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Zach Gordon




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Nov, 2019 11:47 am    Post subject: The King -Netflix, Henry V Film         Reply with quote

Hello all,

Wondering if anyone had yet seen "The King" a new film out on Netflix, about Henry V's ascension to the throne. I haven't seen it yet, but if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like it might be a bit better than some of the trash out there (though the armour on Robert Pattinson's character looks a bit wonky)!

Z
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Nov, 2019 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I enjoyed it. But keep in mind that its fictionalized, apparently based more on Shakespeare than history.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Nov, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would have been better with magic and dragons. That way nobody would be fooled into thinking that it had any historical basis. I did like how the movie made use of Shakespeare's character of Falstaff. It would have been a lot better if they made even a token attempt to accurately depict the battle of Agincourt but I found it interesting how they downplayed the role of archers.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Nov, 2019 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't watched it yet, but think it a bad choice to base it on Shakespeare's historical plays. For one thing, his history plays are known for being historically inaccurate. Also, Shakespeare was a poetic genius, and this update of his stuff is going to suffer in comparison. Better to go back and base it on what actually happened, and who Henry really was.
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Nov, 2019 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The King is a thoroughly mediocre film that attempts to combine Shakespeare, a critique of Shakespeare's heroic Henry V and actual history. While it has the occasional success, such as Catherine's biting commentary on Henry and his motivations, the movie ultimately fails to do a good job of anything it sets out to do. It's not a good adaptation of Shakespeare, lacking any of his inspiring speeches or insightful monologues, it's not really a good critique of Shakespeare's heroic Henry because it still gives him heroic qualities and shies away from his real life religious fanaticism and often brutal authoritarianism, and it's so far from being historical that I'm not sure why such a big deal was made about the creators blending history with Shakespeare.

Regarding the Battle of Agincourt, the trailers had me expecting the movie to continue the long tradition of Shakespeare adaptations refusing to use the actual battle as a model for the fighting, but even so I was still disappointed. You see, Falstaff has this brilliant idea that, instead of engaging the French in mounted combat they should - you won't believe this - dismount. I mean, can you believe it, English knights dismounting and fighting on foot? It's unheard of! I'm not being sarcastic - the English in the movie actually think this. The archers play almost no roll apart from doing a little damage to the French knights before they charge. The charge, which is six ranks deep and extends almost from treeline to treeline, focuses on this one tiny little part of the battlefield where a band of heroic English knights nobly sacrifice their lives to draw the French in.

The French, having the mental facilities of juvenile chimps with fetal alcohol syndrome, decide that rather than sweeping around this little knot of men and killing the archers who are clearly the biggest threat, will all attack the English men-at-arms. The English men-at-arms, in spite of being heavily outnumbered, manage to kill most of the vanguard of the French. When the French main battle charges - also on horseback and also as large as the vanguard - they similarly head for this knot of men-at-arms instead of the archers who, again, do a little bit of damage and then are not seen again. Stopped by the English men-at-arms, the French are then charged heroically by Henry and the majority of the English army who have been hiding in the woods and are massacred as everyone rolls around in the mud.

There are several ways to adapt Henry V and some, such as Kenneth Branagh's 1990 movie, do a better job of showing battle as inglorious, which seems to be what the director was going for with The King's version of Agincourt. There are also several ways to undercut the idea of Henry V as some great and glorious king, most of which involve showing him as he was and accurately showing what medieval warfare - not battles, but the "foraging", the looting, the horrific treatment of civilians, etc - was like. Trying to do both at once just doesn't work.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Nov, 2019 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anybody who wants to get a good idea of what Agincourt was like - read "24 Hours At Agincourt." by Michael Jones.
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Michael Beeching





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Nov, 2019 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Dean wrote:
...Regarding the Battle of Agincourt, the trailers had me expecting the movie to continue the long tradition of Shakespeare adaptations refusing to use the actual battle as a model for the fighting, but even so I was still disappointed. You see, Falstaff has this brilliant idea that, instead of engaging the French in mounted combat they should - you won't believe this - dismount. I mean, can you believe it, English knights dismounting and fighting on foot? It's unheard of! I'm not being sarcastic - the English in the movie actually think this. The archers play almost no roll apart from doing a little damage to the French knights before they charge. The charge, which is six ranks deep and extends almost from treeline to treeline, focuses on this one tiny little part of the battlefield where a band of heroic English knights nobly sacrifice their lives to draw the French in...


Pardon my overly general view of history, but weren't the English notable for fighting on foot? Placed in the context of the film (which I have not seen, by the way), perhaps it sounds strange or was acted out strangely, but I don't know if the actual concept of them taking the field on foot is that bizarre.

...From a [general] historical perspective, I would also not be surprised if the archers did in fact have a somewhat limited role in the initial battle. What I have read or seen of the battle suggests that the ground was not in good condition for horse maneuvers - this would have lead the French knights into "bogging" themselves in, if you will. Next, I'm going to presume the horses were not nearly as well protected as were the men. So, if your horses get bogged in, and then skewered with hundreds of warbow arrows, going in on foot seems plausible for the English...

Of course, I have not seen the film, and I therefore presume that you saw the classic great clash of armies which the modern movie producers are famous for. And indeed, charging on foot against heavily armored knights is a poor choice in reality. So, perhaps the film producers had a very vague idea of history, but they failed to execute its reenactment in any plausibly believable fashion?
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Nov, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:


Pardon my overly general view of history, but weren't the English notable for fighting on foot? Placed in the context of the film (which I have not seen, by the way), perhaps it sounds strange or was acted out strangely, but I don't know if the actual concept of them taking the field on foot is that bizarre.


