DVD - 2017
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Ireland, 1209. A small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders. Escorting their monastery's holiest relic to Rome, the monks' progress is seen through the eyes of a pious young novice and a mute lay brother with a violent past. As the true significance of the bejeweled relic becomes dangerously apparent, their path becomes increasingly fraught with danger.
Publisher: [Bethesda, Maryland] : RLJ Entertainment, ©2017.
Edition: Widescreen format.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 minutes) :,sound, color ;,12 cm.


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Feb 13, 2020

I did an EPL search for Richard Armitage and watched this film because he's in it (I wanted to see him in something without his "Hobbit" Thorin Oakenshield make-up and prosthetics), and while I thought it was a good film and features many excellent performances, I doubt I'll want to see it again.
The subtitles (French to English) are pretty bad, although I didn't need them. This is a gorey film, with lots of hacking, stabbing, entrails being ripped out, fake blood spurting, but it's probably pretty realistic for that harsh time and place. The scenery is often dark and overcast, but it reflects the mood of much of the film, so the weather and bleak scenery are like characters in the film.
As for the story, I thought it seemed plausible and probably pretty accurate, mixing local pagan beliefs and superstitions with christian beliefs (as was often the case), the snootiness of Rome vs the "uncivilized wilds" of Ireland, and the way people can get hyper-focused on one detail but ignore the bigger picture.
A knight arrives at an isolated monastery in Ireland with a letter authorizing him to take a sacred relic to Rome. The head of the order doesn't want to give up the relic, but follows orders and selects several monks to accompany the relic, including one young monk who's never been anywhere (and who's chosen for that reason). They'll meet up with protectors or knights along the way to eastern Ireland, where they'll board a boat, and hey, what could go wrong?
These guys (and it's an entirely male character film, if it matters to you) face unexpected challenges and choices, there are double-crosses (no pun intended), politics and back-stabbing are thrown into the mix, and the true cost of getting the relic from point A to point B weighs heavily on all of them. It's tough to like some of the "good guys", and you can sort of see the "bad guys" have some valid points, which seemed realistic to me.
It's also interesting finding out which characters are idealistic, sheltered guys and which ones are "worldy" -- which ones took part in crusades*, living through and committing unspeakable acts for various reasons (*seeking money or status or following orders or following the religious teachings of the time).
I like the choice made at the end, and the viewer is left to imagine what might've happened next after the abrupt ending.
If you're up for some gore and intrigue on a snowy, cold afternoon, give this a view.

Sep 18, 2018

Fans of Monty pythons in search for the holy grail will certainly love this quest to deliver a lump of coal in a fancy gold box all the way from Ireland to Rome, or at least that was the idea. Good movie if you don't take it too seriously.

May 22, 2018

Based on how some movies ended in a similar fashion, a part two is in the works for this one. Maybe.

May 16, 2018

Just as the action picks up we're on to another scene. Just as it seems we're finally getting to the point of the story (is there a story?) we're rolling credits.

May 14, 2018

A low budget historical tale revolving around a powerful holy relic that has ended up on the west coast of Ireland in the keeping of a local monastery which the monks must return to Rome. The team of monks don't deem to get to far in their quest before they are besieged by duplicitous invading Norman knights and wild pagan Gaelic tribesmen(still around in 13th century?) wanting the relic. Kind of reminded me of a episode of Xena Warrior Princess with wobbly history,theology and fantasy worked together. A very muddled story especially the ending action sequence which kind of leaves the viewer a bit more than unsatisfied about what was this all about. Maybe the writers were not sure themselves.

Apr 29, 2018

Well, here goes....the production values are terrible in this movie....if you watch it for its tourist value, the scenic landscape of Ireland....well, you will be disappointed, it is bleak and dark and dank.....and if you want some idea of what Christianity is about, well (disclosure warning), the faith is not about a rock that smashed in the head of a saint taking on mystical power and iconic value....Christianity is not about death, it is about life.....and it is extremely violent as well.....and the story is a little silly really.....Tom Holland grew up to be a great actor, so if you want to see one of his early parts, this might do....gosh, tough to find any redeeming value....why did I watch it? Good question....maybe waiting for something bright and cheerful to happen? Disappointed again.....

Feb 22, 2018

Good enough for me to watch to the end, but far from a really good film. The writing certainly portrays a total lack of understanding of Christianity.

Dec 10, 2017

This DVD is a bit grim. A group of monks have a holy relic (a rock with a martyr's blood on it housed in a gold, jewel encrusted chest) that they are taking to Rome. Of course, they run into trouble. Set in rural Ireland, the area is commanded by Normans who want the rock. A young boy (the novice) goes with the monks on the trip along with a character they call the mute (a big fellow who does not speak). It is a rather slow moving movie that gets quite violent, but underneath it all is the medieval conception of serving God and the glory of God served by violence - destroying the infidels, retaking the holy lands through crusades. In the extras the actors give a few details that should have been put into the script (why do some men think they know the mute? ) - would have clarified the storyline a bit more. Interesting combo of English, Gaelic and French reflecting the time era and interesting scenery - Ireland comes across as a cold, cruel, bitter place where perhaps the beauty of the concept of God made life worth living.

Dec 04, 2017

Started out slow. Just when it go interesting, it was over.

Nov 22, 2017

This should be under foreign moves. The subtitles make it annoying.

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