better books, better movies: fantasy is the thing. As far as movies go, that is. A huge amount of fantasy movies have come since, oh, 2001 [the date that Lord of the Rings came out]. Examples include: Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Eragon, Dragon Wars, The SpiderWick Chronicles, The Golden Compass, not to mention all the lower end fantasy movies and spoofs. The majority of these are not worth watching. So, what makes a good fantasy movie anyway? I would say that two of the most important factors are, 1st. the quality of the pre-existing writings ( if it has any), and 2nd. the respect of the producers for the writings.One example is The Chronicles of Narnia. this is without a doubt a good book. But does Andrew Adamson have a proper respect for it? Certainly not to a perfect degree. But there are lots of things from the book that shine through, (maybe not so much because the director puts them in as he doesn’t bother to take them out). So why does this movie, which is considered by some to be a kids thing, pound some upper crusty production such as The Golden Compass? Some might say better movie-making. But I am thoroughly convinced that it is all Narnia. Good action and lots of whiz-bang animation has its place, but, in the long run, you cant make a good movie out of a bad story. It is always the good story that you watch [read] twice.
An even better example than Narnia is Lord of the Rings. This isn’t only the prime example of a good fantasy book, but it is also shows how the best movies are made by people who love the story. LOTR has far less whiz-bang than a lot of fantasy movies, but it was far more successful than any other. Why? It wasn’t strictly accurate to the book. But it did capture the spirit of the story. ( it would be impossible to fit the whole book into just three movies.) so how did the same messages from the book end up in the movie? This is what makes the key to making a good movie out of a good story. The director (Peter Jackson), though his worldview might not have been good, put the book writers worldview into the movies instead of his own. That is what takes to make a good fantasy movie.
*one more thing. If you are going to watch a fantasy movie, you really should check and see if the book is any good. If the book is bad, than the movie will most certainly be also. Remember, this is Holly wood we are talking about.*