Legend of Tarzan

Early Legend of Tarzan Review Breaks the Embargo then Disappears (Update)

ERBDOM, Legend of Tarzan (Movie)

ORIGINAL POST: Looks like not everyone is honoring the embargo.  (We are — our review will appear when the embargo ends at 6am Wednesday). Meanwhile  Back to the Movies in the UK has posted a favorable review. Read the full review here.

UPDATE  9am:   Looks like WB is enforcing the Embargo. The link with the review has been disabled, so I guess people will just have to stay tuned.  I will leave this post up just so people know what’s going on understand the news aspect of this which is that Back to the Movies did post a review, but it has disappeared after a couple of hours.




  • I got to read it before it was taken down and wondered how it was allowed to even be up at all due to the embargo. It was a favorable review but the reviewers two favorite character were Williams and Jane, he thought Tarzan could have had more diologue and personality, I wondered if he understood the Tarzan character at all since Tarzan was never supposed to be to loquacious or high spirited. His personality was never supposed to win any ” personality parades”. He also wanted ” more action” and ” Less flashbacks”. He obviously was not one who wanted more origin story as those who made up the audiences for early prescreenings did and he’s also one who is addicted to high octane action flicks. He wanted more movie and disliked the short running time ,so he obviously enjoyed it and thought it was a fun ride. He said as much and praised the CGI and epic scope of the movie.

      • Here it is (thanks to Beerwolf for finding it on IMDb)

        Right out of the gate I have to admit that my expectations for Warner Brothers new take on Tarzan were quite high. I can’t really tell you why they were so high given that I barely remember the tale of Tarzan. I really only remember the animated Disney movie that featured that epic Phil Collins song. The trailer seemed great, the film looked great, and every actor or actress in the film basically has been nominated or won Academy Awards. With the recent smash success of The Jungle Book this movie is basically settling for the silver medal at best right from the onset. The crazy part is not only did I find the film fresh, fun, and exciting, but also it totally surpassed my expectations. That’s really hard to do when so many of these films, like Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules, really fell flat. Well, not as flat as the other one with Kellan Lutz.

        The film starts out with Tarzan and Jane happily married and living in the real world. Happiness is quickly put aside when a war starts brewing in the village where Tarzan was raised. While forwarding the story we see continuous flashbacks to Tarzan and Jane’s first meetings, him being raised by the apes, etc. when the devilish Leon Rom, played by Christoph Waltz, wants to dig the land for diamonds, and he kidnaps Jane to distract Tarzan from getting the diamonds. We meet characters played by Samuel L Jackson and Djimon Hounsou. Jackson is a total wingman to Tarzan and Hounsou is the leader of the village people that Waltz wants to over take to steal the diamonds. It’s just a retelling of the classic man tries to save the day and get the girl. It’s simplicity at its best. As far as the characters go, Tarzan really doesn’t have much dialogue and could have used a bit more personality. Waltz is, well, Waltz. He’s literally the same character from Inglorious Basterds, just not as hostile. Hounsou also didn’t get to do much out of his cliche I’m king of the village thing but 2 characters totally steal the film. We all know Margot Robbie is a gorgeous young actress. I can’t wait to see her take on Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad but she shines in this movie. She is no prisoner to anyone and if you call her out she will just spit right in your face. It was so refreshing to see that character really fight back and go for it. I also loved how she’s not all glammed up. It’s the 1800’s and you’re a prisoner. It’s great to see the make up artist go easy on the make up. Then you have Jackson as the comic relief, just having fun and playing well off of Alexander Skarsgard. It’s a great overall cast. The things that worked. Most of you are familiar with the story and it doesn’t stray too far. It could have done a few new things and it certainly could have had more action. The movie is very talk heavy and it’s only an hour and 49 minutes. I feel the flashbacks could have been cut down because it’s really annoying to stop during a serious scene in the now with something from the past. It almost felt like a Saw sequel that’s more of a flashback than a new film.

        I feel like the villain here could have been more villainous. I mean you can never trust someone with a moustache like Waltz’s in the film, a villainous archetype. The action that’s in the film is beautifully shot but at the same time we don’t get to see enough. The scenes with Tarzan fighting in hand to hand combat while swinging look smooth, slick, and mesmerizing. That’s a total credit to director David Yates, who directed four Harry Potter films. However slick the action scenes feel repetitive, every fight scene just feels the same. Thanks to Margot and Samuel, they really bring humour and fun to the action here. It’s also important to note the look of the film. Think about each Harry Potter film and how they have different looks and tones to them. The pale blue look to the film added a sense of mystery that has me talking like a total geek. The CGI was good and during the action scenes there was never a feeling of overuse, which is a huge problem these days. The Jungle Book was basically an animated movie. Jane and Tarzan never get into cheesy territory with their romance. So while I appreciate the film taking on the basics of the story, it was the actors that really made the film something special. The film also looked amazing in 3D. One scene with the gorilla’s fighting in the rain is something I look forward to seeing again. All in all I’d say Warner Brothers has a really good film on their hands. They managed to actually properly reboot a legend quite well. It’s not perfect, it’s simplistic, and it’s a really fun ride that I only wish was longer. There should be more action and more types of action, but with the cast and brilliant direction I say take a chance on this film because you can’t judge a book by its cover.

  • They really are sticking with it, although I thought they might possibly let this review slide since it was positive. I do wonder why they want to wait until Wed am? Is that usual? It seems to suggest that they’re running away from the reviews to mitigate any negativity from gaining traction. However, the little bit I’ve seen — a tweet here, a tweet there, etc., — are landing more on the positive side. I don’t know, I may be way off base and I hope I am, but it makes me question WB’s faith in LoT.

    • I don’t follow the marketing strategies for other films as I have done with this one,and so am unaware if it is a usual practice to have so many pre sceening events just before and after the premier, as as been done with LOT. Maybe due to the number of prescreenings so close to the premier,they want to get everyone on the same page as far as releasing reviews ,comments etc, be they from professional trade journalists ,bloggers,tweeters etc. It doesn’t look like WB has lost faith in LOT me ( although I’m sure they aware of its tracking position) since when that happens the studio usually embargo reviews until after the film’s opening. As was done for BVS and others. The premier for LOT is this evening and under normal circumstances reviews would start rolling out by tomorrow am. Changing it Wed am is just a delay of one day which ,IMO ,is not a big deal in terms of the word getting out as to whether it’s a yeah or nay from the critics.

    • A review embargo is pretty standard in a case like this, where this the movie’s first release, meaning not having shown overseas or at a festival, etc. I think some times the studio will let the reviews go earlier if they think they’ve got great reviews: Deadpool did this I believe. And if the opposite is true, as with IDR, they’ll either embargo till the day of, or not have any screenings beforehand. Fox did have the embargo lift on IDR 48 hours before its release, it’s just that only about 10 critics had seen it, so the initial reviews weren’t that bad.
      I think last year WB kept the embargo on Mad Max, even though the reviews were great.
      Not everyone adheres to the embargo or their NDA, and that’s true with LOT, IMDB already has audience scores:

  • Thanks Margaret and BC. Interesting about IMDb — the user ratings are looking fairly good. Hope that trend continues and gets even better.

    And, yes, Michael — I hope you have a great time. I saw a little bit of People’s streaming video and it looks crazy and fun! On a completely selfish note, if you see Alex, tell him I said “hi”. 🙂

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