Thursday, June 02, 2005  

Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven

 For the ticket price alone they should have at least had the air conditioner running in the theater during the ridiculous inundation of Coke commercials and previews you seem to get now a days. That's right, my first impression of the film has me thinking about the AC.

Ridley Scott's medieval war epic does have existence. The cinematography is brilliant. The battle scenes, however short, still captivate the imagination. It's hard not to be impressed by the thought of 200,000 Muslim soldiers descending on the city of Jerusalem, then actually seeing it play out on the big screen. The film speaks to those of us who truly enjoy historical pieces. As you see, this film does have existence. Only visually, not from a story telling point of view.

The screenplay by William Monahan gives hope to the amateur screenwriter. It proves you can write a script that's mundane and muddled with pointless dialogue and still have it made into a movie. The plot points of this script are non-existent. Character arches and motivations seem the veer in circles. The emotional journey ever movie must create, flat lines. Even with such wasted words two characters of the movie still feed your attention span long enough to keep it interesting. Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons, though never on screen together, fill the void and keep this script from its imminent death of spontaneous combustion. Poof! I ran across an interesting news story, which might explain why this script fails. Trying to cover up a stolen story can create a pile of steaming paper.

Kingdom of Heaven' Sparks Battle
Writer Says Crusades-Era Epic 'Kingdom of Heaven'
Plagiarized Book He Wrote in 2001

The mere fact that this movie shines light on the history of Muslim and Christian hostilities makes it worth seeing. With all the other great summer movies out there, you can wait for this one on DVD. I'm not the only one that seems to think so. Kingdom of Heaven has only produced $45 million in four weeks at the box office. Now I know what you're thinking, "Everyone is going to see Star Wars at the theater." If so, how does that explain the three weeks this film was running before Star Wars? It still wasn't able to churn the buttermilk bank wheel.

When you decide to watch this one on DVD, make sure to crank your AC down low. Get a glass of ice cold Coke and some popcorn. Remember to keep in mind, this film is a visual spectacle and not a showcase of writing talent.

MPAA rating: R (for strong violence and epic warfare).

'Kingdom of Heaven'

Directed and produced by Ridley Scott; written by William Monahan; photographed by John Mathieson; edited by Dody Dorn; production designed by Arthur Max; music by Harry Gregson-Williams; special effects and prosthetics supervisor Neil Corbould; visual effects supervisor Wesley Sewell; executive producers Branko Lustig, Lisa Ellzey, Terry Needham. A 20th Century Fox release of a Scott Free production. Running time: 2:25.

Balian - Orlando Bloom

Sibylla - Eva Green

Tiberias - Jeremy Irons

Hospitaler - David Thewlis

Reynald - Brendan Gleeson

Guy de Lusignan - Marton Csokas

Godfrey - Liam Neeson

King Baldwin - Edward Norton

Saladin - Ghassan Massoud


At 9:04 PM,Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this movie, and I also wished that it could have been much better, especialy the second half was less interesting, and I really missed Neeson's Godfrey from Ibelin, which charisma was stunning, almost as great characters were the released "servant", and Saladin. Even if I was not completely satisfied, I still like the movie, it is a true visual masterpiece.
(just wondering how good "The Dark Knight" will be, its now on 1st place of all ever made movies on iMDB, looks forward to see it :)


At 2:10 AM,Anonymous Anonymous said...

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