Willow

Release Date:  5/20/1988 – Rated PG

Starring: Warwick Davis (Harry Potter), Val Kilmer (The Saint)

Plot Summary:  In this fantasy tale, the lands are ruled by the evil queen Bavmorda; who seeks to destroy a baby girl who has been prophesied will end her rule.  That baby is born, but is immediately whisked away by a nursemaid before she can be killed, and ends up being floated down a river.  She is eventually found by a Nelwyn (midget) farmer and wanna-be sorcerer named Willow Ufgood.  The midget town council decides that the baby needs to be returned to her people, the Daikinis (normal sized people), and sends Willow off to give the baby to the first Daikini he finds.  It just so happens that the first one they find is a dirty guy in a cage named Madmartigan. Madmartigan eventually convinces the Peck’s (midgets) to let him out of the cage and they hand over the baby. On the way home a Brownie (dessert) riding a hawk goes zooming over their heads with the baby, oh shit, that can’t be safe, they follow the bird deeper into the woods and are attacked by more Brownies (more desserts). The queen of the forest, or something like that, appears and releases Willow (midget) and his buddy (yet another midget) and sets them on the quest to find a banished sorcerer to help battle Bavmorda. Two Brownies (idiots) accompany Willow to be his guide on this quest. They run into Madmartigan again, and on the island find that the great sorceress has been changed into a muskrat, or some kind of marmot. They fight off the evil queen’s forces only to have the baby snatched away in the confusion, maybe that’s because they left someone the size of a fire hydrant to protect the child in the middle of a battle, but whatever.  As the ritual to banish the child is going on, Willow (midget) and his posse (regular size people) fight to get the baby back. There’s an old lady fight, a midget versus an end table, and a magic trick, and bada-boom bada-bing the world is saved, and Willow (midget) goes back to his village (a crap-ton of midgets).   

Alex’s Thoughts:  I really liked this as a kid: it had magic, monsters and sword fighting; everything a 9 year-old could want.  Watching it as an adult, I like it for completely different reason’s now – it has witty dialog and a great story.   This story was written by George Lucas, and as a kid growing up in the early 80’s, that was like gold.  The story has his fingerprints all over it, and this was when the man could write a story; and not the crap he has churned out lately and shit all over my childhood.   This is just a great flick and would be great to watch with your family, it’s got something for everyone. 

Tim’s Thoughts:This movie makes me so angry, I have been fuming since rewatching this. I can’t believe that now after watching Willow and Return of the Jedi that we didn’t see Jar Jar Binks coming. Between the ewoks and the those damn brownies, I should have known, and I blame myself having seen both of these movies several times. Lucas wimpifying his stories to make them appeal to kids, when they are really solid fantasy/space opera stories. The characters in this movie are epic, there is so much depth to the setting, and some pretty awesome monsters, but then there are the brownies. Every time I started to enjoy myself, one of those little bastards pops out of a pocket and says something stupid, and to make things worse, I actually laughed a few times. It’s simply unforgivable, and I am having trouble reconciling this fact. This movie is good, yes the effects are dated, and I think it’s a bit too long, but it’s a lot of fun.

Final Thoughts:   Who the hell doesn’t like this movie?  If you haven’t seen it, you had better be like twelve; and if you are twelve shouldn’t you be going to bed?  It’s a school night for fuck’s sake!  If you like midgets this is the one for you. It’s got the one from Bad Santa, the one from Bordello of Blood, the one from leprechaun and the main midget from The Wizard of Oz.

Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim Rates This Movie 9/10

 “Don’t play with that wand! It holds vast powers. Only a real sorcerer can use it, not a stupid peck like you.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue

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