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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: New Robin Hood         Reply with quote

I'm just too curious not to ask. I went to see the midnight showing of Robin Hood last night with Russell Crowe, and was overall pleased with the entertainment of the film -- the cinematography was spectacular, the acting was great, and the music was epic. As a film my only complaint would be that it had too many subplots going on that seemed to muffle the overall storyline. I recommend it, though.
The real purpose of this topic is that based off of the history of posts regarding historically based movies, everybody on this website RAILS on them. I wanted anybody who has seen the film to point out any historical accuracies and inaccuracies, or if it was all just absolutely geared for entertainment like them all.
Were the weapons the right time period? Were they used correctly from a fighting standpoint?
Were the costumes even remotely correct?
Were the castles and settings appropriate? (I loved the white horse on the hill add on, though I felt like I was the only American in the audience who wasn't thinking, "why the crap is there a giant white horse on that random hill?")
I mean, if anything, on a scale of 1-10 how historically accurate was it, despite the fact that you liked the entertainment aspect?

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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: New Robin Hood         Reply with quote

I am going to see it tonight and will report back about it. I am sure it will be filled with mistakes, but I will probably like it anyway. I just hope it's not like Braveheart in terms of costume design.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't seen it yet (maybe tonight) but I watched the accompanying documentary made by Scott et al. (probably as an advertisement for the film). The basic message was that a) no one knows the real history of robin hood, so its all speculation anyway, and 2) they purposefully re-interpreted the folklore to give it a more political context.

So maybe judgments of historical correctness should be confined to whether they got the context right - the period, the clothing, the weapons, the battle tactics, and major political events- as opposed to the particulars of the Robin Hood story.
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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just from the trailer:

Clothing: Pure fantasy through and through for the leads; slightly better for the extras
Armour: There seems to be a LOT (two words!) of 15th century armour in 12th (13th?) century England
Archery: Mostly nonsense. Typical Steve Ralphs' Movie Archery' (TM). Arrows are too flimsy; shooting technique is Victorian. At one point Crowe shoots a hickory-backed bow (there is no native hickory in England; and even if there was how would they glue it to a bow stave?)

Ridley Scott is famous for ignoring historical accuracy in his movies, randomly and haphazardly mixing periods and styles to achieve his 'vision'. Providing the outcome is an entertaining film, why should we care?

As a warbow archer I feel some affiliation to the Robin Hood legend and the trailers (and Crowe's publicity junket comments) have had me grinding my teeth. As a result I probably won't see the film at the cinema (for fear of being thrown out for screaming!)

That said, I'll be the first one to forgive it all its historical sins if its a compelling story with strong performances, believable motivations for the protagonists (and antagonists) and a satisfying emotional journey.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Ridley Scott is famous for ignoring historical accuracy in his movies, randomly and haphazardly mixing periods and styles to achieve his 'vision'. Providing the outcome is an entertaining film, why should we care?


Why should we care? It's a question that's often asked. Everyone has their own view on this. Some might not mind the inaccuracies. I usually don't mind them - I still find enjoyment in the film - BUT, having said that, I would have liked it if they HAD gotten it right! The way I see it is, they have the money at their disposal to get consultants and historians to help them make it look real, so they don't have an excuse for not taking advantage of that. OK, they do have an excuse, in the form of saying "we have a vision of how we want this to be". Okay. That's fine, I guess. Like I said, I can still enjoy the movie, maybe. But when the real-life stuff looked just as cool, or cooler, than the made-up movie stuff, why use the latter?

The real armour in the Met and the Wallace looks cooler than any of the fake crap that the props department in movies cooks up, in my opinion.

The other side of this is - could you watch a World War II film where everyone was armed with flintlock muskets? Or a Civil War flick where they all had Garands? It seems like the older the time period of the movie's setting, the looser they get with any semblance of historical accuracy. But if you know as much about the period equipment as people like us do, it's just as egregious a mistake.

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
Quote:
Ridley Scott is famous for ignoring historical accuracy in his movies, randomly and haphazardly mixing periods and styles to achieve his 'vision'. Providing the outcome is an entertaining film, why should we care?


Why should we care? It's a question that's often asked. Everyone has their own view on this. Some might not mind the inaccuracies. I usually don't mind them - I still find enjoyment in the film - BUT, having said that, I would have liked it if they HAD gotten it right! The way I see it is, they have the money at their disposal to get consultants and historians to help them make it look real, so they don't have an excuse for not taking advantage of that. OK, they do have an excuse, in the form of saying "we have a vision of how we want this to be". Okay. That's fine, I guess. Like I said, I can still enjoy the movie, maybe. But when the real-life stuff looked just as cool, or cooler, than the made-up movie stuff, why use the latter?

