Tag Archives: Sherwood Forest

Iz is ‘the hooded Newman’ on World Book Day

IMG_2486Every day is pretty much World Book Day in our house as we all love a good book, especially Isabelle.

Iz was excited to learn that at school they were able to go dressed up as their favourite character from a book, off her own back (with absolutely no direction from me) she chose Robin Hood.

Heralding from not just Nottinghamshire, but just outside Sherwood Forest*, and having once worked at The World of Robin Hood tourist attraction and starred as the hooded man himself in my final project film at uni I was more than a little pleased.

She has a sword but we’ve wisely kept that at home and staff at school applauded her for  not dressing up as a princess as she rocked up to breakfast club where she joined Captain America, Luke Skywalker, Tigger, a Zombie Ballerina (?) and Paddington…not sure he was eating marmalade sandwiches though.

Iz likes her Disney’s Robin hood film, and she’s shown her affinity for the outlaw from the very beginning, from aping his actions to that all important first visit to Sherwood Forest.

Robin Hood is back!
Robin Hood is back!

She had no chance really to be fair, but with that that love of Robin Hood proudly passed down (I blame my mum) perhaps I’ll have to pen a sequel to my own film, perhaps this time something like Robin Hood’s Daughter?

She’d be joining that great pantheon of Robin Hoods from Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner, Sean Connery to Michael Praed and er Keith Chegwin. Find out more about past screen Robin Hoods in my article ‘Hood do you think you are?’.

Either way she’ll always be our Princess of Thieves.

*On holiday my dad always said that we lived in Sherwood Forest which always made it sound like we lived in the actual trees or something!

The Sword of Doom!

IMG_1472Arthur had Excalibur, Luke his lightsabre and even He-Man (a quick nod to She-Ra as well) got his power from his sword. Following in that fine tradition is Isabelle with her ‘Sword of Doom’ – sounds a tad melodramatic I know but it’s named after a sword from a Scooby Doo episode apparently. She gave it the name not us.

It actual fact it’s technically a sword of Sherwood Forest as it was bought at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre last New Year. Thankfully she doesn’t carry round on her back (just yet) like Conan or try and ride Missy or Max like Battlecat but she does insist on sleeping with it.

Obviously conversations about crime rates being down had very little impact on Iz, in fact it isn’t even as if she sleeps with it under her pillow she sleeps with it lined up next to her other menagerie of animals. Fittingly perhaps one of those said animals is a Robin Hood bear (from my days at The World of Robin Hood) who is rather battle-scarred as he has no legs, not that Iz is fussed.

Placing them and Anxious in bed are a part of the essential bedtime regime and of course all three end up in ours if she comes in with us.

IMG_1444Over the weekend Iz could be found using some of her unused nappies to dress her animals (or children as she sometimes refers to them) this of course included the Robin Hood bear and (hard to believe I know) her ‘Sword of Doom’, whose style and name was rather cramped I must say by suffering the indignity of having to wear a pink Disney Princess nappy. You certainly don’t get that on Game of Thrones!

Time travelling Robin Hood goes ‘Back to the Future’ in new feature film script

You wait for one Robin Hood script and then two come along at once. It happened back in 1991 with Kevin Costner pitted against Patrick Bergin’s version of the hooded man and it could be happening again if budding script writer, Dean Newman, from Westcliff-on-Sea, has anything to do with it.

Let the crusade begin!

The 34 year old, originally from only a few miles from Sherwood Forest and The Major Oak, the fabled outlaw’s hideout, has written a new action/adventure script that sees Robin Hood, Will Scarlet and Sir Guy of Gisbourne transported to present day Nottingham to find the scattered pieces of The Silver Arrow in a quest that could alter Robin Hood’s past and all of our futures.

Dean is hoping that his script will be on target and send the world a quiver for a tale of Robin Hood that has never been told before. He said: “My take on the legend is very different from that of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s film as my script does for Robin Hood what Pirates of the Caribbean did for pirate films. There may have been plenty of Robin Hood films before, but never one like this where much of the action takes place in the present day.”

He added: “I also wanted to bring Robin Hood back home, quite literally, so I’ve got key action scenes that take in a whistlestop tour of Nottinghamshire including the Castle, the Caves and a motorbike and car chase across the City, as well as a few other surprises and new twists on the legend in Lincoln Green. It’s all Boy’s Own Adventure stuff and would make an amazing summer blockbuster to remember.”

Robin Hood is back!

