May 17, 2010

"Robin Hood"

Sir Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood turns out not to be the expected proto-superhero summer blockbuster. Instead, it works best as an intricate political allegory about how the recently defeated New Labourites of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown betrayed England through their stratagems of invade the world, invite the world, and in hock to the world.

It’s 1199, and King Richard the Lionheart has bankrupted England with his military adventuring in Muslim lands alongside other Western leaders. Richard’s brother and rival, King John, in a na├»ve alliance with rapacious foreigners, sets out to tax the freemen of England dry. The true Englishmen finally rise up, demand a great charter of rights from their ruler, and then fight the Continental invaders on the beaches and on the landing grounds.

In globalist Cool Britannia, this manner of blatant English patriotism is tolerated mostly just during the quadrennial World Cup soccer tournament (which begins in three weeks in South Africa). Yet, xenophobia, especially an irrational loathing of the French, has historically served the offshore islanders well. Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the English People:
“Isolation… is the most consistent single thread running through the tapestry of English history…[It is] the attitude of mind of a people who live on an island and wish to keep the sea as their frontier… It inhibits the systematic involvement with the land-mass which diminishes, and in the end destroys, the island privilege.”

Not surprisingly, the film has opened strongly in the U.K. American audiences, however, have been puzzled (not without reason) over why Robin Hood doesn’t have much to do with, well, Robin Hood.

Read the whole thing there and comment below.

97 comments:

aafafdadfasf said...

Sounds like this movie is somewhere between the Errol Flynn movie and the Sean Connery movie. I haven't seen the Flynn version, but I was rather moved by Connery's over-the-hill balding Robin and Audrey Hepburn as Marion.

I don't think Crowe was chosen for his track record but because Scott likes him. They already worked on Gladiator and American Gangster together. I'll bet Hollywood guys wanted Scott to choose someone younger and more dashing.

Anyway, it's good to see older men in these films or at least older men who look like real men. Tom Cruise must be as old as Crowe but he still looks like he's 20 at most.

Whiskey said...

A couple of corrections Steve.

First, the real Crusades were a response to MUSLIM aggression just as Iraq and the Afghan Wars were. At the time of the Third Crusade, most of Spain and Portugal were under Muslim rule. So too, Southern France. Sicily and Southern Italy were only 100 years recaptured from the Muslim rulers, and constant threats to retake both were credible. The Mediterranean which had been a Roman Lake was now a Muslim one. As VDH notes, almost no buildings are found in the coasts of the Med after the Muslim conquests in Christian areas because of slaving.

So far from "invade the World," like now, the World had already invaded England. As it has now.

Second, the original script was called "Nottingham" and featured the Sheriff as the good guy, investigating a series of murders, with Robin Hood as the bad guy. The Studio paid something like ~$2 million for the script, and then totally rewrote it (Crowe was cast originally as the Sheriff).

Which is why the script and the movie were so bad.

Whiskey said...

Let me add, Gordon Brown insulted an older lady who was his supporter who dared question him on immigration as a "bigot" and that might have cost him the election ... but Lib-Dems want totally open borders.

Most of England retains no, none, nada, zilch, nothing of xenophobic or even mild isolationism. Muslims routinely parade around calling for death to infidels, disrupt War Memorial Services, one spray painted a War Memorial to WWII with "Islam will Dominate, Osama is coming, kill Gordon Brown" and was let off with a minor fine.

England's people, from local judges, politicians, the Church of England at all levels, the media, ordinary people, cannot wait to surrender to the Pakistani Islam and Muslims that dominate through violent intimidation almost all of British life. The Church of England is happy to turn over Church property for Mosques. It supports Sharia law. As do most local and national politicians, the media, and so on. WWII vets complain it is not their country any more (and its not).

Moreover England has NEVER been one for isolationism, somewhat stiff-necked in the assurance their culture was better yes. Isolationist, no. The Sea being a mere highway for any competent raider, be he Angle or Saxon, or Viking, or Norman, or French, or German. England's "White Gold" (wool) being traded abroad for things the English could not grow, particularly Wine. Not even a medieval Englishman would think the lack of a Navy a good thing, citing the Saxon defeat at the hands of the Norman and Viking invasions simultaneously.

Part of the problem of younger actors is that they are all metrosexual. There is no equivalent to Burt Lancaster, or Kirk Douglas, or Gregory Peck, or Charlton Heston, or Charles Bronson, or Gary Cooper. At best, the bloated, poseur Crowe manages to convince you he's not gay and gym-toned, blow dried, cruising West Hollywood. Meanwhile most of the actresses are mannish and aggressive.

Hollywood's over-representation of Gays makes this inevitable.

agnostic said...

Robin Hood as the leader of a tax revolt? Sounds dubious. If that's the angle, though, then Crowe's age works for him -- Wat Tyler was about 40 in 1381.

But does mid-40s even work for a convincing military leader? Only ones who come to mind are Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan, admittedly two big ones. But Alexander the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, and Napoleon were either in their 20s or 30s when they were at their peak.

And more relevant to the story of Robin Hood, so was Richard the Lionheart.

Yeah I know, you couldn't find an Anglo male in his 20s these days who's had lots of ass-kicking experience unless you count video games. But why not find a Russian actor in his 20s or 30s who came of age in an incredibly violent society?

Anonymous said...

HOLLYWOOD MOVIES ARE FOR WOMEN AND HOMOSEXUALS STOP WATCHING THEM FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!

concerned netizen said...

Isolation? You've got to be either kidding, or extremely brainwashed.

The sun never sets on the British Empire.

Remember that ditty?

If this is isolation, define intervention.

Regarding Ridley Scott,you make him sound like some populist working class Brit, when in fact as KINGDOM OF HEAVEN showed, he's really the exemplar of the guilt-ridden Westerner.

The only reason he may have a problem with intervening in the Muslim world isn't because he's against intervention but because he thinks that Islam is the only antidote to the Americanization of the world that his class so hates.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're reading WAY too much into this. Unless you meant it as parody of film reviewers who project their personal political views onto films.


aafafdadfasf said...

"Anyway, it's good to see older men in these films or at least older men who look like real men."

Actresses, I gather, are quickly ushered off stage at the first sight of a wrinkle.

"Anyway, it's good to see older men in these films or at least older men who look like real men."

You say that like it's a bad thing. :-)

Whiskey said...


