Movie News

A Movie A Day: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: The Director’s Cut (2005)
I once fought two days with an arrow through my testicle.

Published at: July 17, 2008, 8:34 p.m. CST



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Jon Finch bridges yesterday’s FRENZY and today’s KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT. To be completely honest, I didn’t remember much about seeing Kingdom of Heaven when it first hit theaters. I remembered Ed Norton’s leper king, I remembered bits of scenes throughout, but it really didn’t make a great impression on me. It didn’t make a bad impression, exactly, but it just felt okay. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to get a viewing in of Ridley Scott’s 3 hour 14 minute long cut of the film. I couldn’t tell you exactly what is new, except the addition of Eva Green’s son. I guess I could have gone back to watch Ridley Scott’s introduction at the beginning of the DVD, but I skipped past it originally. I hate it when they do that, show you all the new things in an introduction instead of letting you discover them in the story. But even though I couldn’t tell you exactly what has been added, I can tell you that instead of the wishy-washy “eh” feeling I had after finishing the theatrical cut back in ’05, when the director’s cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ended I was a little dumbstruck. This is a true example of a movie that was significantly altered to fit into an easier studio release formula, they took a film that had the makings of a modern classic epic and homogenized it, threw Legolas’ face really big on the poster and advertised it like a Lord of the Rings knock-off (remember how the trailers tried to sell the battle scenes just like the LOTR trailers, making them even look similar?). I don’t know this for sure, but I’d be willing to bet if Orlando Bloom has an actor’s reel, most of the footage is from Kingdom of Heaven. I remember not being really impressed with him in the original… I think he gets unfairly shat upon as an actor, but he’s not exactly easy to defend, but I’d hold up his work in Scott’s director’s cut as being substantial, subtle work, something he should be proud of. If you haven’t seen the flick, we follow a blacksmith during the Crusades who ends up rising through hierarchy of the time to defend the Christian inhabited Jerusalem from the Muslims looking to take it back. In the longer cut, you really do feel like you live in this world with these people, everybody from Edward Norton’s Leper King to his beautiful, tormented sister Sibylla, played by the so-beautiful-it-almost-hurts Eva Green to David Thewlis’ awesome priest character to Liam Neeson’s respected Knight Godfrey de Ibelin to Marton Csokas’ awesomely douchey manipulating Frenchie Templar Guy de Lusignan and dozens more. From my basic understanding of what was added it looks like Eva Green benefited the most as a character, giving her a son that is heir to the throne and crucial to the political manipulations that move the story. It also introduces a tragedy in her life that does wonders to actually explain why the hell she becomes so distant and cold in the second half of the film. Of course, none of that had any explosions or Muslims getting hacked apart, so out it went for the first run. The story is a strong one, Scott and screenwriter William Monahan going out of their way to make the Muslims just as human and just as in the right as the Christians. They’re honorable people, wanting what they believe is rightfully theirs, not an angry mob of stereotypes wanting to rape the white women or wipe their ass with the Christian bible. It’s an important perspective to have and it really goes a long way in making this film work. And the way the present the new cut on the DVD it really does have a David Lean feel, giving us an intermission and an overture. Loved that presentation. There are elements that I still feel the same about. I wish there had been more with Neeson’s band of knights at the beginning, including Kevin McKidd and that badass strongman that gets an arrow through the neck and doesn’t seem to give a shit. I would have loved to have seen more of them. It’s like they introduce us to these really awesome badasses and take ‘em away minutes later. But then again, I don’t know if I would have been happy with anything less than a full movie based on those badasses fighting wars and overthrowing corrupt assclowns and other such 12th Century fun. Final thoughts: If you haven’t seen the movie at all, get the director’s cut. If you’ve seen the theatrical cut and didn’t like it, get the director’s cut. If you saw the theatrical cut and did like it, get the director’s cut. Throw it on the Netflix, scour used DVD stores, buy it new online. It’s a genuinely great movie that I hope will live in this form, the original castrated version gone from all memory. I know it’s gone from mine now. The schedule for the next 7 days is: Friday, July 18th: CADILLAC MAN (1990) Saturday, July 19th: THE SURE THING (1985) Sunday, July 20th: MOVING VIOLATIONS (1985) Monday, July 21st: MEATBALLS (1979) Tuesday, July 22nd: CAST A GIANT SHADOW (1966) Wednesday, July 23rd: OUT OF THE PAST (1947) Thursday, July 24th: THE BIG STEAL (1949) Tomorrow we jump to an unlikely follow-up to Ridley Scott’s KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, 1990’s comedy CADILLAC MAN. I had to stretch to jump out of such a modern film, but I found a connection in famous casting agent Debra Zane, who cast both Kingdom of Heaven and Cadillac Man. Boo-ya! See you guys tomorrow for Robin Williams and Tim Robbins hilarity! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • July 17, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    FIRST

    by freddykruger1234

    first... now please lemme know about the mutant chronicles

  • July 17, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Great flick..far superior to the theatrical cut.

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    That is all.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Preach It, Quint!

    by mrbeaks

    The theatrical cut should be burned. It's almost as incoherent as the U.S. cut of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. *Almost*.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST

    what beaks said

    by percane

    i liked the theatrical cut, but so much of it didn't make sense you could tell stuff was missing. the first half of the movie alone introduces so much character motivation (godfrey's brother wanting to take his land, which was the real reason for the ambush that led to his death) the priest that buried balien's wife being his brother. there's so much more in the movie it's like a completely different film.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Along with Black Rain

    by superunknown85

    This is one of Ridley Scott's overlooked films.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    I passed on that one sadly

    by SpencerTrilby

    mainly because Scott + historical epic = overrated scam to me (I hated the godawfully manipulative and hammy Gladiator - and from a historical perspective Scott messed up a perfectly good story again with American Gangster by adding shit that makes no sense to the already perfectly cinematic facts) but I regret having missed that one. Gotta catch the longer cut on Blu Ray someday. Sounds rad. Thanks Quint.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    soylentmean

    by percane

    there IS a director's cut of troy, i haven't seen it yet. it does add greatly to that movie, but from what i understand not nearly as much as KoH. i think this is most like the abyss, where they took out the 30 minute of subplot involving WW3 without which the ending had no context. that director's cut was vastly superior to the original as well.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Eva Green in THE DREAMERS

    by The Guy Who Slept Through Everything.

    oh yeah.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Like I said of KoH at the time...

    by Phimseto

    ...Neeson and his band of brothers are entirely more interesting than anything else in the rest of the film, and they are gone in the first half hour. If you had given me a whole film of them, KoH would probably be one of my all-time favorites. Instead we get some of the lamest bloviating about religious strife in the history of cinema. For the record, though, I thought Bloom did fine in the film. He does get knocked rather unfairly.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Why Kingdom Of Heaven failed

    by Hooded Justice

    KOH could have been a great movie but it was sabotaged by one huge problem that no amount of re-editing or extended scenes could hope to overcome. The problem is this:<p>Every single supporting actor, every single extra, every single horse and camel, prop and plant….<p>… is more interesting than the main character.<p>And that is fatal to a movie.<p>It’s what I like to call the curse of Orlando Bloom.<p>This movie was sunk because it was saddled with Bloom. He is the blandest, the dullest, the most pointless actor that has ever been put on the big screen.<p>How did he get into movies? His pervasive blandness literally sucks the life out of entire scenes. And that’s when he’s just a supporting actor.<p>But the problem with Kingdom of Heaven is that somebody had the bright idea of making Bloom the leading man, dooming the movie to mediocrity.<p>Look at the supporting actors: Neeson, Irons, Gleeson, Norton, Eva Green, the guy playing Saladin… Every one of these characters would have made a more interesting subject for the movie than the character played by Bloom. The story of Bloom’s HORSE would have been more interesting.<p>And this is all the more sickening because Kingdom Of Heaven COULD have been great.<p>It looks fantastic - it captures the orientalist vision of the Holy Land brilliantly; it has some terrific battle sequences (the CGI had finally gotten to the point where they could make massive armies look convincing), it has a half-decent script, and some terrific actors. And yes, the director's cut improves the movie greatly.<p>But at the centre of all this wonder is a big Bloom-sized hole. An emptiness. A big Nothing.<p>An epic movie of this size NEEDS a strong actor to carry it. Look at Gladiator – a fairly run-of-the-mill swords n’sandals B-picture with lousy CGI and choppy action scenes.<p>But it’s gripping. Why? Because Russell Crowe is a kick-ass leading man with phenomenal screen presence. He’s great to watch and he’s great in that role. He makes the material work.<p>That’s what Kindom Of Heaven desperately needed. Instead they hired a man who has the personality and screen presence of a half-pint of milk.<p>It’s weird, but if you watch the extras on the DVD, the filmmakers seem oblivious as to why their movie was a commercial failure. Ridley Scott doesn’t seem to pay much attention to which actors get hired for his movies – he just expects them to get on with the job while he occupies himself with the cameras and lighting. He apparently doesn’t see that having a weak leading man makes all the craftmanship and cinematography useless.<p>But the most amazing character in all this is the screenwriter, William Monahan – who is a study in arrogance and self-delusion. He claims that the movie he wrote is “the best historical drama ever made”. Really? And you wrote it yourself! What a coincidence! Remind me never to work with you!<p>Off the top of my head, I can name five historical dramas that are better than Kingdom Of Heaven:<p>Lawrence Of Arabia<p>A Man For All Seasons<p> Zulu<p>The Passion Of The Christ<p>Michael Collins<p>Hell, I’ll even throw in Braveheart.<p>Monaghan then goes on to pour scorn on viewers who didn’t ‘get’ certain scenes – such as that incredibly patronising sequence where Bloom’s Balian (who’s supposed to be a French blacksmith/engineer) arrives in the desert and TEACHES THE LOCALS HOW TO IRRIGATE THEIR LAND. That’s right, the locals who’ve been living there for centuries: they need the likes of whiteboy Bloom to show them how to survive. Er, hello? the arabs practically invented engineering!<p>Insulting to the intelligence of all concerned, but especially that of the viewer. But Monaghan says it’s because WE’VE misunderstood the scene.<p>Wrong. You wrote it that way. It got filmed that way. Don’t blame the viewer for the movie you made!<p>But even scenes like this wouldn’t have mattered if they had hired an actor for the central role.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Alexander