“I wanted it to be the first Robin Hood film to be primarily shot in Nottinghamshire, in the actual locations that, like The Major Oak and the Castle that are an integral part of the legend. If the script gets picked up I guess you could call it a cinematic postcard to Nottinghamshire and my love of Robin Hood.”

However, this isn’t Dean’s first brush with Robin of Loxley, as he used to work at The World of Robin Hood, a popular tourist attraction which was created out of many of the film sets from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

A shorter version of Dean’s proposed action epic was made as his final project film whilst at University, which included everything from a swordfight on the steps of Nottingham Castle to location filming in Sherwood Forest and night time filming with the former Kevin Costner sets, not bad for a 30 minute film with a budget of only a few hundred pounds! Being on such a limited budget Dean even took on multiple roles including Producer, Director and even stepping in front of the camera as Robin Hood, which is something he obviously won’t be expecting to do if his new version of the story makes it to the big screen.

Dean commented: “To me, Robin Hood is the world’s first action hero and in the world of James Bond and Batman reboots I wanted to bring him and his exploits back for a whole new generation. Ridley Scott’s version may be the grittier one but I’m aiming more for a rollicking Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The Rock style adventure with plenty of action, humour and some big surprises as well. It really is quite breathless and I believe my vision is perfect for the big screen treatment.”

Having copyrighted his material, Dean is now actively contacting agents and studios in Hollywood hoping that his Robin Hood’s aim will be strong and true and hit the target, and with any luck bring Robin Hood back to the future.

Robin Hood (2010) – nothing to Crowe about

TO THE TREES! HERE BE SPOILERS!!

The trailers hadn’t given me much to get all goosebumpy about, so it was with trepidation that I set foot into my local cinema to see the latest cinematic exploits of Robin Hood burst out at me from the silver screen. I really, really did try to like this rendition of dear old Robin, but alas I found it mostly way off target.

Less Boy’s Own Adventure and more boy, did it drag (all the way from The Holy Land it seemed) the pace of the film was just so slow and meandering. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t need to be edited like a Michael Bay movie (although it would have perhaps have had a bit more pace had it been directed by Ridley’s brother, Tony) but it just seemed to defy script writing law – nevermind Outlaw – with its long drawn out scenes of nothingness. And slow, didn’t equal worthy.

Confusion seemed to reign on what anyone, writers and actors themselves, wanted to do with the villains. It suffered with too many not really doing enough, with the Sheriff of Nottingham getting short changed with gold coins the most, his role was none-existent and surely could have been amalgamated into that played by Mark Strong.  Prince John ended up being effective value for money though.

There were some flickers of what might have been but these – certainly in the first half of the film – were very few and far between and it needed some culling at either the script or editing stage to give it some much needed pace. There was certainly an interesting story trying to get out, but one can’t help but feel they were just trying to be a bit too clever with their retelling and it ending up being convoluted

One of my biggest fears was that this was going to be Robin Hood in name only, now don’t get me wrong it’s not as if I’m against revisionist reboots as I loved both the recent Sherlock Holmes and Casino Royale , but this wasn’t even Robin Hood in name only, it was someone (Crowe) nabbing his name.

Now, I don’t mind people playing with the legend, adding new elements to it or skirting round it – after all this is how the legend has continued to evolve throughout the centuries – but that doesn’t mean that people should go around just writing off whole swathes of it and actually not give us a Robin Hood at all, but someone pretending to be him. I just felt rather cheated.

There wasn’t really a standout Robin Hood moment – until the final reel – where you felt that some Hood daring do had been done, but then that could be explained away by Crowe’s character being ‘reborn’ as Robin Hood from the water – in slow mo for those slow on the uptake of the metaphor – so he couldn’t perform anything really Robin Hood until he had become him. But, saying that, there didn’t even seem to be a proper introduction to the character, unlike the strong introduction of  Marian, a film stealing Cate Blanchett.

It was also nice to see Mark Addy turn up as Friar Tuck and continue the tradition, of sorts, of  portly Friar being played by actors best known for comedy roles, such as Ronnie Barker in Robin and Marian and Mike McShane in Prince of Thieves.

For me, one of the essential characters of any Robin Hood story, and as essential addition as the likes of Friar Tuck and Little John, is that of Sherwood Forest. The Forest is as an important a character to the Robin Hood story as say New York is to Sex and the City, and we did get plenty of forest areas…but most of them were listed as being in ruddy France.

I Sherwood like to say that I enjoyed this film, but this Robin Hood’s blade was more than a little rusty. The film had lots of bluster and show, but not very much in the way of tell. Looks like that Bluray purchase of Prince of Thieves was a good investment afterall.

2/5