Saturday, December 27, 2014

Best and Worst Films of 2014

It’s that time of year again. I want to give you my best / worst films of 2014, followed by the films I’m the most excited for in 2015. My list is going to be based off films I have watched. Since I live in a smaller town, my local theater doesn't get many low-budget or independent films, so my list may not have some of the greatest of the year.


  1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  2. Gone Girl
  3. Boyhood
  4. The Theory of Everything
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. The Lego Movie
  7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  8. X-Men: Day of Future Past
  9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  10. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


  1. Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
  2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  3. Lucy
  4. 300: Rise of an Empire
  5. The Legend of Hercules
  6. Hercules
  7. Divergent
  8. Dracula Untold
  9. Maleficent
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2


  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. The Avengers: Age of Ultorn
  3. Ant-Man
  4. Jurassic World
  5. Inside Out
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road
  7. Tomorrowland
  8. In the Heart of the Sea
  9. Pixels
  10. Hitman: Agent 47

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Series of Genres: Fantasy

We are back to the old regiment. This week I’m going to explore the magical lands set forth by various storytellers throughout history. These lands provide many opportunities to rise as a hero. Riding shotgun through the hero’s journey we, the audience, empathizes with the hero; experiencing the vast unknown world yet to be explored, together. On our journey we may be joined by a company of friends and allies compose of the following: a wise old mentor, a brave warrior, a man of the cloth, or a charismatic scoundrel. Our company of adventures will be tested both physically and mentally on the perilous journey head. If fate is in our favor we will return home unscathed, but as change individuals with inspirational stories of heroism.

For those of you that have been following this blog recently may recognized this anecdote as an adventure, and may be wondering why I’m not talking about fantasy as the title suggest. Let me recall my adventure post where I said “…adventures are usually paired with other genres. Personally, I think adventures pairs nicely with fantasy and sci-fi films.” Most people, including myself, lump fantasy and sci-fi together, because they tend to share themes and motifs. This week I want to focus just on fantasy. So what separates fantasy from sci-fi? The primary thing that separates the two genres is setting. Science Fiction (sci-fi) is rooted in science or scientific theory that usually has an outer space setting where as fantasy is set in an imaginary world, ruled by magic and mythological beast. Those descriptions are not hard definitions of the two genres, but good generalization that both genres usually follow.

Now that you know what basically separates fantasy from sci-fi, let’s delve into some of my favorite stand-alone fantasy films. I’m going to start off with some classics and then move into the modern ear.

First off is one of the first fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz is based loosely off the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, as they explore the colorful Land of Oz in an attempt to find a way back to their home in Kansas. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (a fairy godmother type character), and the Munchkins (jolly halfling people) instructed Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, were Wizard of Oz resides. This would be their best bet on finding their way back home. On her way she encounters a scarecrow, who want a brain, a tin man, who wants a heart, and a lion, who wants courage. The road isn’t easy because the Wicked Witch of the West, foils their plans by sending her flying monkeys. Dorothy defeat the Wicked Witch and save her friends. Upon returning the Wicked Witch’s broom, The Wizard of Oz “grants” their wishes, in the form of tokens of gratitude. Modern fantasy film uses an exuberant amount of CGI to create their fantasy world, were in 1939 they used color and detailed set piece to distinguish the difference between the dream world (Oz) and reality (Kansas). That level of filmmaking give me great respect of how they did things back then.

The next two films on my list also have that same level of respect because the films were made primarily with puppets. Those two films are The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. In the 1980’s, Jim Henson had a crazy idea to make a film with nothing but puppets. His first attempt was The Dark Crystal. The film did decently at the box office, taking home a little over forty million. What would happen if they made a film like The Dark Crystal but bringing in star power? Jim Henson’s next non-Muppet film was just that. Labyrinth brought with it David Bowie and, newcomer, Jennifer Connelly. Even with the star power, Labyrinth tanked at the box office, making less than thirteen million, about half of its budget of twenty-five million. To make matter worse the critic ate the film up saying things like, “it was awful.” Labyrinth didn’t gain its popularity and cult following until its release on home video.

