Tag: Fantasy

Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

imdb-kubo-and-the-two-strings“Kubo and the Two Strings” on IMDB

Fantasy/Adventure/Family, 91 Minutes, 2016

This is the fourth feature from the stop-motion geniuses at LAIKA. Following “Coraline” [IMDB] in 2009, the small studio has fallen into a comfortable two-year release schedule with “ParaNorman” [My Review at MoreBrains.com] in 2012 and “The Boxtrolls” [My Review] in 2014 and now this in 2016. Each and every film is a modern classic and “Kubo” is no different.


Movie Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

imdb-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” on IMDB

Fantasy/Adventure/Family, 127 Minutes, 2016

Ransom Riggs’ best-selling debut novel seems tailor made for Tim Burton’s [IMDB] off-kilter sensibilities. Most children are normal, some are odd, some are gifted and some very few are peculiar. Peculiar children might be as strong as a dozen men, be lighter than air or able to start fires with their hands. Such children are cared for by the Ymbrynes, magical women who create isolated loops in time to protect their wards.


Movie Review: Krampus

IMDB, Krampus“Krampus” on IMDB

Horror/Fantasy, 98 Minutes, 2015

Some people get down around the holidays. The influx of annoying relatives is an inconvenience; an intrusion into their ordered lives. Some are simply jaded and can’t see why others get so excited; presents are nice and all, but do we need all the hoopla? This movie dares to declare: “Hey! If you don’t like Christmas, you and your family should be brutally murdered!”


Movie Review: The Last Witch Hunter

IMDB, The Last Witch Hunter“The Last Witch Hunter” on IMDB

Fantasy/Adventure/Action, 106 Minutes, 2015

I had the strongest sense of deja vu watching this. Not long ago I watched Seventh Son [My Review], another recent big-budget fantasy film. Both feature a resurgent witch queen and her evil plans, ancient curses and a new guy that needs to be taught the ropes. I talked about how Seventh Son was predictable and clichéd, but also charming, silly and fun. It wasn’t great, but it delivered what it promised.


Movie Review: Seventh Son

IMDB, Seventh Son“Seventh Son” on IMDB

Fantasy/Adventure, 102 Minutes, 2014

I’ll happily admit that I’ve got a soft spot for dragons (and dungeons) and sorcery (and swords). Whenever a new fantasy film is announced, I turn back into my twelve-year old self and start looking around for my dog-eared Monster Manual. I’m often disappointed. Still, even a bad fantasy movie is usually a pretty good time.


Watching The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with Teenage Girls

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” on IMDBIMDB, The Mortal Instruments, The City of Bones

Action/Fantasy, 130 Minutes, 2013

There has been an unending glut of young-adult fantasy romance adapted to film since the successes of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games”. Authors are going to have to start leveraging love trapezoids because we’ve literally run out of triangles.

Still, it was my daughter’s 13th birthday and she wanted to watch this with her friends. They were deeply invested in the books and they promised – cross their hearts! – that they would watch it.

Teenage girls lie.

Teenage girls lie a lot.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think that they intend to lie, but lie they do. I was able to capture this timelapse of them “watching” the movie. Does it look like much watching is getting done?

Phones, giggling, moving around, phones on sticks, snacks, jumping on each other and jumping off the furniture. These are, I remind you, huge fans. Personally, I was less animated and able to pay more attention.

Not that I really needed to. The basic framework is so terribly familiar: a blank teenage girl discovers that she’s actually incredibly special and is part of a fantastic hidden world. She then spends the whole movie moaning over, but never choosing between, two guys. The teenage girls squealed like… well, like teenage girls, when the blank girl started kissing the amazingly effeminate guy, but a few did argue for the merits of the nerdy guy.

The plot is built from common ingredients in a different blender: angels and demons, werewolves and vampires, secret societies and ancient feuds. The good guys have hidden a magic cup that the bad guys want. Really important information is delivered with a British accent, because.

The special effects are nice enough and the pacing is pretty good when not bogged down by the kissing parts. Teenage girls seem to enjoy ignoring it while looking at their phones. The whole thing is basically harmless.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

IMDB, The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on IMDB

Fantasy/Adventure/Action, 144 Minutes, 2014

So, we’ve successfully slogged through “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” [My Review] and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” [My Review] and we’re finally now ready to wrap things up in the shortest entry in the series at only 144 minutes. So, for those keeping track at home, that’s just a shade under eight hours to adapt a book you can read in under 10.