Benedict Cumberbatch is the Master of the Mystic Arts in the Marvel Studios movie

‘Doctor Strange’ – Sorcerer Supreme on Netflix

Doctor Strange (2016), the Sorcerer Supreme of Marvel Comics, is the latest comic book hero to join Marvel’s cinematic universe and Benedict Cumberbatch (in his best impression of American arrogance) plays the broken neurosurgeon who dons the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto to bring magic to the MCU. He’s Stephen Strange, a […]

Judy Garland is Dorothy Gale in the beloved screen adaptation of Frank L. Baum's fantasy

‘The Wizard of Oz’ – Over the rainbow on Amazon Prime

When gingham-clad farm girl Dorothy Gale rode the tornado out of the somber, sepia-tinged black and white of her Kansas dustbowl farm and into the sparkling Technicolor fantasy land somewhere over the rainbow, she changed the lives of her audiences (both then and now) as assuredly as she changed her own. The Wizard of Oz […]

Nigel Terry is King Arthur and Cherie Lunghi his Guinevere in John Boorman's 'Excalibur.'

‘Excalibur’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The myth and legend of King Arthur has long been a favorite fascination of popular culture, the source of countless novels and movies and the inspiration for an iconic Broadway musical that became the nickname for John F. Kennedy’s too-short inspirational time as American President: “Camelot.” Forget the real-life history, the very mention of King […]

Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel star in Christophe Gans's lavish French version of the fairy tale.

A lavish French ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on Netflix and Blu-ray

Beauty and the Beast (France, 2014) – No, not the new Disney live-action musical but a lush French version of the classic fairy tale starring Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color) as Belle and Vincent Cassel as the hirsute Beast. Belle is the youngest and sunniest child of a prosperous merchant (André Dussollier) . […]

The animated adventure 'Kubo and the Two Strings' from Laika

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ – An animated Japanese odyssey on Netflix

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) – In the age of CGI and Pixar’s animation domination, the Oregon-based Laika is keeping the art of stop-motion animation alive in inventive, engaging, and engrossing features filled with textures and details you won’t find in even the greatest Pixar accomplishments. “If you must blink, do it now,” recommends […]

Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance star in Steven Spielberg's "The BFG."

‘The BFG’ – Spielberg meets Roald Dahl on Netflix

The BFG (2016) – Steven Spielberg directs this big screen version of Roald Dahl’s storybook fantasy, the tale of orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the dreamcatching giant she names BFG (Mark Rylance), short for Big Friendly Giant. And though big to Sophie—he can carry her in the palm of his hand and set her on […]

Jason Ralph and Stella Maeve star in the SyFy fantasy series from the Lev Grossman novel

‘The Magicians’ – ‘Harry Potter’ for the real world on Netflix

The first season of the SyFy series The Magicians is based on Lev Grossman’s creative melding of “Harry Potter” and the “Chronicles of Narnia” books with a real-world setting where troubled, anxious, and sometimes petty young adults discover that magic exists and they have the potential to master it. SyFy turned the popular book series […]