Fast-forward a few years past Labyrinth to the year 1988. A little gem of a film titled Willow, came out that year. This was Ron Howard’s first full length high-fantasy film. The film was written by George Lucas (Star Wars) and screenplay by Bob Dolman. Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) is a humble farmer who stumbles upon a human a baby girl, which he places in his protection. The village is attacked by a hound during Willow’s ceremony to become the apprentice to the village wizard. Willow is then tasked with returning the baby to the humans. On his journey he allies himself with a human swordsman named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), a sorceress named Fin Raze, and two brownies named Franjean and Rool. This company all join forces to protect this baby, named Elora Danan, from the evil Queen Bavmorda, and her armies lead by her daughter, Sorsha. What I like the most about this film is it light heartiness, and fun spirit.

Throughout the 1990’s there were numerous Sci-fi film, and handful of fantasy films. In the early 90’s, 1991 to be exact, the film Hook was in theaters. Hook stared Robin Williams. The film takes place many years after the original telling of Peter Pan. Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is fairly neglectful father to his children, Jack and Maggie. While visiting their grandmother Wendy in London the two children are kidnaped by a mysterious figure and taken to Neverland. Tinkerbell shows up and tries to convince Peter that he is Peter Pan. He doesn’t believe so Tinkerbell has to forcibly take Peter to Neverland. After seeing his children with Captain Hook, he decided to fight for them by remembering that he is Peter Pan. With the help of the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell, Peter becomes Peter Pan. Peter fights Hook and wins the hearts of his children. The three of them return home and live happily ever after.

In the 2000’s many films were experimenting with visual effect, making many breakthroughs in CGI. One of those major breakthroughs was Motion capture (Mo-cap). Mo-cap allows the visual effects team to capture an actor’s motions / performance and use that as the framework for a CGI character. During this era movies were filming full scenes with nothing but CGI, blanketing sets in green screens. Then came along a Mexican filmmaker named Guillermo del Toro, who become known for using a healthy mix of practical effects and CGI. I believe that the film, El laberinto del fauno ( Pan’s Labyrinth) is the best example of Guillermo del Toro’s style. The film was beautiful, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would back me up on this, awarding the film Oscars in the Art Direction, Cinematography, and Makeup categories. Apparently, Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t make the mark in the Visual Effect category that year, instead the category was filled with the following films, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Poseidon, and Superman Returns. Taking home the prize was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Pan’s Labyrinth merit, not only lie in its visuals, but in it story as well. Pan’s Labyrinth follows a little girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her quest to become the rightful princess of the Underworld. To do so Ofeli must complete three tasks given to her by a faun. These tasks lead her into a dark fairy tale world filled with eerie monsters. The reason why I spent the so much time on Guillermo del Toro and Pan’s Labyrinth is because del Toro has a connection to one of the franchise in my top five list.

I don’t need a better segue than that, here is my Top Five Franchise in the Fantasy Genre that you all have been waiting for:

  1. Tolkien Film Franchise
  2. Star Wars Franchise
  3. Harry Potter Franchise
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise
  5. Shrek Franchise

  • Honorable Mention: The Neverending Story

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films bring Professor Tolkien’s classic novels alive. J. R. R. Tolkien is known for elaborated histories and world building. Tolkien started his work in the early 1930’s with his first tale in Middle-Earth drawing inspiration from many mythologies, including: Finnish, Norse, Greek, and Christianity, among others. What I like most about Tolkin’s work is he gave each race in his stories their own history, culture, and language. He not only does this for the normal fantasy races like dwarves, elves, and men, but for the monstrous races like goblins, trolls, and orcs. This attention to detail can also be seen on screen, in the story and in the craftsmanship. Peter Jackson utilized a native New Zealand special effects and prop company named WETA. One example of their detailed work is the armor they crafted for the film. They hand crafted each piece of armor and weapon in the film, bring aboard blacksmiths and leather-workers. The film also uses quite a bit of CGI, creating creatures such as the Balrog. Some of the CGI creatures, one in particular, came to life via motion capture. Andy Serkis brilliant mo-cap performance brought the creature Gollum to life. The level of acting talent doesn’t stop at Andy Serkis. The cast list in The Lord of the Ring is fantastic: Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan. All their hard work didn’t go unnoticed either; The Return of the King alone racked up 11 nominations at the Oscars. Roughly ten years after the release of The Return of the King, Peter Jackson would return to Middle-Earth and produce The Hobbit, with Guillermo del Toro at the helm. Guillermo del Toro left the project because of filming conflicts, passing the reins back to Peter Jackson, but he retained a writing credit for his conurbation to the film. I could talk about the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films all day, but it is time to move on.

Star Wars is seen as Sci-fi because of its setting and its use of scientific looking things like the lightsaber. Personally I would classify the films as a space fantasy. The themes and motifs line up more with fantasy. George Lucas drew inspiration from many different sources, including old war and samurai films. Examining the heart and soul of Star Wars, its story, one will realize that it’s modeled after Joseph Campbell’s theory, the hero's journey. For a better explanation of the hero's journey, check out this diagram. The original trilogy did a lot to advance the technology of visual effect, which spawned a company. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is one of the large visual effect, if not the largest. ILM has worked on many film over the years, averaging about 8 to 10 films a year. ILM has worked on most of the films I have mention in this post. What I’m try to get across is ILM has been a big part of the visual effects world. Star Wars in general didn’t really see a lot of love from the Academy, except for A New Hope, winning 6 out 10 of their nomination. All three films in the original trilogy won a Special Achievement Award for visual effects. I personally love Star Wars and I can’t wait for The Force Awakens.

Harry Potter hold a special place in my heart. I read all the books. I was one of those Potter nerds that stood in line for hours on end waiting for my copy of the newest book. I repeated that process for every movie once they started making them into films, except for the years I work at a movie theater. Harry Potter is a coming of age story with magic. Harry goes from being a “normal” boy to a great wizard powerful enough to take down the big bad wizard named Voldemort. In the Harry Potter world, magic is real, but its usage has been hidden from us Muggles, those lacking in magical abilities. Harry Potter’s only picking up Academy Award nominations in many of the artsy categories like Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Costume, but where it lacks in prestigious awards it make up in finances. The Harry Potter franchise has made just under 8 billion dollars worldwide, placing it in the top three most successful film franchise, financially.

The Chronicles of Narnia is another special childhood / teenage memory for me. The Chronicles of Narnia was the first time I was exposed to a fantasy world. In the books and later in the films, the audience follows a group of children as the journey to the Land of Narnia. This land can only be entered by magical means, the first of which was through a magical wardrobe. The first time I watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I was impressed with how they handled the Christian undertones that C.S. Lewis wrote in his books.

Sherk is one of those animated films that works for both children and adults. I personally thought Sherk was clever and fun, but then it turns bad, with all its sequels and spin-offs. Shrek is produced by DreamWorks Animation. I jokingly say DreamWorks Animation put out one good film for every ten films. Form my personal tastes, that statement is kind of true. From that production company I enjoyed: Sherk, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. There maybe a few more that I liked, but not love. I’m a Pixar guy through and through. I haven’t really seen a bad Pixar film, well in my opinion. With that being said I’m excited for Pixar’s newest movie Inside Out.

Now for my Honorable Mention: The Neverending Story. I haven’t had an honorable mention before because the race wasn’t as close as it was this week. Sherk barley made it in my top five because I didn’t like its sequels and spin-offs. The Neverending Story is based off a novel with the same name written by Michael Ende. The Neverending Story brings out the same love I have for the other fantasy films from the 80’s. I like how the story comes to life as the boy reads the words. It’s just one of those films I have a special place for, even though it’s not the greatest films cinematically.

This post should be going up on Christmas Eve, so I would like to wish my readers a Happy Holiday. I will end by asking, what films is everyone planning on watching this Holiday season? Maybe, Into the Woods, would be fitting because it is a fantasy film opening on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer(s):  Fran Walsh (Screenplay), Philippa Boyens (Screenplay), and Peter Jackson 
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Other Dwarves, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Voice of Smaug / Necromancer
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Running Time: 144 min
Synopsis: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 59% "Rottenh", Top Critics: 54% "Rotten", Audience: NA "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 60 out of 100, Users: NA out of 10
MRQE Metric: 68 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Based off The Hobbit, and other "Middle-Earth" books written by J. R. R. Tolkien.   

