Wednesday, March 23, 2016

He's a notorious troublemaker, my lady.

Twenty-four hours from now, I'll have seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And while the early reviews aren't exactly favorable, I'm sure I'll have a decent time. Even if it's not a really good flick, there's something inherently satisfying about seeing such iconic superheroes share the big screen. Especially considering that in the thirty-six years I've wandered this planet, there has almost always been an iteration of at least one of those colossal figures coming to (or leaving) the cinema. Almost forty years of cinematic lore to obsess over!

Impressive, right?

Well...not exactly.

I always trying to convince myself that I'm not really a fan of classic movies, but as I smiled the whole way through 1939's The Adventures of Robin Hood, it's becoming readily apparent I am. Sure, there's a thin layer of cheesy goodness covering this whimsical production top-to-bottom, but of the three Robin Hood films I watched last weekend (more on that later), it was easily my favorite.

Combining aspects of the Dark Knight and Superman Clark Kent, the character of Robin Hood has been dramatized in film for almost eight decades. In this version, Errol Flynn and his rad mustache absolutely own the screen, injecting Robin with a level of joy unseen since FDR was in office. He literally bounces all over the screen, swinging and smiling throughout a Technicolor Sherwood Forest with the slightest of effort. Wait, heroes can be fun?

Yeah. Lots. 

But don't think ol' Robin'g just a charming goofball. Nope. Turns out the OG Mr. Hood is a motherf--king badass, heartily chuckling before and after his arrow buries itself in the stomach of quite a few of Prince John's goons. 

Everything I do, I do it for this guy. And royal deer.
Ah, speaking of Prince John, what is a hero's adventure without a kickass bad guy? Well, we'll never know, as the only thing worse than Claude Rains' Prince John is the haircut he's adorned with. See, King Richard is being held for ransom, and his brother ain't exactly in a hurry to help out. Oh, John will rock the shit out of a gigantic feast, or host an epic archery tournament to find someone he's had a f--king conversation with, but his brother's return would totally destroy the Bummer-free zone he's living in. Er, would be living in, if Robin Hood and his Merry Men and their ceasless grabassing weren't ruining everything.

Also ruining everything, are the Yays and Boos. Though they just do that shit online. Remember, we don't go anywhere near the forest, as best case it's filled with a bunch of happy dudes. Worst case? Um, how about f--king Satan [review]?

  • 'Based upon the ancient Robin Hood legends' - hahaha, yes!
  • I love the scale of everything. If there's an outdoor shot? Welp, we're gonna need at least a hundred people milling about.
  • I'm telling you, Flynn is such a badass. Not only does he knock some sucka out with a dead deer, but he shows up at a royal feast and basically says he's gonna stick his d--k in the mashed potatoes.
  • I've already told you that Robin will shoot a dude in the gut just because he can, which is rad as Hell. But when he decides to dial back the Legolas? He probably sets a cinematic record for shoves. No lie, he probably shoves 900 dudes.
  • Okay, perhaps my favorite scene in any movie ever, Robin challenges Little John to a stick fight. But, hold on. Robing doesn't have a staff. So he f--king makes one! (and Little John is all kinds of patient about this)
  • Let him spout for a moment. Not only is Robin a man of action, he also delivers a pretty rousing speech to his troops. 
  • Perhaps one of the better examples of double-talk, Robin's hermit-like sidekick, Much, utters I've never tickled a woman's fancy. Yikes. Though I'm sure he's tickled his own, like, a million times.
  • Analogy time! Merry Men:: Forrest Goers as Predator:: Elite Mercenaries
  • Maid Marian is a total fox. And their scene when all they wanna do is make out? So good.
  • Silhouette Fight. This whole scene is really well done, but the ten seconds of sword fighting in the shadows is easily the highlight (though Sir Guy's tumble at the end is hilarious).
  • There is simply nothing that a hearty chuckle can't fix. Nothing.
  • And finally, I know we shouldn't mix politics with, uh, whatever the f--k this blog is, but can I tell you that this film feels impossibly timely? No shit, it does. In fact, for a second, I thought Errol Flynn was actually a 74-year-old white guy from Vermont. They seem to have a pretty similar outlook, no? And that Prince John d-bag does have a pretty awful haircut...just saying...
And to think, tomorrow was his last day on the job...
  • Hey, Robin, I'm a big fan. Big fan. But, uh, you like...murdered a hundred dudes. Rather easily, too. 
  • For some so-called Merry Men, you guys can be a bunch of dicks. Fine, Friar Tuck is a bit husky, but if you keep coming at him like that, he's totally going to invent eating disorders.
  • Apparently, different colored frilly capes make you totally invisible.
  • Maid Marian's sidekick, Bess, is a real bitch. Okay, she comes around when she gets her lady-boner for Much, but still. Why you gotta hate love, Bess? Scram!
  • Speaking of Lady love, how does Sir Guy not see that Marian totally has a thing for Robin? He found that note pretty quick, sure, but the other most obvious thing ever? Totally misses it. 
  • I make more clanging carefully opening the silverware drawer while my daughter's asleep than 500 people having a giant sword-fight does. Oh, 1938. You so crazy.
  • And finally, while I loved the grand gesture, King Richard, upon returning to the throne, orders Maid Marian to marry Robin. Does the King really have this power? He can decree lifelong affection? 
You know, I don't think I'm really going to be able to relate to either Batman or Superman when I head to the theater tomorrow night. I'm not really handsome. Or strong. Or from another planet.

My parents are both alive. My car sucks. My house is decidedly bat-free.

But Robin Hood? This guy I get. Sure, I don't exactly rob the rich, but I am a teacher in the inner city, so I guess I have spent my life giving to the poor. 

Now if only they'd take it.


  1. Outstanding. This was not the movie I expected to be reading about when I clicked the link. It's a fun one, to be sure. You're absolutely right that Flynn literally bounces all over the screen. It is certainly one of the most fun hero performances ever. Dude has to be the happiest mass murdering thief of all time, lol. Love the last 'yay." Perfect analogy. I will be seeing BvS on Saturday. Man, I hope it doesn't suck.

    1. Thanks, Dell. [hearty chuckle]

      I'm still kinda stunned by how much I liked this movie, you know? It's such a good time, so perfectly entertaining, it makes me want to see more Flynn asap.

      Honestly, he's a stone-cold killer and seems to enjoy every minute of it. That's almost...honorable?

      I saw BvS tonight...definitely not perfect, but I had a good time with it.

  2. "Not only does he knock some sucka out with a dead deer, but he shows up at a royal feast and basically says he's gonna stick his d--k in the mashed potatoes."

    Sold. lol I've never seen this version, but now I want to.

    1. Yesssss! It's pretty frickin' legit, I must say.

      Though sadly, the mashed potatoes remain dick-free. Even though it was that kind of party.