Willow, a small farmerapprentice magician, meets Madmartigan, a great swordsman, and together they journey through a war-torn land of magic and monsters, to save a baby princess from death at the hands of an evil queen.
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This movie is the source of my interest in all forms of fantasy. GeorgeLucas has inspired so much of me from all of his movies, from Indiana Jonesto Star Wars. 'Willow' has all the elements that make the best classicalfantasy story, plus Val Kilmer!
It's got all the elements: action,humor,romance(not to much though) and a wonderful plot. Swords,sorcery,dragons,trolls, and nelwin's. All this equals out to a great story. And why wouldn't it be, this coming from a man who's done, The Phantom Meneace, The original Starwars Trilogy, and the Indiana Jones adventures. Very recommendable movie and the soundtrack is outstanding. A must for any video collection.Blades
So many great films are disappearing. This is one of them. It was released on video in the usual pan and scan format and was released on laserdisc in widescreen. Both copies disappeared in a matter of months. I have managed to obtain a used copy of the video, and this film must be re-released in the widescreen format. So many films are disappearing, and with the eminent takeover of DVD, less and less widescreen films are available in VHS. I hope this film is an exception if it is ever rereleased.
Versatility is the key to this movie. You can watch it with the kids,by yourself, or with the guys(for some reason us men find midgetsintriguing). You've got elements of humor, adventure, and suspense thatare unparalleled by most movies of today's time.Made back in the 80s this movie exhibits special effects with anelement of fantasy. As far as fantasy movies go, this movie was notsurpassed until the release of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of theRing. George Lucas again displays brilliance in another genre ofmovies. This movie achieved for fantasy what Indiana Jones did forAction/Adventure and Star Wars did for Sci-Fi.A must see!
I first discovered the film Willow when I was around the age of 12 - but even now, some seven years later, I still find it to be one of the best films ever made. It's direction, casting, story and soundtrack prove to be a wonderful combination of believable but imaginative fantasy that you can escape into whether you're an 8yr old child or a 30yr old critic. It doesn't age nor get tiresome because the characters are so well-written that you care about them enough to follow the entire story through and want more. Val Kilmer's character is not over-played, corny one-liners and perfect special FX don't cloud the viewer and James Horner's atmospheric mood music yet again doesn't fail to incorporate the necessary emotion to make this film one of the best.It's simply a movie you can escape into from the disappointing norms of ordinary life. Why aren't there more films like this?!
Willow is by far one of the best movies I have ever laid eyes on. My daughter is named after Alora Dannon in the movie. Now tellme I don't love this movie. I never get tired of watching it, I am just as amazed by it the 1st,2nd, and 100th time I see it. Please release this movie so that the millions of us who love it so much can have it for our collections.
When I first started watching this movie, It seemed stupid, but once I got into it more, it was very enjoyible. I thought the brownies were great! I suggest you at least try out this movie...but if your not into fantasy movies, dont pick it up.
I originally saw this movie when I was in 9th. grade. It is still one of my favorite movies of all time. I even read the sequel novels by George Lucas and Chris Claremont and it just brought back so many memories of when I saw it in the theater. I just hope it comes out in VHS soon, because I don't have a DVD player.
I just read a copy of this week's entertainment weekly (with harry potter on the cover) and saw an ad for willow dvd and it says:"Before there was hobbits, before there was wizards, there was an unlikely hero named Willow"To anyone who likes Lord of the Rings, or respects the work of the late great tolkien, should be insulted by this ad. The film was released in 1988(!) by Lucasfilm, long after Lord of the Rings was written more than 50 years ago, so who really did come first? I'm really looking foward to the release of LOTR film, and it looks like LucasFilm is trying to sabatoge unknowing movie-goers into thinking Lord of the Rings was something created just recently, and that Lord of the Rings is untruthfully a rip off of "Willow" As a matter of fact, after watching willow, it becomes apparently obvious that the character was modeled from the hobbit Frodo, in lord of the rings. Even Entertainmet Weekly called Willow a cheap rip off of Lord of the Rings on their cover story of the upcoming epic movie. I'm sure the advert agency for Lucasfilm knew this when they made the ad, and this ad is an insult to the public. If anyone is equally disgusted, be sure to mention it in your amazon review. (...)
