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Old May 5th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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See now I wanted to see other people's reactions too it before I posted mine. Last night at the premiere they gave out so many tickets to get in and I got one!!!! SQUEEEEEEEE... I didn't get ones for the after party though. Well any how, yes it is very violent, and true the love scenes were cut down to a minimum. But let me just say... I knew Ridley Scott would give us a great movie and that Orlando would do an amazing job. HE WAS BALIAN. NO doubt about it.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Avalon Mists Avalon Mists is offline
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Egads, this was good. It is actually a little while ago that I saw it, but I've pretty much just got home. I liked KOH, quite a bit. Orlando did well, and as Orlando said (think it might have been the Suite slip?) Eva is quite regal- she did well. The rest of the leading cast was good too (could help having a quite chuckle to myself when Reynald was doing his little prance in the dungeon). I was taking particular note of Imad (the second in charge of Saladin's army) as I'd liked Alexander Siddig from his Star Trek DS9 days.
The love scene is brief, but they have said it's all in the DVD so I'll be looking forward to that.
Gory? Well yes, there is a fair amount of blood splattering. I might be getting imune to it (not that I watch a lot of movies with a lot of that in it- BHD is a bit too much for my liking though), but it didn't bother me greatly. I wasn't the only one though who gasped when the German knight got up and continued fighting after getting his arrow in the early forest fight- that was amazing. And the times when Balian really copped it (a couple of blows to the arm in particular) had me really feeling for our poor baby! I wonder how it would have been, had Sibylla tended his wound that second time?
I cried too. Tears welled when Godfrey and Baldwin died, but a couple spilled over when the wall of Jeruselem was breached. A combination of the music and the camera zooming out/up from the two armies fighting atop the rubble. They were fighting so fiercely, and yet still they were in line with the wall, neither side gaining an advantage. That was the moment that really brought home to me the futility of war.
And the music. I'd liked what I'd heard of the snippets at Amazon. In the movie it fit pretty well to what was happening on screen. Aside from what I mention above, I particularly liked the subtle theme that we hear a few times. More on that though in the soundtrack thread (in a bit).
Criticisms? Hmm, not many, and they're fairly minor. There were a couple of times that I thought we could have done with out the slow-mo (but it didn't bug me near as much as a particular zoom-in in Troy). I did also think that hopefully the full length DVD will flesh out the early part of the movie a bit more. I don't think this was because I felt there was something lacking, but more that I wanted to see more of Godfrey with Balian. But they were fairly minor things. The only thing that I did have a bit more of a problem with was the shipwreak. As at least one reviewer said, it was a little too convinient that Balian (and the horse) was the only survivor. But I can overlook that in the end.
Yes, I intend seeing it again (though I'd pretty much already decided that). I don't think it will become my new fav movie, but I'll be seeing it again and hanging out for the extended DVD.


EDIT- knew there would be things I'd forget...

I was talking about the music before, but there was one part where the lack of music was significant. When Balian is sitting at the site of Jesus' crucifixion the prolonged silience was more significant I think that any music could have been. It went on and on, but it didn't seem over-long - it was perfect.
The other thing- was it just me, or did it sound to anyone else that Balian was called 'Sidi' by the young boy in Ibelin when they struck water (or was it when Sibylla came, I forget exactly when now!)?

Last edited by Avalon Mists; May 5th, 2005 at 04:34 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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Yes, they called him Sidi, I smiled brightly when I heard it, as if I was the only one in the theatre who was in on a secret, LOL.

Alexander Siddig, of course *smacks head* I love DS9, never made the connection, silly me. Good role he had. I loved how he planted the sword in the sand after that battle, and you know it's him.
And I forgot to mention Edward Norton, what a performance, without being able to use facial expression, it's all in the voice and the body language.

What a fantastic movie. It's also so wonderful to see how different Balian is from any other character Orlando has played, and how he really is Balian.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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From The Times Online

Kingdom of Heaven
By James Christopher
Ridley Scott's ripping crusades epic makes a man of Orlando Bloom

15, 145 mins

RIDLEY SCOTT’S crusade to Jerusalem is a thumping medieval yarn, dressed in all the bloody trappings that made his last box-office epic, Gladiator, such a terrific watch. Kingdom of Heaven is a Boy’s Own version of the 1187 battle to save the Holy City from Saladin, and it’s as bitter and lopsided as one could wish. The Christian knights are mouldy cynics. The Saracens are polished snakes. The twists are marvellous. And dying with an axe in your head is a fine art.

