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Inspirational Viewing – Ironclad

25 August, 2011

Ironclad is a movie based (very loosely) on the historical siege of Rochester Caster (1215) by King John of England.

Things it did well:

Rochester Keep

Rochester Keep

Showing a siege.  Both from attacker and defenders viewpoints and the problems facing both sides including storming/defending the walls, supplies (and lack thereof) and morale.  Also, trebuchet!  The visuals with these medieval siege weapons were quite well done.

Brutality of medieval combat, no sugar-coating of the combat in this film, blood and gore abounds in the combat scenes with everyone fighting dirty to survive.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of quick cuts and shakey-cam usage so it is difficult to actually make sense of what is happening in most of the fights beyond mayhem and bloodshed.

So, if you want to be inspired about running a castle defense (or assault) in your fantasy campaign, give it a look.

Things it did not do well, which you can ignore:

History, this movie has only a passing acquaintance with the actual history of the period.  Which annoys me as the actual history of the time (and the siege) is so interesting.  Why do movie producers think that their ideas are better and more interesting than the real people and history?

Coherence, easily tracking what is happening during the siege, the number of the defenders, and explaining the actions of the attackers are all either incoherent or ignored.  You just have to sit back and ignore the inconsistencies.

Notes: I learned about this movie from I’d rather be killing monsters, but I did not like it as much as he.

Image from Wikimedia Commons and used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

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