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4.2 out of 5 stars
Ladyhawke
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A story about a Curse, a corrupt Priest and a Love that defied darkness. This was the first movie I had ever seen Michelle P. in and her beauty was flawless, as I love Romance novels this movie really appealed to me. Rutger Hauer was every woman's Noble Knight. Matthew Broderich was so funny as was the priest that lived in the run-down castle.
I highly recommend this movie for youngsters as the story is exciting and tells the story that LOVE truimphs over Evil. A Priest in love with a woman he can not have, the captain of the guard is in love with the same woman who loves him as well. The Priest can't have her and finds out that the 2 are in love and damn them to a life forever apart. There is a thief (Matthew B.) who is the only known person to have escaped the dungeons of Aquilar, Navarre (Rutgar H.) happens upon him hears of this is and is greatly interested in getting into the Fortress of Aquilar to destroy the corrupt priest who has damned himself, Navarre and Isabeau (Michelle P.) (sigh) what lovely names.....
The guards of Aquilar have been told to recapture the theif (Matthew) and return/and or kill him to the dungeons. Of course these guards are the same guards that used to answer to Navarre. Wonderfully exciting story and a mystery too!!
Respectfully Reviewed
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on April 21, 2004
This is a great film about a young couple cursed by a jealous and very powerful man the Bishop of Aquila played by the underrated John Wood.
Michelle Pfeiffer is Isabeau a hawk by day and Rutger Hauer Captain Navarre is a wolf by night.
They can never be together except for one brief moment at dawn unless the curse can be broken.
Enter Leo Mckern as the drunken priest Father Imperious who needs to atone for his past sins, and a boy Phillipe Gaston, the Mouse, acted to perfection by a young Mathew Broderick in one of his earlier roles.
The plot is simple and exciting; Navarre wants revenge on the Bishop for the curse he has laid upon him and his one true love, but the only way to get to the Bishop is by attacking his fortress and that is a suicide mission.
Enter the Mouse who is the only person to get out of the Dungeon's of Aquila alive and it is through the Mouse that Navarre can extract his revenge.
There is a lot of action, good acting overall, a lot of humour, and some wonderfully touching scenes that don't get over cheesy which is saying something.
Look out for Alfred Molina as the Wolf Hunter Cezar, it's one of his earlier roles.
All in all this is a film that time has not touched, it is as good to watch in 2004 as it was when it was made in 1985, not bad for a film that is nearly 20 years old!
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on March 11, 2004
Ladyhawke is a little treasure that appeals to a certain audience so much that any faults (ick music) are overlooked. I'm ONE of those people. I think it's just a wonderful movie. The power and occasional magic of true love AND friendship are two main themes. All the leads make the roles their own. The scenery and sets are truly beautiful and appropriate. I'm a a sucker for medieval romance and saw it many times years ago and again recently. I remembered everything but the ending and then remembered I used to just leave after Marquet had his last scene. Ken Hutchison is sooooo great (as always) as Marquet. Everyone is good in the movie but he's the one who got under my skin and made me go from just really liking the movie to really loving it. He hasn't done anything in so long and I don't know why but he is missed. Marquet's and Navarre's horses at the end are two other beautiful things ALMOST as appealing as Hutchison as Marquet. Lovely, sweet little movie with positive messages throughout.
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on March 11, 2004
Rutgur Hauer plays a night and Michelle Pfiffer plays his love. They are cursed by a mean old Bishop who was in love with Isabeu (Pfiffer). And when he found out about her and Navarre (Hauer), he cursed them so they would see each other no longer. During the day time, she is doomed to be a hawk, and at night Navarre is doomed to live as a wolf. And so it shall be untill their deaths. But the 'ol Bishop forgot about the mouse.
The mouse being the nickname for Phillippe, Matthew Broderick's character. A young thief locked up in the dungeons of Aquilla. He manages to escape (being the first to do so) and is on the run from the soliders of Aquilla. He is saved from the soldiers by Navarre, after NAvarre overhears him claim he escaped from the dungeon. Navarre has plans.
This is a really well-done movie and is fun and exciting to watch. And it is one of the few movies out there now that has a really happy ending that will bring tears to your eyes and make you want to just start the movie over and watch it again. Unlike a lot of peeople here, I think the soundtrack is kind of cool. The "disco-medival" music, as they described it, is a little different, but really shows you how *fun* the movie is. And it is fun to watch. Plus this is back in the day when Miss Pfiffer wan't old and is nice to watch too. You can find this movie pretty cheap anywhere, so do yourself a favour and buy it. You won't be dissapointed.
