Robin Hood (2010)

After checking the reviews on Friday, the first three I read were pretty bad and didn’t have many good things to say at all. And after a few people chiming in on facebook, my better half saying it’s Russell Crowe, and the fact that I had some movie cash from Apollo 13 bluray…OK…I will go ahead and go.

Ok, I am guessing everyone here knows the story of Robin Hood as there are probably more movies about this character than any other. This movie focuses on how Robin Hood came to be, From the Crusades in France, the journey home and what happens upon his return. Russell Crowe (Gladiator, The Insider), well, is just kind of there on screen as Robin Hood. He does what is needed of him, but nothing really shows off what he is capable of as an actor.  Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, Elizabeth) is of course Marion. She probably has the best performance of the entire cast, but again like Crowe, not near what she is capable of. The cast is rounded out with Max von Sydow (The Exorcist, Minority Report), William Hurt (Dark City, A History of Violence) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes).

Ok, after many reviews, some very good, some very bad….what did I think of Ridley Scott;s (Alien, Gladiator, Blade Runner) attempt at Robin Hood? Well, I thought it was just that, an attempt. Actually I thought the story was good, acting wasn’t terrible, and had they titled the movie The Archer and the King of England, I would have liked it. To me this had very few elements of an actual Robin Hood movie, other than characters names. we all know what Robin Hood is about…Right? Lets all say it together…..

He steals from the rich to give to the poor.

Only once did this idea make it into the film, and was quickly done with bags of grain, not even money or gold. Not once did they hide out in Sherwood Forest. Only in the end did Robin Hood do something outstanding with a bow and arrow, again another element of a Robin Hood movie that everyone wants to see were missing. Actually the movie ended where most audiences wanted it to begin. I know that was the way I felt.

There is another element to think about though, that could change my mind about the film entirely. A sequel. It was left open and at a point where you could now make a movie and call it Robin Hood and have it be what everyone was wanting out of this first film. When first seeing The Fellowship of The Ring for the first time, I was pretty ho-hum about the whole thing, but now seeing it and how it fits in, I like it much better. That could be the case here. Although at least with The Fellowship of the Ring, you knew there were two more films coming. If there is another Robin Hood, I may change my mind, but I would feel almost used, in the fact that I put in 2 hours and 20 minutes of my time just so Ridley Scott could set up the next film, which is the film I wanted  the first time. My final thought, if you do venture out to see this one, pretend like the title is The Archer and the King and you will be fine. Don’t expect to see much of what you know as Robin Hood, that is nonexistent.

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The Exorcist (1973)

“Something beyond comprehension is happening to a little girl on this street, in this house. A man has been called for as a last resort to try and save her. That man is The Exorcist

Ok, you can tell I am still catching up on reviews from the Halloween season. So, it’s not like I am getting in the holiday season mood with a viewing of The Exorcist. In my opinion the scariest movie ever made. This is also one of the few horror movies that received critical acclaim, nominated for a total of 10 Oscars including Best Picture. If you don’t know the story, it is about a young girl possessed by a demon. Her mother turns to a local priest, who has just lost his mother and is starting to have questions about his own faith. It is this priest, Father Karras, who realizes the little Girl Regan needs a lot of help, in fact she needs an Exorcist.

This film has a great cast of characters. Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream, The Yards, and Best Actress nominee for The Exorcist) plays Regan’s mother and local actress, Chris MacNeil. She plays a very caring mother who really doesn’t have a strong religious background of any kind, yet finds herself to the point of breaking down and helpless when it comes to helping her sick daughter. Jason Miller plays Father Karras, who was also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in this film. A wonderful surprise performance from Linda Blair (Airport 1975, The Exorcist 2: The Heretic) who plays Regan. She was nominated for Supporting Actress. Unfortunately she did such a great job, she fell into a Hollywood stereo type of playing in a lot of B Horror movies like Hell Night. Long time great Lee J. Cobb (12 Angry Men, The Three Faces of Eve) also has a significant role as the detective investigating the murder.

I know some that have laughed this movie off, and I guess that can be expected some as much as this film has been lampooned and joked about. Just mentioning the words “Pea Soup” is iconic for the film, and even people who haven’t seen the film get this reference. Is it a horror film. Yes. Is it a religious film. Yes. The one thing this film will always remain is a true classic and the scariest film of all time.

Strange Brew

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It only takes about 2 seconds to let you know what type of movie you are in for as the MGM lion comes up and burps! Panning around, the MGM logo you find the lion with his tail being turned like a crack starter. Welcome to The Great White North. The SCTV spin-off, features Doug (Dave Thomas) and Bob McKenzie (Rick Moranis, Ghostbusters) in an hour and a half of pure zaniness and laughs.Who needs big budget special effects when you got a guy who can fix a car radio using bird feces and spit!

The basic plot..and yes it is very basic, the Brew master played by Max Von Sydow (Victory) plans to take over the world with special ingredients used in Elsinore beer. Of course the plan is foiled when Bob and Doug get jobs at the brewery. The key plot plot is brought to the front by a malfunctioning Boarder Patrol coin-op video game. Bob and Doug are fun characters, and of course at times are over the top, but don’t take it seriously, after all the dog’s name is Hosehead.

This movie is what it is, no brainer fun, just go along for the ride. So, like….grab a beer ‘eh and enjoy the fun.