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Steal From The Rich: Is Russell Crowe's Robin Hood Really Necessary?

Russell-Crowe-Robin-Hood So like millions thousands presumably more than a dozen other Entertainment Weekly subscribers, I was surprised this past weekend when reading through the annual Summer Movie preview to discover that Robin Hood is being remade... again... this time featuring surly Australian dude Russell Crowe as the titular onetime British-noble-turned-fight-the-power brigand.

All of which begs the question: why?

The obvious answer, of course, lies in the fact that, hey... there's money to be made. But is the American/European/Asian/global moviegoing public really clamoring for yet another version of this story? Yeah, Russell Crowe is about as guaranteed bankable as anyone in the filmmaking world today - and granted, the fact that this is being directed by frequently (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) but not always (1492, Hannibal, Kingdom of Heaven) visionary director Ridley Scott automatically makes the premise 50% more intriguing - but really... is there anybody out there who hasn't already had their fill of Robin Hood? It's not like there's been any shortage of opportunities...

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
How do we loathe thee? Let us count the ways.
1. This is the film that inflicted Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, which was the runaway winner of "The All-Time Most Fucking Annoying Song from a Film That Took Over Popular Culture and Played Over and Over and Over Again Everywhere to the Point That You'd Rather Jam Icepicks Into Your Ears Than Hear It Again" winner until Whitney did her overblown diva thing to Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You and then both songs got blown out of the water completely by that Celine Dion nightmare TheSongThatDaresNotSpeakItsName.

2. Kevin Costner as an English nobleman? In retrospect, this is an idea that should have been kicked in the balls. Granted, at the time this probably seemed like a slam dunk: Costner was absolutely bulletproof, fresh off the triumphs of The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and Dances With Wolves. Who knew that lurking withing the heart of that confident, charismatic and apparently talented actor lay the heart of a craptastic acting ham capable of producing The Postman, Waterworld and - god help us - Swing Vote? This movie was more than a warning sign of worse things to come: it was an atomic acting ham explosion, replete with a "there it is! now it's gone! hey, it's back again" English accent and an utter refusal to pretend he's not a lazy SoCal actor wearing tights and cashing a giant paycheck.

3. Not nearly enough Alan Rickman. He's easily the only redeeming thing about the film - as the deliciously evil Sheriff of Nottingham - but honestly, nothing shy of 2 hours of Rickman mercilessly mocking Costner's accent could conceivably redeem this film.

Robin HoodDisney-Robin-Hood
Despite the fact that several loyal MamaPop readers declared Disney's Robin Hood to be their favorite animated movie ever... I have to admit that it's one of my least favorite Disney films. I don't loathe it on the level of, say, Pocahontas, but for my money it's by far one of the weakest entries to the Disney canon, and in many ways more a repackaging of The Jungle Book (replete with the voice of the classic Baloo reappearing here as Little John) in Robin Hood trappings than a thoughtful reimagining of the Robin Hood mythology itself. I'm also not at all a fan of the charmless Roger Miller songs that populate the film like lazy slug, slowing its flow to a languid crawl, but that's an entirely subjective reaction; yours may differ. But you'd be wrong.

That said, I'm clearly not the target demographic for a film like this. So how did my kids react? I'll put it this way: we borrowed it from the library, they saw it once... and they never asked for it again. These are kids who heard my wife mentioning Gollum offhandedly the other week, spun that into a web of questions that led to 2 straight days of conversation about The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and ultimately led me to pick up the animated version of The Hobbit last weekend, which they've already seen three times and are clamoring to see again. But Disney's Robin Hood? Saw it... and forgot it immediately. Make of that what you will.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights
Remember when Mel Brooks made funny, memorable, important films? Yeah, it was a long time ago. And when this came out, it almost felt like those golden years never happened. Honestly, I'm kind of embarrassed for everyone involved with this, and would just as soon pretend that this movie was never made. Can we do that? Can we, as the MamaPop community, agree to do that? On three, let's readjust the collective unconscious to perceive that Robin Hood: Men In Tights never existed. Ready? On one... two... THREE!

And thus, magic happens.

Robin and the 7 Hoods
Somewhere in Hell, Frank Sinatra is answering for a lot of sins. This ranks pretty low on the list, but let's be clear: any suffering he experiences as a result of this film is entirely well-deserved. I can't remember the circumstances under which I saw the half of this film that I did, but I'm pretty sure that I'd rather bite off my tongue and choke to death on the blood than watch the half I missed. Note: your experience may differ.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Okay, people... so we actually learned something from this exercise! Q: Is a remake of Robin Hood really necessary? A: Yes, because the previous versions pretty much suck. Who knew?

Let us all join hands together and pray for the creative life of this film, because if Scott and Crowe's Robin Hood doesn't break this miserable streak of craptastic film adaptations, they may succeed where Sinatra, Roger Miller, Costner and Mel Brooks could not: in killing off Robin Hood as a film concern once and for all.


. . . . .
TwoBusy is secretly hoping they find a place for Alan Rickman in this new version, too.






