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Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1
What kind of guy was the wizard Merlin, anyway? He lives a long time, raises a boy to be a king, props up a Utopian empire with his magic and wisdom, and then watches as it all crumbles under such banal forces as vengeance and betrayal. This four-hour mini-series re-tells the story of Camelot and King Arthur from the perspective of the magic man who sacrifices a great deal to guide mortals toward a better destiny. Sam Neill plays Merlin as an accessible, flesh-and-blood fellow of real passion, powerless to undo the spell of a rival (Rutger Hauer) who has virtually imprisoned Merlin's great love, Nimue (Isabella Rossellini), but gifted enough to counter the treachery of Morgan Le Fey (Helena Bonham Carter) and the wicked Queen Mab (Miranda Richardson). The battle sequences and special effects are striking and original, and it is great fun to see such art-house movie actors as Richardson, Carter, Neill, etc., in fantasy entertainment the whole family can enjoy. (An unrecognizable Martin Short must be singled out, however, for a wonderful, largely dramatic performance as Mab's sidekick, Frik.) Directed by Steve Barron (The Adventures of Pinocchio), Merlin is a nice bit of glossy revisionism of a beloved legend. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I missed the two part series when it was shown on Channel 4, but was attracted by the TV advertisements, and it was refreshing to see a reasonably big budget production made primarily for TV. When it was released on video, it was a welcome purchase as I could see what I had missed. And I loved it.
It was nice to see such an impressive cast in MERLIN. Sam Neill was good as the lead character. Miranda Richardson, playing yet another 'bad girl' role positively oozed evil as Queen Mab. Helena Bonham Carter played her part as the lispy Morgan well, and Martin Short... well, you couldn't fault his performance which was equaly parts sincere, hilarious and over the top. Rutger Hauer was pretty good, although I felt that his part was taken to the extreme in places, with his evil character taken often to an unbelievable extreme (take his treatment of the castle architects for example). But that was the fault of the writers, not his. But saying that, that is about the only place in the film where the writers goofed; the rest was top notch.
The special effects were brilliant, from start to finish. In some places you could tell that computer animation was used (take the dragon scene for instance), but they look so good that you can't fault them.Read more ›
Such an atmospheric, real-feeling experience. Each role filled to perfection by it's actor. Great special effects even given that it's some years old, now. Full of drama, magic, humour, pathos - a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening immersed in the story. And at a reasonable price, too.
NB: - Don't bother with the sequel "Merlins Apprentice" unless there are young kids to entertain. It's a bit of fun - but that's all.
The mysticism is well thought out & a good angle on it as well as some of the factual history of that era. Gosh I might even drag out that old tape & watch it again.
There are many tales and stories about Merlin, this has to be one of the most captivating.
Very good picture and sound quality on the DVD
Jim Henson's Creature Shop helps bring the story to life with dragons, pixies, and griffins. Effects are high quaily and the landscape is stunning!
The story itself is entertaining with new idea's and enterpritations of the classic story of Merlin, Avalon, and Camalot.
This DVD presents the story in two parts and has extra fetures such as Making of Merlin, The Legend of Merlin, Production Notes, and Cast & Crew Biographies.
For fans of Merlin I also recommend Mists of Avalon.
entertaining, more human, and more emotional, than almost all the huge
sword and sorcery epic features of late (Lord of the Rings, The Lion,
the Witch and the Wardrobe, etc.).
By staying closely to the legend of Merlin and King Arthur, and putting
character first and effects and battles scenes 2nd (though there are
plenty of both) I felt I understood the story of King Arthur for the
I was very caught up and rarely bored, and even quite moved by a
fairy-tale which has a happy ending tinged with bitterness and loss.
The cast is generally first rate with Sam Neil, Martin Short and
Miranda Richardson all doing excellent work.
This felt true to the spirit of stories that are not just about good
people winning, but also about loss, grief and moral compromise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like pure fantasy and are intrigued by the Arthurian legend, then this film is for you. It is an attempt to cover the entire legend, complete with magic and myth before,... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Speedigee
Gosh I loved this when it was on tv, showing my age I know. Still love it just as much todayPublished 1 month ago by N Prior
Watched this years ago and thought it was awesome it's not as brilliant as i remember it being but that was a long time i still love it and i'm glad that i have added it to my DVD... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Simon Hughes
Unfortunately, the disc wouldn't play on my DVD player or both my laptops, but did on my parents DVD player.Published 5 months ago by Stephanie Walker
Recorded this on VHS years ago and wanted it on DVD - great re telling of a magical story.Published 6 months ago by C M R Armstrong
No subtitles so had to return , as my husband is deaf . I wish it would state on Amazon write up if DVDs has them or notPublished 8 months ago by home4