"Part of the problem of younger actors is that they are all metrosexual. There is no equivalent to Burt Lancaster, or Kirk Douglas, or Gregory Peck, or Charlton Heston, or Charles Bronson, or Gary Cooper."

That's because, as recent studies have shown, women are becoming more attracted to the pretty boy, feminine type of look. As women can now mostly provide for themselves, the old rugged Marlboro Man who could garuntee security and safety is becoming less attractive. In the 21st Century, women are now free to persue the pretty boys they've wanted all along. Hollywood knows this and caters to them.

SGOTI said...

How are Muslims getting away with that in the UK?!?! I mean, that's the HOME of the Scots-Irish!

David Davenport said...

It’s 1199, and ... The true Englishmen finally rise up, demand a great charter of rights from their ruler, and then fight the Continental invaders on the beaches and on the landing grounds.

The sequel should be: 1588: Defenders of England with old Mr. Crowe cast as Francis Drake.

I'll let Steve suggest the actors to play Elizabeth I, the Pope, the King of Spain, etc.

Graham Asher said...

"Not even a medieval Englishman would think the lack of a Navy a good thing, citing the Saxon defeat at the hands of the Norman and Viking invasions simultaneously."

Hang on mate - we actually beat the Vikings. Check out the battle of Stamford Bridge. King Harald Hardrada of Norway asked for some English land and was given a plot six feet long, or somewhat more, because he was a tall man.

Anonymous said...

You are right about Labour and its strategy. They are the worst thing to ever happen to Britain. I'm not sure though that Brown or Blair can be said to have 'betrayed' England since both are Scots.

Peter A said...

"the real Crusades were a response to MUSLIM aggression"

No, that's ridiculous. The Crusades were simply an attempt to take booty and treasure from a materially richer culture. Nothing wrong with that either. The muslims in the 7th-9th centuries were more opportunists rather than real military men - they expanded by moving into the power vacuum caused by internecine Christian fighting and the bitter Byzantine-Persian wars of the 6th century. Even in those days the Arabs usually came to a dead stop whenever they met real military resistance. The real muslim threat to Europe was the Turks but that was a few centuries later.

concerned netizen said...

"First, the real Crusades were a response to MUSLIM aggression just as Iraq and the Afghan "

No way. Ridley Scott told me so in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was an absolute nightmare. In addition to being a bombastic incoherent mess (hey, it was a Ridley Scott movie), it was the most anti-Christian piece of garbage, like, ever. Good Muslims, eeevil Christians, the lot.

Yet Scott escapes censure because he's a goy.

If Scott were a Jew he'd get the full Taki-Sailer-MacDonald.

http://www.movieguide.org/archive/32/5874

I expect ROBIN HOOD is cut from the same cloth.

Politics really makes strange bedfellows.

Glossy said...

That movie's anti-tax, anti-big government message was fine by me politically, but it's ahistorical when applied to the Middle Ages. From everything I've read it seems that the medieval common man usually rooted for a strong centralized state because only such a state could restrain constant feudal wars and banditry. In the actual Middle Ages the only people who wanted to limit the power of kings were usually their nobles, who loved the wars and the banditry very much. It was king John's barons, not commoners, who forced him to sign the Magna Carta, for example. Scott's movie makes it look like limiting the power of the crown was a big cause for the commoners, which I think is mostly wrong. Since medieval states did not support large numbers of near-do-wells with tax money, the anti-welfare sentiment was still unknown.

And yes, Cate Blanchette is too old at this point to play a major movie star's love interest. The 80-year old actor who played sir Walter Loxley was great though - the only person in the whole film who looked natural impersonating an aristocrat. I looked him up on the Wikipedia and it turns out his mother was a baroness.

In the movie the French troops' landing on the English coast was made to resemble old photographs of D-Day. Was there some sort of a message in that or did Scott do that just because he could?

Piper said...

Yeah, what's up with these wrinkly-prune leading ladies, way past their sell-by dates?

According to the MPAA, more women than men and (way more Hispanic women than anyone else in proportion to their share of overall population) buy movie tickets.

Perhaps women like to see the leading man romance a woman "of a certain age." Or perhaps its some kind of Hollywood gay politics thing.

Iron Man's conceit that the hero would choose Gwyneth Paltrow over Scarlett Johansson was so preposterous that it interfered with my enjoyment of the movie (it required a little too much "suspension of disbelief").

Film makers should go back to what works. I remember a tasty young Catherine Zeta-Jones hotting up several successful movies opposite mature leading men according to the time-tested, Darwin-approved formula. Heck, at 21 Scarlett Johansson herself did a wonderful turn opposite Bill Murray in 2003.

The recent mania for dessicated leading ladies is just nuts-- and when today's movies hit the non-English-speaking world they will attract derision rather than admiration.

asdfasdfasdf said...

"Isolation? You've got to be either kidding, or extremely brainwashed.
The sun never sets on the British Empire.
Remember that ditty?
If this is isolation, define intervention."

Brits were into Isoventionism. Insulate themselves and keep Britain British while invadinga nd intervening in other parts of the world.
During much of British Imperialism, Brits rarely allowed in outsiders, especially if they were non-white. Only elites of non-white worlds were invite to study at British colleges and hobnob with the British elites--mostly in order to Anglo-ize them, as indeed many Hindus were. It was ONLY AFTER the fall of the empire and creation of the commonwealth that Britain began to invite in large numbers of whites to settle permanently.
There was a very powerful and unique sense of Britishness.

There had been a time when Britain was conquered by Romans, French, and other folks, but once Britain became a unified nation, it was not conquered like other European nations were--France, Germany, Russia, Italy, etc. Thus, there is a streak of isolationism in British thinking, that that didn't mean Britain supported the isolation of OTHER nations and peoples.
Japan was the same way. Though it expanded into other parts of Asia, the Japanese were careful to maintain a unique and special sense of Japaneseness.

aasdfasfsadf said...

"Robin Hood as the leader of a tax revolt? Sounds dubious. If that's the angle, though, then Crowe's age works for him -- Wat Tyler was about 40 in 1381."

Most of these films are almost NEVER about the historical character if there was indeed such. (I have no idear.)

Take most Billy the Kid and Jesse James movies. They have almost nothing to do with the actual figures but basically serve to project OUR fantasies and complexes onto them.

Spartacus in 1960 was not about the real Spartacus but essentially a using of that story to glorify the leftist rebellion of the 20th century. And 10 Commandments essentially boiled down to freedom-loving Jews/Americans against the evil Nazis/godless commmies.

afasdfasdfasdf said...

