Movie Review Two For: Robin Hood & Capitalism: A Love Story
I saw “Robin Hood” this weekend and left the theater with the feeling of “meh” as the credits rolled. Since this weekend, I have been pondering just why I was left feeling nonplussed by this film and I think I am finally at a point to put those impressions into writing.
First off, once again I find myself going to the Hollywood well only to look down into an empty dry chasm. Why must we be put through another iteration of the myth so soon? Ok, you may be asking yourself
“Just when was the last Robin Hood film?”
Well, I believe it was Costner’s flick, so maybe my perspective of time is bad on timing, but, really, that wasn’t an epic and neither is this so why do it? Of course in between there have been at least 2 series on BBC that have made it to America and I have seen a few of those.
Perhaps I am just tired of schlock…
In any event, this film was a new take on the Hood mythos with some historical context that was on the money. Other things though just kind of set me off on the whole issue that Robin Hood did in fact, not exist. According to the history that I have read, he was a myth perhaps based on someone, but he certainly wasn’t a known historical figure who brought “freedom” to England.
In the film we have Russell Crowe doing his best to play.. Well.. Russell Crowe. His acting is wooden and frankly he should have just been in his Roman Gladiator outfit throughout the film, it would have made no difference. Lets just call it Robinus Maximus Dismus Hood.
“I am a husband to a dead wife, father to a dead son, and the man who will kill you Godfrey!”
Now that would have been something! But alas, that did not happen. Instead, we have a war weary archer returning a sword who’s handle holds the secret to his early life and family. He must assume the mantle of the murdered Locksley and take on the evil that is King John to bring the Magna Carta to the masses!
No, really, we are to believe that the son of a “Visionary Mason” *wink wink, Masons, men of vision and freedom on 1199* is going to bring political and economic freedom to 12th century England.
Boy, those peasants sure are lucky! C’mon!
Then there was the siege that never happened using 12th century versions of Higgins Boats with oars instead of inboard diesels. I watched this whole scene unfold and all I could think of were two scenes from other films done much much better. Firstly, the battle scene at the end of “Braveheart” where Mel rides in blue woad to rally the troops. Secondly, the overt imagery stolen from the Omaha beach invasion from “Saving Private Ryan” Except with horses and swords…
So, in the end the film just left me not very moved by its moody pathos, its phoned in acting, and its lackluster screenplay. However, in light of the second film I am reviewing today, it has stirred some interesting thoughts.
For my second film, I am going to talk about “Capitalism: A Love Story” by Michael Moore. This film had me thinking pretty much all day today about our current situation and where we are all headed economically. It also however, had me reflecting on “Robin Hood” as well as the Magna Carta and other historical events.
Moore’s film was released in October 2009. At that time many revelations about the Banking and Financial industry had come out and we were seeing the meltdown of our economy in front of us. Of course we had been seeing that for some time, but, it was really in our faces then. Now, in May 2010, we are beginning to see how the sausage was made at places like Goldman Sachs and realizing we never want to eat sausage again.
The thrust of this film is the fact that it would seem that the institutions that make up “Wall Street” and the “Financial Industry” had been in reality making huge bets using the economy as its private casino. What the film lacks in perspective though are the recent hearings in Congress with the Sachs emails that pretty much showed anyone watching, the loathing that these people had for anyone not in their private circles.
Basically, it has been a private circle jerk and we the people have been the ones with semen on our collective faces. What’s worse, they didn’t even buy us as much as a happy meal in exchange for the pleasure.
At this point you may be asking yourselves why am I writing about these two films together? Well, isn’t it obvious?
Robin Hood: The serfs/peasants rise up at the behest of one man to force the king to sign the “Magna Carta” so they may be free and not taxed to death.
Capitalism: A Love Story: A single man exhorts us all to realize that we are in reality Serfs/peasants (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate-owned_life_insurance) who now have a vote… That is unless the elections are rigged…
I find it interesting that these films both are created during a time where our lives are being challenged on some of the same levels. Whether it be the 12th century or the 21st, it seems that there will always be people and or systems in control of the country that perhaps need some reminding that they rule at the behest of said same people
In the end, skip Robin Hood but take away from this review the ideals that Robin Hood stands for. Then watch Capitalism: A Love Story, and ponder just how much things have not changed since the 12th century.
The rich want to stay so at the expense of the poor. Nowadays they just have many more laws to hide behind.