Kingdom of Heaven (The Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
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Among the best directors of our time, Ridley Scott (Gladiator), contributes generously to this extraordinary Collector's Edition of Kingdom of Heaven. Featuring his Director's Cut of the film and hours of fascinating extras ? including a six-part tour from conception to completion of filmmaking ? this definitive set makes what Variety called a "genuinely spectacular" film even more so!
An epic marvel that's as beautifully acted as it is visually awesome, Kingdom of Heaven stars Orlando Bloom as Balian, a Jerusalem blacksmith who has lost his family ? and his faith. But when his father (Liam Neeson) shows him his destiny, Balian vows to defend his country, and in the process, falls in love, becomes a formidable leader, and steps forever into history
- Audio: English: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (Lossless)
- Language: Subtitled: English, Spanish, & French
- Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1
It's hard to believe Ridley Scott's handsome epic won't become the cinematic touchstone of the Crusades for years to come. Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the sum of its parts, delivering a vital, mostly engrossing tale following Balian (Orlando Bloom), a lonely French blacksmith who discovers he's a noble heir and takes his father's (Liam Neeson) place in the center of the universe circa 1184: Jerusalem. Here, grand battles and backdoor politics are key as Scott and first-time screenwriter William Monahan fashion an excellent storyline to tackle the centuries-long conflict. Two forward-thinking kings, Baldwin (Edward Norton in an uncredited yet substantial role) and Saladin (Ghassan Massoud), hold an uneasy truce between Christians (who hold the city) and Muslims while factions champ at the bit for blood. There are good and evildoers on both sides, with the Knights Templar taking the brunt of the blame; Balian plans to find his soul while protecting Baldwin and the people. The look of the film, as nearly everything is from Scott, is impressive: his CGI-infused battle scenes rival the LOTR series and, with cinematographer John Mathieson, create postcard beauty with snowy French forests and the vast desert (filmed in Morocco and Spain). An excellent supporting cast, including Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and David Thewlis, also help make the head and heart of the film work. Many critics pointed out that Bloom doesn't have the gravitas of Russell Crowe in the lead (then again, who does?), but it's the underdeveloped character and not the actor that hurts the film and impacts its power. Balian isn't given much more to do than be sullen and give an occasional big speech, alongside his perplexing abilities for warfare tactics and his wandering moral compass (whose sole purpose seems to be to put a love scene in the movie). Note: all the major characters except Neeson's are based on fact, but many are heavily fictionalized. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ridley Scott presents his vision of the Middle Ages and the Crusades with rich colours, beautiful architecture, panoramic vistas, glorious costumes, and in my opinion, with a certain sarcastic and almost angry tone to the script. William Monahan's script was written in a way to show the viewer that even though the film is about those wars that occurred almost one thousand years ago, those wars are still occurring today. And those wars still lead to the intolerable suffering of innocent people.
There is a truly revolutionary subtext in the script. The oath that Balian takes when he knighted by Godfrey (played by Liam Neeson): 'Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless. Do no wrong', is an oath we should all take, with or without the God reference. We could all 'do the right thing' and in doing so, we could create a 'Kingdom of Conscience'. This idea is peppered throughout the film, and it makes one think: if we all acted ethically, there would be a lot less government and coercive religion, but more importantly, THERE WOULD BE NO WAR.
The actors were well-cast for their roles. Orlando Bloom is perfect as Balian. His role requires intelligence, skepticism, ethical and physical strength, and Bloom got it exactly right.Read more ›
The fundamental weakness of the film remains unalterable - and that is Orlando Bloom. Great Legolas, great Will Turner, but lacks the gravity to be the centrepoint of an epic film. I don't know why this is so - I like the guy and enjoy his acting - but he just doesn't carry things in the manner of, say, Russell Crowe in Gladiator.
Despite the film's weaknesses - in acting, in ambiguous dialogue, in some real historical whoppers - I like it. Scott is tackling an area of history where angels fear to tread, and I think that he really manages to give the audience a wonderful Salah ad-Din, and a solid Reynald of Chatillon (apart from some silly shouting). Liam Neeson as Godfrey is wonderfully dry, and probably shouldn't have gone back to France to find his son.
This is a very well done movie - in the special effects, in the grande scale of the visuals, in the casting (Bloom very believable I thought, as with the entire cast really), the visuals, the acting, story, and the historical accuracies in this movie made it particularly un-american and added greatly to my enjoyment of the film. I have curled up on the sofa and watched this movie 5 times so far and plan on re:watching again and again. Thoroughly enjoyable - a real treat to enjoy over and over again. I highly recommend.
Most recent customer reviews
All the holes filled-in so you understand this masterpiece the way Ridley Scott wanted you to!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Far far too much violence in this movie. still haven't watched all of part 2..and I won't.Published 19 months ago by Diana