TV & Video: ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ (Blu-ray)

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The film has been played on romantic dates, the single has been chosen as a first dance wedding song countless times and the story is a timeless classic that has been retold over and over – but never as well.

Robin Hood (Kevin Costner) is the prince of Nottingham, but his kingdom was stolen from his family in his absence. Having returned, he finds only a blind servant living in his dismantled castle. Joined by a moor (Morgan Freeman) who owes Robin his life, the two plot to overthrow the overlords. Robin’s enemy and rival for the heart of Maid Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) is the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). Robin’s quest leads him to Sherwood Forest, where he teams with men who live in the forest to steal the Sheriff’s gold and eventually take back the kingdom and crown the true king.

In addition to those named above, Christian Slater plays a significant role in Robin’s plans; he portrays a young man that lives in the forest but is unappreciative of Robin’s efforts, while plotting to sabotage the hero as revenge for an unknown offence.

This retelling of the classic tale of the man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor is the most captivating version to date. The calibre of acting and actors is top-notch; the story is enchanting, exciting and enticing; the film is a good balance of romance, drama and action; and the music, featuring the single ‘(Everything I do) I do it for you,” is consistently complementary.

The special edition Blu-ray release includes commentary by director Kevin Reynolds and Costner, and another with Freeman, Slater and producers/screenwriters Pen Densham and John Watson. “Robin Hood: Man, Myth, Legend” is a 30-minute television special hosted by Pierce Brosnan that aired in 1991 when the film was originally released. There are also vintage one-on-one interviews with Costner, Freeman, Mastrantonio, Slater and Rickman that are five minutes or less each. In regards to the moving soundtrack, the Bryan Adams music video for the featured song is included, as is the option of a music-only audio track.

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