King Arthur
#1
King Arthur movie coming up this summer. I was quite excited when I first heard about it and saw the claim that it would be an attempt to tell the 'true story' behind the stories.

*sigh* I was greatly disappointed though, when I found out which 'true' story they were using. They are setting Arthur as a 2nd century Roman cavalry commander... while I think it's MUCH more likely he was a 5th century Romanized Briton (possibly from a Votadini clan who migrated from modern SE Scotland to modern N Wales). Further, they're including Guenivere and Lancelot, who were MUCH later additions to the story (and making G a scantily clad Pictish archer!).

I'm down about it already. I'd love to see a serious attempt at a historical King Arthur movie... on a grand scale. It seems like this one is more like a Gladiator... which wasn't a bad movie itself - it just wasn't King Arthur, like they want to say it is.
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#2
I don't think you can do a historical King Arthur, as we just don't have enough facts. Much like Robin Hood, most of thematerial is folklore, oral history and a few competeing counties in England trying to seel themselves as the site of the true hero, based on a shard of pottery dug up in the archeological remains of a dark ages outhouse.

Anything Hollywood does is going to irritate somebody, as they will have no choice but to fill gaps in the stroy.

It is going to be closer than the usual fourteenth century Arthur that the movies usually have galloping about in Maximillian plate armor and espousing the code of chivalry and the rest of the Mallory crap.

At least this Arthur is going to be set in the correct Millenium, unlike every movie from Sword in the Stone to Excalibur to the appalling First Knight.

I just figure that three hundred years early is better than nine hundred years late, as far as costume and culture is concerned.

And if they want to cast Kiera Knightly a la Bodicea to play Guenivere, how is that any worse than casting any other actress to play a High Middle Ages lady in waiting type. Hollywood is going to continue to cast leading ladies who are attractive, so I don't see how we can blame her for having a hot body. As a stocky five foot two guy with a broken nose, I can assure you that Arthur isn't going to look anything like me.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#3
Good points Mike. Maybe one thing that bugs me though is all the stuff about "the TRUE story behind the legend" or whatever. *sigh*

I'm just waiting for someone to do one MY way! :tongue:
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#4
Bruckheimer is making this movie so it doesn't suprise me a bit that its more of a popcorn flick than a real attempt to portray the king the Arthur legend is based on.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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#5
Quote:Originally posted by Valandil
They are setting Arthur as a 2nd century Roman cavalry commander...


That what I thought. I don't know much about the details of Arthurian legend, but I recognized the Roman helmet he was wearing. I didn't think he had anything to do with Romans, so I was confused.


Quote:Originally posted by Athena
I'm a bit turned off that once again they have a big boobed small waisted woman play the leading lady. Suprise suprise, it's Kiera Knightley

I agree. Just from watching the previews, the whole thing feels out of whack. I know that may sound silly, but it doesn't grab me at all. Again, don't know about the legend, but Clive Owen is 40-something, and Kiera Knightly is like 20. Seems like they could have found someone that would have been better for the role. I can't help but wonder if Bruckheimer pushed to have her in the film, hoping he'd strike gold again based on her fame from Pirates.
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#6
You people can't actually believe you will see a Bruckheimer movie that portrays King Arthur as the legends say do you ? First of all its a legend with so many holes you can write anything to fill it up. If you go to the movies to see this flick don't expect it to be "historically accurate". Isn't most of this King Arthur story just a myth anyway ?
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#7
In the 1970s the BBC made a series for children called Arthur of the Britons. It was set in the correct time period, just after the Romans had left Britain and the Saxons were moving in.
At that time, the British still thought of themselves as civilised and Roman, even though a lot of the infrastructure of the Empire had broken down - wine amphorae have been found at Tintagel, for instance, so the wine trade was still carrying on at least intermittantly.
Arthur in the poetry of the time that survives was a cavalry commander, and would have worn something similar to Roman armour, and Guinevere is there right at the beginning, as Gwenhyvar, or some similar spelling, though Lancelot is a late addition. One of the earliest "knights" that go through to Malory is Kai , and there's a Welsh legend that has him and Arthur stealing a herd of pigs together!
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."
Dr Who, The Face of Evil.
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#8
Well, I'm quite looking forward to it! Maybe it will just be one of those movies, that while not historically correct, is just plain good ole fun!
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#9
I'm in accord with Boomstick...I'll usually see ANYTHING of that genre but it's just not doing anything for me.Perhaps it's just that the trailers are not edited properly. I've seen several movies that were nothing like their respective trailers. Oh oh, have I just talked myself into wanting to see it now? Smile
" It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." - Douglas Adams
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#10
Im looking forward to it, actually. I dont really know all the ins and outs of the legend. But it looks like a good popcorn flick.

