king arthur

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The story of King Arthur and his knights is a tale as old as time. And throughout the years, it’s seen a fair number of tellings on the movie screen. Over time, as with everything else, the story has evolved and changed (minor details here and there), but, for the most part, the the basic elements have always been there. However, in recent news, King Arthur has taken a bit of a weird turn. The character was revealed to be in the next Transformer movies. How he will play into the story remains uncertain. But this latest report may take the cake. Get ready to see King Arthur in modern times as a graffiti artist.

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Let us take a moment to recognize the general lack of imagination in the Transformers movie franchise. By and large, each movie is about the evil Decepticons, with the occasional help of some evil humans, trying get their hands on a robot MacGuffin that the Autobots and a ragtag group of friendly humans have to stop them from acquiring. Throw in one or two major cities destroyed and you roll credits on another bombastic Transformers adventure. Sadly though, this news takes lack of imagination to a whole new level. For some strange reason, there’s a part open for King Arthur in the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight, and Michael Bay could apparently think of no one better than an actor with previous King Arthur experience. (more…)

Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’ Film Sounds the Retreat

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Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, the first in a proposed six film series based on the Arthurian legend, has had its release date postponed by almost seven months. Originally slated to hit theaters on July 22, 2016, we now won’t see Guy Ritchie’s next effort until February 17, 2017. Starring Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, it seems there is nothing wrong with the production, and instead the decision is based on simple economics. (more…)

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Guy Ritchie is taking a crack at one of the most rehashed legends of all time, King Arthur. There are almost as many movies done about King Arthur as there are for Sherlock Holmes. What makes this one different? Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim), who plays King Arthur, tell us why Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur is different, along with the first official images of Hunnam as Arthur. Just look at that picture above.. I do believe I feel the vapors coming over me. (more…)

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Disney has been pulling from its on well a lot lately, with live-action adaptations of their animated classics. Films like Alice Wonderland, Cinderella, and Maleficent have all gotten the live-action reboot treatment. The trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. An Alice in Wonderland sequel is on the way, along with new versions of The Jungle BookBeauty and the BeastDumboMulanWinnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio. Now, another animated cornerstone from the Disney vault is getting a wave by the live-action magic wand… The Sword in the Stone. 
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Hollywood is once again dipping their oars into the Lady of the Lake’s waters to bring us yet another look at the Arthurian legends. This time around Warner Bros. has put Guy Ritchie in the director’s seat to bring us what they hope to be a six movie franchise Knights of the Round Table. Now we’ve got our first look at the franchise lead Charlie Hunnam in costume. (more…)

‘Merlin’ Recap – The End of the End

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After five long years, we come to the end of our journey with Merlin. Picking up where we left off last week on the fields of Camlann, the hour was a roller coaster ride, not because of the action, but because of the emotion. Secrets are revealed, destinies are realized, and not everyone makes it out of the hour alive.

Merlin makes it to the battlefield, and manages to end the fight decisively with some impressive feats of magic. The Saxons start to retreat, but not before Arthur comes face-to-face again with Mordred. After a brief fight it seems that Mordred fulfills the prophecy and deals Arthur a fatal blow, but Arthur returns the favour and runs Mordred through with the king’s own enchanted sword. By the time Merlin arrives on the scene, Mordred is dead, but Arthur has been seriously wounded, and because it’s a mystical wound as well, Merlin will need some extra help in order to save his king.

Taking his cues from Gaius, Merlin departs with Arthur for the Isle of Avalon, home of the ancient magic that will heal the king. But wait! We get ahead of ourselves. Merlin reveals to Arthur that he’s got magic, and it does not go over well. Although Arthur’s been a bit more level-headed on the subject of magic than his father, he still feels hurt and revolted at the revelation that his friend, servant and confidant is, and has been, a dirty sorcerer. Arthur refuses Merlin’s help, but Merlin gives it anyway. It doesn’t help when Gaius arrives and let’s Arthur know that, “hey, I knew Merlin was a wizard the whole time and it’s totally N.B.D.” But soon it’s time for Merlin and Arthur to make their run to Avalon, and in Weepy Tissue Moment #1, Gaius says goodbye to his ward saying that he’ll have his favourite meal waiting for him when he gets back, while knowing full well that this was probably the last time he’d ever see Merlin.

Meanwhile, Morgana’s getting her revenge on. Mordred’s dead, but Arthur’s still out there wounded. She sends her Saxons out to find him, remaining as ruthless and defiant as ever.

As Merlin and Arthur make their way through the still dangerous backwoods, Arthur sees more of Merlin’s magical works. An understanding begins to occur in the king, not just all that Merlin’s hid from him, but everything that Merlin has done for him, in secret, without ever even trying to claim credit. Arthur and Merlin recall the first time they met and the fight with the mace, and Arthur asks why Merlin never told him he was a sorcerer. Merlin says that he never wanted to put Arthur in an awkward position given the laws of Camelot, but Arthur admits that he has no idea what he would have done. But despite the refreshing honesty, and honest bromance, Arthur is getting worse.

Back at Camelot, Gaius returns with news: Arthur is injured, but Merlin is taking him to help. He also gives Guinevere the ring of the dragon, a bequeathment from Arthur and with it the power to rule Camelot. And oh, by the way, Gwaine’s girlfriend Eira is Morgana’s spy. A scheme is set up where Eira sends Morgana the wrong information about Arthur’s whereabouts, and when she gets to that wrong location, Gwaine and Percival will be there to finish her off for good. As for Eira, off with her head!

As for the grand plan, it was somewhat not very successful. While Gwaine and Percival get the drop on Morgana, she still has magic, and thus the upper hand. Morgana tortures Gwaine with one of those truth snakes (Why does it have to be truth snakes?), and gets Arthur’s real location. Percival comes to and after freeing himself he finds Gwaine near death. With his last breath, Gwaine says he fails, and dies. (That was Weepy Tissue Moment #2.) Morgana does indeed catch-up with her half-brother and her mortal enemy Emrys, catching them off guard. Morgana revels in Arthur’s predicament, and taunts Merlin that as a high priestess, she can’t be killed, but oh yes she can. Merlin runs her through with Excalibur saying that he’s to blame for what she became, but it was time for the circle of violence to end. Morgana falls to ground dead.

Having lost their horses, Merlin tries to take Arthur the rest of the way to Avalon on foot, but Arthur is not doing well at all. The king is near death, Merlin is behind himself and here comes Weepy Tissue Moment #3. Arthur tells Merlin that he has something he wants to tell him, but Merlin doesn’t want to say goodbye. “No, Merlin, says Arthur, “everything you’ve done. I know now. For me, for Camelot. For the kingdom you helped me build… […] I want to say… something I’ve never said to you before… thank you.”

In agony, Merlin calls out to the Great Dragon for help, and although he takes Merlin and Arthur the rest of the way par avion, it really is too late. Merlin thinks he’s failed, but the Great Dragon disagrees and gives Merlin some last bit of wisdom. “Though no man, no matter how great, can know his destiny, some lives have been foretold, Merlin… Arthur is not just a king, he is the Once and Future King. Take heart, for when Albion’s need is greatest, Arthur will rise again. It has been a privilege to have known you, young warlock. The story we have been a part of will live long in the minds of men.”

Merlin puts Arthur on a boat and points it towards the island of Avalon. Merlin breaks down in tears as the boat leaves the shore, but he stands and watches his friend sail away into the mist. Meanwhile, back in Camelot, it is announced that the king is dead, and the court rousingly declares, “Long live the Queen!”

Flash-forward to the present day, and a legitimately old Merlin strolls by the water’s edge where he sent Arthur on his way hundreds of years before, still waiting for the time of Arthur’s return.

The End.

EPISODE NOTES

-Mordred went down like punk bitch, didn’t he?

-That was pretty sweet when the Saxon bursts into the medical tent and Gwen takes him out. It was a nice reminder that Queen Gwen is the fighting daughter of a blacksmith.

-I realize there’s a TV budget constraint, and there was a lot to get to in the hour, but it did seem like the Battle of Camlann was over really fast for such an important benchmark.

-I liked that Merlin took the mulligan for making Morgana what she became. It was kind of alluded to in the past that if Merlin had taken Morgana under his wing when they realized she had magic, they might have mitigated some of those evil doings.

-RIP: Arthur, Morgana, Mordred, Gwaine, and the Great Dragon

-I remember when they announced Merlin’s cancellation there was a possibility mentioned of a spin-off, but now having seen the finale, I’m curious to see what a spin-off would look like. Would it be the adventures of Queen Gwen in a post-Arthur Camelot, or would it be Arthur and Merlin in the modern world solving crimes and other stuff? I really hope that it was the later rather than the former.

Thanks to the cast and crew of Merlin for five great years of TV. It was a helluva ride.

‘Merlin’ Recap – The Beginning of the End

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It seems like forever since we recapped Merlin, which makes it all the more sadder since we’ve nearly reached the end of our adventures with him and the rest of the Camelot gang. Friday night kicked off the first of the two-part series finale, “Diamond of the Day, Part 1” and set up Arthur’s final (?) battle against Morgana and Mordred for the future of Albion. But who will win? Whose secrets will be revealed? And how did Merlin get so good at medieval craps? The answers are below.

We begin where we left off: Mordred has spilled the beans to Morgana that Emrys is, in fact, Merlin. Morgana has a plan to rob Merlin of his power, and since this is Morgana we’re talking about, it involves a horrible slug-like thing that hugs your face and seemingly sucks out your magic through your mouth. Gross. But that was the last thing on Merlin’s mind when he got sprung by the creature, which was sneakily left under his bed while he was reliving his fraternity days with Arthur and the knights at the Rising Sun pub.

Step one of Morgana’s plan is to rid Merlin of his powers. Step two is to draw out her brother and his army and engage them in battle with the her Saxon forces. As fate would have it, the scene for their inevitable face-off is Camlann. Merlin is stuck, he knows what’s coming, but he’s powerless to do anything about it. What can a powerless wizard do to change the inevitable?

For Merlin, the answer is in the Crystal Caves, the mythological birthplace of magic. Journeying there with the help of Gwaine, Merlin misses Arthur’s departure to Camlann. Arthur too is disappointed that Merlin won’t be there, in fact it seems to hit him harder than Mordred’s betrayal. But Merlin’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, and so does Eira, a nice young lady who Gwaine’s been seeing. Too bad she’s actually one of Morgana’s spies who spills the beans, not only of Arthur’s plans, but of Gwaine’s side trip to the Crystal Caves with Merlin. Morgana knows that there are some doings transpiring.

At the Crystal Caves, Merlin and Gwaine part ways, but someone else is there to meet up with Merlin: Morgana. Morgana taunts Merlin, and Merlin does a pretty good job standing up for himself without magic, but Morgana ends up getting the upper hand and traps Merlin in a cave-in. Without magic, and trapped, Merlin loses hope, but the spirit of his father Balinor appears to him. Offering him words of encouragement, Balinor helps Merlin get his magic back, and just in time too.

On the fields of Camlann, Morgana and Mordred aim to out-flank Camelot’s forces through a difficult to find passage, but Merlin can see it. From the Crystal Caves, Merlin telepathically alerts Arthur, who sounds the alarm: Morgana and the Saxons are attacking tonight! Merlin follows the crystals deeper into the cave and finds the source of magic, and the source of an even greater power. More powerful than ever, he emerges from the caves ready to rejoin the fight for the future of the united kingdoms.

To be continued…

EPISODE NOTES

*Didn’t it seem wicked easy to both lose your magic and get it back?

*Mordred gets a sword forged in fire’s breath? Well, that takes some of the specialness out of Excalibur. I mean if anybody can have sword forged in fire’s breath, right?

*So it’s Old Merlin who comes out of the cave? Is that a disguise, or a magic trick, or did Merlin just age like 60 years in two minutes?

*Oh yeah, Arrested Development’s back this weekend, so maybe there’s hope that Merlin will be back in the future.

NEXT WEEK: “I’m a sorcerer. I have magic…”

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Sorry Merlin fans but after tonight it’s just two more episodes till the end. But hey, wasn’t tonight’s antipenultimate episode amazing? It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for: fate is met, secrets are revealed, and the chess board is set for the ultimate battle of ultimate destiny. But where did it all go wrong? Let’s dive into the recap.

As you’ll remember from last week, Camelot is in the midst of a full-scale war with the Saxons led by Morgana, so when a Camelot patrol comes upon a bunch of slain knights, the assumption is Saxon attack (which is fun to say, but not so much fun to live through). Mordred thinks he sees someone in the nearby woods and gives chase, but it’s not who he expected. Indeed it is a young woman named Kara, and its painfully clear that she and Mordred share an affection. Naturally, Mordred covers for her with Arthur and the others, saying that he merely saw a deer. Merlin, however, is suspicious.

Mordred later tries to sneak remedies and supplies to Kara, but is caught by Merlin on his way out of the castle. Merlin points out that there’ll be big trouble for the knight who helps someone who helped attack Camelot citizens, but Mordred pleads with Merlin, she’s a Druid, one of them, he was duty-bound to help her. Merlin, despite himself, promises to keep Mordred’s secret, but while patrolling in the woods with Arthur later, the king and Merlin come across a trail of boot prints that lead them to Kara. Kara attacks immediately, but is captured in the process.

