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Vertigo chimes in with the first review anywhere of Ridley Scott's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with a film I'm dying to see next year... Ridley Scott's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!!! Ridley's return to the super-epic - with a fantastic cast. From folks on the inside, I can tell you the word on this film has been spectacular. That this review, with SPOILERS btw, gives the movie an 8.5 at it's full on 3 hour + cut... and mentions a couple of dragging moments that will either be excised or given proper speed by getting the final score in place. This is definitely one of the ones to watch for in 2005! Here ya go...

Heya Harry.  

Me and the gal pal were going to the movies to see Blade Trinity when I noticed that a line was forming off to the side and everyone was holding yellow slips of paper. Being the curious fellow I am, I approached one of the numerous suits walking around handing out the papers and he told me they were having a Test Screen for a new movie that was UNTITLED, developed by a major production studio and slated for Summer 2005 release. He asked if we were interested in participating... duh.  

We got in line and speculation was screaming around us, everything fro STAR WARS to CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. After about 30 minutes of waiting, were were allowed to enter the theater when they announced they wouldn't allow anyone in that had picture phones... I was getting excited!  

Just before the film, a suit gets up and says that the movie we were about to see just finished being edited and has some technical flaws (never mind those) and that we were the first people to ever see the cut.  

After the film I did some research on the net at imdb.com and found the movie "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN". The movie was 3 hours and had tons of gory action, intense drama and a romance story for good measure. The action was great and the acting was superb. I know that they will not keep the 3 hour running time because the movie had a few times where it really dragged along.  

The movie is very, Braveheart / ROTK / Gladiator / very epic!!! Anyways here's the story.  

***SPOILERS***  

The movie starts and there are about 3 title cards talking about the crusades in the 12th century. The film opens on a mountain side road in 12th century France. There is a dishonorable funeral for a woman who has committed suicide, when Godfrey of Ibelin played by LIAM NEESON rides by with a few fellow crusaders. They make their way into a small village and find out that the woman was wife to the local blacksmith, Balian played by ORLANDO BLOOM. Liam tells Orlando that he had been with his mother and that Orlando was his son, he has come to ask for forgiveness and to offer Orlando to join his Crusade in Jerusalem. Balian declines the offer. Liam offers the invitation again saying he will be in Jerusalem.  

Anyways...the story pretty much goes as follows:  

The local priest wants Balian to leave cause his wife committed suicide (saying she will be in Hell for eternity for her sins), Balian kills the priest and catches up to Godfrey on the way and asks if it is true that he can relieve his and his dead wife's sins so that she may be in Heaven by going to Jerusalem. The authorities catch up and want to arrest Balian, the crusaders defend him and Godfrey is mortally wounded in the battle. Godfey knights Balian and now Balian is a lord with a seat in Jerusalem. Balian arrives in Jerusalem after a ship wreck that only he and his horse survive.  

The King of Jerusalem is stricken with leprosy and is forced to wear an Iron Mask. I believe ED NORTON plays King Baldwin IV. His personal aide is Tiberias, played by Jeremy Irons. The king is losing power to his sisters fiance (by arrangement), Guy de Lusignan played by Marton Csokas. This "Guy" is very ruthless and blood-thirsty and controls the 200,000 troops in Jerusalem. The Kings policy is that Jerusalem should be open to all faiths. However Lusignan has other plans such as killing all the Muslims he can find. The kings sister, Sybilla played by Eva Green (who is smoking hot!!) falls in love with the very pleasant and now righteous Balian.  

Saladin, the leader of the Muslim people, is upset at the killing of the Muslims and sets out to recapture the city. Meanwhile the king wishes Balian to kill Lusignan, marry Sybilla and gain control of the army and continue Jerusalem's open faith practices. Balian deciles because he will not commit such and evil act. Sybilla asks him "Would not one evil be worth a million good?" and is upset.  

The King dies from his disease, and Sybilla's 7 year old son becomes king of Jerusalem. She was married before and her husband supposedly had died in battle. The Kid King comes down with leprosy and Sybilla poisons him to ease his suffering.  

Lusignan claims the throne and sets out to destroy the Muslims who are now advancing on the city of Jerusalem. Balian advises against it saying the desert will kill the crusaders because of the lack of water. Lusignan scoffs at the idea blinded by his own power. Leaving the city defenseless Lusignan sets out across the desert only to have the entire army defeated by the superior tactics of Saladin.  

Jerusalem is left unprotected full of "normal people" with Balian now in control. Now Saladin's army arrives outside Jerusalem and what follows is a siege battle that is up there with the battle fro LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING. This battle is about 40 minutes long and freaking rocks! Eventually Jerusalem falls and Saladin is impressed with Balians honorable tactics and offers Balian to surrender the city and all inside will be given safe passage to Christian lands. Balian surrenders Jerusalem.  

The movie ends with Balian and Sybilla living a less than royal life in a remote village in France. Balian has resumed the role of blacksmith when one day some Crusaders come asking for the Great Balian. Balian says he doesn't know him. One of the crusaders wearing a crown says he is the King of England and they are going to recapture Jerusalem. Balian stays and the Crusaders ride away.  

Good movie I give it 8.5/10. I like the epics.  

I am Vertigo

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:49 a.m. CST

    First...

    by BurnHollywood

    Wonder how a movie where the Muslims defeat bloodthirsty Christians is going to go over in the US...:D

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson

    by CellarDoor

    You've a lot to answer for. So now we're all going to have to tolerate years of mediocre "epics" like this, Alexander and Troy? Woopidy do!

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Second, too!

    by BurnHollywood

    Hmmm...interesting...an online dictionary sez Saladin was a Kurd, born in Saddam Hussein's home turf of Tikrit...topical, no?

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:27 a.m. CST

    The battle is like the one from Return of the King?

    by Big Bad Clone

    So it had orcs, hobbits, elves, ghosts, and Miranda Ott fucking up that dude on a dragon?

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:35 a.m. CST

    How Many Blacksmiths looked like Orlando Bloom?

    by Drath

    Prior to his Pirates of the Carribean role and this, I always thought blacksmiths were big smelly hair ugly guys. Now I know better! Used to be the knight was the guy all the women wanted, but now it's clear that the Blacksmiths were the real heart-stealers back in the olden days. I guess if he's the son of Liam Neeson, he can't exactly be ugly. And Neeson is a knight, so it all works out. Anyway, I'm glad to hear you thought the movie was good and that the performances were especially good. Hope that good word of mouth continues.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Aaaah...more swingin' swords, stomping horses and glittering ar

    by Blue_Demon

    Man I can hardly wait for this one. I love epics. In fact, the only one I did not see was "Alexander" because friends waved me away from that one like from a gas leak. I've seen a few pictures on the internet from this and it looks pretty damn fine. Oh by the way...there's lots of crap in theaters and television that I'm not fond of but I don't "have to tolerate" any of it. I just ignore it. Try it! It works! To date, I have not seen one episode of Desperate Housewives, The O.C. or ( in theaters ) Alexander, Polar Express or Blade:Trinity.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:27 a.m. CST

    I dont remember THAT!

    by SilentType

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:28 a.m. CST

    I dont remember THAT

    by SilentType

    Miranda Otto fucked some dude on a dragon? When? Oh wait, is this in the Extended Cut? I gotta get that dvd!!!!

