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The Green Knight (2021)

Reggie W

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Title: The Green Knight (2021)

Tagline: When honor was everything.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Director: David Lowery

Cast: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Barry Keoghan, Erin Kellyman, Ralph Ineson, Emilie Hetland, Anthony Morris, Megan Tiernan, Noelle Brown, Youssef Quinn, Aaron Edo, Margeaux Wright, Tyrone Kearns

Release: 2021-07-29

Runtime: 125

Plot: An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain, King Arthur's reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men.

 

Reggie W

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This looks interesting and visually it appears beautiful in the trailer in terms of sets, costumes, and photography. Has a bit of a Boorman Excalibur feel which intrigues me. I will definitely go to a theater to see this. Not sure that Arthurian legends are a draw for audiences these days but I am in.
 

dpippel

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It does look interesting, but the vibe I got from that trailer was VERY Terry Gilliam, not Boorman/Excalibur.
 

Reggie W

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It does look interesting, but the vibe I got from that trailer was VERY Terry Gilliam, not Boorman/Excalibur.

I guess I thought of Excalibur because it is also an R rated feature based on Arthurian legend. Visually it could fall into the Gilliam world but in that trailer I did not get a sense of the playfulness that seems baked into his pictures. It seems played a bit on the spooky side.
 

dpippel

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I guess I thought of Excalibur because it is also an R rated feature based on Arthurian legend. Visually it could fall into the Gilliam world but in that trailer I did not get a sense of the playfulness that seems baked into his pictures. It seems played a bit on the spooky side.
It was the visual style that I was referring to mostly.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think David Lowery is a terrific filmmaker, so I'm in for this. At the moment, I don't know if I will feel comfortable to go theatrically or if it will be a blind buy of the eventual disc. But I'm sure I'll see it one way or the other.
 

Reggie W

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I think David Lowery is a terrific filmmaker, so I'm in for this. At the moment, I don't know if I will feel comfortable to go theatrically or if it will be a blind buy of the eventual disc. But I'm sure I'll see it one way or the other.

I feel good about getting back into a movie theater. I am fully vaccinated finally and my state, Massachusetts, has lifted the mask mandate and things are starting to feel...well...incredibly normal again. Which is a giant relief. I am at this point purchasing some concert tickets and will be seeing a few films in the theater this summer. This, the new Wes Anderson film and the Beatles Get Back are all going to get me back into a movie theater. I might even go see the new Conjuring picture just to get back into a theater. I'm not as pumped up for that as I am for the other three but I have liked the Conjuring series so far.
 

Reggie W

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I think this opens this Friday and if so I will be there. I believe it opens against the Disney Jungle Cruise film which probably means it will play to nearly empty cinemas...so if you do see it in a cinema you will probably have the place all to yourself. An R rated picture based on a weird tale from Arthurian myths is likely not going to be popular.
 

Josh Dial

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I think this opens this Friday and if so I will be there. I believe it opens against the Disney Jungle Cruise film which probably means it will play to nearly empty cinemas...so if you do see it in a cinema you will probably have the place all to yourself. An R rated picture based on a weird tale from Arthurian myths is likely not going to be popular.

We intend on seeing both in the theatre this weekend. Tickets are up for Thursday ("midnight show" which is actually at like 7:00 pm, so why even both pretending and just open it on Thursday) only in my city. As soon as Friday or Saturday tickets are up we'll snag them (probably Jungle Cruise on Friday and Green Night on Saturday).
 

Josh Dial

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We have tickets for The Green Knight this Saturday. Looking forward to it!

We were first to buy for our showing, but I'm happy to report the show is actually getting close to selling out Friday and Saturday here (at least to the reduced pandemic seating levels).
 

JediFonger

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I feel good about getting back into a movie theater. I am fully vaccinated finally and my state, Massachusetts, has lifted the mask mandate and things are starting to feel...well...incredibly normal again. Which is a giant relief. I am at this point purchasing some concert tickets and will be seeing a few films in the theater this summer. This, the new Wes Anderson film and the Beatles Get Back are all going to get me back into a movie theater. I might even go see the new Conjuring picture just to get back into a theater. I'm not as pumped up for that as I am for the other three but I have liked the Conjuring series so far.

random question are you near the merrimac valley region near lowell? none of my usual groups wants to watch this movie… but like you i am super excited. if you are near this area we can watch it together?
 