Maybe this is CHE for rightwingers.

I read in the book on the making of Blade Runner that Scott is politically conservative. This is funny considering he made Thelma and Louise, but maybe he was just a hired gun on that project.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey: You should really look at survey data and not the fact that people like the Lib Dems policies other than on Europe, immigration and amnesty for illegals and think they're both fairly intelligent and aren't blatently the party of the rich. The number of times I've heard people talk about how foreign and immigration policy is an albatross around the Lib Dems neck makes it pretty clear to me what popular opinion is in the UK.

Also Islam is not really important. The idea that they are dominant is ludicrous. The media pities them and believes it has to engage with them and is worried about them being scapegoated but that's it. Most of this is driven by elite desire to be seen as a White Knight to a disenfranchised group. "The Pakistani Islam and Muslims" (whatever that should actually mean) dominate nothing.

dr kill said...

Hahaha, so right about American - born heroes. After Bruce Willis, they tried to convince us that Nic Cage is an action hero. Hahahaha.

That's a sad statement on young American men.

bbartlog said...

The problem I see with this movie is that Robin Hood is on some level a trickster figure (as Errol Flynn realized in his high-spirited portrayal), whereas here we're basically treated 'The Grim Gladiator of Sherwood'. No thanks.

Simon in UK said...

Whiskey:
"England's people... ordinary people, cannot wait to surrender to the Pakistani Islam and Muslims"

Nope. 'Ordinary people' already hated the 'Pakis' back when middle class types like me thought they were a harmless bunch of shopkeepers. Keeping the 'ordinary people' (white working class) here in line takes ruthless State oppression far beyond anything you've seen in the US. They have not internalised the Elite's values at all, from what I can see. If anything the American working class seem considerably more indoctrinated - important, because they retain guns and a measure of freedom, while ours are kept safely disarmed and jailed for any dissent.

Anonymous said...

Thing of it is, in the plot line, one rather gets the impression that the film maker is against the "isolation" of the UK, Steve's take is rather on the slippery slope.

It is true that Richard the Lionheart was excessively invested in his crusades and wars. They did have a legit stake in pushing back the Muslim invaders, but Richard and the other nobles took it too far in a desire for an expansion of empire, which bled their coffers dry. Richard was also French, barely spoke any English. He was loved by the common people of England, while his brother John, who Steve gets right, was not.

The false claim attributing the character working for a charter is incorrect, it's an attempt of the film maker to exploit the story of Robin Hood for political agenda. Robin Hood stood against the exploitation of a King's power to tax the citizenry to death.. which is actually what John tried to do.

Then you have that moron Crowe making public statements in support of tax increases and for an unelected, unaccountable one world governmental authority.

I was just recently at a Medieval Studies congress, where you had left wing academics painting Richard the Lionheart as being guilty for "killing Muslims", finding the Muslim invasions and Saladin's aims, into Europe inconvenient, as they find the current invasions highly appropriate.

I can't support or endorse Steve's review, because again,I believe he's mistaken on the premise presented.

James Kabala said...

Agnostic: There are American generals, you know. Washington, Jackson, Grant, and Eisenhower were all in their forties and Lee and MacArthur were even older.

If other reviews (and even Steve's between the lines) are accurate, this hardly seems like a patriotic British film - it seems to take the "Crusades as western imperialism" line. Whiskey's posts in this thread are his usual mix of accurate facts and dubious conclusions, but his view on the Crusades falls in the former category. Certainly no previous Robin Hood film ever portrayed Richard as anything other than a hero. (Although, of course, Richard was a French nobleman who spent hardly any time in England.)

James Kabala said...

Peter A: The immediate cause of the Crusades was the Turks (albeit the Seljuk Turks rather than the later and more successful Ottoman Turks): they took over Jerusalem from the Arabs and pursued a more aggressive policy.

Anonymous said...

The recent mania for dessicated leading ladies is just nuts-- and when today's movies hit the non-English-speaking world they will attract derision rather than admiration.
---
Cate Blanchette is not "dessicated." She's five years younger than Crowe, who was so out of shape he had to lose a ton of weight to play Robin Hood, and is a new mother of her third child (so there goes the fertility argument that you guys are so obsessed with.)

And yes, women don't generally like to see huge age gaps between leading men and leading ladies in the movies. We had to put up with it back in the days of Cary Grant because we didn't have our own money. Now we have our own money to spend on movies, and we're not interested in being told that we're "desiccated" at age 41.

No man would like to be told that at age 41, so why do you think we women would like it too?

And if that bothers you so much, then watch movies from "the non-English-speaking" world that have 20-year-old Third Worlders pretending awfully hard to find 50-year-old geezers sexually attractive because they don't want to starve to death.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and PS to the guy who called Cate Blanchette "dessicated" -- younger women are not interested in seeing ScarJo go home with Tony Stark either, especially when they know that in real life she's married to the totally hot, impossibly-ripped-abs, gorgeous and YOUNG Ryan Reynolds. Please, no real woman is going to hit Robert Downey Jr. when they've got Ryan Reynolds to go home to.

Hollywood has made a lot of money in the past off of the middle-aged man's fantasy that he remains sexually irresistable to young babes well into his fifties, no matter how flabby and unattractive he gets. Stop whining like a kid who's had his favorite toy taken away from him just because that fantasy has been taken away from you.

Jackson said...

I was wondering why the usual suspects hated this movie. The WSJ reviewer actually complained that the plot was too detailed, after years of hammering modern Hollywood's dumbed-down scripts.

Well, now I know why. The last thing the Avatar-Uber-Alles crowd wants is nationalistic, patriotic, heroic fare.

No wonder they were appalled.

Tino said...

Look:

The Levant was core Christian land. Arabs and Turks controlling it in 1200 A.D was because *they* conquered it through war. So it is true that the Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression.

(at the very least, it is absurd to apologize to the Muslims before they apologize for their endless wars of aggression, although of course having self-serving bias they will never realize this).

Having said that, it is quite crazy for the French and English to invade Palestine. That cannot be defended based on national interest, and had nothing to do with the defense of Europe.

Two things are simultaneously true: the west has nothing to apologize to Muslims for (unlike what, say, Path Buchanan seems to believe), and the west should stay out of Muslims affairs, even Muslims aggression, as much as possible.

afasdfsadf said...

Why do they keep hiring Cate Blanchette? She is UGLY!! She's pale and sickly, all skin and bones, and looks like a lesbian child of Sir John Gielgud and a space alien.