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Awful review, a plot summary with an 8.5 at the end

    by NFLRefugee

    A couple of adjectives thrown in for good measure. Still, from what he says it could be a good action flick. Scott can deliever.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:47 a.m. CST

    What a shame

    by Oberon

    At first, I started to get excited: another vast Ridley Scott epic, set in the Middle Ages, with a reasonably top drawer cast. But now it seems Ridley has succumbed to terminal political correctness: Christians all bad (save perhaps our noble hero) and Muslims all good - a film I think I've seen a few times before and recently at that (FOUR FEATHERS, THE LAST SAMURAI, DANCES WITH WOLVES, et al). If the reverse formulation would be rightly exocriated as jingoistic pandering (at least in the U.S.) I can't see that this extreme is any better. But perhaps a morally nuanced and more accurate portrayal might risk Ridley Scott sharing Theo van Gogh's fate, or at least a healthy number of threats. No enraged Catholics or Pentacostals are going to behead poor Ridley and leave a bloody 6 page screed impaled on his chest.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Orlande Bloom sucks, but Ridley Scott rules...

    by moviemaniac-7

    If Scott had a real actor (Ewan MacGregor for instance), this could be a would-be classic. Still, this will be a very cool film (unless they're doing it the Troy way).

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Hnnnn-I king Arthur, Declare Balin the new King of England.

    by TheGinger Twit

    This sounds ... well, it just sounds made up.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Orlando Bloom is shit. He delivers every line in a "It's the Hor

    by Coatsy UK

    ...but Ridley is the man so I have a little hope.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I don't see what the big deal is about Christians being portraye

    by TheGinger Twit

    Don't you guys actually know any Christians. I fucking hate them all. Stupid bastards. And before i get flamed, I live in a society infested with them. Yes, I have no doubt they will hurt you badly for questioning their belief. And if you try and make them question their belief thats when they will band together and kill you dead.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Hey Oberon, you tool, think about what you are saying...

    by Bunger

    From what I understand of the review it seems that Liam's character, and the old kindly king, and his sister, and Orlando are all GOOD Christians, right? And those are just chosen from among the main characters. So where do you get off saying that Ridley Scott is portraying all christians as bad? What you are really pissed about it that he acknowledges that much of Christianity is intolerant and claims a monopoly on God's favor. You, sir, are a TOOL.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Hey Nicole, bite me, you misunderstand...

    by Bunger

    I will cop to the fact that I have not seen the movie, and will cop to the fact that Hollywood tends to make things overly-black-and-white at nearly every step... However, even judging from the review, it is clear to me that we will see both tolerant and intolerant members of both faiths-- after all the Muslims will be mounting a massive and violent seige of Jerusalem, and will doubtless be a little mean to the Christians-- there will be blood on all hands... Hoiwever, meanwhile folks like you and Oberon pull your typical martyr's laments about how Christians are a persecuted minority on this earth, suffering an unfair demonization at the hands of the liberal elites of the media establishment.... It is to BARF... For one thing, the crusades were real and they were REALLY REALLY UGLY in terms of Christianities self-righteous slaughter and zealotry-- in that respect, if the movie really takes that point of view, it is merely stating historical fact... and insofar as the movie is a veiled commentary on modern religious politics, it's metaphors must be unpacked a little; it is unfair to make a direct inference that on the metaphorical level "Christians as represented in 12th Century symbolize and represent modern Christians." A more fruitful read will be that the movie's christians represent modern America as a whole; an institution beset with an internal struggle between imperialistic, self-righteous, xenophobic zealots on the one hand and humanitarian multiculturals on the other... You christian hardliners need to get off your high horse and stop trying to convince us all that you are oppressed and misunderstood... NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE HATE-FILLED ASSHOLES, OK OK OK, WE GET IT!!! Nevertheless, many people in our culture are (Christian and non alike), and it's a topic that deserves exploration, and the Crusades are a perfect prism for such artistic exploration. UP YOURS!!

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Re: Peter Jackson

    by JAGUART

    Yea, like how we can all thank Richard Kelly for years of faggoty usernames and gay "Frank the Bunny is soooo kewl" references.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 12:10 p.m. CST

    WOWZA! MORE PARANOID CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE GARBAGE!

    by bushsux

    Oh poor Nicole, you and the poor oppressed Christians have been suffering so much! The Crusades was a horrible, violent event that, along with the plagues, eventually brought the downfall of the religious-driven, dark ages Europe and led to the subsequent renessaince. Sound familiar? It should. The Crusades are an example of how idiot politicians can use religion to manipulate idiots in our population to fight silly, unnecessary wars and hate outsider groups like Jews in Muslims. In the case of the Crusades, they were a series of military endeavors sanctioned by the Pope(What happened to "Thou Shalt Not Kill?") to capture the Holy Land from the Muslims. History repeats itself today with republican politicians using Christianity to manipulate people into voting for them. People like Nicole21 pick and choose what they want to follow in Christianity. Taking away women's reproductive rights and hating gay people are obviously of much more concern than say, helping the homeless. When was the last time you heard Nicole21 talk about helping the homeless? It's always about how oppressed she is because she's a Christian or how the rest of us are going to hell because we're not far-right like her. Eventually another 3% of voters are going to wake up to the 21st century. Sadly, I don't think Nicole21 ever will.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 12:36 p.m. CST

    But do we get to see Balian's brother, Dwalian?

    by Joe Cool #2

    Even if not, Ridley Scott gets the benefit of my doubt. I'll see this.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 12:37 p.m. CST

    The Christians WERE the barbarians during the crusades.

    by fitzcarraldo2

    When the crusaders captured Jerusalem they committed all sorts of hideous acts, murder, rape, torture even (rumoured) cannibalism. And these acts were against Muslims, Jews and Christians alike. You know the action-movie line "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out"? Well that was the cry of the Crusader knights - "Kill them all! God will know his own!" Note that there were Jews and Christians in Muslim Jerusalem, that's because the Islamic world was more enlightened and tolerant than the Christian world by a factor of about one thousand, not to mention more scientifically and intellectually advanced. To them we were a horde of dirty, backwards savages much as we viewed the Mongol horde.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Well, not to defend Nicole21 or anything, but...

    by FluffyUnbound

    50 years ago no one would have instantly thought "Evil Christian bloodbath" or "really, really ugly" in response to the code word "Crusades". Therefore, the fact that this is your knee-jerk reaction goes a long way towards demonstrating that someone, somewhere, decided to promulgate that theory and "push" it. And please don't be a real drone and say something stupid like, "Well, that's just because we understand history better now," because, frankly, you don't. If you understood history, you would clearly perceive that every inch of ground in Eurasia has been conquered and reconquered hundreds of times, that every tribe, state, empire, social group, whatever, everywhere in the world since before recorded time always conquered anyone they COULD conquer, to the limit of their capacity for warfare, and that nobody needed a REASON to do it, other than wealth, power, land, and bloodlust. In that context to take one little set of wars and say, "THESE are the bad wars started by bad people for a mean reason" is just fucking stupid. It says a very great deal about modern humanity when you realize that it's obvious that the reason the Crusades are now viewed as particularly heinous and worthy of note [against the whole bloody backdrop of the march of time] is because the people who started the Crusades justified their actions by reference to religious revelation. Oh, they still wanted the land, they still wanted the gold, and they still wanted to kill, because they found that interesting and fun - but in their rhetoric they had that other little reason, the one where they claimed to know the truth, and that's what makes them worthy of particular damnation. People are more offended by that, than they are by the blood. If we chose our object lessons based solely on body count we'd be much more concerned with the Mongol sack of Baghdad than the Crusader sack of Jerusalem. To a modern, though, a claim that you know the truth, any truth, is actually a worse offense than mass murder. That's why the Crusades are "the dark, dark past" but the burning of Novgorod is just interesting archaeology.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:07 p.m. CST

    bushsux

    by ewokstew

    If you'd take the time to pereceive real Christians as those who actually do what the Bible says and not the many who claim to be Christians, and do all this stuff that is not biblical (like "If you don't give me a million dollars God will kill me" sort of junk) maybe you'd have a different persepective, i.e. if the "Christians" were actually throwing down the level of carnage recorded in history during the Crusades, guess what?...they ain't Christians.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Fluffy: huh?

