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A KNIGHT'S TALE reviewed by Noodles the New Yorker

Published at: May 2, 2001, 1:15 a.m. CST by staff

Hey folks, Harry here with Noodles look at A KNIGHT'S TALE which as of yet is still perfect at Rotten Tomatoes with very positive reviews. Hmmm.... Could Harry of been right? Oh god no... Perish the thought...

Hey Harry,

I always wanted to send you an email, considering I live in New York and see (a lot) of movies at advance screenings. Well, I'll start now, with my review of "A Knight's Tale", the new Heath Ledger in armor pic. I saw this film last night and have to say I was pretty impressed with it. I went in expecting some fun and the inevitable blunder or two, and came out feeling like a prophet.

The movie is very entertaining, with Ledger a very charismatic and winning lead role, if a little wooden at times, although that might have to do with the script, but more on that later. I must give respect to Ledger, I was satisfied with his acting, and while there are aspects of his character of young William Thatcher, that feel a bit rushed, especially towards the end of the film, they can be overlooked by realizing that this is not going to be winning any major awards next March, so why quibble?

Rufus Sewell as the evil/bad guy Adhamar is suitably both evil and bad. Every time he's on screen he's doing something that makes you want to boo, like some of the audience members did....it was a very um, interactive audience. But, this is Hollywood folks, so you know that even though Adhamar says he's going to marry Heath's girl, and even though he's up two points to none out of three in the final jousting match against Heath, he's the bad guy, he will never win....EVER.

Shannon Sossamon as Jocelyn, Heath's love interest, is in my own words, GORGEOUS. I fell in love with her the moment she stepped on the screen, and while most of her dialouge is incredibly flat, she's so beautiful, I didn't mind one bit.

Mark Addy, Paul Bettany (in the clever historial role of Geoffrey Chaucer) and Alan Tudyk round out Heath's merry band of friends. They are all very appealing, offering some great comic relief, especially Chaucer's monologues. Now onto my dislikes. The story, of William Thatcher, a squire who creates fake papers of nobility to enter the jousting contests, is a bit contrived, yet gives Heath plenty of oppurtunity to break wooden sticks into others. A unanimous decision in the group I went with was that William, who excels in swordfighting, and is not as good in jousting, should have stuck with both throughout the film, if only to mix up the action a little. William drops the swordfighting because all of the "glory" is in jousting, but this resorts the remainder of the film to jousting action, no more swordplay. Even a climactic swordfight between William and Adhamar is missing, something which I felt would have helped.

I'm sure everybody has heard of this film using classic rock songs in it's score, and while my group's opinions on this were mixed, I was against it. I felt that the songs detracted from everything the story was doing, because the production values were incredible, costumes, set design, etc. were all exceptional, but then to hear Queen come on, it removes you from the world the film goes to such great lengths to bring you to. Brian Helgeland, who wrote, produced and directed this is to be commended for two of three.

The film is beautiful, bonus points for casting the lust-inducing Shannon Sossomon, and the directing keeps the story moving, but the script hits too many dry spots, especially in the romantic scenes. These are two beautiful people, do we need them spouting crappy dialouge? No, if they stood there and kissed and looked passionately at each other, I don't think anyone would mind.

That's my biggest complaint, the script, it left much to be desired, in that it took itself wayyyyyy too seriously. A little camp would have worked perfectly. All in all though, the cast is strong, the production values are perfect, and this film will most likely be a crowd-pleaser, as it should. This film entertains, so if you go expecting that, you will be pleased. I'll try to hit you back with some more email Harry, so until next time,

Noodles

Readers Talkback

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  • May 2, 2001, 1:42 a.m. CST

    First!!!1

    by mrbimbim

    despite my best judgement, i have been looking forward to this one

  • May 2, 2001, 1:53 a.m. CST

    First the worst.........

    by Boggle

    second the best..... Hurrah for me!!!

  • May 2, 2001, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Yuo=Fag0t

    by mrbimbim

    mock me, will yuo?? My powers are beyond yuor comprehension!!!!!1

  • May 2, 2001, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Crushed

    by Boggle

    mrbimbim, the only thing about you that is beyond my comprehension is why you exist.

