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Epic costumes with a middle-ages feel are still in vogue, especially with the news that have come to streaming concomitantly.
On HBO Max, “House of the Dragon”, spinoff from “Game of Thrones”, enters its third week with new episodes; and Prime Video premiered this Thursday (1st) the series “Os Rings do Poder”, with events right before those experienced by the Baggins family in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
Despite this heyday of rings and dragons, anyone who thinks they inaugurated the lode of this subgenre is wrong. Movie buffs of the 1980s, for example, reveled in hawks and wolves in “The Spell of Aquila”; while the dwarf Willow was already an unlikely hero in the land of magic, which, by the way, will win a Disney+ series. See some epic costumes below.
The Dragon’s House
More than 150 years before “Game of Thrones”, Westeros lived under the reign of the Targaryen family, the gang who can control dragons. At the beginning of the plot, the king is not in the fullest of health and is anxiously awaiting a male heir, despite already having a teenage daughter. Meanwhile, he must deal with the resistance of some advisers towards his violent brother, who commands the guard of the kingdom and is seen as a threat to the crown. Despite having dropped out of the last few seasons of “GoT,” writer George RR Martin is involved in the creation of this production – which means more delay in finishing his books.
Available on HBO Max (1 season, 10 episodes)
Bonus Tip: Game of Thrones
Having watched “GoT” is not a prerequisite to follow the recently released “House of the Dragon”, but it’s worth it. The series that helped shape the history of TV has eight seasons: the first 4 exceptional, two very good, one ok and the last one… well, an hour had to end. Inspired by the books by George RR Martin, the series brings the palace intrigues – filled with sex and violence – to reach the Iron Throne, involving the main families of Westeros, including the Lannister, Stark, Baratheon, Targaryen clans (the gang of ” House of the Dragon”) and Jon Snow, who knows nothing. Also habemus dragons, conscious zombies, a witch and a winter that barely comes.
Available on HBO Max (8 seasons, 73 episodes)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
During World War II, in England, four brothers live in a large house in the countryside, where they discover a wardrobe that opens a gateway to the world of Narnia, inhabited by centaurs and giant beings. There, they team up with the lion Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson) to fight a sorceress (Tilda Swinton) who has left the place trapped in a harsh winter. CS Lewis’ books have already yielded three films with characters from the Narnia universe – the others are “Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” -, all available on the same streaming.
Available on Disney+ (140 min.)
In this 80s classic, the Bishop of Aquila discovers that his beloved Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer, great) is in love with the captain of her guard (Rutger Hauer, great) and casts a curse: during the day, she transforms into a hawk; at night he turns into a wolf. Thus, the couple is never in human form. Their fates may change when they meet Phillipe (Matthew Broderick, great), a good-hearted thief. This medieval fantasy was used as a metaphor to justify many love mismatches in the last century. Read the movie review at Sheet.
Available on Star+ (121 min.)
Fire and Ice
It’s not the movie of the year… nor was it in 2008 when it came out. But if you want more dragons spreading danger in medieval realms, take it. In this adventure, the kingdom of Carpia is attacked by a fire dragon. To save the population, a princess goes after the son of a legendary knight to, together, find the ice dragon. Yes, there will be a dragon fight. From director Pitof, the same one who brought “Catwoman” (the one with Halle Berry) into the world.
Available on HBO Max (85 min.)
Highlander – The Immortal Warrior
Skilled swordsmen go through the ages fighting each other for the grand prize until only one remains. The best part of this cult adventure takes place in the Middle Ages, when Christopher Lambert receives the company and training of Sean Connery. At the sound of Queen, many heads will be cut off. The film yielded sequels and series, all horrible. Better to review the original which, unfortunately, is not in any catalogue. On Apple TV+ it may be more advantageous to buy it than to rent it.
Available on Apple TV+: BRL 11.90 for rental and BRL 14.90 for purchase (116 min.)
The Legend of the Green Knight
Young Gawain (Dev Patel) can’t miss a party, but all he wants is to win the favor of his uncle, old King Arthur. On a Christmas night, the celebrations are interrupted by the entrance of a mysterious wooden-faced knight who proposes a challenge: whoever strikes him will win his axe, but he will have to allow a blow with equal force the following year, in his home, the Green Chapel. Gawain approaches his opponent and, with a sword, rips his head off. However, when he turns around, the knight’s body grabs the head and says it expects him in a year, much to the young man’s dismay. The film follows the journey to Capela Verde of the young man, who will face his destiny. A beautiful allegory about reciprocity.
Available on Prime Video (130 min.)
