Willow
Willow
PG | 20 May 1988 (USA)
Willow Trailers

Fearful of a prophecy stating that a girl child will be born to bring about her downfall, the evil Queen Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women within the formidable stronghold of Nockmaar. A child, Elora Danan, is born in the Nockmaar dungeons and identified as the prophesied child by a birthmark on her arm. However, before the black sorceress arrives to claim the child, Elora's mother convinces her reluctant midwife to escape with the baby. Willow, a timid farmer and aspiring sorcerer, is entrusted with delivering the royal infant from evil.

Reviews
Sexyloutak

Absolutely the worst movie.

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Philippa

All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.

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Guillelmina

The film's masterful storytelling did its job. The message was clear. No need to overdo.

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Candida

It is neither dumb nor smart enough to be fun, and spends way too much time with its boring human characters.

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albertopr73

There is really not much to say abut this movie, except that it is a fun, family movie with all the wonderful fantasy anybody could ask for, acting is great, memorable and the actors will forever be remembered, speaking of which, I am very much looking forward and hoping for a sequel, in which I think Bryce Dallas Howard would be the perfect and only choice for Elora Danan. Curiously her father directed this film back in 1988 and it is kind of strange that I have not heard about her even being considered for the role. Does anybody else feels the same way? Think about it Howard it would be epic!

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Leofwine_draca

The epitome of the '80s cheesy sword and sorcery movie, packed with special effects and action but with little brain or originality behind it. The man responsible for the film's fluid direction is Ron Howard, before he took a break and made decent films instead; the producer and writer is one George Lucas, who seems intent on creating a whole new STAR WARS-style saga for the kids who remained unborn ten years previously. WILLOW is certainly a film that enthralled me as a kid (born in 1981, I was exactly the right age when I saw this) but which has lost a lot of its charm seeing it years later as an adult. What once seemed profound and moving now seems cheesy and ridiculous, especially the dollopy layers of sentimentality forever thrust down our throats by Lucas, Howard, and co. with a baby in a silly wig occupying most of the screen time.Not that the film is totally without magic. It's easy enough viewing, with lots of brainless action to take your mind off the threadbare plot and ill-defined characters. The stunts are good and the special effects highly enjoyable. Incidentally the film is the first to make use of the Industrial Light & Magic morphing effects now common in the movies (they turned up again in THE ABYSS the following year). The defining moment I remember from childhood (where it scared and scarred me in equal measure) is the appearance of the two-headed monster from the moat, which looks like it has been drafted in from RETURN OF THE JEDI. A great moment in a not-so great movie. Unfortunately Lucas is intent on bringing us some bumbling comic relief in the style of C3P0 and R2-D2 and so creates the characters of two utterly repulsive 'brownies', who spoil all of their scenes with kiddie humour. Great for the children but completely annoying for adults – these tiny menaces are ten times worse than Jar-Jar Binks despite their diminutive size.The casting is one element this film has just right. Finally, after years spent sweating it out in rubbery costumes, Warwick Davis is given a chance to shine in a leading role without his mask and Ewok body suit. Davis makes for an unlikely heroic lead but he performs admirably well in everything Howard requests of him. Taking the barely-disguised-Han Solo-alike role is a young Val Kilmer, before he went weird, and surprise, surprise he puts in a halfway decent performance as well. Kudos to Joanne Whalley as the beautiful and feisty female warrior and to the two aged British ladies at the centre of the good vs. evil battle, Patricia Hayes standing in for the good guys and Jean Marsh going over the top for the bad. Watch out for the imposing Pat Roach and Gavan O'Herlihy as armour-clad soldiers. All in all an enjoyable family viewing experience if you are kind to it, a dated and silly rerun of all the old staples if you are not.

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da_lune

This is by far one of the best fantasy films ever made, as a kid I probably watched this on repeat, and now at least every 4 years.It's captivating, fun and cute, no extended running around in caves, or rushing down a stream in a barrel just to show off some new 3d animation technique. It's got everything ones needs from a family friendly fantasy film; dazzling sword fights, amazing sorcery, cure babies, whirlwind romances, good witches, bad witches, very tiny people and slightly larger small people, faeries and fairy dust, do I need to say more, it's even got some sort of dragon/hydra thingie!!

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JohnWelles

"Willow", directed by Ron Howard, who won the Academy Award for "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), is a fantasy film that seems to have been influenced not just be legends but by various veins of filmic popularity in the 1980s. In a way, the films and books it 'borrows' from (or steals, depending on your point of view) paint a picture of Hollywood's landscape in the late eighties and was considered a blockbuster.Starring Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, the titular dwarf, and Val Kilmer as a mercenary swordsman, the script written by Bob Dolman is based off a story by George Lucas. The screenplay is very obviously inspired J.R.R. Tolkein's novels of Middle Earth and Lucas' own "Star Wars" trilogy (1977 – 1983). From the hobbit-like characters in Davis' village to the design of Bavmorda's castle, one can trace Lucas' frustrated attempts in the eighties to make a never-realised film adaptation of "The Hobbit". Kilmer's cynical but ultimately loyal swordsman is heavily redolent of Han Solo from "Star Wars", as is the mask-wearing supporting villain (played by Pat Roach) suspiciously similar to Darth Vader and the horse-and-cart chase is reminiscent of the speeder chase in "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" (1983). The episodic, quest-nature of the overarching story shares common traits with both of them, while the initial hunt for the baby by the Queen's soldiers seems to be inspired by the New Testament. So, coming as it does near the end of the 1980s cycle of sword and sorcery films like "Dragonslayer" (1981), "Krull" (1983), "Legend" (1985), and "Labyrinth" (1986), this is not an original film, but one that incorporates a myriad of influences.However, this does not limit its ability to entertain. Shot on location in Wales and New Zealand by cinematographer Adrian Biddle, it captures the epic scope of the fantasy genre, while the special effects by Industrial Light and Magic are of a very high quality, creating a believable world of massing armies and fearsome monsters.Howard's direction though, is remarkable only for its lack of dynamism: he just lets each scene play, sticking close to the script. Only the scene at the crossroads where Davis and Kilmer see an entire army march by displays any directorial panache in capturing the armoured hordes. Nonetheless, the journeyman direction never tarnishes the fun and the leads carry their roles well. It might not be Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" (2001 – 2003), but for those who want a film in a similar vein, this delivers effectively.

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