Saturday, September 02, 2006

Merlin

I was phone-polled about Merlin and I scoffed at the notion of Martin Short in an Arthurian movie. As it turns out, he's merely another distraction in a jumble of distractions: Sam Neill's rugged, sly charisma without a trace of otherworldliness, Miranda Richardson's utter camp, Short's indulgent clowning, and low-rent but well-designed CGI.
And what is up with Sir John Gielgud's appearance? One line hat is half grunt? A less-than-incidental character? Incomprehensible. On the plus side, the show is a lot of fun to watch and avoids many TV movie blunders. "The making of ..." emphasizes the short production schedule which resulted in a lot of single takes. Lots of rough patches to be sure, but we get to see the actors applying their skill. I am looking at you, Robert Bresson!

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