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A Knight's Tale
DVD disk
10.06.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
A Knight's Tale order
Director:
Brian Helgeland

Actors:
Heath Ledger
Rufus Sewell
Shannyn Sossamon

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
William (Ledger), a peasant squire, takes up a false noble identity in order to compete in jousting competitions, the medieval equivalents of top rank boxing. He falls in love with the beautiful Jocelyn (Sossamon) and faces stiff competition as well as downright dirty play from evil black knight Count Adhemar (Sewell) .
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
You ever watch a movie knowing beforehand that you won’t like it and then have it turn out to be pretty damn good? This was a pleasant surprise. It’s a new twist on the medieval world that incorporates modern music, hairstyles and clothing into a past world of grit, filth and overall lack of hygiene. Heath Ledger puts in a strong follow-up performance after THE PATRIOT and shows us some range while we get to appreciate lovely newcomer Sossamon and enjoy a great performance by the woefully underrated Rufus Sewell, who can play a bad guy with the best of them.

This visually beautiful and engaging story never ceases to entertain and I can’t remember one moment in which I glanced at the fast-forward button. I didn’t even look up at the clock. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not one of those movies that will totally engross you with its depth and meaning, it’s just plain fun. The only thing missing was that I watched it alone. I wish I’d been with someone, because it’s the type of film that would make you turn every few minutes and say: “that’s pretty cool” while shoving some kernels down your throat. It’s got pretty much everything you need for a good time: a sympathetic hero, an evil bad guy, good looking ladies, funny sidekicks and more swordfights and jousts than you can handle…
THE EXTRAS
Here’s where you can knock this one a bit: extra overkill… The "Behind-the-Scenes" featurette is actually split up into 11 (yes… eleven!!) smaller featurettes lasting about 3 minutes each. Why!?! Why not just make a half-hour long featurette incorporating music, costumes effects, etc? It’s unfortunate because they’re all pretty good and cover every aspect of a movie you might be interested in knowing about, but it’s all chopped up, which doesn’t jive if, like me, you believe all the elements of the movie should interact and that if the costume guy doesn’t talk to the music guy, then things will clash…

The always-fun "Deleted Scenes" also make it in there, there’s 6 of them and they’re pretty cool to watch though admittedly cut for good reasons. Most of them are just explanations of things that happen during the movie which is too fast-paced for you to really care about, such as how William chooses his emblem…fun to watch, but I don’t really care. You’ll also be able a watch a 15-minute long HBO "Making-of" documentary which gives you really good insight on music, stunts and all the other goodies. All this is followed by a Robbie Williams music video, which intercuts clips from the movie and a medieval atmosphere into Queen’s classic “We are the Champions”. Robbie’s no Freddie Mercury, but the video has a real slick look to it. And last but not least, filmographies and trailers, which are a DVD standard and which like everything else, you access through an attractive animated menu.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overall, a solid movie packaged in a solid DVD. I didn’t expect much from the actual movie but was pleasantly surprised and had a good time watching it and more fun tinkering with the features. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed in this one. A good time was had by all. I just hope other DVD’S don’t go the same way and split one feature into 11 or more…
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