Folks, it’s going to be a long hot summer on Saturday’s at Kentucky Sports Radio. To change things up, I’m killing two birds with one stone: watching classic, must-see movies and creating KSR content. A child of the 90s, I missed many great cultural moments that every person should encounter. The only New Year’s resolution I ever accomplished was “listen to The Beatles” and it was one of the best decision’s I’ve ever made.
The following posts will feature some of the greatest movies ever made. I know little to nothing at all about these movies, save for a few famous pop cultural references (i.e. the horse head in the bed in Godfather). First, I’ll share my expletive-free running notes from the movie, followed by some overall thoughts. Naturally, this thing is going to be filled with spoilers.
The first film is in the KSR Movie Bracket and available on Netflix, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.
— The Baby William Wallace looks more like Baby Joe Dirt. Beginning with a young Mel, I don’t expect to see his dad survive more than ten minutes. I know it’s not a Disney movie, but Disney movies taught me that a movie isn’t great unless you kill off a parent. (He barely lasted ten minutes.)
— Grown up William looks odd. Mel Gibson isn’t young, but as one of the few without a beard he looks younger than the rest of the Scotts. He looks different, but to Gibson’s credit, he has an excellent Scottish accent.
— Really, a love story? I’m hear to watch people get murdered, not to see Mel swoon. But hey, boobs.
— OH NO THEY DIDN’T! They killed his wife? Already? We’re just 15 minutes in and his lover had her throat cut. At least they’re using it to turn Wallace into a badass. His horse may have gotten stabbed, but so did all of those English bastards.
— Edward Longshanks is a great name for an evil King. The way Longshanks rolls off the Scottish tongue makes it sound even more despicable. He also kind of reminds me of King John’s depiction in the Robin Hood cartoon. Meanwhile, his son isn’t concerned with his hot French wife. Apparently Game of Thrones watched Braveheart before creating noble’s with gay extramarital affairs.
— Wallace is fighting with his mind and it’s fantastic. The brutal killings are great, but they wouldn’t happen if he didn’t use his mind first, a line uttered early and often. Wearing English uniforms is one of my favorite moves so far, straight guerilla-warfare.
— The crazy Irishman is probably going to be my favorite character. “It’s my island.” You gotta have some stones to declare you’re the baddest of asses on an entire island. He proved it by saving Wallace’s neck during a hunting trip.
— The best Wallace is blue-faced Wallace. I don’t know much about the movie, but I do know blue-faced Mel Gibson is iconic. The speech is famous, but I like his quick retort before they discuss battle terms even more: “I’m going to pick a fight.” Watching Wallace antagonize the English is the best scene in this entire movie.
— Mooning and flashing your enemy might be the best battlefield tactic I’ve never seen. Outmanned and out-gunned, what does Wallace do? Show them his junk. “Bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off” (it does).
— Never seen so many dead horses. Chivalry usually spared the beasts, but that’s just how crazy the Scots were.
— The siege of a medieval castle is the craziest act of war. Before we had chemical weapons, we poured hot tar on people who were trying to shove a giant log through a door. What a wild time to be alive.
— It’s a head in a box. The most intimidating body part in a box move until…
— Longshanks pulls a Lannister. The prince’s lover was out that window faster than a young Stark witnessing incest.
— The Princess totally wants Wallace. You could tell she wanted him while listening to stories about him, but when he busted out Latin and French in front of her, Game Over. Lesson: chicks dig the use of romantic languages.
— Cal learned how to recruit from William Wallace. Too bad Longshanks pays his players. It cost him the Battle at Edinburgh and almost his life.
— Horses don’t belong in bedrooms. If a horse is in a bedroom, it will die. This one wasn’t headless, but he took one hell of a dive into a lake after the noble Scot got his face smashed in.
— Wallace cucks Longshanks. I didn’t think they’d pull the trigger, but Gibson is the director. If he wants to sleep with the Princess, he sleeps with the princess.
— DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK. Seriously, don’t. We thought he had one in him, but that stupid leper noble had to betray Bill Wallace. This isn’t going to end well.
— This isn’t going to end well. I really thought William Wallace might sneak an epic comeback before the end of the movie, but I should’ve known my Scottish history better. At least we got to witness a pretty epic torture scene and without seeing the awful visual of someone being drawn and quartered.
It’s a slow-starter, making the movie push three hours, too long for many attention spans. The biggest problem I have with any time-period movies is the required love story. Titanic and Pearl Harbor were essentially love stories within a significant historical event. Braveheart‘s love story is not as cheesy or emphasized as the previously mentioned movies, and it simply acts as Wallace’s motive for murdering every English bastard in Scotland.
The movie does a fantastic job capturing the brutality of medieval times, all in the middle of an intriguing story that is filled with twists and turns. Gibson plays the crazed Wallace well (which is no surprise in hindsight), inspiring the commoners to battle while his lack of people skills prevent him from politicking with noble families, leading to his ultimate demise.
Even though we didn’t get a happy ending where Wallace leads his men to ultimate victory, he’s a poised martyr whose death is not left in vein, leaving the viewer satisfied after investing three hours into the wonderful epic.
Braveheart greatly exceeded my expectations and this summer series is off to a great start.