Honor roll: Fantasy films

Each of these Fantasy films has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Film:E.T.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 hit about a stranded alien and his loving relationship with a fatherless boy (Henry Thomas) struck a chord with audiences everywhere, and it furthered Spielberg’s reputation as a director of equally strong commercial sensibilities and classical leanings. Henry Thomas gives a strong, emotional performance as E.T.’s young friend, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore make a solid impression as his siblings, and Dee Wallace is lively as the kids’ mother. The special effects almost look a bit quaint now with all the computer advancements that…

Film:Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Robert Zemeckis

It’s 1947 Hollywood, and Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a down-on-his-luck detective, is hired to find proof that Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown, is playing hanky-panky with femme fatale Jessica Rabbit, wife of Maroon Cartoon superstar Roger Rabbit. When Acme is found murdered, all fingers point to Roger, and the sinister, power-hungry Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) is on a mission to bring Roger to justice. Roger begs the Toon-hating Valiant to find the real evildoer and the plot thickens as Eddie uncovers scandal after scandal and realizes the very existence of Toontown is at stake! Who Framed Roger Rabbit is deliciously outrageous fun the whole family will enjoy.

Film:Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark: 1st in Indiana Jones series

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’s 1981 resurrection of the Saturday-matinee adventure genre was deservedly popular, and kicked off a successful trilogy. Set in 1936, this first feature introduces Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, an archaeologist and adventurer whose quests for rare antiquities frequently find him running from one menace or another. Raiders finds Dr. Jones in the middle of a Nazi plot to use the mysterious powers of the Ark of the Covenant to win the war. Karen Allen plays the love interest with an old-fashioned “man’s woman” appeal (she…

Film:Big

Big

Penny Marshall

A perfect marriage of novel but incisive writing, acting, and direction, Big is the story of a 12-year-old boy who wishes he were older, and wakes up one morning as a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks). The script by Gary Ross (Dave) and Anne Spielberg finds some unexpected ways of attacking obvious issues of sex, work, and childhood friendships, and in all of these things the accent is on classy humor and great sensitivity. Hanks is remarkable in the lead, at times hilarious (reacting to caviar just as a 12-year-old would) and at others deeply tender.…

Film:Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Tim Burton

Before making Batman, director Tim Burton and star Michael Keaton teamed up for this popular black comedy about a young couple (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) whose premature death leads them to a series of wildly bizarre afterlife exploits. As ghosts in their own New England home, they’re faced with the challenge of scaring off the pretentious new owners (Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones), whose daughter (Winona Ryder) has an affinity for all things morbid. Keaton plays the mischievous Beetlejuice, a freelance “bio-exorcist” who’s got an evil agenda…

Film:Willow

Willow

Ron Howard

From legendary filmmakers George Lucas and Ron Howard comes one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. This groundbreaking film features stunning special effects, dazzling action and a classic battle between good and evil.

When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) finds an abandoned baby, he is suddenly thrust unto an adventure filled with magic and danger. According to an ancient prophecy, the sacred child is destined to end the reign of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). Now, the only a single swordsman (Val Kilmer) at his side, Willow must overcome the forces of darkness that threaten to destroy anyone who stands in the Queen’s way!

Film:Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Ivan Reitman

Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote the script, but Bill Murray gets all the best lines and moments in this 1984 comedy directed by Ivan Reitman (Meatballs). The three comics, plus Ernie Hudson, play the New York City-based team that provides supernatural pest control, and Sigourney Weaver is the love interest possessed by an ancient demon. Reitman and company are full of original ideas about hobgoblins—who knew they could “slime” people with green plasma goo?—but hovering above the plot is Murray’s patented ironic view of all the action. Still a lot of…

Film:The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner

Screenwriter William Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride earned its own loyal audience on the strength of its narrative voice and its gently satirical, hyperbolic spin on swashbuckled adventure that seemed almost purely literary. For all its derring-do and vivid over-the-top characters, the book’s joy was dictated as much by the deadpan tone of its narrator and a winking acknowledgement of the clichés being sent up. Miraculously, director Rob Reiner and Goldman himself managed to visualize this romantic fable while keeping that external voice largely…

Film:The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick

George Miller

Need someone with demonic dash to portray the Devil? There are only two choices. Old Ned himself and Jack Nicholson. The Witches of Eastwick took the better actor—and came up with the sleekest, sexiest supernatural comedy/thriller to emerge from this or any other world, earning Nicholson 1987 Best Actor Awards from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics.

The “witches” are in three modern-day women yearning for Mr. Right in a quaint New England town full of Mr. Uptights. Played glowingly by Cher (Moonstruck), Susan Sarandon (Lorenzo’s Oil) and Michelle Pfeiffer (The Age of Innocence), they’re lovely enough to tempt even the most jaded netherworld denizen. Soon, wealthy Daryl van Horne (Nicholson) arrives. Is his sudden appearance a coincidence? Or the outcome of the women’s unconscious sorcery in this smooth adaptation of John Updike’s novel? Conjure up an evening’s entertainment with The Witches of Eastwick. And have a devil of a good time.

Film:Labyrinth (1986)

Labyrinth

Jim Henson

Sarah (a teenage Jennifer Connelly) rehearses the role of a fairy-tale queen, performing for her stuffed animals. She is about to discover that the time has come to leave her childhood behind. In real life she has to baby-sit her brother and contend with parents who don’t understand her at all. Her petulance leads her to call the goblins to take the baby away, but when they actually do, she realizes her responsibility to rescue him. Sarah negotiates the Labyrinth to reach the City of the Goblins and the castle of their king. The king is the only other human in…

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