The real armour in the Met and the Wallace looks cooler than any of the fake crap that the props department in movies cooks up, in my opinion.

The other side of this is - could you watch a World War II film where everyone was armed with flintlock muskets? Or a Civil War flick where they all had Garands? It seems like the older the time period of the movie's setting, the looser they get with any semblance of historical accuracy. But if you know as much about the period equipment as people like us do, it's just as egregious a mistake.


Good points, this is how I feel. I thnk it's a total cop out to go along with this popular assumption that what is entertaining and what is realistic are mutually exclusive. I think it's closer to the contrary. Not only does real armor look better than fake armor, real castles look better than fake castles etc., but real stories are almost always far more interesting than fake stories - whether you are a grognard or a casual audeince member. When the basic logic of the plot is aimless or stupid, you can sense it.. In fact the 'vision' often gets derailed by the technical inaccuracies since the lack of understanding of the period reality leaves them floundering off into the realm of nonesense because their tinkering is based on nothing that has anything to do with the time, the place, the people etc. Kingdom of Heaven had this problem IMO.

To me I can look at a Kirosawa Samurai film, or a Polish movie about Hussars in the 17th Century, and it works on every level including that of pure entertainment. Yojimbo is a film which will still be remembered long after "First Knight" literally ceases to exist in any form.

That is not to say that every Renaissance or Medieval set film needs to be Mastepiece Theater... it's just whether the context is enough in the ballpark to 'feel' real... Sergio Leone / Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns (not coincidentaly often based directly on Kirosawa samurai flicks) may not have been totally realistic in terms of technical accuracy, but they were close enough that you could buy into it as a period piece. This is easier to do for a US audience because in the US we have some idea what the American West was like; we know they didn't have Uzis or Cell Phones. When it comes to Ancient Rome, Medieval Germany, Crusader states, the Vikings etc., frankly most American moviegoers really don't know even that much, so the Producers and Directors don't feel lke they neeed to bother, so we get the equivalent of Westerns with cellphones and etc.

The saddest thing about it is that many of the people who know better will still go watch these films (myself included) simply because they want to see anything about one of these periods; and then go and rationalize that it doesn't matter how bad / inaccurate it was. People in general are gradually getting better informed about Pre-industiral Europe etc. for the same reasons these films are being made; there is a rising tide of interest in the 'genre'; I think there is no reason this should not dovetail with increasing realism and historical accuracy. It's a mistake to consider that a constraint, it's really just the key to entry into this whole other world. Without it, it's just Hollywood gibberish.

J

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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
Quote:
Ridley Scott is famous for ignoring historical accuracy in his movies, randomly and haphazardly mixing periods and styles to achieve his 'vision'. Providing the outcome is an entertaining film, why should we care?


Why should we care? It's a question that's often asked. Everyone has their own view on this. Some might not mind the inaccuracies. I usually don't mind them - I still find enjoyment in the film - BUT, having said that, I would have liked it if they HAD gotten it right! The way I see it is, they have the money at their disposal to get consultants and historians to help them make it look real, so they don't have an excuse for not taking advantage of that. OK, they do have an excuse, in the form of saying "we have a vision of how we want this to be". Okay. That's fine, I guess. Like I said, I can still enjoy the movie, maybe. But when the real-life stuff looked just as cool, or cooler, than the made-up movie stuff, why use the latter?

The real armour in the Met and the Wallace looks cooler than any of the fake crap that the props department in movies cooks up, in my opinion.


I think that the vast majority of the people on this site would agree with you. However, the vast majority of the movie-going public does not care or even know what is accurate in regards to this stuff. The people involved in making the movie likely realize this and simply fit the costumes to match their own style while still making it "believable enough". 80/20 rule in action.

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
Quote:
Ridley Scott is famous for ignoring historical accuracy in his movies, randomly and haphazardly mixing periods and styles to achieve his 'vision'. Providing the outcome is an entertaining film, why should we care?

The other side of this is - could you watch a World War II film where everyone was armed with flintlock muskets? Or a Civil War flick where they all had Garands? It seems like the older the time period of the movie's setting, the looser they get with any semblance of historical accuracy. But if you know as much about the period equipment as people like us do, it's just as egregious a mistake.


They cannot do that because most people out there today do in fact know that WWII vets were not using muskets and cannons, so it is not a very good analogy.


