KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD – REVIEW

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Honsou
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 126mins
Cert: 12A

Aaaand, we’re back!

This time with the legendary/fantasy epic-cum-East End Gangster film; that is Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword!

As the title suggests, this take on the King Arthur legend; focuses on the legendary sword Excalibur and the power which it possesses. In this rendering; the powers of Excalibur have been linked to the blood line of Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana); father to Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and brother to the jealous and vengeful Vortigern (Jude Law).

Now, think of the movie baby of Troy, Green Street and The Lion King and you can get an idea of the feel of this film as well as see the initial story; jealous uncle takes out the noble King and sets his sights on the rightful heir to the throne. However, that my friend; is where the cliches end and where the real fun begins.

Ritchie has managed to take the Arthurian legend and adapt it in a way that it is both modern ridiculously entertaining. Arthur for example, lives in Londinium a few days ride from Camelot which gives the whole thing a time frame that was never really established before. Magic is explained as a contained entity that is manifested through powerful individuals called Mages and while the infamous Merlin is mentioned; he plays no major part. Instead, Ritchie has focused on the sword’s power as well as the devil-may-care but good natured soul of Arthur, which Hunnam executes perfectly.

While Arthur, in the beginning has no understanding of who and what he is; by the time he comes into his own and accepts the power of the sword (this scene is probably the best part!); he does so in a way that is believable and current. The character that was built up prior to his ascension; is maintained throughout the film and you are able to sympathise with his reluctance as well as rejoice in his acceptance of his birthright.

The only let down of the film is probably the heavy use of SFX in a few of the fight scenes. While I realise that these were used to highlight the magnitude of the sword’s powers; the final battle for example goes very quickly and is hard to follow. While SFX are used well in some parts; at one point it looked weird like when Neo had to fight all the Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded and his body went all funny looking! Other than that, everything else works amazingly well.

While I’m not a huge fan of Jude Law, he plays a decent villain in this film. Quiet and refined though innately petty and cruel; he does very well. There is a scene in which there are some cleverly placed props and gestures that remind you of a certain German dictator. While creepy; so so good! The supporting cast of British talent including Aiden Gillen aka Peter Baelish from Game of Thrones; encompass the Kray era/Merry Men attitude to the film and make it an incredibly hilarious and entertaining watch. Arthur’s advisor and link to his royal lineage in Sir Bedevere (Djimon Honsou) provides copius amounts of banter that will have anyone giggling. The soundtrack is spectacular and the use of alternative camera angles and SFX takes you on an a exciting journey that has you hooked from the very beginning.

Lastly, if all the reasons above havent made you want to see it then the fact that David Beckham is in it should do the trick!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is out May 8th.

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WHAT TO WATCH?! – 18/7

A quick selection of what’s on tonight

FILM 4 @ 9pm

  • SEASON OF THE WITCH – Two disillusioned Crusaders return home to find their land overrun by Black Death. They are ordered to transport a suspected witch to a monastery to stand trial for causing the plague. Along the way they discover the true extent of her powers. Fantasy with Nicholas Cage and Ron Pearlman.

ITV4 @ 9pm

  • WATERWORLD – In the future, the world is flooded and web footed mutant Kevin Costner must help a woman and an orphaned girl to find a fabled haven of dry land. This however brings on pirates and such the like who want the land for themselves. Sci-fi adventure with Kevin Costner and Dennis Hopper that despite being a box office bomb was actually quite good.

SKY SELECT @ 11:55pm

  • BOYZ IN THE HOOD – One that will never get old in my books! Cuba Gooding Jr, Ice Cube, Nia Long and Laurence Fishburne all in early roles about growing up in a dangerous neighbourhood and getting out alive. Intense drama from John Singleton

WHAT TO WATCH?! – 16/7

A quick selection of what’s on tonight for your viewing pleasure 🙂

SKY SHOWCASE @ 8pm

  • DARK SHADOWS – Once again Johnny Depp teams up with the dark duo that is Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter and a whole heap of make up to bring this fantasy vampire tale to life. Wickedly funny as Johnny never fails to deliver. Not his best work but not his worst either. Watch it if you wanna have some fun!

SKY ACTION AND ADVENTURE @ 9pm

  • THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is my favourite Spider-Man if im truly honest. Something about this guy made this particular Peter Parker outing something to remember. Not sure about Emma Stone but hey, we cant like everything!

ITV 4 @ 11pm

  • TRAINING DAY – Can i ever get bored of this film? No, and neither will you. Denzel Washington is amazing as ever with Ethan Hawke as the rookie cop he takes under his wing who realise the police force isnt all its cracked up to me. One of the greats me thinks

Courtesy of Sky Movies

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – VIDEO REVIEW!!

Okay!

So the name, its a lot. Never in your born days would you think that you would see Abraham Lincoln and Vampire in the same sentence but now, you have and in a weird and entertaining way; it actually works!

In a word, the film is clever. It brings historic fact and fuses it with horror fantasy to make a guilty movie pleasure. It is well paced and scripted well and doesn’t leave you with unanswered questions as so many recent movies have been prone to do. There are a few hiccups in the fact that, were sunglasses and sunblock invented in 1827? Other than those minor mishaps, what the film lacks in prop continuity it more than makes up for in special effects! The slow motion Matrix effects and stunts are very well choreographed making you look at Abraham Lincoln in a very different life! You’ll never look at an axe in the same way again, that’s for damn sure!

The blend of Abraham’s early life, hunter escapades and political journey towards becoming America’s 16th president is cleverly done and even incorporates the historically epic battle of Gettysburg into the vampire fantasy. Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is immortalised with the most famous lines and despite being British, will undoubtedly make you feel all patriotic inside. The issues of slavery that Abraham was so passionate about are addressed from the beginning of the film and despite his anger towards vampires because of the death of his mother; remains the driving force behind his determination, to emancipate the United States from their archaic thinking and save them from their own damnation.

The vampires in this film are another issue all together. Not your fairy land Twilight type vampires, but then not your overly proper though centuries undead Underworld type vampires. These creatures are straight up demons that are able to masquerade as every day townspeople then turn into some vicious super bad assess!

As always, it is not the best film ever made and isn’t going to go into the top 100 films of all time or anything but it definitely delivered what the title implied that it wouldn’t. I took a chance on this one, gambled and thankfully it paid off! 😀