King Arthur - The Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition)

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Product Description

The legend of King Arthur, focusing on the history rather than the fantasy.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: UN
Release Date: 22-AUG-2006
Media Type: DVD

It's got a round table, some knights, and a noble warrior who rises to become King Arthur, but everything else about this revisionist legend is pure Hollywood. That's not such a bad thing if you enjoyed Rob Roy, Braveheart, Gladiator, and Troy, and there's some intriguing potential in presenting the "real" Arthur (played by Clive Owen) as a 5th-century soldier of Rome, assigned to defend Roman-imperial England against a hoard of invading Saxons (led by Stellan Skarsg?rd in hairy villain mode). As revamped history and "archaeological findings" would have us believe, Guinevere (Keira Knightley) is a warrior babe in face-paint and Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) is a nonentity who fades into the woodwork. Never mind! Best to enjoy the harsh, gloomy atmosphere of Irish locations, the ruggedness of Owen and his hearty supporting cast, and the entertaining nonsense of a Jerry Bruckheimer production that strips battle-ready Guinevere down to leather-strap S&M gear while all the men sport full-body armor. Hail to the queen, indeed! --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • King Arthur
    More fact than fiction this version follows recent discoveries of a leader of the Roman calvary that fought for the Britains. Even though it isn't fantasy it is not hard to see how Arthurian legend came about. This is not for the feint of heart since the battles are depicted like they were likely to have been fought, vicious and bloody. Good cast, directing, effects, and music make this at least worth a rental for most fans of war movies. The central story revolves around Arturius, half Roman and half Britain, and his knights that guarded the Hadrian Wall. The knights were actually Sumation decendants that were exceptional calvary warriors that were drafted by Rome to serve fifteen years. When the Saxon army invades they have a hard choice as to whether stay and fight or return to their homeland. Merlin is a Britain and the father of Guinevere a warrior in her own right. Merlin's magic is smoke and something equivalent to Greek fire. Not a family movie, but certainly engaging for those that like chivalry and long epic battles. It may seem a bit long to those that aren't into war movies. Fans of "Braveheart" or "Troy" will probably enjoy it. Good quaility DVD with decent replayability....more info
    I absolutely LOVED this film!!!!! To me, it is the most realistic film about King Arthur EVER!! I think that the absolutely, GORGEOUS Clive Owen not only brought physical beauty to the character, but also realism. Now when I think of King Arthur, I see Clive Owen. The movie was well made. I think Anton Fuqua did a superb job. I think the reason it was not more popular is that it was not widely advertised or promoted like "Gladiator or "Troy". They were superb, and King Arthur is right there with them!!!...more info
  • King Arthur
    King Arthur (PG-13 Full Screen Edition)

    A superb rendition, with accurate costumes, arms, and armour of the period. This version of the "Arthur" Legend centres on the romano-briton Gauis Artorius Cliptus, and the Saemartian Cavalry, and is generally accepted as 'too early' by 400 years as being the 'real' Arthur, by historians.

    However, the story of a Britain being overrun by the Saxons after the collapse of the Roman Empire, is correct, and shown in all of its 'Blood, Guts, and Gory Glory!'

    The main characters are well portrayed, and the Brythionic Celts are shown as a 'woodland' tribal people similar to Native Americans which is relatively accurate.

    Merlin, (in this version of the legend), figures in a relatively small role as the leader of the Celts, who join with Arthur and his fellow Romano-Britons to crush the Saxon invaders.

    All of the major action is centered around Hadrians wall, which is taken under licence since the location of the battle of Mount Badon is unknown. But what the Heck! It's Hollywood! Keira Knightly as Gwenevere is outstanding, just about the best looking Celt I've ever seen!

    All in all a good "Saturday night In" DVD for curling up on the sofa with your popcorn, or favourite chocolates, and the one you love!
    ...more info
  • Ugh!
    You too can direct a big budget disaster based upon the myths. Of course, Antoine Fuqua, director of Training Day, seems eager to show that the idea that a person can direct only what they know is true- he's a black American homeboy, and his grasp of the legends is not even slender- is true. In truth, the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are for more entertaining and grand than the d®¶class®¶ tripe of The Lord Of The Rings saga, but you would not know it in this version. Instead of romance, intrigue, honor, and magic we get `realism'- or so the director spouts over and again in his film commentary, and in the assorted extras on the DVD. But, please note the ` ' that I used around the word realism. That's because there's not a hint of it in this disaster. First off, the blood and guts fighting is laughably unreal. Ever since Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line in 1998, filmmakers have been trying to be `real' in their violence onscreen. This `realistic' movie, however, eschews that. Yet, the Knights curse and spit, especially a Cockney Sir Bors (Ray Winstone). They also are not British, nor even French. Instead, they are from Sarmatia- a region that never produced knights in the early 5th Century, when this film is set, nor were they ever at war with the Roman Empire, as claimed. In the tales, King Arthur and his Knights are devout Christians, and Rome is little seen. In the film, Arthur is a Roman Christian in service to the Pope, Lancelot is a heathen, and Merlin (Stephen Dillane) the head of a band of forest people called Wodes who, in this `realistic' film, never existed. In short, the film centers around Arthur's Knights' rescue of a would-be child church bishop north of Hadrian's Wall before the terrible Saxons sweep in from the North. Unfortunately, the Saxons never occupied northern Britain, they were defenders of the Isle from Scots, Picts, and Celts, and they were not marauding barbarians in the mold of the Vikings a half an eon later- all, again, in this `realistic' movie.
    Gwynevere (played by the lovelier than words Keira Knightley -or is it Natalie Portman with an accent?) is a wild warrior woman in the Xena mold- possibly a Wode, although this is never definitively made clear- which she and Fuqua claim is historically accurate, although it's not, but allows the brief notion that the glimpses of her taut, lithe, nacreous bod (and nacreous is a word destined to describe Ms. Knightley's skin) in skimpy leather, in winter- mind you, will soon give way to a great romantic love scene with Arthur (the petrified Clive Owen). But, alas, the one brief romantic scene is lame, Keira stays far too clothed, and Lancelot (Ioan Gruffydd) is a total pussy who seems utterly impotent in the face of Gwyn's charms.... Now, none of these failings would matter in the least were the tale a damned good one, but the only way this script could have been passable on celluloid were someone like a Roger Corman brought in to camp it up. But, humor and camp are totally absent in this hermetically dry waste of time. So, the claims of `realism' and historical accuracy' are the only thing this monstrosity had going for it- along with the anticipated delight of Keira Knightly in and out of leather, yet it fails miserably on both scores. And the editing is atrocious- with at least three major discontinuities in scenes where snow is seen on the ground, them mysteriously replaced by green grass a second later. Avoid this film, burn the DVD, and read Thomas Malory. To sum up- I still look forward to the day when I can ogle Ms. Knightley's taut form in the way it entered this world, but the hopes that this film would be entertaining or even passable, well- to quote Mistah Kurtz- `He dead!'
    ...more info
  • An epic of freedom
    I loved the film especially from the perspective of leadership. This is an epic about history and the freedom of England. It is great to see a man who is a true leader stand against the ultimate power, Rome, and even sacrifice his life for his men. People who are looking for leadership qualities beautifully laid in the great lands must see this film....more info
  • Good action can't make up for a bad everything else
    Let's forget the historical arguments, for I'm really just looking for a good movie. Antoine Fuqua has delivered it before, and I really do think his Training Day is one of the best gritty cop movies out there. He got some good performances out of good actors in what was potentially a confusing plot.