    by Bunger

    You make excellent points, all right on the money, but I don't see that they align you with the Christ-pumpers in our midst... You're right, we should pay as much attention to the effects of world events as we do to their rationalizations, and be as ready to criticize the former as the latter? Did I get your point correctly? Nevertheless, one must absolutely examine and expose underlying causes and rationales for such bad events in order to understand them and avoid similar atrocities in the future... Our culture has honed in on the Crusades (as opposed to other similar world-movements) because we (i.e. Judeo-Christian-Anglo-Saxon-Western-Civilization-whathaveyou) have roots in it in a way we don't have in the Mongol invasion of Bahgdad (I'll admit I didn't know there had even been such); therefore the Crusades are more 'relevant' in that we identify with them to a greater degree; furthermore, christian-muslim/western-middleeastern strife is a big deal these days, so there's some resonance there for us... In short, even though there are other horribles we neglect to discuss, it is still useful for us to talk about and be critical of the Crusades and the Western world's role in them.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:12 p.m. CST

    What about the acting?

    by viola123

    There's not much here at all about the acting. A movie this epic needs to have the acting to go along with it. That's what made "Braveheart", "Gladiator" and "Lord of the Rings" as great as they are. Without that, this is just another "Alexander", right? So where's the acting critique? I wanna know if Orlando Bloom can pull this off, because my heart tells me "no". Just sayin'. Thanks for the review though. I wish Ridley Scott made that "Tripoli" instead though. Ah well.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Well... Guess this is the payoff...

    by JorgeHP

    Right after Mel Gibson gives us his masterpiece with The Passion of the Christ with all its historical accuracy, we then the reaction. King Arthur and this "Kingdom of Heaven" not only are historical heresy but downright intellectually insulting. The thing I hate the most of these kind of movies is that the action is cool and entertaining, even the message is good, the problem is the means they use to convey it: with lies. Arthur was a legend because even in the face of his greates battles he maintained his christian spirit (and btw, there were no monks on Artur's time either -they were an end of the Middle Ages movement-, so I have NO IDEA why they appeared on the film other than to ridicule them). And the Crusades where primordially a popular movement, not a clerically-induced one. The Muslims where the invaders and the intolerant ones (you seem to have forgotten that the Yihad included KILLING everyone NOT muslim). The christian people just responded to the threat. But hell... Don't listen to me, read the history books from experts who, even when they're atheist, feel disgusted when they see what we see onscreen and think of it like its what really happened... Shame on us indeed.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:30 p.m. CST

    DAMMIT!!!

    by JorgeHP

    The Middle Ages was NOT a "dark" age!!!!! Thanks to THAT age the Renaisssance came!!!!! And thanks to that the Modern age came!!! You can't GIVE what you don't have!!! By that rationale then this age should be the darkest, and even with our complicated present day problems, its not!! Please at LEAST try to read REAL history books and stop repeating what the media wants you to repeat. Damn!! That THX-1138 movie was not fantasy after all, is downright anecdotal!

  • if you're gonna offer a review, at least go into what the acting, cinematography, direction etc. are like. all this review manages to do is spoil the film.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:49 p.m. CST

    There was a documentary on the Crusades here in Britain last yea

    by Aston Lad

    Sadly I missed it, it was supposed to be great. Wonder what Ridley will have to go through from the political correctness crowds when this gets released. Christianity versus Islam set in Jerusalem...let the controversy and misunderstandings begin!!!

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Aint it Cool Talk Back.

    by Shaz_bot80

    Is it just me, or is every director considered a hack here? Do you idiots know what a hack is?

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Not exactly a "Red State" movie...

    by bralli

    Wow, a movie that actually shows that Christians were the "evil terrorists" of the Dark Ages... This is going to show well in Middle America....

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Let's hope Ridley can save the sandal and sword epics..

    by Lost Skeleton

    ...that have failed recently (i.e. Alexander and Troy) If anyone can...it's Ridley! Let's hope they leave it at R and don't pussy it by making it PG-13.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:17 p.m. CST

    White American Christians are evil...

    by Lost Skeleton

    ...No, I'm not kidding...they really are...They are responsible for the KKK; the War in Iraq; the elimination of the reproductive rights of woman; the de-humanization of homosexuals; the elimination of the United Nations; the demonization of Europeans; the unknowing enslavement of the working class (WalMart); the end of democracy in American and the support of a one-party system (the GOP majority control); the "Americanization" of the middle east; the sexual and physical torture of Islamic men and women (see Abu Gruad scandal); the destruction of the Earth's resources; the destruction of the public education system; the open violation of the principle of seperation of church and state; the censorship and destruction of free speech in America (See new FCC fines); the mis-education of the working class; the denial of AIDS education; the unknowing motivation for the arming, with nuclear weapons, of North Korea and Iran; the destruction of a 200 year alliance with our great ally France...the list goes on and on. Yep, white American Christians have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Obvioulsy fuck knuckles hates America.

    by numberface

    Just kidding. I thought your post was interesting and enlightening. What amazes me about this talkback is that people are arguing about historical events from a modern political perspective. I'm Canadian and it puzzles me how Americans only have two perspectives: Left or Right. You're on one side or the other. Life must be boring having only two choices...

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Lost Skeleton, republicans aren't really Christians

    by bushsux

    Real Christians actually care about the poor and less fortunate. You never hear any of these Christian right wackos ever talk about helping the poor and less fortunate. It seems like once you're done being a fetus, they forget about you. No welfare, no education, no medicare, medicaid, and God forbid the republicans try to raise the minimum wage! Once you're born, you're on your own. Conservatives misinterpret Christianity and then exploit it for political gain. Too bad none of their actual policies work. I seriously doubt whether many of them actually believe in God. As for the Crusades, maybe Rupert Murdoch can come up with a Fox History Channel where historical facts can be twisted and distorted to favor conservatives. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and Hitler's Pope, Pope Pius XII didn't really happen. That's what those liberal history books are telling you. The Catholic Church is innocent of persecuting Women, Blacks, Jews, Muslims and Gays and actually helps the poor. By the way, that 10% the Church insists it gets from you actually goes to help the poor too.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Nice Christians

    by Super Person

    They DO exist, I know this... I've met a few, and they always make me feel very hopeful about Christianity in general... honestly I have nothing against Christianity in general, just the people who have obviously twisted it to incorporate things like hating gays, hating and/or distrusting those who do not share Christian beliefs, and/or incorporating Christian beliefs and tenets (as purported by these types of people) into our government, which I believe most of us can agree, given the wealth of written material on the subject, our founding fathers believed should not happen... I have met some Christians who live the way I think Christ intended for them to live... and I feel sorry for them, because they must know their religion's public face has been hijacked by people who abuse it in the worst ways possible...

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:15 p.m. CST

    I know there are some well rounded open-minded christians out th

    by Lost Skeleton

    ...but it seems like the only white american christians (so called christians) I run into scare me. I am a Christian. I am also African-American. The Black church has always supported civil rights (of course); Black-Jewish relations; help for the poor; public education and the light but the GOP christians always make it seem that our position (the liberal) position is anti-GOD and I am sick of it. We love this country and we also love the Lord. Yes, I do disagree with the Church when it comes to homosexual rights (I am for equal protection for all Americans including Gay Marriage as any real American should be), but all these conservatives misusing GOD to push their evil agenda makes me sick! I apologize to all my white brothers and sisters out there who I may have offended but I just wanted to get a point across to all these "red-state" GOP voting christians that they have been on the wrong side of history...and the wrong side of the Gospel for too long.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:23 p.m. CST

    what a bunch of idiots

    by devil0509

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Ridley Scott= The modern day version of Cecille B. Demille

    by screenplaywriter

    This man is clearly one of my favorite directors of all time and one of my idols. Mostly because he is responsible for bringing back the epics of old classic cinema. This review sounds like old Ridley is back in his game, back at the helm for another multi-million dollar blockbuster/ Oscar contender. I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:44 p.m. CST

    SuperPerson and Lost Skeleton

    by Aetius450

    There is of course a difference between "hating gays" and opposing the legal and public recognition of same-sex unions via gay marriage or some euphemistic substitute like 'civil unions.' Otherwise that would mean that the majority of Americans hate gays and are pushing an evil GOP agenda as ballot measures against gay marriage and civil unions are undefeated at the state level. And in this past cycle that included the battleground states of Michigan and Ohio where civil unions were also banned, plus the reliably blue state of Oregon; not exactly the Bible Belt. And the reaction against gay marriage/civil unions is only exacerbated by the Left's tactic of going to the Courts to have judges with a king-complex impose on states and eventually the whole nation what they can't win in a fair democratic fight in Congress, or most state legislatures. Its very similar to abortion, where some more left-leaning states were democratically moving towards more liberal abortion laws through their state legislature when the Sup Court had to step in and invent a new Constitutional right (w/o the troublesome process of actually amending the Constitution) and basically impose abortion-on-demand on the entire nation --thus creating the modern day national debate over this when it could have been relegated to a state matter where it belongs, where the values of blue states reign in blue states and red values reign in red states. And finally, I'm sure you are aware, Lost Skeleton, that black Americans overwhelmingly oppose gay marriage with many voting for Kerry and for ballot initiatives banning gay marriage and civil unions; so does that make them as evil as the white Christians? That, of course, is one of the reasons the Left has given up trying to actually win the public debate over this because they know when the people have a direct say, then majorities of Democratic constituencies like black and Hispanic Americans will cross over and vote against the Left.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Aetius450

    by Super Person

    But if they're real Christians, shouldn't they be okay with their fellow man, whom they are supposed to love, getting the same legal, civil, and religious recognitions they themselves enjoy? I guess that's where I get confused... I don't see how it isn't just bigotry, like we had against blacks and women before that... and yet, this time, Christians (or rather, as I specified before, the PUBLIC FACE of Christianity, and its most vocal arm) tend to overwhelmingly lean anti-gay, to the extent that most Christian religions will not allow a gay person to become a minister/priest/pastor...

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 6:08 p.m. CST

    JorgeHP

    by DocPazuzu

    "you seem to have forgotten that the Yihad included KILLING everyone NOT muslim" ........ I suppose that explains the flourishing Jewish and Christian cultures within the Muslim world at the time. It seems, perhaps, that you are the one in need of reading a book or two. I find it endlessly fascinating and somewhat humorous that the people who scream the loudest about Muslim atrocities of the past are the same people who will go to any extreme to excuse or deny Christian horrors of the past. You would do well to take a few notes from FluffyUnbound in the matter of having a balanced view on the subject. As for you, Nicole21, you might stand a better chance of making resonant points if you weren't such an incessant whiner. Your posts have degenerated into self-parody of late - not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Hey assholes! THE FUCKING ELECTION IS OVER!

    by J-Dizzle

    Those of you who don't like the result get over it and get on with your lives. It's just another 4 fucking years, it's not like it's any real sweat off your balls! Fucking kids man!

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:25 p.m. CST

    SuperPerson

    by Aetius450

    Well its not for me to say what 'real Christians' should do or feel about a certain issue, but personally I don't think that extending the legal incidents of an institution (marriage) that society has consciously decided to grant to heterosexual couples, to homosexual couples is the same thing as protecting equal opportunity based on something like race or sex. But I say again, that it is the manner in which this is being foisted on the nation -- by judicial decree -- that is at the heart of the problem. I think people generally like to govern themselves, not be ruled by judges.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:33 p.m. CST

    What the Arabs gave Western Europe

    by Wild At Heart

    Hygiene! Seriously, 'we' Christians were a pox-ridden, filthy-assed bunch prior to the Crusades. Frankly, if all the Muslims gave us was soap then we have a lot to thank them for. And no, Islam wasn't always as fucked up as it is now. Read a few history books kids.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Wild At Heart "Read a few history books kids."

    by J-Dizzle

    Then you would know about the atrocities they commited during their invasion of the Persian Empire, and how they continue to oppress Persians to this very day.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 7:55 p.m. CST

    bushsux

    by Aetius450

    The reason you don't hear any of these, as you put it, 'Christian right wackos', talking about their work on behalf of the poor is because that is not what Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, Larry King, Katie Couric, and Peter Jennings have them on their shows to talk about. They are invited on to talk about the hot-button, contentious social and cultural issues because that is what is making news. That does not mean they do not work diligently for the less fortunate. I will credit you for using the words "it seems..." because it is indeed not the case that these people you so clearly loathe oppose that list of things you mention. It is the hot-button social issues on which the conservative/evangelical Christian community tend to have strong agreement. Since things like increasing the minimum wage tend to poll exceeding well, it goes to reason that many of those evil red-staters must agree. The same goes for public investment in medicare and education. And as far as the Crusades go -- the film of course should not gloss over Christian wrongdoings, but Muslims weren't exactly angels either when they were spreading out from the Middle East.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Fitzcarraldo2- about that quote...

    by Pulzar711

    It actually comes from the Albigensian Crusade in southern France, which was against the Cathar heresy and had little to do with the Holy Land crusades... I quote the Wikipedia: "In July the crusaders captured the small village of Servian and headed for B

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Bunger: If I'm a tool just call me Black & Decker

    by Oberon

    Certainly there seem to be a few sympathetic Christians but that hardly deflates my point: which is that they're exceptions, and, it seeems, they reach their "telos" by rejecting the faith/Church in some way. As to your broader conclusion, we may have to agree to disagree. But that is also a side issue to the real discussion which is that Ridley's apparent choices will make for less dramatic tension because the viewers are offered easy outs at every turn; and worse, that he may have done so out of political concerns: we would not want to offend any Muslims, for example by nuancing the generally noble Kurdish leader who also put a few thousand captives to death on one afternoon. The Chrusaders bathed Jerusalem in blood in 1098; the Turks put most of Constantinople to the sword or enslaved when they sacked the city; and so it goes. But as I said: we've seen this movie before, which makes me wonder why we would want to see it again, even from such a talented director as Ridley Scott.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:17 p.m. CST

    One minor correction, JorgeHP

    by Oberon

    1. I didn't care for King Arthur dramatically (subpar, schizophrenic script, mixed acting) or historically either, but I would like to address your point that "there were no monks on Artur's time either -they were an end of the Middle Ages movement." Not quite. Cenobitic monasticism began in Egypt in the 4th century AD under St. Antony and Pachomius, and was brought to Western Europe (Gaul and Italy, at first) by Cassian and St. Martin of Tours in the late 4th and 5th centuries. By the historical time of what is generally considered Arthuir's period - late 5th, early 6th centuries - it had begin putting down roots in western Europe, thouigh nowehere near as extensive as it would later become under the Benedictines, Franciscans, etc later in the Middle Ages. However, it would certainly be accurate to say there were few if any monks running around southern Britain in the period we're talking about; nearly all the monastic activity in the British Isles at the time was in Ireland. It was not until after the Christianizing of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 7th century that monastic foundations began being set up in Britain proper. Monks seem to be an easy target for villainy - perhaps it is the flowing cowls and hoods? In Chaucer's day he alas! had more concrete reasons for poking fun at them, though that doesn't diminish the fact that most monks, then and now are devout men living ascetic spiritual lives, especially the ones I know. But I suppose that's no worse a historical liberty than painting Guy de Lusignan as bent on Muslim genocide or that he had anything like 200,000 troops under his command; at worst history records him as pugnacious and mediocre as a general - and, while I can't speak much to his attitudes toward Islam, he was noted as unusally tolerant and accomodating of Orthodox Christianity when he later became King of Cyprus in 1192.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 10:42 p.m. CST

