Friday, 2 July 2010

Robin Hood, from then to now.

As I mentioned before, Doctor who is far from being the oldest Franchise I could mention, even though it's older than Star Trek.

nope, I am talking much older than that.

robin Hood may very well be the oldest adventure franchise I could mention, it is so old. ...
That I have no idea where it came from. But neither does the world, Robin Hood was originally folk lore, it's that old.

though as fascinating as Folk lore might be, that is not what we like to talk about, well sometimes, but as you might have noticed in my two previous "From then to now" articles, I have the edit heavy done on information to have it even be an article.
Though as I said before, I would be more than happy to elaborate something specific.

The oldest on screen incarnation of Robin Hood I have seen, is the Douglas Fairbanks silent black and white movie from 1922.
Douglas Fairbanks is a fun figure in film history, he is actually the worlds first and oldest film action hero, but looking at him he looks nothing like and action hero, his fighting stile even often comes across as silly. what makes up for it however, and made him what he was is his physical stunts, acrobatics and physical humours. to watch Douglas Fairbanks doing his thing is like watching a monkey on steroids.
This movie have a lot of fun elements to it, and plot wise future interpretations would actually borrow more from this than the actual folk lore.
Like, King Richard being the real king, but gone on crusade while his evil brother Prince John tries to steal the throne, is never ever mentioned in folk lore, but see the light of day in this movie. Robin getting actually married with Lady Marion was also a total invention of this movie, as well as Robin Hood being a nobel of heritage.
It's a fun little movie, with grant sets of fun stunt work, all done by Douglas Fairbanks the man himself.

The 1938 movie "Adventures of Robin Hood" is by many considered the definitive Robin Hood movie, and the definitive action movie of the late 30's and 40's.
Well, I kind of have to disagree on both accounts. but lets that be that.
This is a charming movie, and it's so very bright. you can just see at the picture I inserted of bright it is, fortunately it is also funny and charming, and that's where it wins. the fighting is fun, the adventure is fun. It is totally a shameless re-make of the Douglas Fairbanks silent movie as the story is completely the same, but who cares. it got sound, brigtness and colours, so it's not the same.

Disney's Robin hood from 1973
Yeas I am sorry, I really am. That is the Robin Hood I grew up with and saw over and over as a child, I can't say anything mean towards it, I just can't.
I know this movie is supposed to be from the dark, bland and unimaginative days of Disney, and even should be a prime example of that. but I just don't see it, maybe I am blinded by childhood nostalgia? I really don't know.
I just know as far as I am concerned, this is fun, vibrant and even is really really sad and emotional in the beginning of the third act.
I know lots of people hate how Prince John is potrayed in this, but I bloody love it. and it just have the good old kind of Disney Charm from when it's best. I'm sorry, I can't say anything bad about this.

Robin And Marion from 1976 is on the other hand a rather unknown movie.
And it is also quite different from any other Robin Hood movie, both Robin Hood and Marion are deliberately older than we are used to, and they are in another place in life. Robin have been on the crusade for a very long time with King Richard, and Lady Marion choose to go into the convent after Robin left her and seemingly after a long wait didn't come back. And when he do come back their common history and old feelings of cause starts to show.
The movie can seem a bit messy once in a while, as if it's not really sure if it want to be a deep sentimental movie or an adventure movie, and rather than having the to side complicating each other, that is not always the case. though the movie safe it self with a brilliant star cast and brilliant directing. and it's a cute little movie that is fun watching once or twice.

Oh boy, I really meant it when I said I couldn't speak badly about the disney movie.
But this Kevin Coster movie from 1991, I can't speak good about. well maybe Alan Rickman as the sheriff was pretty cool. but this movie kind of suck. it really is boring and bland and makes little sense.
Kevin Coster is horrible miss cast as Robin Hood, his accent is so obviouse country american that it's and insult to british folk lore. but that's the least of this movies problems, it just keeps stepping on itself and have no idea what it's doing.
this is a bad bad Robin Hood movie, and a bad bad action movie.
A directors cut have even been released of this movie so it's even longer, really not necesarry, it fells quite long as it is when your stuck with it.

in another mention, it must be somewhere around here in the timeline the television series I watched as a kid came out, it was an american life action television series, I know it's Robin hood, but I have no idea what it's called, nor who any of the actors were, I just remember watching it. I know Robin Hood died at one point in the series and we actually see his journey of being death from his point of view, he even get to shortly be in an enemy's body.
As I said, I have no idea if this series is any good... thinking about what I just wrote chances are that it isn't. but if it rings a bell for anyone, answers would be much appreciated.

oh boy, Mel Brook's "Robin Hood men in tights" from 1993.

There are a lot of shared opinions about this one, some people think it fails as a spoof, comedy and adventure movie, some really thinks this sucks.
And others don't.

I am a Mel Brooks fan, and I have seen most of his movies. this is not the best movie he ever did, but I like it. I think its a good entertaining and fun movie.
One thing I gotta say when talking comedy, what people think is funny is often objective, and you are all right to disagree with me on that point. but one thing is for sure, this is a tons better Robin Hood movie than the Coster movie.
I just personally like it, and find it to be a nice and appropriate tribute to Robin Hood.
Also, compare this to the usual insufferable spoof we are given in cinema, this is miles better.

Yay! a BBC show! an interpretation of Robin Hood that is actually British.
This BBC one show from 2006 never made it far beyond the British borders, and that's a shame. because this is a good series.
I love British television culture, it's all about quality above quantity, plus the writing is usual about human emotions mixed with silly British humour. and this show is just that.
And for once, the merry men of Robin Hood, all have personalities and purpose, one of the story arcs of the show even goes by one of his men becoming and traitor, and after he became a traitor he had to deal with it.
Prince John never makes an appearance before the third and last season, so the stage is left to the sheriff, and he is one crazy and creepy mother fucker.
It only have the budget and action of a television show, but that's okay. They didn't have to travel for for a good traditional British forest and a old castle, plus the writing is really good for a television show. it's a show that takes itself seriously, and thereby distance itself from the Errol flynn fluffy Robin hood, but not to seriously as it can still make you smile.

Then only a couple of months ago, another hollywood robin hood film was released.
Ridley Scotts Robin Hood. well, when I first heard about his movie, the concept was majorely different from what we ended up with and I was exited, it was going to be sort of a reverse Robin Hood where the sheriff was the good guy and Robin hood the bad, I was pretty excited.
Then several changes was annoynced and finally it was officially Ridley Scott who was handed the project, and I just stopped being exited.
now, I am not a Ridley Scott fan, I mean his movies are very nice and big and beautifull and all that, and I can see why some people love them. personally they just bore me.
And this movie is very a Ridley Scott pr Usual movie, and far from being a Robin Hood pr usual movie, and that is not what I personally wanted.
bottom line, if you like Kingdom of heaven and Gladiator, you probably like this. if Kingdom and heaven dosn't really appeal to you, like it's the case with me, this probably wont either, it's very far from being anything like a traditionel Robin hood film, and it's just a bit boring and dissapointing to me.

But then it's a good thing this is yet another franchise which is far from being dead, it's only a matter of them before somebody else will give it a shot with a new movie and tely show, and actually. Robin Hood had quite a lot of television shows, and I only covered one single one. but that's because I think it stands out and is really good. so I just go and watch that instead of the Ridley Scott thing, no problem.

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