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Tristan and Isolde

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 Before Romeo and Juliet, back in the Dark Ages when the troubles between England and Ireland were young, there were two young star-crossed lovers -- Tristan, a rising warrior within his uncle's bit of Britain, and fair Isolde, daughter of the Irish king. Kevin Reynolds' light epic -- it's just over two hours, but has all the requisite battles, baffling costumes and overwrought dialogue -- adapts this ancient tale set in a world where romantic love must cede to political strategy. James Franco is somewhat turgid as Tristan; he's more broody than passionate. Rufus Sewell plays his enlightened uncle Marke. Isolde is portrayed by Sophia Myles, a lovely creature with a soft voice who seems cast from a 1940s studio epic. In fact, much of Reynolds's film feels old-school, with its careful mix of action and romance, and more swashbuckling than CGI effects. (AH)

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