King Arthur - The Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition)
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Now, from the producer of PEARL HARBOR and the director of TRAINING DAY . . . experience the extended unrated director's cut of this hard-hitting action epic! Prepare for more thrills, more adventure, and more intensity as the heroic true story behind one of history's greatest legends explodes onto the screen! It is the valiant tale of Arthur (Clive Owen) and his bond of brotherhood with Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) and the loyalty of the Knights Of The Round Table as they fight for freedom and those they love. Also starring Keira Knightley as Guinevere, this never-before-seen KING ARTHUR is a longer, grittier, and more explicit motion picture -- don't miss it!
The 15 extra minutes of footage in the unrated extended cut of King Arthur mostly add more graphic violence such as severed limbs, spattering blood, and arrows through heads (instead of torsos in the theatrical version). It doesn't all seem necessary, but it probably is more realistic for depicting combat with sharp metal objects. There are also some new scenes, including a glimpse of the young Arthur and a conversation between Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) and Guinevere (Keira Knightley). The love scene is the same, but it's been moved just slightly to a more logical yet less satisfying spot in the film. Oddly, in his commentary track director Antoine Fuqua doesn't even break his various trains of thought to discuss these additions, other than to complain about how he had to edit his R-rated film to earn a PG-13 rating ("I wanted to slit my throat I was so depressed."). Fuqua is usually pretty interesting to listen to, partly because of his political viewpoints, and he draws parallels in his film with nation-building in Iraq and how minorities make up a disproportionate portion of the U.S. military. He also discusses his influences, provides more historical perspective (Knightley's leather battle outfit could actually be considered conservative), and heaps praise on his collaborators.
The making-of documentary and "round table" (ha ha) discussion among the principals (Fuqua, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Clive Owen, and Keira Knightley, and others) are worth watching for their behind-the-scenes info and historical background, respectively. There's also a grimmer alternate ending, a sporadic subtitled trivia track (low point: "An ambush is a sudden attack made from a concealed position"), and a demo for the hack 'n' slash Xbox game. --David HoriuchiSee all Editorial Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
Bringing in the aspect of the Sarmatians was long overdue in the Arthurian arena. Although various historians may argue the point, much evidence does point to the use of stirrups by about 8000 Sarmatian cavalry in the Roman army as early as 175 AD. With the commonly held belief that the stirrup was not introduced until many centuries later, I thought it a bold move for the movie makers to incorporate this into the film as well. It seemed to be one of the most commonly noted 'discrepancies' by reviewers, but I disagree - it is very accurate.
If you have watched only the PG13 version of this film, by all means, please watch not only the Director's Cut version, but take the time to also watch/listen to Antoine Fuqua's narrative over the film. His narration explains a lot, especially about how they had to change things drastically to make the mandated PG 13 rating. His explanation regarding his version of Lancelot and Guinevere is quite a statement as well.
The alternate ending was quite dark, or perhaps even depressing, in a way. I don't know which ending is more suitable, and actually would have liked to have seen perhaps a different ending altogether, just don't know what that would have been.
I thought the actors were incredible; the battle scenes (director cut) some of the only such scenes I've ever watched that let you identify the main characters' roles during the fighting; the photography was the best I have ever seen; the music illustrated and enhanced; and this movie left you wanting to see more when it was over.
There was no dwelling on use of special effects for blood and gore, or rediculous feats of super-power athletics, or campy remarks that would bring you immediately back to your own century. The horses were not constantly being tripped during battle scenes, either. All these were a welcome change from so many movies of today.
Above all, it passed the real test of a great movie - it left you with 'a feeling' after it was over.
In short, I loved it. Antoine Fuqua, you are a genius.
Note to Amazon.com - the description of the film on Instant Video describes Arthur as a "Russian soldier". You need to change that to "Roman soldier".