Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Flesh and Blood|
Actors: Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
In the battle between good and evil, only the strong survive! From visionary director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct) comes this "vivid and muscular" (Variety) epic adventure of medieval bravery and blood lust starring Rut... more »
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Please read Amazons details before complaining
C. A Baker | Santa Rosa CA United States | 02/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm tired of folks who complain in their reviews of this when if they had just read the Amazon reviews as well as the comment that this film is for viewers 18 and over they may have not had to bother seeing this film.
Don't blame the other positive reveiws or even Amazon for your inability to read all about it before renting/buying this film.
This film is very brutal,it is very dark and it is one of the the most brilliant portrayals of the the period ever made...Errol Flynn films are fun but this is NOT an Errol Flynn film. Heck if you've seen Robocop you know how brutal Verhoeven can get!
This film is amazing I saw it ages ago and at first I also found the graphic parts a bit much then I sat down actually watched what was happening, it is a amazing story extremely well acted and brilliantly filmed.
Jennifer Jason Leigh may have a bigger name for herself now but this is still on of her best films to date. Hauer is always interesting in his films and this is a real gem for him.So here is the deal if you do not like the brutal reality of "Ye Olden Days" do not see this film...but if you are intrigued to see a well acted and will filmed portrayal of the birth of the renaissance era and people who lived then and it is brutal, then see this film it is also really beautiful."
Historically accurate? No. Entertaining? Yes.
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 12/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a longtime Rutger Hauer fan, I knew I would get around to watching Paul Verhoeven's medieval epic "Flesh + Blood" sooner or later. Thanks to DVD, it's sooner. True Hauer fans appreciate seeing him in anything, which is saying a lot considering the immense number of low budget schlock films he starred in over the last couple of decades. No matter how many times he plays a cranky cop embittered with the march of technology, or a fugitive on the run from justice, we diehards always refuse to change the channel. One reason I appreciate Hauer is that his performance is never anything less than wonderful even in the worst of films. Take a film like "Arctic Blue," for example. It plods with the speed of a snail caught in molasses, looks like the filmmakers used a chainsaw as an editing tool, and boasts a script riddled with cliches. O.k., it isn't that bad, but you get the idea. The only good thing in the entire film is this actor. That's the only reason to watch the film entitled "Arctic Blue." That's the power of Rutger Hauer--with a wave of his hand or a scowl on his face, he can turn a terrible film into something bearable. It's a gift few possess.
"Flesh + Blood" isn't a terrible film. It isn't, I hate to say, a great one either. Verhoeven's film begins by introducing us to a motley band of mercenaries waging war in the employ of a powerful nobleman. This wealthy figure promises the group, led by the charismatic Martin (Rutger Hauer), that he will allow them to loot the city as a reward for defeating the enemy. Sounds like a good idea, right? Lots of pillage and plunder always does a man's heart good. Martin--with Orbec (Bruno Kirby), Karsthans (Brion James), and several other ruffians--sets out to win the war. With the dubious help of the nobleman's inventor son Steven (Tom Burlinson), the fortified city falls in record time. But as Martin and the others attempt to reap their spoils, the nobleman changes his mind and uses his own soldiers to force the mercenaries out of town with nary a coin in their pockets. Although Steven expresses disbelief and disgust that his father would renege on the agreement, other issues soon arise that put the double cross far from his mind. The father arranges a marriage for his son with the beautiful Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the daughter of another wealthy aristocrat. If at this point you predict that Agnes, Steven, Martin and his band, and the father will have it out in the future, you would be right.
Martin and his band wander through the countryside until they find a statue of a saint buried in the mud. Never one to miss an opportunity to use religion for his own bloodthirsty purposes, Martin convinces the rest of the group that the icon possesses great power to foretell the gang's future. Anytime a compatriot expresses reservations about a proposed action, Martin points to the saint and claims divine sanction for his position as leader. Apparently, the saint approves of the abduction of Agnes and her subsequent defilement because that is exactly what happens. Agnes and Martin end up hitting it off, so much so that she becomes an unofficial member of the mercenary brigade. Steven, unaware that his beloved is in cahoots with a bunch of cutthroats, heads out with his myriad inventions and a force of men to reclaim the young noblewoman. The final segments of "Flesh + Blood" are as ridiculous as they are entertaining, with Steven building a contraption out of wood that can mechanically extend wooden ladders over high walls in order to gain entrance to the fortress where Martin and Agnes are hiding. There is also a rather grotesque scene in which some of Steven's men lob parts of a plague infected dog over the walls of the castle. As we all know, any film about the Middle Ages must involve the plague.
Where to start with this film? I don't know what Verhoeven was thinking when he came up with this offbeat "historical" epic. Should I mention the nun with the head wound who frequently lapses into seizures and gibberish? Or how Steven breaks his chains by channeling lightening? Perhaps I'll mention Agnes's and Steven's most romantic moment, a truly bizarre scene involving professions of love, mandrake roots, and a rotting body hanging from a tree. Of course, nothing stands out more in my mind than the mercenaries traveling around in covered wagons. You'd think they were about to head to Oregon or something. I'm probably being more sarcastic than I intended since I did enjoy the film; it's got plenty of bloody violence to spare, quite explicit situations involving Agnes and Martin, and a truly stirring musical score. "Flesh + Blood" also has an eyeful of Jennifer Jason Leigh, an actress of such talent and charisma that I could spend hours watching her doing laundry while clad in a T-shirt, sweat pants, and flip flops without getting bored. I guess my main problem with the film is that I expected it, for some inexplicable reason, to explore some deep themes. It doesn't. The film is nothing more than an action packed yarn and should be enjoyed as such.
"Flesh + Blood" has quite a reputation with fans who enjoy these types of things. They will probably enjoy the DVD release, which contains a commentary with Paul Verhoeven, a trailer, and a short featurette about creating the music for the film entitled "Composing Flesh + Blood." Verhoeven's little adventure tale is as accurate in its details of sixteenth century Europe as an undergraduate history report, but it is a lot of fun if you just empty your mind and accept it as two hours of pure entertainment.
Not your typical swordslinger movie!
EquesNiger | Prague, Czech Republic | 08/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most outstanding performances in this film is that of Jason-Leigh, who plays Agnes. While Agnes grew up in a convent, unaware of the ways of the world, she's a damned fast study, and manages to pit Steven against Martin, Martin against Steven, and, finally, the remaining mercenaries against both. The character of Agnes would put any fantastic wicked queen to shame. She's regarded as a defenseless damsel, but, truth be told, she's probably the most lethal of the lot, having learned quickly what weapons were afforded her sex. In the end, she's had two men fight to kill for her, betrayed both horribly, and managed to walk away from the event exonerated and to a future of apparent happiness. The antics of Agnes are worth seeing this film for. Hauer, one of cinema's favorite villains, also turns in a stellar performance, however, and the whole historical setting of the film, from the superstition and ignorance mixed with religious fervor, Machiavellian politics, stunning late medieval architecture, and the exceptional swordplay lend this film a gritty reality that make it eminently watchable.
About as real as it gets
melkson | Northern NY | 02/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flesh + Blood is by far one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. Modern people allways want to gloss over the "icky" parts of living in the middle ages. Flesh + Blood does NOT.The film is dark, and bloody. People do horrible things to each other. Plague and superstition are rampant. This film shows it all. The portrayal is not made pretty for the sensitive. Instead its made RAW for those who can handle it. This is by FAR my favorite medieval film. If you want make believe, I'd recomend "A Knights Tale". If you want a very close look at live in the 15th century, then Flesh + Blood is it."