Oct 112018
 
Robin Hood (1922)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Prince John seizes control of England while King Richard is absent on crusade. Aware that the king would abandon the crusade if he knew, the earl of Huntington returns to England and becomes the robber chief Robin Hood to oppose John’s harsh rule. Although the movie was a grueling experience, the stunts are wicked, and worthy of Jackie Chan. To be fair, there is some history, but this is for silent film buffs only. Read More…

Oct 042018
 
The Lion in Winter

Rating: ★★★½☆
The recent death of his heir forces King Henry II of England to re-arrange his succession plans, so he invites his two eldest sons Richard and Geoffrey, and his captive queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as King Philip II of France, to spend Christmas with him, his youngest son John and his ward Alice, Philip’s half-sister. Compressing years of plotting into a single weekend, the movie is a correct description of the countless plots and revolts that produced numerous burned farms and dead peasants simply to improve the relative position of one family member. Read More…

Sep 202018
 
Robin Hood (2010)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Even though it is called Robin Hood, I honestly have the impression that director Ridley Scott wanted to make a movie about England during WWII, since all of the men are away fighting in France, and everyone fears invasion. The story of an archer who convinces King John to sign a charter granting equal rights to all Englishmen, but becomes too popular and is declared an outlaw, the film is filled with an astonishing number of historical inaccuracies. In particular, the decision to transform a nasty squabble between two rival families over territory in Europe into a conflict between the English and the French produces a movie that has little to do with history. Read More…

Apr 262018
 
Ironclad

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Viewers of Ironclad may believe that the film is about the fight between King John, who wished to reclaim the absolute power that had been taken from him when he had been forced to sign the Magna Carta, and the barons, who were fighting to preserve the rights of the common people and the nation itself. Cynics may complain that the barons were simply concerned with their own rights, not the rights of the smelly peasants. However, the film is really the struggle of the sex-starved young wife of the castle’s lord to persuade a Templar knight to break his vow of celibacy and satisfy her carnal needs. The story of a leader who gathers a group of disillusioned warriors, preferably seven, to defend a place against huge odds is not new in film history, and Ironclad is not a notable addition to the record. Filled with a cast of solid character actors who have all done better work, the film needed a better script. Still, it is relatively enjoyable and relatively accurate. Read More…