by Judy Berman
Jaromil Jires’ 1970 Czech New Wave classic delves into the subconscious of a 13-year-old girl, which takes her through a fantasy realm, but reflects the adolescent experience as well as any coming-of-age film ever made.
Till Kleinert’s demented, fairy-tale-esque suspense feature has a repressed cop chasing a crazy, katana-wielding psychopath around the German woods… or possibly something entirely different is going on.
Writer-director Craig Goodwill’s twisted, big-hearted comic fantasy delves into the dark, violent origins of Cabbage Patch Kids and the people who operate the sweatshops that produce them.
Richard Donner’s 1985 fantasy takes place in medieval France, but brings a lot of 20th-century attitude to the story of a thief (Matthew Broderick), a knight (Rutger Hauer), and a mysterious curse. Vittorio Storaro’s images are the main attraction.
Disney cashes in on one of its most storied properties with this retrograde live-action fairy tale, which time-travels back to 1950 while adding plenty of sparkly 21st-century CGI effects.
While actress Sondra Locke still had access to the first-rate crew of her then-lover Clint Eastwood, she made her directorial debut with this half fairy tale/half satire about the relationship between a journalist and a good-hearted rat creature.
The behind-the-scenes story of how this animated musical came to fruition is more compelling than the movie, which runs A Midsummer Night’s Dream and George Lucas’ original ideas through a convoluted plot and watered-down pop songs.
Chicago director Rob Marshall isn’t up to the daunting challenge of bringing Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale musical opus to life onscreen, but the cast has enough musical-theater chops to carry much of it across anyway.
Tomm Moore’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated The Secret Of Kells is an even more beautiful and personal animated adventure that’s drawn from Irish history and the legend of the “selkies.”
The closing installment in Peter Jackson’s three-film, nearly eight-hour adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit strips some of the busywork and nonsense away, but not quite enough.
Terry Gilliam’s early feature, made for kids from a kid’s perspective, has all his usual obsessions and plenty of entertaining performance, but critically lacks focus.