My overall impression is that the FFG team, actors, production crew, everyone, did an outstanding, fantastic job. This indie movie (by a game company, no less!) is head and shoulders above 85% of most of the fantasy movies that have come out recently, particularly the drivel that gets served up on the Sci-Fi channel (I refuse to use their new acronym). Given a limited budget, FFG did a bang up job. Yes, the special effects weren't awesome but they served the story line and when needed they were more than adequate--again much better by far than most of what you see on the Sci-Fi channel movies. The important thing was the story and the acting, and here both were gripping enough to get me and keep me involved and caring about what was happening. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the production. I felt I got my money's worth with this DVD and will watch it more than once for sure.
From a critical standpoint, well, some of the acting was a bit wooden in places, but not overly so. The main characters were uniformly excellent, I felt. I would have liked more color in the film; everything is filmed in an ongoing twilight which became boring after awhile, but then I rationalized that the land is under the Shadow after all. And it looks like it as if the skies are always overcast. The Elf character could have been more strongly drawn and played, as could have been the young human hero. The biggest problem for me was with the storyline: there were gaps in the story and the editing was sometimes too jerky from one scene to another; that is, the storyline jumped between different characters and plotlines too suddenly and quickly in places, leaving me scratching my head as to just what was going on. A little more back story or character development would have been appreciated. Someone well acquainted with the Midnight RPG probably would have filled in the gaps easily and automatically, but as someone who had never played the game, i sometimes found myself struggling to comprehend some of the plot lines and nuances. Some of the main characters and their motivations were not clearly explained. The script writing was good, but not excellent and could have been improved (but as I say, it was still better than 85% or even 90% of most of the so-called fantasy films we see, particularly on the sci-fi channel).
And this led to my greatest disappointment. I didn't realize that this was a pilot movie at first, the beginning of a series. When the film's over, there are so many loose ends and unexplained plot points that I felt momentarily cheated and let down. I realized I was expecting a movie experience, that is, a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end (even if that end opens the door to more sequels) but this one ended with several cliffhangers and with characters left up in the air. It was like the introduction to a role playing campaign, leaving to the viewer to tell the rest of the story.
I know that there will be subsequent movies that will continue the story line (and as a previous poster said, I hope I don't have to wait 4 years for the next one to come out). Keeping in mind that this is an introduction and not a complete movie, though, it does very well what it is intended to do.
Given that this is a first time effort by a group of people most of whom had no previous experience making movies, the whole thing put together by a game company, I have to give this production high marks. It came out much better than I expected it would. One important factor in its favor is that it is made by gamers, people who truly understand, respect and love the fantasy genre and thus do their best to see that a fantasy movie is honored in the same way. The love and care shows in this production as well as the enthusiasm of its makers. FFG and Christian can hold up their heads proudly with this film. I look forward eagerly to their next productions and hope they go beyond the Midnight setting. Twilight Imperium the Movie anyone? And we've yet to see a really good Chthulu movie. I think after such a promising first step, the sky's the limit for FFG media.