Tag Archives: Jennifer Connelly

Dark Water (2005)

Dark Water

 

One of a plethora of remade Japanese horror films that appeared in the 2000’s.
Continue reading Dark Water (2005)

Advertisements

Labyrinth (1986)

Labyrinth

 

This film combines muppets, magic, music and fantasy in a captivating family film.

Director Jim Henson and Designer Brian Froud had worked together previously on “The Dark Crystal”, another film made with lots of advanced animatronics, which had been a success at the box office even though it was considered “too dark” for a lot of younger audiences.  Another film was talked about even as early as the premiere of Dark Crystal.

This new film was to be lighter, with more humour and incorporate songs and dance routines, aiming for a wider audience.

A kind of modern fairy tale, the film’s biggest star David Bowie plays Jareth, the goblin king and principal “bad guy” who sings and dances his way through the film trying to prevent Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) from rescuing her brother Toby, who she sent away in a fit of anger by reciting part of her favourite book, “The Labyrinth”.  With the exception of Sarah and Toby’s parents who briefly appear and the start and the end the film, every other character is played by what I would loosely term “muppets”.

The film has some impressive scenery, and is convincingly “other-worldly” in Jareth’s domain, and I love the impossible staircase arrangement near the end where Sarah finally catches up with Jareth and Toby.

The other characters are a motley crew, from the cowardly dwarf Hoggle to the giant beast Ludo, and the myriad goblins and beasties, there are all manner of great designs of muppets in there, all used to great effect.

Bowie’s songs are memorable and whilst they didn’t set the pop charts alight, you’ll find them stuck in your head for quite some time.  I can’t say the dancing is particularly inspired though !!!

Suitable for all, our kids have been enjoying this from about 3 years onwards (though not necessarily understanding it all), particularly due to the muppets, both heroic and villainous alike.

As much as I enjoyed the film, it appears the the movie-going public didn’t and the film was a flop at the box office, though it has gone on to be a cult movie and a success on home video.

Sadly, the failure of the film at the box office led to it being the final Jim Henson production before he died in 1990.

Incidentally, the reference to George Lucas (executive producer) on the film poster above, is that he was one of several who viewed and modified Terry Jones’ (Monty Python) original script.  How much improvement he was responsible for I’m not sure, but it was further revised after he’d had his turn, so his wasn’t the final version.

8/10.  A fine example of a family fantasy movie.