But there is controversy in the stalls. Scott has reawakened an ancient fixture between Muslims and Christians, and prominent academics are reacting like boozy football fans. First up for the Millwall Templars is Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, who declares that the film is not historically accurate. It depicts Muslims as sophisticated, and the crusaders as brutes and barbarians. Khaled Abu el-Fadl, a professor at the University of California, puts in the boot for the Fulham Fundamentalists: “I believe this movie teaches people to hate Muslims. How are people going to react to these images of Muslims attacking churches and tearing down the Cross?” he froths.

This kind of venom should hardly be a surprise for Ridley Scott. Every big film he makes begs to be taken to task. But claims of hatred and bias are feeble. Scott has always been a “shoot first, think (much) later” director, and I admire him for it. He immerses you in the period and action, and leaves you to extract the political shrapnel. What’s strange about his latest film is that it’s so old-fashioned. The hero of the hour is Orlando Bloom, and he bursts on-screen like a hand-crafted aristocrat from the pages of a vintage Mills & Boon. He wears blowsy shirts, dusty britches and medieval cowboy boots when he’s impressing the natives, and chain-mail armour and a huge glistening broadsword when he’s chopping them in half.

He is fabulously uncomplicated, and effortlessly sexy. He’s also grown up from juvenile swashbuckler to handsome and earthy lead. At the start of the film he is a village blacksmith with impeccable aristocratic credentials, a trim beard, a ghastly past and a yen to go to Jerusalem to atone for his murderous sins. But the road to salvation is treacherous. The motley band of knights he is forced to join are as spiritually bankrupt as their Christian cause.

Jerusalem is the usual thousand-year tease: it’s a state of mind, a rape date and a ramshackle casino. The decent chaps who run it are fast going out of fashion. But being a lord, and honourable hero, Balian of Ibelin (Bloom) has an honesty that bewitches the king, and a charm that bedevils the enemy. In short he believes in the crusading faith, yet he retches at what the crusaders have become.

Bloom’s shining idealism is a beacon in a city teeming with crooked barons and back-stabbing plots. David Thewlis, Marton Csokas and Jeremy Irons put in superb cameos as seasoned cynics.

And Bloom himself is torn between his loyalty to God, a married princess (Eva Green), and the leprous king (Edward Norton).

But the film really lifts off only when Scott unleashes the dogs of war. He has never shied away from hardcore combat. Whether we care to admit it or not, a lot of screen pleasure in any Scott epic is invested in the pure claustrophobic horror of his set pieces. He puts the viewer in the eye of the storm. He rams horses into each other at full speed. He creates a bloody maelstrom with no exits to speak of, and he frames every grisly thump at head height or waist level.

Defending the hallowed city against the tidal wave of Saracens — who march and grunt like hungry orcs — is, of course, meat and drink for Bloom. His canny and preposterous arts of survival will raise a sceptical eyebrow. But this is what star and director do best: crazy odds, and bone-crunching visceral violence shot with tremendous flair and style.

“Convert to Islam. Repent later!” shrieks a cowardly bishop when giant pots of flaming oil are flung over the ramparts by Jurassic-looking Saracen trebuchets. It’s a small but priceless piece of comedy.

Bloom rallies his motley force of green-eared boys, plucky depressives and local plumbers like Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt.

The last act is stirring if predictable mayhem, full of eye-watering speeches designed to bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. The Muslims, led by Ghassan Massoud’s upstanding Saladin, have the manners to wait, and the grace to forgive. In fact they come out of this film as the squeaking heroes. But try smuggling that notion past the Academy without having your plimsolls X-rayed.

And this from The Independent online Not sure if this has been posted already,

The Crusades: A wound that has lasted 900 years
The director Ridley Scott has been attacked by Christians and Muslims over his new film, 'Kingdom of Heaven', which premiered last night. Cahal Milmo looks back at a conflict which tore the 12th-century world in two
03 May 2005
In the opening minutes of Kingdom of Heaven, the father of the hero, Balian of Ibelin, tells his son what to expect in the Holy Land: "A kingdom of conscience; peace instead of war, love instead of hate. That is what lies at the end of Crusade."

They are noble virtues which Sir Ridley Scott, the British director of Hollywood's latest "sand-and-sandals" epic, must have been wishing were more in evidence among his critics as his £66m film about the medieval Crusades last night had its premiere in London.

Publicity for the film, starring Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson, makes a virtue of its faithfulness to the events it portrays - the abject defeat of Christian forces by the great Muslim warrior, Saladin, at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and its aftermath.

