Tag Archives: Middle Ages

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

THE LEGEND HAD IT COMING… Six years after Spaceballs, Mel Brooks returned to his movie spoofs, this time attacking the Robin Hood legend, particularly as seen in the classic Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) is also an obvious target and Brooks finds plenty of material in other cultural phenomena; … Continue reading Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Robin Hood

THE LEGEND YOU KNOW. THE STORY YOU DON’T.  After serving in the Crusades, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) returns home only to find his estate seized by the same man who forced him to leave in the first place, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn). A retelling of the classic story that satisfied no one, … Continue reading Robin Hood

Outlaw / King

In 1304, the Scottish nobility, including Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), surrender to the English king Edward I (Stephen Dillane)… but circumstances soon force them to rise up once again. It is impossible to watch this movie and not make comparisons with Braveheart (1995), as Robert the Bruce was a character in that story and this … Continue reading Outlaw / King

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

SETS THE CINEMA BACK 900 YEARS! King Arthur (Graham Chapman) is riding all over medieval Britain, trying to find men who can join his Knights of the Round Table. The first Monty Python film, And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), was a series of skits. You could arguably say the same about this one, … Continue reading Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The Great Wall

1,700 YEARS TO BUILD. 5,500 MILES LONG. WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO KEEP OUT? During the 11th century, two Western mercenaries (Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal) are looking for the secret of gunpowder in China when they’re attacked by a monster; stumbling upon the Great Wall, they become involved in the battle against the taotie… Another … Continue reading The Great Wall

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

RAISED ON THE STREETS. BORN TO BE KING.  Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is transported from Londinium to the sword Excalibur along with other young men as part of King Vortigern’s (Jude Law) attempt to find and kill the rightful heir to the throne. Another fanciful attempt, this time in 3D, to give the King Arthur tale … Continue reading King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Virgin Spring: Faith and Fury

Perhaps the most controversial of Ingmar Bergman’s films, The Virgin Spring was banned in Fort Worth, Texas because of its infamous rape scene, a decision that was later upheld by the Texas Supreme Court. The film was hotly debated among academics in Sweden as well, some of them questioning its artistic merits. At the time, … Continue reading Virgin Spring: Faith and Fury

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

FOR THE GOOD OF ALL MEN, AND THE LOVE OF ONE WOMAN, HE FOUGHT TO UPHOLD JUSTICE BY BREAKING THE LAW. After escaping from a prison in Jerusalem, English nobleman Robin of Locksley (Kevin Costner) returns home to find the cruel Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) ruling over his land… One of the biggest box-office … Continue reading Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Braveheart: Not a History Lesson

THE COURAGE TO FACE FEAR.   As the story goes, American writer Randall Wallace made a trip to Scotland and came upon a statue at the entrance of Edinburgh Castle. Since the statue bore the name of Wallace, the writer was intrigued. This was not a relative, but William Wallace, the great Scottish war hero. … Continue reading Braveheart: Not a History Lesson

Valhalla Rising

In 1000 AD, a mysterious, one-eyed Norse warrior (Mads Mikkelsen) is liberated from captivity and joins forces with a group of Christian crusaders headed for Jerusalem. On paper this may look like your average Viking adventure, but it’s much more ambitious than that, with sparse dialogue, intense violence, stark symbolism and stylish cinematography that illustrates … Continue reading Valhalla Rising

Häxan: Come Fly With Me

Benjamin Christensen started out as an actor in his native Denmark and won attention for directing a spy melodrama, The Mysterious X (1914). His skills impressed the powers that be in his line of business and paved the way for Häxan, one of early Scandinavian cinema’s groundbreaking films. After obtaining funds from a Swedish production … Continue reading Häxan: Come Fly With Me

Seventh Seal: Silence is Divine

Cineastes everywhere may be in love with Ingmar Bergman’s films; he’s won all kinds of international awards, including the Golden Palm of Palms at Cannes and an honorary Oscar in 1971. However, making films in Sweden has fostered a need among some filmmakers to develop an opinion on this giant and many of his younger … Continue reading Seventh Seal: Silence is Divine