Fantasy/Adventure

Fantasy/Adventure: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Fantasy/Adventure: Introduction

“When we make films, we are building castles in the clouds.” – Max Ophüls Dear equine community (aka all you horses), We – that is, the film-going public – would like to submit this as a formal apology. For too long you’ve been the butt – or perhaps more suitable in this case, ass – of fantasy and adventure films. At Hollywood’s very best, you’re doomed to a life of sidekick-ism. The noble steed to the white knight. Bound to serve their equestrianism. Even when you’re in the limelight, in such...

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

Disclaimer: Fantastical acts of violence, a creepy Grim Reaper, some sexuality, and a gaudy display of Britishness. I say, good show. I was the ripe age of five when this film came out and I never saw a movie quite so wonderfully insane and fantastical. It’s as if the Mad Hatter and Homer (the Greek writer, not The Simpsons patriarch) collaborated to write the script, which is based on a collection of centuries-old tall tales by Rudolf Erich Raspe about the mysterious historical character of...

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Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

Disclaimer: Hundreds of acts of violence, probably just as many scares, a handful of scenes with smoking and drinking, and one ring (to rule them all). It still boggles my mind that New Line Cinema gave this cinematic undertaking to Peter Jackson. They had the rights to one of the most influential and talked about pieces of literature in this century. And being a fantasy action-adventure, one that naturally lent itself to a film adaptation. Not only did they have their hands on that, but also,...

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Harry Potter series (2001-2011)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Harry Potter series (2001-2011)

Disclaimer: If you’re an evangelical Christian, you may want to stay away from the violence, scares, and alleged godlessness of witches and wizards. Like it or not, when we look back at the literature that defined this generation, J.K. Rowling’s seven-tome series will be at the top of the list, plain and simple. Perhaps only once before, with J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, has a series of fantasy novels enraptured the minds of children and adults alike – and bestseller lists reflect just...

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Aladdin (1992)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Aladdin (1992)

Disclaimer: Supposedly there’s a Paul-Is-Dead-type whisper about girls taking their clothes off (kind of like the rumored “penis castle” on the cover of The Little Mermaid). But unless your kids listen to the movie on full blast, you should be OK. After The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast – which together re-invented Disney’s presence in screen animation and introduced a magic musical duo in Howard Ashman and Alan Menken – Aladdin had a seemingly impossible act to follow. And though...

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Up (2009)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Up (2009)

Disclaimer: A lot more deaths than are typical of Disney, one of which is the saddest since Bambi’s mom. Up is one of the most unexpected delights ever brought to screen, and in the realm of movies conventionally thought to be intended for youths, may also be the single greatest of its kind to speak to adult couples. But therein also lies a double-edged sword. Kids will most definitely fail to share the same overwhelming enthusiasm of their adult counterparts. They just won’t connect on the...

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National Treasure (2006) & National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

National Treasure (2006) & National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)

Disclaimer: Some mild violence and language. Other than that, some ridiculous and misleading historical information. It was late summer, or maybe early fall, when I’d yet to see National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets in theaters. When I told my brother, a fellow cineaste who shares my love of the first installment for its uninhibited over-the-top badness, that I’d yet to see it, he opened his eyes widely and exclaimed, “Why not!” When I asked him what he thought of it, he calmly responded, “Let...

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Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Disclaimer: Celebrated abandonment of civilization, plus pirates and tigers and bears, oh my! Anyone who enjoys animals and pirates, or who built a tree house during their childhood (or for that matter attempted to or wished they would have), will find Swiss Family Robinson a fine cup of tea. Based on Johann Wyss’s novel, this film is a remake of a 1940 version that Walt Disney himself purchased all the known copies of so none of his viewers could compare the two. The live-action adventure...

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Shrek (2001) & Shrek 2 (2004)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Shrek (2001) & Shrek 2 (2004)

Disclaimer: Some adult references (sex jokes), mild language (loose use of the term “ass”), and comic violence. Shrek opens (like so many Disney romance features) with a storybook accompanied by the typical story of a princess trapped in a tower awaiting her prince. Before he can kiss her and live happily ever after, however, this movie’s title character tears out a page to use as toilet paper. This opening sets the tone for the ultimate fractured fairy tale (like those featured on Rocky and...

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Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Disclaimer: A bare-chested, Atheistic, and violent thief leads the way. Thief of Bagdad rivals D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance and William Wyler’s Ben-Hur in ambition and scope. It’s an epic film on the grandest scale, requiring hundreds of extras and a six-and-a-half acre set, the largest in Hollywood history. Though it’s not color (which will certainly turn some viewers away), the filters and lighting emit moods in a pure and effective way; and though it’s not a talkie (which will certainly turn...

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Time Bandits (1981)

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Time Bandits (1981)

Disclaimer: Some genuinely creepy characters, mild violence, and jokes at the expense of Christianity. Before Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, imaginative director Terry Gilliam collaborated with another Monty Python alum (Michael Palin) to write this excellent adventure, which blends the evils of Capitalism, the simplicity of Christianity, and some of the best moments in history for a one-of-a-kind quest. The film follows six little people: Randall (David Rappaport), Fidgit...

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Fantasy/Adventure: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Fantasy/Adventure: Other Recommended Titles

Around the World in 80 Days (1956): Much better than the 2004 remake, this Jules Verne story is credited with inventing the “cameo” as the following stars make brief appearances: Peter Lorre, Trevor Howard, Red Skeleton, Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton, Cesar Romero, Edward R. Murrow, and George Raft. Avatar (2009): The only movie to justify the existence of 3D, James Cameron’s champion blockbuster epic is truly a sight to behold, but with a story that is best described as...

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Fantasy/Adventure: For Adults Only

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Fantasy/Adventure | 0 comments

Fantasy/Adventure: For Adults Only

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): One of the best films of the decade follows a young girl who is becoming too old for fairy tales, but becomes a part of one herself that illustrates a brutal comparison to her post-Spanish Civil War life.

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