Starring Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and directed by Guy Ritchie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is, you know… an interpretation of the story of King Arthur; as in Knights of the Round Table, Merlin the Magician, etc., King Arthur. It’s one of those stories that has been told many, many times and in many ways on film, including animation, satire, fantasy/action/adventure/drama. And I totally had to go see it after I heard Sandy Kenyon’s review, which was just too sad to even be funny.
Where this film goes wrong lies with two crucial elements of this movie are just “off.”
#1 – Director. Not that I don’t care for Guy’s work. He’s okay with me. But here he imposes his sleek, modern style of film making into this late 5th-early 6th century tale and the result is at times it works well and is charming, and at other times it’s a painfully bad fit. I use the word “imposes” because during the course of the entire movie things just feel very forced, when had his style been “infused” into the film it might have flowed more effortlessly. For example, in one scene Charlie Hunnam walks across the set with all the swag of Jax Teller and it is as if Jax Teller were playing King Arthur! No! No! No! Nobody in 5th century England was likely walking with a bop in their step; I mean it’s possible, but not probable. Little things like this made the movie laughable at times (and I’m not talking about the good kind of laughable, or the moments that were intended to be funny – and there were a few), and with just a bit more care and effort, we all could have had a better movie.
#2 – The screenplay. Guy helped co-write the screenplay, and the story felt as though it had more than a few hands on it – as if it had been a bit overwritten. This story didn’t quite know if it wanted to be historical, mystical, beautiful, comical, dramatic, tragic, epic – it was just all over the place because it did not work as all of these things at once. The balance in the story just wasn’t there. The story itself is definitely stale, having been told many times over the years, but the attempt to “freshen” the material with Ritchie’s style was a mistake, unless he was going to modernize the setting or just make the characters straight-gangster and make an R-Rated version. Now THAT would be a movie worth making and one I would be more likely to pay to see. I must say that this is the most multicultural cast of characters I have ever seen in the telling of this particular story, and I appreciated that. It is a beautiful thing to see people of color working on the big screen – BUT, it did absolutely nothing to modernized the story in any meaningful way (because the setting was still 5th century England), nor did it change the story in a way that made it more interesting or entertaining. Someone else may feel differently about it. Me personally, I don’t care if the entire cast is whatever nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or whatever, as long as the movie is good. And as far as the story itself, it may have worked on paper, and in theory I can even see where it might work, but the execution fails.
While watching Mr. Kenyon’s review he made mention of the terrible acting by David Beckham (I believe he mentions another critic claimed it is some of the worst acting he’d ever seen on film or something to that effect). But let me just say, Becks (see how I refer to David Beckham as though we’ve met…) only had two lines and they were two terribly written lines. The worst part of this movie by far for me was listening to Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as The Mage. I thought she was absolutely and tragically, terrible. This character had no presence, no energy (as she tried to be “ethereal” and came off as horror movie creepy), no emotion (yes, I understand she is The Mage, but give us something) and her accent was super-annoying. I mean, to point out one character with such a small role, just because it’s Becks and exclude this horrible, large (she is billed second on IMDB) role from criticism, is unfathomable to me. Now I’m critiquing the critic! I’m done with this movie!
What saves the movie from being a total wash out is the wardrobe (particularly the well tailored clothes on Hunnam), the cinematography/camera work, the choreography of the battle scenes, the effects, some of the acting, the jokes, and I gotta tell ya – looking at Charlie Hunnam for two hours will never a problem for me (unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong, heaven forbid, and God bless him).
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, despite that big budget and great industry expectations, earned 5.5 out of 10 bloops. I can’t give it 6 bloops because I can’t say the movie is “not bad” because, believe me, neither is it good. It’s not quite bad enough to walk out on which makes it so-so and worth it if you didn’t have to pay, but I kind of wished I had walked out when it was over. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pay! Bottom line – the movie isn’t worth the price of the ticket unless you really, really love a period piece, or Charlie Hunnam or Guy Ritchie. It could have, of course, been much better for $175 million dollars…but alas… Rent it when it comes out on demand perhaps, if you care to.