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on February 23, 2004
In medieval times, a young thief named The Mouse (Matthew Broderick) escapes from the dungeons from Aquila, led by a menacing Bishop (John Wood). He is saved by a mysterious knight named Navarre (Rutger Hauer), who roams around with a hawk. By night, however, she is a charming beauty (Michelle Pfeiffer) and he is a wolf. The two are in love, but are cursed by the Bishop. So, with the help of a former priest (Leo McKern), The Mouse is determined to help them break the curse and destroy the evil Bishop.
I really love this film. It's one of my top favorite fantasy films of all time. It's also a childhood favorite; they used to show it on the ol' family channel right after Neverending Story. Nostalgia aside, this is a wonderfully made film. You have a traditional medieval story about starcrossed lovers, epic battles, beautiful locales, and humor along the way. I especially liked The Mouse's misconceptions about God and towards the end of the film, he finally has an idea of what's going on. The acting is quite good, especially considering the main three stars were up-and-coming; Broderick just got off of doing WarGames and Ferris Fueller before taking the role. Hard to believe that Rutger Hauer wasn't the original choice for Navarre (it was reported that Kurt Russell was originally selected to play the part) because he makes the role all his own. It's also nice to see him play a hero role, too; for a long time I thought of him as the psychotic replicant from Blade Runner. Of course, Pfeiffer is excellent as she is beautiful, too.
Richard Donner, best known for helming the Lethal Weapon series, directed and co-produced. His wife, Lauren Shuler, produced the film. His directing style here is actually different from most of his films, allowing the beauty of the old landscapes and the fight scenes to be portrayed properly. The screenplay is top-notch, which is no surprise since one of the writers wrote Enemy Mine and the other contributed to the Superman series.
Probably the only quarrel I have with it is the music score by Andrew Powell (one of the members of the Alan Parsons Project). I actually liked the score, especially with its jaunting theme, but one critic described it as "disco-medieval." I can't agree more. It screams the 80s so well that a contemporary score set to a medieval picture seems very inappropriate. Still, a good score despite what people say.
Overall, I highly recommend this fantasy film to anyone that likes the genre. In fact, I recommend it even if you're not because it's such a beautiful film that must be seen. A must-see.
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on July 1, 2003
1985: I don't know much about actors/actresses film biographies but I believe this could be Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer's debut roles on film. They look very young, especially Matthew Broderick. Broderick plays Phillipe Gaston, otherwise known as "The Mouse." In medieval France, Phillipe escapes an old dungeon prison and the forces of the sinister Bishop of Aquilla (played by John Wood) through the underground water sewage systems. Phillipe is an elusive thief who manages to escape being caught once again through the aid of the noble knight Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer). Navarre is traveling with his hawke. Eventually Phillipe discovers that Etienne Navarre is the victim of a dark spell cast upon him by the Bishop of Aquilla. Previously, Navarre had been the captain of the guard. He fell in love with the beautiful Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer) but met with the opposition of the Bishop, who was also in love with her. Jealous and enraged that Isabeau and Navarre were so much in love, he turned his back on God and called upon the Devil for a wicked black magic- Isabeau turns into a hawke by day and Navarre turns into a wolf by night. The lovers may only briefly glimpse each other as night turns into day. With the assistance of Phillipe, the heroes manage to break the spell during an eclipse. The Bishop is killed and the lovers are finally united in their human form. This fantasy romantic film is well done in cinematic terms. Visually stunning, great special effects (for the mid 80's anyhow) and great performances by Broderick, Hauer and Pfeiffer. The only complaint most viewers have is the music. The score is by Alan Parson, an 80's pop group, and the music inappropriately sounds brash, modern, more in the veins of disco or nightclub music of the 80's. It is out of place for a film set in medieval times. It would have been more appropriate if composer John Williams (of famed Star Wars and Indiana Jones films) made the music for this film, or any other composer that uses symphonic and orchestral treatment for film scores. Perhaps even Celtic music as one viewer suggested and since it is a love story, a love song could have been written and sung by, let's say- Enya.
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This is one of those "guilty pleasures" people talk about. Despite its many flaws, it still stands out as one of my favorite movies -- I watch it more often than I will admit. Yes, the story can get stilted. Yes, it's more full of authenticity errors than your average LARP. Yes, the soundtrack's electric guitars and synth sound ridiculous. Yes, the script forces the actors to say really stupid things. But you know what? It's still a great movie, in the tradition of the greatest medieval romances.
