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I'm posting two days in a row!  That doesn't happen very often anymore. I wonder if I can make it three in a row tomorrow.  I went to the movies today for the first time in about three months. I refuse to discuss the blurry screen during the trailers and the fact that the house lights came up in the middle of the show and remained on for nearly 35 minutes (*grumbles*) and will instead focus on the movie itself.

Robin Hood (2010)
Directed by:  Ridley Scott
Screenplay by:  Brian Helgeland
Story by:  Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris
Starring:  Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Eileen Atkins, Danny Huston, Mark Addy, Matthew Macfayden, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Alan Doyle

Remember the classic tale of Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor? This is a prequel to that story. Robin Longstride (Crowe) is an archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart (Huston). Following Richard's death, Robin and his friends (Macfayden, Durand, Grimes, and Doyle) desert the crusade to return to England, but soon encounter Robert Loxley, a knight who was on his way to deliver the crown to Richard's brother John (Isaac) but was ambushed by Godfrey (Strong), a double agent of sorts who is secretly working with France on a plan to invade England.  The dying Robert asks Robin to return his sword to his father (von Sydow) in Nottingham.  After returning the crown to London, Robin goes to Nottingham where he meets Robert's widow, Lady Marion (Blanchett), and agrees to impersonate the dead knight in order to protect the Loxley land from being confiscated by the Crown.  When Godfrey begins invading and destroying towns under the pretense of collecting taxes, Robin and his band of merry men must fight to prevent a takeover by French forces.

I know some people have a problem with Ridley Scott, but you have to admit that the man knows how to make an action flick.  This movie is, in my opinion, not as good as Gladiator or Black Hawk Down, but it definitely lands toward the top of the Ridley Scott list.

I was pretty impressed, particularly with the cast and the costuming. Crowe always does a good action hero. I wish he would stop throwing temper tantrums during interviews, though, because that would make me like him a lot more.  I'm just glad that whenever someone mentions Robin Hood, I will no longer picture Kevin Costner and his pathetic English accent. 

Cate Blanchett was fantastic, fantastic, fantastic.  I adored this Marion because she was about as far from damsel in distress as you could get. She was totally kick-ass throughout, and incredibly snarky (to use a West Wing term). 

So, I guess Mark Strong is officially THE new British bad guy?  I'm cool with that; he's very good (and kind of sexy!).  I also have complimentary things to say about Oscar Isaac, who played King John. I'd never heard of him before, and now that I've looked him up on IMDb, I know why:  he's basically been in nothing...10 or 11 movies total.  I think he's definitely going places now though, because he played John with just the right amount of assholic-ness mixed with idiocy. He probably had one of the best characters for interesting/funny/memorable scenes.

It was nice to see the always adorable Scott Grimes (Hi, Dr. Morris! *waves*) as Will Scarlet and Mark Addy (yes, from that crappy TV series, "Still Standing") as Friar Tuck. Did you guys know Addy was British (He's from York)?  I did not know this until today. Mind blown.

For those of you who are wondering about the Sheriff of Nottingham (Macfayden), it's actually a very small part, unlike in most versions of Robin Hood. I freely admit to missing Alan Rickman's over-the-top Sheriff! If I could add anything to this movie to make it better, it would be a dose of Rickman.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
olsonm_raymond
Mar. 28th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Hi Pines! I finally saw Robin Hood. I found the movie uninvolving emotionally but interesting. Part of the problem was I spent the first half of the movie trying to figure out what any of this had to do with Robin Hood other than using some of the names. I finally figured out that this was a fictional english version of Braveheart with Robin playing the part of William Wallace. That realization made the movie much more enjoyable. I can't say I was a fan of the movie but I liked the story. I guess I would have prefered a little more with Robin and Marion, Cate and Russell played well together.
13_pines
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
Aw, sorry you didn't like it, Ray! I'm not really up on my Robin Hood lore, so the fact that it didn't follow the normal story didn't bother me that much. I looked at it as more of a prequel with a lot of creative license taken. ;-)

I agree that there wasn't enough Robin/Marion interaction. I felt like Marion could have been an extremely strong character if they had given Cate more to do.
olsonm_raymond
Mar. 29th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
I was more neutral on it then disliking it. It was far from Robin Hood lore and also from actual english history but that was ok. I only found it distracting for the first part of the movie. But after I understood what they were going for I thought it was a very interesting idea. The reason I wasn't higher on it was that I wanted more Robin and Marion. More Cate, less those other guys. ;-)
13_pines
Mar. 29th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
More Cate, less those other guys.

Exactly. I haven't watched the movie since I saw it in the theatre, but I remember there were some scenes where I was like, "Okay, move on. I don't care about this stuff."
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )