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"The 13th Warrior"

Saw it yesterday. Overall, it's a fairly interesting film about an Arab who is sent to northern Europe as a sort of ambassador. I won't reveal the story except to say it's clearly based on "The Seven Samurai."
Of interest here is the main character's (Antonio Banderas) use of a yatagan (sp?) sword as opposed to the heavier swords used by the vikings.
Some scenes are very unclear, probably on purpose. Also, unfortunately, in the theater I saw it at, the sound was not the best quality. Couple that with the often low, unclear dialogue of Banderas and an accent, and a lot of the movie was not verbally understandable for me. But you pretty much get the picture anyway.
Worth checking out, anyway.

I haven't seen the flick, but you might be interested to know that it was written by Michael Crichton, the guy that wrote Jurrasic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Outbreak, and a bucketfull of other movies you've heard of.

Anyways, the original name for the Thirteenth Warrior is "The Eaters Of The Dead". I suppose that title wasn't catchy enough, so they switched it.

The book's available in case you wanna read what you missed in the dialogue.
Actually the story is written by Michael Crighton and is true story, for the most part, based on the writings of Antonio's character. I can't remember his name but it was a long one.

Did you like how Antonio made his sword?

Paranoia is only smart thinking
when everyone is out to get you.

I think I'll wait for the video. A couple of people were griping about the sword/fencing innaccuracies on the haca forum, Hollywood sucks; what else is new?
They changed the original title because it sounded to much like a horror /cannibal movie and weren't sure if it would confuse people. I enjoyed the book and will see how they did on the movie.
I was being facetious when I said that it wasn't a catchy enough title.. heh heh.... shoulda used one of these
Actually, I went to Barnes & Noble last week and saw the book with BOTH titles on the cover. When I was that it used to be named "Eaters of the Dead", I was sold. I've never regretted reading any of his books, since he researches the hell out of them before he writes them. I get an education for a $5.95 tuition.
Nyet, Nyet, Beep; Thank you for playing, Please come again.

To read the books you need to read all three, because this is Beowulf from a different perspective.

Here's the list:
1. Beowulf
2. Hrolf Kraki's Saga
3. Eaters of the Dead.

Can't say at this time if Hrolf Kraki is still in print, but I found it years ago in Sci-Fi / Fantasy section of the book store.
I saw it.

I thought it was fun, I guess because of the "Starship Trooperishness" about it. no political intrigue, no innuendo, no plot twists, just pure, unadulterated carnage between two groups. The humor was fun and well placed, and it was action packed. I am sure is I were an expert in swords, blacksmithing, Viking armor, viking history, etc, I am sure I would have found something to get upset about.

I did find alot ofthe camera action cunfusing, sometimes I thought the camera was moving more than the actirs, and sorta regret sitting three rows back from the front.

It was a good hack & slash movie...if you want to see just a really good move go see The Sixth Sense...that was a good movie..(two flicks up!!)


It is not a matter of whether or not you are paranoid, it is a matter of whether or not you are paranoid enough.

AKTI # A000348
I was just relating a story why they renamed the movie.The only reason I knew was that my sister is in that businessTerminal Man was also a good one.
I just finished the book two days ago. According to Michael Crighton (in the book,) the first 3 chapters are based on the true diary of Ibn Fadlan from the 10th century. At the part where he meets the vikings and is taken to the north, the book becomes a retelling of the Beowulf story as told by an outside observer pulled into the action. The true writings of Ibn Fadlan do not include any such adventure.

