Devotees of this site will be aware of my penchant for low-brow entertainment. Normally I don't complain when my pursuit of lowly art forms causes disappointment but on this occasion I'm going to make an exception. At the weekend I had a need to disengage my brain from reality and following the voice of my inner child, trotted off to see the latest remake of Robin Hood. It sounded great on paper: a failsafe historical plot with one of my all-time favourite boyhood heroes, a cast of stellar actors and a director with a terrific CV and a string of highly entertaining, well-made box office successes to his credit. As it turned out the whole was quite decidedly less than than the sum of the parts. The actors struggled with an historically absurd Francophobic plot that made Plan 9 from Outer Space look like an Oscar winner and relegated the Sheriff of Nottingham to a comic relief bit part. In general the whole production was turgid with cineamatic clichés, looked lazy and to this punter conveyed the impression that artistic direction had been more than a little compromised by too many glasses of after dinner cognac.
So, Sir Ridley, here are a few suggestions for future projects:
• Avoid those shaky-cam battle scenes shot through a blue filter to maintain aesthetic distance as they are getting more than a little old.
• Likewise is the overuse of CGI which do not suspend my disbelief.
• Find a location other than Bourne Wood for photographing battle sequences as the good people of Surrey are getting fed up with siege engines, Romans, Gauls, Visigoths, English yeomen, cavalry horses, sundry actors painted up in Kensington Gore as well as armies of cinematographic production people traipsing past their front doors every year or so.
• Don't use silly one-liners that are supposed to be movie industry in-jokes: they instantly kill the realism for which you are renowned. I didn't spend $10 to see something that looked like it was derived from "Men in Tights" or a production involving Kevin Costner...
• Don't be lazy and filch scenes from your peers (including Kurosawa and Spielberg) as we do notice and anyway you can do better than that...
I hope that helps a bit -please feel free to contact me if you need a consultant for "Alien Prequel"; my rates are very reasonable.
And finally (I do hope I'm not rubbing your nose in it) the all time gold standard for Robin Hood can be viewed below: