Here is a list of my favorite fantasy movies.
1. The Brotherhood of the Wolf - This is my all time favorite fantasy film. It's a great combination of historical events, legends, and fantasy. It takes the tale of the Beast of Gevaudan and spins it a bit adding some elements of fantasy while grounding it in the reality of the time period. This movie is shot so beautifully that you need to watch it twice just to take in all of the amazing scenery and awesome directorial skills. Yes, it's a foreign film, and that does not matter to me. I saw this one in the theater back in 2001, in French, and walked out being completely amazed. I try and watch it once a year, it's that good. If you have not seen it , I give it the highest recommendation. The action is amazing, the story is deep and fulfilling and it has a very scary monster.
2. Excalibur - was probably one of the first fantasy movies I saw as a young child. I was probably not even ten years old when I watched it with my friend Matt (the same friend who got me into D&D and you see playing Atari with me below) I have to imagine that every fantasy fan that has seen Excalibur is haunted by the imagery and music of this film like I am. I can hear the characters like Morgana spit out their lines, like her incantation, in my head. The music when the fog comes in, playing over and over, shiny blood soaked armor, knee deep mud, and the look of pain on the characters faces, it's all right there in my mind's eye whenever I call on it. This movie sparked a long, ten or more years, of research into the myth and legend of King Arthur. I read the Volgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur and Mists of Avalon. This movies is no doubt one of the reasons I write fantasy.
3.Night Watch - is more of a fantasy horror, but still one of my favorites in the genre. Another foreign film, maybe America does not know how to make a good fantasy flick? hmmm...anyway... Night Watch is the story of supernatural beings that have been battling throughout time. The Day Watch polices the good guys and the Night Watch polices the bad guys, both work so neither group crosses the line and breaks a truce. In these movies you have swords and sorcery, vampires, and shape-shifters; all sorts of fun. The film is so interesting and filmed so well by director Timur Bekmambetov, that you get sucked in. The opening sequence, shot in a medieval time period, is great, but the move takes place in current days. Its based on a series of books too!
I can list movies all day.
I loved Curse of the Golden Flower, 300 and Highlander. I even enjoyed Hawk the Slayer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080846/, which was funky-fun late 70's disco music fantasy... but hey... who am I to judge!
Kevin James Breaux