Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fantasy Gold

After doing three installments of "Fantasy Cheese" a month or two ago, I thought I'd do a list of really well done fantasy movies of the 1980s. The good stuff. Fantasy Gold, if you will. In looking at other lists, I found myself nodding in agreement a lot at this one. Why write one myself, then?

I'm not sure I'd put My Neighbor Totoro on the list (not because it's not awesome - it is, and I've got a lot of great memories of watching it with Connor when he was little - but because it just doesn't seem to fit the swords-and-sorcery mold. It should be No. 1 on a different list).

I realize The Beastmaster might not live up to every viewer's Gold standard. Perhaps it's nostalgia that makes me enjoy it. I admit it doesn't hold up quite as well as some of the other stuff on the list. It's a little too good for Fantasy Cheese, though. Don't forget, it was directed by Don Coscarelli, who's done some very good stuff.

If you know me, you know I love 1982's Conan the Barbarian; I think it's a flawless home-run of a movie and I'd have given it much higher marks than this guy gave it. I'd certainly have ranked it higher than Ladyhawke, which is, nevertheless, still deserving of a place on this list. Except for one glaringly obvious exception, I see very little that is cheesy in Conan the Barbarian. That exception, is, of course, Arnold himself, and I think casting-wise, Jason Momoa makes a far better Conan (even if they put him in a fair-to-middling film; certainly, it is the inferior of the 1982 film). But let's face it, if there was any role Arnold was simply born to play, it's Conan, the Terminator, or both. I find this movie beautifully shot, well-written, well-acted for the most part, with heavyweights like Max Von Sydow and James Earl Jones...it's also quite true to the Robert E. Howard books without actually adapting any of them. I could go on and on about this one (and may already have in another post - it's been a few years now on this blog and I've repeated myself more than once).

Otherwise, I'm pretty much in agreement with everything this guy says. I'm particularly happy to see his positive review of Excalibur, which is one of my all-time favorites. Highlander, of course, is also right up there.

If you haven't seen any of the movies on this list, they're all worth watching.

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