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Pair of early reviews come in on Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD!

Hey folks, Harry here - well these two reviews certainly bring expectations down a bit, but then I haven't been really feeling much of what we've seen thus far. But I'm still anxious to see Ridley's ROBIN HOOD. I remember I went to see the Kevins ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES after local critics completely thrashed it. And while it is nowhere near the awesome of Flynn's ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD - I was surprisingly OK with Costner's turn. I have no idea what I'm going to think of this. But the criticisms in both reviews kinda supports some of my thoughts about the footage we've seen thus far. We'll see soon enough...

Hey Harry, I am a fan of your site and used to live in Austin while I was in college, but moved back to Dallas once I graduated. They had a screening of Robin Hood last night and I thought I would put in my two cents since I haven't read any reviews of it on your website. I'm warning you now, this is a negative review. If you use this at all, call me Mr. Midnight. Imagine Gladiator was a person...a male. Gladiator one day was walking along a street and accidentally bumped into a woman. That woman's name...let's call her Kingdom of Heaven (theatrical cut). Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven dated a few times, fell in love, and got married. On their wedding night, they had their ritual wedding fuck and nine months later, popped out a baby boy. That baby boy had the personality of Gladiator, but basically had all the looks and features of Kingdom of Heaven (theatrical cut). They named that baby Robin Hood. Because that's what Robin Hood is...a movie that completely rips off Ridley Scott's two better films, and while it may be a cut above the theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven, it is in no way in the same ballpark of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven (director's cut). It's as if Ridley Scott got a check to do this movie, said "fuck it," hired Russell Crowe, and told him, "Look, this worked once before, just do your thing whenever I yell action, heck, even completely rip off your Maximus performance, I throw in a cliched boring action sequence or two, and we will make the big bucks box office wise." Uh, you are wrong Mr. Scott. Robin Hood, while not a horrible movie, is a complete mess, and even though the film is a month away, the film I saw was 100% completed, which means don't hope for something else on the screen when you see it in May. Part of the problem with this movie is that it tells the origin story of Robin Hood. And while some would argue that it is unique to tell that story instead of another hackneyed story where he steals from the poor, gives to the rich, all the while trying to avoid the Sheriff of Nottingham and King John, the execution of this story makes it beg the differ. Any Robin Hood tale you see, whether it ranges from Disney's interpretation to Dave Chappelle being Little John, to Kevin Costner being a giant douchebag, all of those films have a 'Robin Hood' type feel to them. This movie, feels like I am watching a fucking sequel to Gladiator. Every shot, every camera angle, every blow to the head, every word coming out of Crowe's mouth SCREAMS Gladiator. The confusing storyline, partially blamed by the films editing, and crusade shit, is where Kingdom of Heaven (theatrical cut) sticks it's head in and waves hello. In this movie, Robin Hood is basically fighting for Sir Richard the Lionheart against France. He talks down to Sir Richard the Lionheart one night and he and his friends, including Little John, are imprisoned just outside the battle stuck on those wooden things you see in other medieval movies. Well, Richard the Lionheart gets killed the next day in battle, Robin Hood escapes, says 'fuck this shit' and heads out. Little does Robin know that the King of France has allies on England's side, including the main main villian Godfrey (played by Kick-Ass's Mark Strong), who tries to intercept the dead king's crown on its way back to Richard's son John, who will now be king. By the way, it doesn't really explain why they need the crown, because crown or no crown, John will be king. I guess it was just that Godfrey had been sent to kill the king but the job was already done for him and returning the crown to John was a way to show loyalty...ah who cares? Anyway, Robin intercepts them, gets the crown, but doesn't get Godfrey in time. A dying man that Godfrey's men ambushed asks Robin to deliver his sword to his father in Nottingham so that his sins may be erased or whatever. So Robin agrees and him and his men go to Nottingham where he meets the dying man's father, who is the ruler of Nottingham, and he also meets the dying man's wife Lady Marion played by Cate Blanchett (we know how that plot line turns out). So anyway, the rest of the movie deals with Godfrey's betrayal of King John and how Godfrey tries to lead France's army to defeat England, a country so divided that France doesn't think it stands a chance...or will Robin Hood make it so? All of this leads up to when Robin Hood is proclaimed an outlaw and finally becomes who he is in legend. One thing I really think is important to tell you is that the trailers to this movie COMPLETELY MISLEADS THE AUDIENCE. Every trailer I have seen, every God damn TV spot that's been aired on television, shows action after action after action after action...after action. The TV spots all basically show the first short battle at the beginning of the movie, and the last battle, which really isn't all that long either. THOSE ARE REALLY THE ONLY TWO BIG ACTION SEQUENCES IN THE MOVIE, along with some minor ambushes. At two hours and ten minutes, you have maybe about twenty minutes of action, and an hour and fifty minutes of lame story, exposition, romance, and Russell Crowe talking like Maximus. So if you are walking into this movie expecting another Gladiator, I'm sorry to say that in the end, you will be sitting on one of those donut things, because you just got raped in the ass. I'm talking George Lucas childhood raping in the ass. If you go in expecting the theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven, you might come out liking it. But in this movie, when Little John is a big muscular dude, and he explains the reason why he is called Little John is because he has a tiny penis, you know something went wrong with Brian Hedgeland's screenplay. Not all of the movie is bad. Every single locale shot is very beautiful. The cinematography in this thing is excellent and will probably be the only thing that the movie will be remembered for. The musical score is good as well, but not very memorable. The acting is good as a whole, if you leave Crowe's ripped off Academy Award performance out of the picture. Especially Cate Blanchett, who will manage to come out of this thing okay. It's just that the story is really lame and instead of this feeling like an actual Robin Hood movie, you basically get Gladiator/theatrical version Kingdom of Heaven's love child. You don't get the feel of Robin Hood until the last five minutes of the film. The beginning battle was cool, especially the way they blew up the main castle gate, and the ending scene has a few moments, but like I said, nothing memorable at all. The film is completely fucking boring in the middle and even though it picks up at the end, it is not enough to deem it a recommendation.

Then there's this from The Lone Ranger

Hi Harry, here's a review of "Robin Hood". “Robin Hood” by “The Lone Ranger” Apparently, behind-the-scenes turbulence of bringing “Nottingham” to the screen took its toll on this latest incarnation of the “Robin Hood” legend. Actually written as a “prequel” to the more-familiar story, Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” is a surprisingly dull and choppy origin film that adds little compelling to the canon and even comes out as a lesser effort than Kevin Costner’s much-derided film. Borrowing from his own “Knight’s Tale”, Helgeland’s screenplay casts Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride, a common archer coming back from the Crusades with his friends after the death of King Richard when fate enters by having them come across the aftermath of an ambush by nasty Mark Strong (here playing a villain again for the third time in almost as many months) that gives them wealth, the crown of King Richard, and the sword of Sir Roger Locksley. Crowe resolves to honor Locksley’s dying wish to return the sword to his father and assuming his name and knighthood, takes the crown to decadent King John (Oscar Issac, doing a nice Rufus Sewell riff) then to Walter Locksley (Max Von Sydow) who drafts Crowe as his “son” in order to keep his daughter (Cate Blanchett) Marian’s estate from being taken after his death. As this is a “prequel”, there’s little of the familiar tale we know. Instead, the plot mostly revolves around Strong preparing the way for a coming French invasion and King John dithering about how to save his throne when he’s not banging a cutie French Princess who wants to be queen. Sydow reveals that Crowe’s father was a “visionary” stonemason who believed the King had rights to his subject and got beheaded for his efforts, so Crowe is knightly in spirit, if not necessarily in title. (Sound familiar?) After more Mark Strong nastiness (the Sheriff of Nottingham is a comic and mostly absent character here), the film winds up with the French invading and Crowe, along with William Hurt (who looks great but doesn’t have much to do) leading the English forces to defeat the French. Crowe’s reward for this is inexplicably to be declared a traitor and outlaw by the King and forced to retreat to Sherwood Forest so we can get on with the rest of the tale. Scott’s virtues as a filmmaker are on view in the look and design of the film, but it all feels terribly second-hand somehow. Crowe and Blanchett have zero chemistry together and Crowe mostly just looks sullen by himself. Of the remaining cast, nobody really stands out except Sydow who’s still stealing scenes even at his age and Isaac, who definitely has the cutest girl in the film and gets to chew the scenary and wake the audience up every now and then. Considering the stories about the film’s troubled production, I don’t know whether the film could ever have been good, but as it, it’s got to rank as one of the biggest disappointments of the season. I guess old Kevin’s finally gotten the last laugh…
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