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Movie Review: King Arthur

Alternate Title: Spinning the Round Table

Story: What if everything you thought you knew about Camelot, Merlin and the Round Table was revisited via producer Jerry Bruckheimer's vision of the world? Well, check out this down and dirty version of King Arthur and get ready for a bumpy ride. You can forget about the ladies in waiting, chivalry and even those meetings at the round table.

Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) with a screenplay by David Franzioni (Gladiator) introduces us to a new, more earthy Arthur and sets us in the fifth century at the end of the Roman Empire's rule of Britain. Arthur and his band of loyal knights are trying to gain their freedom from the Roman Empire after fifteen years of servitude. They need to fulfill one more task before they get their walking papers. Enter the Woods, Picts, Saxons, Merlin, Guinevere (as you have never seen her before) swords, axes, blood, honor, loyalty, fabulous scenery, an exciting battle fought on an iced over river and a very entertaining, though predictable film.

The magic and romance that you might have expected from a film about the Knights of the Round Table is gone but has been replaced by a fun film. It was also a nice change of pace to see a film without any special effects or digital enhancements.

Acting: Clive Owen can do no wrong in my book and I will go to see him in anything. He was handsome, strong, earnest and kingly. Keira Knightley (I thought her name rather fitting) was a strong, warrior princess Guinevere and has come a long way since Bend it Like Beckham. Stellan Skarsgard (Breaking the Waves) was mighty scary as the mean Saxon leader. Ioan Gruffudd as Lancelot, Hugh Dancy as Galahad, Joel Edgerton as Gawain, Mads Mikkelson as Tristan, Ray Stevenson as Dagonet and Ray Winstone as Bors were all good, brave, loyal knights.

Predilection: I like Clive Owen.

Critters: Horses, goats and a falcon.

Food: Lots of brew. This Round Table did not serve pizza.

Visual Art: None, but the scenery and cinematography were beautiful.

Soundtrack: Appropriately dramatic without being too sappy.

Opening Titles: Just the title name and a brief history of where and when the film is taking place.

Theater Audience: The two of us and one other woman who also had a thing for Clive Owen. There were three or four guys (one who left at some point -- probably a Saxon).

Sappy Factor: 2

Squirm Scale: 2 - I had my eyes closed for some of the battle scenes.

Predictability Level: Moderate to high.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Either. You could rent one of my favorite films, John Boorman's Excalibur.

Length: 2 hours.