on March 2, 2004
Growing up this was one of my favorite movies-- I was 13 when the film was released and I saw it seven times in the movie theatre. I was really excited when I learned that there was an expanded edition with added footage and looked forward to the deleted scenes.
They are not that good; they break up the narrative almost to detrimental effects and often times lead to confusion. For example; a man, mid-way through the movie has his tongue cut out, the next few times we see him he cannot talk, in one of the last scenes he speaks (the scene where he speaks at the end is in the original and the other scenes were added). This made the experience kind of sour for me. Also with an expanded edition I was hoping for letter-box, but alas, I was disappointed again (yet, I admit this is my own fault for not checking first).
The added features are all right, but not spectacular-- two separate feature length commentaries which aren't very interesting and a network behind-the-scenes program hosted by Pierce Brosnon; nice but I was expecting more.
If you are like me and were a big fan of the original, I wouldn't buy this movie; it tries so hard to reinvent itself with the added scenes, to its own peril, it's not nearly as enjoyable. I gave it 3 stars because the bulk of the movie is still as I remembered it.
on January 14, 2013
Movie as great as I remember, only complaint is half way through the disc suddenly stopped. Family was confused, thought disc was faulty, but just needed to be flipped. That's old school.
on February 15, 2004
This is simply put one of the greatest movies ever made, as far as I'm concerned. I do not really care who made it and where it comes from. Ok, I'm really fed up with hollywood with all the crap they're putting out but this one shines through. It is wonderfully filmed in UK with all the castle scenes and landscapes. There's really nothing to complain about, everything fits nicely from beginning to an end and there could be a sequel to this, it would be wonderful. This movie is awesome and deserves nothing less than 5 stars. I've seen it hundred times and it never gets boring. A masterpiece that it is.
on July 5, 2004
This was one of my favorite movies way back when it came out in '91. What may have even prompted me to see it was that it wasn't gonna be the proverbial 'men in tights' satire. But Kevin never really did much that was meant to be an intentional comedy (some only turned out to be that way not by design). Hilarity was an element was not intended to dominant the script. However, anyone who may have been expecting this to be anything like Dances With Wolves will have been thrown a curveball. Costner did not hold the directorial reigns and it shows, with no disrespect to K. Reynolds.
I bought the DVD recently and I cringe at some of the choices the project had taken. It's easy to say it in hindsight but the truth is rough considering the lineup of some high-profile actors cast. Bottom line: It fumbles from being having all components of a comedy, drama, and romance in one release. In other words, typical Hollywood fare.
I found the second supplementary disc sub-par. I'm surely not asking for anything on the level of the Lord of the Rings, Terminator 2 or Star Wars prequels, but I thought the SE version was going to merit more information and detail. I also grew weary of Costner's commentary here.
I might have given Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves three stars. But the cast did all they could do to save a rushed screenplay. The movie did do well in the theatres in '91 so it did have its charm. Get this only if there is absolutely nothing on the store shelf.
on May 2, 2004
This is a really terrific movie, if you can ignore Kevin Costner's bad accent (why isn't it an English accent? Cos he was so bad!) and mullet hairstyle - yuck! Every aspect of the movie has to be given top marks, and on this special edition of the movie, you get 12 minutes of extra footage that wasn't shown originally in cinemas.
However, the rest of the extras are not very good. I don't see the point in bringing out films that did great business when they originally came out, but don't give much extra on the DVD! The only decent extra on this is Bryan Adam's live performance at Slane Castle in Dublin of "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)". You've got a "behind the scenes" feature - presented strangely enough by Pierce Brosnan (why?) playing Jeff Goldblum. (The resemblance is uncanny). And then there are "vintage" cast interviews, which I can't stand on DVD extras - they are so dull & tedious! And a photo gallery, you can't forget that.
The 12 minutes not shown in cinemas is quite cool. But you have to watch closely, because sometimes, it's little more than extra shots of people in the crowd or whatever. What is quite good, is the longer sections of cut film is to do with the Sheriff of Nottingham, and these scenes give an insight into his relationship with the witch. Very interesting, and so stupid that it was cut from the original version of the film.
There's a great cameo from Sean Connery towards the end (why did I think Patrick Stewart was going to walk out?), which he reportedly got paid $250,000 for, for TWO DAYS work (alright for some) which he donated to charity.
For all the ladies out there - the scene where Kevin Costner is naked under the waterfall, is actually a body double!!! Which is kinda weird, have you seen the tan lines?!
