"Robin Hood" chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard's army against the French. Upon Richard's death, Robin Longstride (Crowe) travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn Lady Marion's hand and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by their appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff. With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled by the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater England once more. (Gary Reber)
Disc One contains the Blu-ray™ theatrical (02:20:26) and director's cut (02:35:48) versions. Special features on Disc One include Director's Notebook, focusing on Director Ridley Scott's vision through behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Scott and his trusted inner circle of collaborators; The Art Of Nottingham, portraying a portfolio of designs generated for the film, including video introductions by key department heads and galleries of concept art, costume designs, storyboards and other imagery; 11 deleted scenes with introduction and commentary by Editor Pietro Scalia (HD 13:06); the making-of featurette "Rise And Rise Again" in three parts: "Ballad, Legend & Myth: Pre-Production (SD 18:06), "The More The Merrier: Production" (SD 29:28), and "No Quarter Given: Post Production" (SD 15:07); D-BOX Motion Code; trailers and TV spots (HD 07:18); and other various disc features, including My Scenes, pocket Blu APP, Advanced Remote Control, Video Timeline, Mobile-To-Go, Virtual Keyboard, uHear, Interactive Ticker, and BD-Live functionality. Disc Two contains the theatrical and director's cut of the film, and Disc Three is a digital copy of the film.
The 1080p AVC picture is splendid and epic in scope. Optimal viewing requires a darkened room, preferably a black room, due to the low-light cinematography. Contrast is well balanced, with deep blacks and remarkable shadow delineation that defines the walls and spaces within the fire-lit interiors. The color scene is perfectly natural, with prominent brown hues that depict the 12th Century living conditions. The forest scenes exhibit rich shades of green contrasted against shades of tree bark. Fleshtones are naturally hued and well defined. Resolution is excellent, especially revealing in close-up scenes of facial features, clothing, and object textures. The picture is nicely dimensional and cinematic. This is a wonderful depiction of what life may have looked like a long time ago, and the visuals are sure to please. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderfully holosonic® with an aggressive soundfield dimensional presence. The music score is nicely recorded, with a wide and deep soundfield and aggressive surround presence. Instrumental timbres are articulated and the orchestral dynamics are authoritative, especially in the trombone playing, and are well balanced against the other elements. Atmospheric sound effects and Foley enhance the sense of realism. Sound effects, such as whizzing arrows and swords, are panned effectively. Pounding horse hoofs and the sound of armies on foot are impressive. D-BOX Motion Code effects are perfectly complementary to enhance the overall visceral experience. Dialogue is the weak element in the mix, with an inconsistent intelligibility. At times the dialogue is muffled and unintelligible, while at other times, clear and distinctive. Production sound and ADR lack the sense of spatial integration, but there are occasionally nicely spatial dialogue effects, which enhance the soundfield presence. Low-frequency .1 LFE effects below 25 Hz are effectively integrated and enhance the action scenes. Some of the battle scenes are sensational and dynamically sonic, with aggressive directionalized soundfield delineation. This is a brilliant soundtrack, except for the dialogue presentation, and is epic in scope. (Gary Reber)