    Too bad Fuqua hasn't made anything else of that caliber. I would even suggest King Arthur is his worst. At least The Replacement Killers was fun, and Tears of the Sun (Special Edition) was overwrought but intriguing. King Arthur has nothing going for it except some extended battle scenes that are quite well done.

    I admit that the overall idea is really cool. I like the reimagining of King Arthur that we see here, and I don't mind that Guinevere is a warrior maiden. But the acting here--from Clive Owen, of all people!--is simply atrocious. I have loved Clive Owen sinceCroupier, and most of his movies are decent, or at least he is decent in them. But King Arthur has some of the worst dialogue that even Owen couldn't save it.

    There are lots of other problems here, too (such as the fact that I didn't mind when Lancelot died), but I will leave the review with the simple statement that this is a bad movie with some good action. Therefore, I guess it's a decent action film.

    ...more info
  • Decent flick
    When I first saw King Arthur, I was delightfully surprised as I had mediocre expectations. The movie contains a certain depth that most action/adventure movies these days lack. The acting was better than average (bad) but nothing fantastic. Most notable was the lack of connection to any other king arthur flick. All of the fairy-tale type content was taken out and replaced with a more realistic feel, which I prefer. For instance, Merlin is a tribal leader of wildmen that are king arthurs opponents. For those of you who are interested in historical accuracy, this is based on newly discovered archeological evidence. The battle scenes are good enough, lacking the overall violence of most historical movies. That is fixed a little in the "unrated" version. The characters are fun, but my favorite part of the movie is Hans Zimmers sweeping score. In my opinion, music plays a HUGE part in initial impact. Overall it is a fun, above average action flick. I have watched it many times and have enjoyed it each time. As long as you don't watch it expecting Braveheart, Gladiator, or even 300, you will find it to be on parr with at least "Troy"....more info
  • Very good take on the Arthur legend.
    Having Clive Owen as Arthur was an excellent choice. Taking the Arthur story in a new direction was interesting. There have already been many books and movies that detailed Arthur , Merlin and the whole crew. This movie takes Arthur and brings him back to the Earth as more of a soldier and leader of a group of men. I enjoyed the cast and new direction. The Blu-Ray disc looks very good and has an excellent audio track.King Arthur - Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray]Mary Stewart's Merlin TrilogyKnights of the Round TableThe Mists of AvalonFirst KnightExcalibur (The Arthur Books #3)Excalibur [HD DVD]...more info
  • a much grittier & 'real' King Arthur than the Camelot version
    I loved this movie. Clive Owen's portrayal of King Arthur gave it an Earthy, realistic feeling you don't get in other movies on the figure like 'Excaliber' (which I also loved but in a different way). Keira Knightley's Gwenevere is animalistic & raw, just like the setting this movie was shot in, & Arthur's knights are true gritty warriors, not the typical chivalrous knight in shining armor they were portrayed as in most other movies about Camelot & the knights of the round table.

    In terms of picture quality for Bluray, I'd say you could probably get away with this movie on DVD & still get the same visual experience, but either way this movie is definitely worth having in your collection....more info
  • I liked it better than it probably deserved
    I love this move; not 100% sure why. I liked the Roman spin on the Arthurian Legend. I also like Clive Owen as an actor (and Keira Knightley is, as always, a total fox). Ok, I admit, the movie is a bit contrived at points but I thought it worked pretty well. Arthur's nemesis in the film was a hoot too. (My favorite line: "Finally, a man worth killing.")

    KA is probably a 3-star movie, in all honesty, but I'm a sucker for these kinds of films.

