Posts Tagged ‘Willow’


Joss Whedon’s past and the future of “Dollhouse”: Conclusion

April 30, 2009

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Top 5 SF movies you enjoyed as a kid but didn’t hold up when you watched later as an adult

October 22, 2008

5. Robocop 2nominated by bloginhood
Near non-stop bloody action and reasonably good SFX for its time – all that a teenage boy could want. Well, not quite all – a better story (moreover, a story that made sense in the context of what the original movie had set up) and better acting were certainly needed. But as a kid you don’t generally see through the haze of bullets and explosions enough to notice the utter lack of these things that are so crucial for a film for it to be worth an adult’s time. I hadn’t rewatched “Robocop 2” in many, many years until I caught it a month or so ago on cable, watched a few minutes, then turned the channel, feeling deeply ashamed not so much that I’d seen it in the theatre when it first came out, but more because my foolish younger self had later bought it on videotape.

4. Labrynthnominated by harrysaxon
While I loved this film when I first watched it with my little sister – I was about 12, she 5 – when I rewatched it many years later, I was outright embarassed. The goblins, especially, were just awful – awful-looking, awful dialogue. It may have started my interest in David Bowie, but as an adult Bowie fan, it made me want to hide my face, I was so embarassed for him, in spandex tights and singing bad songs. There isn’t much better way to describe it than out-and-out cheesy.

3. Total Recallnominated by bloginhood
Again, another super-hard-on gunfest testosterone action flick thinly clad in SF tropes that appealed to, well, most teenaged boys when it was released – myself included. Throw in a smokin’ hot Sharon Stone and a sultry, ball-busting Rachel Ticotin and make ’em have a catfight and it was a surefire winner. Until I grew up and realized what unbelievable (where to start?) piece of drivel it was, and a truly monstrous perversion of a solid-enough Philip K. Dick short story. Another regret from my youth. “Quaaaaaaid! Quaaaaaaid! Stop the goddamn movie!!!” To be fair though, most Arnold movies don’t stand up to the test of maturity (except “The Terminator”, which wasn’t so much an Arnold flick as a Linda Hamilton and/or Michael Biehn film).

2. The Neverending Storynominated by harrysaxon
I adored this film when I saw it in theatres, and loved it for some time after. I rewatched it a few months ago, and was thoroughly surprised by how bad it is. Bastien needs a crack upside the head. The death of Atreyu’s horse was a very tragic moment in my childhood; I was stunned to realize that it was basically the only scene the horse was in, one of the cheapest manipulations of children’s emotions I’ve ever seen. The dog-dragon-thing was just annoying. And what was with the director’s obsession with filming the giant breasts on the Sphinx statues from as many angles as possible?

1. Willownominated by both
So George Lucas and Ron Howard do a half-hearted remake of “Star Wars” dressed up in fantasy costuming, using little people (or, at least one little person, primarily) to give it a vaguely “Lord of the Rings” flavour. I guess I liked this one as a kid because there wasn’t a lot of fantasy in the theatre in those days – at least, not big budget stuff that made it to the theatres in my area and stayed around for long; and because the “Star Wars” formula worked well enough for me back then. But over time, “Willow” has become like cotton candy – too damn sickly sweet and disturbingly artificial in the way it was cobbled together. I wonder if Lucas and Howard would have done a better job when they reunited if they would have done a thinly-veiled fantasy version of “American Graffiti” instead?

I loved this movie when it came out, it started a life-long love with Val Kilmer’s work that is still unchanged today, and one of my first major teenage crushes in Joanne Whalley. Then I watched it through more mature eyes; while I could accept the dated special effects, or that the whole turning-into-pigs sequence was just the Circe episode from “The Odyssey” without the script references that might distinguish homage from plagarism, I was crushed when I realized that Lucas had just filmed Star Wars again, in a fantasty setting. A naive young man goes on a quest which ends in ultimate victory against the agents of darkness. Willlow=Luke. Madmartigan=Han. Sorsha=Leia (with a mild twist of starting off evil). Fin Razelle=Obi-Wan. Bavmorda=Emperor Palpatine. Kael=Vader. The two brownies=C3P0 & R2D2. I mean, it’s one of the most embarassing pieces of self-plagarism since John Fogarty recorded “The Old Man Down the Road”. Shameful.