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Old 05-08-2005, 07:10 PM   #1
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Kingdom of Heaven

Orlando gets his first starring role.

And I was underwhelmed. Once again, another epic that falls short.

Anyone else see it?
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:40 PM   #2
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i posted this in the 'last movie you've seen..' thread. i thought 'kingdom of heaven' wasn't bad. the battle scenes were good and orlando bloom is a hottie. i did kind of go 'uh oh' when i realized he was going to be carrying the movie, i'm not sure if he has that kind of presence yet.

i must admit, i don't know a lot about the crusades, and after watching this, i feel like i know even less. it seemed to me that the movie assumes you know who these characters are, as well as the social, political and religious history that led up to the events in the film. like i said, my historical knowledge of this era is sketchy at best, so i was confused at certain points in the movie. then again, maybe it's just a fictional story set during this time period - who knows?

anyway, on a positive note, it's made me want to read up on the crusades, so maybe i'll go buy a book on it
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:45 PM   #3
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I saw it yesterday afternoon. I liked much more than I thought I would. Orlando is a eye-candy to be sure, but he did a decent job.

I'd recommend it.
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:08 AM   #4
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I liked it much more than I thought I would too, I hate gory violence in movies though. I know there's all this "controversy" about the view it allegedly takes on Christians/Muslims..honestly all I remember about the Crusades is what I learned in whatever grade that was so long ago.

Orlando is just breathtakingly beautiful in that movie. I thought he did a decent job too. Then again, I might forgive him just about anything

Does anyone know for sure if it's Ed Norton playing the king who has leprosy? I thought I read that. Of course I could just look it up online
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:08 AM   #5
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I hope it comes to my town.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:22 AM   #6
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anyway, on a positive note, it's made me want to read up on the crusades, so maybe i'll go buy a book on it
i love a woman who thirsts for knowledge.
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:27 AM   #7
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so i've been doing a little reading online to determine the historical accuracy of this film. a lot of reviewers have slammed ridley scott for sugarcoating the conflict between the crusaders and the muslims, particularly in portraying the muslims as peace-loving. but, apparently saladin was/is known for being a generous and chivalrous leader, especially in his dealings with richard the lionheart.

from the wikipedia: "Saladin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry; both were celebrated in the courtly romances that developed in northern Europe. When Richard was wounded, Saladin even offered the services of his personal physician, a signal favor for Muslim medical practice was the best in the Western world. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements. There were even plans to marry Richard's sister to Saladin's brother... Not long after Richard's departure, Saladin died in 1193 at Damascus. When they opened Saladin's treasury they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral; he had given his money away to those in need."

there is also mention of saladin's capture and execution of raynald of chatillon and the capture of guy of lusignan, so this part of the movie is also accurate. i haven't read anything so far about queen sibylla or balian of ibelin, so maybe those characters are fictional?
i'm finding all of this quite fascinating, by the way.
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:50 AM   #8
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Clearly, those movie reviewers haven't picked up a history book in a few years!

The film was very accurate in portraying the Muslims. Saladin really did allow safe passage for Christians out of the city--as opposed to the Christians, who as Orlando's character rightly pointed out, had slaughtered all the Muslims within the city.

I don't know alot about the Crusades, but the bits and pieces I've read have always stressed how the Muslims generally were kinder or more respectful to their prisoners. It's something that was swept under the historical rug of course--the Church hardly wanted anyone to know the "infidels" had behaved better than the holy Crusaders-- but is now given its rightful place in history.

Sometimes they should include an encyclopedia in the press kit.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:15 AM   #9
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In terms of accuracy the film was as accurate (all the characters, with the exception of Godfey of Ibelin existed) as a contemporary historical epic these days is allowed to be, despite having little peeves (such as in real life, King Baldwin had already died before the time in which the movie is set in).

I have to confess that I had to watch this film immediately; it starred three of my favourite actors, looked gorgeous and was directed by Ridley Scott, whom I've admired for a long time. The movie certainly has good things going for it; namely the performances by Neeson and Irons, not to mention a very touching and affecting performance by Edward Norton. Also, the actor who played Saladdin, Ghassan Massoud, provided a touching and effective performance. Orlando Bloom was passable, if a bit wooden at times, and didn't really interfere with the movie too much.

However, the film's narrative and plot suffered substantially from the politics of the crusades contrasting with contemporary politics. Half-measures seem to be the curse of it; Scott doesn't want to make a strictly accurate portrayal of the crusades, and yet, he needs to have the obligatory villains to the story and a half-baked romance. The result is that you have a movie that stresses how noble everybody was, with the exception of the Templars (who are portrayed as pugnacious maniacs), and yet many battles that, consequentially, really don't involve very much. Halfway through the movie I thought to myself 'this really isn't going to work;, and to a certain extent, it doesn't. However, Scott convinces in terms of the tone he chooses to adopt for the last ten or fifteen minutes, and he manages to convince in a way you didn't think was possible. Its almost as if the last five minutes justifies the odd plot structure the film assumed. Balian's encounter with Richard the Lion Heart at the end really does, in my eyes, justify the awkward construction.

Try to look at the film purely from the character arc constructed for Balian, and how he comes to represent and summarise the sheer insanity and bloody turmoil of the never-ending Crusades. Try to look at someone fractured, confused and having problems with the notions of 'faith' and what it means to 'be good'. By the end he's pretty much none the wiser, but he has what most people who went to the Crusades didn't appear to have; a sense of direction.

From that point of the view, the movie isn't as weak and as awkward as some may think.

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Old 05-09-2005, 11:45 AM   #10
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I am still wondering why they keep on putting someone as insipid as Orlando Bloom in the main role of all these epics...

Just to get the chicks to see it, I guess.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:53 AM   #11
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I am still wondering why they keep on putting someone as insipid as Orlando Bloom in the main role of all these epics...


Isn't Liam Neeson in it, too? I like him...
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:14 PM   #12
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Well, it also seems that the chicks are not going... movie made only $20 million on opening weekend.
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:24 PM   #13
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lmjhitman, the enigma that is you entices me to no end. is it bad that i equate your, as yet, unknown beauty with that of your avatar? oh god
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Old 05-09-2005, 05:49 PM   #14
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I admit Orlando was a major attraction, but I don't think that makes me stupid for seeing it I didn't see any ugly women in that movie either.

I saw Gladiator even though I'm really not a big fan of Russell Crowe. I don't think Ridley Scott cares all that much about historical accuracy, maybe he does.

I think the box office was slow over the weekend in general, maybe due to Mother's Day.
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:19 PM   #15
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Seeing as Liam Neesom, Edward Norton AND Jeremy Irons are all in this movie, not to mention Orlando Bloom (hey, he may not be a great actor, but he's pretty) are all in this, I will definitely have to see it at some point. I really don't like the fact that Ridley Scott is directing it though, because I friggin' hated Gladiator.
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