    JorgeHP

    by CatoTheCensor

    Wow, you simply couldn't be more wrong. Allow me, please, to quote from Runciman about the capture of Jersusalem in 1099: "The Crusaders, maddened by so great a victory after such suffering, rushed through the streets and into the houses and mosques killing all that they met, men, women and children alike. All that afternoon and all through the night the massacre continued…Early next morning a band of Crusaders forced an entry into the (al-Aqsa) mosque and slew everyone. When Raymond of Aguilers later that morning went to visit the Temple area he had to pick his way through corpses and blood that reached up to his knees. The Jews of Jerusalem fled in a body to their chief synagogue. But they were held to have aided the Moslems; and no mercy was shown to them. The building was set on fire and they were all burnt within. The massacre at Jerusalem profoundly impressed all the world. No one can say how many victims it involved; but it emptied Jerusalem of its Moslem and Jewish inhabitants. Many even of the Christians were horrified by what had been done; and amongst the Moslems who had been ready hitherto to accept the Franks as another factor in the tangled politics of the time, there was henceforward a clear determination that the Franks must be driven out. It was this bloodthirsty proof of Christian fanaticism that recreated the fanaticism of Islam. When, later, wiser Latins in the East sought to find some basis on which Christian and Moslem could work together, the memory of the massacre stood always in their way." Yeah. Their excuse? Deus le volt. Man, the Crusaders were absolute animals...not only violent, but culturally backwards in every way. Even the Orthodox Christians of Constantiople considered them barbarians...and with good cause. In 1204 these Good Christian Souls committed one of the worst massacres in history on a Christian population when they sacked Constantiople. They pillaged and burned churches, they raped nuns, they desecrated the sanctity of Hagia Sophia, then the greatest Church in all of Christendom. They also killed a shitload of people. Tryin reading Nicetas Choniates. In 1453, when Mehmet II laid siege to Constantiople, many Orthodox Christians actually wondered if they wouldn't be better off living under the Turks than accepting the help of Western Christians and being forced into unification. The Turks would allow them to worship freely as they pleased, while the Latins would force them to accept Papal rule and the Catholic practices, liturgy and creed.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 11:48 p.m. CST

    who needs to see the fucking movie now?

    by mr_moppet

    spoilers my ass! He told the whole fucking movie. I don't mind spoilers but for fucks ske don't give us a blow by blow account.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 12:32 a.m. CST

    I've always wanted to see an epic film set during the Crusades.

    by Noriko Takaya

    This looks like it may be it. But as others have mentioned, what will really make or break this thing is the quality of acting (and the script). There have been more than enough movies with A+ level CGI and F- level acting/story. Let's hope that this isn't one of them.

  • Yet another eurocentric, pro-white piece of film crap

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Cato

    by Oberon

    No one questions (or should question) that the sack of jerusalem in 1099 was a despicable bloodbath, with Crusaders at some points, by Godfrey's own account, wading through blood up to their knees. And it should redound to Saladin's credit that such bloodshed was largely restrained when he recaptured the city in 1187. Nonetheless your historical context seems to be lacking: the shock of losing the Holy Land was of greater effect, the record suggests, than the sack of Jerusalem; the sack of Baghdad (in which the entire population of a 500,000 was butchered) by the Mongols in 1258 had a far greater impact on the Muslim psyche. But so far as the Christian record goes it should be borne in mind first that the sack was condemned widely by churchmen in the West, including Pope Paschal II - however grateful they might be the recovery of the Holy Land; and secondly as regards the question of reaction, the Crusades themselves were in their inception spurred by the plea of Byzantine Emperor Alexius on the heels of the relentless Turkish conquest of most of the Near East; by 1902 not a single Christian metropolitan see in the whole of Asia was under Christian control, and a fair number of atrocities were committed on Christian residents and pilgrims in the process. One can factor in the "younger nobility eager for riches and glory," economic incentives, and all the other causes that recent revisionist scholarship suggests, but it began as a defensive reaction to the rapid expansion of Islamic Turkish power in the Eastern Mediterranean (which would eventually roll to the gates of Vienna, BTW, by 1529) and could not have happened without that - something to bear in mind when we speak of shocked reactions to sudden alien incursions. Plenty of that to go around in the Crusades, after all. Fortunately for you Ridley Scott seems to have read the same books you did, however.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 5:04 a.m. CST

    JorgeHP

    by smylexx

    Which expert history books are you referring to exactly? Since King Arthur never existed, which particular "Great Battles" are we discussing again? Battle of Hastings? The Somme? Iraq/Iran?

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Jsadighi, don't get me wrong...

    by Wild At Heart

    I am not a Muslim apologist. No doubt throughout the history of Islamic culture there has been oppression and bloodshed of terrible magnitude, but I am simply calling for a bit of balance in the argument. I'm saying that there have been times where Islamic culture has been more enlightened than it possibly is now and has provided great benefit to the growth of Western culture. In actual fact there really is no argument that it has. Demonisation of peoples and cultures leads us absolutely nowhere. Having said that I would gladly see the Taliban, Al Qaeda and all their bastard offspring comprehensively and brutally annihilated - for the benefit of all, including a significant number of quite moderate, and blameless, Muslims. I revile these smug fucks and want them all to die horrible deaths - I am not a simpering poet. I hate injustice and I hate suffering, and those who are directly responsible for instigating it. Some people need to be made to bleed in order to better the human race, but I am under no illusions that the all problems that vex this world of ours are within the reasoning of even the most liberal, embracing and wise of mortal men. The enemy, at its most repugnant, is always going to be a reflection of us, no matter how much we would like to think it otherwise. Yet, having said that, balance in all things my friend. If you have anything further you would like to share from a personal perspective I am more than interested to read it.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Keeping tradition alive; "PLANT! PLANT!"

    by Sgt. Black

    Red states won. Blue states lost. get over it, regroup, suck your thumb, see you in '08 for another round of the same. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 9:42 a.m. CST

    I, more than anyone, know most Black Americans oppose gay marria

    by Lost Skeleton

    And I disagree with that. However, Black Americans will never vote with the Right because we do not trust your agenda. The Right has always been adverse to the concerns of Black America. In addition, in Black America...where family is more important than individualism...where the injustices of the Right have their greatest impact...their are things more important than gay marriage. The current "so-called Christian Conservatives" are nothing more than the Dixiecrats of the 40s, 50s and 60s who oppossed integration (the same conservatives who claim they are bring "freedom" to the Iraqi people"). The same so-called Christian Right waited until the mid 90s to apologize for salvery...let alone Jim Crow. And do not forget that their are many "Christian" universities in the South that do not allow mixed race couples to openly date on campus. The Right is one of the greatest threats to democracy (next to Al-Queda). The Right has an evil agenda and I stand by that.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 9:56 a.m. CST

    JorgeHP is right about that

    by CatoTheCensor

    The Middle Ages were certainly not a "dark age." I mean, you can refer to the very early Middle Ages as the Dark Ages if you are referring to "Dark" in the sense that we don't know much about those days due to a lack of documentary evidence, but to think that people just "discovered" learning in the 15th century is incredibly simplistic. All those Classical manuscripts that Renaissance scholars "found" in the 15th century--where do you think they came from? Yeah, they were copied during the Middle Ages by Medieval scribes, who dutifully preserved them throughout the centuries.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Intolerance

    by Melian

    It's completely impossible to have a sensible discussion around here! From what I have read, the movie will be quite careful to point out that the Crusades were about power rather than faith.(there is a big difference between faith and religion). Anyway, you can't just assume something is going to be offensive before you have seen it. I choose to watch it before I spout about what it's message might be.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 1:14 p.m. CST

