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PHOTOGRAPHY

ROBIN HOOD 2-Disc Unrated Director's Cut
DVD Review by David Blackwell
 
DETAILS:   156 minutes (unrated)/ 141 (theatrical), deleted scenes with intro and optional audio commentary, making-of documentary, trailers and TV spots, digital copy
VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1, Spanish 5.1, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 (theatrical cut only), English 2.0 Dolby Digital (extras on disc 2)
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
 

STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Imagine Entertainment/ Relativity Media/ Scott Free Productions

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  5-14-2010

DVD RELEASE DATE:          9-21-2010

 

STARRING Russell Crowe (Robin Longstride), Cate Blanchett (Marion Loxley), Oscar Isaac (Prince John), William Hurt (William Marshal), Mark Strong (Godfrey), Max Von Sydow (Sir Walter Loxley), Kevin Durand (Little John), Mark Addy (Friar Tuck), Scott Grimes (Will Scarlet), Matthew Macfadyen (Sheriff of Nottingham)

WRITTEN by Brian Helgeland (story/ screenplay), Ethan Reiff (story), and Cyrus Voris (story)

DIRECTED by Ridley Scott

It is 1198 AD and Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is an archer in King Richard Lionheart’s army on the way back to the England from the Crusades (in the Middle East).   After the death of King Richard, Robin and three others make their way to England under the cover being knights who were killed in an ambush by the traitor Godfrey (who is working for the French).   Robin ends up posing as a dead man (Robert Loxley) and he ends up being caught up in a rebellion being steered up by Godfrey’s unit of French troops (posing as English soldiers).   Prince John wants to be married to the niece of King Phillip (of France) who is John’s mistress.   He wants to tax England to death and doesn’t care for the rights of the people.

 

ROBIN HOOD is a different take on the Robin Hood legend.  It is an origin story which could be the start of a possible franchise.   For summer popcorn fare, ROBIN HOOD is entertaining and yet Ridley Scott’s other frequent scriptwriter William Monahan could have done a different job at writing this movie.   The detail in the period clothes and weapons look right, but the movie gets too involved in providing a back story and not pushing more with making Robin Hood an outlaw.    The fight scenes are good and the detail is great, but I hope the second ROBIN HOOD (if there is one) is more focused on pushing the character of Robin Hood forward.   With the entire back story, ROBIN HOOD feels a little too long at almost two and a half hours.   Yet, the Unrated Director’s Cut and a second viewing of ROBIN HOOD makes the film more enjoyable despite whatever flaws exists in this film.   I would watch this one again over say that Robin Hood film with Kevin Costner.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

10 deleted scenes with an introduction by Editor Pietro Scalia (he also provides optional audio commentary for the scenes and tells why each scene got cut).  They are a nice selection of scenes and they provide moments that don’t fit in either cut of the film.

 

RISE AND RISE AGAIN: THE MAKING OF RIDLEY SCOTT’S ROBIN HOOD-

A 63 minute making-of documentary that is split into three sections:

BALLAD, LEGEND, & MYTH: PRE-PRODUCTION- how the project came together, the script was rewritten from what Russell Crowe describes as CSI: Sherwood Forest, and the prep that goes into getting the film off the ground

THE MORE THE MERRIER: PRODUCTION-  the ups and downs of shooting the film (the climatic beach battle scene was shot in 9 days and it put the prop department through the wringer to make sure everything was ready fro each shooting day).

NO QUARTER GIVEN: POST-PRODUCTION- covers the editing and music of the film.  The first cut came out to 3 hours and 25 minutes.  The editor and composer describe how it is to work with Ridley as frequent collaborators (and the ideas Ridley brings to the process).

 

Also on the second disc are two theatrical trailers, six TV spots, and a digital copy of the film for computers and iPods.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   The unrated Director’s cut (which is a little too generous term when it comes to most extended versions of a Ridley Scott film) flows better than the theatrical cut of ROBIN HOOD.  The deleted scenes and the making-of documentary are worthwhile extras.   Too bad that Ridley Scott didn’t record an audio commentary for this film.   I just wonder what a sequel would be like to this film (Ridley did say in the documentary that he wants to make one).

 

This DVD review is 9-24-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com