Friday, March 15, 2013

Willow (1988): Happy 25th

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of the fantasy film Willow (1988) and because there was no have to see movies being released this week, I decided to spend my Friday night movie night re-watching Willow.  This week the 25th anniversary Blu Ray edition of Willow was released and I am very excited to get it and watch the new special features. I am one of the consumers who likes to watch the movie, the special features and the commentaries, so I am always excited where there are new behind the scenes to watch with new releases, but that also means that I have to purchase the new release of the movie.  This might be why I have multiple copies of the same movie.
Willow is the first feature which stars Warwick Davis as the title character.  Willow is set in the fantasy would where the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda is in charged. It has been prophetesses that a baby will be born who will destroy her, so she sets about finding this baby in order to destroy her soul forever. The baby finds her way into the care of Willow, who is a Nelwyns (dwarf-like people), and he is chosen by his village to take the baby out of the village and deliver her to the first Daikini (large person). The first Daikini he meets is Madmartigan, played by Val Kilmer, who has been locked in a hanging cage.  As the others of his group abandon the quest, Willow questions Madmartigan's ability to take over the charge of the baby and stays.  After Madmartigan convinces Willow to let him out and take the baby, Willow heads home.  On the way home he is attached by a group of brownies (several inches high) two of which are Franjean and Rool, who had kidnapped the baby.  Willow discovers that this baby is special baby who is destined to defeat Bavmorda and she has chosen Willow as her guardian.  As Willow goes on his quest to get the baby safely to proper caretakers, he get thrown back together with Madmartigan, who reluctantly helps Willow.  Through this quest they are being pursued by Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha, who becomes a love interest for Madmartigan.  As Madmartigan and Sorsha struggle with their allegiance and Willow along with the guidance of Sorceress Fin Raziel, they work to destroy Bavmorda and protect the baby.

Growing up, Willow was a movie that I liked to watch, but was usually resisted by the rest of my family, you could ask my mother, but it has been over ten years since I last watched it. I am happy to discover that I still like this movie, and enjoy it even more because I have discovered my overall love of sci-fi and fantasy films since my younger childhood.  While watching this movie, I was surprised to see that it still holds up twenty five years later and that overall the special effects are not that bad.  Yes they are obviously from the eighties and today's special effects are much better, but this adds to the nostalgic charm of Willow.  The part that was the worse was the trolls, which are just men in monkey like suits and this was quite laughable, but overall it was just older style effects.

I believe that Willow, which story was created by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, should be seen by any Fantasy Movie fan and falls into the category of must see for these genre. It is a classic of the 80's fantasy film but I do not think that it is clumped together with the other 80's films of this genre.

If you are a fan like me or if you have never watched it let me know what you think and if this movie should be talked about more when talking about the fantasy films of the 80's.

My Rating: 2+
My Nostalgic Rating: 3

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