Wooley & Torgo's September Excite-o-rama!

Tools    





I'm a Willow fan. It's derivative and it has a lot of mediocre acting and writing, but Val Kilmer's performance, Franjean & Rool's comic relief and most of the action scenes make it worth watching.
__________________
Last Great Movie Seen
Black Sunday (Bava, 1960)



I'm a Willow fan. It's derivative and it has a lot of mediocre acting and writing, but Val Kilmer's performance, Franjean & Rool's comic relief and most of the action scenes make it worth watching.
I mean, there's this guy:




but then there's "directed by Ron Howard". So I'm torn. I'll keep it on the watchlist for now.
__________________
Captain's Log
My Collection



I'm a Willow fan. It's derivative and it has a lot of mediocre acting and writing, but Val Kilmer's performance, Franjean & Rool's comic relief and most of the action scenes make it worth watching.
Correct.



I've always assumed that Willow and Legend are actually the same movie.


I haven't seen either.



Was that your first time watching Willow? I'm pretty sure I've never seen it. I was too old for such things when it came out. I've always intended to get around to it one day, but your review isn't encouraging. Dang.
No, I'd seen it in the theater and on VHS back in its day. It does not hold up.



Should've watched some Italian barbarian films

But yeah, Willow isn't that great. The red-headed daughter of the main villain is kinda hot, though, if I remember correctly.
Oh, I'm sure I'll be watching some of those, Conquest is almost certainly gonna be in here, for example.

And you remember correctly.



I mean, there's this guy:




but then there's "directed by Ron Howard". So I'm torn. I'll keep it on the watchlist for now.
A blatant Black Cauldron ripoff that doesn't play nearly as well. Frankly the whole movie is pretty much a ripoff, it felt close enough to Tolkien to me that I felt like his family could easily have sued. This is not a good Ron Howard film, a lot of it really comes across as just crappy.



I've always assumed that Willow and Legend are actually the same movie.


I haven't seen either.
Legend is not great, though I've heard the DC is good if you can find it, but I would definitely rather watch it than Willow.



We're all just gonna sit here and listen to these outrageous slanders about a movie where a warrior, a magical dwarf, and a baby ride a shield down a hill like it's a sled?!?!?!



I know I hated Willow as a kid. But it was probably released just at the time where I was on the cusp of abandoning these sorts of movies. At twelve it was time to tear down my Val Kilmore posters and replace them with Doris Wishman polaroids. You know, like a normal kid.



Oh, I'm sure I'll be watching some of those, Conquest is almost certainly gonna be in here, for example.

And you remember correctly.
I remember enjoying Conquest, but more for how weird a fit Fulci's style is for the genre than for being a "good" sword and sandal movie.



I remember enjoying Conquest, but more for how weird a fit Fulci's style is for the genre than for being a "good" sword and sandal movie.

Cerebellum is a helluva drug.


One Italian fantasy I'd throw out there that is an oddball movie is She (1982), sometimes referred to as She (Barbarian). It stars Sandhal Bergman and... the less one knows going into it, the better, IMO.



minds his own damn business
Yeah, She is a helluva drug, but it's not a very good movie.
__________________



Oh, I'm sure I'll be watching some of those, Conquest is almost certainly gonna be in here, for example.
Conquest is an odd one. It's like an arthouse barbarian film. I liked it a lot more on my adult rewatch than I did as a kid (when films like The Sword of the Barbarians or Thor the Conqueror were much more to my liking). I think I still have some Italian barbs on VHS hidden somewhere (bought a lot of them used when DVDs took over).
__________________



We're all just gonna sit here and listen to these outrageous slanders about a movie where a warrior, a magical dwarf, and a baby ride a shield down a hill like it's a sled?!?!?!
Truly the highlight of an otherwise mostly dreary movie.
The troll-dragon scene was admittedly fun but much less so than the similar castle-defense scene from Army Of Darkness. Ron Howard < Sam Raimi.



