The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Growing up a nerd in the 80s was a unique experience. Of everything weird and wonderful, there were two movies that stood out and still tickle my imagination every time I see any related artwork. Those two movies were Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

I’m sure you’re all suitably shocked.

When they announced they were taking the rest of the Dark Crystal story and making a Netflix series, I was both excited and concerned. The art of the original movie is what captured it’s fans, and not necessarily the story. In fact, while I loved the art and the mystic other-worldliness of the original film, I never paid any attention to the story until I became an author. How were they going to recapture that magic and balance it out with such a complicated story?

The verdict – with amazing artistic talent and skill. The Age of Resistance is exactly what it needs to be for those who loved the art of the original movie. The producers resisted the temptation to use CGI and opted for traditional puppeting, a decision that was both more costly and challenging, and it resulted in a series that looked and felt as if it stepped out of the original movie.

My other concern was how were they going to stretch the source material into ten hours of film? This is where many new comers to the franchise might start losing interest. Because the world of the Dark Crystal, Thra, is complicated with lots of different cultures and influences, both from within the seven distinct populations of gelflings, and also from the alien Skeksis who have taken up the responsibility of ruling the world, there are parts of the series that have to slow down and explain all of this.

No amount of amazing sets and beautiful creatures can make up for the material being slow and boring at times. I didn’t mind, because I enjoy deep worldbuilding and love examining examples of when it’s been done well. For everyone else, the pace of several episodes is slower than what a standard viewer is used to.

I finished watching the series earlier this week and was very impressed at how good it all turned out to be. For me, it’s a lovely reminder of that magical world that captured my imagination as a child.

Also, the music is incredible. I pulled up the soundtrack to listen to as I worked the other day and was swept away. Managed to write 20% faster than usual to boot!

Recommendations:

I recommend The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance to anyone who liked the original Dark Crystal, or who has a love for epic fantasy story telling styles. This will both amaze and delight you. Also, if you love fantasy art and puppetry, this will rock your world.

I don’t recommend this for those who really haven’t gotten into fantasy as it requires the viewer to take a rather large leap of faith on a premise they might not understand. It’s a bit slow and the payout of the story is long in coming. That said, it is beautifully made.


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Happy Halloween!

dark crystalHappy Halloween dear readers, it’s time to get your creepy on!  Whether it’s hanging out at an awesome party with friends or watching a spooky favorite at home with your favorite person or fur baby, have a great time and stay safe.

Don’t know what to watch? Here are some of my favorites-

Kid Friendly Picks:

The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth – Growing up, it became tradition to watch both of these movies in the week leading up to Halloween.  There was something about the magic and the puppetry that was very appealing to me.  Well, that, and David Bowie has an appeal all of his own. Rumor is that there is a sequel to Labyrinth in the works, I’ll keep you updated.

Watcher in the Woods Admittedly this is an oldie, but it still gets me everytime. And, yes, that is Betty Davis.

Nightmare Before Christmas – I say that this is kid friendly even though I can’t get my kids to watch it still. I get a kick out of it.

Not So Kid Friendly:

army-of-darknessArmy of Darkness – Ok, I’ll admit this is slightly out of my comfort range when it comes to language and gore, which shows immediately what kind of horror film watcher I am. (A wimpy one, not going to lie). But, there’s something about Bruce Campbell that I love. Plus, it’s laugh out loud funny.

The Mist – This movie based on the Stephen King novel packs so many punches that you’ll question going out into the fog for the rest of your life.

Shaun of the Dead – Take your classic zombie movie and turn it upside down and you get this hilarious parody. Again, this is more funny than scary, and that’s why I like it.

 

What are your favorite creepy movies? Share in the comments below!