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Comments

Washington "At My Signal Unleash Hell" Cube

I'm thinking of it as Robinator.

Listen, I go to Ridley Scott's movies to study production design. He's got the mind of an architect. There is such attention to detail in all of his movies.

When that Kevin Costner trailer was running for Robin Hood, it was like nails on a blackboard to me: the flat affect of his voice. I thought his acting peaked in The Big Chill.

Heather

None of those were necessary-- for there was once a man named Errol Flynn...

Erin

I've watched Disney's Robin Hood approximate 84 gagillion times. One of my favorite parenting experiences thus far was watching it with my son for the first time, and he's now asked for it at least once a week for the past 6 months. You're welcome to ignore me, but I couldn't just leave one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time go undefended. Ooo Da Lolly!

Susan

Every time I watch a Harry Potter movie, I expect Snape to threaten to cut Harry's heart out with a spoon, and then someone will ask "why a spoon, not an axe?" and Snape will say "Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more."

mrschaos

Susan? You just made my day. Funny how the simple mention of a spoon in my family will bring out that quote instantly.

TwoBusy...while I do enjoy Disney's version AND Alan Rickman, I must (now) agree with your point. We'll see if they succeed.

Katie

In answer to your question - YES, we certainly DO need another Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie. Why? Because it's friggin Russell Crowe, one of the last remaining Hollywood masculine alpha males out there (yeah, go on, shoot me all you Robert Pattisson, or whatever his face is, fans!)and the genius that is Ridley Scott. I am most definately seeing this movie, cannot wait! Kevin Costner can go dance with some wolves or something.

Washington "Maxiumus Not Maxipad Not MadMax " Cube

:::sitting in the Katie "fan of Ridley Scott" corner:::

ajnabi

The only time I enjoyed "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" was the time I was standing outside the VoTech building my 12th grade year, and a low-rider pickup swung into the lot, and blaring from its speakers came the Tejano version, complete with accordion. Other than that I curse the movie that inflicted that song upon my ears for FAR TOO LONG.

Whit

I actually liked all of those movies and the BBC series. However, I'm not a big fan of Crowe or Scott. Still, I'll watch it on DVD because it looks bloody and everyone knows that blood puts butts in the seats, or in my case, couch.

And I sing Roger Miller songs at Karaoke. Seriously.

jodifur

No

I'm just answering the question

DianaCLT

Saw an interview with Crowe and Scott the other day. They were talking about how this fabled story has been around for hundreds of years, but has been massively watered down/romanticized/and cute-ified (my word, not theirs) in film history. They wanted to go back to the original story...which apparently involves a LOT of blood. Crowe thought it fine to let his young sons watch it (something about how, yes, there's a lot of blood...but the violence is only implied, not actually seen...). It'll be PG-13.

Wow. This might be the most I've remembered in my short-term memory bank in years. How very sad, that I've forgotten other, undoubtedly more important things, so THIS could be in my memory.

TwoBusy

@Cube - You are, of course, totally right in appreciating Scott's films from a production design standpoint, as that's one area where he is consistently brilliant. As for Costner... well, okay: I was being a little harsh. His easy charm still worked in some of his post-Hood films (e.g. Tin Cup), and I - for one - thought he was terrific in Eastwood's underrated and now largely-forgotten A Perfect World.

@Heather - I have to admit I've never seen the Flynn original, which is why I omitted it here. *hanging head in shame*

@Erin - I won't ignore you, and you're of course welcome to your opinion. I guess I just had much higher hopes for it, and felt very disappointed by the result — and those feelings were redoubled by my own kids' indifference. That said, I'm glad you and your son are getting so much enjoyment out of it.

@Susan - EXCELLENT point. God, I love Alan Rickman.

@MrsChaos - In the end, you're right. This is all conjecture, and ultimately the quality (or lack thereof) of the film itself will be the ultimate decider.

@Katie - Yeah, your response made me laugh.

@ajnabi - *suddenly feeling uncomfortably intrigued by the idea of a Tejano Bryan Adams cover, replete w/accordion*

@Whit - It's like I don't even know you anymore.

@Jodifur - I can't argue with that.

@DianaCLT - Actually, that makes me more eager to see the film. See? That was a learning moment for all of us.

mommaruthsays

Oh man, I love Robin Hood: Men In Tights...

I'm never on the same side as MamaPop, dammit! I guess it just goes to show, I am NOT one of the cool kids.

TwoBusy

@mommaruthsays The secret joy of MamaPop lies in the fact that NONE of us is one of the cool kids.

BaltimoreGal

After all this years I still think Russell Crowe is hot. Yep. My drunk hairy movie star can kick your skinny pale movie star's ASS.
Katie- call me!

BaltimoreGal still thinks the Robin Hood cartoon is hilarious and loves the VILLANS from Robin Hood the Costner years and Robin Hood Men With Tights.

tifRN

I HATE russel crowe. a lot. but i love the legend of robin hood. so i'm on the fence. meh.




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