Revamp of an oldie and a rag-doll invasion

2010-05-14 00:00

OSCAR winner Russell Crowe stars as the legendary Robin Hood in the film of the same name which opens at CineCentre in Pietermaritzburg today.

In this version Robin is an expert archer, whose main aim, while serving in King Richard’s war with the French, is self-preservation.

When the king dies, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering under the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation. He falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Oscar­-winner Cate Blanchett), a woman sceptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest.

Hoping to earn her love and salvage­ the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

The other new film opening today is the animated feature 9. Emerging film-maker Shane Acker initially created a critically-acclaimed animated short using rag-doll characters.

Buoyed by his success, he set about turning that story into a full-length feature film — 9 is the result.

The film takes place in a parallel world, in which the legacy of humanity is threatened. A group of eight rag dolls — one is a domineering coward, two is an aged inventor, three and four are mute twin archivists, five is a stalwart mechanic, six is a visionary and artist, seven is a brave warrior­ and eight is a large silent bodyguard and supporter of one — is joined by nine.

Together they take on a host of enemies­ including a cat-skulled creature, a split-headed flying pterodactyl­ and a snakelike creature with a hollow pod body.

The voice cast includes Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings), Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau.

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