Robin Hood

Robin Hood Men in Tights

The criteria for “does this movie deserve its own expanded universe?” keep on plummeting. Way back in the wilds of 2008, forging an expanded movie-verse required some kind of source material that was already an expanded universe. Marvel Comics and DC Comics properties and precisely nothing else. Then came the Universal Monsterverse, which was okay because the studio had already done it before (starting with 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man). Now all you really need for an expanded universe are two things: a general action/adventure theme and more than one character. Does “Robin Hood” fit both? Sure! A “Robin Hood” expanded universe it is, then. The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Sony is currently forking over seven figures ($1m against $2m, which in studio-ese means “$1m now, another $1m if we actually make the movie) for a new take on “Robin Hood” from writers Cory Goodman (Priest) and Jeremy Lott. Entitled Hood, it’s described as tonally similar to the Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible movies, only set in a world where the fastest vehicles are horses and the coolest spy tech is the old arrow-on-a-string zipline (exasperation aside, an extended ziplining spy sequence could actually be kind of incredible). And of course, Hood was pitched using the words “universe” and “Avengers.”

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Doctor Who Doctor of Sherwood

When I first got into Doctor Who (only a few years ago), part of the appeal for me was that it had a kind of Quantum Leap deal as far as the main character’s control of where he’d wind up in many episodes. He would try to go to one place and time, but he and his companion would land in another, as if the Tardis was taking them somewhere and somewhen more important to put right what once went wrong. It’s not as fun when, say, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) gets to pick a destination and they actually get there. But this week’s installment, “Robot of Sherwood,” worked for me anyway because of a new twist on the idea. The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) doesn’t expect to land where/when they do because he thinks it isn’t real. Or at least he doesn’t think the real place and time is populated by such folklore characters as Robin Hood (Tom Riley), Little John (Rusty Goffe) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Miller). 

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Culture Warrior

I’m not a parent, but I know that you’re a bad one. You know why? Because you probably took your kids to see Cars 2 this weekend. I know what you’re thinking: “What’s wrong with Cars 2, it’s just a harmless little kids movie.” Well, it’s destroying America with it’s anti-oil message, indoctrinating our children to become Prius-buying, David Simon-worshipping tree huggers so the late-term-aborting hippie liberals at Pixar can do their part in carrying out Hollywood’s takeover of family values. You’re probably thinking, “But Landon, children typically don’t understand subtext. And when children grow up in a free democratic society such as ours they often question for themselves the values and ideas they were exposed to as children and eventually adopt a perspective that makes the most sense to them, thus making your use of ‘indoctrination’ hyperbolic and short-sighted. Anyway, even if they did understand what Pixar was doing, children don’t give a ratatouille’s ass about politics, the free market, offshore drilling, or our over-reliance on fossil fuels. They just want to watch a movie about talking cars. Also, being a child of the late 80s/early 90s, you grow up with a lot of environmentally-aware children’s entertainment like Jim Henson’s TV show Dinosaurs and movies like FernGully and The Brave Little Toaster, yet those didn’t inform your political perspective in either direction just as they didn’t make you think dinosaurs wore clothes and acted like the cast of All in the Family.” That would all be fine and dandy […]

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This Week in Blu-ray

Even in the midst of the madness that is Fantastic Fest, I’m here to bring you the best high-definition disc buys, rents and well… avoids in This Week in Blu-ray. I wouldn’t miss another opportunity to write about my own favorite super hero, Iron Man, or the chance to talk about the feel-good movie of the year (Babies). And perhaps throw in a few titles from last week’s selection, including that big mess of a film that Ridley Scott put out earlier this year and something about a family, modern or otherwise. It’s a big week in Blu-ray, so lets get started… …right after the jump, that is.

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees an abundance of TV shows hitting DVD in preparation for the new Fall season including Modern Family, Spartacus Blood and Sand, Community, Castle, and more.

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Culture Warrior

For better or worse, this summer of movies is over, and now we’re in the early-Fall transition into the inevitable season of so-called “serious” awards-friendly films, films that supposedly say a lot about human nature and our time and place as a culture. However, I’ve always contended that it is often the films that seemingly exist only for “entertainment’s sake” that have the most to say about culture, mainly because they operate in such a way that allows us to turn our minds off, passively consume them, and therefore go along unquestionably with the socio-political presumptions explicitly or implicitly embedded within their narratives. Such films that purport to exist solely for entertainment value often end up telling us a lot about how and what we think about the present, and it just so happens that these types of films are most often relegated to the summer months. Summer movies in 2010 ranged from highbrow to lowbrow, blockbuster to indie to sleeper, with head-scratchers and brain-cell-killers alike, but many of these films, intentionally or not, had something to say or assume about the present cultural moment.

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The biggest star of the silent era puts on one hell of a last silent show and manages to pay homage to the exciting new technology of sound.

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This is it, folks. The weekend we’ve all been waiting for. The answers are finally going to be revealed to the world. Is Donkey really the smoke monster? Who will Fiona choose between Shrek and Puss in Boots? Will Lord Farquaad make a surprise appearance at the last minute and take out everyone with sticks of dynamite lifted from the Black Rock? All of this and more will finally be answered in the final installment, Shrek Forever After.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Eric Vespe from Aint it Cool News pitches Jaws: The Revenge of the Sith and sticks the landing.

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Iron Man 2

Everyone’s numbers were just a little less than predicted, but in our second weekend into the Summer 2010 movie season, we’ve established two things. Iron Man 2 is no Iron Man and Russell Crowe and is no Denzel Washington.

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Neil Miller isn’t a fan of Ridley Scott’s new film. At all. Robert Fure and I disagree, and while neither of us love the movie we both think it deserves a fairer shake than the D+ grade Miller awarded it. And here’s why…

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To continue to draw your ever-shrinking attention spans to the best of what happens on the pages of this fair website, I will be coming to you every Saturday with The Week That Was, our version of “Best of the Week.”

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr isn’t a very merry man, taking a look at Robin Hood, Letters to Juliet and Just Wright.

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If Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood suffers from any one thing — and it suffers from many — it suffers from being disconnected from the classic nature of the character. Even Kevin Costner’s Robin of Locksley, through the terrible accent, had a bit of joie de vivre. Even he had a bit of fun.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil decide to be outlaws and scamper around the Magical Studio in the Sky like a bunch of merry men. This gives them an opportunity to impale Ridley Scott’s new version of Robin Hood while Kevin declares Letters to Juliet a better film.

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Bows and arrows won’t even put a dent in the War Machine, and, this weekend, we see if die-hard, Ridley Scott fanatics can make any kind of an impact on Iron Man 2’s sure-to-be strong, second weekend.

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We take a look at the hundred-year history of Robin Hood in film and discover that Sean Connery seems to be the common thread.

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Your daily recommended allowance of random movie stuff, stories that fell through the cracks, and news you can’t use.

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Robin Hood

Universal Pictures has released one final trailer for Robin Hood, once again emphasizing the larger scale of the Russell Crowe-led affair. As you can clearly see, they want you to know that director Ridley Scott is taking the action back to his Gladiator days.

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A character that has endured 600 years gives us the unique chance to compare films featuring the same figure but are radically different because of the technological limitations of the time.

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