Tag Archives: Guy Ritchie

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 Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Guy Ritchie

We get a movie based on this show, and yet I STILL can’t get a Hogan’s Heroes reboot!?  It looks the Hollywood remake machine is going all the way back to the Cold War with this re-imagining of a series that was made well before Rocky solved the Cold War by kicking Dolph Lundgren’s ass.  I’ve never seen the show before, but a good old fashioned spy thriller in the vain of From Russia with Love would be a nice change of pace from the other stylish spy flicks we’ve been getting recently.  Not only that, but having Guy Ritchie at the helm of something set in an era that’s known for its unique brand of style seems like a perfect pairing of director and film, so there’s plenty to look forward to here.  Still, you can’t say that Guy Ritchie has been one to look at for great stories which is pretty evident by his PREVIOUS adaptations of a popular series that didn’t take long to go completely off the rails.  Will this be a return to form for the venerable director, or is this just another weak outing from a guy who never learns from his mistakes?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins in early 1960’s Germany with American Super Spy Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) making his way to East Berlin. His mission is to get a local mechanic (Gaby Teller played by Alicia Vikander) to assist him in finding her father who was a former Nazi nuclear scientist and has recently gone missing. The mission is fairly simple. Convince Gaby to help the US and sneak her out of East Berlin. Things get complicated however when Soviet Super Spy Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is acutely aware of what’s going on and tries everything in his power to stop the duo from crossing the border into West Berlin.  Fortunately for the good old Stars and Stripes, Solo succeeds in his mission leaving the not so good old Hammer and Sickle twisting in the wind. Except not really! For some reason, the Soviet government and the US government decide to work together to find Gaby’s father, so now Solo and Illya have to work together to stop whatever scheme he, or possibly his kidnappers, are planning.  So wait, they couldn’t come to an agreement to work together until AFTER Solo and Illya tear their way through East Berlin? Wouldn’t that have complicated any ongoing negotiations?  Oh well, at least we now have our premise.  It’s a spy action-comedy with the tension between Solo and Illya working for opposing sides in the Cold War informing much of the comedic strife and genuine tension throughout the movie.

“At least my country hasn’t sold its soul to the false idols of capitalistic enterprises.”     “I’m sure your people feel oh so superior as they eat their potato soup and die in the Gulag.”     “CAN THE BOTH OF YOU PLEASE SHUT UP!?!?”

“At least my country hasn’t sold its soul to the false idols of capitalistic enterprises.”     “I’m sure your people feel oh so superior as they eat their potato soup and die in the Gulag.”     “CAN THE BOTH OF YOU PLEASE SHUT UP!?!?”

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