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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2010

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"Robin Hood: Men In Tights" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-june-2010-robin-hood

Synopsis

In Mel Brooks’ comical take on the classic tale, Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) works to right the wrongs of the oppressive Prince John (Richard Lewis) and his villainous sidekick, Prince Rottingham (Roger Rees).  With the aid of his “Merry Men,” Robin Hood must free the good people of England from excessive taxation, all while trying to capture the heart of the lovely Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck)

 

Specifications

  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • 1993, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 44 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 28 Mb/s
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, Amy Yasbeck, Dave Chappelle
  • Directed by Mel Brooks
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Despite my love for many of Mel Brooks’ films, this is one of his weaker efforts.  I remember finding the film pretty funny when I was younger, but the jokes and story just seem a bit flat to me today.  There are some funny lines and creative scenes (such as Blinkin reading the braille Playboy while in the bathroom), but they are few and far between.   A lot of the slapstick leaves you scratching your head and wondering, “Am I supposed to laugh at this?”  The actors do their best, but this is certainly not “Blazing Saddles” or “Spaceballs.”

Technical

Picture quality on this disc is an improvement over the regular DVD, though certainly not reference quality.  There is more detail to the picture and colors and contrast have been improved.  Film grain is present, but is not excessive.  The source material may be the limiting factor here, as the film is definitely showing its age.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack serves the film well.  Dialogue is nice and clear, although surround usage is minimal.  My ears detected a bit of harshness in some of the louder passages, but this may stem from the source.  LFE use is almost non-existant.  There is a dedicated score soundtrack in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, which is a nice bonus.

Extras

Included on this disc is an audio commentary by Mel Brooks, a reflective look at the filmmaking process: “Funny Men in Tights: Three Generations of Comedy” (in HD), and an HBO special promotional piece that came out before the film debuted (in SD).