Not the Robin Hood you were thinking of

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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20 Responses

  1. Madrocketscientist says:

    How to Train Your Dragon is an excellent film (especially if you have kids, but lots of humor for the adults too). See it in 3D for an extra treat (they did a superb job with the 3D effects).Report

  2. North says:

    E.D. I need to strongly second Mad’s recommendation for How to Train your Dragon. It is, for me, the best 3d film I’ve ever seen. The titular dragon broke personal records for charm (the creator also created Disney’s Stitch). The plot was not particularly complicated but was sufficiently non-simplistic that I wasn’t bored. The voice acting was good. The soundtrack was -superb- and the ending, without spoiling anything, was less sacharine than you’d expect with a narrative symmetry that left me genuinely delighted. Seriously. See the movie. There is a reason it’s been doing so consistently well week after week. The word of mouth is strong and I’m doing my part.

    As for Ebert; so long as he’s not talking about video games the man is a genius. When he talks about video games he turns into a visionless cranky old goat.Report

  3. Tim Ellis says:

    I’ll second (third? fourth?) the votes for “How To Train Your Dragon.” An excellent movie, for adults and for kids. One of my favourites from recent years, though admittedly that isn’t worth much since I watch so few movies.Report

  4. Pat Cahalan says:

    How to Train Your Dragon is the first Dreamworks animated film that really matches Pixar’s benchmarks for overall quality. Well, except for Chicken Run, which I consider to not really be a SKG film anyway.

    Really was truly excellent. Both the three.five and five.five year old thoroughly enjoyed. The younger daughter wasn’t even freaked out by the scarier dragons 🙂Report

  5. Will says:

    Can I just mention that Ridley Scott has been making bad historical epics since Gladiator? I mean, Kingdom of Heaven was just awful. Russell Crowe has the gravitas to pull off these roles, but it’s painful to watch when he’s saddled with bad scripts (“Master and Commander” is one recent exception).

    Also, if Errol Flynn or Disney’s animation department isn’t involved, I’m just not interested in Robin Hood.Report

  6. Mike Schilling says:

    I love the Robin Hood legend for its banditry and its lack of grandiosity.

    And its humor. The Merry Men were called that for a reason: hanging out in the woods with your buddies, outsmarting dolts like the Sheriff of Nottingham, is a lot of fun.

    Actually, it’s pretty much the same reason that I enjoy The Hobbit more than The Lord of the Rings.Report

  7. Michael Drew says:

    I mean, Kingdom of Heaven was just awful.

    Oh man, was it ever. I’ll say I thought it provided, I think despite itself, something of an interesting reflection on the continuity of place as waves of history roll over it. But everything else, including its odd detachment from any question of what the Crusades were about or whether they were good or bad, was truly horrible. Also, the seemingly non-existent status Orlando Bloom’s career at present is entirely justified when seen in light of Kingdom of Heaven.Report

  8. Rincewind says:

    Personally, I think it would be nice if they got an actual Englishman to play Robin Hood.Report

  9. Ian M. says:

    Ebert is generally a fan of the big dumb movie, but he’s been more critical of violence over the last decade (although he did give the ridiculously violent Lethal Weapon 4 stars back in the day). But seeing a movie described as a “bloodbath” and sporting a PG-13 rating is … sad? Not really. It’s not even surprising. But it’s disappointing that if the word “fuck” is said or a woman’s breast appears it’s strictly for adults while nearly any amount of carnage is OK for unaccompanied tweens.Report

  10. I’m all for taking certain artistic liberties for the sake of a story, but I caught this line in Ebert’s review and just about lost it.

    “[Robin Hood is] a warrior just back from fighting in the Third Crusade. Now Richard is dead, and Robin is essentially an unemployed mercenary. This story is a prequel. It takes place entirely before Robin got to be a folk hero. The idea of taking from the rich and giving to the poor was still in storyboard form. Grieving Richard the Lionhearted and now facing the tyrant King John, Robin leads an uprising.”

    The Third Crusade ended in 1192; stories in which Robin of Locksley returns from fighting in the Crusade tend to have him returning about two years later — such was the case in Kevin Costner’s rendition. King Richard didn’t die until 1199, seven years after the Crusade’s end. It just seems to me to be insanely implausible that Richard managed to find himself imprisoned a time or two, to return briefly to England, and to regain Normandy before Robin returned to England.

    I was really excited to see this movie; maybe I’ll wait for d.v.d now.Report

  11. Louis B. says:

    Anyone else annoyed by the line taken by WaPo and the NYT that this version is inferior because Robin Hood is returning tax money rather than taking from the generalized “rich”? Almost makes me want to see it.Report