Camelot [Blu-Ray]

Camelot [Blu-Ray]
Because the cultural zeitgeist was just yearning for a bawdy, soapy update of the King Arthur legend, Starz has given us Camelot. Note the sarcasm: any viewing of this ten-episode re-envisioning of the classic tale in a more "realistic" light is best consumed for a bellyful of jeering. Reduced to the first act in Arthur's life, the series focuses on the young king's struggles to become a credible ruler. He's assailed by the evil plotting of his dark force-wielding half-sister, Morgan (not Morgana), who wants the crown for herself, and his libido – the pouty little douche just can't keep his willy out of women spoken for by his buddies. That's one of the major problems with Camelot: Arthur, as portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower, is a pouty asshole and a bit of a spindly pansy. Peter Mooney (the actor playing his foster-brother, Kay, future knight of the round table) would have made for a more potent leading man. Walking a fine line, and constantly stumbling over it, the writers have opted to explain the major beats of Arthurian legend as practical trickery, seeded propaganda and guilty yarn-weaving, but lazily let a few plot threads indulge in full-blown, inexplicable magic. Merlin (Joseph Fienns) is positioned as a string puller who planted the sword in the stone in order to ensure he'd be able to manoeuvre a man he could control onto the throne. His motivations are presumably for the greater good, but his methods are more abject than are regularly depicted in his character – the sinister spinning of "the lady in the lake" tale being a good example. Like the other more seasoned actors in the cast, including Eva Green as Morgan, Joseph Fiennes tends towards the overdramatic, rather than the broad and flat performances of most of the pretty faces littering the screen. Many of the battle sequences are decently staged and the costumes are well designed, but there isn't any significant rhyme or reason to the often-laughable changes made to the story, other than to provide further opportunity for gratuitous breast shots. The features are as desultory as the show, with "Character Pieces," which are little more than cast and crewmembers stating the obvious, with regurgitated clips padding the lack of content, comprising the bulk of. "The Knights" and "The Women of Camelot" follow the same bland format, and "Scene Breakdowns" are standard behinds-the-scenes fare. So is a collection of "B-Roll" footage and a notably unfunny blooper reel. At least nobody presumed there was anything worth doing commentary on. (Phase 4)