For Sir Ridley, knighted two years ago for services to film, the desire to depict the 200-year struggle between the Christian and Islamic faiths for primacy over the spiritual treasures of Jerusalem and the Holy Land has been a 30-year dream.

Among the claims made for the production - featuring the full panoply of costume drama eye-candy from vast battle scenes and a shipwreck to dashing knights and a leprous king - are that it is "historically accurate" and designed to be "a fascinating history lesson".

But the roles of the assiduous academic, fixated with historical probity, and Tinseltown director, obsessed with entertainment at any cost, have never been easily reconciled - and Kingdom of Heaven seems no exception.

Critics, ranging from some of Britain's leading academics to Islamic terror groups, have rounded on Sir Ridley and his film for distorting the reality of complex Christian and Muslim relations in the years preceding the 12th-century Third Crusade.

Among the more temperate language used about the film have been the words "rubbish", "ridiculous", "complete fiction" and "dangerous". To add an extra twist, Sir Ridley has been accused of stealing the plot from an American researcher's work.

Indeed, the 65-year-old British director faces much adversity in his self-proclaimed mission to rectify Western perceptions of Islam and "challenge extremism of all kinds". Speaking to the BBC yesterday, he said: "[The film] is a very good discussion and balanced on those tricky subjects: politics and religion. There's no black and white in a discussion of these particular worlds. It's a minutiae of grey areas."

But in a world where the word "crusade" in relation to Western and Arab relations is every bit as politically charged as it was 800 years ago, the Christian battle to seize Jerusalem still polarises opinion dramatically.

During filming in Morocco last year, more than a dozen death threats were issued by fundamentalists, forcing King Mohammed VI to offer 1,000 soldiers to guard the set in the Sahara.

Moderate politicians in the country accused the film, financed by the Fox studio, of being part of an American propaganda campaign for "legitimacy in the crusade against the Arab world" - a reference to George Bush's spontaneous use of the word "crusade" when launching his War on Terror in the wake of the 11 September attacks in 2001.

But while some Muslim scholars have denounced the film as "anti-Islamic", debate among Western historians has focused on concern that it confuses historical events and ultimately goes too far in portraying the Crusaders as bearded brutes and romanticising the Muslim warriors, in particular Saladin, as munificent foes bent on enlightening the lobster-coloured invaders.

Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, Britain's leading historian of the crusades, has led the criticism, saying the film presents "Osama bin Laden's version of history".

The Cambridge academic has accused Sir Ridley of relying on the Victorian view of the crusades as portrayed in Sir Walter Scott's account of the conflict in his book, The Talisman. "It sounds absolute balls," Professor Riley Smith said. "It's rubbish. It's not historically accurate at all. They refer to The Talisman, which depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality."

It is a charge which Sir Ridley, whose previous blockbusters include Gladiator, Alien, Blade Runner and Black Hawk Down, and Fox have gone out of their way to deny, stating one of the film's key elements - the notion that Muslims, Christians and Jews formed a peaceful fraternity in Jerusalem - is backed by historical research.

But the director admitted the film was as much about changing Western attitudes as telling the story of faith-based medieval warfare. "Religious difference right now is causing a great lack of understanding, so I felt it was important to show that not all Muslims are bad and not everyone in the West is good.

"There's been a lot of criticism from historians. But they haven't seen anything. They haven't read anything."

In the screenplay for Kingdom of Heaven, the Christian hero, Balian, a French blacksmith of uncertain lineage, is rediscovered by his crusader father, Godfrey of Ibelin, played by Neeson, and persuaded to leave his recently buried wife and child in search of rebirth and forgiveness in Jerusalem, occupied since 1099 by the Christians.

There Balian finds a city ruled by a Christian king, Baldwin IV, who as well as suffering leprosy has forged a fragile peace to keep Saladin's army at bay and allow the three major faiths - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to worship alongside each other.

It is only after the death of Baldwin and his succession by his brother-in-law, Guy de Lusignan, that the baddies of the piece, the warrior monks of the Knights Templar arrive to disrupt the inter-faith panacea and declare war anew. The result is the Battle of Hattin on the plains 60 miles south west of Damascus in July 1187 in which the Crusader army, successfully outmanoeuvred by Saladin and deprived of water, was slaughtered by the Muslims.

Under Sir Ridley's direction, a nihilistic Balian ultimately finds himself the defender of Jerusalem against Saladin's vast army before negotiating a civilised surrender.

