Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
Okay, folks, here we go! Hang onto your hats! (And your lunches!) Because of
the dearth of new movies coming out in the theaters (and ignoring any new
movies that aren’t going to be in the theaters but only available via
streaming for the low, low price of $29.99 plus a $6.99 per month
subscription to Disney+, because I’m just not going to spend that much money
to watch a Disney live remake of a Disney animated movie, even if it is set
in period and therefore fair game for me to review for you), we’re stuck
looking at some old and some new movies and mini-series available on Anna
Sue’s Netflix subscription. And I’d like to quote old “Tricky Dick” Nixon
here, tell you that, “I’d like to say this about that, and I’d like to make
myself ... perfectly clear,” it’s not going to be pretty. As a matter of
fact, some of it is very likely to be downright ugly with a capital Ugh.
Nonetheless, I have a newsletter deadline to meet, and besides, as I have
said many times before, our motto is, “We watch ‘em so you don’t have to.”
So, pretty or not, ugh-ly or not, we’re gonna review some of these flicks
for you so you can make up your own mind about whether to watch them or not
without risking PTSD or permanent brain damage beforehand. (“It’s too late
for me. Go on ahead without me; I’d just slow you down.”) Anyway, will all
that as back story, this month Da’ud Bob reviews for you Episode 1 of 2020's
six-episode series, A Letter for the King.
Starring Amir Wilson as Tiuri, Islam Bouakkaz as Arman, Jonah Lees as
Jussipo, Jack Barton as Foldo, Ruby Ashbourne Serkis as Lavinia, Thaddea
Graham as Iona, Nathanael Saleh as Piak, Gijs Blom as Prince Viridian, Omid
Djalili as Sir Fantumar, David Wenham as Tiuri’s stepfather Sir Tiuri the
Valiant, and Peter Ferdinando as Jaro, the setting of this film is three
kingdoms who are at war. The introduction to the series describes it as: “An
ancient prophecy. A message that could change the course of history. And a
hero no one saw coming. Let the quest begin.” More prosaically, and more
informatively, we learn that the story is based on a 1962 fantasy novel by
Tonke Dragt, in which “Tiuri, a teenage squire, answers a call for help that
sends him on a perilous mission across the three kingdoms to deliver a
secret letter to the King.” He is, of course, chased by the bad guys who
have killed his stepfather and taken his mother captive, by the Red Riders
who are out to regain the letter he is carrying, and by some of his fellow
squires who are trying to earn their places as knights. Oh, yeah, there’s
some magic involved, and Tiuri hears voices sometimes.
Good points: Real chain mail. The castle hall. Much of the armor. Many of
the helms. A proper tilt, with shattered lances and all. The yurts. And
heraldry. The big black horse, Ardenwen. (No, really!)
Bad points: Much of the heraldry is of a middling sort. Some of the armor.
Loaded, cocked crossbows being carried about or left lying around. Always a
good plan – if you are trying to shorten the life of the weapon so it’s not
useful to you when you finally need it! So many of the young fighters seem
to be using their shields as counterweights when they strike with their
swords. A good way to get killed! If you opponent gets around your sword,
you are wide open.
Zero breasts. ¼ gallon of blood. Three dead bodies. Crossbow fu. Dagger fu.
Sword fu. Shield fu. Gratuitous hawk. Gratuitous spooky chapel in a
gratuitous skull cave. Academy Award nominations to the (uncredited) horse
Ardenwen for being one of, if not the, best actor in the movie; and
to the fighters’ coach (I missed catching his or his character’s name) for,
in speaking of Tiuri, “He has the fighting instincts of a stuffed duck.” A
72 on the Vomit Meter. 1½ stars. Da’ud Bob says, “I tried to watch the whole
series, but only made it halfway through the second episode. It’s an
interesting concept, but it’s too full of just about every Middle Ages
fantasy movie cliché you can think of, with so-so acting and script. Check
movies and miniseries to watch for!
|The Green Knight
July 30, 2021
|A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and
schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character
and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by
facing the ultimate challenger. Starring Dev Patel, Alicia
Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury.
Now to be released October 15, 2021
in 14th century France, King Charles VI declares that Knight
Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by
challenging him to a duel. Directed by Ridley Scott, from a
screenplay written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Starring
Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer.
|Dungeons and Dragons
Now May 27, 2022
|Plot undisclosed at this time, but like earlier iterations, it
is based on the tabletop role-playing game. Directed John Francis
Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, starring Regé-Jean Page, Chris Pine,
Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith.
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