A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.
At the end when they show the flashback of when Tristan and Isolde are in Ireland and Isolde is reading her poem, Tristan kisses her and she holds up her hands and she is not wearing her shell bracelet. But earlier in the movie during the same scene she is wearing it. See more »
Britain. The Dark Ages. / The Roman Empire has fallen / The land lies in ruins, divided among feuding tribes. / To the west, Ireland has flourished - untouched by the Romans, protected by the sea. / Led by their powerful and righteous king, the Irish have subdued the Britons... / Knowing that if Ireland is to prosper, the tribes must never be allowed to unite.
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I did not expect to like this film; the reviews were lackluster, and many seemed to think the leads were mediocre at best. I found the performances riveting and highly engaging. While I do not know the actual historical story, I found the storyline highly captivating.
I thought James Franco played Tristan brilliantly - broken hearted but not brooding, he seemed to only come to life during battle before meeting Isolde, and then afterward only in their stolen moments together. Many of the reviews I've read seem to think that he played the role flatly, but I thought the subtlety of expression in his eyes and body language was impressive. Confident as a warrior, but almost innocent in intimacy, I thought he walked the thin line between adult and youth effectively.
Sophia Myles captured the fire, vulnerability and desire of Isolde with fervor - and that's not easy to do. Myles delivered her lines subtly, tinting words with emotional depth -scorn, joy, passion, frustration, disappointment - that was understated and yet passionate. She, too, managed to portray a delicate balance between the innocence of idealistic youth and the realities of a woman who found her self in an unenviable position.
Rufus Sewell was fantastic. As king, he had to walk the thin line between diplomacy and his own frustrations; as a man, he came alive when with Isolde, and so her betrayal was all that more heartbreaking, a scene which he played with focus and power.
I thought the fight scenes were very well done, except for the excess of cut shots, jumping from person to person, which moved the action almost too quickly, occasionally resulting in a jagged flow of action. Overall, however, the battle scenes were very well done.
The costumes were incredible - not period realistic (especially Isolde's wedding gown) but they were beautiful and overall well designed to intimate the period but still have some glitz. The locations shots were awe-inspiring.
I LOVED these characters very shortly after they each came on screen. I rarely feel such a strong connection to characters, especially of period pieces, but each of the leads played their roles with finesse. I deeply cared about these people, seeing hope and joy rise in their eyes, only to see events quickly turn that joy to sorrow, and hope to forceful determination. Their moments of happiness are so brief, their heartbreak so complete that I found myself profoundly moved by their experiences. As deeply invested as I became with these characters, I nearly sobbed at the end of the movie. A 5-hankie tear jerker.
I eagerly await the release of the DVD, and expect to enjoy this film many times over.
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