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Fantasy Movies: Articles


'Die Nibelungen' Movies': Powerful Women in Masterful, 'Otherworldly' Germanic Tragedy

'Die Nibelungen: Siegfried': Paul Richter as the dragon-slaying hero of medieval Germanic mythology. 'Die Nibelungen': Enthralling silent classic despite complex plot and countless characters Based on the medieval epic poem Nibelungenlied, itself inspired by the early medieval Germanic saga about the Burgundian royal family, Fritz Lang's two-part Die Nibelungen is one of those movies I can enjoy many times without ever really understanding who's who and what's what. After all, the semi-historical, fantasy/adventure epic is packed with intrigue, treachery, deceit, hatred, murder, and sex. And that's just the basic plotline. As seen in Kino's definitive two-disc edition, artistically and cinematically speaking Die Nibelungen contains some of the greatest visual compositions I've ever seen. Filmed mostly in long shots that frame […]


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'Die Nibelungen' Movies': Powerful Women in Masterful, 'Otherworldly' Germanic Tragedy



'7 Faces of Dr. Lao': Tony Randall Brilliantly Shows Things Are Not As They Seem

'7 Faces of Dr. Lao' with Tony Randall delivering a 'bravura performance': Things are not as they seem. '7 Faces of Dr. Lao' movie: 'Things are not as they seem' Director George Pal's 7 Faces of Dr. Lao surprises on multiple levels: its witty screenplay by Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont, an odd assortment of well-defined characters, a bravura performance by Tony Randall, and some of the best special effects of that time. In the film, a strange traveling magician drifts into a small western American town, announcing that he is bringing with him a “Magic Circus.” Calling himself Dr. Lao, the eccentric Chinese character places an ad in the local newspaper and makes friends with the editor. But things […]


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'7 Faces of Dr. Lao': Tony Randall Brilliantly Shows Things Are Not As They Seem



'Alice in Wonderland' 2010: Lewis Carroll Travesty One of Worst Tim Burton Movies

'Alice in Wonderland' 2010: Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. 'Alice in Wonderland' 2010: Plenty of visuals, no substance In the interest of full disclosure, I should start this commentary on Alice in Wonderland by saying that I have never been a fan of Tim Burton's works. I've enjoyed a couple of his movies, but the vast majority of them I've found uninspiring and, really, quite boring. Burton's eye for unusual worlds, particularly in terms of art direction and costume design, is not lost on me. But how can I possibly find Tim Burton a great director when he continues to offer the same tricks, over and over again? True, Burton's stories and characters change from movie to movie. What […]


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'Alice in Wonderland' 2010: Lewis Carroll Travesty One of Worst Tim Burton Movies



'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' Quiz Question: Is CGI (Enough) Magic?

'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' poster with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' quiz question: Does state of the art CGI equal movie magic? Alfonso Cuarón seems like an odd choice for director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment in the Harry Potter movie series. That is, if one thinks only of Cuarón's pre-Harry Potter sleeper hit, the François Truffaut-esque Y tu mamá también, while ignoring two of his earlier efforts, the critically acclaimed A Little Princess and the moderately respected Great Expectations. This time around, working with a reported $130 million budget (approx. $163 million in 2015), state-of-the-art special effects, and the Harry Potter […]


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'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' Quiz Question: Is CGI (Enough) Magic?



'The Huntsman': Frank Darabont In, Kristen Stewart & Snow White Stupidly Out

Chris Hemsworth in 'Snow White and the Huntsman.' 'The Huntsman' release date announced as 'Snow White and the Huntsman 2' drops Snow White a.k.a. Kristen Stewart Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman 2 has a new title, as the “sequel” to Rupert Sanders' 2012 fantasy adventure Snow White and the Huntsman is scheduled to arrive on screens in 2016 without Snow White – played by Kristen Stewart as an armor-clad Joan of Arc-ish heroine (minus the burning at the stake) in the original film. So, Snow White and the Huntsman 2 has now been renamed The Huntsman. Now, does it sound idiotic to drop Snow White from what was purportedly going to be a Snow White movie sequel? Well, it […]


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'The Huntsman': Frank Darabont In, Kristen Stewart & Snow White Stupidly Out



Kellan Lutz 'The Legend of Hercules' Movie: Terrible Critics' Rating

Shirtless Kellan Lutz in 'The Legend of Hercules,' with Gaia Weiss. Kellan Lutz 'The Legend of Hercules': New Summit release has 0 percent Rotten Tomatoes approval rating Starring Kellan Lutz, best known as the hunky and likable vampire Emmett in the Twilight movies, The Legend of Hercules opens today, January 10, 2014, in North America. That's the good news for Kellan Lutz fans. Now, the bad news: The Legend of Hercules isn't about to become the next Spartacus – or even the next Gladiator. “The only thing epic about The Legend of Hercules is what a failure it is,” writes Stephanie Merry in the Washington Post, while Newsday's Rafer Guzman's complains that “this painfully feeble version of the strongman story […]


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Kellan Lutz 'The Legend of Hercules' Movie: Terrible Critics' Rating



'The Hobbit 2' Box Office: Highly Disappointing in North America?

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' 'The Hobbit 2' weekend box office: Third 2013 movie to top domestic box office chart three consecutive weekends Dec. 27, '13, update: Two weekends ago, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened way below expectations in the United States and Canada; yet, The Hobbit 2 is hanging in there. Chiefly because Will Ferrell's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues underperformed on its domestic debut, The Hobbit 2 topped the North American box office last weekend. Chiefly because Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's collaboration The Wolf of Wall Street debuted with less than $10 million, The Hobbit 2 topped the North American Christmas box office two days ago. […]


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'The Hobbit 2' Box Office: Highly Disappointing in North America?



'Oz the Great and Powerful': James Franco Fantasy One of Biggest March Openings Ever

'Oz the Great and Powerful' with James Franco and Michelle Williams. James Franco 'Oz the Great and Powerful': Below expectations, but one of biggest March openings ever March 11, '13, update: Starring James Franco as the magician who becomes The Wizard of Oz, Sam Raimi's $200m+-budgeted Oz the Great and Powerful grossed $79.11 million at 3,912 North American locations this past weekend according to box office actuals found at Boxofficemojo.com. Although that's easily the best opening weekend so far in 2013 and one of the best March openings ever (see more details below), Oz the Great and Powerful fell short of the $80–$85 million mark some had been expecting following Friday/late Thursday estimates of $24 million. Distributor Walt Disney Studios, […]


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'Oz the Great and Powerful': James Franco Fantasy One of Biggest March Openings Ever





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