Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
CTR Movies (formerly Mormon Moviegoers) is a conglomerate of Latter-day Saint film critics looking for Gospel messages in Hollywood films. We also review movies and give you a heads up about content so you can make an informed decision.. It was founded by Jonathan Decker, author of 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families. For more of this sort of thing join our Facebook group and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
WHAT’S ROBIN HOOD ABOUT?
When Robin of Loxely returns from the crusades to find the Sheriff of Nottingham taxing the peasants of Nottingham into poverty, he mounts a rebellion to restore order.
IS IT ANY GOOD (GRADE: D)
“Forget everything you’ve heard about Robin Hood” the opening monologue states “because if Robin Hood was only an outlaw who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, his story wouldn’t have endured for so long.” Big words from a story that has been told time and time again. It’s not surprising that, in a world full of gritty and dark remakes, Robin Hood would get its turn. After the failure of the Russell Crowe-led movie of the same name in 2010, maybe the producers thought a reboot full of brash action and not much else would attract a younger audience? I mean, it seems to work for the Transformers movies. Unfortunately this movie fails to give us anything new and insteda
Lack of anything remotely new to the story aside, we also have the problem of identifying when exactly this story is supposed to take place. The costumes are far too contemporary, the building and sets are too clean and neat to have been built in the 12th century, and apparently bright red lips and a daring smoky eye existed even for the poorest of peasants in this reimagining. I feel I should say here that I have absolutely no problem with the reimagining of an old classic (A Knight’s Tale is a great example of reimagining done right), but if you’re going to do something that daring the different designs have to balance each other, and they can’t be done halfway.
The performances of the lead actors (Taron Egerton as Robin, Jamie Foxx as Little John, Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Eve Hewson as Marian, and Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlett) are fine, but ultimately overshadowed and swallowed up by the unfortunate choice of the director to value spectacle over substance.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Robin Hood is rated PG-13. It has plentiful medieval violence including stabbings with swords, shooting with arrows, and some blood. There is kissing and dresses with cleavage along with moderate profanity.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Look out for the poor and the needy (see Mosiah 4:16-25) “That which is wrong under one circumstance may be, and often is, right under another.” – Joseph Smith
Watch-at-Home Pick: for a far better version of this story, revisit Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This movie gets a lot of flak for Kevin Costner’s American accent. Watch our defense of the flick above, and rent or buy it here.
What’s it about?
A rock biopic exploring the life of Freddie Mercury, this film attempts to trace the meteoric rise of one of the most iconic rock bands ever: Queen.
Is it any good? (Letter Grade: C)
“We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for the other misfits…. We belong to them.” Freddie Mercury says when explaining what makes Queen special and different. And with the indominable Rami Malek (Mr Robot, Night at the Museum) as the voice, thus begins a 2-hour-long look into the band that becomes Queen.
The best thing about this movie is Rami Malek’s performance as the iconic Freddie Mercury. From vocal inflections down to the incredible energy that Mercury displayed while performing onstage, culminating in Queen’s iconic performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Malek’s feat of impersonation is one that I expect will live on for a while, even if it is a passenger in a movie vehicle that is constantly breaking down.
Given the fact that there is no lack of material to pull from, and that it was co-produced by two surviving members of the band (Brian May and Roger Taylor) one has to wonder if the lack of edginess and the sloppy editing that causes this movie to suffer is because too many people who lived through the story were a part of the filmmaking process.
The film works best when it focuses on the band’s discovery of its greatest hits, when all members of the band come together to write hits such as “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Will Rock You,” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody.” These scenes work because it focuses on these four normal people, these self-proclaimed misfits, coming together to create something so huge that it’s endured decades of social and political change to become iconic.
Is It okay for your kids?
Bohemian Rhapsody openly talks about homo and hetero sex throughout the movie. Homosexuality is explored and discussed, as is the AIDS epidemic. Several persons are dressed immodestly and an unmarried couple is seen in bed together talking. Drinking and the use of drugs is prevalent throughout the movie as well. The f-word, d-word, s-word, and a-word are all used, some on multiple occasions and coupled with milder, but still crass, language.
Any worthwhile messages?
Family is more than the people to whom you are related (read “Not of My Blood But of My Heart,” Karen B. Thompson, April 1991 Ensign).
Lindsi currently works for BYU in the Theatre and Media Arts department, and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time she loves photography, stand up paddle-boarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.