According to the film's critics, this compelling yarn is a strange mixture of historical figures and events with interpretations of the Crusader story that bear little relation to reality.

Historians have particularly quibbled with the notion of a peaceful confraternity in Jerusalem under Baldwin IV and the view that Guy de Lusignan and his lieutenants were untrammelled savages outwitted by the urbane Saladin.

Ironically, the only evidence for a friendship between the Crusader knights and their enemies is a contemporary chronicler who shares his first name with the West's current number one bogeyman.

Usama ibn Munqidh, who wrote before the Battle of Hattin, expressed admiration for some of the Crusader leaders. But experts point out that this was driven by the assimilation of the Western invaders.

Carole Hillenbrand, professor of Islamic history at Edinburgh University, who has written a leading text on Muslim perceptions of the Crusades, said: "I would view the notion of a confraternity with some suspicion.

"Almost every generation in the West has interpreted the Crusades according their contemporary needs, from 19th Century imperialism to the troubles of today. What Usama described was more about how the Crusaders became used to the ways of the Islamic world and accepted before a new influx arrived from Europe.

"The idea that the Crusades were about constant warfare and set-piece battles is also wrong. This was a struggle over 200 years with long periods of detente punctuated by heightened tension and conflict. There were sieges and raids but big battles were a rarity."

Experts have also expressed concern that whatever the film's didactic intentions by underlining the refinement of Saladin and the Islamic culture, it is wrong to suggest barbarity and expansionism came from one side only. The sultan of Egypt and Syria did indeed spare the lives of many of his enemies in retaking Jerusalem after 1187 - in stark contrast to the bloody Crusader conquest of the city in 1099 which inspired an Arab poet to write the lines: "How can the eye sleep between the lids at a time of disasters/ That would waken any sleeper?/ This is war, and the infidel's sword is naked in his hand, ready/ To be sheathed again in men's necks and skulls."

But while showing mercy to some, Saladin, whose other champions have included Saddam Hussein, was ruthless with others. After the Battle of Hattin, he personally undertook the execution of Reynald of Chatillon, a leader of the Crusader army who had attacked pilgrims on the Muslim Haj, and ordered the execution of the Knights Templar.

Professor Hillenbrand said: "Saladin even had his own spin-doctors, two contemporary biographers who portrayed him as a jihad or holy warrior. The truth is he was just as interested in personal power, family power and territorial ambition. He was capable of acts of great generosity but he was also responsible for what can be described as the grim acts of war. The realities of war were on both sides in the Crusades."

Beyond the minutiae of the historical debate, there can be little doubt of the enduring ability of the Crusades to stir interest and inflame passions.

After long periods where the conflict has been interpreted among Muslim academics as part of an assault by a culturally and technologically inferior Christian enemy, some experts in the Arab world are now billing the Crusades as the first attempt by the western powers at colonisation.

Others point to a resurgence in the age-old rhetoric of the Crusades among fundamentalist political groups and clerics in the wake of the war in Iraq. Websites used by Islamist extremists groan with references to "infidels" and "wars of the holy cross".

But as Kingdom of Heaven bids to out-do Gladiator as the most lucrative of the recent crop of ancient epics in box offices across the world, all agree that it will not be the final word on the collision between Islam and Christianity.

Rifaat Ebied, the Egyptian-born professor of Semitic studies at Sydney University, said: "My instinct tells me that this film will be another point of view about the Crusades. It will not be definitive. Instead, we should realise that even at the time of greatest tension between the West and the Arab worlds, there has always been dialogue between both sides."

And finally one more from Channel 4 Film Review by Matthew De Abaitua

A blacksmith becomes a knight and defender of Jerusalem against war-mongering Crusaders and the Muslim armies of Saladin. Historical epic starring Orlando Bloom, directed by Ridley Scott

Set a hundred years after the Christian armies seized Jerusalem, Kingdom Of Heaven opens in a dour, misty French hillside during the burial of a suicide. On the instruction of a priest (Sheen), the young woman's corpse is beheaded and he takes a moment to steal the silver cross from around her neck.
Her husband Balian Of Ibelin (Bloom) is a blacksmith, with all the life sucked out of him by his wife's self-inflicted death (itself inspired by the death of their child). His mourning is broken by the arrival of a knight Godfrey Of Ibelin (Neeson), who informs Balian that he is his illegitimate son and should follow him to Jerusalem to earn forgiveness for his wife's sin. Pausing only to kill the priest for his desecration, Balian does exactly that.
Halting and episodic, the first chunk of Kingdom Of Heaven does not grab you by the throat in the same way as Ridley Scott's previous historical epic, Gladiator. No sooner are we bonding with Godfrey and his band of knights than they are being slaughtered. No sooner has Balian boarded a ship than it is sinking and he alone is clambering from the wreckage. The dialogue is a portentous play of generalities, delivered at walking speed, and it lacks the bite of Maximus' oratory.
It is only when Balian arrives at Jerusalem and becomes embroiled in its imminent religious conflict that you feel yourself slip under the film's spell. This is due to the appearance of Saladin (Massoud) and King Baldwin (an uncredited Edward Norton). Saladin is the great Muslim warrior whose military guile promises to return Jerusalem to his people. King Baldwin is a magical figure, a leper in a metal mask, whose vision for peace between all faiths within Jerusalem beguiles Balian.

So could Ridley Scott have chosen a more contentious historical era to turn into a big budget Hollywood epic? Does returning to the great Muslim-Christian conflicts of the past only stoke the tensions and antagonisms implicit in America's invasion of Iraq? These questions were uppermost in people's minds during the production. Arguably there is nothing in his film that could be construed as inflammatory. If anything the urgency of these questions only further justifies a big movie about the Crusades. Firstly, King Baldwin's multi-denominational Jerusalem remains a fine idea to aspire to and, secondly, Kingdom Of Heaven is more about the conflict between two visions of Christianity than it is about Christian versus Muslim.

Balian's order of knights is committed to defending the helpless, a stark contrast to the red cross-wearing crusaders of Guy De Lusignan (Csokas). It is Lusignan who is the bad guy here, along with his bloodthirsty fellow Raynald, played by Brendan Gleeson as a kind of young Brian Blessed, all barrel-chest and blood-soaked beard. When De Lusignan ascends to the throne of Jerusalem, he instructs Raynald to give him a war with the armies of Saladin. As Frenchmen bearing the cross commonly identified with St George, they fulfil the on-going Hollywood trend for French and English villains.

The resulting war includes the notorious Battle Of Hattin, where the crusaders were put brutally to the sword. In an edit that could easily be considered as an outrageous cheat, we go straight from the build up of the conflict to its aftermath. Was this to spare certain sensibilities from the sight of thousands of cross-bearing soldiers being slaughtered by Muslims? After all, Pope Urban III was rumoured to have died from shock after hearing about Hattin. It is a jarring omission, and is not the only time in the film were Scott chooses an outrageous cut to the aftermath of the chase

The Battle Of Hattin could have been avoided if only Balian did not stick so rigorously to the dictates of his conscience. He refuses the opportunity to commit a small evil in the service of a greater good, and it is in observing the laudably meek aspects of Christianity that the casting of Orlando Bloom makes the most sense. He brings a piety to Balian that a hairier, lustier Russell Crowe would struggle with. When his time comes to lead the defence of Jerusalem, his more cerebral deployment of tactics against Saladin's siege engines is genuinely thrilling, and will appeal as much to chess players as to lovers of mass combat.

While its climactic siege has had some of its thunder stolen by The Lord Of The Rings The Two Towers' Battle Of Helm's Deep, Kingdom Of Heaven triumphs in its final arresting image, of the two armies jammed up against one another at a breach in the city's wall. Seen from above, it is a seething mass of hatred, religious divisions meaningless in this unstoppable intermingling of murder. Scott's direction certainly has its bravura flourishes - one particularly striking image is of an enormous golden cross born by the Crusader army, glittering in the desert sun. However, like both Martin Scorsese in Gangs Of New York and Peter Jackson in The Return Of The King, there is far too much emphatic slo-mo at points of high drama. The cinematic equivalent of the exclamation mark, it is a heroic cliché that diminishes the art otherwise demonstrated throughout.

The thinking man's Gladiator, Kingdom Of Heaven takes a while to warm up and never puts you through the wringer, but remains an ambitious and exciting realisation of a project few thought would be possible or even wise.

Last edited by clpm_9; May 5th, 2005 at 07:20 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:31 PM
Leggybelle Leggybelle is offline
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Wow.....just by reading these reviews I have learned more about the history of Jeruselum than I ever thought I would want to know !!!

I saw KOH last night, and although too much was cut out of it, it still was an awesome gut-wrenching movie, and Orlando was terrific !!!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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I saw KINGDOM OF HEAVEN today and I just have to agree with you all! What an amazing movie!!! This were really 2 and a half hours? I can't believe it.....

It's a really great movie and Orlando does a fantastic job!! YES HE CAN DEFINETELY CARRY A LEAD ROLE and Liam Neeson... OMG .. he is such a great actor.. it was a real pitty that he was just a very short time on screen. I had tears in my eyes when he knights Balian and .... (don't want do spoil anyone)

I am not so sure about Eva Green though... I don't know what it is... but I didn't like her that much.... but I'll watch the movie in english soon... maybe it's better than.

@Miss Andrea isn'T it unfair that we just got this extreme short love scene??? It seems that australia got to see more.... that's not fair....

and before I forget... thanks for all the "close-ups" Mr. Scott!!

Last edited by Brilarda; May 5th, 2005 at 10:00 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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Neldorwen Neldorwen is offline
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I´ve just saw it... I think my mind isn´t clear right now... a lot of scenes , sounds and dialogues are still fresh ...

as always, a lot of shoots we ´ve seen before in trailers and publicity stills didn´t made it in the final cut of the film...

what else can I say... I loved the actors, specially the muslims!!No comments about Mr Bloom.... *dies* and Alex Siddig *__* I loved the battle secuences too, they were so realistic. I think the script is amazing, specially at the moment of talking about religion, wich is a weak issue these days ...

No words for costume, make up and effects....truly brilliant...

I only wished it was longer...
now I´ll be waiting anxiously for the extended edition, and we´ll have the perfect film .
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Brilarda

@Miss Andrea isn'T it unfair that we just got this extreme short love scene??? It seems that australia got to see more.... that's not fair....

and before I forget... thanks for all the "close-ups" Mr. Scott!!
Yes... I actually said "that's it??" out loud.. hehe..

And oh yes... Mr. Scott, very nice close ups!!!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:43 PM
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Oh I can't wait now! I'm going Saturday!!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:34 AM
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So many times the trailers show things that "sell" the movie and make you die to go see it. I had suspected that it wasn't much of a love scene in there. However, I'm going this weekend and can't wait.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:44 AM
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GeminiGirl GeminiGirl is offline
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Originally Posted by Avalon Mists
The other thing- was it just me, or did it sound to anyone else that Balian was called 'Sidi' by the young boy in Ibelin when they struck water (or was it when Sibylla came, I forget exactly when now!)?
Yes Avalon Mists, I noticed that too and had to smile... No wonder Orlando picked that name for his dog!

I also am really looking forward to the DVD; I think it was mentioned somewhere that the extended version will elaborate on some parts of the film and so make more sense. But I'm definitely going to go and see it again at the cinema next week!

And just as a point of curiosity: the 'German' knight is actually played by a Finn (I'd recognize that accent anywhere)!


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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GeminiGirl
And just as a point of curiosity: the 'German' knight is actually played by a Finn (I'd recognize that accent anywhere)!

yes, actually I think he looked more like a Wiking than like a German, but anyway !

I noticed too that Balian was called Sidi several times. That was so unexpected and I really had to laugh secretly.
So it´s actually "SidiBalian" ...
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:30 AM
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what can I say?? it's great the whole movie.
tomorrow I have a test but I couldn't miss the premiere
"I said let them come... let them come"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:36 AM
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Ladies, thank you for the reviews. Hubby is taking off work tomorrow to take me to the first showing. I have a great hubby .
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:18 AM
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A good review in The Times is as important in the UK, as a good review in Variety magazine is in the USA, and KOH got 4 stars out of 5 which is fantastic, (The Times doesn't give many 5 stars in its reviews, only about 5 or 6 films per year get this honour) Another important reveiw is considered to be one from Channel 4, who used to be a major backer of british film. This is really good.

Its interesting that films set in an historical context tend to get noticeably better reviews in the UK and Europe than they do in the USA. It is also worth noting that historical films tend to get a larger audience and subsequent box office in Europe, than they do across the pond. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Here is the review from the Daily Mail - The reviewer really does not like the film- but I checked and he reviewed Troy last year gave it 4 out of 5 stars and and called it 'one of the most handsome and intelligent epics ever made' ...

And here is a review from my local paper a little bit more positive.

Right three hours to go...
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Old May 6th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for the great reviews! I'm so looking forward to it...I'll be sitting in the cinema watching it in less than 45 minutes! Wohoo! Balian, here I come!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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yeah Sidi means friend or Lord.
Anyway guys..there are only few hours to seeing toe movie, I just cannot wait..
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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I watched KOH yesterday and I LOVE it!

