|Index||8 reviews in total|
If America only knew how good this was,it would be the highest rated
Made-For-TV movie series of all time(hard to believe there are more people
out there that would rather watch "The Columbo Mysteries" than Bernard
Cornwell's Sharpe Chronicles- that just goes to show the power of major
network name-brand advertising.
The Richard Sharpe movie series has been television at its finest. I have seen all of the BBC Sharpe series movies,"Sharpe's Waterloo" is my favorite of the films. However I tune in to PBS everytime they air the Sharpe movies. So far all the movies have been based on the Sharpe Chronicles - adventure novels written by Bernard Cornwell(the same author who wrote "Rebel"). Each Movie chronicles the on-going adventures of Richard Sharpe who is a Brittish Lt. in the Brittish military during the late 1790's-to early 1800's during the Napoleonic era in Europe. I sincerly believe that each one of these Films has been good enough to have shown at the movie theaters,if the producers had wanted to. Unlike other Made-For-TV films,The Hornblower films do not have that Made-For-TV feeling to them,like most television movies have. However each of the Sharpe Movies picks up exactly where the last one left off. The only negative thing I can say about this movie series is the use of an electric guitar as the background music- I have to take points off for that, because the sometimes screeching guitar noises can become annoying at times.
A common misconception that people who havent seen these movies have is that all of these films go to gether as a mini-series- that is not true. The Sharpe movies are not a mini-series,all of these films are individual movies about the same charactor, However they are sequels to each other each picking up where the last film left off.- with all the same actors playing the same roles in each film(EXAMPLE:think of the James Bond films-that same principle applies to the Sharpe movies,but unlike Bond, the Sharpe films are sequels)
If you have seen the Sharpe movies and you liked them and you wish to see more similar themed programing, I will suggest A&E's Horatio Hornblower movies(6 movies in all- same basic priciple as the Sharpe movie except Hornblower is in the Brittish Navy to whereas Sharpe is a ground soldier)
I give the entire Sharpe movie series 4 out of 5 stars. Its near Perfect entertainment- but you cant please everyone, so for those of you dont like epic Napoleonic era battles,classic historic style drama,high stakes adventure, and danger on the European battlefields,if you dont like stuff like that-there is always a Columbo re-run for you to watch.
Sean Bean and Richard Sharpe are in top form here. The film is gritty, it gives Sharpe some of his classic "I'm going to make soldiers out of you" speeches, the supporting characters among the Riflemen have a lot to do, and there are some fairly hard-hitting, realistic looks at politics, war, and the "Irish Troubles" along the way. Plus Sharpe does not end up bedding every woman in sight, which is a lot closer to the books than some of the other Sharpe films which end up making Sharpe a Napoleonic era James Bond who sleeps with every woman within 1000 miles. The Sharpe films are very variable, and some of them are lot weaker and cheesier than others. This one is one of the good ones.
Sharpe's Battle is in my humble opinion, one of the finest entries in
the entire movie series and despite the slight hiccup of Sharpe's Gold,
shows the team behind them going from strength to strength. For while
the formula of Wellington having a problem, sending to Sharpe to solve
it, a beautiful woman getting involved and everything culminating in a
massive pitched battle was well and truly in place by now, Sharpe's
Battle takes pains to develop its characters further. The finished
film, is nothing but satisfying.
For one thing, this is one of the most action packed episodes of the lot. The battles are a lot smaller scale than normal and have more of a guerrilla war flavour to them, but they are still as gripping as ever and the fights come fast and frequent. One minute they're engaging in bitter street fighting, ducking and diving from alleyways to doors and back again, snatching off rifle blasts at their darting foes. The next they're defending their fortress from the massed ranks of French infantry, engaging in bloody hand to hand combat as the fires of battlefield immolation roar around them. And while it may be a small point, they're given a subtle veneer of freshness by the absence of the standard red and blue infantrymen uniforms, replaced by the green and white of the palace guards and the fantastic looking French wolf pack with their grey uniforms decorated with wolf fur.
What's more, Sharpe's Battle goes some way towards developing the characters beyond their normal roles. Sharpe will of course be familiar to any fan of the series but here, is a tad more weary of the endless fighting and more embittered than usual, the lack of a romantic female lead for him to bed this time around revealing the creative teams willingness to toy with the familiar pattern. Daragh O'Malley meanwhile puts in perhaps his finest turn to date as Sergeant Harper. As per normal, he is a genial and charming man who can put a smiling face on the war, but late in the episode this changes and he is overcome by a berserk rage, but at no point does this feel forced.
Best of all though is Jason Durr's performance as Lord Kiely, commander of the Royal Palace guard and a man obsessed with making his name and the name of his regiment go down in military history. Kiely could very easily have been another pompous gentleman for Sharpe to clash with, but while he may fit the bill somewhat, he is far less stereotypical than the likes of Henry Simmerson, the slimy brute from Sharpe's Eagle. Instead, Kiely is a conflicted persona who simultaneously loves and hates his wife, unable to bed with her thanks to a disastrous miscarriage that has stained their relationship. At turns you will loathe him, at others you will sympathise and once or twice its even possible to admire him, Durr putting in a fine job as the tormented man.
Elsewhere, we get another tremendously unlikable villain in the form of Brigadier General Loup, a one-eyed, mustachioed French scumball and even Rifleman Perkins getting a much needed boost of characterisation. You also have the Royal guard themselves, men of pride who have to come to terms with the knowledge that they are the laughing stock of the army and as they grow in the art of war, it's hard not to cheer for them. Best of all though, you get another hour and forty minutes of dashing heroism, unchecked violence and daring-do, but with a bit more humanity this time around. Highly recommended.
