Monday, 18 January 2010

20 for 2010 - Robin Hood

And so, a full 17 days since we started, here is my most anticipated film for 2010, hitting the bullseye is Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.



Perhaps it's an odd choice, delayed due to wrong colour leaves and with a revolving door for the cast list (Sienna Miller as Maid Marian - ugh, Vanessa Redgrave as Eleanor of Aquitaine - dropped out) there was lots to make you worry. There was also the Ridley Scott factor. I am not a fan of Scott. Whilst he has made some of the greatest films of the 20th century I think that's more luck than judgement - when things go right they go very right, but when things go wrong they go very wrong.

Consider his previous collaborations with Russell Crowe:

2000 Gladiator
2006 A Good Year
2007 American Gangster
2008 Body of Lies


Even in this small selection we can see massive highs (Gladiator) and stinking lows (A Good Year) and the others were closer to misses than hits.


But I believe this will be another high water mark. The trailer conciously echoes the feel of Gladiator and with Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, A Knighht's Tale) on scripting duties hopefully it will be tight and without the wandering passages Scott likes to include.

The cast is also top notch, Crowe remains one of my favourite actors. His performance in even the weakest of films manages to be packed with a nuance and power that few of his generation can manage. Cate Blanchett is the perfect Marian, with the right mix of haughtiness and gentility. Casting group of largely unknowns as the Merry Men and current go-to baddie Mark Strong in a villianous role only help.

Finally I will confess a deep and abiding passion for the tales of Robin Hood. As a child one of my most thumbed books was about this extraordinary figure from English folklore. I have since devoured every version of this story, from the superb Curtiz film (the best so far) to the current BBC afternoon TV series via Disney and Kevin Costner. It's no coincidence that I ran the Robin Hood marathon last year.

The competition...

Thank you so much to Alex, Tom and Andrew for participating. Unfortunately you all missed the mark. I can understand why you guessed the films you did, The Last Airbender, Harry Potter and Toy Story 3 all look like interesting projects, and are all big summer releases. I will probably see M. Night Shyamalan's latest, but probably grudgingly. Whilst I want the Potter films to do well, I've only seen one at the cinema after having hated the first book. Talking about hating I've avoided Pixar at the cinema since my excruciating experience at Monster's Inc - I don't want to talk about it - saying that I loved Wall-E when I saw it on video and Finding Nemo is now one of my favourite films of the last 10 years so I may try and go again.

I suppose I could have given more clues, although Robin Hood was my most talked about film in the News posts from 2009, and today's birthday was no coincidence...

Anyway as no-one won, but you're all good readers who frequently make nice comments, I'm going to award a draw. I'll send small packs of minstrels - a taster rather than a chance to gorge - to each of you. Please e-mail addresses to ben-j-thomas@hotmail.co.uk and I'll pop them in the post to you.

Cheers

3 comments:

TomS said...

Ben--

Wow, that is really cool! Thanks for the triple award.... I'll send you my address...if you promise to keep in touch as well.

You had a lot of great films in your top 20. I understand your anticipation of Robin Hood given your long-standing love for the stories and characters.

I myself viewed the trailer with some trepidation, as it looked like a retread of Gladiator...I hope the trailers were wrong...

As for Ridley Scott.... I must admit that my favorite of his films, by far, has been one of his least-characteristic: "Thelma and Louise" haunts me even now... I even loved tjhose wandering passages that gave the film its poetry...especially the night sequence scored to Marianne Faithfull...
I wonder if you have seen it....

Again, thanks for recognizing our effort, and I will anticipate your review of Robin Hood!

Warmly,
Tom

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm going to send you my address just because I like foreign mail :)

I should have guessed this in retrospect. Definitely a good #1 choice, it is in my top 5.

Runs Like A Gay said...

Hi chaps,

Just to let you know I'll be sending the post on Saturday, and I received both of your e-mails.

Cheers

Ben