Orlando is definitely able to carry a leading role, he caught me right from the beginning of the movie...our famous forum quote "It's all in the eyes, baby!" is true. The expression on his face about the loss of wife and child was undescribable. And you can watch Balian turning from a blacksmith to a reluctant hero and defender of Jerusalem...really, great job, Orlando

Of course the others totally blew me away, esp. Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons. But I have to admit that I didn't really like Eva Green and I cannot even give a reason. Just a feeling you know

And this "Sidi"-scene was hilarious. When this little boy came running over to Balian and screamed "Sidi, Sidi", I was sitting there snorting and yelling "how cuuute is that" at the same time. Lots of people turned their head around in total confusion .

Oh, one small story to share: when I was queing for popcorn, there were two guys behind me, talking about "Yes, I know everything about cinema":
- Gladiator was a dream, Ridley Scott cannot beat that!
- Yes, esp. with this Orlando Bloom guy!
I turned around and looked at those guys and thought: You haven't even seen the movie and obviously don't like the leading actor. why are you going to watch it then? Really, those guys are pretty annoying :

But the biggest compliment for Orlando came from my best friend. She didn't really wanna see the movie but I was begging her to come with me . Somewhen she whispered to me: "Boy, he really gathered some weight, how can one be that sexy?!" She loved that movie as much as I did

And I have to agree with the others: it's 12+ here in Germany, but I think it should be 16+. The war scenes are pretty violent, never seen so much spilled blood and beheaded men in one movie...
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:27 PM
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I saw the movie this evening! He's still the prettiest! And he's amazingly good. I'm going to see the second time as soon as I can.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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I've just come back from seeing it!

All I can say right now is... I am so proud of Orlando!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:40 PM
Leggybelle Leggybelle is offline
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Here is a review of KOH from my newspaper, The Charlotte Observer.

It received 3-1/2 out of 4 stars !!!

'Kingdom' offers a balanced view
Lawrence Toppman
The Charlotte Observer
Published: Friday, May 6, 2005

"Kingdom of Heaven," which opens Hollywood's official movie "summer" today, isn't what we think of as a summer movie at all. Its leading characters aren't clear-cut heroes but men trapped in circumstances beyond their making or control. This epic remains intimate in scale most of the time; director Ridley Scott even foregoes an obvious chance to scatter the Holy Land with corpses, setting up one titanic battle but sparing us that gore.

"Kingdom" is a war story that takes no sides because it takes all sides. And it's a period piece, set in the last decades of the 12th century after Christ, that resonates in a thoughtful way today.

The erratic but often surprising Scott, who'll turn 68 in November, stretches beyond the popcorn mentality of his "Gladiator" with a drama set in the middle of the Crusades. Sir Ridley, himself knighted two years ago, takes a grandly unhurried view of the madness surrounding knights who sought to defend Jerusalem from "infidel" Muslims.

Balian (Orlando Bloom), illegitimate son of Godfrey of Ibelin, wishes to atone for the killing of a vicious priest and save the soul of his wife, whom he thinks is burning in hell after her suicide.

Aging Godfrey (Liam Neeson) wants to cleanse his soul with good deeds. Tiberias (Jeremy Irons) realizes peaceful King Baldwin can't live much longer but serves his master pragmatically. Guy (Martin Csokas) wants to slay countless "heathens" in God's name and/or simply grab as much power as he can.

They all work for gentle Baldwin (Edward Norton), who's dying of leprosy. Baldwin's kingdom will pass into the hands of Sybilla, his sister (Eva Green), who's married to Guy but loves Balian. Guy will then control the Christian army and break the uneasy truce Baldwin negotiated with Saladin, the Muslim's wise leader (Ghassan Massoud).

Only one character speaks entirely for Scott and writer William Monahan, who makes an auspicious debut. The Hospitaler (David Thewlis), a healer who respects all men, tells Balian that God asks nothing of him but a kind heart and a clear and useful mind. Though the Hospitaler is a Christian, he believes the Catholic church has abandoned its mission by trying to wipe out Islam.

The filmmakers include just two unadulterated villains: Guy (whose fate is never revealed) and Reynald, a knight who gleefully rapes and murders under consecrated banners. (Jovial, red-bearded Brendan Gleeson looks like he's playing the Ghost of Christmas Present as he trips merrily around his prison cell).

Nor is Balian a true hero. To keep his conscience clear, he refuses to have Guy killed, marry Sybilla and become king. He knows that decision will lead to the slaughter of thousands in an inevitable war, but he refuses to have the blood of one man on his hands personally. Scott and Monahan admire his principles but consider his decision a disaster.