    Recommended....more info
  • Blu Ray Transfer Not The Best
    I really like this film and for this reason "upgraded" this one to blu ray. I won't rate the sound because I only have my front speakers and sub hooked up. But PQ, not the best because it has a tendency to be too dark in places unlike my standard edition.
    Overall rating is 3 stars simply because the transfer is'nt up to par....more info
  • King Arthur
    Nice movie. Not one of the best out there but I definitely did enjoy this. A somewhat more realistic view to the tale of King Arthur and his legend. It's predictable but the actor / actress were entertaining. Nice picture and sound on a plasma TV....more info
  • lovingranny60
    Excellent movie. Came in excellent condition and we have watched it several times already. Would recommend it highly to anyone....more info
  • King Arthur
    First of all, this movies is not nearly as 'historically accurate' as has been said. The Sarmatian horsemen, made out to be the heroes of the movie and the identity of the Arthurian knight, were not even documented in Britain past the 3rd Century. Yes, they had significant influence on late Roman cavalry, but by the time this movie is set most of the Sarmatian tribes were either fighting against Rome with the Huns, or had been destroyed.
    Although entertaining to watch, the battles in this movie are at times pitifully improbable (such as the Picts' usage of catapults in the climatic battle). The savagery of the Saxons and the nobility of the Picts are both also exaggerated. The Pictish chieftain, 'Merlin' speaking Gaelic was an interesting (though implausible) detail. The reader will note that I have said 'Pict' here, but they are called 'Woads' throughout the movie. The real Picts/Woads actually used tattoos rather than paint, and they were also a symbol of the warrior elite.
    The gist of the plot is that Arthur is one of the last Roman leaders in a troubled 5th Century Britain (historically, the Romans withdrew in 408) and leads a wing of Sarmatian auxiliary horsemen, whose names are taken from the Anglicized medieval legends (Lancelot, Gawain, Bors, etc.). Arthur is portrayed as a Pelaganist Christian at the beginning of the movie; thus his is part of a different version of the faith followed by most of Rome. His men are pagans.
    Arthur and his Sarmatians are on the brink of release from their servitude to the Empire, but their final task is to escort one of the last Roman families in the north away from the invading Saxon horde. Along the way they are joined by a Pictish female warrior, Guinevere. The Saxons, under the leadership of Cerdic and Cynric are systematically slaughtering the native Britons and Romans (quite unlike real history, in which they simply established themselves as a ruling elite over them) and they do battle with the knights. Arthur is joined by Merlin, leader of the Woads, and his warriors at the climatic battle, which is messy enough but not overly bloody. The end of the movie suggests that Arthur becomes a ruler of the Woads.
    Overall, it is a decent movie but it is very hard for history lovers to take it seriously....more info
  • Give it a chance you just might like it
    If you like movies produced by Jerry Bruckhiemer you should enjoy this movie. I found it a very entertaining telling of King Arthur and his knights. There are no shockers just a good blockbuster. Clive Owen does a good job as do the other Knights in the movie. In fact the other knights make the movie more enjoyable and don't forget about Keira Knightley in 1080p!
    The movie looks great on blu-ray some scenes are a little soft but if you watch the sd-dvd you will see the same thing. The sound was good, though I can only comment on the DD 5.1. I am sure the uncompressed track is even better.
    Don't go nuts picking it apart just pop some popcorn and enjoy, thats the point of movies after all....more info
  • good despite expectations
    I specially liked the interesting twist to the legend of King Arthur. Good effort to add more "facts" to the script, particularly regarding the origin of knights, King Arthur and other characters of Arthurian legends, including Merlin, Lancelot or Guinevere (Percival is badly missing here though). Some of this ideas has been somehow treated more recently in movies such as "The last legion". I liked the excellent depiction of saxon invaders and the effort to fit the whole story with the historical anglo-saxon invasions to British Isles. Finally, the movie has a good pace, great battle scenes, good photography, and a nice soundtrack.
    The bad things include the acting of Clive Owen and too much "freedom" exclamations, the "battle horse" of nowadays arguments to justify invasions all over the planet..., but you can easily skip that garbage. Finally, stop the the movie at about 4 min before ending and view the alternate ending provided on the extras. Even so, you will appreciate how Hollywood directors do not learn how to end movies.

    In short, King Arthur went beyond the expectations of somone whose favorite King Arthur movie still remains John Boorman's Excalibur. Plus, a good deal for the price. ...more info
  • I appreciate the story based on the latest research
    The story is based on the latest research about the origins of Arthur. I enjoyed the movie and the characters. The characterizations feel more real to me than the usual fare. The girl was great to look at but didn't add much to the story. I bought the Director's cut not for the violence which is not necessary but to get more information about the basis for the screenplay.
    I recommend that you use this movie as a jumping point for additional research into the origin of the Arthur mythology
    ...more info
  • King Arthur
    This is the best historical recreation of the Arthurian legend. A gorgeous period piece. Well written and acted. I thought the Guenevere character was a refreshing change from the usual "original sin girl" portrayal. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Expand your mythos.
    I understand that this is not the penultimate story of King Arthur, but I would hope that someone well versed in the mythology might appreciate some embellished historic theories. Not your father's King Arthur. Fine!
    While The Mists of Avalon and Excalibur are both exquisite telling of this myth, I enjoyed the relation of the Roman occupation juxtaposed with the Saxon expansion. The historic view was quite enjoyable despite any inaccuracies you might discover.
    Finally it's hard to be displeased by any movie with Clive Owen in it. If you like more reality based movies please watch Croupier. One of his best>...more info
  • Disappointingly bloody
    This film is digging up the myth used by Purcell for his own King Arthur semi-opera a few centuries ago. But he does not really improve the fable. He adds the Romans, the Roman Legion, Hadrian's Wall, and the "Roman" origin of Arthur and his knights. But it cannot reach the sublime music Purcell had wrapped the tale in. So the film can only concentrate on horror. The Roman horror of slavery and forced Christianization, under the menace of dying in some dungeon where you will be buried alive. The horror of the Saxons who do not colonize people but only conquer the land and empty it completely of their inhabitants. And even the horror of the native Britons who are pagan and fierce fighters. This reduces Merlin to some kind of spiritual if not only war leader. Arthur will decide to fight against the Saxons, hence to fight with the Britons and then to Christianize them by marrying the girl he had saved from the Roman dungeons. Of course this film has nothing to do with history and it has no real depth about the real conflict between liberty and the future, between freedom and peace, or should I say rather war? The film is then a long series of bloody battles shown in details, but that's a little bit short to make a good film that has otherwise no content.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • 15+ minutes of uninterruptible commercials
    I bought the blue-ray edition to enjoy this otherwise very good movie in the highest resolution... Unfortunately, the people responsible for mixing this disk have decided that it is OK to inflict on paying customers more that 15 minutes of commercial and other wasteful disclaimers without the possibility of invoking the main menu. That is more that I can bear, I returned the infomercial.
    These people makes it very hard to be supportive.. the torrent version, at least, is commercial free....more info
  • Terrific Film - Very Poor DVD Release Decisions
    The theatrical version of this movie is one of my absolute favorites of all time -- ever. It's well written, well acted, with astounding music by Hans Zimmer, and is in short a much better version of "King Arthur" than so much of the other "King Arthur" films that have been done over the years.