I remember enjoying Conquest, but more for how weird a fit Fulci's style is for the genre than for being a "good" sword and sandal movie.
I actually saw an edited for TV version of this when I was a kid and was just enamored my entire life with the lightsaber-bow-and-arrow. That's all that really matters.





Silent Running -


Have you ever had a group assignment in which nobody seemed interested in doing a good job except yourself? On the other hand, have you ever been in a group with one person who was a goody-two-shoes control freak? Either way, this movie proves that it's worth listening to such people every once in a while. In a future in which the only remaining plant life is housed on orbiting spaceships, the small crew of the Valley Forge complies with an unexplained order to jettison and nuke this life. One crewman, however, is unwilling to do so: ecologist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), who I would describe as someone who would be the first in line to volunteer for the Biosphere project from the early '90s. His battle soon becomes a solitary one, although he programs his station's droids to assist him and to provide company.

Douglas Trumbull, who is most probably famous for designing the visual effects for Blade Runner, directed this movie and also contributed to its look. Qualities that make that movie great sci-fi can also be found here, such as how nearly everyone except for one or a select few - in this case Lowell - has, to quote The Buggles, bought the fake and sold what's real. Besides the rest of the crew's eagerness to finish their work and go home, there's Lowell's impassioned speeches as to why they should do the opposite. The theme of machine company being more attractive than human company is also done well here with the scenes of Lowell bonding with the droids he affectionately dubs Huey and Dewey. They're especially rewarding considering that despite having legs, the bots have no anthropomorphic features. Speaking of, since this is mostly a one-person show, it would fall apart if the actor were not game, but Bruce Dern very much is. In addition to his speechifying, he again proves that few actors are better at saying so much with a single (eagle-eyed) glare. The aesthetic is also worth calling out for being reminiscent of the art of Chesley Bonestell, and with its smattering of corporate logos proves that Trumbull's fascination with corporate control also didn't start with Blade Runner.

While there's nothing terribly wrong with the movie, even at 90 minutes, it still seems a bit lean. Also, I didn't need everything to be explained, but it would have been nice to know why Earth sent the order to destroy the plant life. With that said, it's a fine example of eco-sci fi that not only inspires for how far Lowell is willing to go to preserve his work, but also for how it makes you ask what cause you would also fight tooth and nail for. Again, I also love the scenes showing Lowell and the droids' companionship. It's no wonder that the movie inspired Joel Hodgson while developing Mystery Science Theater 3000. Oh, and if the story doesn't leave you teary-eyed, Joan Baez's songs definitely will.



I was kind of disappointed by Silent Running. The setup and the premise were fine and promising, but after the inciting incident came and went, I got the sense that Trumbull didn't know where to take the movie next, so Dern's character sort of just passed the time as he went about the ship, dealing with the occasional problem as it arises. It felt like a shell of a potentially great film.

I do love the music in it though:




I was kind of disappointed by Silent Running. The setup and the premise were fine and promising, but after the inciting incident came and went, I got the sense that Trumbull didn't know where to take the movie next, so Dern's character sort of just passed the time as he went about the ship, dealing with the occasional problem as it arises. It felt like a shell of a potentially great film.

I do love the music in it though:

I get that criticism. That's sort of what I meant when I criticized the movie as lean. Even though a lot of the middle contains scenes that express Lowell's loneliness - training and playing cards with Huey and Louie, flashing back to his crewmates even though he didn't get along with them, etc. - that are not bad in any way and pay off in the end, they still give the impression that the movie is spinning its wheels a bit.

Also, you picked one of the songs for the song contest, didn't you? I thought I recognized one of them.



I get that criticism. That's sort of what I meant when I criticized the movie as lean. Even though a lot of the middle contains scenes that express Lowell's loneliness - training and playing cards with Huey and Louie, flashing back to his crewmates even though he didn't get along with them, etc. - that are not bad in any way and pay off in the end, they still give the impression that the movie is spinning its wheels a bit.

Also, you picked one of the songs for the song contest, didn't you? I thought I recognized one of them.
Yep, I picked Rejoice in the Sun for the competition. Sadly though, I'm pretty sure it came in last place for that particular round.