Saturday, May 15, 2010

Horse Film Review

Robin Hood
Vehicle Film

I'm going to say up front before I continue with the horse part of it and regardless of what the critics say this was a fantastic film. Coming from a film horse trainer and a script supervisor, I fell in love with it. Ridley Scott is a superb filmmaker, and painted a masterpiece with this film. Yes his other film are better, but man putting Russel Crowe on a horse is never a bad thing.

His masterpiece of course for me starts with the amazing equines in the film. This is not your typical Mythical Robin Hood story, its a real dictation of England and France and the altercations between them and how one man named Robin Longstride, formally known as Robin from the Hood, captivates his people and charges into battle with the men that stay loyal to him. Of course I believe European Films have some of the most beautiful horses, and of course Robin Hood should be a film carried by its horses.

Russel Crowe rides a beautiful Lipizzaner horse, from what I saw was played by 3 very specific and similar horses. I dab Russel Crowe one of the top riders in the film industry. He took my breath away literally...amazing ability. For those of us that do ride you might think that swinging a sword and holding a shield and having over 100 pounds of armour looks like an easy thing, well its completely not. Working with some of the top horse trainers in the film industry, they say its one of the hardest things to teach and only the truly talented can pull it off.

The lead white Lipizzaner was not the only stead to carry the film. Robin rides with three other guys played by Scott Grimes(ER) and Alan Doyle. The two of them rode two very exquisite Friesians. Little John played by a very funny actor Kevin Duran(LOST, 3:10 to Yuma) rides a buckskin Andalusian looking horse. In the beginning of the film the White Lipizzaner who belongs to King Richard runs free through the woods. I believe that this is not the hero horse (hero in film terms means the main horse or object used) that Russell uses, due to the smaller frame, he was basically the Liberty horse. Godfrey played by actor Mark Strong seen in films like Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria, and Stardust rides a beautiful Black Andalusian. He is a small horse but has some great shoots in the film. Mark Strong is also a good rider, and delivers a great performance as always. Of course there is the beautiful maid Marian played by the amazing Kate Blanchett, who Ridley displays as a hard working naturally beautiful women. She rides a very large bay Hanoverian looking guy, him and Kate looked great together.

Some scenes to watch for are of course the epic battle scene on the beach, but they have the French ships that invade the English shoreline and one of the ships has the soldiers and their horses. The camera gets low and shoots the horse jumping from the ships onto the ramp and into the water, it was such a cool shot. I really enjoyed a scene with actor William Hurt who works with a bay/brown Andalusian working with some different classical dressage moves. This is a very refined scene.

You can't make a medieval epic film that doesn't have some statuesque horses, its a given, but this one has moved up to one of my all time favorites. The actors delivered amazing riding abilities, the horses hit there marks and the tack and scenery looked stunning.

Check out more on the other animals in the film at Animals in Cinema