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6 reviews in total 
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Ladyhawke (1985)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good story, great characters..., 23 January 2003

Not to be confused with the many "sword and sorcery" spectacles of the eighties, this film stands alone as a love story and...for lack of a better term...a "fairy tale." Gorgeous cinematography, clever dialogue, a solidly-plotted story, and characters that leap off the screen make this tale one that still stands tall, as long as the viewer is willing to forgive the disastrous soundtrack.

Matthew Broderick may steal the show as a condemned pickpocket who regularly converses with God, but the film is filled with small touches that dazzle; watch how lovingly director Richard Donner parades his medieval warhorses through the nave of a cathedral in the climax!

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Dragons done right, 3 December 2002

This movie stands apart from its dismal 1980's sword-and-sorcery fellows, giving us a bleak, moody Dark Ages Britain instead of the scantily-clad damsels and muscle-bound heroes that plagued the decade. The result is a good if nearly-forgotten tale of a sorcerer's apprentice and his reptilian nemesis--a monster that still stands head and scales above any other cinema dragon in terms of sheer ferocity and menace.

Though peopled by terminally obscure actors (apart from Sir Ralph Richardson), the film is solidly plotted, and the Dark Ages production design details alone are worth the trip.

Dragonslayer is a good movie that seems to want to be great. Forget modern eye-popping CGI effects and watch it for what it is.

The Mummy (1999)
The Stuff That Popcorn Is Made Of, 1 November 2002

Stephen Sommer's rib-elbowing adventure film is the kind of movie most of us hope to see, but rarely do, when we trade our cash for a seat at the theatre. Humor, horror, adventure, history, romance, all spooned onto a very full plate that somehow manages to balance these elements and leave us satisfied. With a rousing score and characters that seem to have leapt out of the broad-brush-stroked adventure novels of yesteryear, the movie spares no adventurous twist, no tongue-in-cheek movie reference, and no visual effect to bring the biggest, most absurd, most mummified actioner to the screen (and now, your home screen...). Watch it with a bag of popcorn and a readiness to catch all the jokes as they bounce by (and for lovers of DVD director's commentary tracks, the interplay between Sommers and his long-time editor Bob Ducsay rivals any radio morning-show banter, and actually makes the film even funnier...). All in all, a worthwhile ride.

230 out of 265 people found the following review useful:
Wow!, 11 December 2001

Breathtaking. Unique. Captivating. Enchanting.

Within minutes of the start of this first chapter of an undeniably epic trilogy, the audience was left gasping at the intensity of the images on the screen. And we had nearly three hours to go.

The scope of Tolkien's masterpiece may have eluded film-makers for decades, but director Peter Jackson makes good on his promise: he has not only brought us the tale of Frodo and his bold companions, he has brought us Middle Earth. And believe me, it is BIG. Sweeping vistas and hang-onto-your-seat camera shots send us zooming through the towering cities and citadels of Tolkien's imagination.

But even more impressive than the stunning visuals and sound-effects-like-you've-never-heard-before are the actors who breathe life into the characters. Ian McKellen's portrayal of Gandalf is nothing short of awe-inspiring, and Elijah Wood's Frodo is one of the most unexpectedly captivating performances I've seen in a long time. The despair, terror, and determination of the Fellowship is all there, in spades. I left the theater aching...from tensing every muscle during the fight and flight sequences--the breathless and compelling kind we haven't seen since Spielberg gave us a desperate charge onto the D-Day beaches of Normandy.

Those unfamiliar with Tolkien's world may quickly find themselves lost in it, but happily so. The depth of his creation cannot be grasped in a few hours, and it doesn't need to be; the struggle of good against evil explodes on the screen, and leaves little room for complaint.

The movie ended with a stunned audience sitting on the edges of their seats, feeling somewhat bereft. We were exhausted, but no one wanted to wait a year for more.

Jackson's ambitious first chapter is truly unlike anything you've seen this year. George Lucas and Chris Columbus take note: this is how you deliver on a cinematic promise.

For everyone else: don't you dare miss it.

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Gorgeous!, 8 February 2000

One of Ridley Scott's best films, done on a modest budget. The result is an evocative period piece with breathtaking cinematography and marvelous costumes. The dialogue is smart, the fight scenes are gripping and inventive, and the music is haunting. Some camera shots are, quite literally, suitable for framing. Ridley Scott is at his meticulously detailed best. This movie is one to buy, not rent.

What's Wrong with This Picture?, 18 November 1999

What's wrong with this picture? In a word, everything. Watching a buck-toothed, grasshopper-of-a-Joan cavort through the woods for the first twenty minutes was excruciating enough, but when the audience was subjected to perhaps the most gratuitously violent rape scene to grace the silver screen this year, the groans were audible even above the psychedelic medieval soundtrack. A Gallic-looking Jesus stares from his chair in the woods. Then he and Joan cavort some more. Woodstock meets the Thirty Years War. Didn't she see saints? I guess Joan isn't Catholic anymore. Too hard to explain. Joan becomes a woman. Joan goes to war. Her captains are likeable cartoon characters. They disappear midway through the film, and are never mentioned again. The audience, over their initial horror, can only gape, mute. Joan is tried. Joan burns. No one is surprised. We're just glad that the argumentative Dustin Hoffman character won't nitpick anymore. The audience hopes he burned up with her. Didn't France--motivated by Joan's sacrifice--unify and kick those pesky English out? Yes, but Luc Besson apparently didn't find such details worthy of mentioning. But--mon Dieu!--that burning dummy looked so realistic! The movie ends, abruptly. Credits roll. The audience doesn't complain--we're happy to have the lights come up again. Makes it easier to find the exit. Luc Besson has surely been replaced by a pod person with little talent. Save yourself. Save seven bucks. Borrow the video from the idiot (pronounce it the French way, now) who purchases it.