Tag: Fantasy

1989, Movies

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (1989, Charles B. Griffith)

If you thought Wizards of the Lost Kingdom was bad, well do I have a movie for you. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, which has nothing at all to do with the original movie, has a far bigger actor attached to it than the original and somehow manages to be so much worse. This movie …

1985, Movies

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985, Héctor Olivera, Alan Holleb)

This is a terrible fantasy film with slight more of a budget than you might expect and some credible costuming for a terrible film. It’s basically a fully ’80s fantasy film, with way less of a budget, and where a ton of the cast are dubbed because I guess they were speaking Spanish?

2014, 2015, 2017, TV

The Leftovers (2014)

This is a well-made show with at least one fatal flaw. (And possibly two. I didn’t get that far.) Recommended as ideal for watching during the pandemic we found quite the opposite: that the pandemic actually made the whole thing seem far less believable than it might have seemed when it first aired.

2020, Movies

Palm Springs (2020, Max Barbakow)

This is a very funny romantic comedy inspired by the classic romantic comedy [redacted], and which has many similarities to the recent TV show [redacted], but which still manages a fresh spin on what is becoming a pretty tired concept. What is that concept? Well, I don’t really want to tell you. Rather, I suggest …

2017, Movies

The Dark Tower (2017, Nikolaj Arcel)

I know nothing about the source material but this is one of those films which feels like things went wrong from the very beginning. Apparently a huge part of the problem is that it is a fairly normal length movie adapted from a novel series that is over 4,000 pages long. So no wonder.

1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1952, 1953, 1956, Books, Fiction

Ficciones (1941, 1944, 1956) by Jorge Luis Borges

I read “The Aleph” possibly in university or, if not, then a few years later. I thought it was pretty crazy and incredible and resolved to read more Borges. And then I just didn’t for 15 years or so. (Not entirely true: I stumbled upon one other story – a late one – at some …

2009, Books, Fiction

John Dies at the End (2009) by David Wong

Full disclosure: I didn’t read this when it was on the web, before it was published. But I saw the film at Midnight Madness TIFF in 2012. I don’t really remember the movie much any more but my review suggested I enjoyed it except for two things: 1) the CGI (which I remember being awful) …

2018, Movies

I Still See You (2018, Scott Speer)

This is a PG-13 thriller with horror/science fiction elements which steals ideas from other movies and books, and which cannot even come up with its own vocabulary for its internal world. Had I been less tired when I watched it, I no doubt would have figured out who the main bad guy was immediately, simply …

2015, Movies

Rak ti Khon Kaen aka Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

There are certain types of films which require patience. I am almost always better able to appreciate films which require patience in the theatre where I don’t have distractions. At home, I’m liable to find my way to my laptop pretty quickly if a movie is deliberately paced. It’s less bad with English language films …

1955, Books, Fiction

The Return of the King (1955) by JRR Tolkien

I don’t remember much about the film of The Return of the King, except for what felt like eternal denouement. I don’t actually remember but, if memory serves, it felt as though the last 45 minutes of that film were devoted to wrapping things up. I was worried that this book would be the same and, …

1954, Books, Fiction

The Two Towers (1954, JRR Tolkien)

The Two Towers has many of the same issues of its predecessor, but is also a superior read, just from an entertainment point of view. So though my rating at Goodreads is the same, it’s actually half a star higher because I found Books 3 and 4 to be much more of the page turner …

2016, Movies

Warcraft (2016, Duncan Jones)

I’ve seen lots of video game adaptations but most of them have been action and horror games, not fantasy games. This fantasy game, which I played at some point in the distant past, has the added disadvantage that at least some of its basic species types have been stolen from Tolkien, giving it even less …

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. …

2001, Books, Fiction

Life of Pi (2001) by Yann Martel

This review contains major SPOILERS. Hype is a dangerous thing. I heard a lot about this book, all positive, and I heard it for what felt like years. In addition to the hype, I had some aspects of the plot spoiled for me by the existence of the movie. So, basically, I waited way too …

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, …

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 previous film 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 …

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 …