King Arthur [DVD] 
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Big-budget action adventure based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The film attempts to place King Arthur within the historical context of his time (around 500 AD), and take into account many more historical and political facts of the era than previous interpretations of the legend. It also dispenses with much of the magic and fantasy that have shrouded events of the period, although Merlin (Stephen Dillane) does feature as a shaman who used his powers against the Romans. Clive Owen stars as Arthur, who, as England falls into chaos after the fall of the Roman Empire, gathers around him a band of brave knights, including Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd), Galahad (Hugh Dancy) and Gawain (Joel Edgerton), who hope to defeat the invading Saxon armies and restore peace and order to their country. Keira Knightley co-stars as Guinevere.
It's got a round table, some knights, and a noble warrior who rises to become King Arthur, but everything else about this revisionist legend is pure Hollywood. That's not such a bad thing if you enjoyed Rob Roy, Braveheart, Gladiator and Troy, and there's some intriguing potential in presenting the "real" Arthur (played by Clive Owen) as a 5th-century soldier of Rome, assigned to defend Roman-imperial England against a hoard of invading Saxons (led by Stellan Skarsgard in hairy villain mode). As revamped history and "archaeological findings" would have us believe, Guinevere (Keira Knightley) is a warrior babe in face-paint and Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) is a nonentity who fades into the woodwork. Never mind. Best to enjoy the harsh, gloomy atmosphere of Irish locations, the ruggedness of Owen and his hearty supporting cast, and the entertaining nonsense of a Jerry Bruckheimer production that strips battle-ready Guinevere down to leather-strap S&M gear while all the men sport full-body armor. Hail to the queen, indeed! --Jeff ShannonSee all Product description
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The historical Sarmatian link is both convincing and intriguing. The setting during the Roman withdrawal from Britain is interesting. The whole period of Roman withdrawal from Britain has so many resonances with our own times - whether it is British withdrawal from Empire, or American withdrawal from Afghanistan. I find this far better than throwing all history out of the window and watching a complete fairy tale. All of the actors, and it has a stellar cast including Owen, Knightley, Dillane, Mikkelsen and Winstone, are good. Owen is an excellent male lead, don't know why we don't see more of him these days. It also features I think Hans Zimmer's best theme music, bar none.
OK, maybe Guinevere wouldn't have gone head to head with the Saxons in an exquisite ripped leather bikini or spoken quite so beautifully, but give over - it's not a documentary - and it is very pretty. The success or failure of a film is always in the writing. How do producers never get this? The writing starts well - one or two grating cliches but not bad. Towards the end, there is not so much a resolution as a lengthy swordfest followed by a happy ending. You can see that the basic premise, which is as close to historical fact as we are ever likely to be on this subject, has got a huge amount of dramatic potential, and that is only partly exploited. With more effort, it could have been so much better. I think it is silly to be over critical about historical accuracy - it is entertainment, and that doesn't mean that it can't be thought provoking and informative. As for how could a bunch of Woads have beaten the Saxons? Well, at Badon Hill, somebody did.
There is an extended edition which you can see on Youtube but isn't for sale anywhere. All extended editions are better and this is no exception. .
fighting for 'Rome'
however before freedom is finally granted they are ordered to complete one
their task -- they are to travel north into the lands of the 'Woads' to
bring back the 'Pope's' favourite nephew who with his father lives in
an isolated outpost set deep inside 'Wode' territory.
the mission becomes even more dangerous because of a new threat posed by
at the outpost they find a compound walled up, among those left to perish
'Woad' 'Guinevere' ( who of course is freed by 'Arthur' )
the 'Saxon' army is not only a threat to 'Merlin's' people in the north.
it is also a threat to those south of Hadrian's Wall behind which the
'Roman' legions are withdrawing.
both those north and south of the Wall now have a common enemy........
the invading 'Saxon's'
perhaps there are one or two 'casting' issues on board however though a
a film of recent years it is an action-packed epic adventure surely well
if like myself you have interest in the legend of King Arthur and Camelot
perhaps the one film that closely follows the well known legend and well
worth seeing if you have not yet done so, is the movie 'Excalibur'
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