Having read Beowulf in school, I recognized the story. Crighton's goal was to make the classic tale easier to read and more enjoyable for 20th century readers. i think he succeeded, I couldn't put it down. I have not seen the movie yet, but do plan to.
There was a real Arab traveller named Ibn Fadlan, who encountered the Vikings, a.k.a. Rus or Varangians, in 922CE, and observed a chief's funeral, and generally thought of them as impossibly barbaric. Here's a non-fiction reference on the Web:

. . . and another reference, which addresses the blurring of the line between history and fiction:

An excerpt:
You are indeed correct to be sceptical. While undoubtedly Creighton had some familiarity with Ibn Fadlan's account,
his well known novel Eaters of the Dead is totally fiction, mixing Ibn Fadlan with Beowulf and a bit of H.G. Wells'
Morlocks added for flavor. There are, however, translations of Ibn Fadlan available, including the excerpts discussing
Ibn Fadlan's adventures among the Rus as discussed below:
Ibn Fadlan was an Arab chronicler. In 921 C.E., the Caliph of Baghdad sent Ibn Fadlan with an embassy to the King of the Bulgars of the Middle Volga. Ibn Fadlan wrote an account of his journeys with the embassy, called a Risala. This Risala is of great value as a history, although it is clear in some places that inaccuracies and Ibn Fadlan's own prejudices have slanted the account to some extent.

During the course of his journey, Ibn Fadlan met a people called the Rus, a group of Swedish origin, acting as traders in the Bulgar capital. The first allusion to the Rus comes toward the close of the description of the Bulgars. When the Rus or people of another race came with slaves for sale, the king of the Bulgars had a right to choose one slave in each ten for himself. The full description begins: (follow the above link)

The novel takes Ibn Fadlan on a long fictional side trip into myth and legend, into a tale that was already old in his day, if he had heard it, which he almost certainly never did. Who knows what the movie has in turn done to the book?

Besides the original Beowulf (available in a bunch of translations into modern English) and Eaters of the Dead, which re-writes the epic almost beyond recognition, there's another novel out there, available at Amazon.com - Grendel by John Champlin Gardner, which retells the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster.

I assume that the movie has some serious stage swordfighting in it, which makes it almost "on topic" for this forum.

AKTI Member # SA00001
Christopher Lambert played Beowulf in a recent movie of the same name. It wasn't released in the US, but wasn't too bad. They had that big German guy from "Tommorrow Never Dies" as Roland. (What did Roland have to do with Beowulf, I'll never know. But the story was set in the year 3000. Weird stuff.

I found this really funny link of the online illustrated Beowulf spoof. Check it out.
About that "heavy Viking sword", those things weighed two or three pounds, the average weight for just about every sword in the world. Including yagatans, though I hear the weapon in question was actualy a scimitar. Don't know, haven't seen the movie myself.
The movie was awesome. Fast paced and full of glorious moments. Pure Hollywood emotions and action but quite entertaining.

I saw the movie the other day and enjoyed it. I recommend it to others- it is a straight forward "good versus evil" tale. I found the humor witty and the scenes well done, though I don't know enough about the period to analyze them down to the nth degree... Anyway, go see it- at the very least it is refreshing to see Hollywood put out something different from their norm.

I'm seeing the movie this Saturday (even though I've seen less than sterling reviews). No matter what you think of the movie, READ THE BOOK!!! I read most of his books before JP came out, and loved them all! Eaters of the Dead and The Terminal Man absolutely freaked me out (then again, I was a 6th grader with an overactive imagination) to the point of trouble with sleeping. Read that book! I'll make sure I pay close attention to the swordplay of course. This brings another question to my mind: Just out of curiosity, anyone else ever study kendo?


God giveth, and God taketh away... I thure with he would taketh away thith lithp!!!
The historical Ibn Fadlan's main impression of the northern barbarians he met was that they were deficient in morals and personal hygiene. Does this come through in the movie?

Here's what Ibn Fadlan had to say about their cutlery, among other things:

Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife and keeps each by him at all times. The swords are broad and grooved, of Frankish sort. Every man is tatooed from finger nails to neck with dark green (or green or blue-black) trees, figures, etc.

AKTI Member # SA00001
Yes, in the beginning he is very put off by some of the hygiene and habits of the northerners.

I think my favorite part of the movie was where one of the warriors picks a fight with a giant to make a point.