Willow

Tried as I might, I could not get into “Willow.”

Some of it comes down to timing; had I seen this at a much younger age, I could totally see myself getting swept up in this story of a dwarf named Willow (Warwick Davis) who must protect a baby from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) who wishes to kill her.

He meets some other travelers along the way to help him, such as two Brownies, Franjean(Rick Overton) and Rool (Kevin Pollak), a ne’er do well swordsman Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes) a good witch who has been transformed into a muskrat.

It’s a solid setup, a tale as old as time, but a lot of the kiddie elements, like any scenes with the Brownies or when the love potion goes wrong for Madmartigan, just fall flat to these adult eyes. And while I’ll give the filmmakers props for bucking the trend of the day and making the chosen one a girl, “Willow” still amounts to a story about a bunch of dudes (even the other women can’t act on their own until the men come along).

“Willow” tried its best to impress me, but sadly, I’m a little too old for a tale this simplistic.

Willow” (1988)

Written by Bob Dolman

Directed by Ron Howard

Starring: Warwick Davis (Willow)

Val Kilmer (Madmartigan)

Best of 2010

So, here we are again, reviewing the movies I saw in the past year and seeing what stuck out and what faded away. My list of movies was quite a bit shorter this year (I finally went and got myself a life; didn’t see that one coming). But while the quantity was small, the quality was remarkable.

Or maybe I’ve just gotten more forgiving. Anyway, here’s my list, in alphabetical order.


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Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock

An old friend returns to the fleet, and all sorts of problems spark up. Baltar also returns to his people only to discover they don’t quite need him back.

 

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

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Battlestar Galactica: No Exit

The
mutiny and its aftermath are still close to the surface as Anders
prepares for brain surgery (and shares some history with his fellow
Cylons); and our mysterious 12
th
Cylon returns to the forefront.

A
note to first time BSG watchers;
these
aren’t the reviews for you
.
I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you
haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at
the end. You’ve been warned.

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The Princess and The Frog

In the last couple of years (let’s be honest, the last decade or so), Pixar has held the monopoly on good animated kiddie films. Sure, other companies have been producing films here and there, but the ones I can remember the clearest belong to that little upstart company married to Disney.

I’d even go so far as to say that other childrens’ films really get a bad rap for not being Pixar films. So when I can, I try to branch out to other companies, just to see what’s going on out there. And while Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” has a lot to offer (especially to girls looking for a nonprincess character to love), I can’t help but think how much better this film would have been with Pixar’s magic touch.

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Battlestar Galactica: Blood on the Scales

Mutiny continues to cast shadows all over Galactica, as sides are chosen and friends are lost.

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

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Battlestar Galactica: The Oath

Mutiny rips through Galactica; beloved characters turn violent and the tensions of the past few weeks burst open with some shocking results.

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

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“The Sandlot” revisited

Some movies should not be revisited.

Some kiddie movies can last beyond childhood; they are the special ones, the ones that you can come back to time and again, and they always retain that magic you witnessed in your youth.

 

For me, two standouts are “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and Shirley Temple’s “The Blue Bird,” but it really doesn’t matter which ones made the cut. What matters is that for the length of the film, a piece of your childhood comes back to life and you are young again.

But, then there are those other movies, that had magic when you were young, but when you look at them with adult eyes, you can’t go back. All the flaws are right there in the open and you cannot brush them aside. The movie is forever tainted by your growing wisdom.

Unfortunately, “The Sandlot” falls into the second category.

I saw it with my cousin when I was fourteen, and I really liked it; it was a good baseball-and-kids story that for once didn’t center around the big game.

But then I had to go and watch it this past week. There are too many characters, too many improbable (and let’s face it, impossible) situations and too many moments that just make the adult in me cringe.

“The Sandlot” had a lot going for it; a solid setup about a lonely boy in a new town who finds himself on a baseball team (when he doesn’t know how to play); a likeable enough cast; and an unconventional approach to a sports movie.

It all goes downhill from there. I want to remember this movie fondly, but the adult in me can’t find the childhood glee. It’s all gone.

The Sandlot” (1993)

Written by David M. Evans and Robert Gunter

Directed by David M. Evans

Starring: Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry)

Benny (Mike Vitar)

Battlestar Galactica: A Disquiet Follows My Soul (extended)

We
take an extended (hehe) look at our crew, post-Earth. It’s not a fun
ride.

A
note to first time BSG watchers;
these
aren’t the reviews for you
.
I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you
haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at
the end. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading

Battlestar Galactica: Sometimes a Great Notion

After finding themselves back at the beginning, the fleet takes stock of themselves and tries to find ways to cope with their losses. Some succeed more than others.

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading