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The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:

The Goonies - Pirates Fantasy Film, The Hobbit - Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel

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The Hobbit - Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel

This Classic Fantasy Tale, sees a Quest for Treasure, in the Lost Kingdoms of the Dwarves, with a Guardian Fire Drake of the North, who goes by the name of Smaug. It's The Hobbit:


The Hobbit - Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel


Whilst it had been quite some time, since I'd last read The Hobbit, I was amazed with the amount of humour, that's found within it's opening chapters (particularly the very first - An Unexpected Party). I especially found it funny, when the leader of the Dwarves (Thorin Oakenshield), ended up with several of his fellow Dwarves, right on top of him - when The Hobbit (aka Bilbo Baggins), abruptly opened his front door :) I also liked the fact, that Bilbo initially has no idea, as to what is going on - why are all these Dwarves here? But soon finds himself, pouring over a Treasure Map, wondering where the Secret Door is! Which in-turn, leads to Bilbo and the start of his Adventures - having just been recruited by the Dwarves (based upon the recommendation, of Gandalf the Wizard). And it is this recommendation, that I feel captures the Heart and Soul, of this Fantasy Tale ... As The Hobbit does not at first, appear to be the best companion, for Thorin and his Dwarves - let alone their Quest! For one simple reason: The Hobbit / Bilbo Baggins, has only ever read about Adventures in books - preferring instead, to put his feet up, and have his second breakfast :) Indeed, is this low opinion of Bilbo, held by Thorin Oakenshield, and several of his Dwarves - which plays right into, Bilbo's desire to prove them all wrong :) And as such, did I enjoy the irony (that is experienced), as Bilbo's character, becomes central to the Tale - even gaining a Strength of Character, that supersedes the Dwarves (as eventually, he is more of an advisor to them). I found this particularly true, in three specific places: i) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Darker Fantasy Spiders (otherwise the Dwarves would have been a juicy meal). ii) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Not So Friendly Elves (otherwise the Dwarves would have been captive, in the Dungeons of the Elves for quite sometime). iii) When Bilbo is asked by the Dwarves, to tackle the Dragon Smaug (the Guardian Fire Drake of the North) - as Thorin and his Dwarves, dared not to enter, their own Underground Kingdom ... Yet in all three, do I feel that Bilbo's character, has come a long way - but still remains the same, as that first cheeky Hobbit, who dared to pick the pocket of a Mountain Troll, and land them all in a Stew! What of the Tale's other Fantasy Characters? Well ... There's three, that I quite like ... First: is Beorn (the shape-shifter). I liked the idea of a Man, that could take the form of a Bear - whilst also being able to talk, to an entire variety of animals (from Bees to Horses). I also liked the idea, of Beorn's Gardens and Lands - as he uses his shape-shifting powers, to guard his Domain, against the creatures of Darker Fantasy (such as Goblins and Wargs). I especially enjoyed, the comedy that surrounds the introduction of the Dwarves to Beorn (which is again contrived by Gandalf) - enter two by two, a minute or so after each other, OH! you may as well all come in then! Second: is Smaug (the Fire Drake). Being a Western Dragon, he meets this definition in every sense of his Being - large, powerful, clever (enjoying Riddles), breathing Fire, rows and rows of Teeth, armour as strong as Steel, hoarding Treasure, rending walls and eating all (especially Men and Dwarves). Yet does Smaug, still have a twist of an Eastern Dragon - the ability to speak :) And as such, did I enjoy Bilbo's conversations with him, especially when Bilbo thought, that he could outwit a Dragon! Bilbo dares to steal a Golden Cup - yet Dragons know, every ounce of their Treasure :) For Smaug's personality, is the Darkest of the Dark - it's HIS Mountain, and it's HIS Treasure, that HE stole from the Dwarves, a Long Time Ago. Third: is Thorin Oakenshield. I found that his character, tended to fluctuate somewhat. On the one hand, he will take charge (such as when planning a Quest for Treasure, or meeting a Great Goblin in Battle) - but on the other hand, can Thorin tend to give up in a huff (such as when the Dwarves, are unable to find the Mountain's Secret Door). An interesting character then - as we have to remember, that it was Thorin's Quest in the first place! And of that Quest, does Thorin also wish to retake, his Lost Dwarven Kingdom - of the Mountain. It's a Dwarven Kingdom, where I enjoyed imagining - what it would once have been like, at the height of it's powers: Countless Dwarves - mining Crystals and Gems, Endless Dwarves - Forging Swords and Armour, Robust Dwarves - hewn by the Harshness of the Rocks, Timeless Dwarves - hewn by the Ages of Old, and the Timelessness of Bonds :) And it is these Bonds, that Thorin's most Treasured Treasure (the Arkenstone), is most directly - at conflict with! For the Arkenstone (to me), seems to represent Greed (both Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin's). Thus, was I not too surprised - by the disagreement that arises, between Thorin and Bilbo! Although I was surprised, when Thorin pulls it back, and makes amends with Bilbo, just in the nick of time :) Overall: I feel that The Hobbit, is an enjoyable Fantasy Tale, that successfully incorporates, the important features, from the Sword and Sorcery Fantasy genre. The Swords are the Dwarves, Elves and Men - with the twist of a Hobbit, who could not hope to lift a Sword! But a Knife/Dagger - Bilbo can do that :) The Sorcery is directly from Gandalf, and indirectly from the Dragon's Hoard, and the Dwarves Arkenstone (their Achilles Heel). The Darker Elements, come from the Dragon and the Goblins, together with the Fantasy Character called Gollum (who Bilbo meets beneath the Mountains). Whose Gollum you say? For me, he's a key ingredient, to the popularity of Bilbo - as after Bilbo meets Gollum, does Bilbo's character, seem to tend towards an advisor (for the Dwarves). Thus do I feel, that it seems to be Fate, that Bilbo was destined for Adventure - in the first place :) Finally: an important question arises - is it still worth reading The Hobbit book, after you have watched the three Hobbit Fantasy Films? Yes is the answer to that! The Hobbit book, I found to be much simpler (less extravagant), and as such did it seem - much more magical :) Just one thing remains, where is that Treasure Map? And thank goodness for the Adventurous side - of the Took in Baggins :)

28/02/2017 | Victorian Hawk | Web: The Hobbit (Books)

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The Goonies - Pirates Fantasy Film

An Urban Fantasy Tale, that's now a Classic, that defined the Pearls of Fantasy, and the Spirits of Adventure - for many a Sunday afternoon :) It's The Goonies:


The Goonies - A Swashbuckling, Fantasy Pirates Tale :)  With Treasure Chests, and Pirates Hats!


Whilst the Pirates Fantasy storyline, may take a while to get going - once The Goonies find that Treasure Map, there's no stopping them ... And it is here that this Fantasy Film, connects strongly with the Dreams of my Childhood - as I always thought that it would be fun, to find a Treasure Map! There'd be Parchment Frays - that Guide the Way. There'd be Spanish Prose - that Give a Clue. There'd be Island Shapes - that Rock the Boat. There'd be Skull and Bones - that Mark the Spot! And so it is, with the Fantasy Locations, that are found within - The Goonies ... There's Glowing Lantern Caves - with Falling Rocks and Pit of Spikes. There's Silent Guarding Stones - with Voices Bat and Waters Fall. There's Tranquil Wishing Well - with Pegs of Three and Skeleton Key. There's Caves of Door in Skull - with Glowing Eyes and Slippery Logs. There's Awe and Shock Piano - with Rights of Tune and Screams of Fall. There's Drawbridge cast from Rock - with Water Chutes and Shout Geronimo! But the best Fantasy Location for me, is the Pirates Hidden Cove/Cave, with the Pirate Ship of One Eyed Willie (the Inferno), moored at ease :) I just loved the appearance of the Pirate Ship, which appears somewhat magical, in the majestic jewel-like waters (of it's Fantasy Cave). I also liked the idea, of this Fantasy Cave, being the final refuge/hiding place, of the Mythical Fantasy Pirate - One Eyed Willie :) And of course, it is both the Pirate Ship, and the Fantasy Cave, that form the centrepieces, for the Swashbuckling climatic action: the finding of the Pirate's Treasure, the greeting of One Eyed Willie, the Plundering of the Loot, the Walking of the Plank, the Climbing of the Masts, and the Raising of the Anchor! And of my favourite Fantasy Characters? Well ... First: there is Chunk (a Goonie). I was sold on that scene, where he first enters Mikey and Brand's parents house (two fellow Goonies) - as its just the way he stands there, telling a tale (after the Truffle Shuffle!). Chunk's character, primarily revolves around the thought of food, and is intermixed with his ability to break things (such as smashing down doors, and dropping Treasure Maps). Which in-turn, leads to two of my favourite comedy scenes (of all time): i) where Chunk tells the Tale, of the Fake Puke :) And ii) Where Chunk becomes - Captain Chunk! I almost fell of the sofa with that one - especially with his Cutlass, and Pirate's Hat :) Second: there is Data (a fellow Goonie), who adds to the comedy of the film, with his range of Crazy Inventions. It is Data that falls into the Pit of Spikes - only to be saved by his Pinchers of Power. It is Data that covers the Boat Mast Bridge, with an oily substance (secreted from his Slick Shoes/trainers), that leads to an hilarious scene, with the villains of this film. And it is Data, that falls through the roof/hatch of the Pirate Ship, and goes into a whole ranting rave! Watching that rant with subtitles (turned on), really made me laugh :) Third: is the Fantasy Pirate, One Eyed Willie himself. Granted, he may only appear for a short time within the film (as he is a Skeleton) - but his character is built from the outset, as a Pirate that ... Stole a Pirate's Loot - with little hope of running a Navy Blockade. Who is instead forced to hide his ship (the Inferno) in a Pirate's Cave - whilst devising an entire series of Booby Traps (to protect his Treasure). He is also a Pirate, that has an Eye Patch to match - who sits Pride of Place, at the Captain's Table :) I also liked the twist, that surrounds Willie's Gold - as there's one more Booby Trap, that's only to be triggered, by those who are too Greedy! Would that be you then? Who took those Golden Coins? In any case, I found something of a parallel, between The Goonies, and One Eyed Willie's Pirates Crew - as both seemed to me, to be of Motley Crews :) Overall: I love the fact that this film, takes the Fantasy Tales of a Pirate, and merges it with the Childhood Friends, that we all once had ... There's something of the Pirate: Treasure, Treasure Chests, and Pirates and their Pirate Ships. Mixed with something of our Childhood: when we'd all just hop onto a bike, and head off of out for an Adventure :) There's something of Romance: a Childhood Kiss, a First Real Love - of Pirates and their Pirate's Lore! As we all wanted to be a Pirate - didn't we? And there's something that I just learnt - as it's only recently (watching this film), that I have at last, finally realised/understood, exactly where Mikey's bag of Gems and Jewels comes from (towards the end of the film). For some reason (over the years), I'd managed to miss Mikey with that line: bye bye marbles (at One Eyed Willies Captain's Table). It's Captain Chunk you know!

21/02/2017 | Victorian Hawk | Web: The Goonies (Official Trailer)

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