Tag Archives: King Arthur

‘King Arthur’ looks likely to flop…I’m not surprised

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword premieres in theaters this weekend and already the expensive film ($175 million) looks ready to flop, and frankly I’m not surprised. For me, King Arthur is one of those stories that you have to get EXACTLY right or it will not work. Experimenting too much with the story is what contributed to the downfall of the 2004 King Arthur film, and it looks like the same thing is happening all over again. Well, I don’t think the casting helped either. No disrespect to Charlie Hunnam, but when I look at him, I don’t see King Arthur.

I think the proposed scope of the ‘King Arthur’ franchise is helping to make this a flop as well. In case you didn’t know, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is supposed to be the first of SIX films in a series. Now, it’s one thing to announce ONE sequel before a film comes out, but to flat out say you’re making FIVE sequels even before the first one comes out? Not only is that overly ambitious, but it also means that the first film is going to be much too big in scope, because you’re setting up an entire universe that is going to be expanded on in FIVE new stories.

This is one of the 2017 films that I was certain would flop at the box office, but for the sake of the studio, I hope the film can make at least some of its money back (but I doubt it).

If you do end up going to see this film, please let me know what you think about it. Is it as bad as the first reviews are saying? Or are the critics way off base? In either event, let me know, I’d love to hear about it.

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On this day in Film History: King Arthur (2004)

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On July 7th, 2004, the adventure film King Arthur was released into theaters. Rather than showing a traditional portrayal of the fabled king of legend, Arthur (Clive Owen) is shown here as a Roman officer in the waning years of the Roman Empire, with his “knights” of the Round Table (Bors, Gawain, Lancelot, Tristan, Galahad and Dagonet) being fellow officers under his command.

For the last fifteen years, Arthur and his fellow soldiers have been guarding Hadrian’s Wall and preventing the Woads from crossing into Roman territory. However, now that Rome is officially abandoning Britain, they all expect to receive their freedom (as their length of service to Rome is set to expire the very next day). However, at the last possible moment, Bishop Germanus arrives and insists that Arthur and his knights travel past the wall to rescue a wealthy Roman family, as their son is the favorite godson of the Pope. The mission is nearly suicidal in nature, but they won’t receive their freedom unless they go.

At the same time as Arthur and a company set out to rescue the Roman family, the Saxons, led by Cedric and his son Cynric, are seen landing on another coast, set to plunder and destroy as they go. In the course of the mission, Arthur rescues a Woad woman named Guinevere (Keira Knightley rocks in this role), who has been trapped alive inside a wall. Her father is a Woad chieftain named Merlin, and he desires to join forces with Arthur’s so that they can fight the coming Saxon incursion.

A lot of this film revolves around Arthur accepting who and what he really is: that he’s not really a Roman (his mother was Celtic) and that the Rome he dreams of doesn’t really exist. In the end, the Saxons are defeated and Arthur and Guinevere marry, with Arthur being proclaimed king by Merlin.

At the time this film came out, I was deeply obsessed with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin and anything remotely connected to them, so I naturally took this movie in like a sponge. I recognize now that the story is deeply flawed, but if you forget about historical accuracy (and the blatant lack thereof that exists in this film), you can spend an enjoyable two hours watching this film.

King Arthur “Knight’s March” (2004)

One positive the film does have is a great score composed by Hans Zimmer, who once again proved why he is a master of writing scores for action and adventure films. The music for the Woads is particularly well-done, fitting their mysterious nature.

Sadly, the film wasn’t very well-received (it’s currently rated “Rotten” at Rotten Tomatoes), which is a shame, because there are some great moments in this film, and the score as I said is another Hans Zimmer gem.If you haven’t seen this film, I recommend borrowing a copy and checking it out.

*film poster is the property of Buena Vista Pictures

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