Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 155 - February, 2008

ARTICLE INDEX

 

"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (SD DVD)

movie-elizabeth-golden-age.jpgSynopsis

Elizabeth I was one of the most powerful women who ever lived (1533 - 1603). Once she became Queen of England, she established herself as smart, shrewd, and determined.

Elizabeth turned a weak nation into a major power in Europe.

She was nicknamed the Virgin Queen, and everyone at court wanted her to marry and bear a successor. They shoved every young royal from several countries at her, but she would have none of them.

In 1585, Spain, under King Philip, attacked England with the intent of turning the Protestant nation to Catholicism. The Armada was defeated, and England remained Protestant.

Specifications

  • Universal
    2007, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 55 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 480i
  • English DD 5.1
  • Directed by Shekhar Kapur
  • Starring Kate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Samantha Morton
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The producers missed an opportunity here. They glossed over the Armada sequence when it should have been a major part of the movie. As a result, the focus on the love interest between Elizabeth and Walter Raleigh gives the story more of a TV mini-series look to it. Without the action to look forward to, the film is boring.

It's too bad they ended the Elizabeth movies with such a dull thud. However, because of Elizabeth I's historical importance, and because the acting is superb, this is still a movie worth renting.

Maybe they could make one more film, with the subject being Elizabeth's love affair with the much younger Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex. This occurred when she was in her 60's and he in his 30's. There is no question but that Blanchett would play Elizabeth, but who would be Devereaux? The 1939 version of this story (The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Warner Brothers) had Bette Davis as Elizabeth and Errol Flynn as Devereaux. That's a tough act to follow.

If you are interested in reading more about the amazing Elizabeth I, I recommend The Life of Elizabeth I, by Alison Weir, Ballantine Books, 1998.

Technical

There is a bit too much ringing (edge enhancement) for me, but maybe I am just getting used to the crystal clear images in HD discs. Not much use of surrounds, and they could have made great surround sound with the echoes in the vast palace halls that had stone floors.

Extras

These include The Making of, Creating the Armada, Towers, Courts, and Cathedrals, and other things.