    The decision to only release the theatrical version of the film in a "full screen" format, on the other hand, was one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of... ever. I very much enjoy watching my hi-def home theater system, because the picture quality is so much better than at most theaters, the sound is always fantastic, and you don't have to deal with rowdy crowds. But watching the theatrical version in "full screen" is rather irritating, and it's even more irritating that a 16x9 widescreen enhanced format release of the theatrical version has never been released since then. A ridiculously poor decision by everyone involved.

    In short, I would be 100% happy with the DVD release if the theatrical version was made available in widescreen.
    ...more info
  • Amazing sound
    the sound on Blu-ray is amazing--but I'm unimpressed with the video, although King Arthur is better than some. When you start with an HD tv, it's already so much better that the BR doesn't add that much--but the surround sound........oh boy.....!...more info
  • Blu-ray Review
    Most everyone considering this movie for purchase have seen this movie. If you haven't, you can read the overly verbose reviews from others on this page. My focus will be on the Blu-Ray product.

    Video - 4/5. Displayed in 2.35:1 1080p, the video is very good. With the likes of Wall-E and Dark Knight out there to set the bar so high, older movies just can't recreate the same magic. But often times, studios will do a haphazard job of remastering their films for hi-def. Not so in this case. King Arthur is an apt hi-def translation. The film is a tad grainy, but that suits the film's directorial/cinematographical style. Fuqua wanted to show the entire range of british weather. So you get a lot of overcast, fog, snowy, rainy scenes. The dynamic color palette of blu-ray picks up every shadow, snowflake and lush greens of the country-side. Every pore on clive owen's face is visible. The slight graininess is quickly forgotten, but the incredible sharpness is remembered.

    Audio - 4/5. Comes in Dolby Digital, uncompressed 5.1 48kHz 24-bit. Not a sci-fi movie, so there aren't the thunderous explosions and fly-over rear channel effects. But for a medieval set movie, the sound is appropriately crisp. The pounding hooves of the horses will supply the most bass. And the ice cracking in the 2nd act will provide some nice sound effects. You won't be using this to show off your great sound system. But for the most part, the sound is suitable if not fantastic.

    Special Features - Roundtable with all the stars including Clive Owen and Keira Knightly, Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer. Pretty cool insight from the discussions of the key players. A Backstage featurette provides the standard "making of" bonus feature. The best bonus feature is the "trivia pop-up" mode. Random bits of history, filming anecdotes and various trivia pop up throughout the play of the movies.

    If you are a fan of this movie, it is worth the blu-ray upgrade. If you don't already own this movie, definitely pick up the blu-ray version....more info
  • Tremenda pelicula!!!
    Una de las mejores peliculas de ese genero. Actuaciones majistrales, grandes batallas y muy buena trama. La recomiendo, Clive Owen+++...more info
  • Exciting movie
    I watched this in the theaters with my cousins and decided to buy it because of the enchanting song midway through the movie. It is an action-packed movie that has good acting, story, and cinematography. Overall an enjoyable film. Clive Owen is a great actor. The song I'm referring to is called, 'We will go home.'...more info
  • Good movie that deserves a second chance
    I knew about the bad reviews for this film, but hadn't seen it before. I love films so I'm willing to give most movies the benefit of the doubt. For only $15, I happily picked it up. I've enjoyed all of Fuqua's other work, so even if this really was as much of a bomb as the critics said, it would at least have some good action sequences.

    After having seen the film now, I'm glad I bought it and wholeheartedly recommend it to others. Go in with an open mind about what you think the Arthur story should be about and you might be pleasantly surprised at this modern interpretation.

    This is not the traditional tale of magic, lady in the lake, shiny armor and Camelot. It's gritty and realistic, like Fuqua's other work. Great performances from all the actors here and I really loved the personalities and nuiances that each of the actors created. There's tons of blood and guts, but it's not just a mindless smashup (though there is plenty of that, if that's your thing!). The actors really did a great job bringing life to their roles and creating human, likable characters that you invest emotionally in.

    Technically speaking, this film shows off the Blu-ray format quite nicely. Hi-def really brings out the action sequences and the beautiful sets and lighting. On the disc are a few featurettes, but not many (not unusual for hi-def.. most are quite skimpy so far).

    I found the Roundtable Discussion quite enjoyable. Just a few of the actors and Fuqua and Bruckheimer sitting around talking. You see that they are genuine people, all dedicated to their work. All in all, I'm glad I bought this film. Give it a shot. You might be surprised....more info
    I love this film. The Director's Cut is too violent, so I purchased the PG13 theatrical version. The music and everything is great. Please understand that this is NOT a retelling of the cute fantasy story that is really based upon myths created about 600 years after Arthur lived. My wife is Irish and a historian and really understands this era. I have seen many recent docs on the so-called Arthur legend and was very delighted to find out that this guy really did exist. Those who are having a problem reconciling the fantasy with the reality, please try to get over it. This movie sticks closly to what I have read about the real Arthur. Those who had a problem with the costume Keira wore during the battle seen - check your ancient celtic history. These great warriors actually painted themselves blue and fought naked. There was an incredible amount of detail that was faithful to the historical research done for this film. And, no, Arthur was NOT betrayed by his wife either. That was a romantic story invented in about 1100 a.d. I love this movie, the characters, the good against evil. I love seeing what it might have really been like. ...more info
  • When Legend And History Collide
    I thoroughly enjoyed "King Arthur." Sure, we can all haggle over history (or legend, as the case may be) but what this film boils down to is that it is an action yarn that's littered with historical and legendary tidbits about one of the greatest legends of our time, King Arthur. Clive Owen takes up Excalibur as our hero this time, and he leads a group of Samatian knights against the Woads and then the Saxons to set his people free. Galahad, Tristan, Gawain and others ride with Arthur and face death with not even the slightest bit of fear. In this version, Guinevere and Lancelot only flirt for a minute, so don't expect the love triangle that was key to so many of the other versions of this great epic.

