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Thoughts on Your Highness
This past weekend, Monte and I went to see "Your Highness," the new fantasy adventure stoner comedy starring Danny McBride and James Franco. Neither one of us had strong supposition that it would actually be particularly good, but I thought that it would be a topic of conversation in the broader gaming community, so I pressed us to go.
Yes, Monte, you can totally blame me, if you want.
Anyway, when it was all said and done, we stood in the theater lobby feeling vaguely unsatisfied. (This was the third straight movie I'd gone to that underperformed at least enough to pull the wind from my sails.) After a few minutes, Monte looked at me and said, "The thing is, it was better than both of the D&D movies ... but not as funny." And he was right. The setting, costuming, characters, and even most of the writing created an interesting fantasy world that I found engaging and even fairly immersive. (The only real exceptions were a few characters they portrayed using Farscape-style puppets.)
And as the week has rolled on, I realized that I'm not so much disappointed that "Your Highness" was a mediocre movie. I really EXPECTED that. I'm disappointed that the best non-adaptation high-fantasy film in years is a non-funny stoner comedy ... that no one who sets out to make a good fantasy adventure film is able to create as cool, exciting, fantastic, and gameable a setting as they did for this really stupid movie where the fantasy elements really were supposed to be a backdrop for the fart jokes.
It's almost as if the director had a better vision for the fantasy than for the comedy ... but that the only way he could get it produced was to sell it as a comedy.
Really, I can't say that I recommend going out to see "Your Highness" in the theater ... but it will certainly make a good Netflix rental in a few months' time.