Friday, October 14, 2005

Weekend DVD Pick

hopefully to be a regular colum, this is my way of helping you decide what you should grab while looking through Blockbuster or any other chain this weekend.

Pay no attention to that lousy score from Rotten, Kingdom of Heaven is the latest, and quite possibly the greatest, offering by Ridley Scott.

After last years miserable misstep 'Troy', Scott tries his hand at the sword and sandals epic once again, this time taking a page from his own 'Gladiator' by focusing on characters just as heavily, if not more so, than elaborate set pieces.
Bloom does a great job as the tortured quiet blacksmith, and while his transition to reluctant hero has it's mis steps, once he reaches that point we believe it full force.
Once we reach the sandy dunes of the middle east we are treated visually by Scotts grand shots and exotic sets. Once again, the action is not immediate, we are slowly but steadily introduced to the politics of the age and find ourselve wrapped in the political manuevering of Saladin and King Baldwin.
Ed Norton and Ghassan Massoud play wonderfully off each other as the respectfull rivals Baldwin and Saladin.

Never before have i seen a movie that so accuratly displays the power of diplomacy. At one point Bloom's Bailin is getting ready to lead an attack on Saladins men. As the two armies are advancing and meet on the feild the two leaders meet in the center. At this point the movie has you frothing at the mouth, tense and waiting untill the two men resolve that particular dispute with diplomatic words.

The movie also helps draw a startling and sometimes sickening correlation to our current struggle in the middle east. In this movie we see the brutality, but also the civil rules of war and the consequences of breaking them.

Jeromy Irons will rouse you, Martin Csokas will make your skin crawl. All the performances are top notch.

An action movie that not only delivers epic battles but a bit more of an intelligent political picture, Kingdom of Heaven is the best example of what the genre can offer.

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