Films viewed in 2011

Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

387. Immortals

In Fantasy on November 17, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Dir. Tasrem Singh

A mortal man is chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against Hyperion who is trying to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.


Tarsem Singh doesn’t have a extensive resume, but he is establishing himself as a talented surrealist specialist. Immortals, however, suffers from fantasy fatigue after the technique of desaturated slow motion historical ultra violence wowed people in 300, got serialized on TV with Spartacus: Blood and Sand and was already tiresome by Clash of the Titans. Most of the action is well done, and the costumes are impressively imaginative, but the style overshadows any feeble attempts at character development or romantic storylines. But I could have guessed that would be the case before walking into the theatre. I did hope to see Greek Gods up the sex appeal ante, but that’s one place the filmmaker was restrained.



140. Time Bandits

In Fantasy on August 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Dir. Terry Gilliam

A young boy accidentally joins a band of dwarfs as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.


As a straight-up comedy, I thought this film mostly failed. But if seen as a children’s film, it’s suddenly much more interesting. I didn’t, however, watch it that way and kept looking for subtlety that wasn’t there. But where Gilliam excels is making the middle ages feel comfortless and real, especially for a child’s fantasy.

121. Alice in Wonderland

In Fantasy on August 15, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Dir. Tim Burton

19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure to end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.


As a primer for seeing the Tim Burton Exhibit in Toronto, I finally watched his phenomenally successful Alice in Wonderland. Burton’s signature style and Carroll’s trippy material do make a perfect marriage, but that novelty alone elevated an average film to billion dollar heights. For such a unique mind, Burton also seems pretty short on original material in the last 20 years.