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Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven

Language: Chinese

Author: pickyricky

Updated: 3 years ago

Files: 2

Year: 2005
Run time: 2h 24min
IMDB score: 7.1

Movie infomation

Movie name: Kingdom of Heaven

Genders: War, Adventure, Drama, History, Action

Imdb Score: 7.1

Runtime: 2h 24min

Released: 06 May 2005

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Monahan

Actors: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Martin Hancock

Box Office: $47.3M

Company: 20th Century Fox

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer

Review

A Nutshell Review: Kingdom of Heaven

10/10 Kingdom of Heaven in 2005 will be what Gladiator was in 2000. Ridley Scott has delivered a worthy follow up to his Oscar winner, which is also based on medieval times, with a central heroic character, and supporting casts of characters based on history.

The sets are as spectacular, instead of just Rome and the Collesuem, we have the Middle East and Jerusalem. The costumes are beautiful, from intricately remade Knights armour, to the desert garb of the Muslim warriors. The soundtrack is a mixture of sounds with middle eastern influences, but somehow pales in comparison with Gladiator and lacks a central theme.

Much is said about how the film portrays religion, given the sensitive subject of the Crusades, but I feel that Ridley has achieved a wonderful balance between how Christianity and Islam are portrayed. Both are given fair airtime on their ideologies, and the film tries to preach (pardon the pun) about tolerance, yet highlights the dangers of fanatical followers of both religions, of misguidance from men in search of worldly power.

Which Christianity took a beating - where senseless battles are waged in the name of Christ, where insensitivity breed contempt. Preists are cast in negative light and given lines like "convert to Islam, repent later" when all around seems lost. It is emphasized in the show that what matters is in your head and in your heart - that noble actions speak louder than mere empty and repetitive "praise the Lord" chants, as if that will protect you during Judgement Day.

Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a blacksmith who became a fugitive, but inherited land and army from his father, Godfrey, played by Liam Neeson. The film can be broadly categorized into 3 acts - the first in which Balian searches for his identity and new life in Jerusalem, the second in which the focus is on religion and politics of the time, and the last, the spectacular siege and war.

Bloom puts up a commendable performance, so to his detractors out there, you're in for a big surprise. Edward Norton had the difficult task of acting through a mask as leper King Baldwin, and I applaud Ridley's decision of casting real Muslim actors to learn from them.

Fans of Eva Green might be disappointed that the relationship between Balian and Queen Sibylla was played down to focus on the battles, but I feel it's a fair trade off.

Firstly, some of you might not like the quick-cut-MTV style editing in Gladiator's fight scenes, especially the close ups. This is repeated here though, in a blood splattering manner. The pan-out and general landscape sweeps are mindblowing, and will leave you wanting more. Think about the battles that you see Lord of The Rings Two Towers and Return of the King - the siege on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith - Kingdom of Heaven delivers the equivalent, probably even better (without the fantasy elements). This is one medieval war movie whose battles will stick in your mind for some time.

The audience were the only disappointing experience for me - they were laughing at a dialogue near the end, where a "knight" asked who Balian was, and he answered "I'm the blacksmith", in which the "knight" answered "I'm the King". Laughter was abound in the theatre. I was like, HELL-O people! See that lion motif on his armour? That's Richard the Lionheart! D'uh! The Crusades didn't end there, it waged on...

What is Jerusalem worth? Nothing, everything. Watch this, and in my opinion, it has Oscar written all over it. Now to hit the library and research more on the subject!

3 years ago

excellent, fair to islam, sweeping, narrative could have used tightening...

8/10 I really enjoyed this movie. The way the movie started in Europe and how dark it was there... and the journey to Jerusalem... just wonderful stuff up to that point.

Liam Neeson, as usual, is just SO GOOD, you wish he had more screen time.

- Orlando Bloom, actually surprisingly, was able to carry the movie as a lead. I was surprised he had the heft to do it, but I agree with the critic who said that the beard helped. He was a man, not a boy.

- Battle scenes... incredible. I was really surprised that they could wow me, since we've been numbed by the quality of battle scenes in so many previous movies, but they did a great job.

