Saturday, July 10, 2004

Yesterday I saw King Arthur. The movie raised issues current to today's political climate (religious fanatics torturing and destroying people's lives, occupation by a world power, conflict between the occupiers and the occupied based on different faiths, etc.). That aspect of the film reminded of TH White's motivation behind writing The Once and Future King. White wanted to relate the legend of King Arthur to the post-WW2 political climate. If the film had focused more on those aspects of it, it would have been more interesting. But Guinivere's character brought up a whole host of new questions: The Knights have been soldiers for 15 years, but Guinivere has been locked in a dungeon for a long time, tortured and starved. How is she able to fight just as well, if not better, than them? Who are the tribesman that she gathers and how does she have the authority to gather them? (I doubt they would just listen to girl). Why is Guinivere naked throughout the entire film? When ever my sister would see Guinivere she'd say "What the hell? Isn't it supposed to be cold out there? It's snowing, everyone is wearing fur, and she's naked!" I don't think Guinivere's blue skin came from war paint. The poor girl was freezing her leather-strapped boobs off.

The film claims to follow the true origins of King Arthur, thus not following the legend at all. Some parts of the movie do follow the truth (the Sarmations did bury their dead with swords in their graves, Arthur did unite Britons after the Romans left Britain, and he did defeat the Saxons). But for the most part, saying that this story is the true origins was just an excuse to grab those characters and put them in a different plot. In real life, there was no Lancelot, Galahad, or Merlin. Lancelot and Galahad were added by the French in the literary tradition of courtly love. The round table was also later added by the same writer who created the "Sword in the Stone" story. Arthur had 3 wives, one of which was named Gwenifayr, so some people think that's Guinivere. But she wasn't a Xena warrior princess. While saying this movie is much closer to the true origins would be a fair statement, to say it is the absolute truth would be false. Of course, if we ignore all that (because, after all, it is just a movie) and ask the question, "Is it as good movie that's worth seeing?" I would say that if you want to see a good King Arthur move, go rent Merlin, Camelot, or First Knight. If you just like knights, go see A Knight's Tale. King Arthur is not a great movie. It's gets boring at times. If I were you, I'd wait for it to come out on video or TV. I don't think it was worth my money. The legends were written because the truth was too boring.

I also saw Paycheck, starring Ben "I want to have your babies" Affleck. Now that was a great movie, like all John Woo moves are. It was fantastic and exciting. It kind of reminded me of The Bourne Identity. This is a really good movie, and I recommend it. I still don't like Uma Thurman. For some reason, all the movies try to make her seem glamorous and beautiful when she's neither of those things. She's not even that great an actress. But Paycheck is great and if Ben hadn't gotten stupid and romped with J. Lo it would have done really well at the box office and garnered a sequel. Stupid J. Lo and her kiss of death.

On : 7/10/2004 9:42:13 PM Will (www) said:

How can a man who did not exist unite Britain? Then defeat the saxons, things that happend more than a millenia apart. There is no "true" tale of king arthur is is ALL a legend, a welsh legend, not british.

But it sounds like I would enjoy this film, if only for the smile factor. Your review has made me want to see it even more. :P

On : 7/11/2004 1:37:27 AM Maryam (www) said:

That's a great site that compares Arthurian history and Arthurian literature/legend.

On : 7/11/2004 4:27:57 PM Will (www) said:

Sorry, but a geocities page is not acceptable evidence. Even if it were, the page states:
A conclusion can probably not be made on this subject because the evidence is just too sketchy...we suffer from too little reliable information.
Fairy tales.

On : 7/11/2004 6:20:16 PM Maryam (www) said:

I never said it was acceptable evidence, or evidence at all for that matter. Why do you want to make it sound like I'm wrong when I didn't make a claim to begin with? I'm not an Arthurian or a historian, nor did I ever say I was. The film claims to tell the truth based on Arthurian history. I'm familiar with Arthurian history only by the limited attention it is given in my English courses. The attention given to it is limited because the history itself is limited. I personally only care about how the legend changed throughout literary history (from Malory to Tennyson to White).

On : 7/24/2004 10:31:15 PM Sammy (www) said:

What?!! King Arthur isn't real?!?!?! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree with your view on John Woo. MI and MI2 were sadly disappointing and disgraceful to the viewers of the TV series...or maybe this utter dislike of John Woo results in a subconscious hatred and annoyance of Tom, I must hold Woo responsible for those horrid movies...I still can't stand Tom Cruise, but I shall save that for another day!...nevertheless, I shall respect your viewpoint of Woo movies and shall go back to believing in Arthur legends! =)

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