This is a DVD to get purely for the 12 minutes extra, not for the rest of the extras. But otherwise, the film is great, and the score by Michael Kamen is so sad at times.
on January 14, 2004
This entire movie is simply in bad taste. The worst - - a vicious rape attempt is treated as a comedy skit. When I saw this movie in the theater, the audience laughed through the whole scene. I've worked as a rape counselor, and, believe me, there is nothing funny about it. And the cheap cameo ending seemed more suitable for a TV sitcom. Very poorly directed - - no one seems to have a clear idea what this movie is about as far as tone or intent; the actors seem to have rehearsed for different movies and only come together accidentally. I did give it two stars instead of one because there are a few good scenes, and some of the characters are amusing for a while (and Costner has an undeniable charm). And, I realize this may put me in the minority, but I really appreciate that Kevin Costner did not try to sound English. I'm tired of phony accents in movies. I have an imagination and have no problem accepting that I am supposed to believe he is a 12th Century Englishman. And none of the accents were authentic -- 12th C. English would be unintelligible to us. All the actors were using the "wrong" accents and the wrong words. So forget that silly criticism about Costner's lack of accent. It's irrelevant.
on January 2, 2004
The protagonist of this movie is the Sherriff of Nottingham. Saddled with the task of watching over his kingdom while the King is at war, he defends the land from impetulant son of a Satan-worshiper. This thief is named Robin and slimes his way into forming alliances with several peasants and a noblewoman.
A few spoilers follow
Unless you were really, really concentrating on the movie or had no foreknowledge of the tale of Robin Hood, this could pass as a servicable summary. Let me get something straight, right off the bat: I love Robin Hood. I've probably read every version from the Great Illustrated Classics to the original. So, I'm probably being more biased than necessary.
So, first, what's wrong? I'll give you a hint. It begins with a "K" and ends with "evin Costner". Don't get me wrong I like-- okay, "Dances with Wolves" was good. Everything else of his was rot (except maybe "Field of Dreams", which I keep meaning to see). Like Tom Cruise, he plays the same character in every movie. Some scenes -- like the ones with Will Scarlett -- he handles adequately. Other, he botches. And let's not discuss his "accent".
Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors. Sadly, while he gives his character a great presence, the writers don't give him much to do except make a point of not fighting and drinking.
Plot-wise, this film is lacking. Some parts make little sense (Robin's conversation with the evil priest, etc.). Others are too drawn out (the attack on the Nottingham fort). Some parts don't segue. As for the ending... ah, I'll get to that after I review:
Alan. Rickman. Seething malice, practically spitting every word, maniacal and deliciously unpredictable, Rickman is the perfect villain (as proved in many of his other films). His character is (insanely) more likable than Robin! Robin is portrayed as being a whining little rich bully who has an awakening and tries to set things right. In the process, he upsets most fo the villagers' lives. The Sherriff is witty ("Locksley! I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!!), smart, and dangerous. I was rooting for him!
The biggest injustice in the film happens at the climax of the film, where Robin and the Sherriff face off. I will warn you, this is a spoiler, but not really if you have any sense of drama.
ROBIN CHEATS! In no way would Locksley have won, were it not for Marion's interference. He was an incapable swordsman who got thoroughly owned and would've died twice if Marion hadn't kicked Nottingham and thrown the couch at him. And he used a hidden weapon, something no hero would do.
Now, I enjoyed the cameos. Everyone knows Sean Connery plays Richard the Lionhearted in a small scene and yes, it's nice to see, but my favorite was Robin's father, played by Brian Blessed. Who's Brian Blessed? Why, he played Richard the IV (this movie's Richard's successor) in Rowan Atkinson's "Black Adder". A very nice surprise, even if he only had a short scene.
Overall, this movie is average, typical Hoolywood fare. Rickman's performance is worth sitting through Costner's tepid acting five times over. A few decent action scenes, some humor, some tripe. If you're looking for a decent Robin Hood, try any of the other ones. The 1938 version is great, the Disney version ais more than acceptable ... I even prefered Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" to this. You have Cary Elwes who, despite being in a parody, is the perfect choice for Robin, and Dave Chapelle who is always hilarious. And heck, even the TV Movie "Princess of Thieves" has the succulent Keira Knightley (Rrrrreeaaaaagle! *a la Wayne Campbell*).
