Friday, April 20, 2012

Robin Hood

Before I start with today's actual post, I just have to say that this new Blogger format thing is FREAKING ME THE HELL OUT.  We now return to our regularly scheduled blog post.

What can I say?  I'm a fan.  I always have been.  The story of Robin Hood was one of my first inspirations.  When I was a kid, I always wanted to run around the yard with my homemade bow (a slightly curved stick with a piece of kite string tied to either end) and play the rebel, the outlaw.  All right, fine.  Sometimes I still do that.  The only difference is I can now afford slightly better weaponry.  Not that anything has met its demise at my hands.  Except that one lamp.  And the corner of my desk.  And that one spot on the wall in The Man's office.  But other than that, I have done no harm.


Yet.

So I thought today would be a perfect day (being 'R' day and all) to feature all things Robin Hood, more specifically books, television and movies.  And I'm not going to talk about all of them.  There's too much so this will be a limited (although it made not feel like it right now) list.  As always, if I don't talk about your favorites (sorry, Errol Flynn but that picture's all you're gonna get), please feel free to admonish me in the comments.

Let's get started, shall we?

Books


The King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead.  This series includes the titles Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck. Scarlet is my personal favorite of the three and is told through the POV of Will Scarlet.  In this series, Robin Hood is Bran ap Brychan, a Welshman hunted by the Normans who takes to the woods to save his life.  This series is deep and dark and so gorgeously written. Hood was the first novel by Stephen Lawhead I'd ever read and it was good enough to turn me into a lifelong fan.

The Outlaw Chronicles by Angus Donald.  Told through the POV of Alan a Dale.  If Stephen Lawhead's series is dark then this series is just plain brutal.  This is not a happy sing-song Robin Hood here.  This is a man who, if crossed, will cut out your tongue before he cuts off your extremities.  Angus Donald doesn't pull any punches in this series and it's awesome.  It includes Outlaw, Holy Warrior, King's Man (which I am reading now) and the soon to be released Warlord.  I liked these books so much that I was willing to order my copy of King's Man from England when I couldn't get a copy here in the good ole USA.

Lady of the Forest
and Lady of Sherwood by Jennifer Roberson.  I'm not going to write tons about these two novels but I just wanted to mention it because it's written by a woman and tells the Robin Hood legend from the POV of Maid Marion.  The new cover makes it look like a real bodice ripping romance and it isn't.  Both books are a good read.

Television


In 2006, the BBC released this AWESOME reboot of the Robin Hood legend.  Jonas Armstrong starred as the titular character.  It lasted for three seasons.  Fun fact: I wasn't sure I'd make it through the first episode because it's a little cheesy.  And by 'a little', I mean a lot.  But once you just embrace that fact, this show is just plain fun. Speaking of fun, I think Keith Allen (who played the Sheriff of Nottingham) had entirely too much playing his role.  I always love it when he shows up on screen (yes, this show has made it into my repeated viewings rotation along with Firefly, Buffy and Veronica Mars.)  And while the first season is a variable cornucopia of physic defying stunts and improbable escapes and plot lines, the second season took all that and added some drama.  There's a big shocking death at the end of it that ensured that Season Two would remain ever my favorite.  This series is available for instant viewing through Netflix.

Movies


Disney's Robin Hood.  Released in 1973.  Fun fact: this script had eight writers and if you have (or can get your hands on) the Most Wanted DVD edition of this movie, you can see the alternate ending where a wounded Robin Hood is about to be stabbed by Prince John when King Richard, home from the crusades, interrupts in the nick of time.  It was deemed too dark and was hence changed.
Another Fun Fact:  I've probably watched this movie at least 800 times.  Maybe 8,000.  It was a big, big hit in my family. I can still sing the songs.  And sometimes do, much to the delight of everyone surrounding me at the time.  I do apologize to the people on that airplane that time I flew over Nottingham.  It's just... I was so excited to be that close.  You understand, I'm sure.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights.  Released in 1993.  Directed by Mel Brooks and, according to IMDB, written by five people.  I'm laughing just thinking about this movie.  Cary Elwes (whom I adore in everything he does... and hey, he's guest starred on Psych too!) is a perfect Robin Hood in this most excellent spoof.  Richard Lewis plays Prince John and you know what?  The entire cast is perfect and I can't list them all.  If you haven't seen this film, you really should.  You'll love it. Unless you hate things that are funny. Then I can't help you.

My favorite line in all too quotable movie comes after Prince John asks why people should listen to Robin Hood and Robin answers, "Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent."  (Kevin Costner, I'm looking at you.)

And to leave with you today, here's my favorite scene:

34 comments:

  1. Hahaha, OMG I haven't seen this movie in well over a decade, and now I want to watch it again. My favorite bit was the rap, with the guys in the back doing ballet mixed with '90s hip-hop moves. And then at the end: "King Richard's on the throne and Robin's back in the hood..." :)

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  2. I really do need to watch that movie again also.
    Happy A-Z April!

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  3. I LOVE Robin Hood. I've probable seen or read every single thing related to it. My favorite book though is The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. And I love the animated movie!!!

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  4. Oh wow, I haven't seen Men In Tights in SO long! You have made my day by posting this video!

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  5. You gotta love Men in Tights! It's been years since I saw that movie.

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  6. YES YES YES YES YES...I love all things Robin Hood. And Errol Flynn actually is my favorite of the movies for sentimental reasons.

