Daily Archives: November 23, 2018

800 illuminated medieval manuscripts digitized, to go online in November


http://www.medievalists.net/2018/10/800-illuminated-medieval-manuscripts-digitized/

Features


Medieval Movie Review: Robin Hood (2018)

With dozens of adaptations of the medieval tale of Robin Hood in film, could this latest one offer viewers something new? More importantly, is it any good?


Medieval Geopolitics: The Crusades to the Holy Land – Phase 1


What was the role of the Blacksmith in medieval society?


Pola of Rome: The Story of a Woman Jewish Scribe


Machiavelli meets ‘The Prince’


The Middle Ages as seen through National Geographic

News


Domesday Book was completed much later than 1087, historian finds

Symes makes the case in the journal Speculum that the final “Great Domesday Book” came years and perhaps decades later than the 1087 date to which it’s attributed


Medieval St Paul’s Cathedral of London to be rebuilt virtually

When the Great Fire of London destroyed much of th…


People were healthier in the Early Middle Ages than in later centuries, study finds

The Early Middle Ages, from the 5th to the 10th ce…

Latest Posts


Endowed with Manly Courage: Medieval Perceptions of Women in Combat

This study argues, first, that women did have the capacity in the Middle Ages to engage in combat and, second, that the men who wrote about female warriors, both in historical chronicles and in romance, viewed the women with nuanc…


Medieval Movie Review: Robin Hood (2018)

With dozens of adaptations of the medieval tale of…


Medieval Geopolitics: The Crusades to the Holy Land – Phase 1

In my next few columns, I’m going to explore the w…


Domesday Book was completed much later than 1087, historian finds

Symes makes the case in the journal Speculum that …


Medieval St Paul’s Cathedral of London to be rebuilt virtually

When the Great Fire of London destroyed much of th…


From Roman Gold, to Merovingian “Pale Gold,” to Medieval Silver

Paper by Michael McCormick, given at the Climate, …


Why did the Byzantines write History?

Our desires and expectations for good history do n…


Homicide and Suicide in Viking Age Scandinavia

What was the perception and conception of homicide…


Portolan Charts from the Late Thirteenth Century to 1500

From the earliest extant copies, probably a little…


What was the role of the Blacksmith in medieval society?

It must be asked ‘what was there in the life of a …

Books


New Medieval Books: From the 8th to the 21st century

Four books and one special issue of a magazine for you to check out! From Cambridge to India, and books on crusades, Vikings and medieval inter-religious dialogue.


New Medieval Books: From Ireland to China


New Medieval Books: From Jousting to Mathematics


New Medieval Books: Word on the Street Edition


Y Gododdin, the Votadini and Arthurian Legend


Working in the Middle Ages: The Medieval Clothier


Which translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms should I read?


Book Reviews: Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M. R. James / Four Ghost Stories


For the want of Emma: What if the Vikings had won the Battle of Stamford Bridge?

Places to see


Örebro Castle: History, Secrets, and Romance

For anyone who visits Örebro, it is hard to miss its castle – an ancient-looking fortress made of weathered grey stones that stands on an islet in the middle of the city centre.


The Vasa: Gustav II Adolf’s Glorious and Doomed Warship

On the 10th of August 1628, the Vasa sank in Stock…


Making Your Mark: Medieval Masons’ Marks at Tarascon

How do you operate a business when you can’t read …


Uppsala Slott: 5 Things You Ought to Know About One of Sweden’s Greatest Castles

This strategic location not only makes the castle …


The Weird, the Wonderful, and the Macabre in the Cathedral of Narbonne

Narbonne is one of those European cities with evid…


Medieval English Embroidery on Display for the Last Time at the V&A’s Opus Anglicanum Exhibit

The V&A Museum opened its latest medieval exhibit …

Next Section

Features

Classic version

3′

Medieval Movie Review: Robin Hood (2018)

Directed by Otto Bathurst

Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn and Eve Hewson

With dozens of adaptations of the medieval tale of Robin Hood in film, could this latest one offer viewers something new? More importantly, is it any good?

Reviewing it through the medievalist perspective, the first thing I noticed was that this was not set in the Middle Ages, but more a blend of ‘sometime in the past’ with a little steampunk. The filmmakers even deliberately state they won’t be giving us a supposed date to these events, or even that it is history.

What we do get is arrows that shoot like bullets – the machine gun crossbow is a nice touch – and a city of Nottingham which has flames spewing out of every second building – because of the mines, I guess. Some viewers will view it as ridiculous, but I rather liked this take on the story – giving us something of a new setting to play with.

The story moves quickly as Robin and Marian meet at the beginning, and falling very much in love. All is happy until Robin gets a letter – he’s been drafted to fight in the war! We next see him in ‘Arabia’ fighting in the crusades, where you get scenes seemingly lifted from World War Two films. It’s not too long before we return back to England and Nottingham, where the city is now under the crushing grip of its Sheriff.

As all Robin Hood stories go, the tale involves one where the rich and powerful are taking from the poor and weak, and our hero being the one who will make things right. The main baddie in this case is the Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who seems to be reviving his Orson Krennic character from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Church also is presented as the major villains as well, but there is a lot of corruption to go around.

Taron Egerton gets the starring role of Robin of Loxley, but this action hero doesn’t have the charm that he gives off in the Kingsman films. Jamie Foxx is our ‘John’ who gets to be Robin’s trainer and mentor, and we also get our Friar Tucks and Will Scarletts as well. Marian, played by Eve Hewson, is given a lot of screen time here, and delivers the best performance of the cast.

More in Home


Medieval Geopolitics: The Crusades to the Holy Land – Phase 1


What was the role of the Blacksmith in medieval society?


Pola of Rome: The Story of a Woman Jewish Scribe


Machiavelli meets ‘The Prince’


The Middle Ages as seen through National Geographic

This is very much an action film, with lots of arrows being shot, and our Robin doing his best to fight and escape from the legions of armoured henchmen. The fight and chase scenes predictable, but passable. It offers up a lot of noise, but nothing memorable.

I think most moviegoers will say this is an okay film, while more seasoned reviewers can pick out lots of problems with weak dialogue and an overly serious plot. As for insights gleaned by the medievalist reviewer, it is best to say that the movie loosely borrows some medieval elements, but it certainly does not come across as something set in the Middle Ages. At least I hope the filmmakers did not think this was what they thought the medieval period might have looked like!

Click here for more medieval movies

Smartphone and Tablet users click here to sign up for
our weekly email

Classic version