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Friday, August 10, 2007

Legend



Given the recent release of a fantasy film, Stardust, and my recent mention of of Ridley Scott, I thought I'd post about a movie from the past that Scott directed, and which puts the lightweight Stardust to shame with its earnest beauty - Legend.



It was made in 1986 and stars Tim Curry, Mia Sara, and Tom Cruise Unlike Stardust, it takes itself seriously and I think that's why Roger Ebert did not share my enthusiasm for the movie, but that's exactly what I liked about it. Take a look at the two video clips at the bottom of the post - they give an idea of the beauty of the film. Anyway, here's some of what Ebert has to say in his review of Legend ...

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The movie is a British big-budget, special-effects extravaganza by Ridley Scott, the director of "Alien." It tells of a time long, long ago, when unicorns roam the Earth and the powers of light and darkness are at war. An evil prince named Darkness lives in caverns far beneath the Earth, scheming to blot the sun out of the lives of all the planet's creatures and to rule the gloom forever.

Earth itself is a sylvan place, filled with flowers and little glades and grassy clearings - but also with dread swamps and moldy fens. Young lovers can kiss for an afternoon in a bath of sunshine, but fearsome storms come up suddenly and lash the land with their fury. A race of evil little druids lives in the woods, and they spread mischief wherever they venture. Their favorite pastime is frightening the unicorns.

Into this setting come our heroes, Jack and Lili. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a hero whose mission in life is to vanquish Darkness and allow the sun to prevail. Lili (Mia Sara) is the young woman he meets and falls in love with, but she is lured into the underworld and seduced by an exotic priestess into seemingly becoming evil. Will Jack save Lili and defeat Darkness? Or will the movie end unhappily? Can we vote more than once? Let it be said that "Legend" is an impressive technical achievement. Scott is a perfectionist who takes infinite pains to make things look right.

The problem is, the world of "Legend" is itself wrong for this material. To some degree, this is a fairy tale, and it needs a certain lightness of tone, a plucky cheerfulness, to work ... [but Legend is] a movie that has no clear idea of its own mission and no joy in its own accomplishment.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

First of all, I'd never to into the forest wearing a long dress with long, drippy sleeves. Heck, I'd never to into a restaurant wearing long, drippy sleeves, because they'd surely end up in the tomato sauce. But if the result is a hunky guy with a crow on his shoulder, I'd give it a shot.

PS: I hope that was a computer special effect, and not super-glue.

11:27 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Susan,

hehehe - the first thing I thought when I watched it was, wow! that dress is getting so dirty! If I remember the movie correctly, he takes her from where she lives to the country, so she's out of her element, clothing-wise. In the movie, the scenes of the forest were really beautiful, though :-)

12:34 PM  

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