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King ArthurKing Arthur
(for dvd- 2.5 for film)
Starring: Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Hugh Dancy, Ray Winstone, Til Schweiger and Stellen Skarsgar
Directed by: Antoine Furqua
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Keira Knightley Interview
Jerry Bruckheimer Interview
Buy it

DVD Extras:

Commentary with Director Antione Furqua
A roundtable chat with cast and folks
A different ending - a non-wedding version
Optional Trivia notes attached to film
The making of doc
Jerry Bruckheimer's photo gallery
An Xbox Game sample thingy, and the film is extra gritty - plenty of Pict and Woad - Roman-Britans vs Saxon going ons!

If you're into Arthur, his chickbabe and his glorious knights, you probably already know there's a bazillion reinventions and tales lending to the myth. Well, here's another - and it's pretty damned interesting. The dvd extras are so interesting, it helps raise the film's "star" level actually. Meaning that, when you watch the behind the scenes footage, and see the "director's cut" version of the piece, you realize the effort that went into this. Bravo. It flounders a bit, but they are messing with Arthur after all. The trivia track that quietly pops up to give you some fun facts, like for example, while Art and Gwen are getting "together," the trivia pops up with a little known fact: It takes up to 6.4 calories a minute to produce a passionate kiss. The other tidbits range from historical bits to useless star info. The director commentary is very insightful - for all we armchair producers out there. And fans of the handsome cast will enjoy the roundtable chat 'tween the upper-eschelon. The behind the making of is wonderful. Though short - considering! I could have watched an entire mini-series on this version of the infamous duo and their third wheel. But, it's short and leaves you wondering to the Internet or Barnes and Noble in search of... The film itself is longer and grittier - given the room to breath it is actually a three star film! And as always, simply majestic. Enjoy this-must have dvd. Buy it

Film Review Originally 2.5 Stars - Raised with additional footage in DVD selection:

Bluntly speaking? This aint 'Camelot' and there'll be no choreographed duets upon a starry sky. It's a Bruckheimer film, and Jer likes to make man movies. Those Hollywood blockbuster style testosterone injected he-man films with delightfully strong - yet feminine in a male fantasy way - women.

The faultly towers of this King Arthur is not in the Bruckheimering of the infamous fabled myth and legend. No. It's not the cast. Which is impeccable. Oddly, it's not even the urban direction lended by Antoine Furqua. Simply? It is the two-dimensional Playstationesque character development, and frustrating bits of incomplete historical information that makes this visually beautiful, balls-out battle-field filled, mega-budgeted ode to bump-the-lore, fail.

Story, as told here, goes…Arthur (Clive Owen) is a soldier of British and Roman blood working for Rome on Britain's soil, to strike down the heathens and teach the proper ways in god-worship.

He's a Christian.

His "men," taken in youth, and trained to fight for a land they can not properly call home, unquestioning in their loyalty, fight for Arthur and honor. Of course if they did flee Roman service they'd be hunted down like fox and skinned as pelts for the fall toga line.

They are Pagans.

They adore Arthur. He's a great leader and he actually respects his men - he even has a round table for committee meetings and general manly going ons.

So, just as Arthur's knights are to be dismissed after fifteen years of loyal service, the Roman Emperor sends a snithering crony in to town to pull a fast one on the boys. Arthur, who didn't just fall off a turnip cart, starts to get a bit uneasy with the whole Rome is sacred kind of thinking.

The last and latest mission should they accept it…is to rescue a snobby Roman and his family somewhere North-ish where the dreaded Saxons are currently over-taking via inhalation of every village they come across. It's basically a death sentence...but Arthur's duty and loyalty to Rome commands him. The job will change his destiny and the destiny of Brits forever (<- insert a re-work of the triumphant Gladiator musical notes by Hans Zimmer here for audio affect)

Oh, he'll also meet a really snarly chickbabe on the trip named, Guinevere (Keira Knightley). This buffed up Guin's no wilting flower and will prove to be an asset to Arthur en route back to where-ever it is they all call home.

That's really it. No Camelot, and certainly no love triangle emerges - though a feeble half-hearted attempt is stuck in somewhat haphazardly and from left of the jousting field of logic. Sadly the worst part of the film is poor Guinevere. Meant to be an accurate historical look at who "Arthur" would have been with (outside of the usual marriage for land or power), her story is so convoluted you get antsy and wonder why they bothered to put her in at all. Then she appears in battle in fetish wear - West Hollywood style - apparently correct-ish for the era of mudslinging, but still utterly distracting.

Clive Owen, is a great Arthur. This long-lurking talent, like a manly serving of fresh made Crustade Lombarde, brings layers of talent folded into a tall physique, with a finely tuned ability to pour into any genre, all atop a buttery-base sprinkled with elderflower opium-like looks to every role he graces. Here, the great thing about the man, delectable dish-isms aside, is his ability to exclude a strong confidence with a simple glare, and be hero-ish while still being a mere man. A helluva a man...but alas still just a man.

His band of Knights are comprised of some extreme talents like Ioan Gruffudd (a manlyberry studmuffin in the making), Joel Edgerton (remember the name), Hugh Dancy (sigh), Ray Winstone (Ol' Scene Stealin' Ray) and Mads Mikkelsen (kkinda hhandsome there fella) were wonderful as the baker's halfa Dirty Dozen of the Dark Ages.

Keira Knightley, who kick-starts debate on dear dainty Guinevere, is her usual stunning self and again shows she doesn't just play with the boys but she can beat them up, run them over and bake a pie at half-time. This girl's a true "star."

King Arthur's errors lie not within its casting - oh dear no - it's the academic slide-show intelligence that was given a huge budget yet no room to breath. It really seems as if (maybe for time consideration?) the film was edited improperly leaving vital and interest keeping story-lines by the cutting room's bin. On a more positive note, the set production (Dan Weil) and the costumes (Penny Rose) are flawless (Knightley's naughty bits aside) and the cinematography (Slawomir Idziak) stellar. Buy it

Snack recommendation: Gele of Fysshe, Douce Ame, Gourdes in Potage with Roast Smoked Lamprey under Glass Shards pre-boiled in Vernaccia and a vat-o-ale

DVD Features:

Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French

Commentary by director Antoine Fuqua

New extended edition with more than 15 minutes of added footage

Deleted scenes

Alternate Ending

"Blood On The Land: Forging King Arthur" making-of-the-epic

Round Table Video Commentary with cast and filmmakers

"Knight Vision" pop-up trivia

King Arthur Xbox playable video game demo

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer's personal photo gallery

 

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