    The cast is excellent, including Ioann Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, Horatio Hornblower), Hugh Dancy (Ella Enchanted, Blood and Chocolate), Ray Stephenson (HBO's "Rome"), Ray Winstone (Cold Mountain, Beowulf), Stellan Skarsgard (Deep Blue Sea, Amistad, Pirates of the Caribbean), and Til Schweiger (SLC Punk!, Joe and Max). Fans of Jerry Bruckheimer productions will notice plenty of the actors involved in this film. The music, by Hans Zimmer, is some of his most epic yet.

    Director Antoine Fuqua does an excellent job of melding plot and action in this tale. Writer David Franzoni litters the story with just enough legend to remind you that Arthur may or may not have been just that. Some of the characters, especially knights such as Tristan, Dagonet and Bors, are given lighter treatment than you'd expect, but maybe that's why this tale is called "King Arthur" and not "Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table."

    The DVD is very nice. It features two very informative mini-documentaries on the making of the film. The first is "Blood On The Land" which gives you an inside look at the making of the film. The other is "Round Table," which features a literal round table with some of the cast and key members of the production. There's also the optional "Knight Vision," which offers all sorts of trivia about the actual time and place these events might have taken place in.

    Granted, historians and armchair historians will argue over this film's accuracy until the cows come home. In the end, though, this film is nothing more than an epic along the lines of "Gladiator." I highly recommend "King Arthur" as well as two other Arthurian films, those being "Excalibur" and the musical "Camelot." ...more info
  • King Arthur
    This was another slant on an old tale, probably more true than the original one's we grew up on. I really enjoyed it, as did the entire family. A great film, if you don't mind a bit of gore. Mostly it is about winning the right way....more info
  • King Arthur
    One of the best movies that I've ever seen. Saw it at least 15 times....more info
  • Excellent movie - great on Blu-ray
    I really enjoyed this movie. I like it so much, I think I've viewed it 3 times. The picture quality on Blu-ray is excellent! It has a good story, good acting, and lots of great action scenes....more info
  • Arthur
    If you are any kind of Arthur or Excalibur buff, or even if you are not, this movie is excellent! It is beautifully shot and the story line is fantastic. While Excalibur deals more with the fantasy legend of King Arthur and Merlin, this movie is based on the more actual facts behind the myth and who these knights were. It makes the movie very real and moving. Clive Owen is a wonderful, humble Arthur. This is one of my all time favorite movies!...more info
  • Very good movie, but so short.
    The movie quality and music were superb, but the rate of which it progressed from a station post, rescuing a child, and returning to defend the station from invaders was quite quick. It had the potential of being much more popular if it were stretched to encompass a longer time length, but instead it felt like great parts were missing (such as the battle for Bywater being completely omitted from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). When it was over, I and others were asking "What, that's it?" when it was such a great movie from start to finish! There just wasn't enough in my opinion.

    Great movie, however. While I wouldn't give it top marks, it's definitely good enough to watch over and over again....more info
  • Very close to being correct
    The reason that I really liked this movie is the probability of it being very close to being portrayed correct. The director's cut of this movie is much better than the PG-13 version of it. It is much more explainitory and in depth story and the characters involved. This is probably my all time favorite story of King Arthur. I highly recommend this movie to anyone that likes movies about Camelot and King Arthur....more info
  • Is this the real King Arthur?
    Not everyone likes this version of the Arthurian legend. I do. It depicts England towards the end of Roman occupation when Saxon raids terrorize the countryside and the clash of cultures with the Picts still exists. The story of King Arthur has been passed down through the centuries. We may never know if it was true or not and if so exactly what took place. As far as this movie is concerned, the plot is good and the actors hit their mark....more info
  • Great fun
    By accident, I ran accross this movie on a cable channel, FX. It was great fun. Maybe the last battle scene ran a little long tho. None-the-less, better entertainment than most of what is available.

    The scenes between Arthur (Clive Owen)and Guinevere (Keira Knightley) have a great chemistry. They are individually and together magnetic. Having Guinevere as an archer works well, not so well with the sword....more info
  • Would be good if it weren't billed as King Arthur
    It would have been good if it hadn't been billed as the true story of King Arthur. If it had been about someone else and they had left the story of King Arthur alone, it would have been at least entertaining. As it was, I would classify this on my list of biggest wastes of time. I'm not normally a movie critic, and I'm pretty easy to please most of the time. This was just ridiculous though. I can buy Gwenivere as a warrior. I can even buy King Arthur as a Roman soldier or the Knights as Samatian warriors. What I can't buy is everything that goes on between them or the flat shallow portrayal of the his knights or the Saxons. Plus the fact that Lancelot dies before Arthur and Gwenivere even marry. Please. I typically like historical remakes of legends and fairy tales, but this was worthless as a King Arthur story. ...more info
  • Excellent Conversion
    This Blu-ray version of King Arthur is excellent. Makes the HDTV come alive compared to the regular DVD version. Everything jumps off the screen giving the feeling of being in the scene....more info
  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A good cast helps elevate this mostly forgettable story of King Arthur into a story worth watching--by no means a terribly good movie, it's at least an enjoyable one....more info
  • King Arthur Revised and Revisited!
    Excellent production, with a different point of view. If you are not a hard-core, die-hard, King Arthur fan, you will probably enjoy the movie. Notwithstanding the slightly skewed point of view, it is well-played. Where's my popcorn!...more info
  • Breaking away from the traditional story
    If you love the traditional tale of King Arthur, his knights in matching armor, submissive weak Guinevere, and wizards in pointed hats with stars - this may not be your kind of movie. However, if you are interested in a powerful and different take on the legend and are up for something outside of that same old retelling of the same old story, this movie is a must see in my opinion.

    In 'King Arthur' you will find action on all fronts and humor and a change in the appearances and styles of the old interpretations. Guinevere is not the weak Christian woman of lore but a powerful warrior fighting along side the knights who each bear their own look as well as fighting style that makes for a far more visually stimulating flick than the previously stamped-out-of-the-same-mould look of other Arthur movies.

