Introducing the (Bad) Medieval Movie Club

Though the first entry has already been posted, I still thought I should throw up a quick explanation of what this whole (Bad) Medieval Movie Club thing is about.* So here we go.

This blog has long been situated comfortably on the margin between the groves of Proper Tweed-Jacket-with-Leather-Elbow-Patches** Academe and the Snark-Infested Waters of The Internet Beyond, and rather than push it further one way or the other, I intend to let it continue occupying that cozy niche. But, as I have been reminded of late, the Old Guy On The Porch in his Pajamas Yelling Profanities into his Keyboard model*** of blogging is not long sustainable and, thankfully, no longer the preferred mode.

Happily, this reminder has come less from my late unpleasantness and more from the pleasure I’ve had working with others on collaborative projects, such as the still often-linked Robin Hood review and my recent academic paper on medieval blogging**** written with Brantley Bryant, the Tweed Jacket behind Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog. I intend the (Bad) Medieval Movie Club as a way to get my collaborate on and perhaps to shore up the fragile sense of community this blog has managed to enkindle in spite of my previous efforts.

Right. Enough preamble. (Bad) Medieval Movie Club will meet irregularly on Fridays. Irregularly, because I know better than to promise I’ll have an entry ready once a week, and because if I actually met a weekly target Got Medieval would be quickly drift until it became Got Medieval Movies (and a couple of monkeys), and nobody wants that to happen. I imagine it will end up in a sustainable gray area between every two weeks and once a month.

Each however-often-it-is, I’ll be teaming up with someone to tear into and tear down***** a sufficiently medieval movie. But I don’t know who all the someones will be, and half the point is finding new ones in places I didn’t think to look. When I cast out feelers some months back, I asked for co-reviewers who have some reasonable claim to fame as either a funny person, a blogger, or a medievalist. I should expand the list to include people connected in some way to the Internet’s vast array of bad movie commentary–though, obviously, I’m not expecting the Floppers, the Agony Boothistas, the Red Letter guys, or the Angry Nerds of the world to beat a path to my door just yet, but that well is vaster and deeper than the most famous exemplars.

So if you think you have what it takes to collaborate on a movie review, and you have some combination of those qualifications or some other that I’ve not thought of, I want to hear from you. Use the comment form at the top of the page, or email this blog’s gmail account, whose alias is, imaginatively, gotmedieval. Just introduce yourself and (this is most important) what movie you’d like to talk about. Pitch me! I certainly have a lot of possibilities in mind, but that well, too, is vast and deep, and I’d rather be surprised by something off the beaten path that goes through left field than worry about my personal checklist. If you do have a blog or bloglike platform, I’ll happily split the review in two and host half at your site.****** The format will be the same as with Bettina and Thor, a staged back-and-forth that, I promise, will contain a decreasing number of self-reflexive jokes at the format’s expense the more entries accrue.

So far, I have tentative offers (and a couple firmer commitments) from people to discuss A Knight’s Tale, Beyond Sherwood Forest, Ironclad, and Timeline. Nothing’s calendered, and nothing’s set in stone, so that ground floor getting in on chance you hear so much about these days is still a possibility.

And even if you don’t want to tackle a medieval movie with me, please do feel free to join in the comments fray when the humiliated effigies of the tackled movies are paraded before you. As I’ve said already, (Bad) Medieval Movie Club is meant to be a club. Two people talking to each other, however wittily and incisively, isn’t really much of a club, and I don’t want to have to come up with a new name for this post series.*******

  1. * And I’ll be backdating this post so that it doesn’t knock Thor off the top of the page just yet, so it’s almost like I did explain at the appropriate time. Future historians will, hopefully, look only at the post date and not the footnotes. []
  2. ** Where does one get good elbow patches these days, I ask you? The academic’s cross is heavy and lonely. []
  3. *** Apropos, the schoolboy’s rhyming mnemonic: ‘When one metaphor just won’t do / Take a chance and mix up two.’ []
  4. **** Called, imaginatively, ‘On Medieval Blogging’, but if you follow the link you may find it’s buried inaccessible behind a paywall, alas. []
  5. ***** And possibly other prepositions attached to tear, who knows? []
  6. ****** Traffic here’s not always stable, but it might even prove a useful source of new eyeballs for you. []
  7. ******* ♣ Reynard says, “Get medieval savings with Barnes and Noble coupon codes on the books of these movies.” []

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Steve Muhlberger

    When you’ve hacked away at A Knight’s Tale, give me a chance to defend it as a really good medieval movie with a  lot of flaws.