Because of her seemingly bottomless appetite for murder, Kara is sentenced to death. Mordred blames Merlin, thinking he betrayed him and promising retribution. In the meantime though Mordred sees Arthur to beg for clemency and to take credit for helping Kara out in the first place. Although Arthur’s sympathetic, his judgment stands: Kara will be executed.

Visiting Kara, Mordred is beside himself. he thought he and Arthur were friends, brother knights through and through, but Kara says it just proves that Arthur and Uther are cut from the same cloth. Mordred comes up with a plan. He goes to Arthur and apologizes for his earlier outburst, and Arthur appreciates that. All is forgiven. But Merlin knows that Mordred’s not going to let it drop, and that Mordred is going to spring Kara from the Camelot brig. Gaius points out the irony in Merlin’s decision to stop him, but Merlin says that if Mordred leaves the castle, he’ll run straight into the arms of Morgana, and by then it will be really too late.

And Mordred does indeed escape with Kara from the citadel, with the knights in hot pursuit. When cornered Mordred decides to fight, and Kara urges him to kill the knights with magic, but Mordred hesitates, and they’re both taken into custody. Merlin feels that he’s brought about the very thing he was trying to prevent, but Gaius says that “some paths woven so deeply into the fabric of the world, that nothing can be done to change them.”

Merlin tries to convince Arthur to let both Mordred and Kara go, a desperate plea to avoid the future Merlin knows is coming. Arthur is resolute, but after thinking about Merlin’s words – How will two more deaths help secure a peace in the overall scheme of things? – Arthur gives Kara a chance to repent. But Kara repents not, she says she’s not guilty of any crimes, and that it is a not a crime to fight for your freedom.

So she’s hanged. Mordred, in that moment, loses his $#!% and escapes using magic.

Arthur and Merlin talk later. Arthur feels bad for letting Mordred get so close, but Merlin says it’s because he’s got a good heart and believed in Mordred. Arthur asks Merlin if he’s made a mistake, and Merlin says he hopes not.

But yep, Mordred heads straight to Morgana…

Mordred: I bring you the news you have longed for.

Morgana: Arthur’s death?

Mordred: The key to it. I was wrong to ever question your wisdom, my lady, and I wish to make amends.

Morgana: Tell me!

Mordred: There is someone you have been searching for, someone who has always eluded you.

Morgana: Emrys.

Mordred: I know where he is.

Morgana: Where?

Mordred: Camelot. And I have his true name. It is Merlin.

Boom. There it is.

EPISODE NOTES

-Oh man, that was so worth it. After five years, for Merlin’s secret to be out to the worst possible people waylays all my petty complaining about how Merlin’s secret was on lockdown for so long. I don’t think I was wrong, of course, but it was just a great moment when Mordred let drop that it Merlin was Emrys I let it slide for a minute.

-There was also compelling drama in the Arthur and Mordred dynamic. Their relationship was ruined not by an issue that was cut and dry. Yes, Kara did kill people, and Mordred was in the wrong trying to spring her, but Arthur also offered an olive branch, and it was batted out of his hand. It’s compelling that it was more a moral play than Arthur was 100 per cent right, and Mordred was 100 per cent wrong.

-Good on Gaius for calling double-standard on Merlin. I mean come on, how many people has Merlin sprung for the Camelot jail?

-With Merlin’s whole swan analogy, is it just me or did he come out of the closet in tonight’s episode? Or am I reading too much into that?

NEXT WEEK: The End, Part 1

‘Merlin’ Recap – Payback’s a Bitch

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Last week, Arthur and Merlin were able to free Guinevere from Morgana’s control despite the witch’s best efforts to stop them, and you know what that means – VENGEANCE PARTY!

Indeed, Morgana goes on a tear this week looking for a way to get at her mortal enemy Emrys, AKA: Merlin, AKA: The Meddlesome Serving Boy. Of course, Morgana doesn’t know the three are related, far from it, but she knows someone who knows: Alator of the Catha. Morgana captures Alator in the opening scene and promises that she’ll make him suffer till he coughs up Emrys’ alias. Alator, however, promises to reveal nothing.

In Camelot, refugees have been arriving in the city from a neighboring kingdom, one of the few places in Albion magic is practiced openly. Merlin poses the question: why would Morgana be drawn to attack such a place? He discovers the answers in the woods nearby, a brooch and some papers that Gaius identifies as belonging to Alator. Merlin wants to help, but Gaius is concerned because Alator knows Merlin is Emrys, and more to the point, Alator got that information from Gaius himself, closing the circle of guilt.