    by djscott95

    The Directors Cut of Alexander is actually a few minutes shorter (Stone did the theatrical cut too, and then decided he didn't like it). I heard he was going to recut it again for an upcoming DVD (shorter, longer, who knows). I didn't really notice a difference between the two cuts.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:56 p.m. CST

    We really did need a KoH re-evaluation talkback

    by Conqueror Worm

    THE MOST UNDERATED FILM OF ALL TIME(?) I think so. The directors cut should be bought by all those who only ever saw the Theatrical Cut - it will completely change your opinion of the film.

  • July 17, 2008, 8:58 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean

    by FailureAtTheCave

    Yes they did do this for Troy, and, like this, it's WAY better.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    100% Agree

    by Stormshadow4life

    I love the DC of this movie! I own it on DVD and just bought it on BluRay (hasn't arrived yet though). One of my favorite films of 2006.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Hooded Justice

    by Cartman86

    I'm pretty sure the scene where Bloom "teaches" the natives was not meant to be what you said. I took it as he just received land that no one cared about, or didn't need to get water from. He arrived and wanted to do something about what was now his. Didn't teach them anything.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Hooded Justice

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    I was just considering Stanley Kubrick's foolish casting of bland as fuck Ryan O'Neill in Barry Lyndon and similarly cursed Matthew Modine in Full Metal Jacket. It makes the films into cinematic donuts. Seems like people haven't learned from his mistakes.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:11 p.m. CST

    That's not how the scene plays, Cartman..

    by Hooded Justice

    It's presented in the grand old tradition of the "Great White Man brings hope and joy to poor ignorant indigenous folk". Whether they intended it or not, it's a clumsy, patonising scene - even if it's only about Balian irrigating an unwanted piece of land.<p>But it doesn't matter. It's just a tiny scene and it isn't what destroyed the movie. The movie was ruined by the kiss-of-death of Orlando Bloom.<p>Nothing against the guy personally - he probably has no idea how boring he is. Just takes the jobs that are offered to him - and who can blame him?<p>But for the love of God, keep him out of potentially great movies - PLEASE!

  • July 17, 2008, 9:14 p.m. CST

    It's truly amazing how much better the new cut is.

    by nopix

    Horrible Horrible Horrible decision to cut this movie down. It's amazing. Astounding. The Director's Cut is a damn fine film

  • July 17, 2008, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Although, You Could Counter-Argue That...

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    Star Wars and The Matrix had bland male leads. And that perhaps it allows the audience to project their hero's journey wish-fulfillment fantasies onto them.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Oh yes....

    by Hooded Justice

    I forgot about Master and Commander. That is a BRILLIANT film, based on a brilliant series of books. Russell Crowe is outstanding, and once again, carried the entire movie. This will be controversial, but Master and Commander was ROBBED at the oscars by Return Of The King. Sorry, but it's true.<p>Jesus, couldn't they have got Russell Crowe (or a younger equivalent - Christian Bale? Joaquim Phoenix?) to star in kingdom Of Heaven? It would have turned the movie into a masterpiece.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Hilarity??

    by Rebeck2

    Cadillac Man??? Uhm...don't get your hopes up. Mostly it will just give you a headache.

