Customer Reviews

49
4.0 out of 5 stars
First Knight [DVD] [1995]
Format: DVDChange
Price:£9.98+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The epic genre was still to all intents dead in 1995, and First Knight didn't do anything to revive it despite what should have been perfect casting with Sean Connery as an ageing King Arthur losing his queen to his new best friend in fable's most enduring romantic triangle. It's not a bad film at all - the action scenes are well handled, the romance better than expected and Jerry Goldsmith provides a fine score - but it's not particularly special, and in taking away the magical elements of the tale (no Merlin here) it's always in danger of veering to the ordinary. It's certainly no Robin and Marion, nor does Connery prove much of a Lion in a Winter with one of his weaker and less committed performances in what's little more than a prominent supporting role despite his top-billing (it was not a particularly happy shoot, and that does show at times). The real hero of the film is Richard Gere's Lancelot, travelling from village to village earning his crust with sword tricks, the actor managing to overcome what seems like his miscasting surprisingly well and showing real flair in the swordplay and action scenes as he initially protects and, naturally, falls in love with Julia Ormond's Guinevere, who seems to respond to almost every dramatic crisis with a slightly nervous smile.

Unlikely director Jerry Zucker (he of Ghost and, er, Airplane!) handles the romance and the action well enough, but he's not exactly got an epic vision, playing much of the picture in medium shot - long shots really aren't his thing unless they're establishing shots - which, allied with the decision to shoot in 1.85:1 rather than 2.35:1, makes for a less than spectacular look to much of the film. The early CGi is variable: Camelot looks good enough but the big night-time battle's computer generated extras draw attention to themselves by their lack of detail even in near total darkness. The look of the film doesn't help, legendary production designer John Box leaving the picture when his sets proved too expensive for the film's budget, and the knights' uniforms (no shining armour here) aren't exactly inspired either, looking like cast-offs from a Star Trek spinoff or a 70s Bond villain's private army.

Yet for all the problems, the picture works fine as entertainment, William Nicholson's screenplay giving the cast some better dialogue to deliver than you might expect and throwing in the odd moment of ingenuity in a couple of the early action sequences. And for all the complaints of departing too much from the myth, it actually goes back to the very first account of Lancelot and Guinevere's love affair, Chretien de Troyes' 12th Century The Knight of the Cart, even keeping the original villain Meleagant (here renamed Malegant and played by a typically bad-tempered Ben Cross) rather than going for the better known Mordred or Morgana le Fay. Not that this is exactly Lancelot du Lac or even Excalibur in terms of ambition - it's a populist popcorn picture, nothing more. As such, it may not be the best vision of Camelot out there, but it's certainly a cut above the likes of Knights of the Round Table.

After a bare-bones DVD release, Sony's BluRay release offers a mild upgrade in picture quality and a few extras that are also available on the remastered Region 1 NTSC DVD special edition - audio commentary by Zucker and producer Hunt Lowry, a second commentary by historian Corey Rushto, four redundant deleted scenes in less than pristine condition and a trio of featurettes.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
This is a beautiful heroic fairytale film, in my opinion, which will never age despite what sceptics may say or think. It has a brilliant storyline and film cast. I've watched it several times and each time it gets my heart going! AND I intend to watch it again and again whenever I like, and enjoy it as if I was watching it for the very first time. Just lose yourself in the film and chilax!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First Knight is directed by jerry Zucker and co-written by Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton and William Nicholson. It stars Richard Gere, Sean Connery, Julia Ormond and Ben Cross. Music is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Adam Greenberg.

Lancelot (Gere) falls in love with Guinevere (Ormond), inconvenient since she is due to be married to King Arthur (Connery). Meanwhile, Malagant (Cross), who has been expelled from the Round Table, plots to seize power from Arthur and the rest of the Knights of the Round Table.

This is a different Camelot, this is principally a period piece love triangle involving King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. To prepare for that instead of expecting a dashing all action picture full of magic and mystical malarkey, can only aid the viewing experience. This is mature well written stuff, very well crafted by Zucker and his team, though the production fluctuates in style (the fight scenes are averagely staged but everything looks gorgeous). Cast are mostly fine, where even though Gere looks odd, somehow out of place with the period, he turns in an acceptable performance considering the humanist screenplay to hand. Lack of chemistry between Connery and Ormond is a problem, while Cross barely registers as a villain of note. Goldsmith provides a heart lifting score, impressive given that he was brought in at the last minute when Maurice Jarre jumped ship.