Reggie W

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random question are you near the merrimac valley region near lowell? none of my usual groups wants to watch this movie… but like you i am super excited. if you are near this area we can watch it together?

I don't live in that area but I have a building there. I definitely am going to see this and I will reply to the message you sent me. There is a theater sort of between us we could meet at.
 

Josh Dial

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I watched The Green Knight tonight. I thought it was excellent. A great re-telling of the story with some interesting twists (not plot twists--I mean twists on the lore).

I liked how the movie sort of "inverted" the character as seen in most versions of the character. Instead of a young paragon who falters only once in purusing his five knightly virtues (friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy, and piety), this version fails all of this trials save one (well, two, if you count the end).

I thought the ending was great. Clever.

Also, there is a very brief (and interesting) post-credit scene.
 

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My A-list movie tonight was the very surreal, existential, and often slow-paced medieval epic The Green Knight. Beautiful cinematography. Strong performance by star Dev Patel. The ending, which I could see coming in advance, reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.
My rating: B+

Rotten tomatoes gives The Green Knight a critics rating of 90%, but an audience rating of only 54%. The trailer makes it look action packed, but it's not quite that. Amazing that this same director, David Lowery, is next working on an epic new version of Peter Pan for Disney, which I will definitely watch. For this movie I recommend reading the brilliant and funny analysis of one of my favorite critics, Owen Gleiberman of Variety:

 

Josh Dial

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The poster art for this movie is (from what I've seen) uniformly excellent. I have full faith that A24 will put out an awesome 4k physical release, but I'm hoping they or someone else has a great steelcase or fabric box (like the Midsommer director's cut box).

This is one of those rare movies where I'll buy it multiple times just for different box art.
 

Jake Lipson

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Both my art house and my local multiplex booked The Green Knight this weekend. I decided to go at the arthouse, where they have been smart enough to reinstate a mask mandate in line with recent CDC recommendations. That absolutely made me feel more comfortable attending.

Rotten tomatoes gives The Green Knight a critics rating of 90%, but an audience rating of only 54%. The trailer makes it look action packed, but it's not quite that.
I think that is because the movie is so weird. I say this having loved it, but it is clearly not exactly what a mainstream audience would expect from an Arthurian movie. The trailer's job is to get butts in seats and I'm sure they chose to market it that way purposefully, but it might be a situation where the people who are coming in are expecting something different than what they actually get.

That being said, I appreciate that A24 allowed David Lowery to make the movie he wanted to make, because he clearly had a strong vision for what he wanted this to be and I personally loved it. I'm not familiar with the poem upon which this is based so I went in with no idea where the story to go, and I loved how unexpected and contemplative it was. Dev Patel is great in this and, with respect to the rest of the cast, he really carries this movie on his shoulders. As many strange circumstances and people as Gawen encounters throughout his journey, Patel is able to ground the film and make us root for him throughout. He is a very empathetic actor.

I also agree with you about the cinematography. The current situation is making me much more selective about what I will go out for because I live in an area where there are a lot of unvaccinated people and a substantial spread of the virus. But I'm glad I decided to go out for this one and see that gorgeous cinematography on the big screen.

Amazing that this same director, David Lowery, is next working on an epic new version of Peter Pan for Disney, which I will definitely watch.
Lowery's versatility as a filmmaker is one of the things I like most about his work. Pete's Dragon is not like A Ghost Story which is not like The Old Man and the Gun which is not like this movie. There are a lot of directors working today where you know going in what space their movie is going to occupy. Christopher Nolan's directorial signature is all over everything he does, where even Dunkirk which was a historical drama played with time and perspective shifts like his sci-fi works do. Jordan Peele is going to make a horror movie with social overtones. Clint Eastwood is mostly making inspiring true story dramas lately. That's not a knock on those guys, whom I like, but what I mean is that Lowery is very much playing in different sandboxes every time he comes out with something. Yet, he seems to be equally adept at making all of them no matter what genre he's stepping into, which is very rare.
 
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