  • July 17, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Hooded Justice.

    by HoboCode

    You couldn't be more off on Heat, but on this one you are spot on. I own the director's cut of this film, and it is an improvement, but Bloom is simply DULL. He doesn't act so much as put his pretty face all over the screen. Zzzzzzz...

  • July 17, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    This is a movie that was MASSACRED in it's original cut

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    This is the rare director's cut that makes me NEVER want to see the theatrical version again. In it's expanded version, it's actually superior to Gladiator (which was improved itself in it's DC release). Yeah, Bloom is no Russell Crowe, but in every other respect, it's the better of Scott's two medievil epics.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST

    not to beat a dead horse...

    by Clarence Boddicker

    But I will...the director's cut IS a masterpiece. I'm also glad Quint caught the David Lean "homage" in the presentation of the film. Truly outstanding. As for Bloom's performance in this film...it works for me. He's meant to be a wallflower caught up in the events around him. Look at his character arc...he comes full circle.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    I will have to rewatch this

    by Mavra Chang

    Never finished it the first time through. Thanks, Quint.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Transcendental scene in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

    by No Respectable Gentleman

    When Saladin strides back into Jerusalem and kneels for prayer. Ridley Scott can do this sort of visual poetry better than anyone; it's a shame he doesn't do it more often. And a shame it was butchered in the theatrical version.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Rdiley's second best film

    by MaxTheSilent

    After ALIEN.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    You'd think Ridley Scott would have the clout to put out his own

    by fiester

    He ought to get that put in the contract. This is not exactly a first time director without a track record.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Fiester

    by MaxTheSilent

    He was working for Fox. Those fuckers HATE film-makers. Look at how badly they fucked Singer over on X-MEN 3.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Watch the Blu-ray Director's Cut...

    by closeencounter

    If you have the set-up for it. Wow.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:56 p.m. CST

    I wonder when directors look back a few years later

    by smackfu

    Do they think to themselves....shit...I had Kevin McKidd in a period epic...and I only gave him 5 minutes screen time...I probably should have made him one of the main doods

  • July 17, 2008, 10:59 p.m. CST

    BIG STEAL

    by aint_it_cruel?

    will suffer following OUT OF THE PAST so quickly. (Most films would) Maybe throw a few non Noir's between the two. Lose this OCD like urge to connect the films and go for more variety in your sequencing. (Like today with KOH to Cadillac Man.) Swap Big Steal with Moving Violations? Just an Idea...Love this feature anyway QUINT!!11!

  • July 17, 2008, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Hooded Justice/HoboCode...

    by MCVamp

    What was the thing about HEAT? Was there a disagreement? Did someone call it a tad dull and overrated but at least ranking somewhere between SCARFACE and GODFATHER 3 if you have three hours to kill and a big Pacino/DeNiro boner and for some reason GODFATHER 2 isn't on hand? Because I agree with that guy. And the DC of KoH was the second Blu-Ray I ever bought and the first disc I bought sight unseen since PRINCESS MONONOKE. I'm glad I picked it up. Good stuff, even if Bloom is as wooden as usual.

  • July 17, 2008, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Master and Commander

    by Octaveaeon

    On every level, an outstanding film. And yes, better than Return of the King, which I also love.

  • July 17, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST

    OUT OF THE PAST

    by YND

    Hells yeah. Finally caught up with this one a couple years ago and it instantly became one of my all-time fave noirs. Awesome awesome film. Enjoy!

  • July 17, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Boy Troy

    by There Are Twelve Models

    The director's cut changes Troy from an embarrassing waste of sexpots, beefcake and acting talent into a passably enjoyable tale of mass carnage. Troy will always be Troy--which means vapid--but the DC gets the battle scenes right. When the Greek ships land and Brad Pitt launches himself at the defending Trojans, a devastation of blood and splintered bones sprays across the screen and rips your jaw right off. Without ratings to restrain his swordarm, the unleashed Achilles is, frankly, frightening. The duel at the gates is as good as ever and the plot stuff seems to flow better than in the theatrical. Peter O'Toole lights things up in his tent scene with Pitt and it doesn't seem wasted anymore. Basically, if you thought the theatrical Troy wasn't very good, but you weren't too put off by watching it, the DC is worth checking out. Master and Commander was an incredible achievement. The care that went into building that ship kicked all kinds of ass, the sound design made it worth having surround sound for once, really impressive filmmaking all around. It deserves a sequel as few movies do.