on December 26, 2003
Kevin Costner got a lot of... for his English accent, and while it wasn't great, it wasn't that distracting. "Robin Hood: Prince of Theives" slightly brakes from traditional myth in that Robin Hood is a returning knight from the Crusades. In the absense of King Richard, Sherriff of Nottingham attempted to take power. When Robin returns he swears vengence against the sherriff who killed his father and defamed his name. Then it's basicly "Die Hard" in the forest. The greatest change is Morgan Freeman's Moorish warrior traveling with Robin. Freeman is good, as usual. Christan Slater is full of fire and wind (putting it nicely) as Will Scarlet. Costner dose well as Robin, I really thought he did excellent. Mary Elizabeth Mastrentonio is pretty good as more or less independent Maid Marion (she has a lot of 1990s style "Thelma and Louise" attitude than was not realistic in the Dark Ages). But it's Alan Rickman's Sherriff who steals the show. He is wild, over the top, very funny to watch. This movie is dark, violent, and kind of scary with it's witch and occultic themes. This is pure action from start to finish. Just excellent.
on November 19, 2003
Granted this movie wasn't the best keystone in the Robin Hood mythos, but it has style and class. For those people out there who have a problem with the costumes... are y'all forgetting the movie is set back in MEDIEVAL times? The costumes reflect the depravity of that era and are pretty realistic in my opinion, would you rather a modern medieval tale with cross-dressing weirdos in tights and elf shoes? How homoerotic.
As for the acting, I find it pretty accurate for the roles portrayed --poor, ignorent farmers-- they aren't supposed to sound like they've just graduated magna cum laude from Oxford. Costner does wonderfully as the hero as does the rest of the cast, and Alan Rickman is marvelous as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
And the stuff about Costner's accent (or lack thereof), come on, if that detracted too much from the movie, you watch movies too seriously! The lack of any good authentic accents doesn't add to the continuity or the mythos as a whole, but for this movie, accents don't detract horribly from it.
For those who compare this to the Earl Flynn version (think coloful Peter Pan) reffer to the paragraph about "homoeroticism."
Overall, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves isn't the most Oscar Worthy movie of the 90's but it certainly isn't the worst either, and in fact is more fun than most; it definitely is worth your attention and ffits well in the modern day too. I personally love this movie, however, it deservers 4.5 stars instead of the full 5 just based on the fact that Kevin Costner appears naked briefly.
on November 5, 2003
I recently saw this on DVD for the first time since in the theatre in '91. I thought it was mostly OK then, and that the brouhaha about Costner's accent was dumb -- it's not that important (the rest of the cast has varying degrees of English, fake English and American accents).
However, seeing again confirms that it hasn't aged very well. It's a pretty lame effort by the standards of other action/adventure type films based on classics (Three Musketeers '73 or '93, Conan the Barbarian, Scarlett Pimpernel, Count of Monte Crisco etc.). Kevin Costner is a capable enough actor in contemporary roles but he's really weak at this kind of period part. It's not his accent, it's that he behaves in too modern a way. The script, which is not respectful of either the 12th century OR the classic story, adds insult to injury.
The character of Azeem seems to have been added purely for urban audiences -- he's woefully out of place and time and has no real function in the Robin Hood tale. Morgan Freeman is a fine actor and one can easily imagine a good original film built around the appealing character of Azeem, but it was very poor writing to put him in this movie. It muddles things more than they already are.
A lot of people seem to like Alan Rickman's performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham, but to me this was classic overacting and scene chewing. Mr. Rickman is capable of vastly better work than this, so I guess I have to blame the script and director for making the "bad guy" so cartoony. If there is no good villain, a story with a hero becomes unbalanced -- how can you fight evil, when evil is jokey and non-threatening? Michael Wincott does better as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, treating the part more seriously and with real menace, but he exists in the plotline here only to be repeatedly humiliated by Robin Hood and is killed off so early his character never is full developed.
Mary Ellen Mastrantonio wasn't a very good choice for Maid Marian -- beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course, but I found her gaunt and plain looking, and she had no chemistry with Kevin Costner at all. (Neither was the concept of her as a plucky swordswoman developed.) She actually seems to have more chemistry with Rickman, (even if it is the "I hate you" kind) so you don't have any kind of romantic flow at the end when Robin Hood and Maid Marian finally marry.
Costumes and sets seem both drab and inaccurate, a remarkable (under) achievement. Since Robin Hood is more a myth and fantasy/parable, rather than a history lesson, I think it would have been more enjoyable if the costumes were colorful and romantic, rather than drab and ragged. At any rate, it's not a movie that one gets a lot of visceral enjoyment just from watching the sets and costumes.
Since almost 15 years have gone by, I think someone could seriously think about remaking another version of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, with better actors, script, etc. There have been lots of versions over the years -- good, bad and indifferent -- but this is DEFINITELY not the definitive version.