Do people really like her or is she being imposed on us as a counter-ideal by the Hollywood casting hags?

Steve Sailer said...

Because she is a terrific actress.

Sure, she's funny looking, but she's got the talent to make up for that.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the Flynn version
!!!! then you haven't seen robin hood.


The first thing that struck me as odd was how old this 'robin hood' is Fairbanks (sr) could pull it off at 42 because he was youthful looking but Crowe's more qualified for a friar tuck role at this point.

Anonymous said...

And yes, women don't generally like to see huge age gaps between leading men and leading ladies in the movies.
feminist fantasy - look at all the women gushing over guys in their 40s - Johnny Depp, Clooney, Pierce Brosnan (in his 40s) etc.

Now, how many spontaneous (not rigged) displays of 'gushing' to men show for women over 40?

In other words, 15 years ago women liked clooney, they like him now, in 15 years no one will like megan fox

keypusher said...

I was wondering why the usual suspects hated this movie. The WSJ reviewer actually complained that the plot was too detailed, after years of hammering modern Hollywood's dumbed-down scripts.

Well, now I know why. The last thing the Avatar-Uber-Alles crowd wants is nationalistic, patriotic, heroic fare.

No wonder they were appalled.


Joe Morganstern (yes, I know his very name will cause hyperventilations for some here) is a hell of a movie reviewer. He has a surprisingly rare qualification for the job: he really loves movies. Here's a followup piece on his blog for re why he didn't like Robin Hood. It's not because it was too nationalistic.

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/05/15/robin-hood-why-so-serious/?KEYWORDS=robin+hood

Anonymous said...

Do people really like her

Yes.

Back in the day, when I was still single, I would have crawled over broken glass in pursuit of some of the characters she portrayed in celluloid.

Have you ever seen her performance in The Gift?

Sigh...

Anonymous said...

"...younger women are not interested in seeing ScarJo go home with Tony Stark either, especially when they know that in real life she's married to the totally hot, impossibly-ripped-abs, gorgeous and YOUNG Ryan Reynolds."

Is this iSteve or TMZ?

Anonymous said...

Because she is a terrific actress.

In general the female movie stars who look best are those in soft core pornography. The sort of thing shown late at night on HBO or Starz.

Hard core porno requires less in the way of facial beauty.

Finally the actresses in real Hollywood type movies vary all over the place. Some like Catherine Zeta Jones are beauties but other like Holly Hunter and Cate Blanchet are the kind you wouldn't want to meet on a blind date. It's that talent thingee.

Russell Crowe like Humphrey Bogart or Dustin Hoffman is an ugly little man. In truth Crowe isn't really small, just average. But he continually plays parts that call for a bigger man (LA Confidential, Gladiator)so he seems smaller than he really is.

In real life Crowe's something of a dullard but he gets cast as a genius in A Beautiful Mind. Intelligent actors like William Smith (doctoral candidate, 5 languages) play thugs and bikers.

Anonymous said...

Scientists find strong evidence that older-man/ younger-woman pairings are the most fertile.

Anonymous said...

I thought the movie sucked but I like both Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Not interested in seeing a 20-year-old woman with a 60-year-old man either and outside of Hollywood I don't know many successful pairings with that kind of age disparity. Crowe and Blanchett are age appropriate -- he's about six years her senior -- and Crowe looks like a seasoned war veteran. The movie was too long, too serious and the back story was pretty badly developed. The acting and the romantic pairing was fine.

tanabear said...

Whiskey: "First, the real Crusades were a response to MUSLIM aggression just as Iraq and the Afghan Wars were."

Okay, you got the first part right. But please specify which lands Iraq and Afghanistan were in the process of conquering.

Anonymous said...

The UK has been ruined.

Anonymous said...

Scarlett Johannson was born Nov. 22, 1984, so she was 18 or 19 when she was in the film with Bill Murray.

asdfsadfsaf said...

"Because she is a terrific actress.
Sure, she's funny looking, but she's got the talent to make up for that."

She was sickening as Bob Dylan.
She was kinda okay in Chronicles of Narnia but thanks to heavy makeup.

Steve Sailer said...

That wasn't Cate Blanchett in "Narnia," that was Tilda Swinton, who is even more aristocratic and androgynous. Blanchett is the middle one in the Nicole Kidman to Tilda Swinton Axis of Paleness, with Kidman the most girlish and Swinton the most regal and sexless.

Richard Hoste said...

Nope. 'Ordinary people' already hated the 'Pakis' back when middle class types like me thought they were a harmless bunch of shopkeepers. Keeping the 'ordinary people' (white working class) here in line takes ruthless State oppression far beyond anything you've seen in the US. They have not internalised the Elite's values at all, from what I can see.

Then why don't they vote for the BNP or at least UKIP?

Anonymous said...

I don't know many successful pairings with that kind of age disparity.
well that's a stretch but .. 41 year old gene kelly and 19 year old leslie caron in american in paris.

37 year old greg peck and 24 year old audrey hepburn in roman holiday.

cary grant grace kelly to catch a theif

grace kelly jimmy stewart rear window..

all were believable.

bogart bacall...numerous

Mr. Anon said...

"afasdfasdfasdf said...

I read in the book on the making of Blade Runner that Scott is politically conservative. This is funny considering he made Thelma and Louise, but maybe he was just a hired gun on that project."

I can believe it. His two (in my opinion) best movies are both rather conservative in outlook, or at least not overtly liberal: "The Duelists" and "Black Hawk Down". Scott is a talented director with an unimpressive ouvre. He should have made more really good films than he has. "Kingdom of Heaven" was, as someone else pointed out, a train-wreck. likewise "Gladiator".

BamaGirl said...

I liked the move alright, thought it had decent acting, and found it for the most part quite historically accurate. But I experienced a great deal of cognitive dissonance throughout the film because Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe were so old. They seemed older than just about every other major character. Russell Crowe looked as old as the fellow who played King Richard even! Him being in his mid 40s would have been fine if the movie had stuck with the "Nottingham" theme. But since the movie was supposed to be a prequel of sorts, it makes absolutely no sense to have a 45 year old Robin and Marian. Is it really that hard to find younger actors?

Anonymous said...

