Review: Robin Hood Blu-ray

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott | CAST: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow
RELEASE DATE: 9/21/2010 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, two-DVD special edition $34.98, Blu-ray/DVD combo $39.98
BONUSES: featurettes, art gallery, deleted scenes, digital copy of unrated director’s cut of movie
SPECS: PG-13 | 141 min./156 min. | Action, Historical drama | 2.40:1 | DTS-HD audio | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Robin Hood movie sceneDespite prompting arguments between historians over its accuracy, director Ridley Scott’s take on the legend of Robin Hood fulfills its promise of being an action movie filled with drama, a few laughs and plenty of fine performances.

As star Russell Crowe says in one of the featurettes on the Blu-ray disc, Robin Hood is perhaps the closest of the Scott/Crowe movies to Gladiator, for which, Crowe admits, all their work since has been compared. (Since 2000’s Gladiator, Ridley has directed Crowe in A Good Year, American Gangster and Body of Lies). Indeed, this latest partnership is just as grand and epic as Gladiator, with lots of juicy battle scenes.

Blu-ray’s high-definition audio and video steps up the intimacy of the film, serving every swoosh of an arrow, squelch of blood and war cry beautifully. And the visuals, from the wonderful British countryside to the dark rooms of the stone buildings, not to mention co-star Cate Blanchett’s flushed cheeks, are shown off fully.

Talking of Blanchett, who’s lovely as Ridley’s version of Maid Marian, it’s fun to hear in the featurette on the Blu-ray that Crowe was responsible for Blanchett being offered the role because he saw her at a party in his homeland of Australia where they were celebrating being honored on postage stamps.

Crowe is very active in all three featurettes, which are offered on both the DVD and Blu-ray discs. The short pieces together make up the full behind-the-scenes look Rise and Rise Again: The Making of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. As well as Crowe, the segment is filled with interviews from Scott, other actors and everyone from costumes to makeup, production design and post-production. The well-made featurettes cover every aspect of the making of Robin Hood in an interesting and entertaining fashion.

The highlight of the Blu-ray disc, however, is the unrated version of the movie. Fifteen minutes longer than the 2-hour, 1-minute theatrical version, the unrated film offers more scenes with the boys living in the forest.

The Blu-ray does have some exclusives, including BD-Live Internet access, Universal’s Pocket Blu app that turns smartphones into remote controls with downloadable bonus content, interactive Director’s Notebook that shows interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and pages from Scott’s notebook during the movie, and The Art of Nottingham, an extensive gallery of production, concept and design art set to the great soundtrack from the movie. It’s a lot to go through, but fans will enjoy.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.