    I'm not sure what the arguing is about regarding this movie. Movies are for entertainment, not forming a belief system. Historical accuracy has never been an obligation of Hollywood - nor do they claim it. That is common sense when it comes to Mel Brooks (History of the World pt 1)and it should be in regards to this movie as well! If you want an education in history - read a book! Better yet, read many. If you loathe a movie so much that you must rate it based on something it never professed to be, perhaps you should shrug it off as an unfortunate experience for yourself and move on.

    This movie is exciting, not fact on film... ...more info
  • An entertaining medieval feast.
    Antoine Fuqua gives the untold true story of King Arthur with a gripping story of the Roman who lived in England (Britan back then) at the time when the Saxons were invading. Clive Owen gives a great performance as the brave Arthur and Keira Knightley as Guinevere, with Ray Winestone, Ioan Gruffudd and Stellen Skarsg?rd is very effective as Saxon leader Cedric.

    The extras include a brief round table discussion with cast and crew. It's interesting to see and hear producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Antoine Fuqua, stars Clive Owen and Keira Knightly share their insights and anecdotes about the film-making process and their characters. The Director's cut is more satisfying and more entertaining than the original cut shown in the cinemas.

    Antoine Fuqua has director a great movie that is the type that is barely revisited these days by directors. He passes with flying colours and makes an enjoyable and entertaining movie, well worth the dollars.

    ...more info
  • King Arthur Director's Cut
    I would wait for cable. The battles are decent, the Clive Owen, as always, is excellent. The idea of Arthur as Roman soldier / captain was interesting. The other leads (Guinevere, Lancelot) were monstrously underwritten, and the villains were cartoon level laughable. In short, the film has plenty of problems.

    As hack and slash entertainment, it can be enjoyed, but it was shooting for something higher than that and fell well short....more info
  • Far Too Many Commercials With No Option Out
    King Arthur is an awesome movie, the picture quality is about the same as the DVD version. The problem with the Blu-Ray is that it starts out with too many commercials that you have to watch with no way out. I don't have any other Blu-Rays like that, this is the only one I know of. The DVD version gives you the option to hit the "Menu" button to go directly to the movie, I went back to the DVD version, don't recommend the Blu-Ray unless you don't mind waiting 15+ minutes to watch it....more info
  • King Arthur (Directors Cut) Bluray
    Ordered in error due to lack of knowledge. Was unable to view. Blu-ray not compatible with our equipment....more info
  • Go into this movie forgetting everything you've previously heard/read...
    ...And it's a very well done movie. Great acting by the entire cast, massive sets and intricate costume designs, epic bloody battles ala Braveheart. It's all here. I really don't understand the backlash this movie has received, and it mostly seems to stem from the King Arthur hardcores who are trying to compare this to the original story. It's not the original story, and I think the director makes that very clear. So please stop trying to rip the movie apart and compare apples to oranges. Take it for what it's worth, a fantasy movie loosely based off the King Arthur name & legend, nothing more, nothing less, but done VERY WELL with high production values all around. King arthur deserves to be right aside your other medeval/fantasy movie epics: Braveheart, Kingdom of Heaven, Lord of the Rings, and Gladiator. If you are a fan of "the genre" and not "the facts", do yourself a favor and get this movie ASAP. And yes the Blu-Ray version looks FANTASTIC - jaw dropping on my Bravia 46". $19.99 and well worth every cent!!!...more info
  • The Theatrical Cut of "King Arthur"
    Anybody who knows anything about the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the cinema knows that English director John Boorman staged the best version of the Arthurian myth in 1981 in his classic sword & sorcery saga "Excalibur." Before "Excalibur" set the gold standard, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced as their first widescreen film "Knights of the Round Table" (1953) in blazing Technicolor with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. The 1967 musical "Camelot" featured Richard Harris as Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere and the serviceable 1995 Sean Connery/Richard Gere swashbuckler "First Knight" both deserve honorable mention. Any of these four, however, would eclipse the latest rehash of the Arthur legend. Not only do "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua, "Gladiator" scripter David Franzoni and "Pearl Harbor" producer Jerry Bruckheimer strip the luster off the legend in their new movie "King Arthur" (** out of ****), but also they forego full-blown fantasy for half-baked fact. Based on 'recent archaeological findings,' Fuqua, Franzoni and Bruckheimer have revised the fable, so they can tell 'the untold true story that inspired the legend' in their tedious, long-winded, grimy, 130-minute mishmash of British mythology. Romance takes a back seat to the shoddily choreographed action sequences, and to preserve a PG-13 rating the filmmakers could only show blood on the combatant's swords. This time around Merlin appears as a wise elder with zero magical powers, while Guinevere emerges as a feisty battle maiden dressed up as a dominatrix packing a sword or a bow in either hand. Despite its mostly-Brit cast led by actor Clive Owen in a sterling performance as Arthur and "Black Hawk Down" lenser Slawomir Idziak's atmospheric cinematography, "King Arthur" does everything wrong in its misguided effort to create a new, different, and more realistic Arthur.

    "King Arthur" concerns itself with the roots of the Round Table. In this handsomely produced but hackneyed hokum, we learn that the mythical Arthur owes everything to a real person who lived back in the Dark Ages during the Fifth Century. This Arthur (Clive Owen of "Beyond Borders") is a Roman officer in command of an elite cavalry unit consisting of guys from Sarmatia (somewhere near the modern Republic of Georgia in Europe) who made a pact with Marcus Aurelius to serve in his army for fifteen years. Imagine a gritty, down-to-earth "Magnificent Seven" as knights on horseback, and you'll have an idea what to expect. As the story unfolds, our heroes await their walking papers as Arthur discusses terms with Roman Bishop Germanius (Ivan Marescotti of "Hannibal"). The Bishop cooks up a last-minute suicide mission for Arthur and his knights that requires them to cross Hadrian's Wall and liberate a Roman family living on a farm in the middle of enemy country. The savage Saxon hordes, like the Apaches in a western, are descending from every quarter, and the Romans are pulling out, so the Bishop needs somebody expendable. After Arthur and his knights reach the farm, they discover the slimy Roman has natives holed up in a dungeon where he tortures them in the name of the Vatican. A wizened shaman named Merlin advises these rebellious Woads, and Guinevere (Keira Knightley of "Pirates of the Caribbean") is one of them, locked up and tormented until Arthur sets her free. Now, our heroes must escort this motley crew through treacherous territory with the murderous Saxons breathing down their necks every inch of the way.

