Tag Archives: Djimon Hounsou

Cinema Dispatch: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Guy Ritchie

I don’t know about you, but the definitive King Arthur movie was already made by Monty Python in 1975, so unless Charlie Hunnam is gonna be fetching shrubberies for the Knights who say Ni I’m gonna have a hard time taking this movie seriously!  Okay, so clearly we’re not gonna get a movie as good as Holy Grail (which admittedly is an impossibly high bar to set), but I did like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. well enough which was Ritchie’s last film, and while I never got around to seeing the Sherlock Holmes movies I hear they’re solid as big budgeted adaptations that favors style over substance, even if they did get overshadowed by the BBC show once that became a hit.  The point is, we haven’t had a good King Arthur movie in quite a while and Ritchie is usually reliably competent with this kind of bigger than life myth making material, so maybe he’ll have a chance of clearing that very low bar set by the likes of Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur movie and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.  Can this movie manage to at least be better than those?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins long before Arthur becomes king; namely when his dad Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) was ruling shit and killing dark wizards!  It’s just too bad that the guy had to have a brother because as we all know, the only purpose they serve in medieval stories is to kill the current king and assume the throne!  That’s just what Vortigern (Jude Law) does here, but little Arthur just barely manages to escape after being drifted down a river on a small boat (I think we’re mixing our mythologies here).  He’s found in a nearby village, grows up in a brothel, and turns into Sexy Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who for some reason has no idea that he’s ACTUALLY the rightful king of… wherever the heck they are.  They keep referring to it is as Londinum, so I guess it’ll become Camelot in the sequel.  ANYWAY!  You can’t keep a hero from fulfilling his destiny, and he manages to pull the sword from the stone (similar to how Link pulls the Master Sword out of the Temple of Time) which gets everyone under Vortigern’s thumb hunting his chiseled ass down so they can finally kill the Born King once and for all!  Along the way, Arthur teams up with a mage (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) who is NOT Merlin but close enough, Sir Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) who replaces Terry Jones’s mustache with a goatee, and several others; some of whom are from the original stories and other who are clearly not.  Can this rag tag group of Merry Men… I mean Honorable Knights, take down the deceitful king once and for all?  Will Arthur face his responsibilities and destiny with grace and composure, or will he first have to run away from them like any good Joseph Campbell hero?  Did anyone proof read this script before shooting it, or was everyone on board with the giant elephants, anachronistic dialogue, and the random excursion to Monster Island?

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“With this sword, I shall become The Avatar and control all four elements!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Legend of Tarzan

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The Legend of Tarzan and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by David Yates

I had no idea this movie was even coming out until maybe a month or two ago, and it seems like the studio wants it that way.  They’ve been trying to get a live action Tarzan movie out since AT LEAST 2003 (probably to capitalize on the Disney film) and you can really tell that this shit was cobbled together from a production that’s been willed into existence by sheer stubbornness at the refusal to let a bad idea (or at least a good idea with no good way to bring it to life) just go away and to work on something else.  Still, the Disney movie WAS pretty good and he’s a character that’s endured for over a hundred years now as he was a creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the king of badass genre stories.  Do they manage to eke out an enjoyable action flick from this timeless source material, or will this suffer the same fate as the Conan remake and John Carter which were the last two Burroughs adaptations?  Let’s find out!!

A quick refresher on the story of Tarzan that we all know (as told by Phil Collins).  AHEM!  A paradise untouched by man; a simple life, the apes lived in peace.  But dangers are in fact no stranger here!  The son of man known as Tarzan is taken in by the apes after his parents are killed, but in this version it’s actually the apes that killed his dad… so I guess that makes things a bit awkward here.  Despite that; the power to be strong, the wisdom to be wise, all these things came to him in time during his journey from boy to man!  But in time he ALSO wanted to know about these strangers like him.  One stranger in particular was Jane Porter whose every gesture and every move she made in turn made Tarzan feel like never before, and soon he had this growing need to be beside her.  Now if you only know the story from the Disney Movie (pretty much anyone born after 1990 and are HOPEFULLY getting all these clever jokes I’m making), you all know that his story ends with Jane staying with him in the jungle.  Not true here (and in pretty much every other version of the story from my understanding) as he goes to some other world far beyond that place; namely England.  Thankfully this brings me to the ACTUAL movie I’m talking about (also meaning I can stop quoting Phil Collins lyrics) which involves a domesticated Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) who’s being asked by the British government to go to back to his home (The Congo) for… some reason.  Actually, I’m not sure why Jim Broadbent (playing A British PersonTM) wants him there so badly, but I do get why Samuel L Jackson wants him there who’s playing George Washington Williams; an ambassador for the US who wants to see if the rumors about the Belgians enslaving people in their colony is actually true so he can report it back to his government.  Tarzan (also known as John Clayton) begrudgingly accepts the assignment and also begrudgingly accepts that Jane (Margot Robbie) is gonna go along with him.  Waiting for him in The Congo though is Christoph Waltz playing Captain Léon Rom who is assigned by the King of Belgium to get some damn diamonds out of that colony by any means necessary, and Tarzan is the key to getting them.  How?  Well there’s a tribe there whose leader is SUPER pissed at Tarzan and has agreed to help Waltz get the diamonds if he will deliver Tarzan.  Needless to say that Rom goes about this in the most dickish way possible which includes kidnapping Jane, and so Tarzan must go after them to save his wife and stop them from doing any more evil shit in his home country; all of this with the help of Samuel L Jackson of course.  Can the two find out what Léon Rom is up to and save Jane before it’s too late?  Just what is Christoph Waltz up to other than to pillage the country of all its natural resources?  Wait, this movie is somehow less than two hours!?  Well it certainly FEELS a lot longer, that’s for sure.

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“We’ll get to the gorillas and vine swinging soon enough, but NOT before our morning tea!  What kind of barbarian do you take me for?”

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