Merlin gets a chance to help Alator later when he’s approached by Finna, one of Alator’s trainees in the way of the Catha. Finna asks Merlin to meet her later that night so that she can give Merlin some wisdom that Alator wants Emrys to know. Despite Gaius’ concerns, Merlin goes to meet her in the ruins of an ancient temple. What Merlin doesn’t know is that Gaius went to Arthur behind his back, and as Finna and Merlin start conversing, their meeting is broken up by some Camelot knights led by Mordred. Merlin helps Finna escape, promising her that he’ll meet up with he again.

Back at the castle, Merlin is incensed that Gaius would betray him, and Arthur’s confused how a squad of his best men could let one, lone sorcerer get away. Meanwhile, back at Snake Mountain, Morgana tries to get Alator to talk by actually putting a snake in his head.

Despite Gaius’ concerns that Finna is an agent of Morgana, Merlin sets out to find her. Finna herself has let Alator know via carrier raven that she’s been able to meet up with Emrys, but Morgana intercepts the note, and realizes that Finna’s got the answer she wants, and that she’ll probably be way easier to break than Alator, who she finishes off by snapping his neck. Morgana orders the Saxons to mount up and hunt down Finna.

Racing against time, Merlin finds Finna’s trail, but he also finds the Knights of the Round Table. Leon insists Merlin stick with them, but when night falls, Merlin’s able to lose the knights as they sleep nearby. Merlin finally catches up to Finna, but they’re jumped by a trio of Saxons and Merlin’s injured in the ensuing fight. Finna’s helps Merlin get away, but now Morgana and the Saxons are definitely hot on their trail.

Arriving at an old, abandoned watch tower, Finna takes Merlin inside to the top with the intention of making one last stand. She gives Merlin a box Alator meant for him to have, and tells Merlin not to trust Mordred (as if Merlin needed reminding). She then asks Merlin for his sword and let’s him exit to the safety of the roof,  just as Morgana herself arrives. Finna tells Morgan that she’ll reveal nothing, and stabs herself through the chest with Merlin’s blade. Pissed, Morgana orders the old woman’s body burned and she departs with the Saxons.

Dying on the roof, Merlin let’s out a desperate call for assistance from the Great Dragon, who not only carries Merlin to safety, but restores him to health too. Merlin notices that the Dragon doesn’t seem like his chipper self, and it turns out that the Great Dragon is dying. Merlin is visibly upset and asks if there’s anything he can do, but the Dragon says it’s just his time, and he’ll be there to help Merlin once more before the end.

Back in Camelot, Merlin and Gauis examine the box left by Alator and Finna. Inside is a prophecy that reads:

“Let loose the hounds of war. Let the dread fire of the last priestess reign down from angry skies. For brother will slaughter brother. For friend will murder friend. As the great horn sounds, a cold dawn at Camlann. The prophets do not lie. There Arthur will meet his end, upon that mighty plain.”

Bummer. And to add insult to injury, a dead knight is brought in with skin covering the entirety of his face, enchanted as to suffocate him. Gaius recognizes this as a sign, Morgana has officially declared war on Camelot.

EPISODE NOTES

– I loved seeing Gary Lewis back as Alator. He was such a bad ass when he appeared in last year’s “The Secret Sharer” and despite the fact that he spent much of this episode as Morgana’s prisoner, he still came across like a bad ass. He’s like the Jack Bauer of medieval Britain, he can torture, and he can be tortured without breaking. He should have his own spin-off where he heads up CCTU, the Camelot Counter Terrorism Unit. Okay, I need to wrap this up so I can start working on a script.

Sorcha Cusack was also good as Finna. They tried to make us in the audience think she really was a mole for Morgana, but who could deny that sweet old lady face. Well, Gaius could, but unlike Merlin he never saw her sweet old lady face and understood her veracity.

-Gaius, meanwhile, was kind of dick this week. One would think that by this point he might put a little more faith in Merlin’s instincts, they’ve only proved to be right about  9 times out of 10.

-Anyone else struck by the news that the Great Dragon is dying? I guess this really is the last season if the show’s losing such an important character. The CG was a little more impressive than normal to give the Dragon a kind of sickly hue, instead of his once golden sheen. Of course by the time the scene ended I thought they came up with the idea for the effed up wing because the effects for the Dragon while flying weren’t the greatest, but I digress. I take it the next/last time we’ll see the Dragon is the series finale.

-And by the way, Morgana, you’re beautiful when you’re angry.

NEXT WEEK: Can anyone say, “Prophecy fulfilled?”