All told it's an enjoyable picture that doesn't linger long in the memory once finished. But I was armed with the knowledge of what sort of narrative I was getting. Had I paid to view it at the cinema on release, I'm pretty sure I would have been just a little miffed, especially given that we also had Braveheart and Rob Roy that year, two scorching hot period epics. 6/10
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2010
An excellent upgrade from the standard DVD version of First Knight. Everything is beautifully visible in this tale of Days of Old when Knights were Bold...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2013
Hollywood does another crackling re-telling of Arthurian lore here and it's a sprightly mix of storytelling and swashbuckle. The emphasis is on the love triangle between Arthur, Guinivieve and Lancelot whilst in the background a rogue knight threatens the peaceful kingdom. Connery does rather well as the stoic king, his part is well scripted, he appears strong, benevolant and wise and I really believed his change in demeanor when faced with betrayal. Julia Ormond lights up the screen but otherwise has little to do. Gere almost pulls it off, almost, he poses and swaggers the same way he did in American Gigolo which looks a bit daft, his mullet isn't particularly flattering; on the plus side his sword work is very good and his horsemanship looks fantastic at times. Ben Cross is excellent as the rogue knight Malagant, he's very commanding and his dark lair in a slate quarry beneath a ruined castle is a location and set dressing triumph. Despite the good sets and what appears to be decent production values, Camelot appears just a little too clean, too many extras are wearing the same blue tunics; having said that, the outside villiagers look right and the scenery is very well captured in terms of cinematography. The end battle is full of energy and the version I saw included a surprisingly brutal strike to finish off Malagant. Not a bad way to spend two hours at all.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2007
Firstly, can I just correct "A Customer" who has a very low opinion of this movie.
Can I point out that it is supposed to take place in the 5th/6th century when Arthur was fighting the Anglo-Saxon invaders, so it doesn't take a great leap of intellect to work out that Arthur wouldn't have spoken English, so who cares about a Scottish accent.
Arthur would have spoken Latin.
So the fact that Gere has an American accent is also not really relevant.
Can I also point out that the Athurian legends are just that. Legends.
So you can make any statement about Arthur and nobody would be able to prove or disprove what you say.
This is a good, well acted, well directed action movie.
Buy and enjoy
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This film is actually pretty good. It's not the gritty Arthurian myth like 'Excaliber' but it's certainly leagues ahead of the terrible, supposedly historically grounded, attempt 'King Arthur' with Clive Owen.

'First Knight' approaches the arthurian legend from a socio-political view. Camelot is a brave new world, a utopia, Arthur is it's founder - it's a psuedo christian/communist kind of affair with equality and morality and bright armour etc. Lancelot is a drifter, he represents a kind of Zen rolling stone philosophy. The two cultures meet and fuse for a time but it can't last. There are many interpretations and discussion points and the film succeeds in provoking ideas, which is it's success for me. The ending may well be a compromise but this is hollywood and we need happy endings. Look beyond the cornball and there are some interesting relationships here. Great cast but Julia Ormand is the real star - what ever happened to her?
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2004
This film is good for a number of reasons.
First, it has Sean Connery playing King Arthur.
Second, the script hasn't done what has been done 1000 times before with this story, but has taken a new, fresh perspective.
Third, it doesn't pretend to be a classic film, or to try and teach anything. It's just an entertaining piece of cinema that you can watch, enjoy, and not be affected by. Sometimes you just need a film like that.
My advice to anyone looking for an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours is to have a look at this. The price is right, and it's great fun.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2001
What can i say? I love this movie! I'm a real sucker for Historic films: Braveheart, Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, but this one is my all time favouite! It wasn't really your usual braveheart really bloody historic movie. It has a bit of everything,romance, action, tragedy. I prefered this in films. The cast were prefect for their parts, especially Sean Connery as King Arthur, he portrayed it brilliantly. My favourite scene is the Gauntlet and if like me like a bit of action and adventure witha lil touch of romance, then this film is for you. I cant say this film is for everybody but if you are a real film lover and a lover of historic films, then this film is for you! Go on, buy it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 13 August 2013
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent film with good entertainment all around
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

A Knight's Tale [DVD] [2001]
A Knight's Tale [DVD] [2001] by Heath Ledger (DVD - 2002)
£2.93

Entrapment [1999] [DVD]
Entrapment [1999] [DVD] by Sean Connery (DVD - 2004)
£2.92
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.