Ironclad – Review
The film is based around the Siege of Rochester Castle in 1215 (Oct-Dec) where a band of rebels held out against a much larger force led by King John.
It’s very much The Magnificent Seven do Medieval England, with the initial scenes depicting the men being encouraged to join the band and then making their way to Rochester castle. The role of “Chris” in this instance is Baron Albany (Brian Cox) and the role of “Vin” is Marshall (James Purefoy) who led the cast well.
The CGI effects are excellent for the most part and it gives the viewer a reasonable idea as to how England may have looked in the early 13th Century.
There was no expense spared on the special effects when it comes to the combat, the make-up artists must have had their hands full as all the combat scenes are full of blood, guts, gore, flying limbs and bodies generally being hacked to pieces. It is probably a lot more authentic looking, in the terms of the combat scenes, than the majority of films that have gone before. The only thing that lets the combat scenes down for me is the “shaky Cam” which serves to confuse and blur the images (think Transformers 2).
The film is based on an actual event, there was a siege of Rochester Castle in 1215 by King John and his army, King John did build siege engines to pound the walls with rock and he did undermine the Castle Walls and then later the Keep Tower itself to gain entry. He also used the fat of pigs to help the fires under the Keep.
But that is about where fact and fiction take a different path.
The film was overly long, spoilt by the “love interest” of Marshall (James Purefoy) & Lady Isobel (Kate Mara), and the historical inaccuracies are too long to list here!
However, I have to admit that I did enjoy the film, something to just sit back with a beer in hand and enjoy - well as long as you aren’t squeamish.
Available on DVD & Blu-Ray
July 11th 2011
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The Historical Writers Association
The Historical Writers' Association was set up in October 2010 and is growing astonishingly fast. We intend to do for historical writing and writers what the CWA does for Crime writers - provide a networked community in which we can discuss our work so that we're not all beavering away in glorious isolation: to bring us in touch with leading edge publishers, agents and booksellers and, above all, to promote historical writing, both fiction and non-fiction in every way we can.
This year, 2011, our primary event will be a Festival of Historical Writing at Kelmarsh in July as part of English Heritages' 'Festival of History' - they have been immensely helpful in setting this up and I can't thank them too highly - we're essentially taking over the Pavilion for a 2-day festival of the best of Historical Writing, aimed at a family audience, so it'll be fast, fun and fascinating rather than 'literary'. A full programme will be on our website at http://www.TheHWA.co.uk as soon as we've sorted it out (there's a lot more work to that than I'd at first realised - we have a wish list, but it's by no means guaranteed yet) and as soon as the web site is up and running. That, too, is taking time, but we've got a stellar web team working hard on the wire frame and as soon as that's done, we can wrap it in a skin we like and then all we have to do is upload the content. Easy. I sincerely hope it'll be up and running by the end of March, certainly by mid-April.
Next year, we hope to have found a sponsor for prizes along the lines of the CWA 'Dagger' awards. We've had one offer and are open to others if any of your members know of anyone with cash to spare in this age of the 'New Austerity'.
By Manda Scott