I'm feeling guilty now. The comment I posted about Sharpe's Battle
before wasn't objective. It was tainted by lust. I don't want to get a
bad rep, so here's an OBJECTIVE comment, in context, for people who
care about the quality of what they watch rather than just about the
Sharpe's Battle does have a lot of strengths. For one thing, the dialogue's good. In other Sharpe films, such as Sharpe's Sword, there's something a bit fake about the interaction between the characters, but in Battle its much more convincing. There's also some really gritty fighting, particularly in the town towards the end. Sharpe's fight with Loup is excellent, although I do agree with another review I read somewhere here in that the expressions of the characters when they hate each other has echoes of lust as well. Perhaps we could draw a lot into this about how love hurts. Being over forty years old and still not knowing that much about love in the true sense of the word, I will refrain from stereotyping what I don't understand.
The problem with Battle, in my opinion, is Loup himself. He's not a villain on the same scale as some of the ones we see around. Sure, he tries to be evil, but he just ends up being vaguely annoying. Oh, and why doesn't he attack Sharpe sooner? Surely he realises that he has him by the balls most of the time?
My score of 8 out of 10 stands, but hopefully I've explained it a bit better now.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sean Bean returns as Napoleonic war hero Major Richard Sharpe and
Sharpe's Battle opens with Sharpe and his Chosen Men liberating a tiny
Spanish town that has been sacked by the French under the command of
General Loup. When Sharpe discovers that many women children and indeed
babies have been massacred under the Frenchman's orders, he is outraged
and promptly executes without trial the two French soldiers they have
caught, making an enemy of Loup who now vows a bitter revenge.
When Sharpe returns to camp however, is told he has been made strategic adviser to Lord Keily, and has been ordered to whip his men 'The Royal Irish Company' into an effective and loyal company of fighting men. This is made more difficult however as articles in the American press that are being unusually and freely distributed amongst the ranks, speak of British atrocities in Ireland, making Sharpe's new company an angry and embittered group of men.
Also making Sharpe's life a misery is the inexperienced and arrogant Lord Keily himself, who's attitude towards Sharpe and his own men, plus his open affair with a sensual female guerrilla fighter by the name of Juanita, pushes Sharpe to the brink of his patience especially as this affair is embarrassing, and emotionally crippling the beautiful and busty Lady Keily who is also in camp.
However when Lord Kiely learns that his wife is pregnant and that Jaunita is actually a French spy in the pay of General Loup, he quickly reorganises his loyalties and tries to rally his men back into order, but thanks to the lies regarding the British atrocities (spread by Juanita of course) many of them are now secretly working for the French against the British and are ready to turn on Sharpe in the heat of Battle, and help Loup organise the kidnap of Lady Keily.
With his friend's now his secret enemy, Sharpe and is Chosen Men are lured into a fight to the death against an enemy both seen and unseen.
When the Irish reveal themselves as turncoats during mid battle however, it results in the tragic death of Rifleman Perkin's the youngest of Sharpe's chosen men, resulting in the remainder of the crack Rifle company going completely berserk killing off all the traitorous scum, this coupled with the inevitable rescue of Lady Keily and the final showdown between Major Sharpe and General Loup make this truly great swashbuckling stuff.
Great support as usual from Daragh O'Malley and Hugh Fraser and stolid performances from the lovely Allie Byrne as Lady Keilly, and the sensual Siri Neal as Juanita.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Totally good episode in the Sharpe series! Entertaining to the last
minute! But like Sharpe's gold this episode doesn't really fit in the
main storyline (the war against Napoleon)! Although Sharpe fights
against the french (under command of Lupe) it is not really a mission
part of Lord Wellingtons big scheme!
*spoiler* The heroic death of Perkins was a surprise and it was good to see Harper and the other chosen men cry! He and Sharpe really cared about their chosen men! I say this because I missed the tears and drama about Sharpe's faked death (they thought he was dead)in Sharpe's Honour! I guess they didn't want do overdo it,it is war and everything! Soldiers should be able to control their emotions!
The action was superb! Although the battle was not a big one it was great to watch Sharpe and his men fighting again like soldiers did in those times! I read some reviews and came across one of comparing this episode to a bad B movie! If you saw this as a stand alone movie than it is not really clear of who Sharpe is and what he does! But I think you have to see this as part of a series,at least you have to seen enough episodes to know the background of the story otherwise much will not make sense!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the first Sharpe film I've ever seen, and according to other
reviewers it isn't the best. Even so, I thought it was top
entertainment. There's plenty of action and all that. (SPOILER AHEAD!)
In my opinion, the most important scene was when Lady Kiely offers
herself to Sharpe, and he refuses in a very honourable manner - I can't
see James Bond doing that, can you? Mind you, anyone with looks like
Sean Bean can't exactly be desperate... Did you know he was voted
second sexiest man in Britain?....sexiest man in the world, more
like...Sorry, am I diverting?
Yes, right, back to the film. Sharpe is such a great character, and Sean Bean does portray him really well. Unlike most British officers of the time, he actually earns his place, and the snobbery against him is hideous. Still, he survives. South Essex my ass. Sounds like Sheffield to me, mate.
8 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lots of (sometimes incoherent) plot, modest characterization, indifferent acting, stilted dialogue -- at no time does this appear vaguely realistic. Basically a 50s 'B' adventure movie: colorful uniforms, fighting but little gore or agony, melodrama, and characters whose words strangely mismatch their deeds (Spoiler:Sharpe calls Loup a murderer just before Sharpe has enemy soldiers killed in cold blood). What came to mind as I watched was that the director was on budget and the writer had a bad drug or alcohol problem, On the other hand, I spent much of my childhood watching TV shows no better than this. My wife and son walked out, as the plot twists and turns weren't interesting enough to make up for the speeches and cheesy action.
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