Monday, 20 September 2010

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up: Robin Hood

DVD release of the week has to be Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, despite being criticised for it's historical inaccuracies and Russell Crowe's wandering accent, this Extended Directors' Cut is surely the best two-hours of blockbusting fun you'll get on DVD this week.

The amount of derision that Robin Hood has received for daring not to be a historical documentary, about what is essentially a fairytale, has been really unfair. Quibbles about the chronology of the Magna Carta, or Eleanor of Aquitaine's role in the story are so far removed from film criticism as to be absurd. As for Crowe's accent, okay it can be disconcerting as a viewer, and there is definitely something a bit off about the mix of Barnsley/Brisbane/Ballymena, but does it really matter?

We're not talking about Robin Hood Prince of Thieves here, these are pretty marginal criticisms of what is really a decent attempt at a serious, gritty re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend. Robin is cast as freedom fighter, struggling for the rights of the medieval agrarian 'working' classes, while fending off a full scale French invasion.

The fight scenes are done with style and Robin's bow skills look to be a match for Legolas' in Lord of the Rings. I don't know what it is, but there's something hugely cinematic and satisfying about following an arrow in flight towards it's deadly destination.

If you want to make a killer double bill of historical epics, you need Arn: Knight Templar as well, perhaps a more truthful recreation of the middle ages, and definitely worth a look if you liked Robin Hood, or if you didn't like it because of the historical inaccuracies.

Elsewhere in film releases, there's Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam for the kids (teenagers? tweenagers?), or Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Laughlin in this week's middle of the road rom-com The Back-Up Plan. Ugh, will they ever stop making these things?

Talking of which, in TV there's yet another series of The Simpsons released this week, Season 13, which to be fair was before they completely lost the plot (we're now on Season 21, and there's little sign of a let up yet).

If that's not your thing, there's The Good Wife: Season 1 an interesting take on the legal drama, starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, who after being humiliated by her politician husband Chris Noth's public indiscretions, returns to her previous career as a defence attorney. Well written, and well acted, it's a pleasure to watch such a serious, grown up television programme.

No comments:

Post a Comment