Wednesday, 18th October 2017
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King Arthur

There has been so many takes and interpretations of the whole King Arthur myth since cinema began that you often wonder how it would be possible to come up with something credible and new to hold the interest of a cinema goer for any length of time.

The latest to try and do something with the whole King Arthur legend is director Guy Ritchie. If there is one thing that is known about this director is that he is very much into the whole world of 'macho'. In fact at times he is so macho that he slides into camp and comes up somewhere around the Village People circa 1983, still whirling around as if disco never stopped or moved on.

This is what viewing Ritchie's King Arthur is like. The story is about Arthur's uncle played by Jude Law who wants to take the crown and does by murdering his brother. Law wants to continue the old ways of the mages, the dark magicians who used to rule the land. In fact he uses some of their magic to take power. Arthur is the only one who as a child escapes, put into a basket like Moses and sent down the river to be found by a group of women and brought up in a brothel where he grows up learning the hard knock school of life. But grow up he does into a great warrior holding onto his little crooked criminal pitch of London until he is caught in a trawl and sent to Camelot where men are being sought to see if they can pull a sword out of a stone.

If there is one thing that speaks to what is wrong with this movie it is this particular part where for some inexplicable reason David Beckham has a cameo part. He is not particularly bad but then again he is not particularly good either. You just scratch your head and wonder what the hell is going on and why Beckham was chosen for this.

Of course Arthur manages to pull the sword out and now he has to confront his destiny as King in waiting. Of course his uncle has other ideas. Now it is a fight to the death between both of them that takes over the second half of the movie.

There are great action scenes in the film and at times it does look good but overall you can't help but feel that it's reach outstrips its grasp and a large part of that has to do with Charlie Hunnam who plays Arthur who is certainly not one of the great actors of this age, in fact with his awful delivery of lines you wonder if he is even a barely competent actor. Physically he might have the chops but that is all. When there are so many great young british actors out there at the moment you have to wonder why this actor was chosen. An interesting story that falls way short of expectations.

Legends

This series on Sky Arts is a great corrective to all of the manufactured hype that goes on around so many of what passes for celebrities today. It is a look into what the stars of previous decades had to offer and gives a clear eyed account of their careers, the highs and lows and how they achieved the legendary status that they had during their lifetimes.

Some will be better known today than others but that doesn't take away from their star power. Elizabeth

Taylor might be better known than Gina Lollabrigida but that would be for far different reasons than just their acting talent. What sets apart these stars from the people who pass as celebrities today is that they went on acting at a high level for decades and often made other careers for themselves outside of acting.

Lollabrigida for example went on to become a renowned artist and photographer. An interesting series that reminds people of what real star power means.

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