"You are right about Labour and its strategy. They are the worst thing to ever happen to Britain. I'm not sure though that Brown or Blair can be said to have 'betrayed' England since both are Scots"

They betrayed Britain. These guys are cretins. They are totally dishonest for implementing their immigration strategy. If they had campaigned on it, they never would have one. Their slogan, We are going to give away your country and you are going to pay for it and like it or you are racists.
You will have to make these people feel at home while they take your jobs and criticize your culture. If you criticize them in any way, we will arrest you, but they can say anything bad about you they like.

BamaGirl said...

I thought this movie was alright but it would have been better with an R rating. The acting was decent, and the costumes, backdrop, etc all seemed quire historically accurate. However, the move gave me major cognitive dissonance because the Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett are so old. They were older than just abut every single non-greying character in the movie. Russell Crowe even looked as old or older than the fellow playing King Richard. Considering that this movie was essentially an "origins" story of Robin Hood and he has presumably just begun his adventures, then it is even more ridiculous for it to feature a 45 year old Robin and Marian.

BamaGirl said...

"Film makers should go back to what works. I remember a tasty young Catherine Zeta-Jones hotting up several successful movies opposite mature leading men according to the time-tested, Darwin-approved formula. Heck, at 21 Scarlett Johansson herself did a wonderful turn opposite Bill Murray in 2003."

For leading roles that feature love interests, what works are female actresses who are 17-34 and male actors who are 21-38. People don't like seeing a young actresses getting with a balding guy who look like their dads anymore than they buy that a 45 year old woman is supposed to be more attractive than a 22 year old. Just because many women like guys on average about 2-3 years older doesn't mean they like guys who are 20 years older. Thats just gross no matter how you spin it, and the majority of the Western world agrees.

Steve Sailer said...

The rule of thumb is that the hero should be about 35. Heroines should be younger.

Male stars who have the genes and who take care of themselves can plausibly play 35 for quite awhile (e.g., Cary Grant starred in "North by Northwest" at 54 -- he was only a year younger than the actress who plays his mother).

Russell Crowe and Robert Downey Jr., however, don't fall in that category of stars who have always taken care of themselves.

Some visible windburn from life in the fast lane isn't the worst thing for a male star, but the role has to be suitable. Hard-drinking Tony Stark is a good role for Downey.

Robin Hood is not so ideal for Crowe at this point in his career. Errol Flynn has done young Robin Hood and Sean Connery (at 45) did old Robin Hood in "Robin and Marian." Crowe's world-weariness would be okay if this movie didn't set up as a prequel launching a series that promises that Robin will be, somehow, more dashing in the next installment.

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep hiring Cate Blanchette? She is UGLY!! She's pale and sickly, all skin and bones, and looks like a lesbian child of Sir John Gielgud and a space alien.



I think she's good looking. Not good looking in the standard by-the-numbers Hollywood bimbo fashion, no, but good looking all the same.

It blows my mind that there are men who find Megan Fox attractive.

Anonymous said...

Crowe’s Robin is a natural leader of men, determined and decent, like his General Maximus in Scott’s Gladiator. Unfortunately, he’s also utterly lacking the Cyrano de Bergerac-like panache associated with Robin Hood—at least since Errol Flynn’s 1938 performance.




It seems to be an American belief that Errol Flynn defined Robin Hood for all time as a light-hearted scamp. That's not consistent with the Robin Hood as understood in Britian via shows such as Robin of Sherwood.

Tino said...

Speaking of Robin Hood, are you guys aware of this?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1165482/BBC-reinvent-fat-balding-Friar-Tuck-black-martial-arts-expert-new-series-Robin-Hood.html

Simon in UK said...

Richard Hoste:
"Then why don't they vote for the BNP or at least UKIP?"

UKIP is a middle-class minor party and not seen as credible. BNP is a minor party, its neo-Nazi roots limit its appeal, and the media the WWC trust - newspapers like The Sun and The Daily Star - constantly hammer it. The WWC is conservative and tribal, most still vote Labour if they bother to vote at all, many don't. Labour's takeover by cultural Marxists 16 years ago was presented in the media as a move to the 'right' or 'liberalising'. Since C-M now dominates the other 2 big parties too (Conservatives & Liberals) there is no credible alternative.

The WWC generally only begin voting BNP under extreme pressure, where they are in the process of being ethnically cleansed, at which point it's already too late.

An important point about the British WWC that Americans must understand is the general lack of animosity to black Afro-Caribbeans, and vice versa. This limits the appeal of the BNP's traditional racialist approach.

The WWC don't care about black crime rates*, they care about culture, identity, and especially land/territory. Blacks integrate (with extensive interbreeding), Muslims ethnic-cleanse.

Conversely, the liberal middle class and elites don't care about culture, identity and territory, but they are scared of black crime. This makes them more positive towards Muslims and more scared of blacks.

*The only people I've met who were consistently hostile to blacks were the police, because they were constantly dealing with black criminals. Post MacPherson Report any expression of such is suicidal, of course.

Anonymous said...

I'm talking about real life husband and wife pairs, not screen pairings, and the older male-younger female pairings you mentioned are all within a 10 to 20 year age difference, not the 30 to 40 year age difference some others had mentioned. Watching 46-year-old Russell Crowe or mid-40s Downey Jr. with a 20-year-old woman would look an awful lot like a man with his daughter. Not interested. I find it pretty creepy, actually, and I find the men who want to see that and view an actress SIX YEARS YOUNGER than Crowe as "past her shelf life" as pretty darned immature. My parents have been married over 40 years and my dad is a year older than my mother. They are very happy together. There are similar age differences and similar years of marriage among my aunts and uncles. My maternal grandfather was 10 years my maternal grandmother's senior. They were happily married but he also died far earlier than she did. In most cases a May-December marriage, whether the man or the woman is the older party, might have sexual attraction on their side but eventually the disparity of interests and life stages is likely to make them incompatible.

i am the walrus said...

Scarlett Johannson was born Nov. 22, 1984, so she was 18 or 19 when she was in the film with Bill Murray.

Most importantly, the movie was written and directed by a 31 year old woman.

That wasn't Cate Blanchett in "Narnia," that was Tilda Swinton, who is even more aristocratic and androgynous. Blanchett is the middle one in the Nicole Kidman to Tilda Swinton Axis of Paleness, with Kidman the most girlish and Swinton the most regal and sexless.

Based on her lineage, Helena Bonham Carter possesses the best claim to be called aristocratic. Plus, she's really, really pale.

Dutch Boy said...

Ol' Errol wasn't so light-hearted as Robin Hood. Remember his court of last resort for Norman oppressors(a black arrow)?

concerned netizen said...

Simon UK:

"If anything the American working class seem considerably more indoctrinated - important, because they retain guns and a measure of freedom, while ours are kept safely disarmed and jailed for any dissent."

Heh, you should argue with Sailer about this. He has said several times that the British WWC has been more degraded by modernity than the American working class, using metrics like unwed motherhood, violent crime, and "chav" culture.

Perhaps its a question of nomenclature. What you call "indoctrinated" Sailer would call "included in the mainstream culture."

Your comments about where the fault lines lie are interesting. Here the template is black-white, always has been and always will be, with an imported overlay of Hispanics and now Muslims to worry about. But the original tribes are black and white. The American WWC will always be hostile to blacks and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Scarlett Johansson is 30, so playing her against Robert Downey Jr., whose character is an energetic billionaire, would hardly look like cradle-robbing.

Besides, the question isn't whether married characters should "match" in apparent age. The question is whether a mature but vigorous and powerful unmarried male character would chase an unmarried female character who was obviously over the hill, when more suitable mates were available.

Perhaps he would for some non-sexual advantage, like property or power. In "The Lion In Winter" Peter O'Toole played King Henry II Plantagenet opposite Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine. In history the King was eleven years younger than his Queen. O'Toole was actually 25 years younger than Hepburn. In the movie King Henry has a nubile young concubine (in history the King had various concubines).

Most men, once married, stick by their wives as both parties age. But when a potent man has no wife, or seeks a concubine, he does not drool over menopausal women. Eventually an aging man becomes so weak or so poor that he must woo some aged woman just to obtain companionship, but that hardly describes the characters in the movies we've been examining.

Anonymous said...

And yes, women don't generally like to see huge age gaps between leading men and leading ladies in the movies. We had to put up with it back in the days of Cary Grant because we didn't have our own money. Now we have our own money to spend on movies, and we're not interested in being told that we're "desiccated" at age 41.

I know David Brooks is purported to read here, but i didn't know maureen dowd posts here!.



forgot another example daniel craig opposite that bond girl in quantom - he had a good 16 years on her..worked fine.

Simon in UK said...

concerned netizen:
"Heh, you should argue with Sailer about this. He has said several times that the British WWC has been more degraded by modernity than the American working class, using metrics like unwed motherhood, violent crime, and "chav" culture."

I agree with Sailer on this. The US WWC is kept above water morally by religion and by country and western music; so they still get married, have a work ethic etc. The British WWC family in many areas has collapsed, similar to the US black family.

I was thinking more about Political Correctness - the bulk of the US WWC seem much more likely to adopt elite values on eg the holiness of Martin Luther King; while the British WWC are defiantly politically incorrect. In fact I think one reason the British cultural Marxist totalitarian State is so very repressive* is that the population has generally *not* adopted the 'correct' values.

*Compared to other ethnically northern-European nations such as the Netherlands or Canada.

The British WWC are demoralised and dysfunctional, but they do not believe that whites are 'the cancer of human history' - in fact they resolutely refuse to feel guilty about anything. I think the US WWC by contrast generally has accepted the cultural Marxist message that they should feel guilty about black slavery, redlining, Jim Crow et al. I think there is an internalising of Political Correctness in the general US population which you see in some
European countries such as Sweden, but not in the UK. In the UK PC values are held by the liberal elites, and by the lumpen intelligentsia in the State bureaucracies, so they are dominant, but not universalised.

Hope that makes some sense. :)

The Bear said...

I think the US WWC by contrast generally has accepted the cultural Marxist message that they should feel guilty about black slavery, redlining, Jim Crow et al.

Simon, you obviously haven't met many rednecks. Next time you're in Alabama, let's go honky tonkin' and I might be able to persuade you otherwise.

Svigor said...

Yet Scott escapes censure because he's a goy.

If Scott were a Jew he'd get the full Taki-Sailer-MacDonald.


It's called fighting fire with fire.

Svigor said...

The problem I see with this movie is that Robin Hood is on some level a trickster figure (as Errol Flynn realized in his high-spirited portrayal), whereas here we're basically treated 'The Grim Gladiator of Sherwood'. No thanks.

While I agree that the Grim Gladiator of Sherwood sounds way more up Hollywood's alley, and no thanks to that, if we're looking for archetypes we should start with the English Yeoman archer, the commoner with extraordinary, specialized skills.

Because she is a terrific actress.

Brits really seem to take this more seriously than Americans. Watch British TV for a while and you'll be wondering why there are no attractive people in Britain. The only explanation I can come up with is that they put talent well before beauty.

But not "diversity," of course.

concerned netizen said...

Simon,

"Hope that makes some sense. :)

Yes, I get your drift, you make perfect sense.

That said, your premises w/respect to the WWC in the US are wrong. Where do you get them from? I don't mean this in an offensive way, I would like to know where you got the idea that the US working class has internalized the chattering class guilt complex.

They haven't.


Perhaps it seems that way to you because they are way more integrated into a common culture than the British WC. But they sure haven't adopted the "whites are the cancer of the world" mindset that you refer to. If you said that to them they'd look at you like you are crazy.

Trust me.

Regarding race, I think most of them would acknowledge that US blacks have been subject to unfair treatment, but they are uniformly opposed to affirmative action, quotas, etc. And I don't think that they think MLK is so great. That holiday was forced on us by the elites.

Anonymous said...

"fire with fire"

So why don't you fight Ridley Scott's fire with fire? KINGDOM OF GOD was viciously anti-Christian. Where's the outrage?

"The US WWC is kept above water morally by religion and by country and western music; so they still get married, have a work ethic etc. "

Yeah, Sailer says this and he's wrong. the US white working class is still intact because there is still a large enough economy to support their traditional yeoman skills: the building trades, construction, etc. That's being destroyed now by illegal aliens.

We'll see how long they last.

"The British WWC family in many areas has collapsed, similar to the US black family."

Hm. So white families can crumble just the way black families do.

Think about that, white nationalists! (Svigor, this means you.)

Svigor said...

The WWC in America ain't much of a force compared to the WMC. Fewer in number, far fewer in resources.

Maybe this is an over-the-pond translation error, since I get the impression middle class doesn't mean the same thing in Britain, more like upper working class or something. Middle class in Britain seems more like American upper middle class, or lower upper class. Okay, now I'm getting confused and I'm starting to think about that scene from Caddyshack II.

