1980s Fantasy Film Festival #7: “Erik the Viking” (1989)
Jul18

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #7: “Erik the Viking” (1989)

And now as the “Legends and Mythology” sequence of our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival continues, we come to Erik the Viking, a film I really wanted to love for numerous reasons. For one, it has become something of a cult classic since its initial, critically maligned release in 1989, and if there’s anything I tend to love, it’s a misunderstood cult classic that a dedicated albeit small group of loving fans cherish...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #6: “Excalibur” (1981)
Jul11

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #6: “Excalibur” (1981)

John Boorman’s Excalibur, the second “Legends and Mythology” entry in our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, is easily the most ambitious film in this series to date, its goal having been to adapt Thomas Malory’s classic book of King Arthur, Le Morte D’Arthur–the first major work to compile all of the pieces of the Arthurian Legend up to that point, 1485, into one place–into one film. Malory’s...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #5: “Clash of the Titans” (1981)
Jul04

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #5: “Clash of the Titans” (1981)

And now we move into the second sequence of our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, “Legends and Mythology” with the much beloved 1981 classic, Clash of the Titans, which I had somehow managed to never see in full until now. I had caught random bits on cable at various points, as well as in a college class I took on Greek Mythology, but this was the first time I sat down and saw the original Hollywood version of the legend of...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #4: “Ladyhawke” (1985)
Jun27

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #4: “Ladyhawke” (1985)

So far, in our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, we have watched three deeply silly films, Conan the Barbarian, Hawk the Slayer, and The Beastmaster, all of which are exploitative and ludicrous, and the latter two of which are quite entertaining, to varying degrees. And that’s why it feels nice to finish off the “Sword and Sorcery” sequence of the festival with Ladyhawke, the first that is actually an honest-to-goodness...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #3: “The Beastmaster” (1982)
Jun20

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #3: “The Beastmaster” (1982)

Three films into our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, and probably the major uniting factor between these sword and sorcery entries so far is that they are all ridiculous, in various ways. For some reason, however, The Beastmaster is the first one that I enjoyed thoroughly, without any hesitation, and which held my interest from start to finish with nary a lull (while Hawk the Slayer is extremely fun, its nearly-Ed-Woodsian levels of...

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Triumphant Flight: “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ (2014)
Jun14

Triumphant Flight: “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ (2014)

[Note: The following review contains NO spoilers for How to Train Your Dragon 2, although it does have spoilers for the first film in the series.] When I first saw the original How to Train Your Dragon 4 years ago, it instantly became one of my favorite animated films of all time, and my admiration for it has only grown with each successive viewing. Based on a series of children’s novels by Cressida Cowell, it is the rare...

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