Willow is without a doubt, one of the best movies I have ever seen, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed when it ended. I wanted more, so when my husband brought me home a book claiming it was the sequel of Willow, I was thrilled. He was right!!!! It had all my favorite characters and more, and I was especially thrilled to learn that it followed the princess to adulthood. If you are a die-hard Willow fan, and you still want more after the movie, I recommend the following trilogy:Author: George Lucas Chris ClaremontBook !: Shadow MoonBook 2: Shadow DawnBook 3: Shadow StarShadow Star is not released yet so don't read the books too fast like I did, I'm still waiting. Happy reading from a die-hard fan!!!!!!
I saw this movie as a teenager when it first came out in the cinema. I wastotally entranced and obsessed by it and I think i used to watch it everyfew months on video. Going back to it now as an adult I can see its flaws,but it still charms.As other people have said, the special effects look old now. Even at thetime I remember being slightly disappointed by the two-headed dragon, andthere were other flaws I picked up even in my state of obsession.The costumes in this movie are pretty good all-round. I never fail to be cutthe bone with terrifying shivers when I see Queen Bavmorda wrapped feet toneck in bandages under her robe. Gruesome.The script is probably both the strength and the weakness of the movie.There are some fantastic one-liners in the script that still leave mehelpless with laughter even now. Never has the word 'Beer!' sounded sohilarious! I won't quote any more of them, discover them for yourself.Having said that, many of the characterisations were quite weak. Our heroMadmartigan himself does not always make sense though he is very funny.Sorsha is not a particularly strong character either, though she is sobeautiful and so 'tough' that it's easy to forgive and go along for theride. I always found the score entrancing, I think it echoed the heroic, magical,quiet and terrifying nature of so many different events extremely well. It'sworth buying on its own.Some people have mentioned that the brownies are very annoying but I have tosay I never found them so, they just make me laugh. They are only there forcomic relief anyway - 'You? what did you do? Just hung around and eat oureggs!' The only character I found annoying was Cherlindrea, queen of thefairies. She seemed too wierd to be a good character, I always found herslightly alarming.So really, to sum up, there's a lot of laughs, some great chase scenes,fantastic scenery, a beautiful heroine and hunky (if slightly bemusing)hero. An evil witch and her henchmen, a lot of magic, and plenty of fights.Suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride.(Incidentally if you've read my reviews of 'First Knight' or 'Merlin', Ihave always thought that Gavin O'Hillerhy, who played Madmartigan's mateAirk Thaughbaer, would make the BEST king Arthur ever. There's a great shotof him with his sword, near the end of the film, in the tent just before thefinal battle - he looks every inch the king.)
