There have been so many classic films that have transported us to incredible new worlds and introduced us to people and places we’ve never seen before.
Many people will argue over which fantasy movies rank among the best of all time. I would argue that The Lord of the Rings is at (or near) the top of many of those lists. However, I’m not going to rank the best fantasy movies.
Instead, here are 10 AMAZING FANTASY WORLDS that took hold of our imaginations forever:
HONORABLE MENTION: The Chronicles of Narnia, Monsters Inc.
Even though I absolutely hated the sequel, the original is one of the most entertaining popcorn movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen. It had giant fighting robots and some of the best and most complex visual effects ever created.
Will Smith is my favorite actor. I’m one of the reasons his movies always make 100 million+ in theaters. Independence Day will always be one of the greats. ID4 is a perfect example of a huge box office blockbuster. Big stars, big FX and big thrills.
Twister may surprise some people but I’ve always loved this movie. When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of tornado warnings. This eventually ignited an interest in weather and this movie came along right in the middle of that childhood obsession. Twister is a fun movie. Plain and Simple.
#15 – $357,067,947
To this day, I’m still fascinated by how well the effects stand up compared to today’s standards. Such a fun movie.
It took longer than I thought but I finally got to see Avatar in glorious IMAX 3D. I was so busy over the holidays that an afternoon never presented itself. I desperately wanted to see this movie and I’m happy to report it was worth the wait.
For anyone who ever doubted that the movie would succeed, here is the line up I came across at 11:00 am on a weekday three weeks after it’s release.
Thankfully, we already had our tickets and laughed as we scored prime seats before the theater filled up. What boggles my mind is how many people were still coming in AFTER the movie started. Not only that, they actually looked upset that there weren’t any good seats left. It’s almost like they felt they deserved it. Enjoy the front row losers!
Once the movie started, I was absolutely fascinated. The entire world of Pandora is completely unique and original. Fascinating is the perfect word to describe it. There was one chase sequence early in the movie that included a couple amazing slow motion shots that I absolutely loved. This is why I’m obsessed with movies. I love seeing things that I’ve never seen before. It’s addictive.
The action in the movie was unbelievable. The final showdown is easily one of the most entertaining 30 minutes you’ll ever see in theaters. I’m still thinking about how amazing the movie looked on the screen. It’s the best looking movie I’ve ever seen and should easily win the VFX oscar this year. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and guarantee it.
Last summer, The Dark Knight became the second highest grossing movie of all time. For some reason, I’m proud of that. It’s beginning to look like Mr. Cameron is going to have 2 of the top 3 movies ever on his resume. There’s even a shot at the top 2. I’m perfectly happy with Avatar knocking The Dark Knight down to 3. It deserves to be there. People say that movies are supposed to take you to another world. Avatar takes you there and then makes you wish you never had to leave.
I’ve been looking forward to Avatar for years… The closer we get, the more excited I become. I recently saw the trailer in 3D on the big screen and I was blown away. It just looks incredible. The action sequences alone are going to be worth the $15 dollar IMAX ticket.
Yesterday, I was talking about James Cameron’s Avatar and the new technology behind it. He isn’t the only one pushing state-of-the-art technology. Robert Zemeckis has been rolling out performance capture films for a while now. Yet, none have really been that successful. (At least, not once you compare them to recent 3D animating films.) This weekend, he unleashed what should have been a smash hit. It certainly made money but no where near what the filmmakers were expecting. Let’s look at the facts:
Beloved story? Check.
Jim Carrey? Check.
Even with those pieces in place the film only managed to gross 31 million this weekend. Way below expectations. Compare that to the 68 million Pixar’s Up made in it’s opening weekend. Ice Age 3 only made 41 million but went on to become a gigantic world wide success. I don’t think A Christmas Carol will come close to those numbers. Are people just not getting it? (Makes you wonder about the current skepticism about Avatar doesn’t it?)
The Polar Express
This is Captain Back To The Future’s third attempt with performance capture. Tom Hanks and The Polar Express opened with 23 million. Beowulf didn’t do much better. Most of the complaints I’ve read stem from the ‘dead eyes’ look most of the characters have. I get the critisism but it’s still pretty groundbreaking animation. I think hyper-real animation has a while to go. People just seem to identify more with classic cartoons and exagerated characters. Personally, I’m a fan of every cartoon there is. I’ll be catching this movie eventually. It’s just hasn’t risen up my list of must-see films yet.
Still the performance captured films made money which is why Mr. Zemekis can continue with new projects. They just haven’t pulled in earth shattering numbers yet. I honestly thought A Christmas Carol had a shot at 50 million at least.
Can the technology behind the film really be blamed though? Perhaps it’s attachment to the older adaptations. Take Willy Wonka for example. The Tim Burton remake had all the elements that should have added up to a massive success. Yet everyone still holds the original closer to their hearts. When it comes to A Christmas Carol, Disney’s timeless version wins for me.
Every year in the history of Christmas or years on channel 8 at 8pm (Eastern Time) I watched this movie. It’s just not Christmas without it. Sadly, I haven’t watched it in a few years but thanks to the miracle of YouTube, it’s on my list right after The Sandlot. (Anyone who spots a DVD copy of Mickey’s Christmas Carol needs to notify me immediately by the way.)
It’s strange that many movies have tried to establish new Christmas traditions but haven’t. I wonder if the younger generations will look back at Jim Carrey’s Scrooge the same way I look at the duck whos name is also Scrooge.
(I’ve included part 1 to brighten everyone’s day. Sweet flick.)
Another absolute classic is A Muppet Christmas Carol. My sister and I make time to watch that old VHS once as year. So really there are already 2 mainstays in my yearly Dickens fix. Is there room for one more? I’m keeping an open mind.
Regardless of technology or nostalgia, I’m sure the new version is entertaining. Maybe it’s the release date. Would the film benefit from being released closer to Christmas? I think the theory behind it is to maximize on all the weeks leading up to the holidays. For the sake of NEW traditions, I hope the film has legs.
I can honestly remember a day when I watched this movie, rewound and then watched it again. I’m definitely up for another trip to Toon Town. This is a movie that can’t miss when it comes to traditions. A sequel with better technology and the ORIGINAL writers! I really hope this movie happens. It’d be amazing. I would be very happy about a Roger Rabbit sequel.
FUN FACT: While looking for a kick ass Roger Rabbit pic I came across the image above. It’s a book on cassette! Remember books on cassettes? I USED TO OWN THAT! I probably still do. (I’ll calm down eventually.)
One final thought on the topic of hyper-real animation… Take a look at this picture from a site called Pixeloo:
I don’t think the world is ready for that either…
UPDATE: In it’s second weekend of release, A Christmas Carol held strong losing only 26% of it’s opening weekend audience taking in 22.3 million. Looks like it does have some legs. Good.