C'mon Hollywood #231

...more epic Fantasy films please!
by J.A. Hamilton

The Fantasy genre is an acquired taste to be sure, especially considering that most of this genre’s endeavors have been hit and miss. THE LORD OF THE RINGS films were without a doubt Fantasy at its best, and exactly what the fans needed after depressing failures like DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and DRAGONHEART. ERAGON was a mixed bag for me; on the one hand I loved the premise as well as the slick visuals, but this was surely one of those examples where rolling the dice on unknown acting talent blew up in our faces. There were some decent actors in the film, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou and even Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich weren’t that bad but Ed Speelers (Eragon) ruined it for everyone.

Where are my extended Blu-rays already!

Suffice to say we probably won’t see the remaining novels in that series hit theaters, which is fine by me. There are so many other fantastic novels out there to choose from, with source material and characters that would win over many an audience. Good as the LOTR films were, the books paled in comparison to authors like R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, David Eddings, Terry Goodkind and so many others. Drizzt Do’Urden would slay the box office if HOMELAND were to come knocking (I found Prince Nuada from HELLBOY 2 looked similar to the dark elf and actor Luke Goss’ sword prowess would have looked ten times cooler if he were holding Twinkle and Icingdeath).

Clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way

I can understand why some of these authors may indeed be hesitant to let their babies loose on the big screen, as it doesn’t take much to destroy an idea and capturing the magic these stories create in our imaginations is no small task to duplicate. That said, I go back to LOTR and site how amazing that worked out, showing us that it can be done right. As I mentioned before, George R. R. Martin’s epic A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series is coming to HBO with A GAME OF THRONES, featuring an impressive cast which includes Sean Bean (Boromir from LOTR) and Lena Headey (Queen from 300) to name a couple. The success (or failure) of this undertaking could very well shape the future of theatrical novel-based Fantasy.

Bean will be a fantastic Stark

If novels aren’t enough, there is also a rich amount of source material to be found on the video game front. Let’s be clear though, I’m NOT suggesting more films based on video games. What I’m trying to point out is that many great RPG (role playing games) are most times successful due to a phenomenal storyline. Sure, these stories unfold over hours of game play, but the theory behind this is still sound. Games like the BALDUR’S GATE series, FINAL FANTASY or even the newer DRAGON AGE ORIGINS are all examples of epic fantasy storytelling with a number of cool themes and riveting characters who would make for some insane blockbuster films.

This brilliant storyline would've made a phenomenal film series

Though there may be a drought when it comes to Fantasy, we aren’t completely without. SOLOMON KANE looks to be a hell of a time, giving underrated actor James Purefoy a decent brake and I’m very much excited for the CONAN remake as I mentioned when I brought up scripts. I recently watched a film called WOLFHOUND which was pretty good as straight to DVD flicks go, and even SEASON OF THE WITCH looks all right despite Nicolas Cage being at the helm. There’s still some good Fantasy flicks kicking around, but they’re few and far between and there’s no excuse for it. Again, it’s a love/hate genre, but for those of us who love it, I’m sure you’ll stand with me in demanding more.
Extra Tidbit: I’m still on the fence as far as THE HOBBIT and WARCRAFT films are concerned. Both have the potential to be great, but sadly things don’t always work out the way we hope.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood



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