An enjoyable film but it just lacks something that Lucas's Star WarsEpisodes IV to VI films and Raiders of the Lost Ark had.The film borrows heavily from Tolkien, and is a clear attempt to createa new potential franchise. The plot is satisfactory if conventional andunsurprising. It is a journey of a small hobbit like race calledNelwyns, led by a very impressive performance by Warwick Davis asWilford Ufgood. In fact, the performances by all the actors playingNelwyns are impressive and enjoyable, and these characters do act asthe heart of the film. However, other characters are not asinteresting. Val Kilmer's Madmartigan is a stereotype and hisperformance is very uneven. In some scenes the character works, inothers it doesn't. In fact this is part of the films major problem.Individual scenes work, but these scenes don't connect that well toothers and the acting performances are in a lot of cases uneven andtherefore jar. Some moments performances are broad and over the top,and then the same characters suddenly come across as more restrained.In fact the only consistency of performance is by the Nelwyncharacters, and the two miniature Brownie characters, who are wellplayed by Kevin Pollack and Rick Overton. They are very well realiseddue to ILM's visual effects and some clever over-sized sets. The films action set pieces are generally solid, with a particularlyimpressive set of action set pieces shot in the snow on location in NewZealand. However, some of the other action sequences feel moreimpressive than genuinely exciting and don't involve the viewerparticularly. Adrian Biddle's photography is gritty and gives the filma realistic look and feel in a very similar way the Andrew Lesnie didon the Lord of the Rings Films so 14 years later. ILM's visual effectswork is very impressive, most notably the sequences where we see thefirst 'morphing' (shape changing) digital effects, overseen by ILMveteran Dennis Muren and digital effects artist Douglas Smythe. Hewould go on to be associated with a number of early pioneering digitaleffects sequences, including the water tentacle in the Abyss, and themorphing effects in Terminator 2. He won an academy award for hisingenious work on Death Becomes Her and a series of technical awardsfor his contribution the development of digital technology in film.Allan Cameron's production design is first rate and gives an authenticand mysterious feel to the film. However, no amount of impressive technical work isn't able to fullycompensate for the fact that the film doesn't quite come together. Themusic and editing are solid, if uninspiring, and its seems thatdirector Ron Howard and executive producer George Lucas had their focuson managing the film's practical issues, the visual effects, theperformance of the actors playing Nelwyns, and the two actors playingthe main Brownies. These areas of the film are the strong parts, butthe film suffers because of the lack of development and performance ofthe other characters, notably Val Kilmer's Madmartigan, JoanneWhalley's Sorsha, Patricia Hayes's Raziel, Jean Marsh's Queen Bavmordaand Pat Roach's General Kael who all give uneven and inconsistentperformances. In all a solidly entertaining film, but not an entirely satisfying onethat makes this reviewer feel that something was missing that preventedthe film from being truly special.
I can understand if you think of this positively in terms of "family entertainment". There are so few good movies, and even fewer that are appropriate for kids. That's where my understanding stops. If you've been sitting alongside your kids as they watch Pokemon, then this movie may seem positively Shakespearian by comparison. If you're looking for movies that are good for the whole family, rent "Babe" or "Searching for Bobby Fischer" or "Shrek", but for chrissakes, don't put yourself through this ordeal. Let the kids watch, just don't be near when this is underway.The beauty of the fantasy and sci-fi stuff I loved as a kid was that my tastes were so bad that it all seemed good, with the exception of Battlestar Galatica, which even to me as a second-grader seemed a little shoddy. When you grow older, you see these things again, and laugh. Perhaps the problem is that I saw this movie when I was in high school, expecting more. If this movie was as good as everyone else here said it was, it would still hold water, even at that age. Most of the stuff in these genres is done badly. This movie is an example of that. One of the other reviewers said they never met anyone who disliked this film; you've just heard from one. A dwarf hero is a fine idea, an atypical protagonist. But must we have one who whines and moans throughout the whole flick? George Lucas gave himself away here; that he no longer knew how to tell a good story (for another example of this, see "The Phantom Menace"). Ron Howard has had his hits and misses, and this one's a miss.
The movie itself is pretty good, although it starts off REALLY unevenly. When I watched it the other day, I was really surprised by that (of course, as a kid, I wouldn't have noticed). Not too mention, is it just me, or do Sorsha's motivations just seem to come out of the clear blue sky? They should have gone at least two seconds into that. But I'm not going to get too much into the film because there's hordes of other reviews about just that here. But what does the DVD version have to offer?To start off, the anamorphic transfer is really well done. The picture's really nice and I didn't catch any flaws with it. There's also a pretty good commentary by Warwick Davis on there, although another reviewer was right, it would have been nice to hear some input from Ron Howard or George Lucas thrown in there. The trailers are funny to watch (ah, the evolution of marketing in the movie business), but the "making of" is mostly a throwaway piece, something you'd expect a trimmed down version of on some pay cable station immediately after the movie.The "Morf to Morphing" piece is pretty interesting if you're into either the history of special effects or a brief look at how much work went into developing the morphing technology. There's also a hidden documentary in the trailers section that deals specifically with Raziel's transformation. Keep in mind, this piece was produced by ILM for ILM, and it very much so comes across as that. Most of what you see here is at least touched on in the "Morf to Morphing" bit, with most of the interviews lifted directly from this (although they do go just a slight bit more into the technology aspect of it).All in all, good little DVD package. The sound is good, like the menus, worth the purchase if you like the movie.