1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
It’s been a while…
Hey there! It’s been a while since I reviewed anything. I had a small bit of surgery to recover from but I’m much better now. While I was down I binge watched so much Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO, etc., I don’t even remember all the things I watched. So here are some mini-reviews of what I’ve seen. Still haven’t seen The Handmaid’s Tale, the seventh season of Archer, second season of Master of None, and Queen Sugar (I know I’m late. Don’t judge me!), but they are soooo on my list. Thank you to everyone who kept checking to see if I had written anything and those who kept reading, referring and sharing what I’ve already written and kept my little blog alive. Sincerely, thank you so much.
HBO – starring the Rock
7.5 out of 10 bloops
Dear White People
8.5 out of 10 bloops
Surprisingly, much better than I expected it to be given that I disliked the movie very, very much. I felt like it was too similar to something Spike Lee had already made, and if I want to see a Spike Lee movie, I can watch a Spike Lee movie. What really made me watch the Netflix series is that one of the episodes is directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Would have been really nice if they could have gotten Spike Lee to direct one, but alas… The uniqueness of the format of the show is what makes it interesting. It’s well acted, well cast, and confronts and discusses important issues surrounding racists and racism. Another one of the programs the very people who need to be watching won’t. You think it is going to be an exercise in bashing white people but it is really about engaging one another in a conversation, coming to some understanding about one another and working toward solutions.
13 Reasons Why
8.5 out of 10 bloops
Another great show which puts suicide all up in your face, and covers all the things that can contribute to it, including but not limited to, low self esteem, negative self image, peer pressure, bullying, sexual assault, rape culture, depression, underage drinking, and just so much more. If you have a tween or teenager who is willing to watch it with you, you really should. You could literally talk about each episode for hours because there is so much going on in the story with these young people. And no, it does not glorify suicide. This is a mini-review, so I won’t get into all of that. Watch it and form your own opinion. The initial premise is a bit silly to me, but you have to go with it to get through the story. A second season is coming. I guess it will be interesting to see how that is executed.
9.0 out of 10 bloops
All I can say is Oprah… Holy Crap Girl! You have done it! Haven’t seen Queen Sugar yet, but this right here is fire! If you like drama and excellent acting I can’t tell you enough how much I encourage you to watch Greenleaf. It’s about a pastor of a megachurch and his dynasty. Lynn Whitfield is outstanding as the first lady of the church and it’s like someone spilled all the church secrets. Very well done, indeed. It’s dramatic like Empire, but with class and Jesus. And there’s a Winans in it and everything! The music is an important part of the show.
This is Us
NBC/I think I watched on Hulu or Amazon. I really cannot remember. Check both. It’s worth it!
9.0 out of 10 bloops
This show features a multicultural, multifaceted family that contains a bunch of imperfect people trying to navigate how to love each other and stay together. You see, the family looks all perfect and kumbayaa on the outside, but if you look a little bit deeper you see all the many, many, flaws – just like real families. And they’re beautiful. And they love each other. It is just a beautiful show. If you have almost any type of family relationship troubles, you will see your loved ones in this show. I was told it will make me cry every week, which is why I avoided it. (I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want to be crying over some t.v. show every week. Life is hard enough as it is.) It didn’t make me cry every week, but when it gets you, it gets you and it isn’t terrible. Well-acted, well written, well-conceived, just superbly well done.
What I’m Watching This Week
- Alien: Covenant – hoping to get a preview pass for this one by tomorrow at least!!! Who couldn’t love an Alien movie?
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul – After seeing the commercial for this I was interested. A family road trip with no devices. Sounds like hell. Poor children.
- Everything, everything – for something sad and sappy and beautiful.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Florence Foster Jenkins
I Am Not Your Negro