  • July 18, 2008, 12:06 a.m. CST

    A Truly Great Film.

    by Bones

    One of the best...and it takes it's place in it's "Roadshow release form" in the same pantheon as Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and Spartacus. Epics powered by beautiful imagery and human emotion.<p> The Theatrical Cut should never be shown again--only the Director's Cut.

  • July 18, 2008, 1:10 a.m. CST

    the sure thin

    by BALTIMOREJACK

    can't wait for that one! haven't seen it since the late 80s/early 90s.awesome!

  • July 18, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Director's cut or not, it's a mediocre movie

    by Just_Tom

    If the two-hour cut of a movie is poorly written ("Hey, we're trying to grow crops in the middle of the desert... hmm... maybe some water would help... odd that my cliche, wisdom-imparting father never thought to do this, since it took about a one-minute montage for us to hit a seeming fire hydrant"), poorly acted (Orlando Bloom, anyone?) and highly derivitive (Braveheard, Gladiator, etc.) the three-hour cut of the same movie isn't going to avoid those problems. It's just going to be longer. Some story issues were a little more fleshed out, but the basic film is the same, and it's equally as mediocre.

  • July 18, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST

    thing

    by BALTIMOREJACK

  • July 18, 2008, 1:22 a.m. CST

    TroutMaskReplicant

    by secretcylon

    I thought Ryan O'Neil was perfect for Barry Lyndon (my favorite Kubrick movie). Thought his blandness actually fit the character. I see your point with Modine though...

  • July 18, 2008, 2:44 a.m. CST

    One of my favorites

    by SpawnofAchilles

    felt the same way, was looking forward to it, saw it in the theater and was completely underwhelmed, got the director's cut, finally brought myself to watch it and now it is one of my favorite all time films, such a difference its amazing

  • July 18, 2008, 2:56 a.m. CST

    by x_dereks_x

    Oh, now that's too conventional. This series are supposed to introduce forgotten classics, hidden gems. But I can still remember posters hanging around at the time of screening in cinemas.

  • July 18, 2008, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Fox

    by Bruarvatn

    I will always hate fox for butchering this great movie. Saw the dir cut a few weeks ago and it was amazing. One of Ridley's best. Fox really suck sometimes. Pg-13 AVP and Die Hard, that's just not right.

  • July 18, 2008, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Glad you liked it Quint

    by kwisatzhaderach

    And you're right the theatrical version should be burned. The Director's Cut is so good I almost enjoyed Bloom in it, no mean feat. Anyone else spot the lift of The 13th Warrior score during Bloom's climactic "rise a knight!" speech? Quality. File alongside 1492 Conquest of Paradise as a neglected masterpiece.

  • I've always been a fan of virtually all of Ridley's filmography, with exception to "A Good Year" for which I have not [yet] seen. But a quick analysis of KoH and you'll find it's got all the ingredients to supply an epic, battle-ridden narrative in high-shutter best performed by Sir Ridley Scott.. It delivers on the drama, the violence, the presence of actors with the proper skillsets. When the director's cut originally released, I was lucky enough to get this used for about 20 clams, not that I wouldn't have still given into the market value... but to better explicate my fandom of this film I already had a copy of KoG when it initially hit the shelves. Above all this - I regret to admit I didn't see it in the theaters... but after the fact rest assured I was hyped to see this on DVD at its most raw and intended, and so 'twas the best $20 I've recently spent. A favorite and highly recommended to every living soul above the age of 2 on this planet.

  • July 18, 2008, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Cool I might just give this another go!

    by FILMFUNK

    I really wasn't all that struck by the movie first time round, it wasn't as Dogshit as Troy but I felt kind of nothing for it.<P>I heard that Troy also benefits in the directors cut but wasn't sure whether to waste my time on that one again?<P>Definately check out this one though.

  • July 18, 2008, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Not a chance

    by Conans Sword

    i sat through this piece of shit once im not wasting another 3hrs on it. orlando bloom cant act for shit and theres no way in hell im spending money on this.

  • July 18, 2008, 5:09 a.m. CST

    FILMFUNK

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Nope, Troy is still a cinematic abomination. Kingdom of Heaven Dir Cut is definitely the way to go, it's like a completely different film from the theatrical edition.

  • July 18, 2008, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Skipped it the first time.

    by mrfan

    Will still skip it.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:12 a.m. CST

    blah-blah-blah Xyzzy80

    by just pillow talk

    You just want to stir the pot and contradict everyone else.<p>The director's cut is fucking great, again smoothing out the storyline but NOT cutting out wide chuncks that are crucial to explaining character's actions. <p>It's a nice hidden gem that you discovered Quint.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:16 a.m. CST

    So screwed up as much 'The Abyss' was then!

    by NeilF

    God! The studio should have been whipped for the cuts they did to that film!

  • July 18, 2008, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Orlando Bland should be BANNED from movies

    by Merriman Lyon

    I could ignore him when he was just playing small parts (though he ruined Legolas for me). But I can't forgive how he single-handedly destroyed Kingdom of Heaven. I found myself continuously trying to look past him to see what the other characters were up to, and wishing that he would get out of the way so that I could look at the fantastic backdrops. Hollywood, please listen! Stop putting him in movies!

  • July 18, 2008, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Does the director's cut have more shaky cam?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 18, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Oh, you'll be kicking yourself Quint for

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    not seeing Meatballs sooner.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:46 a.m. CST

    no, it's your continual hate of everything it seems

    by just pillow talk

    I just don't get it. I'm not saying you are crazy for not liking this particular movie, but I cannot fathom how people can call themselves movie fans when it seems they hate almost everything mentioned on this site.<p>For instance, I watched a nice little movie last night: Millions. I really thought the two kids did a great job. <p>You being an alien does make sense however. :D

  • July 18, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Please somebody make Crusade

    by successor

    I haven't seen either cut of Kingdom of Heaven, but I hope somebody will make Crusade someday. I read the Walon Green/Gary Goldman draft and it was incredible. Arnold's too old to play Hagen now, but I could easily see Gerard Butler in the role. Besides, how could anybody not like a film where the protagonist burns a cross on his back, nearly gets his manhood cut off and then is later sewn into a dead donkey and set upon by hyenas, all in the course of one film?

  • July 18, 2008, 6:50 a.m. CST

    So far Orlando's ruined everything he's been in.

    by Knuckleduster

    I hope this changes my opinion of him. Doubt that it will, though.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:50 a.m. CST

    A Good Year

    by Bruarvatn

    I actually like that one as well. A nice take on the "man learns what is important in life" genre. I think Ridley brought his own special touch to it which made it very good. Not great, to many flaws for that, but overall a nice and warm movie. The main problem for me was that the girl fell for Russell way to quick. I did not buy that at all. But like I said, a good movie. I really hope Ridley makes Nottingham now. That will no doubt be great.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Loved this Movie

    by Exterminans

    Kingdom of Heaven the Directors Cut is a great movie. The 4 Disc DVD set is a great buy. The documentary on the making of the film is terrific. Kingdom of Heaven DC is better than Gladiator.

  • July 18, 2008, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Boo to Ridley Scott for this film

    by TheBloop

    For letting the Islamic goons from CAIR sit in the editing room and have input as to what was in the film. No place for that kind of thuggery in film. That would be like have the IRA sit in on the making of The Devils Own to give approval on what gets in the film. BOOOO!

  • July 18, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST

    funny

    by just pillow talk

    So that's what gets your panties in a bunch: plastic man and ninja turtles. <p>The bottom line is that I haven't see you on here actually proclaim your love of a particular movie. It doesn't matter if you don't like the same movies as me, but I will be amazed when I am on a thread and you actually like some movie. <p>And I liked A Good Year too. Was it a bit silly in how it so neatly turned out, etc? Yup. Still liked it.

  • July 18, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST

    no, I have no doubt your opinon will completely

    by just pillow talk

    differ from my own. I said I will be amazed if you actually like some movie, instead of just posting your dislike on these threads. <p>And sorry, but no, I don't bitch at people for liking a movie I don't. I'm not the one who refers to movies they don't like as a "retarded piece of shit".

  • July 18, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST

    um, yeah, ya did....

    by just pillow talk

    You implied that I wouldn't like the first Hero Turtles cartoon, which would be the only reason why I would bitch at you. Not sure why that's so confusing for you.

  • July 18, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Hooded Justice!

    by Neil Peart

    <p>A tip of the scraper and a glass of wine with you, sir! It's nice to see that someone else shares my opinion that M&C was robbed! I love Tolkien, but I love O'Brian more.</p> <p>Put me down as someone else who loves the director's cut of KOH. I actually held off buying the original version of the DVD because I heard that a director's cut would eventually be released and it was well worth the wait. If you haven't seen this one then get it!</P>

  • July 18, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    NeilF

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Actually it wasn't the studio that made the cuts to The Abyss. Cameron had final cut on the film but was contractually bound to a running time of no more than 140 minutes. Cameron decided to remove the wave subplot himself after poor reaction to it at test screenings. So the theatrical version is Cameron's cut under time constraints. The LaserDisc/DVD version is his preferred cut with no time constraints.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Neil Peart...

