Tag Archives: Epic Fantasy

Merlin prepares to cast a spell.

“BBC’s Merlin” Review

“In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young man.  His name: Merlin.”Kilgharrah

Merlin prepares to cast a spell.After all the horrible works I’ve reviewed recently, I decided it was finally time to talk about something that’s really good.  I had a few candidates in mind, but eventually I settled on one of my favourite television shows: BBC’s fantasy epic Merlin.
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Farmer fights the Krug army in the forest

“In the Name of the King” Review

“Look; I am not a fucking retard like Michael Bay!”Uwe Boll

As adept a judge of character as the above quote would suggest him to be, Uwe Boll’s body of work is at least as bad as anything I’ve seen from Michael Bay.  My article today concerns Boll’s attempt at a high fantasy epic.  Like most of his work, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is based on a video-game.  I read a bit about the story of the game, and the movie seems to have nothing to do with it.  Most reviews of In the Name of the King dub it one of the worst fantasy stories of all time, but I recently reviewed The Dragon in the Sock Drawer, which was so stupid and utterly mental that In the Name of the King seems all the more bland.
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The 1977 Hobbit cartoon is an abomination.

Review of Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit (1977)

In the first article I ever wrote for this site, I reviewed a 1966 cartoon loosely derived from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.The 1977 Hobbit cartoon is an abomination.  Now, this cartoon was actually calculated to be as faithless an adaptation as possible for use as a tool of blackmail, and this eventually led to the existence of a second attempt to adapt The Hobbit to the screen eleven years later, this time by Rankin/Bass, a studio famous for its holiday specials.  Many of their other works are really good, but they’re really out of their league here.  This, along with two later cartoons, are often considered to make up a sort of half-formed trilogy, and I’ll eventually get around to reviewing the other two.
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Bilbo resists the temptation to kill Gollum

On the Heroism of Hobbits

Happy Hobbit Day! In case you weren’t aware, the twenty-second of September is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and among Tolkien fans it is a time to celebrate Tolkien’s greatness. Although Tolkien’s works are well-known, few are aware of just how great an impact they have had not just on literature but also on western civilization in general.
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Conan The Barbarian

Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery.  For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines.  Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
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Aang and Zuko fighting

Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Greatest Show of All Time

After I reviewed The Nutshack, one of the worst cartoons of all time, I said I’d talk about a good cartoon in my next review.  There are so many great cartoons that it’s taken me quite a long time to decide which of them I should discuss first.  My first thought was to talk about my favourite cartoon airing today, but reviewing that would require more context than I wanted to give in this article.  Therefore I decided to start by reviewing my favourite cartoon—my favourite show, in fact—of all time!
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King Thorin Oakenshield of Erebor dies.

The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition

My birthday, being on the fifth of January, falls upon this day.  By coincidence, Tolkien’s birthday is on the third of the same month, and therefore several days ago I celebrated the birthday of my favourite author by watching the “special extended edition” of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for the first time, which I had been saving for just that occasion.  In all honesty, the “extended edition” is a bit of a misnomer, for it really isn’t that it is extended, but that the theatrical is somewhat abridged for the theatres.  Unfortunately, few theatres would be willing to show a film as long as these are in their entirety, and so it becomes necessary to cut down the finished film for this purpose.  The full movie is, in fact, the extended edition, which should more appropriately be dubbed the “unabridged edition.” Continue reading The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition

Response to Criticism of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit

What I suspect is a very vocal minority has, on the internet, made very clear their dislike of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Now, I could explain in great detail why most (if not all) of the changes and additions to the story are either innocuous and trivial and/or necessary due to the differences between art forms, but the fact is that people just like to complain.
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Gene Deitch makes Dale look like Canterlot

Review of 1966 The Hobbit Adaptation

We all know that the Rankin/Bass cartoon adaptation of The Hobbit, while not quite as bad as their attempt at The Return of the King, was still a childish mess that fails utterly to communicate the dark and timeless themes of Tolkien’s original work, but it wasn’t the first such attempt. And, believe me, it was certainly not the worst.

All but unknown until just recently, the 1966 adaptation of The Hobbit resurfaced to the horror of Tolkienists everywhere. From what I can gather, it is the gruesome result of a horrifyingly successful attempt to blackmail Tolkien by threatening to unleash this and other planned abominations upon the world—successful because he payed up. It was made on a fiendishly small budget and took less than a month to finish, and this is farcically obvious in the finished product, which is under twelve minutes in length. Continue reading Review of 1966 The Hobbit Adaptation