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Robin Hood (Single-Disc Unrated Director's Cut)

Action & Adventure movie directed by Ridley Scott

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Robin Hood -- A hit among thieves

  • Mar 15, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+4
I have always loved the story of Robin Hood.  As a little kid Disney's Robin Hood was one of my favorite movies, and since then, it has been added to my wide array of films that have become staples in my film collection.  Robin Hood is one of those characters that seem to captivate young children’s interest and continues to hang on  through adulthood., with classics like the 1938 Errol Flynn The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 1991 Kevin Costner Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves, Mel Brooks' hilarious 1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Sean Connery's 1976 Robin and Marian, as well as many, many other films based around the heroic outlaw of English folklore and his merry band of men.  Robin is a character, who's heart and soul, and passion for the people has inspired generations, so much so, that even today it’s just as significant as an inspiration as it was when the name first appeared in literature, as early as the 13th century.  It is a great task that director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe took on, and I'm so happy to report that Robin Hood is a film that stands strong and holds true to the spirit of those films that came before it. 
This Robin Hood tells a story from a different perspective than these earlier films.  It presents Robin Hood in a darker, smellier and probably one of the most realistic characterization to life styles for his day.  I found myself cringing as I watched the battle scenes play out, unable to get the pictures of bodies, blood, mud, and rats out of my mind.  Even now, I can distinctively recall specific scenes and it sends chills through my body.  But that is not what makes this film so appealing.  It is not the Braveheart style battles, and/or the cinematic choices that draw you into the story, or even the history that may have occurred or may be just a myth.  It is the collaboration of amazing talent in all the aspects of this film that bring to life a story that was meant to be told.

I'm always impressed with the worlds that director Ridley Scott creates.  They are so full of life that it’s impossible not to be pulled right into the story.  I loved running through the woods of Sherwood Forest with Robin and his men, and running right to the edge of the cliffs just before battle, the brutality of the warriors with their weapons and skills of archery, and of course the first real implication as to the weight of the armor worn by these historic warriors.  This Robin Hood seemed so real that I felt all I needed to do was to reach out and touch him.  The men were "real men" and the women showed a strength that is rarely seen outside of ‘The Tudors’.  It was the perfect cast of actors to pull off the personalities portrayed in characters that make up this story of Robin Hood.

Eleanor of Aquitaine who is played by Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain) is the perfect 15th century queen, and even though she is not in power during the time portrayed, she is still queen and still voices opinions that her stubborn son needs to hear.  Oscar Isaac (The Nativity Story) plays Prince John and is the perfect mix of greed, immaturity, and utter foolishness that keeps true to previous portrayals.  Matthew Macfadyen (Grindhouse) plays the Sheriff of Nottingham, and although I would have loved to seen a little more of him, he was the perfect Sheriff.  The normally, deliciously evil Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans and 30 Day of Night) played King Richard The Lionheart, and although his appearance is a little less than desirable in comparison to previous roles, he is a great king.  Mark Strong (Kick-Ass and Sherlock Holmes) steals the show in his role as Godfrey.  William Hurt (Into the Wild) gives a strong performance as William Marshall, and of course the brilliantly funny Mark Addy (A Knights Tale and The Full Monty) gives you a witty Friar Tuck who could have been a little more of a drunkard, but I guess we still haven't gotten far enough into the story to see that side of him.  But the entire cast is not yet complete. 

For me, Robin Hood was not only a great film full of A-list actors and a set of images given to us through the wildly vivid imagination of one of my favorite directors, but it was a film that felt like I was coming home to a group of friends.  I know that sounds strange, but as I sat and watched the film I could not believe how many actors that I respect complemented this cast, let alone, have worked together on several previous films and have produced a chemistry that works.  It felt like I was watching a group of great friends just hanging out and doing their thing.  Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings and Elizabeth) breathed new life into the role of Maide Marian.  She was not just the woman that Robin loves, but she was a strong warrior just like the men of the hood.  I never considered that for the character before, at least not to the degree that the talented Cate Blanchett takes the role.  I could not get enough of it.  But truly it was Robin that sold the film for me.  I may not be the biggest Russell Crowe (Gladiator) fan, but this role was meant for him to play.  The story of how Robin of the Hood came to be, an untold story, and the courtship of Marian was all I needed.  Bring in Little John who is played by Kevin Durand (Lost, Legion and Mystery, Alaska) and William Scarlet played by Scott Grimes ("ER" and Mystery, Alaska) you have the perfect match for the group of outlaws that gave Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham a run for their money.  I loved watching Robin, Will and Little John up on the screen together again.  They were the perfect match for the merry men of Nottingham. 

Robin Hood is a brilliant mix of history, folklore, and movie magic.  So long as you go into the screening keeping an open mind and not expecting the same old story, I guarantee that you will enjoy this film.  From the opening sequence through to the final scenes I was on the edge of my seat, running along side Robin and his men, and once the credits started rolling all I wanted was more.  There is so much story left to be told that I hope Ridley Scott might consider taking on the next chapter and sharing with us his amazing visions on the story of Robin Hood.  I give this film a 4.5 out of 5.  The only thing I wanted was for a slightly shorter, stockier man (or for Russell Crowe to have kept a little of his weight) as I remember being told that the real Robin Hood was a Scandinavian man about 4'10" and Little John, being a not so little, was a man of around 7'4".  But all in all I loved the film and would highly recommend checking it out this weekend.  Another film of Robin Hood that follows some of this same grittiness, of the character that you might want to view as a follow-up to this film is the Sean Connery Robin Hood and Maide Marian which is Robin Hood in his twilight years.