    "Yeah, they were copied during the Middle Ages by Medieval scrib

    by DocPazuzu

    The only reason they were preserved by the monks at all was because the meticulous copying of books and manuscripts was considered an ideal pursuit for cloistered monks in order to keep their minds off of "worldly" matters. There was no altruistic motive on the part of the church at that time to preserve all the invaluable texts of the western world (and countless ones were indeed lost forever. By and large, the only people considered worthy of even being taught to read at that time were the clergy and the aristocrats, and the only things the church considered worth reading were texts sanctioned by the church itself. So yes, it was in many ways truly a Dark Age in Europe where everyday life for most folks was a hideous scrabbling for food and warmth, and being plagued by disease, ignorance, illiteracy, religious terror and political oppression.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST

    :-I !!!!!!!!

    by JorgeHP

    Wow, guess there are real historians among us after all. I myself am a bit of a history freak, but now I admit I have to bow to many of the people who answered my talkback. About the monk bit I know there where monks in that time but not like the famous "wondering monks" in the strict sense, which where, as history states, more in the Middle Ages and not at the beginning of Christendom. But my point where not ONLY the historical inaccuracies of King Arturh (though I still resent them with all my heart) but the fact that the directors or producers insist in calling it historical fact. And so sorry but its not. They know it, we know it. But I'm tired of it, so that's why I'm speaking up. Peter Jackson PROVED beyond any reasonable doubt that you ARE able to tell a story making some compromises but without hurting the spirit of the story. Mel Gibson PROVED (and sorry for starting more debate around this) that you ARE able to be accurate about a complicated story with complicated events, characters, circumstances and beliefs and still be true to the original tale, in this case, the Gospels. The story is of a MAD GOD (there is no other way to describe it) that loved us so much that he let himself be killed in the most horrible, hideous and humiliating way by the very ones he loved, us; and did it to free us of our sins. If that is not a Mad God, then I do not know WHAT is, and that's why I love Him like MAD too. And That's why I LOVE Jews and Muslims, and everybody else too, I was simlpy Loved first. And that is the story of the Gospels. Definitely, the Greatest Story Ever Told. Anyway... ("Hard part's over".- as The Bride said). The part that I defintely DON'T like is the 'attitude' - for a lack of a better word, please excuse my poor english - of the movies. I just don't think it cool to insult people, events, things or beliefs so unremorsefully just for the sake of millions of dollars in the box office. I hated King Arthur because it inaccurately exposed the virtues and vices of a long forgotten age and also placed such virtues and vices in different people. To insult events by changing the way it went is just plain sad, but to insult PEOPLE who are dead and not able to defend themselves, is just plain wrong. If this kind of controversy is what Ridley Scott or the studio is aiming for in "kingdom of heaven", well then... Guess I'll just sit my ass out on this movie, pull out my remote and instead watch the Alien DVD with my friends. I don't know, maybe I expect a little better from so-called "historical" movies. Maybe they should just call themselves "entertainment" (if that...). Anyways, thanks for your time! Cheers all!!

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:28 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu

    by CatoTheCensor

    The "Rennaisance" wasn't the first nor even the most imporant renascence in Western Europe. England enjoyed its greatest flowering of learning BEFORE the Norman conquest, under Anglo-Saxon scholar kings like Alfred the Great. The first vernacular biblical translations were made in England by the bishop Aelfric. The Middle Ages also produced Aquinas, Bede, Chaucer, Gower, Bocaccio and an endless host of other great thinkers, scholars and writers. People who continue to hold to the outmoded and debunked belief that Western culture emerged from darkness during the "Renaissance" have merely bought into the propoganda of that age itself, with fancied itself above what had come before it. If you want to talk about political oppression, compare the authority of an Anglo-Saxon king to say, Louis XIV or even James I. Yes, the lives of ordinary people were hard and unforgiving in the middle ages, but that's true of antiquity and the Early Modern period as much as it is true of the "Dark Ages."

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:34 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu

    by CatoTheCensor

    "and secondly as regards the question of reaction, the Crusades themselves were in their inception spurred by the plea of Byzantine Emperor Alexius on the heels of the relentless Turkish conquest of most of the Near East..." Alexius wanted reinforcements to serve in his army, not an entire army of Frankish soldiers under the command of Western Princes. When they arrived in Eastern Europe the Emperor greeted them with trepidation, and would only assist them if they agreed to swear oaths of loyalty to him. The crusaders often raided the Byzantine countryside, and Frankish and Greek troops even came to blows occasionally. By the siege of Antioch the Emperor had come to view the Latins as as great of a threat to his sovereignty as the Turkst themselves--hence he didn't even send reinforcements to aid in the taking of the city. And guess what, 1204 proved he was right--you absolutely could not trust a Western Christian.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:38 p.m. CST

    ooops

    by CatoTheCensor

    My last post was supposed to be addressed to Oberon, not Doc

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Re: QTN

    by Aston Lad

    Ridley's best film? Man that's a dilemna...I admire the first Alien to bits, not just because it's well directed but more because it's so perfectly written. Seven characters, little wasted dialogue, very simple yet effective plot...pure genius. Blade Runner is good but slow. I like Gladiator but don't love it; sacriligious though it may sound I actually prefer Black Hawk Down. It grows on me with each viewing.

  • Grow up conservatives, you cannot make a movie about the Crusades without it being at least somewhat critical of the Catholic Church. I grew up Catholic, believe in God and intend to raise my kids Catholic; however, I think the Church has a shady past as well as a lot of shady people working for it. As for these Christian conservative wackos, they don't care about the poor. I'm sorry but they don't. They vote for and support republicans who want to eliminate and/or severely cut social programs while giving ridiculous tax cuts to the rich. Gays are the new "niggers" of the red states. I should know, I come from a red state, Louisiana. A lot of these Christian Right People here voted for David Duke for Governor in the 90's. African-Americans will never go along with the republican Party as long as republicans endorse racial profiling, eliminating affirmative action, cutting education and sending young black men off in combat arms units to fight silly wars like Iraq. Conrad Burns, a republican senator from Montana, is an out the closet racist and homophobe. It'll be a long 4 years before Evan Bayh will have to come in and clean up the mess you stupid conservatives created.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 7:30 p.m. CST

