Disappointing! Not what I expected. Average.
I guess I just expected too much before I watched this film. I am a student of medieval history, the crusades, and the Templars and I expected an intelligent film (which Ridley Scott usually produces). What I saw was an anti-war "epic" wanna-be.
The acting was OK. The battle scenes decent. The editing and camera work well done. The problem was the story. Historically, the film was surprisingly accurate, but the characters were not believable in this time period; specifically Orlando Bloom's character.
It was like a 20th (or now 21st) century man thrown in to a world of political, religious and social disorder. The time of the crusades was one of fanaticism based on beliefs that the only way to heaven was by being absolved of sin; the catholic church in their greed to rule the world, set out in a bloody conquest to destroy the Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land and the only way that they could get commoners to participate was to promise that heaven awaited them on the other side.
This was the dark ages (called that because it was before the age of enlightenment), a time when most people couldn't read, and even if they could, didn't have anything to read because everything was in latin, including the bible. People had to believe what the pope told them. If they didn't believe the pope, they had to do what their feudal lords told them to do (because the lords would have them arrested, killed, homeless, wifeless or childless if they didn't).
Essentially, this film tries to prove that men had free will in the dark/middle ages and history proves that this is not possible. Just as we cannot understand what it was like to live during the revolutionary war, the civil war, the hundred years war, or any other war from a previous time period, we cannot understand the massive, sweeping lack of power possessed by the individual during the time of the crusades. Only monarchs and clergy had power at this time and only they had the potential for understanding the political, religious climate of the day.
Even educated people of the time were stupid in the world of international relations because everything back then was based on personal greed, personal gain of the church and the monarchs.
Now, so far as those of you who claim that the movie is christian bashing, let me say this. DO SOME RESEARCH!!! The dark ages was a horrible time for the church, the catholic church especially. The church was controlled by evil men with agendas that did not include glorifying God. Heresy and Simony were rampant in and out of the church.
OK, so you don't care about the accuracy, and you just want a good action movie that takes place in the dark ages. Well then, this movie is for you.
It actually was a good movie with good acting and a good script. The problem that I have is that it just isn't believable with what I know about the time period. Had I not known about the time period, I probably would have rated the film higher.
So, in the end, what you have with this is a film that seems to be trying to make a point; that war is pointless. WELL, WE KNOW THAT. LOOK AT IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.
What I don't understand is why this movie was made. It is entertaining, but at what cost. It does nothing to explain the period, the mistakes of the past. It is propaganda. I know, I expect too much. I will grant you that. Do what you will with this review, but I was let down by this movie. Too bad, really. It could have been a great movie.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Ridley Scott makes another hit
Although faring poorly on the ticketbooth, Kingdom of Heaven is a finely elaborated movie. Taking historical characters from the timeframe between the 2nd and 3rd Crusades, Scott creates an epic story of the journeys and ultimate self discovery of a young man (Orlando Bloom), illegitimate son of a married
peasant woman and a noble's second son. Driven by mourn and bitterness over the death of his wife, Balian (Bloom) embarks along his newly discovered father (Liam Neeson) towards Jerusalem, seeking forgiveness for both himself an his wife, a suicide. Upon his father's unexpected death during the trip,
Balian ends up being Baron of Ibelin, and one of the King of Jerusalem's top
knights. Upon surviving a fierce storm at sea and a duel with a Muslim knight,
he finally gets to Jerusalem, holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.
There he will learn that a kingdom of conscience grows in the mind and heart, and such can never be abdicated. The Extended Director's cut Edition brings 45 extra minutes that explain a lot of things that the regular version leaves hanging or was heavily edited. A definite classic sword-n-sandal epic.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Stirring Epic from a master film maker!
If you've seen Gladiator, you know what to expect from Ridley Scott. Stunning cinematography, action, and special effects. But these elements do not obscure a detailed plotline dealing with a man finding his path in life and actions taken in the name of religion ultimately masking a desire for wealth and power. Orlando Bloom holds his own in a leading role with a notable cast including Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, and others. The Blu ray transfer is excellent, and the DTS HD sound caps the presentation. A worthy addition to a movie collection!
This movie is an epic on par with any 1 of the Lord of the Rings.
It has good character development, a great storyline, and blood-spewing action.
The Director's Cut makes this movie nice and long - 3hrs+!
Now, it is R, and justly so, considering there are many heads that get cutoff!
Unlike LotR, this ones not for the kiddies.
The BR disc itself is one of the best you could buy.
It features DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 Lossless that streams at 24MBps.
The 2.35:1 Widescreen preserves the original aspect ratio.
The case says the video is MPEG-2 @ 24MBps, but 24 must be an average, because the bit-rate was very near that most of the time and peaked to over 40MBps!
You gotta love Blu-Ray and "Max-bit-rate" because HD-DVD stops at 30MBps!
This is my first BR to own. I shopped for a while, before settling on this one.
I bought this one for its length, audio, and video.
Bluray.com is your ultimate Blu-Ray info source!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Really showcases the power and quality of Blu-ray Disc
KOH (Kingdom of Heaven) is one of my favorite Ridley Scott films. This is a great coming of age title with beautiful visuals. Currently early 2007 this is one of many TIER1 Blu-ray titles. This format allows you to see things as they were meant to be seen. Both color reproduction and sound quality are superb, this is a must buy for the Blu-ray Collector.