Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (6th August 2020).
The Film

A tale of power, betrayal, lust and revenge, ARTHUR & MERLIN: KNIGHTS OF CAMELOT tells of a man battling to fulfil his destiny to become the King his nation needs.

Starring Game of Thrones legend, Richard Brake. The year 463 AD. England is a land divided. A land in need of a legend. King Arthur has been absent for five long years, fighting a war abroad that has stricken his knights, left his throne defenceless and his queen at the mercy of Modred, his illegitimate son. He must return home fast, facing dark and dangerous threats from all sides. But as he fights to preserve Camelot and all that he holds dear, the toughest conflict will be with himself. Guided by the legendary wizard Merlin, Arthur must strive to become the king that his nation needs.

It is the story of a legend, before the legend was told.

Video

Silly, clunky, small-scale modern take on the Arthurian legends is watchable but just not terribly engaging and does nothing new that I could see than perhaps adding Afro-Caribbean characters to the fifth century setting. Performances are on the shouty, hammy side and it's all a bit too short and perfunctory. There's the odd moment of good fight choreography and the all-pervading music is made to sound ye olde English and grand.

Stick with Excalibur (1981) or Lancelot of the Lake (1974) for infinitely more successful renderings of the same material.

A digitally lensed, visually decent but undistinguished, lowbrow modern action flick which favours a naturalistic if muted cast for daylight scenes and a blue-orange tint for darker moments. Flesh tones are warm, black levels deep and rich and contrast is supportive. Being both digitally shot and in standard definition means no grain.

I could see no digital tinkering or unwanted compression artefacts. Encoding is strong and allows for a pleasing experince in motion.

PAL / MPEG-2 / 2.4:1 / 87:10

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

A fairly active track best heard in the 5.1; the 2.0 is less punchy. Dialogue is nice and clear, surrounds are used heavily in action scenes and mainly for score (which never seems to abate) and ambiance at other, quieter times. The subwoofer did kick in during fight scenes of which there quite a few. No distortions at all.

No subtitles which is deeply regrettable.

Extras

Startup Trailers:
- The Iron Mask (1:40)
- Valhalla: Legend of Thor (1:42)
- American Fighter (1:52)


Meh, more promos for other Signature releases.

Packaging

Standard red DVD Keepcase with and outer card sleeve that just reproduces exactly the art on the main sleeve.

Overall

Yet another standard, barebones DVD release from Signature but it's priced accordingly and gets the job done. A BD would improve technical credits buy at least a full notch. Well worth the asking price on day one for those so inclined; collectors will seek out the foreign BDs.

The Film: C- Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: E Overall: C+

 


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