Last edited by Ed S. on Fri 14 May, 2010 2:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something I would like to point out...people in the 12th century who were documenting events of the past with pictures still used conventions of their period for clothes, weapons and locations. How often have we seen illustrated bible scenes that were drawn with armor, weapons or clothes of the same period as the artist? I'm sure there were people in Robin Hood's day, if he existed, who were expressing past events (like King Arthur) using modern clothes, armor, weapons or language in writing and art. So film, which is one of our highest art forms of our time, is just continuing along in this tradition in a way.

I think it's something in our psychology that we have to find "reference points" in our own age in order to understand the past. I point this out at Ren faires to patrons when they ask whether I'm 100% historical in my outfit, eyeglasses, boots or even hair/facial hair styles. We may like to live in the age we desire to express in our art (and believe me Renaissance faires are a form of art in their own right), but modern conventions slip in from time to time purely because they have to be there for safety or convenience. Because of this, I often give some slack to the guy who dresses up a bit off for the century the faire is trying to represent, just as I give films a bit of slack if they're trying to portray a period where neither the director, actors, writers or crew have even studied at all. If they get it more correct than I expect, I consider it a bonus and consider it better art than most.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
That said, I'll be the first one to forgive it all its historical sins if its a compelling story with strong performances, believable motivations for the protagonists (and antagonists) and a satisfying emotional journey.


Yes and no. Normally I'd agree with you but not in the case of this movie. I haven't seen it yet, but I saw several "making of" featurettes/documentaries/commercials and all the talking heads are saying "historically accurate" twice per sentence. Everyone is claiming this is a totally historically accurate representation of 12th century England.

Now, if they hadn't claimed that thirty times in a 10 minute featurette then I would have forgiven them, but not now. Sorry. I'll still go see it for the entertainment but I will go around and b*tch about the inaccuracies afterward.
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Walter S




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
The other side of this is - could you watch a World War II film where everyone was armed with flintlock muskets? Or a Civil War flick where they all had Garands? It seems like the older the time period of the movie's setting, the looser they get with any semblance of historical accuracy. But if you know as much about the period equipment as people like us do, it's just as egregious a mistake.


Weapons in most WW2 movies are pretty screwed-up too... For example German soldiers always have MP-38/40 submachine-guns, completely disregarding the fact that in reality only like 1 out of 20 soldiers had it (usually squad or platoon leader). It was the Russians who had whole platoons of SMG-totting infantry. Almost all German soldiers had the reliable (but outdated) bolt-action Karabiner 98k rifles.
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Keith Staton




Location: Salisbury, Md USA
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: White Horses         Reply with quote

http://www.tourist-information-uk.com/white-horse.htm

http://marsartifacts.tripod.com/alton_barnes_white_horse.jpg


In the Saxon Tales novels by Bernard Cornwell, Uhtred is used to offer a scenario by which the White Horses (criticized above} came into being- to honor a battle of course. The film location is supposed to be that of an actual battle. The things existed and, arguements aside, are as much a part of the legend as the long bow or the drinking friar. The MOVIE is supposed to be about legend, and rather than take a cynical view of Robin Hood before Ive seen it, I expect to love the movie and pick it apart later. As far as historical accuracy goes, you can still make set movies and characters in a given time period more accurately than they did when Hollywood was using .45/70 trapdoor Springfield rifles for American Civil War movies. The stocks and barrels were the same size so hey !!!!< why not? And while I understand all the inaccuracies people found in Braveheart, I will never think it a lesser movie for them. If anything Ridley Scott will outdo himself BECAUSE of them.

Russel Crowe too, deserves a little credit for using the tools they give him in these movies. I felt the same skepticism before Master and Commander, because I am a life-long sailor, and didnt want to be disappointed. I knew, in fact, that one of my best friends had been a historical consultant on the film because of his work with artifacts of a War of 1812 wreck of a British ship near here. But that movie was done very well, and many details from local archeology contributed to the overall picture. We still find small things about M & C to be surprised at. They were real sailors on a real ship before they were on cobbled together sets and did a fine job with that one. That films director, Peter Weir, was largely responsible. Crowe absorbs some of that attn to detail from each film he does.

Im sure someone is about to come along and slash me apart for something I said here, but come on. Its either visually entertaining or its not. Have a drink and enjoy the peace and quiet.



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Justin H. Nez




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know what everybody is complaining about, we all know that the Errol Flynn version is how it really was!!! Laughing Out Loud

Joking aside, I think that they should be as historical a possible, (they have the money) and I have wondered why "the vision" couldn't fit into historical correctness; then again historical correctness is fickle and in 75 years we might all say "remember such and such? We really had that wrong." Actually I should say hopefully our kids or grand kids will say it.