The Princess Bride
Another cult straight out of the 1980s. The film begins with a grandfather reading a fairy tale to his grandson (scene satirized in the alternate version of “Deadpool 2”). In the story, a princess, believing her lover to be dead, decides to marry a half-villain prince. On her wedding day, she is kidnapped by a group of pirates. In an adventure pace, the film includes swordsmen, rodents of disproportionate size and a giant, all wrapped up in a script full of jokes with the universe of fairy tales. Directed by Reiner, it features young Robin Wright in the role of the princess. The film was available until August on Netflix, but is still in the Starzplay catalog.
Available on Starzplay (98 min.)
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
This selection would like to include “Excalibur”, but the John Boorman film is apparently absent from streaming catalogs. So, let’s go Guy Ritchie himself. As he did with “Sherlock Holmes,” Ritchie lends a veneer of mundane adventure to the story, with various creative licenses. Now an adult and living on minor misdemeanors, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) ends up falling out with the king’s men, the tyrant Vortigern (Jude Law) and manages to rip the legendary Excalibur (which belonged to the previous king) from the stone. Gradually, he discovers his relationship with the mythical sword and goes to face the king with the help of an opposition group and a mysterious mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), who plays Merlin. Read the movie review at Sheet.
Available on Netflix (126 min.)
The Wheel of Time
In this fantasy series, a sorceress seeks the young man who is the reincarnation of an ancient dragon, a messiah bound by a prophecy that can save the world, or destroy it if corrupted by occult forces. In search of her, she finds other talented young people, and trains them for possible hard times that may arise. It’s Prime’s attempt to have a “Game of Thrones” to call his own, but it doesn’t have the same charm — or tension. With Rosamund Pike in the lead role. Read Luciana Coelho’s review on Sheet.
Available on Prime Video (1 season, 8 episodes)
The Lord of the Rings – Extended Version
For those who want to delve a little deeper into the adventures of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn and company, HBO Max has made available since May an extended version of the first trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. There are 30 minutes more in “The Fellowship of the Ring”, 42 in “The Two Towers” and 48 in “The Return of the King” (there is a final). These elongated cuts were already present in DVD and Blu-ray releases, but were lacking in streaming.
Available on HBO Max (many hours)
Willow – In the Land of Magic
You’re likely to find a coincidence here and there, between “Willow” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Probably George Lucas, the author of the story, was a fan of Tolkien. In the fantasy film, Farmer Willow (Warwick Davis) lives in a dwarf community. His daily life is shaken when he encounters a baby who, according to prophecy, threatens the throne of a sorceress queen. As she sends her army after the child, Willow gets help from a somewhat roguish soldier who is very skilled with a sword (Val Kilmer). His mission is to find another sorceress who can protect the child and defeat the queen. The 1988 film will get a series version later this year on Disney+.
Available on Disney+ (126 min.)
Husband, wife and two children are going to spend their holidays in the Alps. In a restaurant at the hotel on the edge of the mountain, an explosion causes a strong avalanche, which causes panic among the guests. As the mother leans over the children to protect them, the father takes his cell phone from the table and runs away. The embarrassment gradually feeds the atmosphere of tension between the couple, which was already in crisis. With comedians Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the feature is a remake with a much milder tone of the Swedish “Força Maior” (available on Mubi). Nice, but way inferior to the original. Read the movie review at Sheet.
Available on Star+ (86 min.)
In this biopic spanning decades of Elvis Presley’s (Austin Butler) career, the story takes on the point of view of his manager, controlling Colonel Parker (Tom Hanks), who helped but also exploited Elvis — not quite to the same extent. But the name that catches the eye in the production is that of director Baz Luhrmann, the same as “Moulin Rouge”. As with other titles in his filmography, the cuts are fast and the amount of information dumped on the screen can ask for a “go back 30 seconds” every now and then, perhaps an advantage in streaming. Read the movie review at Sheet.
Available from Friday (2) on HBO Max (159 min.)
An Arsenal fanatic English teacher punctuates his relationships with friends, family and women for the London side’s campaigns over the past 18 years. This gets in the way of his current relationship with Sarah, who doesn’t care much for the club’s dramas. Inspired by Nick Hornby’s great book of the same name, this 1997 film starring Colin Firth finally hits streaming.
Available on HBO Max (105 min.)
Bonus Tip: Love at Play
The same book by Nick Hornby yielded a Hollywood version. However, on American soil, Arsenal football was replaced by Boston Red Sox baseball. You could almost say that this one is only slightly inspired by the original work. Here, the Red Sox fan teacher is comedian and now talk show host Jimmy Fallon. And the role of the girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) is more prominent. On Star+, the version has only Portuguese subtitles from Portugal. It’s funny. Read the movie review at Sheet.
Available on Star+ (104 min.)
the ideal man
German production that quickly passed through Brazilian cinemas tells the story of a single and skeptical scientist who lives in Berlin. She is convinced to participate in a study in which she has to live for three weeks with a human-featured robot tailored to her needs, played by Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”).
Available on Prime Video (108 min.)