|TITLE & REVIEW
|Get your own copy HERE!
Knight's Tale, TheWilliam [Heath Ledger - Roar ] plays a young [well, late-twenty-something] Medieval squire. When his master dies, William decides to pass himself off as a knight, calling himself Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein. He is aided by his fellow squires, Roland [Mark Addy - Down To Earth ] and Wat [Alan Tudyk - Firefly ], and a hard-up writer named Geoffrey Chaucer [Paul Bettany- Gangster No1]. If the name Chaucer is familiar, it is because he wrote this story back in the Middle Ages as part of his compilation, Canterbury Tales.
To complete the retinue, William recruits the world's only female blacksmith, Kate ( Laura Fraser ).
The period detail of the costumes is impressive, except for a piece of product placement concerning the insignia on William's armour. The really anachronistic aspect is the soundtrack, with Queen and David Bowie songs. It appears that the Director chose to use Creative Anachronism as opposed to Cruel Authenticity, in order to make the film better appeal to the American audience.
William wants to be the greatest jousting knight ever, but this honour is held by stereotypical sneering villain Rufus Sewell [ Dark City ]. To make matters worse, William's rival in jousting is also his rival in luurve. Yes, the bad guy wants to marry William's babe Lady Jocelyn (newcomer Shannyn Sossamon ).
However, while the jousting scenes are excellent they get somewhat repetitive. The story itself, being over 800 years old, is a tad predictable. All in all ... a good film, but not great. A pity that many serious medieval/Fantasy films could have done with this movie's costumes and budget. For example, a live-action version of George RR Martin 's Song of Ice & Fire would be excellent with this cast and setting. The comparison only shows how disappointing this film is, and how good it could have been.
Scary Movie 2It's midnight at Hell House, and Veronica Cartwright is hosting a party. Her daughter Megan interrupts it, possessed by the devil. They call in the Exorcist ... And get a hilarious cameo by James Woods!
A year later and the local College Professor [Tim Curry - Rocky Horror Picture Show ] decides that a night in a haunted house will get his co-eds horny enough to screw him. He sets up a sleep-over in the house, and brings along Anna Faris and her friends. The new cameo celebrity babe is Tori Spelling , more shaggable than ever. The two Wayans Brothers characters, Gay Ray and Shorty the Dope-Head, are back.
We get lots of spoofs on the old haunted house cliches. There are also some hilarious references to more recent films like Charlie's Angels, Hannibal, Mission Impossible 2 .
A.I.This was written and directed by Steven Spielberg , based on the short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss . Apparently Stanley Kubrick wanted to film it first, but deferred to Spielberg because he thought that S.S. was the only director who could do it properly. Unfortunately this film is an uncomfortable blend of both mens' styles.
The story starts in the Near Future, after Global Warming has raised the sea level and put New York underwater. William Hurt [ Dark City ] plays a scientist who has the dubious aim of creating a robot that can love. The very idea is extremely disturbing on several levels, but the mad doctor makes his sick dream a reality.
David [Haley Joel Osment - Sixth Sense ] is the young robot, sent to live with grieving mother Frances O'Connor . The character is not a realistic human child, but [typically of Spielberg] an adult's view of what a child should be . We have to put up with an hour of typical Spielberg schmaltz, and as the emotional turmoil reaches maximum it becomes apparent to all concerned that David cannot stay with his mother any more.
Cast out, David wanders the world and tries to find happiness. Sounds a bit like Bicentennial Man , doesn't it? Well, that film was far superior. It was well-written, well-paced, witty, funny and ... interesting. This just drags on forever. But there is a bright spark. David's companion is a robotic teddy-bear, and the bear out-performs all the human actors.
David makes a friend of another robot, Gigolo Joe [Jude Law - Gattacca ], at a Flesh Fair run by Brendan Gleeson [The General]. The Fair is a display of destruction where old, broken robots are demolished for human entertainment. But the robots' attitudes of fear and their instincts for self-preservation show that they already HAVE emotions!
The ending involves a complete Deus Ex Machina in order to bring the story to a conclusion. The final pay-off is marred by an intrusive voice-over, instead of allowing the ending to unfold at a slow, natural pace. Almost as if the Director wants to hurry it all up and get it over with as soon as possible. But if that were the case, why didn't he cut the first [and incredibly boring] hour or so?
Return to the September 2001 Special
Return to the ORBzine Homepage.
© Speculator 2001-5