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The Kingdom (2007) [HD DVD]

Jamie Foxx , Chris Cooper , Peter Berg    R (Restricted)   HD DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.

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The Kingdom (Hd Dvd/Standard Dvd Combo)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:HD DVD
Background:

Once upon a time, the government of Saudi Arabia granted permission for an American company to dig some exploratory holes around the country. As luck would have it, instead of water they found oil, and lots of it, and so began the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco.) This discovery and the resulting agreements for profit sharing gave the Saudi monarchy the wherewithal to purchase yachts with gold toilets and other such necessities, but also brought about the hatred of certain fundamentalists.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. Terrorists attack the residential compound of an American oil company, killing many innocent people
2. FBI team of Jamie Foxx (team leader), Jennifer Garner (forensics), Chris Cooper (demolitions) and Jason Bateman (intel analyst) have five days to find out whodunit
3. Middle of movie takes a while to get around to the point, establish relationships, sort through debris, find clues and create a speaking role for Jeremy Piven.
4. Ending rocks

Conclusion:

1. Somewhat political, but not overly so
2. Somewhat religious, but not overly so
3. Extremely moving at times, with characters from both sides freely showing their emotions
4. Well acted in most cases
5. Great beginning and end, but a little too much left in the middle
6. Recommended for those who like well-acted action movies with a political/religious slant and not much of a plot

Amanda Richards
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
By the time I was coming to terms with the politics of "The Kingdom," director Peter Berg launches into one of the biggest and best action sequences of 2007, which becomes the primary reason to see the film. A quick primer in the history of Saudi Arabia in the past century is provided during the opening credits before shifting to a community of foreign oil workers and their families living in Riyadh that is hit by a two-fold terrorist attack. FBI agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) wants to get his forensic team on site to investigate, but the Saudis insist on handling things themselves. That situation changes (otherwise this is a totally different movie), and he heads there with pathologist Janet Mayes (Jennifer Garner), explosives expert Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper), and computer geek Adam Leavitt (Jason Bateman). But once in Riyadh they find themselves being babysat by Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), whose primary goal is not to actually assist the Americans in their investigation but rather to make sure they are not killed during the five days they are allowed to be in the Kingdom. At least that is the line Al-Ghazi is spouting at the start of the film..

The hook for this movie is pretty good, with the terrorist attack and the need for vengeance. But then most of this movie is about investigating the bombing, although to be more specific it would be trying to investigate the bombing since the FBI agents are put under such strictures by the Saudi police that they might as well go back home and check things out using a spy satellite. However, the last act of "The Kingdom" is what justifies this movie, because there is a another terrorist attack and the quartet of Americans are right in the middle of it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood as Bully and Coward Jan. 8 2009
By Michael W. Perry TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
If you like action flicks with exploding cars and more bullets flying than in some wars, then you'll enjoy this film. The basic plot is good and the actors are talented. However, two major flaws may spoil your enjoyment.

The first is driven a genre that demands violence, violence and more violence. Its FBI agents are more like Rambo than real agents. They're too proficient at street combat with automatic weapons to be believable, and they're too obsessed with a revenge-filled 'killing them all' to be real pros. Good investigators don't gun down the little guys in a crime. They use them to get to the big guys.

The second problem is more serious. Hollywood'in this case Universal Pictures'is absolute terrified by terrorism and it shows in the films they are producing. Illustrating that the bully and coward often inhabit the same skin, the film's bullying bloat of violence closes with a cowardly pairing of scenes where the terrorist's murder of children on a playground is equated to the FBI's pursuit of terrorists. It's Hollywood's way of saying to terrorists, 'Blow up a school or a subway, but leave us alone. We're harmless.' More worthless than harmless, I'd say.

Imagine a film like Patton closing with scenes that equate the U.S. Third Army crossing the Rhine with the Nazi S.S. at Auschwitz, and you get a taste of just how foul the ending to this film is.

Michael W. Perry, editor of Dachau Liberated
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