    LostSkeleton and bushsux

    by Aetius450

    Lost Skeleton: When it comes to direct votes from the people, via ballot initiatives, blacks do indeed vote with the "Right." Well actually, use of the word 'Right' in that regard is a sort of a misnomer since opposition to gay marriage is the mainstream position of Americans. So it would be more accurate to say that most blacks (and Hispanics)will vote for the likes of John Kerry (who they agree with on most other issues) and then turn around and vote against gay marriage; so they are at a minimum allied with the Right on this issue when allowed a direct say in the matter. I believe the gay marriage/civil unions ban in Michigan got the support of 60+% of the black vote. That is the great thing about ballot initiatives -- they allow people to make decisions about single issues, which in turn allows members of groups, like blacks and latinos and certain whites, to go around their preferred political leaders who are out of touch with them on certain issues, but who they still vote for because of the whole collection of issues. Its how a liberal state like California has voted by large margins to ban gay marriage, ban racial preferences, ban bilingual education, and ban public services for illegal aliens in the last 10 yrs. As to the threat to democracy posed by the Right; well it is not the Right that is trying to impose through the Courts what they can't do democratically through the people or their elected representatives who are accountable to the people every 2, 4, or 6 years. Again, abortion would not be the issue it is today if it had been left to the states where it belongs. The same is true of gay marriage where there is a plan to use federal courts to override all state and federal laws on the matter. Say what you will about the proposed federal Constitutional ban on gay marriage, but if it or some variation were ever to be ratified then it would have gone through a rigorous and tough democratic process. The same can not be said of the strategy of the Left to use the least accountable branch of govt to make social policy that people would reject given a direct choice. Conservatives are not demanding that football games in NY be preceded by a prayer over the scool speakers or that a nativity scene be put up at city hall in NYC, but leftist judges are telling people in Texas that they can't say a prayer over the speaker before a game and are ordering the removal of nativity scenes across the nation. The worst that conservatives like Scalia and Thomas will do is actually let the people make law. BUSHSUX: So you come from a Red State? And that makes your demonization of Red Staters beyond reproach? Whatever. Many of these evil Red Staters do plenty to help the poor, and of course there is legitimate debate about how best to go about doing that, and about what role the govt should have in it. Besides, to ascribe complete belief in a political party's platform to a person simply because they vote for that party is to ignore the varying and often competing concerns that leads one to vote a certain way. One can agree with a parties stand on cultural issues but disagree with its economics, and vice versa. And I think we can safely assume that since some things on the Dem/Left's agenda -- like increasing minimum wage, spending more on education, etc -- enjoy such strong majority support from Americans then much of that support must come from those evil white Christian Conservatives. As to David Duke: Well, lots of people vote for the equally loathsome Al Sharpton too. As to ending affirmative action: Well, yes, most conservatives, as well as most Americans, oppose racial preferences, which is probably what you meant by the euphemism 'aff action.' Its semantics to a degree; ask people if they support aff action then majorities usually say yes, but ask them if they support preferences (like the Left does), then they usually say no. So again, this is another case where the conservative position is the mainstream position. As to the military: It is true that blacks make up a disproportionate share of the Army, but their share of combat units is roughly proportional to their share of the overall population. I only bring this up to counter the oft repeated, but bogus assertion that combat units are stacked with non-whites. As to gays occupying that certain position in the South: Again, you confuse hate with opposition to an elite-driven and judicially-mandated radical redefinition of marriage and society. Tolerance is one thing, celebration is something else entirely. As to Evan Bayh having to clean up the mess: Well first of all, it should be noted that the intellectual drive for the Iraq war was provided by the neoconservatives, not traditional paleoconservatives, and President Bush ran in 2000 as the latter, not the former. And its interesting that you single out Bayh, who has the reputation as a moderate Democrat. Whether or not he really is I don't know, but he is on recored as opposing gay marriage and he voted for giving Bush the authority to launch the Iraq war. The same goes for Hillary, who will win the nomination if she wants it. Bayh's only chance of beating her would be if he ran as the anti-Hillary in the hopes that the party would take a more pragmatic, general election view as many did against Howard Dean this past election.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 8:44 p.m. CST

    D. Vader

    by CatoTheCensor

    Latin literature was preserved by Western Europe, and it was mostly Byzantine Greeks and to a lesser extent Muslims who preserved Greek written culture. A lot of Greek literature was destroyed forever when the idiot Latins sacked Constantinople.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Back at ya, Cato

    by Oberon

    Cato: Your account is essentially accurate as far as it goes, but your first difficulty is that my point really was not about precisely what kind of help Alexius was hoping for - and I am in full agreement that his preference was for mercenaries he could hire and control (and the Byzantines had a long history of such a practice going back to the old Roman days) over a large independent (and somewhat unruly) western army under its own lords with their own ambitins. But no: my original point was why Alexius was asking for help in the first place. And that had solely to do with the rise of Seljuk Turkish power in th Middle East. In 1071 the Byzantine army and Emperor Romanus Diogenes were annihilated at Manzikert, and Christian Anatolia and Armenia - the very oldest Christian lands - were conquered in short order by the Turks, and the Byzantines lacked the strength to continue resisting them. So whatever other motives may have entered into the matter, it was first and foremost a response to Islamic expansion deep into Christian lands, and the oppression they were visitng as well on Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Whatever else it accomplished, the First Crusade did honor its promise to restore cities reconquered in Anatolia and bought the Empire breathing room (afterwards they presumed that whatever they conquered in the Holy Land was theirs to keep). 1204 (the Fourth Crusade) is obviously another story which I haven't time to fully go into, save to say that the Crusade was intended by the Pope to regain Jerusalem; but Doge Dandolo of Venice essentially hijacked the Crusade by holding their transport hostage to do his bidding; which was first the capture and sack of the Christian city of Zara for Venice (which earned a batch of excommunications for the army) and then diverted again by Dandolo to a plot to place an usurper (Alexius Murzuphlus) on the Byzantine throne, which they did, and he promptly refused to pay them off. Angered, and goaded on by Dandolo who hoped to carve new realms for Venice out of the Byzantine hide, the crusaders stormed and sacked Constantinople in what has been termed by some observers as the greatest crime in history - which again was condemned by Innocent III. The moral is: I'd be more inclined to say you can't trust a Venetian. I won't defend 1204 or the sack of Jerusalem but I also won't sit here and fail to challenge the notion that either incident tells the whole story of the Crusades, either.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Was there anything right or good about the crusades?

    by numberface

    Was there? NO!

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Religion

    by Mafu

    Fuck Christianity. Fuck Islam. Like all faith-based religions, I think they both suck.

  • not...

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Thanks Oberon

    by CatoTheCensor

    Interesting stuff. You're right, of course, that the Crusaders had men of every moral color, and that no one incident tells the whole story of the Crusades. For example, yes, Innocent condemned the sack, but don't think he wasn't quickly licking his chops as the thought of a loyal Latin Partirach in Constantinople. Later in the thirteenth century, after the Greeks had regained control of Constantinople under Michael VIII, the Papacy was again conspiring to put a Latin prince on the throne of Constantinople, this time by encouraging and financing a "crusade" by Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily. Michael VIII (so the legend goes) was able to forestall the invasion by using diplomacy to fuel the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers. Constantinople was always a jewel coveted by many in the West.

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Aetius450

    by EntryNmbrV

    You are aware, of course, that fully 65% support gay civil unions. That's the good news from the last election. The reason why so many ballot initiatives were passed was that Republicans were able to convince the people that they would only restrict marriage, when in fact many of them go farther. However, I must reiterate: fully 65% of Americans believe that homosexuals shuld have either marriage or civil unions. And frankly, they're right. Why not have gay civil unions? It's not infringing on the institution of marriage, but equal rights are granted to equal people. Who can argue with that? I'm guessing you can...

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 12:40 p.m. CST

    I'd rather eat my own shit than see this movie

    by Drunken Rage

    Religious epic? No, thanks.

