Flash Movie Review: Robin Hood
I do not want to be biased here; but when I hear the words Robin Hood, I think of Errol Flynn. I cannot think of anyone else playing this role besides him. When I received this DVD I assumed the story would have a different spin on it, due to the director being Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Black Hawk Down). More than a spin, the movie was a prequel to the Robin Hood story most of us have seen before. Robin Longstride, played by Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator), was an archer in King Richard’s army. Upon Richard’s death, Robin returned to England, to bring the sword of deceased Sir Robert Loxley, played by Douglas Hodge (Vanity Fair, Mansfield Park), to his father Sir Walter Loxley, played by Max von Sydow (The Exorcist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). Hearing the news of his son’s death, Sir Walter Loxley convinced Robin to become his son, which would protect his land holdings. In doing so, Robin had to step in and become the husband to the widow Marion Loxley, played by Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Notes on a Scandal). With the English monarchy being threatened by the French, Robin would have to do battle with Sir Robert Loxley’s killer. Are you confused yet? It took me a while to get a grasp of what was taking place in this odd movie. I found Russell Crowe a poor choice; he brought no emotion to the role. Cate, on the other hand, was her usual stellar self. The story made no sense. An entire town was to believe Robin was Sir Robert Loxley? Also, having a battle scene that looked like it was copied from Private Ryan was weird. Instead of robbing from other movies, why couldn’t they make a decent story for us poor viewers? Violent and bloody scenes.
2 1/4 stars — DVD
Flash Movie Review: Coriolanus
The words spoken came from the 1600’s, but the story was timeless. For Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter franchise, The Reader) not only did he portray Caius Martius Coriolanus in this dramatic film; he was also the director. For a first effort Ralph did a beautiful job directing; having a good eye for lining up each scene for maximum visual effect and pacing. Set in modern Rome, Coriolanus was a war hero who protected the city from the forces led by Tullus Aufidus, played by Gerald Butler (P.S. I Love You, The Bounty Hunter). With battle scars from the bloody fighting, the world of politics became Coriolanus’ next battleground. There was enough backstabbing, forged alliances and manipulation that one could easily make comparisons to present governmental systems. As the political tide turned against Coriolanus, he joined forces with his archenemy to overthrow the country. Vanessa Redgrave (Anonymous, Atonement) who played Coriolanus’ mother Volumnia was outstanding as the matriarch of the family. I had a hard time listening to Shakespeare’s words being spoken in a modern setting. My brother found it easier to turn the subtitles on the DVD. There were bloody violent scenes in this dynamic version of a classic story.
3 stars — DVD