    by Merriman Lyon

    Well, I shall invite you to partake of the choice portion of the mutton, sir: Tolkien is great, but O'Brien is what really gives me a buzz. Luckily, he wrote TWENTY of the Aubrey-Maturin novels. So far I have read three. I intend to space them out over MY ENTIRE LIFE so as to prolong the pleasure.<p>M&C is one of my all-time favorite movies. They absolutely nailed it. Crowe isn't quite the Captain Aubrey of the books (who is very overweight and somewhat clownish) - but he's a damned fine captain! I'll take his portrayal any day of the week. Now THAT'S a movie I would love a sequel to.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Master and Commander

    by kwisatzhaderach

    blows ROTK out of the water.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Most people just don't want 3hr15min of swords sandals

    by performingmonkey

    Personally I loved the fuck out of the director's cut. It makes the whole movie seem more worthwhile. Bloom is pretty good in it IMO. The problem is that most people don't have the patience to sit through 3hr15min epics like this. If Gladiator came out now it would be panned more because of it's swords and sandals epic nature. People just want explosions and 90min running times so they can get back to their iPhones.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    ROTK Vs M&C

    by Merriman Lyon

    I absolutely agree, M&C is so far above ROTK that it's ridiculous they were even in the same contest.<p>Of course, I'm sure we all agree that the Oscars themselves are a meaningless and silly publicity circus with little or no intention of rewarding great films. BUT, that being said, despite themselves, they DO occasionally veer in the direction of movies that deserve awards. Example: Unforgiven (best picture - deserved). Also, this year wasn't too bad, with awards given to pretty decent films, though The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (best film I've seen this year so far) lost out to the admittedly very good Counterfeiters.<p>But if they were going to give awards to any of the LOTR movies, it should have been Fellowship Of the Ring - which was the best one by far - because - surprise surprise - it concentrated more on the writing and performances. ROTK started very well but disintegrated into a CGI mess and tedious, Lassie-Come-Home endings. Don't know what to make of TTT which was a bit of a mixed bag. I really wish that instead of giving Peter Jackson MORE money to add CGI to each of the LOTR movies, he had actually been given LESS. I guarantee the movies would have turned out better: he would have been forced to concentrate on the story and characters.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Out of the Past - classic!

    by D'Jesus

    I will be checking back in next Wednesday to see what you think of this gem. I forgot about it till I just saw it here, and I was taken back to when I saw it about 6 yrs ago. It is one of the best movies in Hollywood's glorious history, and it it largely unknown and under-appreciated.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    performingmonkey

    by Conans Sword

    if gladiator came out now it would still be good. its nothing to do with the running time or the fact thats its a sword and sandals movie. its to do with the fact that kingdom of heaven sucks shitty donkey ass. its a crap film with a weak leading man,thats why it was panned, not because we didnt get it or something...most people dont wanna watch it cause its shit

  • July 18, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    The movie's fine..Orlando was not

    by ScottinDC

    In both the Director's cut and the theatrical release, Orlando didn't seem to get it done. He lacks the raw charisma needed to carry the final sequence off. His 'epic speech' where he knights all able-bodied men just falls flat. He seems mousy...and there is really no reason anyone would trust him to protect Jerusalem. Just becaus ehis dad shows him an overhead chop? His birthing right wasn't even recognized. I do enjoy the movie..but it's not among Ridley's best. It felt a bit lazy and poorly edited.

  • July 18, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    the theatrical cut made no sense

    by Spandau Belly

    You just think Orlando is some touchy dude who wigged out and killed a priest and went fugitive, found love, fought some dudes and came back home when his priest killing rap had blown over.<br><br>The director's cut shows all his inner-torment from his wife's suicide and his relationship with the priest (who is his half brother, which I'm pretty sure isn't mentionned in the theatrical cut) and the whole thing actually builds to being an epic about atheism, which I would've thought impossible.<br><br>I love this movie.

  • July 18, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Riddled with Inaccuracy

    by ScottinDC

    The other issue I have with it (and this is nitpicky) is that's RIDDLED with historical innacuracy. It changes facts to fit its' narritive which is fine (Braveheart did it just as much)...but, the movie became something of an apology to muyslims for the crusades and 'western mistreatment'. And, while there is heavy truth to the abuses of the crusades, all of the characters in this movie are so far removed from reality and history as to make it frustratingly unwatchable at times. Examples: Bailian had sworn to never take arms against Saladin prior to entering Jerusalem than had a preist absolve him of that vow later on. After defeating Raymond and Guy, Saladin had the 100 most devout religious captured christians ceremonially sacrificed on an alter as an example of muslim superiority over the 'Christian false god'. Saladin only gave Bailian a right of passage out of Jerusalem when Bailian threatened to hang and disembowel every muslim in the city. These were NOT good people; they were people of their time...violent, brutal and plotting - that era required it. Ridley made a decent epic; but not one based on any true version of history.

