'Robin Hood: Men in Tights' [Blu-ray]
(Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, Mark Blankfield, Amy Yasbeck, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (1993) 2010 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) comes home after fighting in the Crusades to learn that the noble King Richard (Patrick Stewart) is in exile and that the despotic King John (Richard Lewis) now rules England, with the help of the Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees). Robin Hood assembles a band of fellow patriots to do battle with John and the Sheriff.
Blu ray: This is my favorite Mel Brooks movie! "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" has so many references to the 90s and so many jokes about different versions of the story from Kevin Costner's lack of an English accent to Errol Flynn and sword fighting. I can't think of a better way to get ready for the Ridley Scott "Robin Hood" movie!
In this film, Cary Elwes stars as the charming, somewhat dimwitted upper class Robin of Loxley whom after the Crusades returns home to set order in Nottingham when his castle has been repossessed due to taxes. Elwes is ridiculously handsome and perfect for the part with comedic timing and fencing training from "The Princess Bride."
Robin's sidekick is Ahchoo, played by Dave Chappelle way before anyone knew how famous he would become and he would get his own show. He comes up with many funny bits with Elwes like the Praying Mantis fighting style, wearing his hat backwards, and doing a Denzel Washington as Malcolm X impression to get the Merry Men in line.
The beautiful, chastity-belt imprisoned Maid Marian is played by Amy Yasbeck, amazingly with her own hair. Instead of a Friar Tuck character, Mel Brooks plays Rabbi Tuckman, a well-meaning Jew traveling the countryside with his drunken mule performing circumcisions and the occasional marriage. Issac Hayes plays Achoo's father Asneeze who is in the dungeon with Robin at the beginning which I never caught until this most recent viewing. And who could forget the awesome surprise at the end when Patrick Stewart shows up as King Richard and plants one on Maid Marian?
This is a hilarious movie full of gags, fight scenes, and musical numbers in tights. Everyone should re-watch this before seeing the new one just for funsies and giggles and probably should pick it up on Blu-Ray for the bonus features!
There is a really fun featurette, "Funny Men in Tights: Three Generations of Comedy" where they talk about how the actors were found and cast like Cary Elwes being discovered from "The Princess Bride" and Dave Chappelle before he hit it big. Mel Brooks likes to cast a lot of his friends so many familiar faces are in this cast like Dom DeLuise and Dick Van Patten. Megan Cavanagh took a big risk by dressing up as Broomhilde for the audition, but it paid off.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights - The Legend Had It Coming is an HBO half-hour special filmed to promote the film and is pretty silly with Cary Elwes hosting with one of those hat's to make it look like an arrow is going through his head and uses a rubber chicken microphone to introduce different actors on the set but does not talk to them very long.
There are many funny moments but the funniest bit is everyone taking turns doing Mel Brooks impressions for general amusement. There are even jokes in the credits so pay attention! [HF] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.