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Friday, November 23, 2007

Book Review: King Arthur - Frank Thompson

This book is a novelization of the movie starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightley that came out four or so years ago. It’s a movie that didn’t received overly great reviews, though from what I’ve seen in my DVD extra viewing, and from the differences in the theatrical version and the director’s cut DVD version, many of the bad reviews are somewhat explained by the fact that the movie was envisioned and filmed to be an R rated movie, but the studio then forced them to release it as PG-13.

I have this weakness for movies that seem like they had great potential in their storylines, but for whatever reason did not live up to this promise when the movie was actually made (I’ll admit here to my rather enormous Highlander addiction). There’s something about these stories that gets my creative juices flowing (and for my own stories, oddly enough).

I actually liked this movie as soon as I saw it (in the director’s cut version initially). I thought it was an interesting take on the Arthur legends, and while I admit it wasn’t the greatest movie ever done, I thought it was definitely interesting, and I’ve watched it again several times.

I actually picked up this novelization at a used bookstore. I find novelizations can be helpful in explaining movies that didn’t seem to live up to their story’s promise, since they’re often based on an earlier version of the script. I thought the best thing this novel brought to this story was that Guinevere was actually Merlin’s daughter, which I thought explained her role in the climatic battle a bit better than in the movie.

Would I have purchased this book full price? No. Am I glad I took the three hours to read it last night, after the Thanksgiving festivities were over? Yes.

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