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Thursday, July 05, 2007:
"King Arthur" a.k.a. why I love Clive Owen
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When this movie first came out in theatres (was it 'o3 or 04?) and discovered the divine Clive Owen (and company), I admit to having gone and seen it more than once. More than twice. And I bought the DVD, which I watched yesterday, for the very first time, if you can believe it. I just love me some rugged, heroic men who fight for a cause greater than their own, even if sometimes it is with a bit of reluctance. After all, they may be willing to die for it, but that doesn't mean they are ready to be vanquished so easily.

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As I mentioned, this is where I first "met" the delectable Clive Owen, who does the part of King Arthur justice in a way few ever have. He's not mystical nor magical, but a man who believes in God and a free world where people can live in peace. This is the cause he has chosen to fight for, even if it wasn't his choice to fight to begin with. After 15 grueling years of fighting, his own freedom, and that of his men, is within reach. Except, of course, they have to go on one last mission, and if they succeed, freedom is finally, FINALLY, guaranteed.

Yet this is their most dangerous assignment yet, and death is almost a certainty. Arthur is resigned to this last fight, and his men grudgingly follow him, including his closest friend Lancelot, loyal to their leader because at least he has never lied to them. Many of them have never known anything but fighting and killing, and have nothing else to hold onto. The life of a soldier is all they have ever known, or can even remember. While they dream of freedom, they are not quite sure what that looks like.

Along the way, they find an imprisoned Guinevere, who is rotting away in an underground prison for her sins - being a Briton who fights against Rome. Arthur is drawn to her, probably never coming across a person as strong in their convictions as hinself. Just as Lancelot is not the pure, heavenly knight of legend, Guinevere is not the pampered maiden surrounded by her adoring followers, but a fighter. We see her fascination with Lancelot because they are so similar, yet it is Arthur who wins her heart.

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I love the Legend of King Arthur, the idea of Merlin, the concept of the Round Table. I've always been fascinated by it, and this very earthy, bloody version does little to detract from that feeling. The promise of it is still the same, and there is the added bonus of all those hot knights: Arthur, Lancelot, Tristan, Gawain, Galahad, even hot-headed, lusty Bors. There are those moments of cheese, when you wonder how the actors could keep a straight face as they recited some of those corny lines, but the actors, especially Clive Owen, don't overplay their roles, and Arthur comes across as a man torn in his beliefs and the loyalty to his own men.
I liked the warrior princess and the less-than-saintly Lancelot, who is Arthur's best friend. I enjoyed that Bors had 11 (!) children, that Tristan was a master tracker with the mannerisms of a samurai. I loved Clive's intense hazel eyes. In this movie, he epitomizes the rugged, earthy hero that appeals to me on so many levels. He has the longer, tousled hair, the serious convictions, the sensual mouth, the confidence of a soldier who knows he is magnificent yet not too arrogant to kneel before God. My only regret: no shirtless scene. That just seemed so wrong.
Thanx to MaryKate for talking up her movie "LadyHawke", which is another classic I adored, and which inspired this blog post today. 'ppreciate it, MK :)
So you you have a favorite medieval movie?
What makes it so appealing?
Who is your favorite knight?

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  1. Hi Stace! Hope you had a terrific 4th. I love the 4th in Chicago. You can't beat Taste of Chicago for nummy food! Don't know if you went, but I have fond memories of ToC on the 4th.

    Ahhh, King Arthur. I dragged my roomie to see it on like a Tuesday night after work. She loved it so much she bought the movie, although I believe that the guy who played Lancelot was who she bought it for. Not that you can really under-emphasize the glory that is Clive Owen. For me, my "kissin' cousin" Hugh Dancy plays Galahad in it. He's a third cousin I believe, so I love any movie that he's in automatically. Plus he's a cutie-patootie.

    Annnnnyway, back to King Arthur. I simply love this movie. It's gritty and fun, and hey, Guinivere, for reasons surpassing understanding, runs around with her perfectly sculpted tummy flashing for all the world to see. I suspect that had something to do with Keira Knightly's luminescence and incredible abs. LOL! But I love the movie. I love Stellan Skarsgaard too who's the bad guy. He has such a terrific speaking voice and he plays such an awful guy.

