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4.8 out of 5 stars
Labyrinth [DVD] [1986]
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2004
'Labyrinth', Henson's 1986 masterpiece is a modern classic for our generation, one of the best pieces of fantasy to grace our screens since 'The Wizard of Oz'.
Revolving around the main character of Sarah (Connelly), an over-imaginative teenager who struggles to find meaning in life beyond her dolls and dressing-up box, the film is essentially a existentialist study of teenage fantasy.
The boundaries between fantasy and reality become dangerously blurred one night, when a desperate Sarah calls on the imaginary king of the goblins to take away her relentlessly screaming baby half-brother, Toby.
Unfortunately for Sarah, Jareth the Goblin King (Bowie) has ceased to be merely a figure of her imagination, and appears in the bedroom in place of the child, whom he has transported to his castle in the centre of a giant labyrinth, where goblins and monsters (sometimes friendly, sometimes not, often very comical!)haunt every corner.
It is then up to Sarah to fight her way through the twisting and ever-changing labyrinth to find her young charge, whilst making friends and resisting temptation along the way. Will she manage to overcome her childish, spoilt instincts and learn to think for herself to help others? Or will she succumb to the temptation of having her fantasies fufilled by the charismic Jareth? Only one way to find out - BUY THIS MOVIE!!
Once described as, "a low point in David Bowie's career" this is a great film for adults and children alike, and contrary to narrow-minded belief, is a classic addition to any Bowie fan's collection. Worth watching for the fashion statements alone - "well, laugh!"
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2005
I dont really know how to sum up a film which has been my favourite since i was nine and continues to be so. it's just fantabulous, i even have the soundtrack.
Although with age i found it more disturbing to watch, but that has much to do with the tightness of David Bowie's leggings!!
This film is just a great family film, the kind you get out again and again and never tire of. Plus the soundtracks amazing. Do not miss out-BUY IT!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2003
I first saw Labyrinth when I was 6 and admittedly it scared the hell out of me. However, after seeing it playing in my local video store I decided I had to get it out again, just to see why I was so frightened. I am now 17 and Labyrinth is my favourite film!
The attraction of the film lies in the fact that it is not a simple good v evil type battle - both sides show signs of the opposite eg Sarah's selfishness when she calls on the goblins and Jareth's love for Sarah, which makes the film so much more interesting to watch. That aside, the vast array of different worlds the Labyrinth throws you into, from the column of Helping Hands to The Bog of Eternal Stench and of course Escher's stairs, make watching this movie a total joy because it lets your imagination run wild!
Bowie is phenomenal as Jareth - everything from his stunning costumes, the note of irritated sarcasm in his voice when talking to the not-so-very-bright goblins, and of course the use of the crystals, all come together to create this fascinating enigmatic (and very sexy, as it has been said before!) character.
My favourite sequence in the film has to be the ball sequence that Sarah dreams. Despite this film being marketed as a kid's movie, this sequence I think will capture the hearts of more adults than children for the simple reason it is so beautifully created. It echoes Venetian 18th Century masquerade balls with all their magestic elegance, and the costumes suitably infer this too. But it is the music that really pulls the sequence together - Bowie's lyrics being truly sublime.
The DVD features a 56-minute documentary that gives you an insight into lots of the puppetry techniques, and also how the goblins moved from the original drawings to their final amazing state. I cannot recommend this film enough - anyone wanting a really funny piece of escapist fantasy, you cannot beat this!
My final recommendation is that you keep a look out for the worm - aside from Jareth, he's the cutest character in it!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This film features what is possibly the most incredible creative team ever assembled;

Directed by Jim Henson (Muppets), Produced by George Lucas (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Willow), Screenplay by Terry Jones (Monty Python) and Music by the legend David Bowie.

This film is satisfying viewing in every way, ranging from the life lessons learned by the main character (a young Jennifer Conelly) to the hilarious Bog of Eternal Stench (I defy anyone not to laugh when the stepping stones fart!).

David Bowie brings a wonderful charisma (and some dodgy tights) to the film as the Goblin King and, of course, some great songs too (he should sing with an ensemble of Muppets more often).

There are scary bits (the things that take themselves apart - voiced by Red Dwarf's Danny John Jules - scared the bejesus out of me as a kid), funny bits (I quote: "You're mamma was a fraggin' aardvark!"), touching bits, thoughtful bits and uplifting bits.

The awesomeness (it's a word because I say it is) of this film, despite everything mentioned above, is in no small part due to the efforts of Jim Henson's Creature Shop. From the friendly, furry giant Ludo to the host of comically grotesque goblins, the puppets in the film give it life, colour and most of it's humour.

Anyone who liked the Muppets, 'Dark Crystal', 'Willow' or Monty Python will love this film. Anyone who says they didn't enjoy the aforementioned is either a) a liar or b) one of these sad people who can't lighten up once in a while.

Watch this film!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I remember going to see this film went it was released at the cinema, and I loved it then and I still love it now. The characters are all suberb, as is the fairy tale story line and the fantastic music ( I have the CD of the music from the film - that good ol' David Bowie magic!). It is a film for everybody, children to adults, who will all enjoy this mixture of fantasy and goblins and talking door-knockers and stinky bogs! This will be my all time classic fantasy film, hopefully you will enjoy it too. :-)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2005
People often forget to mention that the wit of the script was largely down to the screenplay writer, Mr Terence Graham Parry Jones, or Terry Jones of Monty 'He's not the messiah he's a very naughty boy' Python, and although Henson messed around with it, taking out Jones' central idea that Jareth should actually be a very weak man protected by the Labyrinth, Jones' brilliance still shines through. Brian Froud (the monster designer) and Terry Jones collaborated on 'Goblins of the Labyrinth' - a witty extension of the lives of those devious monstrosities. It sadly doesn't seem to be available on Amazon, but big book stores should have it.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2008
This must be one of the most talented line-ups to ever create what is ostensibly a children's film, with George Lucas exec-producing, Terry Jones (the former Python) writing, David Bowie starring and contributing songs, Jim Henson creating puppets and directing. (Danny Joyce Jules, later "Cat" in Red Dwarf, is also one of the voice artists). Unlike most supergroups this collective do not disappoint, as Labyrinth is one of the finest ever children's stories, fit to be mentioned along with "Alice In Wonderland". And like the Alice books, this can be enjoyed by adults too, providing they have not lost their sense of fun and wonder. (14-16 year-olds however will often find this too childish).

