Category Archives: Fantasy

Movies and the like that explore the unusual and unlikely.

Fire and Ice

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1983
Performers:
Randy Norton

Cynthia Leake

Steve Sandor
Writers:
Roy Thomas

Gerry Conway
Director:
Ralph Bakshi
WRC Score:
3/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on August  14, 2011

It’s a well known fact that Hollywood goes by trends.  If Movie X does well at the box office, then you can expect a whole bunch of Flick Ys to com trotting out in the near future, hoping to catch the same lightning in a different (yet not too different) bottle.

Hence the existence of Fire and Ice, hoping to catch a little Conan the Barbarian Magic.

And they tried very hard indeed. Character designs for this flick were by Frank Frazetta, who’s art adorned many a Conan volume.  One of the writers, a rascal by the name of Roy Thomas, worked for years at Marvel Comics adapting and (if I’m not mistaken) coming up with new stories for the barbarian.  Short of a Ouija board and an honest to God medium I don’t know how you could have done better.

In fact, of the imitators, it probably had the best chance of hitting the mark.  The question remains: did it?

Let’s see.  On the next page, walls of Ice move ever closer the good lands of Fire…

Fire and Ice

Date:
1983
Performers:
Randy Norton

Cynthia Leake

Steve Sandor
Writers:
Roy Thomas

Gerry Conway
Director:
Ralph Bakshi
WRC Score:
3/4
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on August  14, 2011

Fire and Ice tells the tale of a wicked queen using her son’s magical art to cover the world under ice.  Standing against her are a young warrior, a mysterious loner, and a nubile princess who isn’t wearing enough for arctic environments.

Seriously.  Girl needs to cover up before she gets frost bite where she doesn’t want frost bite.

A fine example of the Sword and Sorcery subgenre, Fire and Ice is filled with action and magic.   It might not be as good as a certain Cimmerian’s flick, but it does stand out from the pack that was running at the time.

There is a bit of color coding that might offend, but then again it might not.  In any case I found it a good movie (1.5 points) and I liked it as I watched it (1.5 points).

Overall Score: 3 total point out of a possible 4

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Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1936
Voices:
Lou Fleischer

Jack Mercer

Mae Questel
Writer:
None Listed
Director:
Dave Fleischer
WRC Score:
3.5/4

(-_-)b
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
January 7, 2013

Here’s another oddity from the olden days of this site.  It was written after a half year hiatus from updating this site, and done mainly because it was short.  That I happened to like the cartoon helped.

As with The Contraption (which, ha ha, was written months later than this), it opened oppertunities.  it said I could review what I wanted on this site.

Needless to say, with the aformentioed short, it wasn’t something I did often.  Actually, The Contraption was the last time I did review a short, come to thibk about it.

Oh well.

Anyway, here is the review for Popeye m. Sindbad the Sailor, more or less as I wrote it three years ago.  It holds up fairly well, I think.

Head to the next page, see if you agree.

The Dark Crystal

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1982
Voices:
Stephen Garlicl

Lisa Maxwell

Billie Whitelaw
Writer:
David Odell
Directors:
Jim Henson

Frank Oz
WRC Score:
4/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
March 27, 2015

The Dark Crystal, for me, is one of those movies. The kind of film you watch over and over with the same love and affection you had the first time you say it. Sort of like Casablanca, the original Star Wars, and Blood Freak.

Okay, maybe not Blood Freak. But you see my point. It’s a favorite around these parts. From childhood.

I’m not at the “quoting long sections of the flick” stage, but damn close.

You’d expect a different sort of treatment of this film compared to the rest, but that wouldn’t be fair to such films as Cathy’s Curse and Night Evelyn Came from the Grave and…

Wait, why am I being snarky again?

A quick word about this film. The Dark Crystal is the creation of Jim Henson and Frank Oz, creators of the Muppets, as well as Brian Froud, writer of the classic book Fairies. It’s intended to do God’s work, aka give kids a good scare while telling an entertaining story. Whether or not kids actually found it frightening (I was watching classic Horror flicks when the chance arose by that point), it succeeds in creating a unique looking world filled with interesting creatures.

Some have said the story is a collection of clichés, but come on. It is a fairy tale. Fairy tales stick to the familiar tropes hot and heavy any…

Oops. Slipped into review mode already.  That starts on the next page, where we learn if a grown up nerd can actually poke fun of something he’s adored for years without his inner child bursting into tears. It’ll be a blast.

Um.  Maybe.

Imma gonna need a lot of Kleenex for Inner Child Cullen, ain’t I?

The Dark Crystal

Date:
1982
Voices:
Stephen Garlicl

Lisa Maxwell

Billie Whitelaw
Writer:
David Odell
Directors:
Jim Henson

Frank Oz
WRC Score:
4/4
Note: 
First posted in a
different form on
March 27, 2015

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The Dark Crystal recounts the fantastic adventures of a youth given the task of finding a lost crystal.  Unfortunately standing against him is his world’s monstrous rulers, and what they might lack in competence they more than equal in determination.

Oh, and it’s all performed by puppets.  Yeah, I thought all those monsters in it were real live breathing things, too.

This, for me, is one of those movies.  The kind of film you watch over and over with the same love and affection you had the first time you say it.  Sort of like Casablanca, the original Star Wars, and Blood Freak.

Okay, maybe not Blood Freak.  But you see my point.  It’s a favorite around these parts.  From childhood.

I’m not at the “quoting long sections of the flick” stage, but damn close.

This doesn’t mean I’m blind to its faults.  There are some questionable moments in terms of story and acting.   Perhaps you’d even call certain parts cliché (others certainly have.

But come on.  It’s a Fairy Tale.  Fairy Tales stick to tropes hot and heavy.  To carp about that is missing the point.

The Dark Crystal was intended to do God’s work, aka give kids a good scare while telling an entertaining story, and whether kids actually found it frightening or not (I was watching classic Horror flicks when the chance arose by that point), it does succeeds in creating a unique looking world filled with interesting creatures.  The puppet work is outstanding, as is the set design, creating a very real feeling world.  There certain isn’t anything quite like it, before or since.  (2 points)

Of course, this could just be me talking.  I’ve loved (2 points) this movie since I was a kid.  Hence no RECOMMENDED tag.

Score: 4 points out of a possible 4

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