Tag: Fantasy

1954, Books, Fiction

The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by JRR Tolkien

Full disclosure: I am not a fantasy fan. I don’t know that I can tell you how many fantasy novels I’ve read in my life. Off the top of my head, I know The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was read to me when I was young, but I’m not sure I’ve read anything …

2018, Movies

Museo (2018, Alonso Ruizpalacios)

This is a super hyper stylized, completely fantastical depiction of what is apparently the most notorious “art” heist in Mexican history. The movie makes no bones about how inaccurate it is – stating multiple times that it is not the true story – so do not go into this movie expecting a docudrama.

2006, Movies

Den brysomme mannen (2006, Jens Lien)

Imagine a dryer, less quirky, less fantastic Brazil and you get some faint idea of what this Norwegian film is like, a dystopian fantasy dark comedy which acts either as a critique of materialism/consumerism or as a horrible vision of the afterlife. (I’m not 100% sure which.) SPOILERS (I realize I already spoiled something for you. …

2006, Movies

Brand Upon the Brain (2006, Guy Maddin)

I didn’t go see this in theatres, with its live orchestra, and that is now to my eternal regret. Because I feel like that experience might have made this the greatest of all Maddin experiences. On the small screen, it’s just not quite as immersive as I assume it would have been in a theatre …

2010, Movies

Clash of the Titans (2010, Louis Leterrier)

I have only ever seen pieces of the 80s Clash of the Titans, but my memory of it was that it was actually based on Greek myths. I emphasize this fact because this remake appears to not care about its sources in the slightest, pulling a creature from Norse mythology as its climactic bad guy, …

2013, Movies

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013, Harald Zwart

This is one of the innumerable young adult fantasy franchises that has seemingly popped up out of nowhere over the last decade and a half. I watched it for the same reasons that I watch all of these – I enjoy bad movies. This one is, at times, better than a lot of the other …

1962, Movies

Boccacio ’70 (1962, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli, Luchino Visconti)

This is a collection of four roughly 50 minute long films (just three in the US theatrical edition) poking fun at the sexual mores of 1960s Italy (which is why there’s “’70” in the title???) in tribute to Decameron by Boccacio, a 14th century set of tales considered one of the early Italian literary masterpieces. …

2011, Movies

BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011, Uwe Boll)

This is a pretty awful film that seems intent on reviving the Naziploitation films of the 70s that everyone fondly remembers. (Oh, you don’t fondly remember them? You think they’re offensive? That’s weird.) I can’t say whether or not this is a fond tribute to those films, as I’ve only ever seen one of them, …

1975, Movies

Black Moon (1975, Louis Malle)

This is a bizarre, barely plotted, surrealistic fantasy/sci-fi French film that tests one’s patience with its attempts to say things as obtusely as possible and with its attempts to be shocking. It’s part of a grand tradition of obscure French science fiction/fantasy films about post-apocalyptic worlds (where the world-building the English-language world loves so much …

2015, Movies

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015, Francis Lawrence)

I think, on some level, this is a superior film to the previous entry. I mean, for one thing, all that did was set things up. This (sort of) knocks them down. I will say that, as far as these things go, this series is a little less politically naive (I stress “a little” as …

2015, Movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, JJ Abrams)

I must say that, when I learned that the new trilogy would not follow the Grand Admiral Thrawn arc, a little part of my teenage self died. The only Star Wars books, I ever read, I enjoyed them at the time. But, upon, reflection, it’s probably for the best, as this guy was one of those …

2014, Movies

Bird People (2014, Pascale Ferran)

This film tells the stories of two people who accidentally meet. In that sense, it is much like numerous other films that tell individual stories and combine them with chance meetings. Only this one has a fantastical twist hinted at in the title. Why it has that twist I can guess at but I’m not …

2007, Movies

Beowulf (2007, Robert Zemeckis)

Of the two films I’ve seen about Beowulf, this is definitely the better one. I haven’t read the legend myself (beyond a version for children, many years ago) but this definitely feels like it is more true to the original story – the story is definitely less blatantly revisionist than the other version I saw. …

2008, Movies

Inkheart (2008, Iain Softley)

I can imagine the pitch meeting where someone thought this was a good idea. And though I later learned it came from a book (I have not read it, obviously), it doesn’t make me think that pitch meeting was any more reasonable. Ideas like this always sound good, but it takes a lot imagination to …

2015, Movies

Last Knights (2015, Kazuaki Kriya)

This is a horribly over-cast movie (who knew that was a thing) that uses a pretense from its script to explain away the rather annoying fact that practically everyone in the cast is from  a different country (i.e. has a glaringly different accent). I say it’s ‘over-cast’ because there are a whole host of famous …

1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 2009, Movies

Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913 (2009)

This is a collection of many – but hardly a majority or all – of George Melies’ short films from when he got into cinema shortly after the invention of the medium until 1913, when his various personal problems consumed him and he stopped making films. (Note that many of Melies’ films have been lost …

2003, TV

Angels in America (2003, Mike Nichols)

There is a part of me that wants to say this is one of the great works of American literature of the late 20th century but I don’t know enough late 20th century literature to say that with any kind of authority and, specifically, I can’t tell you how few American plays I’ve seen written …

2010, Movies

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010, Michael Apted)

Apted’s surer hand makes this possibly the best entry in the series – it’s obvious from the opening shot that a better director is involved.

1996, Books, Fiction

A Game of Thrones (1996) by George RR Martin

I have never liked fantasy novels and usually only enjoy fantasy movies for their cheesiness and predictability – though there are exceptions. However, the TV show won me over due to its drastic differences from most fantasy I am familiar with. As a fan of the show, I really felt no need to read the …

2014, Movies

Noah (2014, Darren Aronofsky)

I have long been a fan of Aronofsky’s, even of his misses – though I have yet to see The Fountain – because he has always made me think. His films provoke thought and discussion, and are also usually full of inventive direction and cinematography. I am not sure I can think of another example …

2011, Movies

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011, David Yates)

For one brief, incredible moment they had me: I thought I was about to witness the ballsiest act in movie franchise history – because I don’t read much fantasy, I know nothing about where it would fit in fantasy franchise history – and I was in the process of being blown away when, of course, …

2010, Movies

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010, David Yates)

So the school narrative has been dropped, finally. But otherwise I feel like much of what I said about The Half-Blood Prince really applies to this movie – with the exception of the Half-Blood Prince’s identity, obvs – but maybe this movie is more like when the rebels get ambushed on Endor, right before the …

2009, Movies

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009, David Yates)

This appears to be the series’ Empire Strikes Back and, as such, is the strongest from a story perspective. (Why do I keep comparing Potter to Star Wars? I don’t know. I guess I just don’t watch a lot of fantasy.)

2004, Movies

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Alfonso Cuaron)

It’s amazing what a great director can do with material that might otherwise turn you off. The ex-girlfriend assured me that the third book is considerably better than the first two, and that may be true, but it’s pretty much astounding to see the quality improve so drastically with the change in direction.