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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: The Prequel

  • May 14, 2010
Rating:
+3
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.  Originally titled, “Nottingham” (which I actually prefer), ROBIN HOOD tells us the tale of how this famous outlaw actually came to be that outlaw.  It’s Robin Hood, the prequel, which would explain why it often feels like you’re watching a film franchise being set up instead of the historical account Scott seems so determined to present.

With a reasonable amount of historical inaccuracies (aside from Robin Hood not having actually existed, that is), writer, Brian Helgeland (who has floored me once with the Oscar-winning, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL but who has mostly made me want to vomit with scripts like GREEN ZONE and MYSTIC RIVER) takes us back, way back, to when Robin Hood was still Robin Longstride.  Longstride used to fight alongside King Richard the Lionheart against Norman invaders at the turn of the 12th century.  That is, he did until the king was killed and he saw the opportunity to abandon the army for a life of freedom.  He took with him a few other men, all with appropriately varied degrees of merriness, and they set off to disappear.  They ended up becoming more visible than they ever desired when they came across a dying group of knights whose duty it was to return the fallen king’s crown to his queen.  This is where Longstride adopted the name most would know him as officially, Robert Loxley.

As transparent as Helgeland’s intentions to enlighten us about invesnted Robin Hood’s past are, Scott’s skillful direction is focused and fiercely barrels through the near two and half hour runtime.  He wants to plant Robin Hood’s roots firmly in the ground and proceed from there, taking an iconic figure and making him more human.  Albeit an odd choice to cast a 46-year-old actor to play a younger Robin Hood, Russell Crowe plays him with both restraint and confidence.  His Hood is one that fends for himself whenever possible but that respects the hardships of the greater population.  In that regard, he is often painted as somewhat saintly but that is in line with what we know of him anyway.  And with that classic Crowe ruggedness, this Hood is essentially a sexy bleeding heart.  It’s no wonder then that Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett) falls for him when they meet.  

Scott’s ROBIN HOOD is a lesson in history with a somewhat misplaced agenda to turn one of the most famous heroes of the people into Hollywood hero for the masses.  The talent caliber spread amongst the director and the actors easily boosts the film to a level of strength and stature fitting to the size of the subject.  The constant attempts to champion the origins of the lore undermine the pedigree little by little.  What we’re left with is a legend that feels more manufactured than legendary.

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May 15, 2010
Nice work, Joseph! I just saw this one too, and I gave it a 3.5 out of 5 because of the direction and the performances. I am almost sure that Scott may have a director's cut for this seeing as some scenes appear to be watered down. Have you seen the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven?
May 15, 2010
Yeah, better than I expected and thanks for the kudos. I've not even seen the theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven. It's not really my genre which I was I was dreading Robin Hood beforehand.
 
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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 . March 15, 2011
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, …
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
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … 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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