The first Elizabeth was made nearly ten years ago, I guess I find that hard to believe because I was in college at the time. That movie was a classic, the sequel Elizabeth-The Golden Age is a good movie, but not the classic the original was.
The romantic tension is here, as it was in the first movie, but this time around there is a strange love triangle between Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, and another Elizabeth on the Queen's Court. In the first movie the tension was to get the Queen married, that isn't the focus this time around. The focus is for Elizabeth to be loved just as a regular human being, and to me that is a boring story. You can see that in any movie, but to marry for royal and political purposes is not an everyday story. And the filmmakers didn't focus on that this time around.
The crux of this movie focuses on Prince Philip of Spain's invasion of England and the failure of the Spanish Armada to crush the English navy. Unfortunately this was very passed over. In fact I found it down right confusing. Elizabeth's rise to the golden age is grounded in this event, yet there is very little screen time dedicated this battle, very strange to me.
But having said that, this movie still makes you respect the Queen that Virginia was named after. I guess because I am a Virginian I may some sort of soft spot for Elizabeth in my psyche. Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh is a case of great casting, as is Samantha Morton as Mary Queen of Scots. And it is the story of Mary that really makes this movie tense and gives the movie its best scenes. The debate to behead Mary lies in the idea that Royalty is Divinely given, thus to behead Mary would be for Elizabeth to admit she was human and not there to divine intervention. Yet to keep the kingdom together Mary needed to die. This is the tension and conflict that makes this movie.
The Disc itself-Video A; Audio B
The video transfer here gets an A. This is a well photographed movie and it comes across on the DVD.
The audio is only Dolby Digital and it is a good spacious sound space, but I still would like to see a DTS track. There is a commentary track by the director.
There are four different short making of features. The most interesting one is about the art director and the details he brought to the set. But the others are fairly typically filler and talking heads, interesting but not really something to purchase the disc for.
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