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: The title of the film is called The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It delivers an epic battle.    
  • Comedy Elements: This film has more of a serious tone, a tone much like the Lord of the Rings films, being a war film after all.     
  • Dramatic Elements: I liked that characters inner struggle drove most of the drama in the film. A lot of the film's tension comes in the form of trying to stop the inevitable battle from starting.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: "This film is set in a high fantasy world called "Middle-Earth" with humans, dwarves, eleves, hobbits, and dragons.       
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: A lot of the greats are back, performing at adequate levels. Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving are all fantastic actors. It was exciting to see their characters actually live up to their names. Even the "new comers" did a fine job. Even if you don't agree that some of the characters don't belong. Overall the performances were fine, they may not be Oscar worthy like we got in the Lord of the Rings films, but this isn't the Lord of the Rings.
  • Art Direction: 8: "New Zealand is the best backdrop for high fantasy worlds." I said that very thing for the last Hobbit and it still reign true. I also would like to add that the ruin city adds a new depth to the film.       
  • Cinematography: 7: I really liked that the battle sequences were focused on. I felt the scope of the battle without being overwhelmed. The fight sequences were well choreographed, making for better shots.          
  • Direction: 7: I believe this film has the shortest running out of the three the Hobbit films with a running time of 144min ( 2hrs and 24mins). For the most part every minute of the film was entertaining. I think Jackson did a fine job, like the performance, he did an adequate job, but not Oscar worthy, Good not Great.                       
  • Editing: 7: For me the editing was fine. I felt that most of the scenes had enough time devoted to them. There were only a few scenes I would have cut, but primarily those pertains to the character development.    
  • Screenplay: 6: (Note:I know I'm hurting my credibility here a bit when I say I haven't read the Hobbit. With that being said, I have limited knowledge on how accurate the films are to its source material. I do have access to a friend who is a BIG Tolkien fan, who is very well educated in all things Middle-Earth. I tend to refer to his knowledge, when I need validation on lore.) From my understanding a lot of this film was fabricated but with good tasted. Presumably, most of the interaction added to the film can be found either in the appendixes of Tolkien's other works or in Tolkien's personal notes. I know some are still "butt-hurt" with the additions of Legolas and Tauriel. Legolas makes sence. I'm even fine with Tauriel as a strong women elf, who is an orc killing machine, even thought her character was 100% fabricated. It was absolutely unnecessary to make her Kili's love interest. Personally, I don't think there love story is coherent with Tolkien lore. Secondly, there love story didn't add any to the overall story, if anything it detracted from it. Kili already has enough motivation to fight. I think that's only the tip of the "nerd rage" iceberg pertaining to Tauriel and Kili's love story.
  • Sound and Music: 8: I have always love the score to the Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit.
  • VFX: 10: It visual effect was fantastic, I see an Oscar nomination if not win in the future.
Overall: 7: I really enjoyed this film overall.            

