3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Last Real Epic from Hollywood,
This review is from: Kingdom Of Heaven (4 Disc Special Extended Director's Cut) [DVD] (DVD)With Kingdom Of Heaven, Ridley Scott atlast makes his epic masterpiece. Words cannot even begin to describe the scale and grandness of this movie that is in every meaning of the word a homage to the Epic films of the 70's, a la Cleopatra, Ben Hur, The Fall Of The Roman Empire, Quo Vadis and so on. Ridley takes the new possibilities in film making one level further than Alexander (taking about another impressive Epic Movie) this is how close we can get to to history with Modern film making. The last part of the LOTR trilogy was impressive in terms of scale when we talking about picturing battles and besieging cities, but the Siege Of Jerusalem, is certainly the most impressive Siege I have ever seen on film.
The movie comes completely with an overture and intermission, and brings us in the 12 century France, where the blacksmith Bailin is visited by a crusader, that appears to be his father. Joining him to Jerusalem, it doesn't take long before we are exposed to the tough life and brutality of the Middle ages (where a recent movie as Robin Hood, I believe did completely no justice to the reality of that age), when they end up on a fight in the forest and where Bailin's father is losing his life, and from where he moves on alone to (where they speak something else), along the way, Constantinople, the crossover, is all beautifully captured and really gives you a glimpse into the age of the Crusades.
Arrived in The Holy Land, he takes his father's place, where soon things escalate into a fully blown open war, due to the power mongering of the Templars, who are here portrayed as anything but noble (a nice contrast with a recent movie as Iron Clad)that eventually makes no-one else than Saladin, decide to clean ship and besiege Jerusalem, in a fight and into a detail and level that we haven't see yet, before on the big screen, and which takes most of the last part of the movie.
Having seen the theatrical version in cinema, I thought it was good, but there were obvious gaps in the film, here and there. Why Fox forced Ridley to trip it down to 139 min. is a complete mystery to me, but the spectacle is no the less there. If you want more depth, side plots and character development, I would certainly check out the DC, which is about 50 min, longer, which were mainly complete storylines, plots, but also more brutality...like fight in the forest is longer, for example. The movie comes in an amazing picture quality, not to mention the totally DTS track all supported by a very beautiful score of Harry Gregson Williams (You might want to sent the neighbours away).
After Gladiator, Ridley once again proved that he still had some more epic arrows on his bow. Comes highly recomanded.