Willow can be described in a word: Fun for the whole family. It's just an ok fantasy film that doesn't ask much from the viewer to be enjoyed. While not as deep and satisfying as, say, Conan the Barbarian, it is a fun camp movie that has Val Kilmer's performance as Madmartigan and Ron Howards direction as its saving graces.give it a rent if you feel like watching a fun easygoing film; the movie is still fun even by today standards and there's a big chance that if there's kids in your family, they will probalby like it or at least have a good time with it.
Ignore VIEWER FROM NJ folks.Willow has all the components for a fantasy story: a fairly long journey, myth, legend, a band of varied heroes, a witch, a dragon, trolls, and brownies...action, adventure, humour, romance...For the time when it was made, it is great; as time passes, all your favourite movies will seem slip backwards, from a technological point of view. You appreciate a movie for what it is.And while VIEWER FROM NJ mentions THe Phantom Mencace, which I must agree was tardy from every stand point, except the effects, he or she does not appreciate Willow. It's not that the movie is bad as he/she states; they just can't appreciate it for what it is.It is not on the same epic scale as Lord of the Rings in terms of the books and the movies (after all, Willow is 1 movie, not 3). And unlike what VIEWER FROM NJ stated about "You gotta have plot character and the mythic element of the hero for fantasy to work and to make great movies on the subject", Willow has it all then some (see first paragraph).See this movie remembering whence it came. VIEWER FROM NJ does appreciate that fact; also he/she seems to be young since they praised LOTR, saw The Phantom Menace then asked if there was "CGI back then". This seems to be the norm, for the younger folk not to appreciate and respect the movies from the previous years that has paved the way for the great (and unfortunately, not-so-great) movies of today and tomorrow. The dragon was actually done using a method called stop-motion animation; not CGI. There was more worked involved in this method - actual (minitaure) models were used.So ignoring VIEWER FROM NJ review, borrow Willow if you can; I'm pretty sure you'll want to own it afterwards. Also have a look at Neverending Story (The first one), The Princess Bride, Legend, and Krull.
When I bought my DVD player, I was asked by the sales person which DVD would I like to own. It was instantaneous, I told him "Willow". Since then I have tried to get it. Willow is the type of movie that is for the young at Heart, it has all the ingredients of good old fashioned fantasy adventure. I reckon the guys who made this movie should be the ones to make the Narnian Choronicles.Cheers
Another film with great production values struggling to hold up a defective screenplay carried by a pathetic script and mediocre acting.It's somewhat hard to sympathize with an undersized hero whose voice sounds like that of a wailing sheep: ba-ah-ah-ah-ah-d. The film is supposed to take place in some fantasy past but the script spews out modern idioms and values out of the characters displacing them even more from the context of the story. The final scene with two women fighting against each other as if they were professional boxers was even more atrocious bringing the film down into the pits of vulgarity. The only good role and acting in this film was by Val Kilmer.Stay away from this pathetic film: it's not even worth renting. Watch the 'Lord of The Rings' trilogy or 'Dragonslayer' instead of this putrid crap.
This movie has got to be the best movie of all time. skeletons and stuff and midgets and badguys and magic. it has everything!! I totally forgot about this film and one day the theme song was stuck in my head for some reason and I couldn't figure out where it was from. then I was like oh man!! WILLOW!!that movie ROCKS. I'm sure all of you have had the same thing. but anyway, this movie has got to be one of the most classic films of the 80s early ninties. wow bro!
If you want to get a movie that is worth your money...there is no better purchase that you could make (probably in your whole life) than buying this movie. This movie is classic.