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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Kevin Costner's lousy English accent is a small obstacle in this often exciting version of the Robin Hood fable. That aside, it's refreshing to have a preface to the old story in which we meet the robber hero of Sherwood Forest as a soldier in King Richard's Crusades, coming home to find his people under siege from the cruelties of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). After Robin and his community of outcasts and fighters take to the trees, director Kevin Reynolds (Fandango, 187) is on more familiar narrative ground, and he goes for the gusto with lots of original action (Robin shoots two arrows simultaneously from his bow in two directions). Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as Marion, makes a convincing damsel in distress and Morgan Freeman brings dignity to his role as Robin's Moor friend. Alan Rickman, however, gets the most attention for his scene-chewing role as the rotten sheriff, an almost campy performance that is highly entertaining but perhaps a little out of sorts with the rest of the film. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Kevin Costner triumphs as the legendary Sherwood Forest outlaw leader in this epic adventure bringing a 12th-century medieval world to spectacular screen life. Enhancing the fun are 12 added minutes of footage not seen in theatres, especially more juicy malevolence of Robin Hoods archenemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio also star in this lavish production lensed in Britain and France, where historic structures, majestic forests and vividly realistic recreations of Olde England combined to create a world at once ancient and ageless. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It's great to see this film uncut for the first time in the UK since it was in the cinemas - this 12 cert version is a full 18 years overdue!
Note though that this is the extended version of the film, with roughly an extra 12 minutes of footage. Personally, I'd have preferred the theatrical version - or the choice of both (this is blu ray after all).
The transfer quality is not the best, but is perfectly adequate, and there's a decent selection of special features too.
The menus are a bit basic, but I view this as a good thing as it keeps the useful resume functionality (enabling you to stop the film and pick up from where you left off - as you can with DVDs), which is a function sorely missing from blu ray discs with flashier interfaces.
On the whole then, a great addition to your collection, especially if you don't own it already on DVD.
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