"Fantasy" Films

Dennis Higbee den at monger.net
Thu Jun 27 12:25:53 PDT 2002

On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 Randi128 at aol.com wrote:

> I have to put my two cents in on this one. I still watch Dragonslayer 
> everytime it's run on tv. I also liked Conan, Time Bandits and Road Warrior. 
> There have been many fantasy films done over the last twenty years that were 
> at the very least entertaining.  I agree that there has not been any that go 
> to the scope of Lord of the Rings, but they do make a good effort.  Let us 
> remember that digital effects and computer graphics have come a long way and 
> we should be seeing many more quality pictures in the near future. I have 

If we do, I don't think it will be because of improved effects.  The
inherent flaw, I think, is that Hollywood doesn't take sf seriously,
especially fantasy.  Most of the "classic" fantasy or science-fantasy
films are valued more their campiness or stylized violence than any real 
artistic merit.

> been disaapointed with many of the recent releases, namely Starship Troopers. 
> A great book could have been made into a great movie. The director and 
> producers chose instead to adapt the book to fit their budget. It did'nt work 
> and was horrible. It is my opinion that fantasy and science fiction books do 
> not translate well to the big screen because of cost constraints when 
> designing sets and props.

It's my opinion that sf books don't make good movies because of the 
differences in the media and the lack of interest in the work necessary
to overcome those differences.  The LotR films are the result of years 
of work on the part of a committed director, Peter Jackson, combined with
a huge gamble by New Line (that has already paid off) and an unusual lever
of tolerance, in allowing Jackson to proceed mostly unhindered.  I don't
forsee it happening again anytime soon.