History Channel // 2010 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 21st, 2010
Who is the real Robin Hood?
Well, according to this documentary...we have no fricking clue. History Channel's latest piggy-back on a Hollywood blockbuster dispenses with the subtlety and fully embraces its true nature: as a de facto bonus feature on the Robin Hood special edition DVD.
Seriously. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe are in this. What does that tell you? Also, the program is produced by Scott's production company.
Yes, then, The Real Robin Hood is a fairly transparent piece of marketing aimed at generating buzz for the big-screen treatment of Sherwood Forest's most famous junk-hugging-pants-wearing vigilante. But it's a well-made piece of marketing and can be quite informative. Not so much about the "real," historical Robin Hood -- that's all folklore and speculation -- but about the peripheral history surrounding the timeline Hood is associated with.
The scholars and experts History Channel gathered together do a fine job painting a picture of the time period, supplementing holistic discussions of the politics and culture, with details of weaponry, housing, clothing, and fighting styles (the guy with the staff who goes bonkers is my favorite).
You get 94 minutes worth of this stuff and despite it's blatant commercial purpose, The Real Robin Hood is nicely assembled; streamlining interviews, footage from the film Robin Hood, dramatized performances, stills and an epic orchestral score together for an impressive piece of production. The historical value is more in Robin Hood's contemporary surroundings, however.
The DVD is emaciated: 2.0 stereo, no extras, and fake widescreen.
You'll get your learn on, so, Not Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: History Channel
* Full Frame (Letterboxed)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated