One of the aspects that hinders Magnus Marten’s “There’s Something in the Barn” from being a real home run of a movie is that it never quite decides what it wants to be. Sometimes it’s a horror movie, sometimes it is fantasy, sometimes it’s just downright comedy, and it builds up this intricate universe with not a lot of explanation or extrapolation. “There’s Something in the Barn” could be good. It could be “Krampus” good, but it leans so much toward this fish out of water comedy that it loses sight of the whole premise involving killer elves, and this weird pact that is never fully explored or fleshed out.
We are in desperate need of a fantasy movie renaissance, and I truly hope “Honor Among Thieves” is the one to lead the charge. It takes a true D&D fan to really know how to bring this universe to life and director John Francis Daly rises to the challenge brilliantly. “Honor Among Thieves” is one of the more refreshing genre pictures of 2023; it’s a movie that is filled with so much appeal for any audience. I dare say that it might even open the door to a new generation of players.
If you missed the last edition of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, or the Edition before that, or the Edition before that, well then, Warner has you covered. This year, Warner has unleashed the “Middle Earth” 31 Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition which brings together the epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy in both Theatrical and Extended editions. And there’s also those “Hobbit” movies with the same deal, but you can just read the book and call it a day, if we’re going to be honest.
I haven’t been the biggest fan of Ridley Scott’s output over the years, but there’s no denying his one two punch of “Alien” and “Legend” is immense. Often times modern audiences forget to cite “Legend” as one of the benchmarks of the fantasy genre. It’s probably the quintessential dark fantasy film and the one film I think of when I refer to fantasy films. There’s everything here from goblins, and trolls, to unicorns, and a valiant warrior, in the form of Tom Cruise. There’s also the unparalleled performance by Tim Curry whose delivers a stunning turn as the Lord of Darkness.
This week Amazon released their first image for the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series. In what I assume they hope will fill the hole “Game of Thrones” left in its wake, the new series is promising to be epic in scale and (hopefully) continue the stories of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, as well as re-invigorate the property for fans (I saw all three films when they debuted in theaters) that were left disappointed by “The Hobbit” prequels.
In celebration, I listed my five favorite characters from the Peter Jackson “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
If you have your own choices, feel free to let me know in the comments!
It’s David Ayer with another cop drama except rather than a socially relevant tale about mismatched officers of a different race or gender or religion—it’s got Orcs! “Bright” is by no means as clever as it thinks it is, as it uses fantasy tropes not to move the story forward or to lend a new twist to the cop drama, but to hammer us over the head with clumsy allegories and symbolism. Max Landis’ script is painfully stale and lacks any kind of idea as to what it’s trying to get across. It’s much too serious to take as a fantasy film, and not silly enough to take it as a meta-cop movie. Even the opening scene of Will Smith’s character beating a fairy to death on his front lawn with a broom is flat and never quite played up as a meta joke, so much as a poorly delivered device to alert us that we’re watching a “different” kind of cop movie.
Yes, primarily Hallmark have used the “Northpole” movies to sell whatever kitschy Christmas ornament they’re touting for the year, but they’ve accidentally built a neat Christmas movie series I want to see more of. Years ago, I would have really loved the adventures of Clementine the Elf, and her quest to restore the Christmas spirit in one unhappy soul. Right now, she’s still a charming Christmas heroine played by the always adorable Bailee Madison. Madison doesn’t even have to do much to look like an Elf, as she’s given pointy ears, and achieves the rest with her wide smile, and large saucer eyes.
Part one in an apparent movie series from Hallmark Entertainment, “Northpole” is a cute film about Christmas, and trying to preserve the happiness. Literally. It’s a simple and down to Earth movie that celebrates the more entertaining aspects of the holiday, while also building on a new hero in the form of elf Clementine. Bailee Madison is the definition of adorable as the rambunctious cherubic elf, desperately trying to keep the North Pole from dying what with the happiness of Christmas fading away in a sea of unfortunate cynicism. “North Pole” depends on Madison’s enthusiastic performance, and as always, she steals the movie. “North Pole” has its fair share of silliness, but it’s a fine Christmas movie with amusing quirks that I sat through with ease.