the song Approaching LightSpeed but I couldn’t find an offical video.

Mysto and Pizzi

Mysto and Pizzi are the brains behind the Geico commercial version of Rockwell’s “Who’s watching me?” and their also the subject of my latest ‘man crush.’ I’ve been a DJ for 9+ years and I’ve fiddled around with beats and remixes but these guys personify what I’d like to achieve.

Here you can see how they came up with the beat:

And here’s the finished product:

I highly recommend their video blog. Very talented guys. I’ve been inspired and I’m going to try playing with Acid and Cubase to see if I have any sort of talent to do this stuff. I think this is the current version of the keyboard they use.

G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra

I was a bit nervous about this one but if it’s half as cool as the trailer I’m in!

Take note terrorist orginizations. THIS is how you do it. Stealing planes and bombing funerals are for weenies. Underwater bases, submarines shaped like stingrays and giant drill-tanks are where it’s at!

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Banana Panic Comic

Alright! After months of work Banana Panic is finally ready to print and will be free @ Black Cat Comics soon!

Here is a preview (pdf 1.5mb) http://tinyurl.com/cyq3po
Banana Panic Site http://tinyurl.com/covkbp
Black Cat’s website http://tinyurl.com/d9qutg

Thanks to all my friends for being so encourageing. This process has been a blast.

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