    The chief problem with "King Arthur" lies in David Franzoni's dreadful screenplay. The rescue mission on which Arthur and the knights embark resembles an uninspired 1950's era cavalry western. Interestingly, the rescue recalls Fuqua's lackluster last opus "Tears of the Sun" with Bruce Willis. In "King Arthur," Franzoni and Fuqua make the fatal mistake of taking themselves far, far too seriously. Not even actor Ray Winstone's churlish character Bors can redeem "King Arthur." As a chivalrous Round Table Knight, Bors is a poorly dressed shaven-headed lout with several illegitimate children who threatens to marry their mother. Fuqua and company play Bors largely for laughs. Using crude contemporary slang, Bors becomes the first on-screen knight to carp about the need to urinate. Hans Zimmer's dirge-like orchestral music hangs tragically over the ponderous action. Fuqua should stick to helming urban thrillers like "The Replacement Killers" and "Training Day," because he cannot orchestrate epic battle sequences. The larger-than-life battle between our heroes and the villainous Saxons on an iced-over lake lacks dramatic intensity, though the underwater shots bolster the suspense. Watching Keira Knightley triumph over opponents twice her size in combat stretches credibility to the breaking point. Meanwhile, the underwritten characters of Gawain, Tristan and Galahad spend most of their time on the periphery of the action, while the heavy-handed historical exposition bogs down the action. Stellan Skarsgard doesn't make much of an impression as the villain through his bearded face and whispered dialogue. Franzoni pulls a surprise that cannot be revealed without spoiling the plot. Believe me, when it happens, you will feel cheated. As for the love triangle involving Guinevere, Arthur, and Lancelot, "King Arthur" leaves it out! In their quest for a more historically accurate interpretation of the Arthurian legend, the people who made "King Arthur" strive to live down the legend. (Note: This review applies to the theatrical release, NOT the director's cut that struck me as being marginally better.)...more info
  • Movies have done more damage to history than the scribes or
    translators that interpert it enough to put it on paper. Every thing "historical" is suspect, from the "history" books our children are taught from to the "History" channel's interpertation of it. "Historical Facts" are highly suspicious and the damage has been so extensive and for so long I, for one, really suspect it's voracity. Movies/entertainment should be taken for what they are "entertainment" not historical fact....more info
  • Tristan without Iseult, Merlin without magic
    I've seen this film countless times, and have yet to tire of it. Excellent cast -- I always like Ray Winstone, and it's a nice introduction to Mads Mikkelsen -- great action scenes (I like Clive Owen's one-handed sword flip from a galloping horse), good story. I think the aspect that appeals to me is seeing these characters in a different light; Tristan without Iseult, Merlin without magic. I enjoy imagining the characters as real people, and not just romantic figures from fable and myth. I see a lot of comments about historical accuracies and inaccuracies, but I think films like this only inspire further learning. What can I say, I love this one....more info
  • GOOD ACTING But a bit Contrived!!
    The Arthurian legends and Ambrosius Aurelianus are just creative frames used to set the film in post Roman Britain or Britannia. The whole film is simply a rework of "Tear of the Sun" with large elements of Alexander Nevsky interwoven. In fact the scene on the frozen lake was a "homage" to a very similar scene in Eisenstein's film Alexander Nevsky. Which in turn is based on the actual battle of the Lake Peipus which the "Russ" (sound familiar) defeated the Germanic / Teutonic Knights during the Battle of the Ice on April 5, 1242. This may also explain why the Saxon(Germanic) Horde are north of the Hadrins Wall.

    As entertainment the film is excellent. Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer always makes the most of a script. The acting is above average. As history its all over the place. But like any fictional account it could make learning history a bit more interesting!

    ...more info
  • Interesting take on the history of ancient Britain, undone by poor casting choices and bad dialogue

    The movie aspires to be a re-telling of one of the many possible origins for the King Arthur legend. I give it two stars for this effort. The role of the Roman Empire in Britain is one that is rarely visited by Hollywood, even though the influence of the Romans on English culture lives on today.

    "King Arthur" is a mildly entertaining movie, but highly flawed. Lots of reviews have commented on the historical flaws, but I'll give the movie a pass on this one. The legend of King Arthur has such murky origins that nobody could possibly mistake this movie for a historical documentary.

    The biggest problem with this movie, IMHO, is the casting. The movie employs lots of actors who have done fine work elsewhere, but they just don't fit the characters that they play in this movie. Let's go through the list:

    Clive Owen - with his tired and raspy voice, cynical but earnest attitude, droopy eyelids, and sad hound-dog look, Clive Owen has NOIR written all over his face. His looks and style most closely resemble Humphrey Bogart and he was perfect for his anti-hero roles in "Sin City" and "Inside Man". But as King Arthur? Throughout this movie, I could never see in him the power, the grace, nor the machismo that could inspire a legend that would pass down through the centuries. King Arthur was a role that someone of the stature of Russell Crowe would have handled easily, but he must have been beyond the budget of this movie.

    Keira Knightly - it is really weird how a semi-savage Woad/Pict princess can enunciate so clearly in grammar school perfect Received Pronunciation English. I can hear every consonant in every word that Keira Knightly speaks! Yes, Keira is somewhat pretty, but her teeth are huge, she has an underbite, her features are too sharp, and her mannerisms too much that of a modern day spoiled, proper suburban English princess for her to be believable as Guinevere, whether played as a Woad/Pict of ancient Britain or as the traditional unfaithful Queen of King Arthur. Keira was perfect for her roles in "Bend it Like Beckham" and "Pirates of the Caribbean", but not as Guinevere.

    Ioan Gruffudd - I couldn't figure out why Lancelot was so skinny and wimpy looking and whined so much like a girl until I looked at the credits and realized that this was really Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, hiding behind a hairy black beard, and speaking in perfect R.P. English. 'Nuff said, Ioan was great as the wimpy, nerdy Mr. Fantastic. But, as with King Arthur, you need someone of STATURE to play the role of Lancelot. The young Liam Neeson once played this role perfectly in "Excalibur".

