LONG POST WARNING!!!
You’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson by now: staying up past midnight to watch TV is a bad idea. There are times, however, where I’ll discard common sense and plop down on the sofa to watch something that lasts into the wee hours of the morning. (see here and here for details) Last night was one of those rare exceptions, as the Turner Classic Movie Channel was running an all-night marathon of Robin Hood movies.
I actually missed the first film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, entirely (not a problem as I have it on DVD, as well as the first half to two thirds of the second film, Sword of Sherwood Forest, but I did manage to catch the third film, The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, in its entirety. Unfortunately, Mom caught me just before the climax (she had no clue what I was doing up at 1:00 AM), so I had to tape the fourth an final film of the marathon, Rogues of Sherwood Forest.
Since I missed a good chunk of the film, I can’t really give a complete review of Sword of Sherwood. From what I did see, however, I can say that it was a fairly decent film, although at times the acting was either a bit over-the-top or almost non-existent (they needed a better Friar Tuck) and the sound effects, particularly during the archery scenes, were somewhat sub-par. And Robin Hood himself was absent for most of the second half/last third of the movie. But since, as I’ve stated, I missed most of the movie, I can’t make any comments about the plot or character development.
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, on the other hand, was (in my opinion) a much better movie than Sword of Sherwood. The acting was much, much better, as were the fight choreography, music (which was virtually non-existent in Sword), and plotline. There were, however, two faults I found with the movie. Firstly, it focused more on Robin Hood’s son, Robert of Nottingham, than it did on Robin Hood himself. The movie actually takes place about 20 years after the original tales of Robin Hood end, so most of the old characters are just that: old. While this isn’t so much a fault as it is a minor annoyance on my part, it can be confusing if one were to pick up halfway through as I did on a previous occasion. Seeing “Robin Hood” battling a corrupt regent and wooing the beautiful Lady Catherine (as opposed to Prince John and Maid Marian) was quite confusing and caused me to turn the film off the first time I viewed it. The one true fault this film has is its running time, or lack thereof. At slightly less than 90 minutes long, there is little time for any major character development. For example; one minute Lady Catherine despises Robert and his rather overt efforts to woo her, the next she’s head-over-heels for him. Okay, I’m exaggerating and over-simplifying here, but you get the idea. A Robin Hood movie really doesn’t work unless it’s an epic picture, and you just can’t pull that off in less than 90 minutes.
I have not seen Rogues of Sherwood Forest yet, but I’ll get back to you on it as soon as I watch it. That is assuming, of course, that I don’t fall asleep first (5 hours of sleep will do that).
What this whole experience has made me realize (besides the fact that I shouldn’t stay up ’til 1:00 watching movies) is that it’s time for Hollywood to make another Robin Hood movie, an epic film in the spirit of Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood. There hasn’t been a decent Robin Hood anything since 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Kostner, which was (IMHO) a crummy film. Actually, the BBC did start a Robin Hood TV series last year, but since we don’t have BBC America, I didn’t get to see it. (curse you, Comcast! Curse you!) I can’t decide who I like better to be Robin Hood: Ewan McGreggor or Orlando Bloom. Though after Lord of the Rings, putting Bloom in the role might seem a bit like typecasting him…
I just finished watching Rogues of Sherwood Forest. To read my full review on it, click on the Movie Reviews link on the sidebar. It’s under the heading “Other Things.” I hope to have a review of The Bandit of Sherwood Forest up soon as well. Look for other reviews of classic films and new releases (Spiderman 3 comes to mind) to follow in the future.
All of the Robin Hood media I’ve exposed myself to has given me a strong desire to being writing/rewriting my Ghosts of Sherwood story. And since I was able to recover the file from my computer (more on that another time) it’s a strong possibility that I will do so in the future.
I just discovered that there is a new Robin Hood movie in production. It’s called, Nottingham, and Russell Crowe has signed on to play the Sheriff of Nottingham. However, I must say that already I’m not to sure about this movie; from what I understand, Robin Hood will be portrayed as the villain and the Sheriff will be more benign and heroic. Don’t get me wrong, if they can pull that concept off, it could be spectacularly awesome. But still, Robin Hood a bad guy? I just can’t see that.