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    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Movie review: 1612

    In early October, I posted the 1612 trailer on this blog, and uttered one line about it: "When and how can I see this movie in English?" - because I thought the story would make zero sense without fluency in Russian or Polish.

    I caved. I could not hold out any longer. I watched it without any subtitles.

    Well, my understanding of Russian ends at Nostrovia, but if you pay attention, you can still 'get' a great deal of this movie as it is both acted really well, and the context of the scenes make sense. It seems to have been passed through the "300" filter too, with the camera work and effects. And there's just buckets of blood.
    If you've never seen a mass of mounted winged hussar running down peasantry, you've not lived! Plus, it is a fine resource for costumes and armor.

    There is a continual theme of the unicorn, which is critical to the story somehow. Pieces of horn seem to be used as talismans, and a softly lit white one with really
    ridiculously long hair keeps showing up throughout the movie. I was half expecting the movie to derail into fantasy-land; I almost had a "Legend" moment.

    But let me tell you about
    the Cavalier! He is conspicuously absent in the trailer, though his clothing can be seen on the main character, who has assumed his identity. The first time you see him, The Cavalier is playing at dice on a boat that is being pulled along the shore by a group of haggard slaves. This portion of the movie, being in Spanish, was slightly easier to translate. It is here we learn he probably cheats at dice and has a reputation for killing.

    Two words. Doublet envy.

    In an effort not to spoil the plot, I will say that the Cavalier ends up teaching the main character swordplay. Using his sword to draw a glowing blue fencing circle on the ground was a nice touch.

    And because of this movie, I want to make a flipbook of some of the old renaissance fencing THAT seems like a great way to learn the Spanish Circle from a dead guy.

    Confusing enough? Yeah, I really need to find someone both qualified and interested in translating this movie.

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