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More Robin Hood reviews
review by . May 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars:
   I have to admit that I am a fan of Ridley Scott. So when the multi-award winning director of films such as “Alien”, the underrated “Kingdom of Heaven” (the director’s cut is one of the best films I’ve ever seen), and the harrowing war epic “Black Hawk Down” was directing a film based on the legend of “Robin Hood”; of course I was excited. This film is a reunion of sorts for Scott and award-winning actor Russell Crowe after …
review by . November 21, 2010
Ridley Scott's 'Robin Hood' is an action-filled masterpiece, but it's an achievement lacking in the heart of "merry men,' and the spirit of Robin Hood. Every shot is expertly framed, a stunning sight kept up for over two hours. The fight and chase scenes are nearly flawlessly shot and choreographed, but the story gets lost in too much action without the color and fervor of characterization to back it up. Cate Blanchett and Max Von Sydow's sunset performance frame what is lacking: Mostly the film …
review by . May 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Origin stories seem to have been de rigeur in Hollywood in recent years. Putting a fresh spin on an old story is a great way to re-invigorate a franchise and breathe new life into well known characters. So, following movies like Batman Begins, Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes, we now have a new take on Robin Hood, and there's no sign of a mullet or Bryan Adams this time.      Many early reports about this film described it as being "Gladiator with a bow and arrow". That …
review by . July 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I Need a Hero
Had there never been a Braveheart or Gladiator, Robin Hood probably would have been a much better film. Unfortunately for the producers -- and the viewers -- this film tried to live up to its similar epics but fell short.      An old story with a new twist, a prequel of sorts, Robin Hood (portrayed by Russell Crowe) attempts to tell how the legend began. Crowe's character was similar to his role in Gladiator -- a war hero who was betrayed by his country's leaders …
review by . June 02, 2011
This film adds some truth to the ancient legend and turns Robin into a hood (crook)
Rather than basing this version of Robin Hood on any of the ancient legends about this fictional character, the film makers of this excellent, well acted, and dramatic movie base their totally different version in small part upon actual history. Robin is not the fine, nice, gentleman portrayed in the other films, but a low class expert archer who is a crook with a conscious, who accompanies King Richard on his crusade to Palestine and participates somewhat reluctantly in the king's robberies …
review by . May 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Robin Hood: The Prequel
ROBIN HOOD   Written by Brian Helgeland Directed by Ridley Scott Starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Max Von Sydow and William Hurt      Godfrey (on Nottingham): I’ll make this place famous.    I’ve seen a number of Robin Hood movies.  Who hasn’t?  I haven’t seen them all and I’m sure some people out there have, but even those people haven’t seen Robin Hood in Ridley Scott’s bluish hue before. …
Quick Tip by . November 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
I can't say that I was at all impressed by this film. I've enjoyed a number of Ridley Scott's films in the past, but his current phase of making epic historical action films isn't that appealing. Part of the issue I have here is with the cast. Though all of the actors in the major roles are talented, they all feel terribly miscast. In addition, the film's attempts to take current sociopolitical issues and transplant them into Medieval times creates numerous contradictions and …
review by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Everyone knows the traditional story of Robin Hood. Take from the rich and give to the poor, but the movie done by Ridley Scott starring Russell Crowe is a completely different take on this old English legend. Not only are Scott and Crowe and awesome combination of film making, but I really liked the idea that they gave Robin Hood a whole new spin which was surprising because when I first heard that they were doing another Robin Hood movie, one would think that it has just been way over done. It …
review by . May 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Rise of a legend....
For the last 588 years, a legendary story has been passed from generation to generation about a man, a man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor wit not thought to his own actions. This man  is the most legendary of all folklore heroes in fact the most legendary of all heroes he is  the man who inspire  comic book  like Batman, The Spirit  and most notable of them all   The Green Arrow. This man is called Robin Hood   a fabled hero, a legendary …
review by . September 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      Robin Hood is the pre-story...the story of Robin Hood's journey to his calling.      Fans of epic, war or love stories should end up liking the introductory Robin Hood (and his merry men) as much as I did, though. And I would like to see a sequel with the telling of the classic Robin Hood story and there was a nice set up for that to happen.      Marion and Robin's storyline is sweet and should satisfy women who detest "guy" …
About the reviewer
Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #110
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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Cast aside all notions of men in tights: Ridley Scott'sRobin Hoodis decidedly earthier and more grown-up than most romps through Sherwood Forest. The presence of the over-40 Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett cinches the deal, lending a dose of worldliness to a project that means to be about the origins of the famous character, who in this incarnation was evidently a late bloomer. Robin Longstride (that's his name before he started wearing a hood) is just returned from a 10-year jaunt in the Crusades when he loses his king (Danny Huston as Richard the Lionheart) and his job. Back in England, Robin folds himself neatly into a Nottingham family, where a grieving widow named Marion (Blanchett) and her father-in-law (Max von Sydow) hardly care that he doesn't much resemble their own departed warrior. But the merry men and their famous sideline will have to wait: except for one bit of robbing from the rich (i.e., the greedy government of King John) and giving to the poor, this movie is more concerned with creating a portrait of the royal intrigue that went into creating Robin Hood than in detailing the high jinks of the Nottingham outlaws. And that's not a bad thing, because althoughRobin Hoodlacks the mechanical action beats that distinguish most films of its scale, it creates an engrossing story line around its political chess playing (outlined by screenwriter Brian Helgeland and apparently a few others). Crowe is in reliable crusty-tender form and Blanchett ...
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Details

Director: Ridley Scott
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
Runtime: 156 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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