Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
May 2015

So, the day had finally arrived, and it was airing on TV. Eight half-hour episodes of adventure, set squarely in the Middle Ages. Dashing heroes. Damsels in distress. Villains. Villainy. Dungeons. Castles. Cameo appearances by famous actors. Swordplay. Knights in armor. Everything a reviewer of movies and shows set in the Middle Ages (or Renaissance) could possibly want. And it could be educational, too! (I know that I certainly learned a few things!) So I sat and watched the entire series. (Season 1. No word yet on if there will be a Season 2.) The series has been described in a number of ways, but my favorite is: "one part Robin Hood: Men In Tights and one part The Princess Bride with liberal doses of Monty Python And The Holy Grail added in for good measure. So you can imagine my feelings of anticipation (and potential dread) when the day finally came for its airing and I could review it for you. Well, it did, and I did, and so it is that this month, Da'ud Bob reviews for you ABC's wintertime fill-in for their long-running Once Upon a Time while it was on hiatus, Galavant.

Starring Joshua Sasse as our hero Galavant, Mallory Jansen as his love Madalena, Timothy Omundson as the wicked (well, at least he tries to be) King Richard, Vinnie Jones as his confidant/bodyguard/henchman Gareth, Karen David as Princess Isabella, Luke Youngblood as Sid (short for Sidney), Darren Evans as the Chef, and with a host of cameos by the likes of John Stamos, Rutger Howard (as King Richard's elder brother Kingsley), Ricky Gervais, "Weird Al" Yankovic (a member of an order of singing monks), and Hugh (Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey) Bonneville as Peter Pillager the Pirate King ("next to the sea"), and Sophie (Downton Abbey's cook's apprentice Daisy Mason) McShera, Galavant is the story of a dashing hero attempting to reclaim his "Happily Ever After" after his love, Madalena, is stolen from him by the evil King Richard. Of course, there's a lot more to it than just that. For one thing, once he gets to Madalena, she doesn't want to go back to him, preferring riches over true love. The plot not so much "thickens" as it twists and turns like a convoluted medieval line dance. A medieval line dance during which, on a regular basis, people break out into song.

Good points: The horses. The castles. The tents. Real chain mail. Decent heraldry (for the most part, and some of it was real!). Some of the costuming. The armorial stained glass windows.

Bad points: "We're doing 'it.'" The way they almost constantly break into song. The epee versus broadsword fight. The lions in some of the coats of arms were taken straight out of Fox-Davies (a late 19th Century author). Sidneyland. Galavant's dad wearing the Royal Arms of England. (Appropriate to the era, and heralds would blazon them as Quarterly, 1 and 4, France ancient, 2 and 3, England, but entirely inappropriate to be worn by anyone except the King of England or one of his heralds.)

Zero breasts. No blood. Ten dead bodies. Sword fu. Lance fu. Hug fu. Rubber sword fu. Pie fu. Dagger fu. Cutlass fu. Knights roll. Gratuitous sheep. Gratuitous plot twists. Gratuitous snoring princess. Gratuitous jazz hands. (Did I mention the order of singing monks?) Gratuitous tango for two. It is in fact modestly educational. For example, I learned that folks in the Middle Ages would break into song at the drop of a hat, or a hint, or for almost any reason, or for no real reason at all. A 67 on the Vomit Meter. Three stars. Anna Sue says, "It's amazing how entertained you can be if you lower your standards completely." Da'ud Bob says, "Check it out! And watch out for a possible Season Two."

Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

April 5 - May 10, 2015

Masterpiece on PBS

Da'ud Bob review coming soon!

Wolf Hall. Based on the novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, the miniseries is a fictionalized telling of the rise of Thomas Cromwell under King Henry VIII. Mark Rylance, Jonathan Pryce, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, and Tom Holland.


2015 Macbeth. Yet another film of "the Scottish play," this time starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, and David Thewlis. "A modern interpretation of the bard's tragedy, set in the claustrophobic confines of a stretch limousine which prowls the streets of a contemporary landscape as its agoraphobic passengers struggle for existential meaning in a dog eat dog world where only the fit survive, and tragedy unfolds."


February 12, 2016 Gods of Egypt. The Egyptian god of darkness, Set (Gerard Butler), has taken the throne of Egypt for himself. A young thief (Brenton Thwaites), with the aid of the god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) seeks to defeat him. Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush, Rufus Sewell.

No official website yet.

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