Tag Archives: Brian Blessed

The Set of 400: #293 – My Favorite Human Catapult

Today! Because it’s dull, you twit! It’ll hurt more!

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Directed by Kevin Reynolds

Starring Kevin Costner (x3), Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater, Brian Blessed (x2), Sean Connery (x3), Geraldine McEwan, Micheal McShane, Michael Wincott, Nick Brimble

I’m under the assumption this movie is the reason we’re treated to new, shitty Robin Hood remakes every few years. This is the blueprint – and this is based largely in tone on the original, rollicking rich-robbing good time The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. Sure, it’s updated some, featuring a solid if unremarkable Costner performance (so, a standard Costner performance) balanced by a good Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian, a solid Morgan Freeman as the Moor Azeem, and a fantastic, movie-stealing villain turn by Alan Rickman. I saw Robin Hood way more times growing up than I did Die Hard, so for me, Rickman will always be the Sheriff of Nottingham first, Hans Gruber second, Severus Snape like ninth.

Never mind Rickman’s fabulous coiffure

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The Set of 400: #332 – My Favorite Door Melting

Today! Because yud say boom de gasser, den crashin der bosses heyblibber, den banished –

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Ahmed Best, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Brian Blessed, Terence Stamp, Ray Park, Warwick Davis, Pernella August, Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic West, Sofia Coppola, Keira Knightley, Greg Proops (x2), Oliver Ford Davies, Hugh Quarshie

Let me just start by saying SHUT UP. I know, I’m not exactly in the majority for my enjoyment of this film. And rest assured, I recognize the amount of ridiculous bullshit that’s in it. Why did I use a Jar Jar Binks quote at the top? Because I’m owning it, and I want you to know I’m not overlooking the crammed in nonsense that ruins this movie for people. And perhaps I’m projecting backward onto this film – because I largely haven’t enjoyed the Star Wars things that have come since 1999 – but I think this is a hugely underappreciated movie, with a lot to like. So just shut up.

Let focus on the big things – the lightsaber battle at the end is the best lightsaber fight in any Star Wars movie. Hell, it might be the best swordfight in the history of film. John Williams score for this movie is my favorite of the series. The pod racing scene stands up with any sequence in any Star Wars. Ewan McGregor was a terrific choice to carry the prequels, and is always excellent as Obi-Wan. Darth Maul is a terrifically cool villain. Mace Windu is pretty cool, too. Plus it cannot be overstated how eagerly anticipated this movie was in ’99, to the point that I can’t believe it could’ve been warmly accepted no matter how it turned out. Look at The Force Awakens – the only reason people fell all over themselves in love with that thing is because the prequels were so hated. The logic – let’s just straight remake A New Hope and pray no one notices – worked great, as things got so out of hand by Episode III that fans just wanted anything resembling the original movies, no matter how derivative.

Groan!

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