And Kiera Knightley....yum. Smile
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#11
All this speak of inaccurate periods makes me think of reiterpriting myths into new areas and Periods. Being the big Japan fan that I am I'm quite partial to Feudal Japanese interpritations of things. Though what do you think?
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#12
From what is show to us in the trailer, and yes I am considering the fact that scenes in trailers are out of context let alone out of order, but still did it strike anyone else that it seemed that the plot of this movie was that Arthur was going to fight Merlin or something? This it seems to me a deviation from classical sterotype that Merlin was a good guy that was Arthur's 'vizier'-type figure. It also briefly shows Merlin with an army, of course that could be Arthur's army, or it could be Merlin's own army that he's going to use to attack Arthur. It could be Mordred, but I don't think there's any official mention of him in the trailers, or at least the one I seen.
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#13
Whether we need it or not, we've got it now. Clive Owen is Artorius, or Arthur, the half-Roman, half-British commander of a band of rugged warriors who have been pressed into the Roman service. (They're part of a tribe of warriors called the Sarmatians, who hail from part of what's now Russia; in the movie there are seven of them, although 101 would have had a better ring to it.) Rome catches wind that the Saxons are planning to invade Britain from the north; Arthur gets the order to drive them back. Meanwhile, the forests of Britain teem with mysterious tree people, native folk who paint fierce lines on their faces and seem grumpy that either Romans or Saxons should have the nerve to interrupt teatime. These are the Woads (perhaps better known, in real life, as the Picts). Saxons, Woads, Romans: Nobody manages to get along. Only Arthur, having studied the words of the heretical theologian Pelagius, has a larger vision: "His teachings on equality and free will have been a great influence," he intones knowledgeably.
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#14
Ok, I haven't seen the movie, so I won't praise or attack it yet.

But, as I harbor a deep hatred of Mallory that only a History degree can bring, I like the fact that this movie is set in the right era (the confused, tribal and ethnic struggle to fill the power vacuum left by the retreating Romans) and has more or less Dark Ages technology instead of freaking plate armor, chivalry, and 14th century ideals.

Most previous Arthur stories and films have followed the Mallory formula of 14th century ideals and technology, sanitized, idealized and attributed to a 5th century more or less legendary chieftain. That ticks me off. It would be like having Washington rout the British at Yorktown using B-52 bombers and M1 tanks, then abolishing slavery and declaring the inherent right of female suffrage.

Guiniverre's role in this is very non-traditional, but seems a bit more in line with a rebel Celtic prinicess than the boring, unfaithful damsel in distress she usually is in the films. Boudicea was a qeen of an ancient tribe of Britons who led men in battle against the Romans, why not use that as an excuse to have Kiera Knightly clad mostly in blue dye wielding a spear?

I won't say we need to give Bruckheimer an honorary history degree, but let's all realize that the Arthur stroy is still one mostly of speculation on old folktales of a 5th century leader of uncertain orign, and bears as little resemblance to the movie "Excalibur" as to this latest film.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#15
Quote:Originally posted by DeamondBleed
All this speak of inaccurate periods makes me think of reiterpriting myths into new areas and Periods. Being the big Japan fan that I am I'm quite partial to Feudal Japanese interpritations of things. Though what do you think?


Well, Kurosawa's Ran is an interpretation of Shakespear's King Lear.

But why not a Japanese story about Japanese legends? I'd sooner see a movie about a Japanese fuedal leader or hero, say Musashi or Nobunaga than a version of King Arthur with Samurai swords.

Jet Li has been in a number of pseudo historical/mythical Chinese films, and these have been well received by worldwide audiences. Why not a Japanese film?
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#16
Quote:Originally posted by Mike of Quantum Muse
Jet Li has been in a number of pseudo historical/mythical Chinese films, and these have been well received by worldwide audiences. Why not a Japanese film?