    • Anonymous

      If I do get around to it, you’ll find me largely in agreement.  As Brantley said in that article linked above (at least, I think we left that in the final draft), A Knight’s Tale has a surprising number of secret fans in academia willing to admit to liking it–even if only in hushed tones over pizza at Bilbo’s at KZoo.

    • Jack Horner

      Well, here I was going to post the same thing. But it looks like we may have a ‘A Knight’s Tale’ love-in instead.

      • Marie Brennan

        I’d be up for that!  If you just got rid of the love interest (who is VASTLY INFERIOR to the blacksmith), I might not even be embarrassed to admit I heart that movie.

  • Stephan Poag

    What qualifies as a “Medieval Movie?”  Can it just be sort of “medievalish”?  Like, “Lord of the Rings” or “Krull” or “Conan” all have swords and arrows and armor and whatnot — is that medieval enough?  Or does it have to be actually attempting to represent the Middle Ages? 

    • Anonymous

      Medievalish will work from time to time. (As with Thor.) But it can’t be a habit, else I’ll have to change the name of the club.

      • Stephan Poag

        Don’t forget ‘Name of the Rose.’

  • Jay

    Do Camelot with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave.

  • Jenn Zuko

    I would absolutely love to join you in a loving reaming of Excalibur.

    Here’s why it should be me: I also make my living in academia and I teach Stage Combat, which means I am in not only the hey-that’s-not-accurate camp, but also the camp of theatricality! I also worked at a RenFaire for a brief time. So. Hm, maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that… I am an English professor, does that make up for it?

    Here’s my blog, which is mainly centered on stage combat, martial arts, movement arts, etc.:

    I’m psyched in any event, as I adored (and linked to) your wonderful dueling-blog Robin Hood roast.


  • John the Welshman

    You may want to cinsider “King Richard and the Crusaters” from 1953.

  • Jack Dominey

    Take a look at

    “Da’ud Bob ibn Briggs is the (fictional) Historical Drive-In Movie
    Reviewer of the “Briggsian school of alfresco film criticism” founded by
    movie reviewer and
    Showtime and TNT personality Joe Bob Briggs. Da’ud Bob ibn Briggs writes
    reviews which are both entertaining and educational of movies which are
    set in
    the Middle Ages and Renaissance (and sometimes earlier) periods, or
    pre-technological fantasy worlds (like the “Conan” and “Gor” series).”

    David Appleton is a very fine, intelligent and entertaining fellow I’ve had the privilege to meet a couple of times. 

  • Charles Ryan

    I’d love to be involved. My recommendation is Kingdom of Heaven, because I’m fascinated by its unique mix of let’s-include-some-authentic-details-for-authenticy and what-the-heck-it’ll-be-a-better-movie-if-we-do-it-this-way.

    My qualifications are, um, I like medieval stuff. And I have a blog. And I’ve just finished an historical novel set in almost exactly the same time as that movie. So really I’m not qualified at all, other than being pretty well-read in that period and having followed this blog for like four years.

    • Anonymous

      Pitch me via email, silly, not in the comments thread! (You, too, Jenn Zuko.)  Of course, I’m not going to disqualify anyone for not emailing, that’d be pointlessly weird and jerklike, but it is easier to organize through email.

      As for Kingdom of Heaven, I’m not sure I’d have much more to say about it than I already have ( ).  But surely we can think of something.

      • jennzuko

        Sorry! :S

  • Ben

    Wait, Arn is considered a bad medieval movie? Aw, that breaks my Scandinavian heart. </3

  • Fergun Connell

    Wow, there’s a club for this, LOL. I like knights movies, they can be great for action at times. Plus, cool armor.

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