    But mostly, please. Gotta watch for Clive in all his glory!

    Great, great flick.

  2. My only regret: no shirtless scene. That just seemed so wrong.

    So, like how many times a day do you find yourself lamenting that, Stace? Cause it's a regular on my list, even in real life.

    KA? Love the legend in all its forms. And I think it's so cool that we got to meet because of Clive and the movie, really. My best friend from back East surprised me with the movie a few Christmases ago, and, I just couldn't get over Clive's eyes. There's a little interview w/the cast at the end, and I swear, I've never seen eyes like his. But I don't get out much, so there could be a ton of guys with them, and I'd never know.

    My favorite medieval knights are from Marsha Canham novels, including "The Last Arrow," and "My Forever Love." Big, dark, sweaty guys with horrid pasts. Great on the lists. Great on the battlefields of the East. Great UATR/SW/MW (Up Against the Rocks)./Sauna Wall/Monastery Wall).

    You've got to name some medieval-set flicks for me, cause a)I can never remember what I've seen, and 2. I'd like to know other good ones to watch.

    Great topic and post, Stace! OOOh, and I love Stellan Skarsgaard (and Peter, too, though I'm not sure they're related, but both do creeps great), and have liked him since that flick w/ Waves in the title).

  3. Great movie. I am a huge Clive Owen fan and I have to agree it was wrong we never see him shirtless. What's up with that??

    I'll watch any movie if it's even remotely based on a King Arthur tale, but this is one of the very best ever.

  4. Yay!! I can comment. HOpe you had a great fourth of July! Its too hot here.

  5. Never been one for the medieval times. In fact, I think it was Arthur and co that turned me off to the whole thing. Not this movie but the legends, etc. I never did get what the appeal was all about. LOL.

  6. I think i have reanted this twice and still have not watched it. I have got to try again.
    My favorite medieval movies are Robin Hood type movies. I have always loved Robin Hood stories. One of my favs is a Robin Hood type movie called The Court Jester. I watched the Kevin Costner version mainly for Christian Slater.
    My favorite King Arthur movie is either the cartoon, The Sword and the Stone or the mini-series, Merlin.

  7. Sorry I just noticed, I meant to say "rented" not reanted. Or maybe I am just typing with a backwoods accent.

  8. MK, the 4th was quiet this year. The Taste is insane, and I didn't feel up to the challenge LOL. As for KA, I actually thought all the knights were cute in their own way, but Clive is just such a man, ya know? Major yummy.

    Michelle, totally agree on Clive's eyes. They are just mesmorizing, as is that sexy mouth of his.

    Jenster! How are you? I agree that this version is one of my fave KA renditions. Less mystical or more earthy.

    Mailyn, leave it to you to be different LOL. But that's one of the cool things about you. I've discovered a lot of new stuff cuz of you, and that rocks.

    Kris, did you ever see the Robin Hood with Michael Praed? It was a series done in the early to mid 80's. I just loved it. Have it on VHS somewhere.....

  9. Stace - I saw the trailer for Elizabeth: The Golden Age last night. It's the sequel to Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. More importantly, Clive plays Sir Walter Raleigh in all his freaking dreamy glory!

    I saw the trailer on "Working Title's" site. Amazing.

    I loved the first movie, despite the historical inaccuracies, mainly because Joe Fiennes was in it, and I think he has such a dreamy set of eyes. But I'm in on this one too because Clive is in it.

  10. I agree that this version is one of my fave KA renditions. Less mystical or more earthy.

    Yeah. That's it. It had more of a real historical feel to it than a KA fantasy. Of course, I loved First Knight, too. But KA was so dark and gritty.

    And I'm doing great! Thanks for asking. :o)

  11. Stacy, that is the show that got me hooked on Robin Hood (that and the Disney cartoon). I used to have such a crush on him. That series is on my list to buy when I have some extra money (and don't spend it on books). I have found it on ebay in DVD format too.

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