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Die unendliche Geschichte (1984)
A Wonderful Fantasy...wished there was more to it.
As a fantasy movie, "The Neverending Story" doesn't disappoint. Under the direction of Wolfgang Petersen, a cast of young talent at the time, and powerful visual effects, this movie will leave you wanting more.
An interesting point because this movie ONLY covers half the book! From my perspective, this movie should have been 3-4 hours long, which should be enough to cover the entire book. Not to mention it would have possibly given the film more of the substance and imagination of the novel. And I must side with Michael Ende, the author, on the fact that the producers used a script that lacked the novel's substance and that the film's technical perfection killed some of the imagination I am craving!
Now if the movie had just covered the entire book, we wouldn't have to watch those awful sequels. Besides, I rather watch Barret Oliver experience and enact Bastian's adventures in the second half of the book than endure Jonathan Brandis's constant whining in the first sequel.
Speaking of Barret Oliver, his role as the shy, awkward, and unheroic Bastian Balthazar Bux is probably the best portrayal of the main character in Michael Ende's book because here is a boy who can communicate the emotions and insecurities and imaginations so well it makes Bastian himself a believable character in a story. Compared to Jonathan Brandis and Jason James Richter, this person can REALLY ACT. Though his performance in D.A.R.Y.L. is his best, the Bastian role is perhaps the role that made him a cult-figure among NES fans and his own.
As for the actors, Tami Stronach was simply remarkable as the Childlike Empress a.k.a. Moonchild and although Noah Hathaway was okay, I keep asking myself this: IF NOAH HATHAWAY WAS AWFUL AS ATREYU, WHY DID HE GET THE SATURN AWARD AND NOT BARRET OLIVER?
*END OF SPOILER*
Despite what I didn't like about this movie, I still LOVE IT! It had a story that enchanted me with awe and imagination. If you like fantasy, this one recommendation to watch.