I guess I wasn't clear enough that I was mocking the movie for suggesting that the English had never fought dismounted before and couldn't believe that Falstaff was suggesting they fight on foot. The English had been doing this since Boroughbridge in 1322 and it was typical for them during the HYW.

Quote:
...From a [general] historical perspective, I would also not be surprised if the archers did in fact have a somewhat limited role in the initial battle. What I have read or seen of the battle suggests that the ground was not in good condition for horse maneuvers - this would have lead the French knights into "bogging" themselves in, if you will. Next, I'm going to presume the horses were not nearly as well protected as were the men. So, if your horses get bogged in, and then skewered with hundreds of warbow arrows, going in on foot seems plausible for the English...


First off, the French only sent a relatively small cavalry force that failed to get bogged, although the mud did probably slow them to the point where they couldn't get in under the arrows fast enough. The French, like the English, were no fools and their vanguard was all on foot.

But, secondly, the English archers played an equally vital role to the men-at-arms. While the men-at-arms job was to hold out against the French onslaught, the archers had the job of funneling the French men-at-arms into a narrower front that the English could match, forcing the French to keep their visors down so that the air inside their helmets would be getting stale by the time they reached the English, to compress the French so that most couldn't use their weapons effectively and, once the two lines of men-at-arms were engaged, to surround and overwhelm the flanks and rear of the vanguard.

Quote:
Of course, I have not seen the film, and I therefore presume that you saw the classic great clash of armies which the modern movie producers are famous for. And indeed, charging on foot against heavily armored knights is a poor choice in reality. So, perhaps the film producers had a very vague idea of history, but they failed to execute its reenactment in any plausibly believable fashion?


I think enough has been written about Agincourt for the director and scriptwriter to have known the basic shape of things. I suspect that, as usual, they decided it wasn't "clever" enough and decided to use their own intelligence to make a better battle than the primitive medieval man could have.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Nov, 2019 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Dean wrote:
First off, the French only sent a relatively small cavalry force that failed to get bogged.

This part amused me. Falstaff makes this big fuss about fighting in the mud so the attackers would get stuck during the charge. Then it rains overnight and everyone is relieved because there will be plenty of mud in which they would get stuck. And then, come the battle, nobody actually gets stuck, or even significantly slowed down, during the charge. Falstaff also makes a fuss about the English fighting without armour so they would be agile and nimble and not get stuck in the mud. He says "speed and mobility will be our advantage", yet, come the battle, both sides are fighting in heavy armour. The men who, in the real battle, fought with less armour - the archers - are nowhere to be seen. Apparenty, according to the people who scripted this movie, eighty percent of Henry's already outnumbered army stood back after shooting a couple of volleys of arrows and did nothing.

Edit: I just watched the battle again and it looks like it wasn't the scriptwriter's fault. There is a one-second shot of the archers running into battle (1:45:03). I'm guessing that the rest of the archer participation in the battle was left on the cutting-room floor.

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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Thu 07 Nov, 2019 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, good catch. I completely missed that, but it seems that they did indeed originally plan for the archers to play a larger role.

For those interested, here's a video with the creators breaking down how they filmed the battle.
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Holger Mahling




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PostPosted: Thu 07 Nov, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject: The King         Reply with quote

Matt Easton from Scholagladiatoria is CRYING OUT LOUD!!! xD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5sQf60KgWk

Is it really that bad? We gonna watch it tomorrow... O.o
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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Nov, 2019 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The movie is not bad, but they sure love wearing mail coifs like a hoodie. I Believe Matt Easton also mentioned this in his video.
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Holger Mahling




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Nov, 2019 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
The movie is not bad, but they sure love wearing mail coifs like a hoodie. I Believe Matt Easton also mentioned this in his video.


HE DID!!! Cool
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Gregory T Kallok




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Nov, 2019 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I watched it and enjoyed it. I think they captured a taste of the carnage of medieval warfare but because of the nature of it that's not a easy thing to do. They tried and I liked it.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Nov, 2019 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory T Kallok wrote:
I watched it and enjoyed it. I think they captured a taste of the carnage of medieval warfare but because of the nature of it that's not a easy thing to do. They tried and I liked it.


The problem is that it wasn't trying to depict "medieval warfare". It was depicting a specific battle from a specific time period about which we know a great deal.

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Nov, 2019 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I particularly liked the daggers, belts and sword scabbards that were being worn by all the principles.......

Tod



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www.todsworkshop.com
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J. Nicolaysen




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Nov, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very beautiful, stunning daggers Tod.

The two larger scabbards, for swords which you didn't make? I didn't see the movie. I would absolutely love those scabbards.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Nov, 2019 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When i eventually watch the entire movie, i will be on the lookout for those daggers.
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Michael Long





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PostPosted: Sat 09 Nov, 2019 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Baby steps, I suppose. At least the armored combat was suitably brutal and devolved into grappling, warhammers and daggers.

It still rankles that Hollywood has forgotten what a coif looks like, though. Like Kingdom of Heaven never even happened. And why didn't they just make more bascinets and aventails, like in Outlaw King?
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Michael P. Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Nov, 2019 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually enjoyed the movie, though it is not good history. The movie continues the modern tradition of dressing even great nobles in drab, plain clothing of the wrong cut. I have to think proper armor would cost a fortune.

It was great seeing Todís work on screen. Itís a bright spot in the production for sure.
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