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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - Extended Version (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] 
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It was a time of tyrants: the only way to uphold the truth was to break the law. He fought for the good of all men and for the love of just one woman. Kevin Costner brings the epic hero Robin Hood to life in a film filled with pageantry, intrigue, action and romance. With an outstanding cast including Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Christian Slater, record-breaking theme song and film production on a sweeping scale, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has become a legend in its own right.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves reinvented the legend for contemporary cinema audiences, and in doing so far outstripped at the box office even Kevin Costner's own infinitely superior Dances with Wolves to become the biggest hit of 1991. It's an entertaining enough family adventure film, but plays like a big-budget TV movie with no distinctive flair for action or romance. (Director Kevin Reynolds would reunite with Costner four years later for the equally stodgy Waterworld). If the accents are all over the place, at least Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio makes a Maid Marion of ravishing Pre-Raphaelite beauty. Morgan Freeman is fine as Robin's Moorish sidekick, though, other than to expand the demographic, his character has no business being in the story. Realising that the whole enterprise has the credibility of a pantomime, Alan Rickman outrageously camps up his Sheriff of Nottingham, stealing the film in the process. Costner makes an acceptable hero, though he will never replace Errol Flynn in the definitive The Adventures of Robin Hood.
If you can accept explosives in 13th-century England, that the approach to Sherwood Forest is a modern conifer plantation and that the 170 miles from Dover to Nottingham is a matter of a few hours ride via Northumberland, then you may find much to enjoy here. Otherwise an already overlong film has been extended to an excessive 148 minutes in this special edition, making far too much of a not very good thing.
On the DVD: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is presented as a two-disc set, with a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that is generally good looking but with an occasionally soft picture and some evidence of dirt and minor print damage. The Dolby Digital 5.1 remix of the original stereo soundtrack is atmospheric and powerful and shows off Michael Kamen's score to its best. Though presented with 12 minutes of footage not seen in the cinema version, the film still suffers most of the cuts (amounting to 28 seconds) imposed by the BBFC over the years.
The main extras are a pair of commentaries: Costner and Reynolds discuss the film in frank and enthusiastic detail, while on a second track Freeman, Slater, writer/producer Pen Densham and cowriter/producer John Watson offer a great deal of insight plus a fair bit of stating the obvious, backslapping and critic bashing. Robin Hood: The Myth, the Man, the Movie (31 mins) is a cut version of a 45-minute TV special originally broadcast in America the night before the premiere, and offers an interesting if brief look at the Robin Hood story plus some routine making-of material. Finally, there is a video of Bryan Adams performing "Everything I Do, I Do It for You" live at Slane Castle and 18 minutes worth of bland electronic presskit-style archive interviews with Costner, Freeman, Mastrantonio, Slater and Alan Rickman, plus the original American trailer, a stills gallery and cast and crew list. --Gary S DalkinSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The Blu-ray extended cut and extras make for a great value disc and I have loved revisiting my teenage memories of this fab film. The rendering wasn't quite as crisp as I would expect for HD but it's better than SD.
This is a very poor upgrade; should you be thinking of trading your extended, 2 disc edition DVD. It's grainy as hell throug-out and the colours, (especially flsh tones) are way off the mark. There is no attractive animated menu like the DVD, it just goes straight to the movie.
This movie has been tested on PS3 through a Toshiba 720p and an LG BD350 through a 50" LCD at 1080p. Both HDMI connected. Neither caused me to take a deep breath in excitement. The soundtrack is, however vastly improved, it's sharp in the high end and although it's crisp throughout, it's let down by lack of low frequency enhancement, (LFE). Verbals are clear and driven.
My verdict:- Stick to the DVD Extended edition, or you will be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Faultless delivery fair play, picture & sound however shocking! I should have gone to the pub! Half tempted to through it out the window but afraid even the insects would struggle... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer