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Black KnightBlack Knight on DVD

by Johnny Bray

Before I get on to telling you everything I disliked about Black Knight, I should say that I have an overpowering hatred for Martin Lawrence. So basically, I wouldn't have liked the movie even had it been good.

(Ed's note: An interesting take on journalistic integrity, indeed!)

That said, I didn't think it could possibly be worse than I expected. But every so often, a movie amazes me.

Black Knight is quite possibly the most unfunny, unoriginal, poorly made comedy to come along in a long time. It's about Jamal Walker (Lawrence), an employee at "Medieval World" who is transported back to the Dark Ages by a mysterious amulet. There, he faces all the perils you'd expect from the time, but somehow manages to become accepted.

This man with no regard for anything, who belittles royalty and mocks powerful knights, somehow becomes the head of security. At the same time, he falls for the beautiful damsel in distress and eventually wins her heart. I realize this is a comedy, but couldn't they come up with a remotely plausible story and a single original idea?

My sources say no.

Martin Lawrence is even more annoying and unfunny than usual, which tells me that perhaps his directors should stop giving him so much freedom to ad lib. The only redeeming quality of the film is Tom Wilkinson, who seems fit for the role of a washed up knight (as bad as that sounds, I actually mean it as a compliment of his acting ability).

If you're a fan of Martin Lawrence, then you may enjoy Black Knight. I would rather sit through all of Pearl Harbor again than watch a single scene of this awful film a second time. One of the characters in the film put it perfectly when he said: "You have to admire the man. It's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up on the joke."

Unfortunately, Black Knight wasn't funny to start with.

Fox is probably the most reliable when it comes to releasing great DVDs (with the exception of New Line, but they don't release enough movies in a year to be compared to a giant like Fox). The DVD of Black Knight is infinitely better than the film.

To start off, both the picture and sound are of top-notch quality. The video is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and is pretty much free of any foreign objects. The audio, presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital, is better than I expected. The surrounds are actually used quite effectively, while I would have thought it would be mostly front channel. A nice touch, although I was tempted to turn the volume off during the movie anyway.

Extras include a commentary by director Gil Junger, scene-specific commentary by Martin Lawrence (for two scenes), featurettes, outtakes, and the trailer.

There are so many movies that deserve a disc this good and don't get it. It's really quite unfortunate.

Black Knight, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
95 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Martin Lawrence, Tom Wilkinson
Produced by Arnon Milchan, Darryl J. Quarles, Michael Green, Paul Schiff
Written by Darryl. J. Quarles and Peter Gaulke & Gerry Swallow, directed by Gil Junger


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Updated March 19, 2020