22 January, 2015

Top (Film) Duels: #3, #2, #1

Drumroll please!

#3 The Duellists (Pick one!)
I think this is my favourite, but honestly I would not begrudge you a different choice (the fourth duel, from horseback almost pipped this one). Of course this film is more about the culture of duelling than the duels themselves.

#2 The Princess Bride (The Man in Black vs. Inigo Montoya)

I'm sure this scene requires no introduction. The 'techniques' referenced are just nonsense I think, but the names are all genuine.

#1 Rob Roy (McGregor vs. Cunningham)

The film itself is a bit forgettable, but this fight is top of the class. At this stage we have no doubts as to the character and abilities of both combatants.

In all cases I think the drama and story of the situation is paramount, but we still need an element of realism and skill in the fight.

Quite a few didn't quite make the list, including:

Maybe a short list of group brawls and melees and a matching list from TV are required...

14 January, 2015

Top (Film) Duels: #6, #5, #4

So, into mid-table of my list of top hand-to-hand fights

#6 Eastern Promises (Bath House)

This is a pretty brutal fight, a no-holds struggle to the death.

#5 Haywire (Coffee?)

This is just such a surprise as it's the first scene we get with the characters. I like the way some bystanders try to help out too.

#4 Sanjuro (Sanjuro vs. Muroto)

Unfortunately, this clip doesn't include the first 30 seconds of the standoff. It's in stark contrast to the rest of the film, which has a comic slant, it's more tragic as we know that the last act of violence thrills the young onlookers more than it horrifies them.

Top three next week!

09 January, 2015

Shadows over Camelot

As the incarnation of the Knights of the Round Table, you join forces against the game itself in an attempt to protect Camelot.
Your victory hinges on the successful completion of legendary Quests, such as the search for Excalibur, the Holy Grail, or Lancelot's Armor; the tournament against the Black Knight; and numerous wars against the Saxons and Picts.
But beware... all is not as it seems among these noble Knights. One of your number might yet turn out to be a traitor-in-waiting, biding his time while sowing havoc and destruction from the Shadows!

With King Arthur leading Sir Galahad, Sir Tristan and Sir Kay, all of the knights begin by losing life points, discouraged from adding catapults outside Camelot. Sir Galahad and Sir Kay eye up the Saxons and begin to gather resources to prosecute the war against them.

Leaving Camelot on the Quest for Lancelot's armour, Arthur immediately hits trouble as several black cards come out against him. Gaining some help from his fellows, he makes progress, as well as using Merlin to get rid of some opposition.

Sir Tristan advances against the Black Knight. But just as the Saxons are defeated, Guinevere shows up, and all of King Arthur's and Tristan's progress is wasted. Both of these quests are lost in quick succession putting the Round Table in peril.

With the Excalibur Quest close to failure, King Arthur rushes to save it from oblivion.

Returning to the Grail Quest, Galahad and Tristan find that the Dark Forest is blocking their path, and as Desolation pushes back their previous efforts, the Mists of Avalon descend upon the realm.
Seeking to rally themselves against the darkness, and leaving Sir Kay to fight the siege engines arrayed around Camelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Tristan join Arthur to complete his Heroic quest to save Excalibur.

But hope is again snuffed out, as the Grail Quest is lost. Now with six white swords and five black swords on the Round Table, only a mighty quest will bring victory! The knights charge off to fight the Dragon and just when their hope is renewed, Morgan returns to yet again deploy siege engines to bring Camelot's gates crashing down...

Even without a traitor to thwart us, this was a toughie (and obviously we lost!). A great game, that had us looking at the clock to see if we could get a rematch in.

Verdict: 4 stars.

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