- Portrayal of the Muslims. EXTREMELY fair. In being "even-handed" to Christians and Muslims there, if anything, they emphasized the Christian fanatics (in the form of the Templars in particular, to simplify things) as being the "badguys" more than anyone else... (which is historically accurate to some degree, in my understanding). I was surprised and pleased that they tried to be accurate, and didn't try to emphasize some "BAD MUSLIMS" to make it "even".

- Movie is very secular in it's moralizing.

And it portrays Christianity particularly religious men, VERY badly (the Priest who steals the cross from Bloom's wife's corpse... the Bishop in Jerusalem who's ready to convert to Islam at the first sign of defeat... and who also wants to abandon the civilians... the knights templar...) I thought this got a tad gratuitous. There were really NO GOOD Christian FIGURES IN THE MOVIE. The only good purported Christians were basically acting Agnostic (Bloom, Neeson, etc.) The actual religious Christians were made out to be hypocrites.

Meanwhile Saladhudin was a man of honor.. but also somewhat moderate.

- Movie could definitely have a little more narrative focus and maybe have a little more of an emotional circle for Orlando Bloom character. The emotional arc is ALREADY complete fairly early in the movie (Bloom becomes a man of conscience)... and it's kind of boring since the character doesn't really move after that.

But the movie tackled a HUGE topic and tackled it fairly well. I just wish there was a better script to handle the compelling personal journey for Orlando Bloom (from widower, murderer seeking redemption, lost bastard son) that was PROMISED at the beginning.

It seems that as soon as he brings water to his father's old land, he's just about done his journey, and it turns into a simple historical battle movie. (but a darn good one)

3 years ago

"Kingdom of Heaven": A Near Masterpiece

5/10 In 1935, Cecil B. DeMille made his famous epic "The Crusades" on one of the backlots of Hollywood. What a change in the Ridley Scott film "Kingdom of Heaven" of 2005 with the technical wizardry of a new era! Although it is not a perfect film, it is nonetheless skillfully crafted and well worth the time of any film-goer in our current, troubled age.

From the visual and technical standpoint, "Kingdom of Heaven" is masterful. The recreation of medieval France and the city of Jerusalem were brilliant technical achievements. The French landscape recalls the region around medieval Clermont and Vezelay where Pope Urban and Bernard of Clairvaux delivered their momentous calls to arms for the early Crusades. And in the recreation of Jerusalem, the film artists truly drew us into the twelfth-century walled city with sacred roots in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Much credit should go to cinematographer John Mathieson, costume designer Janty Yates, and all of the film's art directors. The film's events spanned the era between the Second and Third Crusades, and the evocation of this epoch was simply spectacular.

In the genre of the epic film, the leading actor is crucial, as in the unforgettable performances of "Lawrence of Arabia" (Peter O'Toole), "Tess" (Nastassja Kinski), and "Bridge on the River Kwai" (Alec Guiness). One weakness of "Kingdom of Heaven" is leading performer Orlando Bloom. Although this young actor has fine screen presence, his performance was subdued and monochromatic. The Crusaders were driven by zeal, and Bloom's character Balian seems mired in melancholia following the death of his infant child and the subsequent suicide of his wife. Bloom's character does not even evolve much when upon arriving in Jerusalem, he falls in love with the mysterious Sibylla. Neither courtly love nor the fires of faith could ignite a spark of passion or change the expressionless, emotionless face of Orlando Bloom. As Sibylla, Eva Green also seemed out of place in this film. The closest historical prototype for her character was the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, who accompanied her husband King Louis on the Second Crusade, during which Eleanor had a stormy affair with her uncle Raymond of Antioch. Eva Green's character seemed closer to a young woman from the twenty-first century, as opposed to the twelfth.

Other performances were stronger, including those of Liam Neeson as Balian's father, Jeremy Irons as Tiberias, and Edward Norton as the King. Those actors really resembled medieval knights. Norton's characterization of the king victimized by leprosy and forced to wear a mask was one of the most sensitive character portraits since Ralph Fiennes' role as "The English Patient." Norton's characterization offers a glimpse into the softer side of the great medieval knights, such as the legendary Richard the Lionheart, a poet and troubador, as well as a king. Ghassan Massoud also merits praise for his portrayal of Saladin as not only a brilliant general, but a figure of great dignity.

