King Arthur: Director’s Cut
DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, Stellan Skarsgard, Ray Winstone, Stephen Dillane, Hugh Dancy, Til Schweiger, Joel Edgerton
Written By: David Franzoni
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua
Studio: Touchstone Pictures
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King Arthur is known worldwide as a hero, a great leader and warrior, but with that story was a myth. A tale passed around from generation to generation, which told what really happened with Excalibur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. The legend was based on a real person, Arthur, a leader from Rome who was chosen to protect Britain, but was ready to leave and return home for peace and stability.
Arthur (Clive Owen), was a courageous leader known through out Britain and Rome, but Arthur was torn with doing his duty as a warrior and his private agenda of doing good for mankind. With him were his knights of the round table, who were there to protect Hadrian’s Wall from the Saxons, armies from the North. The knights’ duty was to serve for fifteen years, and then Rome would decide if they were free. It was on that day, Rome decided that the Knights must complete one last mission, before granted their freedom. As anyone would be, the Knights were furious because this mission could mean certain death and now they must risk freedom and their lives one last time. Arthur knew he must carry out the mission and his brother in arms must follow. The knights adored Arthur for because he was unstoppable on the battlefield, and natural born leader with a heart of gold. They would follow him anywhere. Even if it meant them to travel north past enemy lines to retrieve a Roman family before invasion of the Saxons. There they must save the family, and the rest of the serfs from being killed. This is a mighty task since there are so many of them and it slows their journey home down. Also, they help to rescue Guinevere(Keira Knightley), from the Roman family who imprisoned for practicing paganism. Most of the knights were pagans as well and didn’t think a person could be treated as such. Locked up, shackled, and left to die, Arthur and his knights rescue her and a little boy. Even in the thick of the most tense of times, Arthur seems to find compassion for others and not worry about himself. With a massive army of Saxons approaching, the Knights must escape and return to Hadrian’s Wall for protection. Unfortunately, that is where the Saxons end up and are ready for battle. What you get are impressive battles, several throughout the picture, one in the beginning, middle, and end. It’s a hat trick of excellent fights, swordplay, bloodiness, beheadings, and flaming arrows. The choreography of the fights were quite amazing and the cinematography was excellent. Who would have thought the imagery of a fierce battle would look so nice? Shot across Ireland, it helps show the barren land that once was throughout England, and Scotland. It also conveys a real gloomy and cloudy atmosphere which makes it believable for a period piece.
Every actor is believable as their character in the movie especially those played by Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd, and Stellan Skarsgard. I have always been impressed with Clive Owen ever since I saw him play the mysterious & cool badass in the BMW movies series. Here, he IS Arthur. It’s hard to picture anyone else to play that character. Also, Ioan Gruffudd is amazing as Lancelot. His swordplay and performance is spectacular. I also thought he had a cool voice, since he did some of the voice overs in the beginning and end of the movie. Ioan will next play Mr Fantastic in Fantastic Four. That should be something to watch out for. Stellan Skarsgard plays Cerdic, leader of the Saxons and overall scary guy. He’s tall and creepy, what more to ask for from a bad guy in the movie?
The extras were interesting but not long enough. First off, was “” a making of featurette covering most of the production and post production in a short 17 minutes. A quick tease for each aspect of the production but a longer look would have been nice. You get interviews with the cast, on set footage, a quick look at the scoring sessions with Hans Zimmer who turns in another great film score and much more. Next, you have a roundtable discussion with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Director Antoine Fuqua, Clive Owen, Keira Knightley and more. It was kind of cool to see them discuss the picture after the movie was finished and out in theaters but seemed kind of fake. I know they have to ask questions and discuss stuff they have talked about before, but it didn’t seem geniune enough. The extras also included Jerry Bruckheimer’s photo gallery of shots made throughout the production of the movie and an alternative ending which had some good footage but I like the ending that was in the movie much better. Throughout the movie you can either listen to full length audio commentary from Antoine Fuqua, or use “Knight Vision,” with pop up tidbits and trivia. Kind of cool if you like that sort of thing.
Overall, I really enjoyed King Arthur and was surprised it did not do so well over here. It had great action, interesting story though some historians may argue the story. The movie helped emerge Clive Owen as a leading man and hopefully one day they will actually cast him as James Bond because he is the man!
Alternate Ending “Badon Hill,” With Optional Director Commentary
Blood On The Land: Forging King Arthur
Cast and Filmmaker Round Table
Director Commentary “Knight Vision”
Producer’s Photo Gallery
Konami’s King Arthur Playable XBox Demo
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: Opening Battle, Ice Battle, End Battle (Sensing a theme here?,) and the quickie between Arthur and Guinevere.
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 0 minutes