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Friday, May 28, 2010

Watch Robin Hood? Sure Would!

I haven't put an installment of my top 25 labels up recently. So here goes . . .

Label # 20 (in a seven place tie): Films

I like movies, I have for as long as I could remember. I'm not sure what the first movie I watched at home was, it might have been Wizard of Oz, Dr. Doolittle, or maybe Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I remember that sometimes back before videos, cable or on demand my parents would wake us up so we could watch a movie that was on past our bed time.

There is a new Robin Hood movie out in theatres. I watched it last night. A little more on that later. I recently watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for the first time. These two make a total of 5 Robin Hood Theatrical releases that I have seen. Last nights was the first one that I saw in an actual movie theatre.

Here is a list of those films ranked from first to last in order that I liked them. By clicking on the title of the film you will be linked to the movie's IMDB page.

# 1 Adventures of Robin Hood 1938

This is hands down the best Robin Hood movie ever made. If I ever get around to revising my list of 10 ten films of all time, this will definitely be on it. Erroll Flynn is the definitive Robin. Claude Rains (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Cassablanca) is delicious as Prince John and Basil Rathbone is a text book example of movie villainy as Guy of Gisbourne. The director Micheal Curtiz does a great job of alternating the pace of the movie between action, comedy and romance as he did so ably a few years later in Cassablanca. The hidden gem of the movie is the dynamic score of Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

#2 Robin Hood (1973)

This is the first Robin Hood movie I ever saw. As far as a Disney Cartoon, it came at relative low time for the studio. None of the six animated features they released from 1967 to 1981 (Jungle Book, Aristocats, Robin Hood, Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, The Rescuers and Fox and the Hound) were received as well as the Disney Animated features of the previous and future generations. Robin Hood is definitely one of the best made during that time period. For me it is definitely the funniest of the Robin Hood movies I have seen.

# 3. Robin Hood (2010)

Having just seen this yesterday, it is possible this movie could go higher or lower on this list in the future. I have not yet seen Gladiator, (Yes I'm the one) so I can't compare Crowe's performance in that film to this one. I will say it is a totally different performance than he did in A Beautiful Mind, that's for sure.

When you make a movie that's been made into as many versions as Robin Hood, you want yours to stick out. This Robin Hood seems to be a prequel to the Robin Hood stories we are used to seeing. I think it is a pretty good reimagining. I would talk specifics but I am allergic to saying spoiler alert, achoo!

I was the only one in the theatre, so I have still not seen a Robin Hood movie with a paying audience. This will change in the next week or so when I take my Son to see it. I am in the habit of previewing movies before my kids see them. Since this movie owns a PG 13 rating, I wasn't sure if it was suitable for Him. While there is much violence in the film, I would have to agree with the review I read at a Focus on the family web site that in comparing Robin Hood to Brave Heart says that the violence in the former does not achieve the gore of the latter.

This does not mean I advocate taking every 8 year old to see it. I would not take my 10 year old, but I have a pretty good idea of what my son can watch and not watch. There is a brief scene in the early going that we will be off for a popcorn run during. This is why I advocate viewing a movie before your kids do, it costs more monetarily but I don't have to walk a screaming girl out of the theatre as I did when we tried to watch Eight below. Thanks for the recommendation, Dad!

#4 Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)

When this movie came out in the theatres, I had a small level of interest in seeing it. It would have been the first Robin Hood movie I ever viewed. I never got around to seeing it until last week, when I decided to watch it since a new one was coming out.

The movie has it pluses and minuses. I wasn't as impressed with Alan Rickman's Sherrif of Nottingham as most reviewers seems to have been. Morgan Freeman was excellent as usual and While Kevin Costner is no action hero, His interactions with Freeman, Rickman and Christian Slater are all top notch.

5. Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

When I compiled this list in my head, I forgot all about seeing this movie. That is certainly not the kind of endorsement that would put it any higher on this list. Don't get me wrong I love Mel Brooks. His work in Mad About You and The Muppet Movie are about the funniest things I have ever seen.

As I now remember this movie it was pretty funny at parts. But like many of Brook's comedies, the movie as a whole wasn't anything all that special.

So there we have it. Some thoughts I have on movies under the guise of some Robin Hood Reviews.

Next Time: A Six Word Lucyism

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