Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fantasy Movies....

In a earlier post on Sci Fi or Fantasy, many of my friends stated that they all believe a truly good Fantasy film has not been made. I know allot of LOTR fans are going “Bu...What” but to some of the literary faithful, Jackson’s liberties and imagery were a bit to much. So what Fantasy movies do I like... do I slip into the DVD players?

I have to admit, “Conan” is still a favorite just the original... lets not get crazy... but I do like it and come on... two words, Human and stew... nothing says evil like a big simmering pot of Human Stew and hell, I even like Arnold's portrayal.

“Archer: Fugitive from the empire” in all fairness I only saw this once when it first played on TV, But I remember loving it. The hero was given a Heart-bow (or hart bow) that was magical and received new arrows when a black feather fell to earth and BAMF! turned into arrows. the bad guys were pretty cool and looked like evil turtles. Its a bit risky to put this on a list with only one viewing but here it is.

“Death Stalker II”, I know many of you are starting to call my wife and tell her to put something in my mouth so I don’t swallow my tongue... but hear me out. This movie had a ok script, it was actually kinda funny, intentionally. The budget was about 5 dollars but it was one of the best Babes and Blades movies I can remember.

“Hawk The Slayer”, I am always amazed by the actors this movie has in the small roles. Its a good story, with a not to tall giant and a not to short Dwarf, and annoying elf, a one armed crossbowman and of course...Hawk the Slayer and his mind blade. This wasnt a great film, but in the desert it was a drinkable glass of water.

“Willow”, this movie is sort of strange, I remember loving it in the theatre... but not so much on VHS or on cable. this one really isnt on my list but I’d thought I’d mention it.

“Sword and the Sorcerer” Lee Horsley’s tour de force, with his three bladed sword and inexplicable healing powers. The man is nailed to a X and pulls the nails out with the power of Lee Horsley and the next minute is swinging his sword. Not a good movie, but fun to watch.

“Lady Hawk” some people hate this movie, I loved it. I thought Matthew Broderick was great and enjoyed the whole Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeifer story. I usually risk getting kicked out of geek clubs by liking this movie... but I do.

“Flesh and Blood” OK, maybe not a Fantasy film in the strictest sense, but a pretty good Hack and Slash movie, with plague thrown in for good measure. The movie starts with the siege of a city and the “Heroes” are in fact a group of Looting mercenaries.

The LOTR movies, I do watch these, I love some of he scenery, I think the Shire looked fantastic... I am just driven to distraction by some aspects and I think the third movie is probably the weakest. But I do watch them and actually enjoy some of the movies.

There are plenty of Fantasy films that have been made, and that I have seen, but much like what i imagine a college party being like, I have regretted watching them the next morning. Strangely some have had studio backing, like the D&D movie and some... lets just say “Sy Fy Original”. So what movies would you add to the list?

And Hollywood... still allot of room to work here... just saying.


aravan said...

Hmmm. Let me ponder.

First off, Conan the Barbarian is my favorite movie of all time. Any movie that can take Arnold and craft a role that he actually doesn't break my suspension of disbelief? Win. Everything about that movie just hits note perfect for me. I guess it was probably the first fantasy movie I ever saw, and it's never been topped, in my mind.

LOTR movies - you know I agree with you on them. Beautiful visually, just the jackassery of some of the decisions robs me of enough pleasure to knock them down. I remember seeing the first trailer - Weathertop. At first I was delighted. Then as I watched, Aragorn proceeds to rip through what are supposed to be among the most powerful physical presences in all of Arda without making it look in the least difficult. My unease grew three sizes that day, and the rest of the movies made my trepidation justified.

Others? Hmmm. I know Facebookers mentioned Princess Bride, which I did enjoy. Oh, and I do enjoy Ladyhawke too, but that's neither here nor there. I really enjoyed Legend, especially Tim Curry's performance. Labrynith was not horrible. The original Clash of the Titans (LA Law, representin'!) was enjoyable fun. I hated Dragonslayer the first time I saw it, and nothing has changed in the years since. I guess there is The Chronicles of Narnia, but they just don't do anything for me.

Man, that's just a paucity of quality, right there.

mattruane said...

What about 13th Warrior? Arguably a fantasy movie and other than the idea of learning a language simply by hearing it over and over again, I found it not only enjoyable but a decent fantasy movie.

Perhaps not a straight fantasy, but still with fantastic moments are other movies in a similar genre: King Arthur (2004) minus the horses at the end, and Pathfinder (2007), which is always violently entertaining.

And what about movies like: Brotherhood of the Wolf or 300? Perhaps it simply we need to define what a fantasy movie actually is.

BTW, I do agree about the first Conan movie and honestly I am cautiously optimistic about the new Conan the Barbarian movie due out next summer.

Clockmaker said...

Both of you bring up movies I love but forgot to mention... Labyrinth, OMG!! the first movie of Jennifer Connelly and 13th Warrior, which I loved.

I did not like Clash of the Titans, 300 or Legend and my dislike of Dragonslayer mimics Alan's.

I have to say Matt did jar my mind a little and I will add the movie Centurion to my list.

Cape May Wren said...

Does The Fifth Element> fall into the category?

Dave Starks said...

I think the original "Heavy Metal" is the closest thing to my original conception of Fantasy a la Dungeons & Dragons - a mix of Sword & Sorcery and also horror in a Lovecraft / EC Comics vein. The "Taarna" episode is the closest we've seen to a "D&D Movie"...then there's the original Star Wars - just imagine the settings to be "in the past" and you have Mages, Knights, Tavern brawls, Weird monsters, Swordfights...pure D&D. And of course, "Raiders of the Lost Ark"...the opening sequence and much of the film itself I am convinced was inspired by the wave of popularity that Fantasy was enjoying at the time, largely kicked off by D&D...