In the film the initially whiny early teen Sarah (Jennifer Connolly) has to navigate her way through the Labrinth of the Goblin King (David Bowie), where logic is always askew and nothing is "fair", to rescue her brother Toby. Aided by friends like Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus, Sarah navaigates her way to the Goblin City past numerous dangers and puzzles, finally confronts the Goblin King in a MC Escher-style castle. All the while Sarah is learning lessons about life and growing up.

This is a superb film for kids, tweens and people who haven't grown up. The sets are superb, there's a delightful sense of fantasy and magic and the acting by the human characters excellent (the ballroom scene in particular). I used the film to teach film techniques to 12 year-old and they loved it.

This DVD also features an excellent and highly-informative documentary on the making of the film, with interviews from all the main players mentioned above and behind the scenes access, to (for example) show how they did the "Helping Hands" scene, how Hoggle was controlled, and how the MS Escher staircase illusion was created. Treat yourself to this film; you will be pleasantly surprised at how good this is - rather better than "Dark Crystal" and far better than "Legend", an apparently similar film of the same time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2002
I am sure that all of thoes reading this review already know what the film is about. (After all it says it in all the other reveiws!). I have grown up watching it as a kid and I always imagined myself as the character Sarah, who goes on the most magical adventure in the world.
But as I have grown up with it, I have noticed new and more wonderful things, more detail to do with the puppets and new debates to have with my friends. (I still can't work out how that whole chosing which door to go through when one is lying thing works).
The songs are timeless and you never forget them and this story has a bit of everything, comedy, love, adventure, magic and one or two quite scar moments! And the puppets are out of this work. It's as if they are really real creatures.
This film can appeal to everyone and I suggest you give it agao because after you've seen it once you'll fall madly and deeply in love with it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2013
This will likely be lost among the plethora of 5 star reviews this film has already quite rightly received but I thought I'd thriw my two cents in anyway.

So for those who haven't seen this film the basic plot is somewhat similar to Alice in Wonderland, with a girl in a perfectly ordinary life being transported into a magical, mystical world and trying her best to find her way. The main character, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) begins the film in the "real world", babysitting her bay brother. However she isn't best pleased about it, concocting a story about a goblin king who falls in love with a girl and takes her baby brother away from her to make her happy. Unbeknownst to her such a character does exist- Jareth (David Bowie) hears her request and the story begins from here.

There's really not much to dislike about this film. People who thoroughly dislike cheesiness in films may take issue with this film however that is really to be expected in a film that's over 25 years old and stars David Bowie. However for everyone else I think the word that best describes this film is charming. Everything from the characters to the songs to the puppets (from the Jim Henson studio no less) just oozes charm and lovability. As I said the story is very similar to 'Alice' however, particularly at a young age, it feels far more dramatic and tense. The characters are all unique, with their own personalities and mannerisms (despite the vast majority being puppets), and great voice acting where it is used. Really the whole setting is just excellent with the majority of the film taking place in the labyrinth itself but still with enough variations from scene to scene to keep it feeling fresh and interesting. And then of course there are the songs. Yes they're a little cheesy but no less catchy and memorable, no doubt you'll be singing along with by the second or third watch (because you'll absoulely be watching and rewqtching this film time and time again). Overall the film is absoultely five stars. It's no cinematic artistic masterpiece but it is excellent fun, particularly recommended as a family film for a rainy day.

Now the blu ray transfer. Again I'd say this is very well done, with crystal clear picture making the film look sharper then ever. Even better it hasn't been fiddled with to the point that there are changes in colours or so much smoothing that the film looks like it was filmed through a greasy lens. I'm afraid I can't comment on the sound particularly as all I have is the speakers in my television and to be honest it sounds basically the same as the dvd. However this transfer would definitely be 4 and a half stars. There's still some grain in places but really this is very minor and just a sign of the film's age.

Basically if you're looking for a good family film abosultely get this (or even if you're just looking for a good laugh)- you won't regret it. Even better if you have a blu ray player then get the blu ray, the transfer's excellent and shows a real improvement from the original picture.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Labyrinth, starring a young Jennifer Connolly and the amazing David Bowie, is a must see for any fantasy enthusiastists. Thw story follows Sarah (Connelly) as a bored teenager forced to stay in and babysit on a Saturday night. Fed up with her baby brother, she summons up the Goblin King to come and take him away. When she realises she has actually summoned him, she must fight against the clock to steal him back from the Goblin King, Jareth (Bowie), facing a long labyrinth and many mystical creatures along the way. I first saw the film for the first time in primary 7, and only just rediscovered it last year when i received a copy of the DVD for a birthday present. It is the most amazing film, with all the vital elemtns: good, well rounded main characters, a brilliant soundtrack, moments of light comedy, scarty bits and a happy ending! Where would we be without this film to cheer us up on a rainy day? Truly a must-see for children and adults of all ages. Buy it today!
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