Archives: William Goldman |

Top Ten Fantasy Films

These things are subjective. They have to be. By what metric does one objectively quantify entertainment value? I believe I’ve said before I don’t really have favorites. I can and do enjoy things equally, without rankings. So what I’m listing herein is merely a current snapshot of what I consider the elite group of fantasy films, appearing without any particular order (perhaps descending, though I won’t be held to it.

What am I considering as a fantasy film? I must necessarily limit this, as the category would otherwise be overbroad. For the purposes of this exercise, fantasy means swords and magic.  I’m excluding animated films. Live action only.

Let’s step right through the wardrobe, shall we?

Holiday Reading

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Christmas is behind you. The detritus of wrapping paper, bows, packing material, and boxes has been disposed of. The refrigerator is stuffed with leftovers. You hope to make enough room for party platters and bottles of champagne within a few days. The presents of clothing are washed, folded, and put away.

And now you’re looking forward to utilizing the best of the presents: the bookstore gift cards. What to buy? Relax, dear reader. I’m here to help.

Romance

Romance and marriage are atypical subjects of speculative fiction, usually either consigned to the B-plot or give short-shrift if included at all.  That’s fine: not every book must contain every possible element.  Absence of a wooing, dalliance, or long-term relationship should not be grounds for legitimate criticism of a work.

Tolkien wrote a romance without a great deal of romance.  What romance did reach the page was chaste, the courtly romance of the troubadours.  This is perhaps better exemplified by Gimli’s love for Galadriel than the decades long trials and courtship of Aragorn and Arwen.  That is the story the Good Professor was writing and it worked.