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Tristan + Isolde (2006)
This is one of the best movies set in the dark ages. It is not Hollywoodized like the 2004 King Arthur. It is appropriate to the time period and has several elements that should please a variety of audiences. Here is, on a a scale of 1-10 the different aspects of the movie and how good they were: Action: 8, the action is inspiring. It is built up to feel like we are fighting for something and it is in appropriate spaces and doesn't make it feel like an action movie. It is gritty for pg-13 and well shot. Drama: 8, the plot line seems like it's been used before but it is forgivable because the tale of Tristan and Isolde is where the Arthur-Guinivere-Lancelot tale came from. I don't like hearing people saying this is a take on the Arthurian legend because this tale was actually combined with the legend of the real King Arthur to create that tale. Romance: 8, I don't know how to explain the romance in this movie other then to say that it was done well.
The people who made this movie new what they were doing and it is one of my all time favorite movies. If you are looking for another Braveheart type movie then this will do perfectly.
King Arthur (2004)
Another hollywoodized version of an epic myth that was trying to be different.
About 4 and a half. If this movie had taken place in some distant mythic land it would have been okay. The cinemas practically threw their money away with this movie. It is not historically accurate in the least. At first I thought that this movie was about a 5 and a half because I thought that at least the battle scenes would be entertaining. On the second time through the movie however, I saw people supposedly hacking through each other but with no wounds only sound effects.
Frankly this movie was handed to an inexperienced director and was written by a writer on the spur of inspiration and not confirmed as true history. The worst thing about this movie though is that it says that it is the true rendition of the King Arthur myth. This is incorrect. I particularly dislike this because many people who watch the film will think it is the real thing. In fact the man they based the King Arthur character on in this movie was called Luscious Artorious Castus. His middle name was the Latin version of Arthur which stretches the truth unbearably. Arthur was a real person who repelled a Saxon invasion, only he lived years after the Romans left and didn't necessarily have knights and a round table. If you want King Arthur look elsewhere, this is merely another hollywoodized action movie masquerading under the guise of a famous legend.