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Series of Genres: Epic

This blog is going to take a turn for the epic, or at least its contents will. That’s right, we are going to talk about Epic and Historical films this week. A genre that could be renamed, Sword and Sandal, for the attire the characters wear in these films. An Epic film is a story that is larger than life, even if the story was embellished upon. Most Epic films are rooted in historical events and follow a hero with an extraordinary life. That is the type of Epic films we are going to explore this week. Epics can come in many forms; Adventure films can reach epic proportions like in The Lord of the Rings. Even some War film can have an epic scope like Saving Private Ryan. Even though these are good films in the Epic genre, I want to focus more on the Sword and Sandal style of film. If you want to see my opinion on the Tolkien films, check out my top five franchises in the Adventure genre, here. For my opinion on Saving Private Ryan and other War films, stay tuned to this blog because I plan on writing about War films near the end of my genre series. This week I’m going to break away from my format because of the nature of Epic films. Epic films tend not to have sequels, so I can’t really give a top five list in the Epic genre. Instead of skipping the Epic genre entirely, I decide to compile a top ten list. One of the lists, I drew inspiration from is, WatchMojo’s Top 10 Sword and Sandal Movies, seen here. Let’s compare their list to my list:
  1. Gladiator
  2. Ben-Hur
  3. Spartacus
  4. The Ten Commandments
  5. 300
  6. The Passion of the Christ
  7. Conan the Barbarian
  8. Troy
  9. Clash of the Titans (1981)
  10. Jason and the Argonauts
  • Gladiator follows the life of Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe). Maximus is Roman General in Marcus Aurelius’ army that becomes a slave because of Commodus’ scheming plot against him and his family. While in slavery, Maximus used his military training to rise in fame as a gladiator. As a famous gladiator, Maximus was presented with an opportunity to fight in Roman Colosseum, which impressed Commodus himself. After learning that Maximus is the identity behind the gladiator, Commodus arranged a fight between himself and Maximus in the arena that ends with Maximus restoring his honor as a good man. This story is mixed with a healthy amount of epic gladiatorial battle sequences that were obviously inspired from other film on this list, including Ben-Hur and Spartacus. Both Russell Crow and Joaquin Phoenix showcase Oscar worthy performance.
  • Ben-Hur follows the life of Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston). Judah Ben-Hur was a rich Jewish prince who becomes a slave at the hands of his childhood friend, Messala (Stephen Boyd), who happens to be the newest commanding officer of a Roman Legion. Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins) offers to be Ben-Hur’s personal trainer as charioteer because he admires Ben-Hur’s determination and self-discipline. Three years later Ben-Hur becomes a free man learning Roman rule from Arrius, his now adopted father, which leads to him becoming a champion charioteer. Ben-Hur longs for more than fame and fortune so he travels back home to Jerusalem. On his way through Judea, Ben-Hur learns about a chariot race being held in honor of Pontius Pilate from an Arab sheik named Balthasar. Ben-Hur declines the offer to compete even after hearing his friend, now rival, Messala would be attending. In Jerusalem, Ben-Hur meets with Messala, in an attempt to free his mother and sister from prison. The two women concreted leprosy while in prison and were sent out of the city. The women didn’t want Ben-Hur to find out about this truth so they asked Esther, Ben-Hur’s love interest, to cover for them. Esther tells Ben-Hur that his mother and sister have died, which in turns changed his decision to compete in the chariot race.
  • Spartacus follows the life of a gladiator named Spartacus (Kirk Douglas). Spartacus and his fellow slave buddy’s lead a slave uprising against Roman rule during the events known as The Third Servile War. Spartacus and Ben-Hur paved the way for most of the film on this list.
  • The Ten Commandments follows the life of Moses (Charlton Heston). Moses was a Hebrew boy born during Pharaoh Rameses’ decree, to kill all firstborn Hebrews males. Since Moses matched that description, his mother decided to place him in a basket and float him down the Nile River. Pharaoh's daughter finds the basket with the baby Moses and raises the child as her own. Moses is seen as a “Prince of Egypt” and equal to Rameses II, his brother and rightful heir. Moses discovers his heritage and realized he belonged with his people. Moses defends the Hebrew slaves and is banished out of Egypt by the new Pharaoh, his brother, Rameses II. Moses and his family move to the desert and settle in the land of Midian. While attending to his flock Moses is contacted by the Hebrew God via a burning bush. God requires of Moses to save his people from Egypt. Moses returns to Egypt and kindly asks Pharaoh Rameses II to free the slave, he refuse. God answers his refusal in the form of ten plagues. In the final plague, God