Anyhoo, you'd be lucky to find someone Americans consider "working class" who even knows WTF redlining or Jim Crow even mean. At least, in my neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

Steve - You've let your politics influence your review. The utter bs of Cate Blanchett (a noble woman) plowing, horse-shoeing, riding to war and swinging a sword that in real life she couldn't even lift was more than I could bear.

BamaGirl said...

"Steve - You've let your politics influence your review. The utter bs of Cate Blanchett (a noble woman) plowing, horse-shoeing, riding to war and swinging a sword that in real life she couldn't even lift was more than I could bear."

I agree that her riding in battle was too much, especially since she had already saved the villagers from the fire, which in my opinion was a reasonable feat of heroism. But what's so unreasonable about her plowing fields? I'd imagine a medieval widow would have done that. Everybody worked hard to survive in those days.

Svigor said...

So why don't you fight Ridley Scott's fire with fire? KINGDOM OF GOD was viciously anti-Christian. Where's the outrage?

Because that wouldn't be fighting fire with fire.

Simon in UK said...

The Bear:
"Simon, you obviously haven't met many rednecks. Next time you're in Alabama, let's go honky tonkin' and I might be able to persuade you otherwise."

Actually I'm familiar with the South and I'm married to a Tennessee redneck. :) However I have the impression that the South is atypical.

I may have overstated re the US WWC and Political Correctness. I have seen quite a few people say that the US lower middle class at any rate seems to have internalised PC in a way you don't see in Britain outside the public sector.

Simon said...

anon:
"Yeah, Sailer says this and he's wrong. the US white working class is still intact because there is still a large enough economy to support their traditional yeoman skills: the building trades, construction, etc. That's being destroyed now by illegal aliens."

I think this is a good point. Arguably the British WWC was destroyed as much by Thatcherism and the destruction of our manufacturing base as by welfare and cultural Marxist anti-family values.

Svigor:
"Maybe this is an over-the-pond translation error, since I get the impression middle class doesn't mean the same thing in Britain, more like upper working class or something. Middle class in Britain seems more like American upper middle class, or lower upper class."

Yes - eg skilled blue collar workers are upper-working-class in UK, called middle class in the US.

UK definitions:

Upper Class: Titled nobility.

Lower Upper Class: Minor aristocrats. Eg: Son of Baronet, went to Eton.

Upper Middle Class: Skilled professionals, usually quite wealthy. Eg stockbrokers, barristers, academics at top Universities.

Middle class: Lower grade professionals, eg State school teachers, academics at low grade Universities, immigration lawyers.

Lower Middle Class: white collar clerical workers, managers.

Upper Working Class: Skilled manual workers. Often earn more than LMC.

Middle Working Class: semi-skilled manual workers

Lower Working: Unskilled occasional labour

Underclass: Welfare parasites, criminals

This isn't totally up to date and immigration has had a major impact. Small shopkeepers would traditionally be LMC, but now most small shopkeepers in the cities are immigrants who often barely speak English. The core of the modern LMC is white collar workers in the private sector and State bureaucracies.

Anonymous said...

feminist fantasy - look at all the women gushing over guys in their 40s - Johnny Depp, Clooney, Pierce Brosnan (in his 40s) etc.

Speaking for myself, I'd say it depends on the man. Sean Connery and Catherine-Zeta Jones? Sure, fine. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen? Heck, no.

David Davenport said...

But what's so unreasonable about her plowing fields?

Animal powered plowing requires beaucoup muscular strength. One doesn't merely steer the animals.

Much pushing and difficult turning of the plow is also required.

How does this movie depict plowing?

concerned netizen said...

"Because that wouldn't be fighting fire with fire."

Why not?

Anonymous said...

Simon in UK:

You should blog.

Svigor said...

Why not?

Because fighting fire with fire means mirroring your enemy's tactic, not attacking your own side with fire. Duh. If you're really slow: the "Culture of Critique" targets Gentiles, not Jews.

Anonymous said...

"The British WWC family in many areas has collapsed, similar to the US black family."

Hm. So white families can crumble just the way black families do.

Yes, but not to the same degree.

In spite of herioc efforts by the powers that be - whites are still more likely to be married than blacks. If not married but raising their children together - more so than blacks. Still perform better academically than blacks, still commit less crime per capita etc etc

Anonymous said...

women don't generally like to see huge age gaps between leading men and leading ladies in the movies

Not huge maybe but its not as if that age gap doesnt reflect the real world to some extent.

Anonymous said...

Now, how many spontaneous (not rigged) displays of 'gushing' to men show for women over 40?

In other words, 15 years ago women liked clooney, they like him now, in 15 years no one will like megan fox


I see a lot of women over 40, even over 50 that I find attractive (Im mid 45 now and had a 50 yr old lady friend for a while).

Its a bit like sabermetrics.

Or classic cars?

If I were tempted I think could exploit these unfairly undervalued assets to make a few notches on the old bed post ;-)

Simon in UK said...

anon:
"In spite of herioc efforts by the powers that be - whites are still more likely to be married than blacks. If not married but raising their children together - more so than blacks."

Yes. Because the UK welfare system heavily penalises two-parent families, there's a common phenomenon in the WWC where couples live together secretly, with the children actually being raised in a relatively stable though unmarried two parent family, while the mother claims to be a single mother for benefits. Of course they are punished if caught, and it's certainly less stable than traditiional marriage, but to me it's remarkable how often the white traditional nuclear family survives de facto despite the best efforts of the State to destroy it. Whereas under similar pressures black families tend to revert to something resembling traditional African norms, female centred with single mothers and transient males. Some whites go that way too, often producing lots of brown children, but if anything it's remarkable that the WWC nuclear family survives at all.

Blogging: I get writer's block, I'm much better in the comments. :)

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of women over 40, even over 50 that I find attractive (Im mid 45 now and had a 50 yr old lady friend for a while)... If I were tempted I think could exploit these unfairly undervalued assets to make a few notches on the old bed post

Notches on the old bed post, maybe, but not progeny.

Not progeny.

[And you'd do well to realize that you aren't going to be able to summon that sexual fire forever, so maybe now's the time to start lighting it in a fertile womb...]

David said...

>Sean Connery and Catherine-Zeta Jones? Sure, fine.<

Yuck. Like grandfather-granddaughter.

SNL did a hilarious parody at the time. Connery was depicted as a drowsy senior citizen with a gas problem.

Look at them in 2003, just four years after "Entrapment": here. Reality can really suck.

Templar said...

I agree that her riding in battle was too much, especially since she had already saved the villagers from the fire, which in my opinion was a reasonable feat of heroism. But what's so unreasonable about her plowing fields? I'd imagine a medieval widow would have done that. Everybody worked hard to survive in those days.

Further, the weight of the average sword was generally somewhat more or somewhat less than five pounds. I'm not saying it's realistic to expect a woman, medieval or otherwise, to ably wield one in battle, but it is a little silly to say she couldn't even lift one.

Anonymous said...

Look at them in 2003, just four years after "Entrapment": here. Reality can really suck.

Uhh, dude - not to be a total jerk, but at about the 1:05 mark of that video, you can see a very pregnant Catherine Zeta Jones [born 25 September 1969], sitting next to her baby daddy, one Michael "Demsky" Douglas [born 25 September 1944]:


  1969
- 1944
-------
=    25


QED.

BamaGirl said...

Good point, Templar.

Anonymous said...

I had a professor who, while teaching Tennyson's poem about Odyssesus, opined that men had a harder time accepting aging than did women, who got the word early on. The professor read this poem as not admiring, but contempuous of Odyssesus who spoke of his "aging wife" Penelope, she who had waited 20 years, so that he could go off and have more adventures. Made sense to me.

But some are realistic. James Stewart, after seeing himself in a movie opposite Kim Novak, swore he would never play a leading man role again, at least not in that way. He thought he looked too old for her and too old for such a role, and the whole thing didn't look right. Cary Grant did age differently and went on a bit longer, fairly convincingly as a sexy leading man. But how many are Cary Grant? I don't think old guys look right with much younger women (or vice versa). There are exceptions, but not many. Hollywood forces illusions and this isn't the only one.
Cate Blanchette too old for an romantic interest? What an extraordinarily creepy and unobservant assertion. She's no older than a zillion other people who fall in love. What's the cut-off age? Men can push it on the screen a bit longer, but they tend to lose leading man status unless they're the producers. However, think of E.B. White's Once and Future King. In the author's own writ: King Arthur and Guinevere were mature, middle-age, old enough to know what they were about--any "feather pated Juliet" can arouse and infatuate, but it takes experience on both parts to know what love means. I was in my teens when I read that, and knew it was true.
I believe a gentleman here called old men going after young girls "Darwinian"
Word from the wise. The girls have always called it something else.

huh? said...

"Now, how many spontaneous (not rigged) displays of 'gushing' to men show for women over 40?

In other words, 15 years ago women liked clooney, they like him now, in 15 years no one will like megan fox"

You don't know much about women. Men have their shelf-life. A little more variety, but not much. As a matter of fact, I am continually sort of shocked and disappointed when I see pictures of guys I recall as gorgeous, and see what they look like as they see youth in the rear view mirror. Men way underestimate the extent to which women care about men's looks. And generally (there are exceptions) aging is not an asset for men.
But if it makes you feel better to think that you will never decline in allure, go for it. That sort of ego is a staple type and people get a lot of laughs out of it.

Steve Sailer said...

No, young women go crazy for the looks of young men. For example, women were nuts for Clint Eastwood in the 1960s when he was extremely handsome. If that young actor wants a long career, then he needs to start appealing to men because females will soon drop him for the latest boy wonder.

Much the same is true for female stars. Sandra Bullock was put in lots of action movies for guys when she was in her 20s. Today, she makes movies for women.

Anonymous said...

You people are NUTS if you think that chicks don't dig older guys.

As far as I know, I still haven't maxed out the action that I am getting, and I am way older than the kinds of ages which are being bandied about here.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't Cate Blanchett in "Narnia," that was Tilda Swinton, who is even more aristocratic and androgynous.

Tilda Swinton played a remarkably similar role in Constantine.

steve wood said...

Some anonymous person wrote:

Watching 46-year-old Russell Crowe or mid-40s Downey Jr. with a 20-year-old woman would look an awful lot like a man with his daughter. Not interested. I find it pretty creepy, actually,

The statement in boldface is a common and almost exclusively feminine opinion. I have seen it over and over again in discussions about movies, books and TV shows that portray any sort of sexual feeling by a man over 30 or for a woman under 23 or so. And yet, such feelings are entirely normal and make good sense from an evolutionary perspective.

One might disapprove of relationships between older men and younger women for moral or social reasons, but finding the biological reality that men are attracted to younger women "creepy" shows a pretty amazing depth of ignorance about biology and male sexuality.

huh?! said...

"You people are NUTS if you think that chicks don't dig older guys."

"As far as I know, I still haven't maxed out the action that I am getting, and I am way older than the kinds of ages which are being bandied about here."

Really? Exactly how old are you? I know Hugh Heffner never had any trouble. Larry King. etc. but I'd like to see your photo and hear an audio of your take on yourself to better understand the phenomenon. You know--like for research purposes, nothing prurient.
I've been a young chick and know whereof I speak. There's something a little -- unsavory, a little yucky about young 'uns who go specially for much older people. Mutatis mutundi. I still can't digest that lady with the young boy student. But if it turns you on and you can get it, and they're over 18, go for it.
Seek enough and ye shall usually find.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see your photo

Where should I send it?

Anonymous said...

"The WWC is conservative and tribal, most still vote Labour if they bother to vote at all, many don't."

That really varies depending on region. In much of the North the WWC is very pro-labour, but in the South they are more variable.

"Scarlett Johansson is 30, so playing her against Robert Downey Jr., whose character is an energetic billionaire, would hardly look like cradle-robbing."

She's thirty? Wow. I've just checked and she will turn twenty six this November.

"I believe a gentleman here called old men going after young girls "Darwinian"
Word from the wise. The girls have always called it something else."

There is a difference between an 'older man' and an 'old man' and also between a 'younger woman' and a 'young girl'.

My twenty year old sister likes Johnny Depp and he's not been young since he was in Jump Street.

"I agree that her riding in battle was too much, especially since she had already saved the villagers from the fire, which in my opinion was a reasonable feat of heroism. But what's so unreasonable about her plowing fields? I'd imagine a medieval widow would have done that. Everybody worked hard to survive in those days."

Yes, but there is a difference between man's work and woman's work (do you know the origin of the word spinster?). An individual peasant family wouldn't have owned their own oxen anyway, the plough team was the collective property of the village so I doubt a woman (widow or not) would plough.

On the subject of medieval fiction I am to understand that a television series based on Follett's novel 'The Pillars of Earth' will be coming out this year.