    Stellan Skarsgard - this guy actually does have a somewhat funky Swedish lilt to his speech on top of his American accent when he is allowed to speak in complete sentences (e.g., when he appears in the "Making Of" featurette), but, playing the role of a Saxon barbarian chief, he is only given a few choice words to grunt out; only his very modern sounding American accent comes through in these grunts. Since most of Skarsgard's dialogue in this movie is with an actor with a proper German accent (playing the son of the Saxon chief), this mixing and matching of accents is really strange.

    Joel Edgerton - the young Uncle Owen Lars from Star Wars! So baby faced, and gentle appearing, definitely not the imperfect, powerful Gawain of legend.

    Mads Mikkelsen - this guy has seriously hooded eyelids. He was perfect as the evil Le Chiffre in "Casino Royale". In this movie, hidden behind a heavy black beard, and given few lines to speak, his character Tristan is reduced to a disposable prop, much along the lines of the security guy who always dies in each Star Trek episode. Tristan was not a minor figure in the Arthurian legends, he was a legend with his own story arc and origins.

    In summary, this is a rather oddball movie that aspires to greatness, but is undone by poor casting choices and bad dialogue. It did get me interested in learning more of the real history underlying the plot, things such as the Saxon invasion of Britain, the role of Pelagius in the early Christian Church, and the role of the Romans in ancient Britain. ...more info
  • Magnificent Seven of the Round Table
    This version of King Arthur is a lot of fun. As has been previously mentioned, it is no retelling of the myth as per Tom Malory, but really a loose retelling of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai in an Arthurian setting. There are seven Sarmatian Knights (Arthur, Bors, Lancelot, Gawaine, Dagonet, Tristan and Galahad) sent on a dangerous mission to rescue a Roman family from the Saxons and later help defeat the Saxon army at Badon Hill. The names of the knights do not reflect their mythic counterparts, but there are nods to some of them. Galahad is the Christian knight, Lancelot likes sleeping with other men's wives, Arthur is the idealistic leader. There are also fun nods to the mythic elements of the story, such as the sword in the stone, Merlin, the round table, as well.

    The villains are fun as well. Cerdic, the Saxon leader, seems to be suffering from terrible ennui for most of the story until he meets Arthur dace to face. "Ah, finally a man worth killing!"

    The film looks a treat and GENERALLY appears accurate, with a few deliberate anachronisms. The stirrup debate rages on, as well as the crossbow argument, but the most noticable inaccuracy is the fantasy armour that the knights wear in the final battle. Personally, I love their look, but you won't find it in any history book, blending as it does the dark ages and 15th century harness. Its a deliberate decision, rather than a mistake, as opposed to the costumes in 13th Warrior which seemed to have been put together by a madman.

    Oh and the battle scenes are great! ...more info
  • The Quintessential King Arthur
    This movie delivers what I always wanted from other film versions of King Arthur, the idealist's story. The nemesis of idealism is betrayal and that is the story here. Love, which replaces "Merlin's Magic" in this film is of the sort that comes from living for a greater good and practicing selflessness, not a romantic affair with Guinevere. Fuqua captured the grace and growing depth of Arthur's journey beautifully.

    As someone who avoids action movies, I found the battle depictions to be as essential to the story as any of the dialogue. They were not gore-fests but smart battle scenes that gave us a glimpse of the brutality of the times and the unique characters involved.
    Antoine Fugua made a beautiful movie and Clive Owen was the perfect thoughtful Arthur. In fact the entire cast was great.
    The Director's Cut IMHO is the better version.
    ...more info
  • Someone should be arrested for allowing this to be made.
    It really is remarkable how Hollywood, which has scaled the heights of technical brilliance in mimicry, costumery, cinematography and overall visual verisimilitude, still has brain-damaged monkeys writing scripts and dreaming up concepts. This movie, which was blessed with an excellent cast, distorted the King Arthur legend to such an astonishing degree- just for the sake of being "original"- that it was positively painful to watch. Arthur- the Pelagian heretic later turned pagan. Guinevere- the Woad-covered, tattooed Pictish warrior princess. Lancelot and the rest of the knights of the Round Table- Sarmatian (i.e. Iranian) conscripts from the steppes of Russia. Merlin- a Pictish warrior shaman. And Roman troops in Britain decades after they actually left and Saxon barbarians invading Scotland. Not to mention the sniveling, treacherous, sadistic Romans and Catholics making life miserable for everyone. I appreciate the liberty of artists to fill the lacunae of history and myth, but this went_way_too far off the deep end. What dreck. Both factual history and a people's most cherished mythological personification of themselves were perverted by this movie. "Excalibur" retains its title as the best Arthurian movie ever made. "King Arthur" will fall deservedly down the memory hole. ...more info
  • Long Live The King
    this movie is pretty good. it has some very good battle scenes in it. this movie is about the story of the untold story of king Arturs life. if you watch the movie you'll understand on what i'm talking about. it's a very good movie....more info
  • not your father's Arthur
    Forget about Camelot, this Arthur is Roman, the Saxons are the bad guys, and the knights of the round table are Sarmations from the Steppes. Merlin is a Woad and Guenivere is his daughter. I have no idea if this could have happened, but 1000 years ago, who knows.

    The movie is not the theatrical version I saw, Arthur's young life where he learned about free men and free ideas from his teacher is missing, but the story line of the movie is straight forward and narrated by Lancelot....more info
  • Good Story Idea - Bad execution (acting)
    Good story idea. Good FX. Great supporting cast. Suspect acting by main actors. Clive is forcing the part. Keira is strictly eye-candy and the guy who played the lead Saxon was awful. If you go into the movie with that in mind you'll enjoy it. Soundtrack gets 4 stars....more info
  • King Arthur comes to Life!!
    The Director's Cut of King Arthur on Blu-Ray disc has needle sharp video and a bursting soundtrack. The image is a bit on the dark side but this renders a superb color saturation throughout the film. A real exciting story about my favorite legend, to be enjoyed even more in 1080p.
    King Arthur - Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray]...more info


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