Though Willow was one of director Ron Howard's few box-office disappointments, it definitely deserves a second look. At once an epic celebration and a gentle spoof of the sword-and-sorcery genre, the film concerns the efforts by little person Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) to protect a sacred infant from the machinations of a wicked queen (Jean Marsh). One source book has assessed the picture as a combination of The Ten Commandments and Snow White. This is true enough, except that neither one of those properties offered such offbeat casting choices as Billy Barty and Jean Marsh. Executive producer George Lucas has (through the conduit of screenwriter Bob Dolman) added elements of his own Star Wars saga to the stew. The results are generally satisfactory, though the film is sometimes weighed down by too much plot, and the action sequences may not be suitable for very young children.
Henry Hill is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners' success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?
Director Terry Gilliam adroitly applies his Monty Python sensibilities upon the "career" of famed German prevaricator Baron von Munchausen. Played herein by John Neville, the baron is seen quelling a war that he himself started, flying into the stratosphere on the back of a cannonball, ballooning to the moon, exploring the innards of a volcano, being swallowed by a whale….In short, all of Munchausen's fabulous lies are here presented as "truth," played out in full view of nonplussed witnesses Eric Idle, Charles McKeown, Jack Purvis, and Sarah Polley. Fringe benefits include several loving medium shots of jaybird-naked Uma Thurman as Boticelli's Venus and an extended unbilled cameo by Robin Williams – that is, by the head of Robin Williams – as the King of the Moon.
At the time of its release, Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm. The homosexual Andrew has contracted AIDS but fears informing his firm about the disease. The firm's senior partner, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards), assigns Andrew a case involving their most important client. Andrew begins diligently working on the case, but soon the lesions associated with AIDS are visible on his face. Wheeler abruptly removes Andrew from the case and fires him from the firm. Andrew believes he has been fired because of his illness and plans to fight the firm in court. But because of the firm's reputation, no lawyer in Philadelphia will risk handling his case. In desperation, Andrew hires Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a black lawyer who advertises on television, mainly handling personal injury cases. Miller dislikes homosexuals but agrees to take the case for the money and exposure.