There actually are a few of these already out. Shogun is the most obvious one, but there's another movie about two of Japan's major warlords, who had divided the country through their individual conquests, and their meeting in battle. I can't for the life of me remember the title of the movie. I must have seen it fifteen or twenty years ago, and found it to be most impressive. Of course, there are the different versions of the 49 Ronin, two of which stand out in stark counterpoint to each other. That's definately a legendary story from Japan. There is also the Samurai series starring (who else) Toshiro Mifune as the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

So there are films out there that tell the Japanese stories of legends. But I'm not certain of anything that delves into their mythos in the same fashion.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#17
BTW - I think they are setting this in the 5th century - at least making a half-hearted attempt to use the "Roman-trained cavalry-as-knights vs. invading Saxons" idea as the basis for the story, adding into it "what if Guinevere was Boudicca, by way of Braveheart and Buffy?" :tongue:
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#18
Quote:Originally posted by Athena
I'm a bit turned off that once again they have a big boobed small waisted woman play the leading lady. Suprise suprise, it's Kiera Knightley *sighs*


I'm a bit turned off that, once again, they have brandished about a not only unfair, but completlely baseless stereotype. The small waist you mention was achieved through months of training specifically for the movie. And the big boobs you mention (to the chagrin of more than a few) exist only in your imagination.
Keira Knightley [flame-bait edited - RR] has done nothing to earn being defamed as a miss boobs& used to sell a movie that you seem so keen on doing. If you would rather cast a 50 year-old overweight woman in the role of a Celtic warrioress, then whatever tickles your fancy.
Life sucks. Unless bad things happen, you can't be sure you're actually alive.
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#19
Quote:Originally posted by Camech
I'm a bit turned off that, once again, they have brandished about a not only unfair, but completlely baseless stereotype. The small waist you mention was achieved through months of training specifically for the movie. And the big boobs you mention (to the chagrin of more than a few) exist only in your imagination.


I've got to agree. Anyone who's seen Bend it Like Beckham knows that Ms. Knightley is hardly what anyone would call "well endowed". I've yet to see a trailer for King Arthur that focused on her chest in any fashion.

But I may have missed one. If so, could someone forward me the link? :drool:
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#20
Here's my official review (spoiler free).

I have been looking forward to this movie for six months or more, and my one fear is that it would suck. I'm happy to say that I needn't have been concerned. The movie was an engaging medieval tale, reminiscent of Troy in some respects. What I believe was a mistake is how they marketed it "the true story behind the legend". That isn't a claim that can really be justified. They would have been better off calling it truish.

Given my familiarity and interest in the legend, it was hard at first to adapt to this new interpretation. However, I did not let that affect my enjoyment of the movie. I was satisfied with the writing. I particularly enjoy the humour (largely in the bantering of the knights) which is displayed early on, yet lacking in the latter half of the movie (given that things take a more serious turn at this point). The characters were well-introduced, and there was a grace in Arthur and Guenivere's *meeting* (more on this subject later).

The entire cast was excellent. Clive Owen was able to well portray Arthur in his anger and frustration, as well as the times of his quiet contemplation (rhyming unintentional). Keira Knightley showed off her talents for acting once again, and I can a long career ahead of her. The knights in particular did a wonderful job in their roles. Galahad's narration was well-done (again reminiscent of Troy. Lancelot in particular was superb. I was unfamiliar with Ioan Gruffund before this, but I hope to see him again soon. He conveyed a lot with his eyes and face, and his subtlety was high-lighted throughout the film. I would say that his performance was the best of the cast.

As for complaints. My largest complaint by far is the romance between Arthur and Guenivere. Gwen and Lancelot had visible chemistry right from the beginning, but this was not evident with Arthur. The romance seemed forced, and only included because it was part of the story. Aside from that, the only disappointments that come to mind are that Merlin had so little screen-time, and that Keira Knightley didn't appear in half-naked Celtic garb near as much as I'd anticipated.

It fits the profile of an epic, in my opinion. The characters are compelling, and the entire two hours seems to go by in ten minutes. If The Lord of the Rings hasn't made you sick of sword fighting, then I can say that your evening won't be wasted.
Life sucks. Unless bad things happen, you can't be sure you're actually alive.
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