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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: White Horses         Reply with quote

Keith Staton wrote:

Russel Crowe too, deserves a little credit for using the tools they give him in these movies. I felt the same skepticism before Master and Commander, because I am a life-long sailor, and didnt want to be disappointed. I knew, in fact, that one of my best friends had been a historical consultant on the film because of his work with artifacts of a War of 1812 wreck of a British ship near here. But that movie was done very well, and many details from local archeology contributed to the overall picture. We still find small things about M & C to be surprised at. They were real sailors on a real ship before they were on cobbled together sets and did a fine job with that one. That films director, Peter Weir, was largely responsible. Crowe absorbs some of that attn to detail from each film he does.


Was about to menthion Master and Commander - I tend to use that movie as an example that you can remain (mostly) historically accurate and still create a highly entertaining film that will bring in a good cash-flow as well. Have not seen Robin Hood yet, but in our "inner circle" the title for thet movie have been "Gladiator and Galadriel beating up Sheriff" since main actors where announced... so I am not really expecting much of an accuracy. At least, from the stills and promo rolls it seems that Robin lacks the ever-present back quiver, which is a good thing Happy
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Ed S.




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin H. Nez wrote:
I don't know what everybody is complaining about, we all know that the Errol Flynn version is how it really was!!! Laughing Out Loud

Joking aside, I think that they should be as historical a possible, (they have the money) ...


Well, to be fair they have a budget of x number of dollars. They could spend a lot more money hiring historians and commissioning custom pieces when a suitable, historic costume could not be found, but that would come at the expense of something else. They would much rather pour money into special effects, more camera work, sets, design, etc. than spend money on something that 99% of people will never appreciate and will not get fans in the seats. You can't really blame them for that.
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Julian Arellano





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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys! ..


Do you know what kind of weapon is this ? ... seems like a knife ... or short sword .. or ?? :S


links:

http://www.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/ro...age-52.jpg

http://www.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/ro...age-49.jpg

I came, I saw, God conquered"
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Iagoba Ferreira





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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, if they hadn't claimed that thirty times in a 10 minute featurette then I would have forgiven them, but not now. Sorry. I'll still go see it for the entertainment but I will go around and b*tch about the inaccuracies afterward.


Do you remember something called "Agora"? They went saying the same thing: "it's historically accurate, the real 4th century Alexandria, it's History, man, but the political reading is clear today"...And they used "Rome" stuff to equip the late Empire soldiers. Yeah. In Egypt, the part of the Empire where is more evidence for the Roman military clothing. Of course, being a late Roman reenactor myself this was quite irritating...

Now it's your turn again ("kingdom of heaven", anyone?). And the worst, is that this man made "the duellists" WTF?!

No piety for those who claim "historical accuracy" saying this is asking for constructive critics! Razz
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Julian Arellano





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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and if you wanna see a bunch of pics of Robin Hood in high res--


http://www.collider.com/2010/04/24/54-images-...esolution/

I came, I saw, God conquered"
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Daniel de Castro Caputo




Location: Brazil
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Im disappointed with movies in general...

Specially Hollywood "big shots" productions...

The worst thing about hitorical movies is when they want to glorify, idealize, historical periods and personalities...

I saw "The Other", and they got the nerve to make a gallant Henry VIII... The guy was as ugly as it can get...

And how about the Elizabeth I movie? She was really a saint?

Pff...

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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel de Castro Caputo wrote:
Im disappointed with movies in general...

Specially Hollywood "big shots" productions...

The worst thing about hitorical movies is when they want to glorify, idealize, historical periods and personalities...

I saw "The Other", and they got the nerve to make a gallant Henry VIII... The guy was as ugly as it can get...

And how about the Elizabeth I movie? She was really a saint?

Pff...


I don't know, I'm a bit torn. On one hand I do like when I am seeing something very close to reality, but on the other hand I go to the movies to escape from reality and to be entertained. If producer's sometimes need to gloss over certain details in order to make their characters more interesting and more endeared by the audience, I suppose that I don't really mind. That said, everyone would do well to go and find out the real story afterward Happy.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Fri 14 May, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I saw "Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett and Robert Dudley (Jeremy Irons) wore a battered, beaten up looking breastplate that was totally fake looking, looked like aluminum. I would love to see an Elizabeth movie that showed the Accession Day Tilt with participants wearing realistic looking Greenwich armour closely based on the surviving harnesses that we have - or anything from the early 1500s with Maximilian armour. I would seriously pay fifty dollars for a ticket to that movie.
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