Saturday, June 5, 2004

A Review of A Knight's Tale

Last night I watched A Knight's Tale on TBS. They cut it a bit, but not enough that the movie wasn't enjoyable. Before I first saw A Knight's Tale, I thought that I wouldn't like it. I have a very low tolerance for anachronisms in films and movies (I find it very hard to watch that TV show, American Dreams, despite my long time crush on Gail O'Grady) and here is a movie that consciously makes use of anachronisms! But somehow the movie works for me.

Indeed, the rock music that makes up much of the score does not seem out of place at all. Of course, then I suppose that the classical scores utilised by most medieval movies are as anachronistic as Queen's "We Will Rock You (let's face it--most medieval music would be closer to "Summer is Ycumen in.")." Even the modern day dance sequence, performed to the tune of David Bowie's "Golden Years," doesn't seem out of place. Even the modern day references are not distracting. For once, I was enjoying anachronisms!

I believe the reason for this is simple. A Knight's Tale does not pretend to take place in the actual 14th century, but an alternate reality of such. It is a reality where rock music existed side by side with the plate mail and corsets, where tournaments were the rock concerts or football games of the day. Even given this it is possible that A Knight's Tale could have failed, but the movie is so well executed that I accepted this alternate reality without question. The script is well written and combines both action and comedy fluidly. For the most part, the cast gives great performances that lends even more credence to this imaginary 14th century milieu. Indeed, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer (yes, that Chaucer!) and Alan Tudyk as Wat Falhurst not only give the movie much of its humour, but were so convincing that they let me suspend my disbelief entirely. Brian Helgeland's direction, while not overly remarkable, aids in the creation of a good, entertaining story set in a world that never existed.

A Knight's Tale probably isn't for all tastes, but if one enjoys an entertaining movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and successfully transports one to another reality, then this is the movie for him or her.

Friday, June 4, 2004

The Famous First Post

Welcome to my blog. Anyhow, please allow me to introduce myself. My nom de guerre is Mercurie. For those of you wondering about the name, it is the Middle English version of modern English Mercury. I chose this as my pen name for the reason that I have always felt an affinity for the Norse god Odin, called in Old English Woden, who was identified with Mercury in Roman sources. As to why I used the Middle English version of the name, well, the name as it is in every other language was already taken!

Of course, I am not going to give you my "real name," nor my email address. It seems on the World Wide Web these days one cannot be too cautious. I will tell you that I am a freelance writer, although one who does not make much money at it. I will also tell you that I live in Missouri, in the region still called by some "Little Dixie." I will also tell you that I am a pop culture buff with an interest in classic movies, television, music,fantasy, science fiction, role playing games, comic books, medieval history, British history, and so on.

As to the name of this blog, it is taken from canto iii stanza 113 of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (the quote in the blog's description). I have always liked that poem and that stanza in particular. I must also say that the name has the added bonus of being unique--I haven't seen any other blogs with the name "A Shroud of Thoughts!"

By the way, if you don't recognise the template I'm using, it is because it is Rounders 4 tweaked to look more like Herbert with the colour scheme of Split Pea. I looked through the templates and I really didn't care for any of them, so I altered Rounders 4 to look the way I wanted it. I must admit, it doesn't look like many of the blogs I've seen.

On this blog, I will primarily be discussing pop culture here. You probably won't see any discussions on politics or religion on this blog. On the one hand, I think there are already a lot of blogs dedicated to these topics. On the other, I would prefer to stay away from anything controversial, which both topics tend to be.

Be seeing you!