Last year Ridley Scott returned to the world of period epics with Kingdom of Heaven, his chronicle of Christian forces' defeat in Jerusalem at the hands of Muslims during the 12th Century. The original theatrical cut, was released May 2005 to underwhelming critical acclaim and disappointing box office returns. The end result was that Fox announced that Scott's Director's Cut, featuring at least 45 minutes of additional footage, will be released May 23, 2006, probably to compensate for the lost money.
I was particulary disturbed to hear the prospect of an even longer interpretation of William Monahan's screenplay. But after watching the full 4 disks of this Director's Cut revealed not only that my doubts were unwarranted, but that Scott has lost none of his talent for telling stories; because Kingdom of Heaven: The Director's Cut is not just a movie that has earned a few extra points in rating's, but one of Ridley Scott's best, and moreover, a film that deserves its place in cinema history.
Kingdom of Heaven's great strength is its intelligence, and these extra 45 minutes of film restore its IQ to genius levels after its predecessor drooled its way to a pitiful $47 million in bills.
If you haven't seen Kingdom of Heaven, make sure you rent or buy the 4-disc edition. If you've seen the old cut, let the movie redeem itself and buy this masterful 4-disc edition. Ridley Scott has created some fine films in the past, including Alien, Black Hawk Down, and Gladiator -- with this new cut, Kingdom of Heaven can proudly join that group. I highly recommend this edition of the film.