It borrows shamelessly from many sources, ending up with a nearly archetypical story of a lady in love with a knight and a dreadful, awe-inspiringly-unpleasant curse preventing them from being together. Rutger Hauer makes his knight, Nevarre, brim with barely-controlled fury, tension, violence, and desire the entire movie. Michelle Pfeiffer's Isabeau is delicate and airy, but capable and somewhat irritated with (and resigned to) Nevarre's impulsiveness and violence, a welcome change from standard damsels-in-distress. Broderick's "Mouse" is a false note -- it's like Ferris Bueller got set down in 13th-century France. The whole "talking to yourself to illustrate motive" thing is annoying. But he does provide some welcome humor (the "she flew away, Your Honor!" line is one of the best in the movie). The sets are excellent, the scenery is incredible, the costumes are all right (with the exception of Isabeau's hair, which looks just flat-out WRONG the whole way through the movie, and Nevarre, whose black leather is totally cool, even makes squeaky leather noises when he walks), and I just love the horse, who is a character in his own right.
There are very few goodies on the DVD, but the few there are, and the widescreening, make it worthwhile as a purchase. I'm definitely glad I got mine. Incidentally, while it has no real sex or graphic violence, I don't think it'd be great for little kids to see due to some pretty mature ideas in it, including very naughty priests.
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This is one of those "guilty pleasures" people talk about. Despite its many flaws, it still stands out as one of my favorite movies -- I watch it more often than I will admit. Yes, the story can get stilted. Yes, it's more full of authenticity errors than your average LARP. Yes, the soundtrack's electric guitars and synth sound ridiculous. Yes, the script forces the actors to say really stupid things. But you know what? It's still a great movie, in the tradition of the greatest medieval romances.
It borrows shamelessly from many sources, ending up with a nearly archetypical story of a lady in love with a knight and a dreadful, awe-inspiringly-unpleasant curse preventing them from being together. Rutger Hauer makes his knight, Nevarre, brim with barely-controlled fury, tension, violence, and desire the entire movie. Michelle Pfeiffer's Isabeau is delicate and airy, but capable and somewhat irritated with (and resigned to) Nevarre's impulsiveness and violence, a welcome change from standard damsels-in-distress. Broderick's "Mouse" is a false note -- it's like Ferris Bueller got set down in 13th-century France. The whole "talking to yourself to illustrate motive" thing is annoying. But he does provide some welcome humor (the "she flew away, Your Honor!" line is one of the best in the movie). The sets are excellent, the scenery is incredible, the costumes are all right (with the exception of Isabeau's hair, which looks just flat-out WRONG the whole way through the movie, and Nevarre, whose black leather is totally cool, even makes squeaky leather noises when he walks), and I just love the horse, who is a character in his own right.
There are very few goodies on the DVD, but the few there are, and the widescreening, make it worthwhile as a purchase. I'm definitely glad I got mine. Incidentally, while it has no real sex or graphic violence, I don't think it'd be great for little kids to see due to some pretty mature ideas in it, including very naughty priests.
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on April 6, 2002
When I saw this movie...I had nothing to do so I watched it and it instantly became my most favorite movie. Their was romance,drama, and some comic relief with Matthew Brodrick as Phillip The Mouse, a young thief who runs away from prison, and finds himslef being rescued by Nevarre,even though I can't remember his real name, with his Hawk,actually his true love (Michelle Pheifer) Isabo who was turned into a hawk by day and he into a wolf by night by a evil Sorrcerer, a bishop because the bishop loved Isabo(the hawk)but she didn't love him, she loved Navarre the captain of the guard. So the bishop called on the forces of evil to turn them into a hawk and a wolf, but there's a catch, when Isabo is in pain somehow so is the bishop. So they travel together to break the curse.
But at many times there was graphic violence, so I wouldn't recommend this for little kidz. And at times it is very sad which at times made me cry. But it was still a good movie so I urge you to rent it and watch it.