    I didn't know about The Outlaw Chronicles. Definitely have to check that out. And I started reading the Lawhead books backwards. I started with Tuck, which I think was a mistake. I'll have to go back and do it right.

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  7. The BBC series is awesome. And the Disney version was always one of my favorites. I'll look for Outlaw Chronicles - the books sound good.
    I've been using the new interface for a while, but now that everyone has switched, my pre-scheduled posts aren't posting.

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  8. Love Robin Hood. I put the Lawland Trilogy on my TBR list, sounds awesome. I actually enjoyed the Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe version of a few years ago.

    What else can you expect from the EVIL Blogger? First time in a week I felt even human and I open up to their nonsense. YUCK.

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  9. Outlaw Chronicles sounds great. I will definitely look for it. Robin Hood is everyone favorite hero/villain. Although I never thought of him as a bad guy, my teachers in school did. Thanks for doing Robin. Bish also did him on her post today. He deserves the recognition. *waving*

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  10. Yes, the BBC one was great - I enjoyed it very much.

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  11. Errol Flynn was so sexy in his tights, wasn't he? But the BBC series did it best. What a great R post!!! You made me laugh :-)

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  12. LOL, I heart Men in Tights...so many great guest appearances (Tracy Ullman as Latrine)!

    That King Raven Trilogy seems promising!

    Some Dark Romantic

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  13. Yeah, Prince of Thieves wasn't great, but it did have Sheriff Alan Rickman. His English accent was genuine.

    And I never saw the BBC reboot, but it's on streaming, you say? Then it certainly deserves a look.

    Still, my favorite will probably always be Brooks/Elwes. "Let's get out of this ladies' clothing and get into our tights!"

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  14. I loved the Disney version as a kid so much!! Okay, the Kevin Costner version I loved as a young person but I re-watched it about a year ago and almost lost my lunch. ACK!!!!!! The only thing going for it was Alan Rickman. *Purrr*

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  15. This post made me clap my hands with glee!!!

    Robin Hood (in all forms) has always been one of my favorite stories. And quite honestly, I still want to do very bad things with Kevin Costner!!

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  16. I, too, loved Robinhood but not enough to act it out myself. I used Barbie, Ken and G.I Joe for that.

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  17. Disney's Robin Hood is still one of my absolute favorites! :D

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  18. You have obviously put a lot of time and effort into your posts! Robin Hood: Men in Tights is just so funny! I'm still partial to Errol Flynn tough.

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  19. There was a TV series here in the UK back in the 50's (I think) with Richard Greene playing Robin, which I remember as as child. I loved it - and can still sing the theme song!

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  20. they killed off robin hood in the tv series---how unusual--maybe i didn't read your blog correctly--i will go back and check

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  21. You probably won't know this one, but there used to be a kids' TV series on the BBC called Maid Marian and her Merry Men (around 1990). It was written by and starred Tony Robinson (Baldrick in Blackadder), playing the Sheriff. In it, Marian kicked butt and Robin was the wimp. I think you'd like it - it featured as many incongrous details as possible (one of the Merry Men was a Rasta, for example). Used to love it!

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  22. Oh. I wish you hadn't told me about all those books. I love the RH premise.
    Tried the BBC Hood a long time ago but for some reason we couldn't get any more episodes. Maybe I will check the library. My SIL is in love with the Sheriff guy.
    I saw a clip of the X-Files yesterday and now I want to watch them again. Luckily the husband bought me the series on DVD a few years ago.
    Love your post...as usual.
    Heather

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  23. You gave me some ideas of books to look for when I visit BAM on Sunday with my 20% coupon.

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  24. There was another robin hood show back in the 80's I think with Michael Praed. It was pretty good.

    and I'm with you on the new blogger. I was perfectly happy with the old.

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  25. You actually picked my two favorite Robin Hood movies. I've also added Hood to my Kindle, and I can't wait to dive in.

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  26. It's been a while since I've seen a Robin Hood movie, but I always loved the story.

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  27. The Disney Robin Hood is the one I grew up on, that and Men in Tights of course :) I'll have to check out that BBC one.

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  28. I love Robin Hood. Since I was, like, 5, maybe. I don't know. The Disney Robin Hood has always been my favorite Disney movie.
    Lawhead is one of my favorite authors. I've read everything by him up to his latest series (I think), and The Skin Map is sitting here next to me. I didn't care as much for Tuck, but Hood and Scarlet are great!

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  29. I almost did Robin Hood as my R post. I'm glad you did. The character and story is just so awesome... the world wouldn't be the same without it.

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  30. Have the Disney version of Robin Hood. Cute Disney movie.

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  31. Love Robin Hood! The Disney Version is fantastic, though I must admit I'm also partial to "Prince of Thieves." :)

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  32. I love Robin Hood and loved the series that BBC did. I was also a huge fan of the Michael Praed series from the 80's. One of my fave Robin Hood books is Gayle Feyre's The Thief's Mistress, told from the POV of Marian.

    And hell to the yeah on the Disney Robin hood. I LOVE that movie. :)

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  33. First, I've been using the "new" Blogger format since September, so whenever anyone refers to it, I think there are big changes that I haven't seen yet and then I freak out a little until I remember I got it before most of the rest of the blogging world.

    Anyway, I've always loved the Robin Hood legend, but for some reason I've never read any of the books and I just couldn't get into the series. But I'll give it a try since you say it's that good.

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  34. my faverites are the king ravens sieries and the bbc sieries the king raven is by far the best book not set in the traditinal sherwood forest

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