sends the angel of death to take the life of all first born males, not protect by the blood of the lamb. After finding his son dead, Rameses II free the Hebrew people, but only for a moment. Rameses and an army of chariots pursue Moses. They meet at the impassable Red Sea. Moses raises his staff and the Red Sea parts, allowing the Hebrews to cross on dry land. Rameses and his army follow, but are washed away by the sea. Moses climbs Mount Sinai to receive God’s laws, while away the Hebrew’s create a golden calf. Moses returns down the mount with God’s laws, The Ten Commandments, and see the calf. Out of anger he smashed the tables on the calf. After this event the Hebrew’s wander the wilderness for forty years, finally stumbling upon Canaan, the promise land. Not being able to enter this promise land because of his disobedience, Moses appoints as the new leader of the Hebrew people. Moses life has been told many times on the silver screen in films such as The Prince of Egypt, and Exodus Gods and Kings but, I personally think The Ten Commandments is the best rendition.
  • 300 follows the life of King Leonidas (Gerard Bulter) and his 300 Spartans as they battle King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army. This story is rooted in history, but heavily embellished upon. This film is based on the graphic novel with the same title written by Frank Miller. Frank Miller took the main players and events in the Battle of Thermopylae and created a story fitting for a graphic novel. One aspect of the film I like the most is the panel by panel accuracy.
  • The Passion of the Christ follows the life of Jesus of Nazareth (Jim Caviezel), or at least the last 12 hours of his life. The film focuses primarily on Jesus arrest, trial, and crucifixion. The film does a decent job at compiling the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) into a signal narrative. The film also sprinkles in references to other religious text in the Judeo-Christian belief, to paint a picture of Jesus as Lord and Savior. The film is fairly accurate in historical science. It does this by showcasing the Romans meticulous facilitation of crucifixions and the choice to use regional and historical languages, making The Passion of the Christ a quasi- Foreign Language Film.
  • Conan the Barbarian follows the life of Conan (Arnold Schwarzeneggere). Conan is a barbarian who witnessed the savage death of his parent's by the wizard Thulsa Doom. Conan becomes a strong man by working in the slave pits. He earns his freedom by winning numerous gladiatorial battles. As a free man Conan set out on a quest to avenge his parent death. Taking up a sword he finds in an ancient tomb, Conan cuts down his enemies, unless they are female then he may sleep them for information. If this classic 80’s sword and sorcery film doesn’t spark your fancy, then maybe the remake starring Jason Momoa will.
  • Troy follows the life of Achilles (Brad Pitt) as a hero in the Trojan War. Troy is loosely based on Homer’s Iliad, which is an epic that tells the story of the quarrels between King Agamemnon and Achilles during the Trojan War. The Trojan War is a great war in Greek mythology between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans. This war starts at the hand of Paris, a prince of Troy, abducted King Menelaus’ wife, Helen of Sparta. The Greek’s retaliate by setting in motion a siege upon the city of Troy lead by King Menelaus’s brother King Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. King Agamemnon recruits many heroes to fight along his side, including Achilles and Ajax the Greater.
  • Clash of the Titans follows the life of Perseus (Harry Hamlin). Clash of the Titans is another movie rooted in Greek mythology. In this story, Perseus is sent on many quests to fight monster including Medusa and the Kraken, in doing so, winning the heart of Princess Andromeda. To complete his missions, Perseus is guided by the gods and gifted a sword, a helmet, and shield. Zeus himself gives Perseus a flying horse named Pegasus. After Perseus victories the gods, honor him and his companions in the stars. What I like most of this film is the stop-motion animation used for the monster.
  • Jason and the Argonauts follows the life of Jason (Todd Armstrong) and his Argonauts on their quest to find the famous Golden Fleece. Yet another story from Greek mythology, Jason is tasked from Pelias to find the legendary Golden Fleece. Jason assembles a crew to help him sail the ship Argo, among them is the hero Hercules (Nigel Green). On their journey the men fight many monsters including harpies, a giant bronze Talos, a hydra, and an animated skeleton army. Another favorite Greek mythology, film caulk full of stop-motion animation.
I’m sorry that it has taken some time to post this epic blog. I plan on focusing on Fantasy film in the upcoming weeks. With that being said, I will talk about the Tolkien films again, because they made a great impact on both the adventure and fantasy world. I will wait until after the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies this coming Tuesday (December 16), to post. In the meantime, give me your thought on either epic movies or the Tolkien films, since that’s where we are going to next.