Cinema: Pictures At an Exhibition Legend

Directed by Ridley Scott; Screenplay by William Hjortsberg

Along time ago, in a conference room far, far away . . . it was ordained that sword-and-sorcery movies would be the Next Big Thing. Just imagine crossing the fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas! Mythic reverberations! Megabucks! Didn't work. The crossbreeding produced curious offspring: the low- birth-weight Dragonslayer, the gnarled Krull, the sepulchral The Keep. Most 1980s moviegoers found the landscapes of these films too remote, the quests too familiar, the special effects too rudimentary--no laser blades here, just an endless arsenal of singing swords. Nor did the heroes and heroines of these chivalrous tales have much vitality;...

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