Trust Me, it's a good Movie
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on December 10, 2001
Love, jealousy and magic-- a potent combination in anybody's book; and when you weave these elements together into a story of two medieval lovers (the likes of which Shakespeare could not have penned better), destined to be forever together yet ever apart, cursed by a jealous and powerful man, the result is a romance/adventure that evokes a sense of chivalry and passion, delivered here in the transporting drama "Ladyhawke," directed by Richard Donner. Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer star as the lovers, Etienne Navarre and Isabeau Dante, victims of the wanton desires of a Bishop (John Wood), who covets Isabeau for himself. And if he cannot have her, the Bishop decrees that no man shall, and casts a spell upon them which transforms them at every sunrise and sunset, Navarre destined to be a man by day, but a wolf by night; Isabeau, by night a woman, but during the daylight taking the form of a hawk. Unable to break the curse, they are able to glimpse one another as they really are only during the fleeting moments of their transition, and so they live-- traveling the countryside always together yet apart, searching for a way to lift the spell and become whole again.
Hopeless as it all seems, they go on; and one day a young man enters their lives, a petty thief named Phillipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick), also known as "The Mouse," who through a twist of fate just may become their salvation. Joining them on their journey, Phillipe is able to bring Navarre and Isabeau, if not comfort, at least hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, when at last they may truly be together.
Romantic to the max and in every sense of the word, Donner presents this fanciful tale beautifully, and in a way that makes it engaging and timeless. This story is a vision realized, one that will surely touch the romantic in even the most jaded of individuals, because everyone has known this kind of love and longing, if not in reality, then at least in the realm of the imagination. And those who have ever suffered loss or have known sorrow will be especially moved by it. Drawing upon his own artistic wherewithal, Donner has crafted a film with universal appeal, tempering the romance with just enough humor to offset the drama, while blending it with a dash of action, mystery and suspense that keeps a thread of tension alive from beginning to end. It helps, of course, that beyond Donner's consummate skill as a storyteller he had a terrific cast with which to work, and with whom he was able to conjure and cast a spell of his own.
There is but one word to describe Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of Isabeau, and that is "Exquisite." Of beauty, grace, poise and charm; all of the above. She embodies all of these qualities and more in Isabeau, giving a sensuous and alluring performance that should have earned her resounding acclaim. Why it did not is anyone's guess. One possibility is that it had to do with the decade in which this film was made (it was released in 1985), born as it was in the middle of an era dominated by action movies and teen angst. Given the sensibilities of today's audiences, however, who seem to be embracing the more imaginative offerings like "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings" and the off-beat fairy tale, "Shrek," and in light of the unprecedented success of "Titanic," I feel an argument could be made that this film was some fifteen years or so ahead of it's time. If released today, chances are it would enjoy a significantly greater success. Indeed, it may yet find new life on video/DVD, conducive as it is to the tastes of viewers today.
This is certainly one of Rutger Hauer's most memorable roles, and he is perfectly cast as the dashing soldier, Navarre. Heroic and romantic, this is a character not unlike others he's done (he did a variation of Navarre this same year in "Flesh and Blood"), but this is the definitive portrayal. It's refreshing to see him in a role like this, as he tends to gravitate toward characters with a darker side, villains like John in "The Hitcher," or the anti-hero, Roy, in "Blade Runner." Here, astride his horse and wielding a sword apparently wrought from the same steel as Excalibur, he cuts quite a bold figure, enhanced by the depth of his eyes and a determined attitude, especially in the final scene in which he at last confronts his nemesis. And there's a definite chemistry between Hauer and Pfeiffer that makes this story all the more enticing.
As Phillipe, Matthew Broderick gives an agreeable performance, creating a character who is not only ingratiating, but who serves as a sort of conduit, moving the story along while offering some fresh perspectives on the situation at hand along the way. Broderick lends something of a contemporary sensibility to The Mouse, who is reminiscent of C-3PO in "Star Wars," as he adopts a rather wry and amusingly stoic attitude that makes his bemused soliloquies especially engaging. It's a solid performance, but one for which Broderick-- like Pfeiffer and Hauer-- has never received proper acknowledgement.
The supporting cast includes Leo McKern (Imperius), Ken Hutchison (Marquet), Alfred Molina (Cezar) and Giancarlo Prete (Fornac). Encompassing a number of genres, from romance to fantasy/drama to action/adventure, "Ladyhawke" is an ambitious, entertaining film that has yet to find it's audience-- or perhaps it's the other way around; because it's available and just waiting to be spirited away into living rooms and video/DVD players everywhere. Which is exactly what it will do to those lucky enough to connect with it, because this is one that will sweep you away to another time and another place, beyond the threshold of the here and now and into that land of enchantment, wherever it may be. It's the magic of the movies.
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