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A Geek’s Month in Review: February 2012

by on 2012/02/29

This month we looked more comprehensively at a genre we’ve touched on occasionally. What I didn’t expect was how our choices divided neatly into two variants.

Where my selections busied themselves with sparkles and romance, Gru’s were epic, brutal, and barbaric.

In short, I took the high road, and she took the low, as we explored our parallel realms of fantasy.

So here are my selections, as we look back one more time, at favourites, surprises, disappointments, least-liked, and the rest we missed but hope to see someday soon.

The Golden Compass (2007) on 2012/02/19

“Here we have The Golden Compass, an epic steampunk-pirate-cowboy-fantasy mashup boasting big production values, and bigger ideas, a compelling confection too cultish for mainstream acceptance. Whether its grim reaper was business, religious pressure, or another unknown cause, the effect is a loss for us all. It has things to say, questions to ask, and communicates them well but, sadly if unsurprisingly, nobody has taken much notice.”

Honourable Mention:
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) on 2012/02/06

Stardust (2007) on 2012/02/28

“I have a litany of complaints followed by a “more than the sum of its parts” Hail Mary.

Stardust’s reach might well surpass its own grasp, but it’s as original as it is aware of its influences . . . its strengths more than able to offset — or distract from — all of its flaws.”

Honourable Mention:
Excalibur (1981) on 2012/02/27

Ever After (1998) on 2012/02/15

“Overall, Ever After never gelled. It was neither fun nor funny. When the closing narration put its on-the-nose twist on the traditional “and they lived happily ever after”, I wanted to shout at the television set: “So they lived! Well, I wish I could have too, but I was too busy wasting my time resisting the urge to shut this nonsense off!”

“It’s not you, it’s me. Well, no, it’s not me either.”

The NeverEnding Story (1984) on 2012/02/20

“I’ve been cheated out of a valuable hour and a half by The NeverEnding Story. I imagine it was little different from watching a troupe of emotionally precarious children, each given some puppets and a dose of LSD, and thrown from a mountain top. To claim this effort is intended for children belies one’s toxic view of them. Having seen it through to its merciful end, I know its likeliest function is as punishment.”

Show Me
King Arthur (2004) on 2012/02/15

“It should be said that I’ve never liked Clive Owen (Children of Men). I always thought he had a face as impassive as a coal shovel, with a manner as interesting as a blancmange pudding. So I slid King Arthur into my Playstation 3, licked my poison pen and got ready to write something scathing.

“As the credits roll, I find that I simply can’t do it. I know, I know. I’m as surprised as you are.”

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