Okay, so my mom went into the hospital this week, and when I went to visit her after dinner, she says “Oh, there’s a good movie on you would like.” Knowing my mom knows nothing for my taste in films, I was highly skeptical. Then, the movie came back on, and boy was I right. It was First Knight, a big huge festering pile of rat shit that somehow made it into theaters for a good while, if I recall correctly. It was CRAP! CRAPCRAPCRAPCRAPCRAPPITTYCRAPCRAP CRAP!!! The story sucked, the acting sucked, the plot was terrible, and it was the worst bastardization of Arthurian Legend I had ever seen!! That’s including some shitty little learning channel show where some kid goes into a book and tries to prevent Lancelot from fucking Gwenyvere.
The big thing that pissed me off (aside from the costumes, settings, and overall apearance of the film) was what they did to Lancelot. Now, I’m not quite sure if he was a nobleman in real life (or true legend, however you want to call it), but he was definitely French, a knight, and the one who instilled all virtue into the Knights of the Round. In this film, he’s some shitty ass little fucker who survived his village being wiped out as a child and grew up in England SWINDLING MONEY from people. In the opening tittles they refer to him as “a man who never dremt of thing like honor and virtue and knighthood.” WHHHUUAAAA???. shitshitshitshitSHIT!!!
The only thing decent about it was the night battle, that looked really cool. Of course the character bastartdisation of Lancelot during that was insulting as well, but at least they stuck to it that he was a good fighter. The final battle sequence was horrible and full of so many stupid little cliches and little “cinematic touches” I wanted to retch (the way Excalibur gleams just before Lancelot grabs it and kills the villain…ugh). I want to find the guy who wrote this piece of crap, put them in room with whoever greenlighted and produced it, and feed them to rabit rats.
Nope. I agree with you, El. I saw it a long time ago and thought it was utterly tasteless, with all the things you mentioned and no respect for the legend at all.
On the other hand, earlier in the day that was on (Wednesday, I think) there was Mists of Avalon, which, though not terribly well produced, was a very interesting and cool Arthurian tale. It almost seemed to be a girly movie, but kept throwning all sorts vileness and combat into the mix. And there were a few truly touching parts, especially near the end.
I’m with Elvis. Horrible King Arthur movie…probably the worst ever. When it’s on TV, I pause to see if Connery’s on screen, if not, I keep going. However, I think it might have been a tolerable knights-n-swordfights flick if they had just changed all the names, that is, dropped any pretentions of being about King Arthur or other characters from those legends. If it was about King Bob of Kookamunga, his most noble knight Sir Jimmy, and Queen Babs, then it would be an okay story in its own right, instead of a third-rate bastardization of a King Arthur flick…
Awful movie. Deserves that appelation for the costumes alone. (Somebody decided the motif for Camelot would be powder blue.) Never has a movie made me appreciate Excalibur so much; at least that had some truly beautiful scenes and some respect for the source material.
Who in some story conference thought it would be a good idea to end with Arthur dead, but Camelot apparently intact? What the hell? And elevating Malagant from a relatively minor villain into what is essentially the Modred role – why?
One of the things that has made the story so appealing for so many centuries is that Camelot can’t endure; it’s a brief shining moment in the midst of darkness, and carries the seeds of its own downfall in the frailties of human nature. Even crappy versions have understood that, but in the case of First Knight, apparently somebody said, “You know, that’s kind of a downer. Let’s change the ending!”
ONe other thing that really annmoyed me about the movie was the fact that the director obviously wanted to direct a Western instead of an Authurian tale. Hence the excessive use of crossbows and the like as if they were toting six-shooters. Very, very poor writing and directorship shown by this lousy production. May they never work again.
Personally, I kind of liked it once I decided to view it as a comedy. Gere running through the “Gauntlet” (which was apparently stolen from the set of American Gladiators) is as funny as anything Ed Wood ever did.
First Knight was pretty bad. Not necessarily the worst Arthurian story ever on film, but pretty bad. The worst part was how it seemed to condense the whole story down to a period of maybe a year. The Arthurian legend takes place over the better part of the characters’ lifetimes, and this condensed version just fell flat for me.
Mists of Avalon was marignally better, though it pales in comparison to the amazing book. Much of the emotional impact of the novel was filtered out of the film version, but I liked the movie for its cast (Juliana Margulies and Angelica Huston were excellent), and at least an attempt to tell the story with a degree of respect.
Excalibur… never liked that version much, mostly because of the overuse of shiny armor (which looked like aluminum and probably was). Of particular distaste to me was the scene in which Uther has sex with Ygraine (begetting Arthur, of course), in which she is prostrate and nude while he keeps his armor on! Not only is that completely implausible, but… come on, people, don’t you think that might hurt just a little? Yuck. Excalibur was overdone, and had so many places in which it fell out of sync with the source material that I have little respect for it.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail wins point not only for its poking fun at many of the legends, but also for capturing possibly the most realistic portrait of the Dark Ages in some ways.
Yeah… not exactly an era known for its sanitation.
But really, there isn’t a film version of Arthurian legend that does it justice. Put that on a list of things I plan to do before I die, write the perfect Arthurian film script. grins
Well, I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but in that situation, wearing [a movie version of] full Gothic plate, you’d have to at least unstrap your tassets, and remove your brayette, which would leave just your drawers in the way. After you untie those, you should be able to manage the deed, with the risk of the plastron’s lower edge and/or the cuisses’ upper edges, banging into, respectively, the soft, white belly or slender inner thighs of John Boorman’s 17-year-old daughter. Of course, some girls like it rough. I can almost guarantee you that sex while wearing armour does indeed go on, if not every day, at least fairly often.
I’ve probably thought about this more than I should.
Ah, let wiser heads prevail. Hie thee to the video store, and there procure not only First Knight. but also Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then hasten thee to the liquor store, and arm thyself with a few stoups of ale. Invite thy friends around, and watch Monty Python first, imbibing at thy leisure. Then watch First Knight, and much hilarity will ensue. Trust me, I know that of which I speak.
Yeah, you did. But thanks for illustrating it anyway. grin I think it was the overuse of shiny aluminum Gothic plate in that film overall that was bugging me, along with the basic (if typical) exploitation of the woman in that scene in particular. Kinda tasteless, really.
Guin: Depending on which legend you read, Uther was either in the guise of Ygraine’s husband Gorlois (thanks to Merlyn of course), and so she thought it was her husband, or Ygraine knew it was Uther all along and wanted him as much as he wanted her… or some combination of the two.
Anyway, the point is that it wasn’t “rape” according to most of the stories, as Ygraine was a willing participant… although, if you consider it in historical terms, it probably was a rape, later given justification and shown in a better light for the legends. Depends on how much you want to believe is historical fact, too, of course… none of it is proven beyond vague references to possible Arthur figures. Fascinating stuff, though.
Zebra, the movie Mists of Avalon is supposed to be based on the book by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and no other. The character names are the same, and most of the basic events follow the book.
I think tetsusaru’s method bears some testing. I’ve already got Holy Grail and the stoups of ale, I just need to rent First Knight and I’m all set. Let the hilairty ensue! grin