Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
July 2017

I'll admit it; I had my doubts. Indeed, I had said for several months that "The fact that they keep pushing back the release date does not bode well for this film. Just sayin'." Because I don't ever recall having seen a movie whose release date had been postponed, not just once but several times, that was very good. Repeated postponements are generally a sign of a movie in trouble. But, still, I was willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt. Sure, its release had been postponed more than once. But it starred some folks whose names were instantly recognizable and who had done some very creditable work before. And it was a tried and true story, with a number of movies over the years touching on the same legend (some of which have been reviewed in this column). And then ... I noticed that even the theater where it was showing didn't seem to have much confidence in its drawing power. Immediately following the opening weekend, they significantly reduced the number of showings each day, increasing them only a little for the following Friday and Saturday, and then decreasing them again. And for all of this, I thought to myself, "Oh, that can't be a good sign." Well, I was right, and so it is that this month Da'ud Bob reviews for you King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Starring Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, Eric Bana as Uther, Jude Law as Vortigern, Djimon Hounsou as Bedivere, Craig McGinlay as Percival, Tom Wu as George, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as the Mage, Aidan Gillen as Bill, Neil Maskell as Back Lack, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Wet Stick, Poppy Delevingne as Igraine, Rob Knighton as Mordred, Peter Ferdinando as the Earl of Mercia, Bleu Landau as Blue, and Jacqui Ainsley as the Lady of the Lake, the plot of the movie was described as "The young Arthur runs the back passages of Londonium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he grabs Excalibur. Instantly confronted by the sword's influence, Arthur is forced to make up his mind. He joins the rebellion, ... [and] he must learn to understand the magic weapon, deal with his demons and unite the people to defeat the dictator Vortigern, the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown to become king." In fact, however, this film bears as much relationship to Arthurian legend as a two-seater Cessna airplane does to a Boeing 747; some of the parts are named the same thing, and it goes to a few of the same places, but no one will mistake the one for the other. Basically, the names and some of the plot elements are the same here, but with a lot of mystical add-ons, some from other fantasy movies.

Good points: Real chain mail. Some of the costuming. A lot of the CGI was well-done.

Bad points: The "Which George? Which Mike?" questions. Some of the armor - especially some of the pauldrons - are very reminiscent of the fantasy armor in 1981's Excalibur. Vortigern's crown. The jump into the river from that height would have killed the jumpers. (Surface tension is no joke!) Much of the armor. The Mage King's staff, which immediately reminded me of Gandalf's staff in Lord of the Rings. The music was a bit jarring at times, not always in keeping with the tone of the movie.

Zero breasts. Two gallons of blood. 127 dead bodies. Magic fire fu. Giant elephant fu. Sword fu. Ax fu. Arrow fu. Dagger fu. Kung fu. Eagle fu. Dog fu. Giant snake fu. Arthur rolls. Gratuitous step pyramid. Gratuitous Moor. Gratuitous Asian. Gratuitous mermaid/octopuses. Gratuitous dark tower. Gratuitous dryads. Gratuitous giant rats. Gratuitous giant bats. Gratuitous visions. Gratuitous giant wolves. Academy Award nomination to Charlie Hunnam as Arthur for "That's what you're here for, Bedivere, you big, silly, posh bastard." An 87 on the Vomit Meter. 1 stars. Da'ud Bob says, "This is no more about Arthur than the Sean Connery/Richard Gere First Knight (1995). Only the names remain the same. Check it out!"

Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

Began airing May 29, 2017 Still Star-Crossed. Television mini-series (7 episodes) on ABC. A period drama that picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet leaves off, charting the treachery, palace intrigue, and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers' tragic fate. Based on the book by Melinda Taub. Torrance Coombs, Ebonee Noel, Medalion Rahimi, Carl Chambers.


June 30, 2017 in very limited release. Even here in Dallas, as of July 6 it's still "Coming Soon" to the one theater I can find that says it will show it. The Little Hours. In a a loose adaptation of two stories from Boccaccio's The Decameron, a young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the Middle Ages. Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza. I don't expect to see this one in wide release, or for it to stay very long in the theaters where it does show.

No official website; see the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meGfRXMSW9c

July 10, 2017 Will. Television mini-series (10 episodes) on TNT. A drama about the lost years of young William Shakespeare after his arrival to London in 1589 -- when theatre was like rock and roll and a young man with a dream changed the world with his words. It's described as "a contemporary version of Shakespeare's life, played to a modern soundtrack that exposes all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance." Laurie Davidson, Olivia DeJonge, Mattias Inwood, Colm Meaney, William Houston.

Watch the trailer at http://www.tntdrama.com/shows/will.html

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