Movie Club: Labyrinth

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week we're back in the 80s with "Labyrinth", after it turned out that at least two of the committee hadn't seen it, so this is another one I'm watching for the first time!

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one).

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I seen Labyrinth for the first time today. Overall it was okay. Although it is a bit too long and the pace of the film can be quite boring in some scenes.
    Maybe it is different for people who grew up with the movie but it wont be joining my favourite 80's movies.
    Visually the movie does have some great scenes.
    The M.C. Escher crazy stairs scene is pretty amazing. I did a project on Escher in college and seeing the stairs in a live action movie was pretty stunning.
    Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie were really good in their roles.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It was my first time of seeing it too. I'd heard a lot of retrospective hype about it, how it was a massive thing in the 80s. Maybe I was expecting more from it than I got, because I didn't find it that engaging. Maybe it's better if you see it first as a kid.

    The plot was straightforward enough, fantasy adventure movie stuff, fine, and the Jim Henson characters, fair enough. But the whole thing was hammed up to extremes. Maybe that's just Bowie, I don't know. But certainly, I was a bit bemused at all the songs, they seemed out of place and random. At least when the Muppets movies burst into song, it makes some kind of sense. But it doesn't work for me. Of course I know Bowie was a very famous singer, and it made sense to utilise his talents in that area, but it didn't fit into the plot, they could have come up with songs that integrated better.

    Agreed on the Escher stairs being a good visual effect that worked perfectly in the context of this film. As far as the visuals are concerned, the film is certainly good.

    But it was a bit too long. They could easily have trimmed it to 90min without losing the essentials, some scenes dragged on too much.

    This is one 80s "classic" that I doubt I'll be bothering with again. Sorry and all, but . . .
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I completely agree the songs did seem very out of place and just slowed the movie down even more so.
    This movie really did not live up to all the hype about it.

    Jim Henson's ''The Dark Crystal'' is a vastly superior movie compared to Labyrinth.
  5. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    Sorry I couldn't manage to watch the movie for this discussion. But I had seen part of it a few years ago. I had heard that it had a lot of cult following and I'm always a sucker for any movie/music/toy from 80s. :)

    From the little that I did see, I found it hard to really get into it. I gotta agree with you guys that it really is a product of its time and if you didn't grow up watching it and have no nostalgia for it, then its very difficult to like it. The puppets were quite god, but then again, Jim Henson was the man when it came to puppets!
    LiamABC and Mark M like this.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I agree that Jim Henson's puppets are amazing. However in Labyrith I thought the puppets look really out of place in this fantasy movie. Alongside the human actors it look too much like The Muppets and Fraggle Rock. Visually it doesnt't work as well as the puppets in other fantasy movies like Star Wars, The Never Ending Story and Gremlins etc.
    Wilycub and LiamABC like this.
  7. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Agreed. I think the problem was, they were trying to make it too many things that they couldn't accommodate in the plot:

    1. Kids' film - fun/accessible
    2. Fantasy
    3. Scary
    4. Musical

    Too many things, that don't really go together in the same plot. If they'd dropped any one of these elements, it would have been a much better movie. Preferably the songs. That would have saved about 15-20min in itself, and not slowed everything down all the time.
    Wilycub and Mark M like this.
  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    There is some pretty good scary bits at the start but as it goes on it's obvious this is a childrens movie and the scary scenes don't have the same affect and just really slow the pace down of what could have been a far more enjoyable film. The musical scenes and the childish puppets are what really spoiled it in my opinion. If they hadn't had as many musical scenes and just a couple it would have helped a lot. Maybe the speed of the version I watched had been altered but music choices for the musical scenes just sounded weird, boring, slow and tedious. Maybe if I watched a better quality version some of my opinions might change.
  9. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I'm not convinced it's possible for all the above elements to actually sit together in anything. Let's revise the statement and say fantasy is the genre, rather than an element.

    This means they were making a fantasy movie and trying to give it three elements:

    1 - fun for kids
    2 - scary
    3 - musical

    Can anybody name any film that has all three of those elements? Two, yes, there's plenty of those, probably any combination, but not all three.
  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I can think of two animared fantasy movies that capturd all these elements far better. Disney''s Sleeping Beauty. Rankin Bass' The Last Unicorn. As for live action Jim Henson's vastly sperior The Crystal combines thse elements far better than Labyrinth. However I only recall one song scene so I don't know that counts for the musical element.
  11. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I saw The Last Unicorn once as a kid. I really need to see it again.
    Mark M likes this.
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I have it on DVD but I haven't watched it in a long time. I recalled seeing some of it in primary school when I was 4/5 years old and thought (what I seen of) it was great but I didn't know the name of it. Years later over the Summer holidays in 2000 when I was 15 I was I watching TV one morning and I noticed a cartoon and thought it looked familiar. As soon as I seen the Unicorn I instantly recognised it as the cartoon I remembered. I looked up the title in the TV guide book and found out it was called The Last Unicorn. A few years later I got it on DVD. I would have got it sooner on VHS but I never seen it in any of the shops.
    I must say though as much as I like The Last Unicorn I far prefer Rankin Bass' The Flight Of Dragons.
  13. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I don't remember much about it, but I'm pretty sure I watched it with the girl next door but one to where I lived as a kid. It would have been at her house.

    There was something about the horn being invisible to humans, and the unicorn being captured and having an artificial horn created for the benefit of humans who wanted to see a real live unicorn, but that's about it.
  14. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Too be honest I can't say I recall that about the horn as it's been a long while since I properly watched it. I watched some the DVD a couple years ago as I did a painting very loosely inspired by TLU. I would love to do a proper scene from it though drawn to look like the animation style. I did a painting inspired by Flight of Dragons but I wasn't keen on drawing a dragon too match Rankin Bass' animation style.

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