What I Care to See
By Stephane Morrell

A Knights Tale

I went into this movie with a free pass and low expectations. From the way the trailers were assembled, I was fully expecting a "jocky" film in the guise of a medieval jousting competition. And at a certain level, it still retains a little bit of that old triumphant football movie. But it does not take itself too seriously, inserting some light comic relief that is funny without being inappropriate and ruining the story. The film is about William Thatcher, a knight's squire, seeking out his lifelong dream of becoming a knight by posing as one and entering into royal jousting competitions. He takes along his two lifelong friends and along the way they meet a very charismatic writer with a gambling problem to make a "fake ID" for him.

If there is one thing that was annoying about the movie, it was anachronistic soundtrack. When watching a movie with a medieval setting, one does not expect to hear the sounds of Queen's "We Will Rock You" or David Bowie's "Golden Years", and great as those tracks are, they didn't fit with the atmosphere of the film. Even worse, when the crowd at a jousting competition stomps and claps to the famous Queen song and guards and peasants can be seen mouthing the words.

But all that aside, the story not only revolves around his wanting to be a knight, but also his romancing one of the local noble ladies ( of course ). The romance was approached in a very non overly syrupy way that fit just right into the story without letting it take over completely. In fact, for a chunk of the movie, they are for all intents and purposes "broken up" and you don't see her at all.

Of course, the film is packed with armor busting, heels-over-head jousting action, a villainous opponent you love to hate, men on horses, British accents, hundreds of dirty peasants packing mud, a prodigal son, and LOTS of splintered wood.

Besides, who doesn't get a warm feeling inside from men rushing on horses trying to spear each other off of horses?


Animation has always been an underrated medium, often dismissed as children's entertainment. When people think of animation, the words Disney, saturday morning and after school come up. But the truth is that it's a medium that supports something for everyone; from the Japanese creating wonders like Graveyard of the Fireflies and Akira, to the great American Classic "Heavy Metal", to the simply heartwarming Iron Giant. Animation is something that people should face as an art on it's own, used to depict things that might be hard to depict with live actors. But you're reading The Collector Times now, so I probably don't have to tell YOU this.

Shrek is one of those "something for everyone" kinds of films. It's a true family classic. With enough laughs for young and old. Only a small level of "gas" oriented jokes, but well placed so that it doesn't just become crude and disgusting. Shrek explores the adventure of an misunderstood Ogre who's resolved himself to be what people make him out to be: a Big Mean Ogre who guards his swamp with vicious cunning. But as the lord of the land starts to flush out all of the "fairy tale creatures," they all end up in "his" swamp. Unable to get rid of them, the angry ogre heads to Lord Farquaad ( Be creative with the pronunciation ) to demand his swamp back. And so the adventure begins, without going into ruining the storyline too much.

The movie was a fun, well animated spectacle, and Mike Myers was great as the title character, it was a good idea that he go back and replace his original voice work with his signature fake Scottish accent. It really worked for the character. Eddie Murphy was simply hilarious as Shrek's unwanted donkey sidekick and you could just see John Lithgow saying the lines for Lord Farquaad because the character was so well suited to him ....

The story line takes a couple of predictable turns, as well as an ending that is less surprising than I think they intended it to be. But all in all, it was a fun film for animation fans of all ages. And NO singing animal numbers.

Stephane Morrell
Laurier CIM Group

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Copyright © 2001 Stephane Morrell

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