  • May 2, 2001, 4:28 a.m. CST

    A Knight's Tale Interview

    by google1

    Hey everyone, I just read a really cool interview with Paul Bettany he plays Chaucer in "A Knight's Tale" and is starring in a new Ron Howard Film. You can check it out here http://www.eclipsemagazine.com/html/knightfeature.html

  • is this person who sent in the review a teenage girl??? how could any guy sit through a corny midieval movie like A KNIGHTS TALE & actually like it???

  • May 2, 2001, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Of course, the reason why negative reviews haven't been posted..

    by The Longshot

    is because he didn't post my review, which both Dark Horizons and Coming Attractions both posted. Amazing he continues to ignore my review. How much is the studio paying you? Personally, opinion is going to go right down the middle. Some people are going to find it to be a fun film. Others will not be able to ignore all the flaws this film has, historical and logical. The ending, which Harry found "emotional" I found udderly ridiculus and predictable. Save your money and go see another film.

  • May 2, 2001, 9:13 a.m. CST

    THIS MOVIE...

    by Mister M

    IS GONNA BE A COMPLETE PILE OF SHIT AND YOU KNOW IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • May 2, 2001, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Just for balance...

    by MaxCalifornia.

    you can probably still find my negative review on this site somewhere...back when it was called In Shining Armor(!) And the bimbo girl in this flick just can't act. Jeez I didn't even think she was that attractive.

  • May 2, 2001, 10:29 a.m. CST

    hypocrites...

    by max sterling

    i love how this movie keeps getting ripped by all these holier than thou fanboys. don't pretend you're not fanboys. anybody that would ever register for talkback on this site is a fanboy. or maybe you're one step lower. you're the type that thinks he's the real insider and finds fault with everything. you're like comic book guy from the simpsons. take this movie for what it's worth. a fun movie to appeal to kids or that kid in you. alright i'm not gonna keep lecturing cuz you can't be taught only ignored.

  • May 2, 2001, 10:40 a.m. CST

    when I read the talkback..

    by revam

    it's very easy to tell which one is an honest comment, or something with agenda. I'm looking forward to this one.. should be fun.

  • May 2, 2001, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I so want to hate this film...please God make it terrible...

    by twonkenn

    Then again the reviewer may have thought Jar-Jar was a good idea...so I'm not holding my breath. 'Missus sez thisa film gonna suck!'

  • May 2, 2001, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Swordfighting and the Music

    by Jiggletiddy

    Actually, I felt he dropped the swordfighting because Adhemar blew him away in the joust the first time they met. I'ts bravado and pride: Adhemar won, and rubbed it in his peasant face, so William is only going to compete in the joust so he can eventually show up adhemar. He was already the champ in the sword, so there was no longer any glory in it. Bravado. As for the music, this is my take, which actually comes from a Brian Helgeland soundbite, so excuse the paraphrasing. I think the conventional music is more accurate than anything ever done for a medevial set movie? Why am I not crazy? because of this. Most medevial movies since the first have given us orchestral, almost classical soundtracks and have the characters speaking in lilting, high-english style accents and words. As BH points out, this is a gross inaccuracy. English in the 13th century (the time of AKT) was completely different from what is spoken now. It was middle english I believe and would be incomprehensible to a modern person (ever read Sir Gawain? you get the idea). Plus the official language of the Royal court, and spoken by all aristocracy was...French! As for music, I think the only developed thing at that time was gregorian chant, which was heard only in the churches. The common folk had simple traditional folk music. And for sure there were younger people who prefferred different music than what their parents listened to. So, AKT can be seen as succeding in analoge, using the metaphor of popular music today for popular music then, as well as slang and speech. We can't reproduce what they did (without being incomprehensible) so the next best thing is to use the same type, modern version. To make William speak like Olivier doing hamlet while toccatta in G plays in the background would be groundless. and heck, it's just a freakin movie yall! Sit back, eat yer popcorn and enjoy the stick-breakin! -d

  • May 2, 2001, 4:59 p.m. CST

    he didn't rock me

    by D Money

    Very objective review, I saw an early screening also and I think Noodles pretty much nailed this one.

  • May 3, 2001, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Paul Bettany Interview

    by google1

    Just read an awesome interview with Paul Bettany from A Knight's Tale http://www.eclipsemagazine.com/html/knightfeature.html