Bloom finally comes into his own as a man here, somberly thoughtful and melancholic. The elfin archer of "The Lord of the Rings" and the trivial boy-toy of "Troy" have been forgotten. He holds his own against Irons, Neeson and Norton (who seems to be channeling Marlon Brando behind his silver mask). Green, too, seems fully a woman instead of the irritating child of "The Dreamers." Though she hasn't much to say, she conveys a whole person with unseen depths.

For once, Muslims are portrayed as intelligent people, capable warriors with an equally reasonable claim on the Holy Land. The hollow-cheeked, contemplative Massoud makes a striking English language-debut - he's like a Syrian version of Christopher Lee - and his Saladin has one advisor who's bloodthirsty, one who's generous and calm.

All this philosophy doesn't mean the battles aren't exciting, as the Muslims fill the night sky with fireballs from enormous catapults. (I wish Scott would get over his habit of suddenly slowing down or speeding up footage for a few seconds.) The director doesn't neglect the epic's effects-driven elements, and there is lots of savage, close-in combat.

Yet he's more interested in getting us to question anyone who insists God is on his side, especially when that deity allegedly tells us to demonize, exclude, subjugate or kill anyone who doesn't share our views. This message should be meaningful even to people who'll never don chain-mail and a

(In a sidebar, Mr. Toppman also says that "This is the movie that Gladiator should have been")


Great review. An intelligent review for once ! Mr. Toppman obviously saw what Ridley Scott was trying to say -- that war is futile, etc.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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nuit nuit is offline
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yahoo review collection

a link to a whole bunch of reviews and stuff

Sig and avatar by Erendira Larrikin Mary- Joe Byrne Fan Fiction
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:00 PM
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SuzieKat SuzieKat is offline
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Waaah, I'm not going to be able to go until Sunday . RL can be a b*** sometimes, eh? I can't wait to see this movie. I've been watching all the specials about it, and aside from Orlando looking incredible , it looks like a very interesting movie.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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Orlando Blooms In Kingdom Of Heaven (contains Spoilers) My review

My movie Review

<b>Orlando Blooms in Kingdom Of Heaven</b>

Spoilers inside for the movie.

<lj-cut> I’ve not long since returned from seeing Kingdom Of Heaven for the first time, and also the first showing at my local cinema.

I can honestly say that in my own opinion the critics have it wrong. I will say now that although I am a LOTR fan that my favourite movie of all time is Gladiator so this movie I was hoping would be great, and also one that would join my top five movies.

I can honestly say that it is definitely in the top 5. The movie didn’t quite knock Gladiator off my top spot but it is definitely a close second tied with Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ok on to my review.

From the silent entrance of Balian right through to the very end Orlando surpasses his former roles with the onscreen persona of Balian. He by no means as the critics have said is Russell Crowe but then again this movie is not Gladiator either and it never attempts or claims to be.

Orlando can convey all the emotions of a grief stricken man, to being a convincing commander of the army in Jerusalem. Balian also shows Orlando’s quiet and introspective side along with his sheer ability to act violently when he needs to protect himself and those he has sworn to do so.

Right from the off where Balian murders the priest who gloats about his wife being in hell to the one man battle against several of Guy de Lusignan’s (Marton Csokas) men, Orlando shows he has the strength and the sheer brute force to take on a more physical role. Balian is also very creative and everything he does he does it for a reason. For what he believes in and ultimately for the people.

The movie boasts several impressive battles including a horse charge, siege towers and catapults right down to massive hand to hand combat scenes. It was beautifully shot with an impressive musical score.

The movie also has an Amazing supporting cast from the likes of Liam Neeson, David Thewlis and Jeremy Irons.

People in the cast that shone out most for me were Marton Csokas who seemed to delight in playing a bad guy and tormenting Balian. Also Brendan Gleeson who again is decidedly evil and enjoying it immensely both show that they can be characters that people love to hate.

Ed Norton who played King Baldwin IV the leper king was very impressive, who although he had few scenes the ones that he was in , prove to be very poignant moments which make you think.

Overall this is an amazing movie and one that I will certainly be going to see more than once.

Overall rating I give this movie an 8/10

That’s only because there wasn’t enough naked Balian in it. I’m hoping that the DVD will have more of that scene in it. That scene was very nice and it was a very passionate kiss that involved the stripping off partially of Balian, still very nice but didn’t last long enough sadly. </lj-cut>
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