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 5:49 p.m. CST

    EntryNmbrV

    by Aetius450

    I am aware, that the number you cite is the combined percentage of those who told exit pollsters that they support gay marriage or civil unions. But there is a problem with that, and you hit on it when you point out how the people of many states banned both gay marriage and civil unions by overwhelming margins on Nov 2. In fact, of the eleven states to ban gay marriage, 8 also banned euphemistic substitutes like civil unions. This included the closely divided battleground states of Ohio and Michigan. I believe the tally would rise to 10 out of 13 if you include Louisiana and Missouri, who's voters acted in their primaries. Now this all begs the question of why did these voters decide to ban both gay marriage and civil unions. There are a few options: 1. As you say, they were deceived by Republicans, and didn't bother to read the rather clear language of the ballot initiatives they were voting for or against. Having read a few of them, they seem pretty straight-forward to me. Typically they say something along the lines of neither marriage, nor some similar unions of homosexuals will be recognized. 2. Or it could be that they did read it, but reluctantly cast a vote for an all-or-nothing measure because one more reflective of their complex and nuanced and true position was not available. In other words, they were fully aware of its banning of civil unions, and voted for it despite their support of civil unions because of fear of losing the word "marriage." 3. There was no conflict, as people told pollsters one thing yet really believed another; namely that they oppose any marriage-like legal recognition of same-sex unions. In other words, once safely in a voting booth, they voted the way they truly feel. 4. The exit poll data was wrong: This is possible, as some polls have shown majority opposition to both gay marriage and civil unions, but the fact is that most polls show the opposite, which would be dishonest for me to deny. 5. The exit poll was skewed: Perhaps support for civil unions is so strong in certain parts of the country (like those in the NE that didn't have such initiatives) that it presents a picture that while true nationally, does not hold true regionally. Who really knows, but the fact remains that results are the only things we can be sure of, and by that standard bans of gay marriage and civil unions are undefeated at the state level, I think. Personally, I believe that the majority of people in the majority of states oppose the legal recognition of gay unions, no matter what term is used to describe them. Do you really think that the people of any state in the South, Rocky Mtn West, Sunbelt, Breadbasket, and (much of) the Midwest would voluntarily approve of civil unions? As to my own opinion: Well I don't really see why one would oppose gay marriage, yet support civil unions, which is essentially gay marriage w/o the word "marriage", a difference w/o a distinction. It would have the same effects in the public (i.e. tax funded) realm, so it seems to me some want to preserve the word and not the institution, as it has been. Personally, I actually do believe what people like John Kerry and the Democratic leadership disingenuously say for political reasons -- that it should be left to the states (the people and their legislatures that is, not state courts). Of course the only way this is feasible is for federal judges to refrain from indulging their king-complex and let the democratic process prevail. Then if a conservative living in NY or Mass (or the handful of states that would adopt civil unions) doesn't like it, then he could move. If a liberal or homosexual living in Texas or Michigan (or the majority of states that would opt not to recognize gay unions) doesn't like it, then they could move. I prefer that type of federalism, that voting-with-your-feet to judges usurping power that was not meant for them.

  • Dec. 17, 2004, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Was there any good out of the Crusades? Read...

    by JorgeHP

    I could say that thanks to the Crusades you're able to talk in English and me in Spanish. We're able to discuss this things without getting impaled or killed by Higher Priests, which btw would also be our government officials. Thanks to the Crusades we (yes, we) were able to stop and invasion that was effectively destroying all the technological and philosophical advancements (remember the famed library of Alexandria?) just because they thought that the Koran was enough?!?! I say that the Crusades was one of THE decisive battles of the Ages. Now, where there bad people involved? Yes, and in both sides. Where there good people involved? Yes, and in both sides. Did innocents pay the price? Unfortunately, yes. Was it worth fighting for? Undoubtedly, and for both sides. Did any good come out of it? You tell me.But I think the Crusades exceeded expectations (maybe more like "baffled" their expectations I think). And for BOTH sides.

  • Dec. 18, 2004, 11:35 a.m. CST

    "We're able to discuss this things without getting impaled or ki

    by DocPazuzu

    Like Christian ruler Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler? Also, most historians believe that the library was finally destroyed in the 4th Century. The tales of Caliph Omar destroying the Library are generally considered to be anti-muslim propaganda from the time, and not accurate. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but the numbers you use in everyday life (1,2,3, etc) are all derived from Arabic symbols as opposed to the old Roman numerals. I can't imagine that using those little digits has made you life more difficult, has it? I have to second BRU's confusion at what your point was in that post, Jorge.

  • Dec. 18, 2004, 12:57 p.m. CST

    There are no really justified, civilized people in our world fro

    by screenplaywriter

    Wow, you guys are STILL attacking religion, politics, and Bush. Come on people give it a rest. Let the debates end. Everytime someone brings up a debate about a certain issue you get the onslaught of the Democratic Party and there biasness and than you get me and my fellow Republican's biasness. So, really who are the real winners? Who are the real losers? We're all tied with our issues and ideas so let's give it a rest and get back to critiquing films and saying our opinions about movies, not about "Oh, you're pompous dumbass for being a Bush fan" or "You're some rich bastard who loves abortion and fags." So, enough of the fucking whining and bitching. Let's put our focus on movies, not on our political agendas. It's almost the new year and it's time we start focusing on the next four years not on some election (WHICH US REPUBLICANS WON FAIR AND SQUARE AND YOU ALL KNOW IT!) Let's focus on unity, on building an alliance back with our fellow man. Not this Democrats vs. Republicans shit that seems to go on and on and on. Because if this keeps on continuing on and on and on than I'm afraid if us Republicans win 2008 again you Democrats are gonna do something very insane and drastic to us. And you know you've already tried (1. That incident with the protester trying to attack Chaney and 2. That protester who tried to attack Ann Coulter.)

  • Dec. 19, 2004, 3:07 a.m. CST

    No one really buys into the idea that Christianity is the root o

    by AntoniusBloc

    The modern critics, and films like this, use the Crusades as a way of attacking the Church and Christianity. This period in history is attacked as primitive and violent just because it was a more spiritual age of faith. However, the greatest atrocities in history have occurred in the modern era. For example, the religious persecution and violent slaughters by revolutionaries of France and the God-less Communist and Fascist dictators. More people were killed by violent means in the twentieth century than in all of the previous centuries combined. The modern era has been a world of unprecedented evil - of extermination ovens and concentration camps, or terrorist attacks and ethnic cleansings, or epidemic disease and mass starvation and deadly material self indulgence, yet it looks arrogantly to a more spiritual past, that put its faith in God instead of man, and call it a Dark Age. A materialist faith in evolution exists, yet the unprecedented violation of human rights and absence of morality shows regression, not an assumed evolution. Yet the facts above show that faith in man and the material instead of God and the spiritual is regression, not progression. Winston Churchill warned of ,

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Disregarding the spiritual is not logical, and not a reflection

    by AntoniusBloc

    Bladerunner, in his post above, writes "I mean, if you are really spiritual, then god will provide! No need for any them evil anti-spiritual science and tecnological and learned knowledge! That's anti-spiritual and inferior". Nowhere in my post did I even imply that technology and science are anti-spiritual, or that technology and science are evil. The fact is, God actually DID provide these to us as a result of the gifts of human creativity. Humans, made in God's image, used their creativity to produce these things, so I do not believe they are evil. The Darkness of the modern era comes not from advanced technology, but the belief that 'enlightenment' is defined only by such technology, and material things. How can the modern era be considered enlightened or wise when it illogically leaves out the spiritual as part of a measure of enlightenment. My point about Medieval times is that their wisdom encompassed both the natural world and the supernatural; the material and the spiritual. The superior Muslim culture you refer to actually took the importance of the material too far, while the Christian Church, as reflected by Aquinas, understood the balance between the material and the spiritual, and the importance of both. Unlike modern materialist philosophy, the Medieval period had the wisdom and humility to understand that any material technological accomplishment is ultimately a gift from the one who created us and the universe. As reflected in your post, Blade, modern thinkers lack this humility and wisdom. To completely leave out the spiritual, however, is simply illogical and a reflection of darkness not enlightenment.

  • May 14, 2005, 8:54 p.m. CST

    by blowme

    movie was a piece of shit, as are all muslims.kill them all and bury them with pigs!!!!!!

  • May 14, 2005, 9:10 p.m. CST

    all muslims should be wiped out.

    by blowme

    movie was a piece of shit, as are all muslims.kill them all and bury them with pigs!!!!!!