At a time when we are at war in the Middle East, the screenplay and dramatic impact of "Kingdom of God" were thoughtful and worthy of serious reflection for any film-goer. I was especially struck by the theme of honor that ran through the film. The actions of the main character of Balian were guided by honor. And the character of Saladin was portrayed as an individual of great moral rectitude. The Western cultural heritage of chivalry, courtly love, and honor filtered into Europe through Islamic traditions, which "Kingdom of Heaven" seems to acknowledge. There is a powerful moment in the film where Saladin discovers a small Christian cross that has toppled over. He takes the time to pick up the fallen cross and set it aright. In a film filled with special effects and spectacular scenes of siege warfare, that moment of simplicity was the most meaningful and important one for me.

3 years ago

I saw a press viewing this morning, this is a good film

8/10 First of all, what can beat Gladiator, with lines like "father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife", etc. and Russell Crowe chopping off heads. Kingdom of Heaven is a similar heroic fable yet the good and evil polarity is slightly more ambiguous. I would say it was vastly better than Alexander. Ridley Scott's style (cinematography and music) as seen in Black Hawk Down and Gladiator also lend a wonderful historical ambiance. Orlando Bloom does a fine job as the lead, and the French actress is fantastic (and beautiful), but my favorite lead was the Leper King and the wise nobility of his character. The battle scenes are excellent (including one in falling snow in which the snowflakes seem to hang in the air) and the armies look very historically realistic - this is a very good-looking epic. Formulaic perhaps, but well-executed. Kingdom of Heaven made me feel like leaving the "blacksmithy" that is our dull modern urban existence and finding a cause worth fighting for, but Crusades just aren't what they used to be =D

3 years ago

Kingdom of Heaven is a Ridley Scott Masterpiece

10/10 Kingdom of Heaven (KOH) is an amazing film. I saw it in the theater but the reason it's so great is because of the 4-Disc Director's Cut, which is a must own for any KOH fan.

Story: A well written script, KOH is about a blacksmith whose wife has committed suicide and he seeks out to redeem her in the city of Jerusalem, but ends up defending the people in the great battle against the Muslims.

Cast: The cast for this film was outstanding. One would at first question Orlando Bloom as the leading role of Balian (let's face it, he's no Russell Crowe), but this is by far his best main character performance. Liam Neeson is great as usual, as Balian's long lost father. Jeremy Irons is a great pick because he looks like he's from the crusades and his voice is undeniable. Obviously he's a great actor as well. Eva Green does very well for basically being the only woman in the film and she also fits the the time period well. Martin Csoskas give a great show as the bloodthirsty wanna-be king. Brendan Gleeson.. Do I even need to say anything? The man is incredible. He's so great at being the jerk. Ghassan Massoud and Alexander Siddig do great as playing Muslims in the film. Edward Norton is completely astounding in his uncredited performance as the leper King Baldwin. He is one of my favorite characters in the film.

Music: The music score for this movie is definitely in the top 10. Harry Gregson-Williams delivers a powerful score in this one. Gregson-Williams was a great pick though straying from Ridley Scott's usual Hans Zimmer.

Other: The sets, the costumes, the editing, the cinematography are all superior. They are all very authentic and beautiful and add to the films realness.

Ridley Scott is brilliant. You can definitely see a resemblance of Gladiator in KOH, which is a great thing because who doesn't like Gladiator. His ability to create worlds is unlike any other director in history. The 4-Disc Director's Cut allows you to see more of what Ridley Scott's methods are like.

4-Disc Director's Cut: It has everything you want to see. It puts approximately 45 minutes back into the film and what a great 45 minutes it is. It goes much more in depth especially with Eva Green's Character Sibylla. It includes all the essentials that you would want in a 4-Disc set.

Overall this is a great film and has become one of my very favorites since the past year or so. There is something about it that even makes it rival the quality of Gladiator. It was very underrated by critics and was very well deserving of some Oscars. Watch it!

3 years ago