Outlaw King

OutlawKingPosterOutlaw King is a movie about the other hero of the 14th-century War of Scottish Independence. As Braveheart told us about William Wallace, this story is about Robert the Bruce. When the Scottish monarch died without a descendent, the lords called upon Edward I of England to chose a successor, a process known as the Great Cause. Instead he invaded Scotland and seized power. The Scottish lords rebelled but the superior English army prevails and the lords finally submitted. Only Wallace continues to fight. However, when he is captured and killed, the civil unrest convinces Robert the Bruce to take arms again. He is crowned king of the Scots in 1306 and, despite being outnumbered and a series of early defeats (like the battle of Methven), he succeeds, through guerrilla warfare, to push back the invader and finally defeat Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. He remains King of the Scots until his death in 1329 and is succeeded by his son, David. Ultimately, through his daughter Marjorie, one of his descendants (James VI/I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots) will reign over both Scotland and England (1603-1625). He is still today revered as a national hero.

This is a beautiful and enthralling historical movie about honour, power, courage and strength. Unfortunately, like most movies, it favours drama over historical accuracy. I particularly like the gritty and realistic depiction of the period, which feels just like Outlander (the first season is similarly about the Jacobite rising of 1745 culminating with the defeat at the Battle of Culloden) or Game of Thrones (some actors of this series appear in the movie: James Cosmo, Stephen Dillane and Clive Russell), but without the fantasy elements. 

Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine (Star Trek), Florence Pugh and Aaron Taylor Johnson, premiered at TIFF in September and was released on Netflix (and select theaters) on November 9th. It is rated R because of some full frontal nudity and graphic violence. The movie was liked but without too much enthusiasm (rating of 63% / 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.0 on IMDb). It is very interesting if you are a fan of Scottish historical action movies, but remains quite entertaining nevertheless. stars-3-5

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ GoogleIMDbNetflixRotten TomatoesWikipedia ]

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo-covThe latest Star Wars movie offers us quite an interesting (but simple) story with the usual (improved?) special effects. It’s the story of someone who gets out of the slums, with audacity and a bit of courage, doing what’s need to be done. A story of love and betrayal. It has a moral (hey, it’s Disney after all), lots of action and great humour. It also has a bunch of very interesting characters (and excellent acting to go with it). It’s sort of a growing-up story, about how a slum kid become… well… a kind of accidental hero. For the Star Wars fans it also offers lots of back story: how Han got his name, how he met Chewbacca and, later, Lando, how he got the Millenium Falcon and what makes it such a special ship, and, finally, how the rebellion started. 

It might not have the depth of the original movies (although that fame might be due in part to the legend, greater music and fantasized childhood memory) but it is, in itself, a good movie. It might not be THE Star Wars movie but, as the title says, it is A Star Wars movie. However, it is a fact that it didn’t performed well at the box-office, barely breaking-even, and was less appreciated by the fans than the critics with an audience score of 64% versus a critical rating of 70% on Rotten Tomatoes.  It’s a little blend, yes, but it’s still quite entertaining and well worth watching. stars-3-0

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonBAnQBiblio MtlGoogleIMdBOfficialWikipediaYoutube ]

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Alexander Calder : un inventeur radicalMercredi nous avons profité d’un rendez-vous en ville pour aller visiter l’exposition Alexander Calder : un inventeur radical au Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal. Cette retrospective des oeuvres de l’artiste Américain, qui se tient au MBAM du 21 septembre 2018 au 24 février 2019, offre 150 œuvres et documents qui représentent bien les différentes périodes de cet artiste multidisciplinaire. Comme d’habitude, je vous offre ici quelques memento de ma visite…

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Tel le phare et la bibliothèque d’Alexandrie
Nous sommes les balises du grand savoir
Qui guident et promulguent la connaissance

Like the lighthouse and the library of Alexandria
We are the beacons of great learning
Who guide and promulgate the knowledge

Όπως ο φάρος και η βιβλιοθήκη της Αλεξάνδρειας
Είμαστε οι μεγάλοι γνώστες
Ποιος καθοδηγεί και διαδίδει τη γνώση

                      (2018/12/02 — originally written on 2017/05/08)