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.
Written by Bob Dolman
Directed by Ron Howard
Starring: Warwick Davis (Willow)
Val Kilmer (Madmartigan)
That was pretty weird.
Not awful mind you, but ‘weird’ is the overall impression I had of “The Dark Crystal,” Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s dark fantasy movie.
Unfortunately, while I think the film is unique and imaginative, I also don’t think it’s that good. Damn shame too; there was a lot of potential here.
Readers, here’s something you might not know about me: I love being a movie snob.
I know enough movie trivia to be a formidable opponent at “Scene It,” and I can wax on (endlessly) about the virtues (and failings) of renowned foreign and domestic directors. In fact, the movie I’m most likely to pick as my favorite is “Wild Strawberries,” a Swedish movie directed by Ingmar Bergman that premiered the same year my mother was born.
But sometimes, you need to shove that stuff aside and embrace some lowbrow comedy. “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising,” the no-budget “Dungeons and Dragons” parody from writer/director Matt Lancil fits that bill in spades and manages to be pretty damn entertaining.
Go see “Phoebe in Wonderland.”
I understand if you’re a little turned off by the cutesy premise of a little girl who imagines herself a modern-day Alice in Wonderland after getting the lead in her school play. But if you promise to keep reading, I’ll let you in on a secret.
Still with me? That’s not what the movie is really about.
I know, a trailer lied to us! Shocker.
One month after its release, I finally got to see “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Yeah!!!!!!!!!!
For an HP super-fan, that was quite the wait. And while I’m still thrilled to pieces that David Yates has taken the reins of the series (and will direct the last two movies), HBP wasn’t as good as “Order of the Phoenix.”
Lots to love here though.