A Knight’s Tale (2001) – Exploring the Past

TL;DR – A delight, a joy, a battle, and a film for the ages. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene.

Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this film

lying on a bed of furs.

A Knight’s Tale Review

As I sit here at the time of writing, it is the night of Christmas Day, and I am not seeing any family today for the first time in a while. While I have never minded that isolation, it brings a certain melancholy on days like this. However, it also brings a particular reflective thought. It is in that mood that I thought I would take a moment and look back at an icon from my childhood, a film that still sits on my Top 10 films of All Time List.  

So to set the scene, and let’s just use the title card of the film itself, “In medieval times a sport arose. Embraced by noble and peasant fans alike, though only noble knights could compete. The sport was jousting.”. In this world, we meet three lowly squires of Sir Ector (Nick Brimble), who has unfortunately died before he can win the tournament. William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), Roland (Mark Addy), and Wat (Alan Tudyk) must move quickly because they have not eaten in three days, and they are about to forfeit the match. William decided to ride in his place, but you must be of noble birth to compete, so if they are discovered, it’s to the gallows they go. But if you can pull this off, maybe you don’t stop at just one tournament.    

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Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

TL;DR – This is a film with two halves, the beautiful story of a family coming together in the face of a crisis with the help of Mary Poppins, but also a story about how it is individuals and not big corporations that are bad … from Disney … umm  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Mary Poppins Returns . Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Mary Poppins is a movie that is quite dear to me. When I was a child it was one of those films that we would watch as a family on a Saturday night. I honestly I was not really all that on board with the remake/sequel hybrid film all the trailers seemed to imply that we were about to get. As well as this, I am starting to get a little tired of Disney’s ‘Weaponised Nostalgia Era’.  Well, that is what I thought walking in, but then a wave of joy enveloped my life leaving a smile on my face and tears rolling down my face.  

So to set the scene, it has been a number of years since the first film and the Banks’ children have grown up. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is, well was, a painter, who married and had three lovely children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) before his wife tragically died. This has understandably sent ripples through the family, made all the worse when there is a knock on the door and we discover that the bank is foreclosing on the house because Michael has fallen behind paying back a loan, the same bank his father helped run, and the same bank he currently works for. Well, the whole family, including his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps to look for their father’s shares in the bank in the last ditch effort in saving the house, when who should appear at the end of a kite, none other than Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) herself.

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Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

TL;DR – While we get more of those character moments that have been the highlights of the season so far, it just does not quite come together in the end.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos. Image Credit: BBC

As we reach the end of the 11th season of the new Doctor Who we have had the highs of Rosa (see review) and Demons of the Punjab (see review) but also the feeling that at times the show just was not quite coming together. It is with this duality that we hit the end of the shorter season than normal and you have to wonder will they stick the landing, and I’m not sure that they did. 

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Films of All Time List

TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.

Countdown

Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.

  • Films that are beautifully constructed
  • Films that mean something to me
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema

With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.

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