Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
for
January 2018

I'll admit it - I had been putting off watching and reviewing this month's flick, partly because the poster, despite the poster showing Sean Bean, an actor I normally like, didn't really attract me, and partly because the plot sounded familiar enough that I may have already reviewed it. (Turns out that I hadn't; I was thinking of another movie about witches set in the Middle Ages, but that one had Nicolas Cage in it.) So after checking my listing of all of the movies I've reviewed over the years and not finding this title on it, I finally decided to "bite the bullet" and get this baby off of my "to be reviewed" list. So I sat myself down in my big La-Z-Bubba recliner, queued it up, and hit "Play." And thus it is that this month, Da'ud Bob reviews for you 2010's Black Death.

Starring Sean Bean as Ulrich, Eddie Redmayne as the novice monk Osmund, John Lynch as Wulfstan, Kimberly Nixon as Averill, Tim McInnerny as Hob, Carice van Houten as Langiva, Andy Nyman as Dalywag, Emun Elliott as Swire, and David Warner as the Abbot, the blurb about this movie said: "During the first Bubonic Plague, a church-appointed knight investigates a woman rumored to bring the dead back to life - but may be tied to Satan." As the movie opens, we are told that the year is 1348. "The fumes of the dead are in the air like poison. The plague, more cruel and more pitiless than war, descended upon us. A pestilence, that would leave half of our kingdom dead. Where did it come from? What carried its germ? The priests told us it was God's punishment. For what sin? What commandment must we break that could earn this? No, we knew the truth. This was not God's work, but devilry. Or witchcraft. But our task, to hunt down a demon, was God's cure." A novice monk volunteers for his own secret reasons to guide a band of grizzled knights to a small village in a great swamp where the plague has not touched, and where they are to determine if witchcraft is the cause of the village's seeming immunity.

Good points: The ox cart. The chain mail aventails and hauberks. Germany, where the movie was filmed, is a very pretty country.

Bad points: Ulric doesn't seem much like a Knight Hospitaller (a member of the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, to give them their full name), yet he wears a black cloak with a large white cross on the left breast, as they did. Sharpening a sword with a rock. (Not a sharpening stone, a rock!) Sleeping in their armor. No mosquitoes ... in a swamp. Wind chimes made of cow horns. (No, really!) Langiva "the necromancer."

Zero breasts. Four gallons of blood. 58 dead bodies. Dagger fu. Spiked mace fu. Axe fu. Sword fu. Fire fu. Ox cart rolls. Head rolls. Arms and legs roll. Gratuitous rats. Gratuitous dirt. Gratuitous flagellants. Gratuitous up-close violence. Gratuitous drugged wine. Gratuitous swamp. Gratuitous fog. Academy Award nominations to Tim McInnerny as Hob for his response to one knight's boast that he will soon be having his way in the afterlife with Hob's deceased mother, "My mother's alive, and does not relish the company of soldiers;" to Carice van Houten as Langiva for "People need miracles, and they worship the miracle workers;" to Eddie Redmayne as Osmund for his observation that "I believe hunting necromancers and demons serves men more than it serves God;" and finally to Emun Elliott as Swire for his statement during a discussion among the knights about where the pestilence came from, "I say from France, where all foul things emerge." A 94 on the Vomit Meter. One star. Da'ud Bob says, "I keep trying to figure out what the point of the movie is, but it continues to elude me. Check it out!"



Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

Padmavati

Opened in theaters December 1.

Set in medieval Rajasthan, Queen Padmavati is married to a noble king and they live in a prosperous fortress with their subjects until an ambitious Sultan hears of Padmavati's beauty and forms an obsessive love for the Queen of Mewar.

Likely to be found in only limited release.

https://www.facebook.com/FilmPadmavati/

Knightfall

Began Wednesday, December 6, on History (formerly, The History Channel).

A ten-part television mini-series. "A look at the final days of Knights Templar during the 14th century."

Given the network on which it will air, coupled with the many stories and legends and myths which have grown up around the Knights Templar over the centuries, and especially after seeing at the previews, I suspect that this series will be highly fictionalized and overly dramatized.

http://knightfall.history.com/

Samson

Opens February 16, 2018

After losing the love of his life to a cruel Philistine prince, a young Hebrew with Supernatural strength defends his people, sacrificing everything to avenge his love, his people, and his God. Starring Taylor James in the title role, with Billy Zane, Rutger Hauer, Lindsday Wagner, and Caitlin Leahy as Delilah.

Another movie that I suspect did not need to be remade.

https://samsonmovie.pureflix.com/

Robin Hood

Opens September 21, 2018

"A gritty take on the classic Robin Hood story." Starring Taron Egerton in the title role, with Jamie Dornan, Paul Anderson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Foxx (as Little John!), and Eve Hewson.

Yet another movie that I don't think needed to be remade (again and again and again!)

No official website yet.

The Kid Who Would Be King

September 25, 2018

"A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace." Starring Rebecca Ferguson, Patrick Stewart as Merlin, Tom Taylor.

No official website yet.

Mary Queen of Scots

November 2, 2018

Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. Starring Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, Saoirse Ronan in the title role, and David Tennant (as John Knox).

Oh, look! Another remake!

No official website yet.

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