  • July 18, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Bloom's numbers up...

    by Rameses

    It looks like Orlando's time is up.With the Pirates films over and no films in the pipeline that need thin, wooden actors ..we should be seeing less and less of him.Somehow he got lead parts post LOTR on the strenth of his Legolas porttrayel.But... playing a near emotionless elf , basically hid the guys total lack of charisma.He seems a nice enough guy, but just can't carry a movie.It's obvious thatthe pirate films at least started with him as the main character and Captn Sparrow as a bit part.But he blew that as well.Now James Mcovoy, seems to be getting all of Orlando's gigs.As for KOH it seemed to flop mostly because it looked like Gladiator with no gladiator and no obvious story focus.It came on the back end of a series of films that were under the impression , that the LOTR films got peaple into the cinemas ,totally on the strengh of big battle scenes and castle siege shenanigans.Where as punters actually went to see how Frodo and Company's adventure turned out.I kind of liked KOH and have been meaning to see the extended edition, because I felt there was a good film there , that lost it's way.

  • July 18, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    On Bloom and other ramblings

    by FraDolcino

    I must say that I have a hard-on for medieval films (Name of the Rose, Advocate/Hour of the Pig, Flesh & Blood, etc.) and when I feel creative I write historical fiction 'cause I'm a nerd. So when I saw that Ridley was making a crusade epic I rushed to see it on the opening weekend. I think I fell asleep... in the theater! Pretty bad. I just... didn't.. care. Anyway, in doing research I found out about fox's hackjob on the film and soon enough saw that a DC was coming out. I bought it to give the film a proper try. It's now one of my favorites, despite the painfully bland performance of Orlando Bloom. I think he works fine while brooding and depressed over suicide, but I cannot buy him rousing the populace to fight Saladin. I'm actually least interested in the huge battle at the end. I'm more into the (watered-down) political machinations of the first 2 hours. I find the subplots far more intriguing than the main plot, most likely due to the strength of the supporting cast. The movie might be inaccurate (and it sure is), but for a "Hollywood" style film, it's better than most. So I guess I'll parrot in with the others here and recommend it if you haven't seen it or only saw the theatrical. But, of course, if you hate historical epics and Ridley Scott (what's wrong with you?) avoid it. And yes, it's a fuckload of Bloom. Far more than any film needs. Try to look past him.

  • July 18, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST

    As opposed the the offal coming out this fall...

    by IamZardoz

    this was a film that showed what Scott could do when he put in some effort (like Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator ect).

  • July 18, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Merriman Lyon

    by Neil Peart

    <p>Thank you for the kind words, sir! May Mr. O'Brian's grand series bring you hours of joy!</p> <P>I observe the bottle stands by you, sir!</P>

  • July 18, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    This is a classic movie

    by Second Try

    This film delivers great visuals and great characters to anyone who like medieval history. I wish they hadn't killed off Lucius Vorenus so early in the movie...

  • July 18, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach - Master & Commander

    by Samus Aran

    Yes Master & Commander most definately blew Return of the King out of the water. And I say this as a lifelong and devoted Tolkien fan. But Master & Commander stands for me as almost the best movie of the last decade right next to Fellowship of the Ring and perhaps Two Towers. But Return of the King while still a terrific film was to me the weakest of the three Lord of the Rings movies, and Master & Commander was the best movie that year. I am still glad that a Lord of the Rings movie finally got it's Oscar, and they say that it was given the Oscar kind of as an overall honor for the whole trilogy, and for that reason it deserved the prize. However, it is unfortunate somehow that the overall honor wasn't awarded to the best of the trilogy- Fellowship, and then the oscar would be free for Master & Commander to receive.

  • July 18, 2008, 4:05 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean

    by Stuntcock Mike

    The Troy DC is awesome.

  • July 18, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    While I agree M&C was a better movie...

    by morGoth

    ...than RotK, it was apparent the Oscar was given for the One Movie called...The Lord of the Rings, not just RotK alone. After all, it is one story broken up into three sections, yes?

  • July 18, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Not a big fan of this film...

    by SunTzu77

    Acting - B; DP work - A; Story - F; It's far from being historically accurate...and even as a fictionalized account...it plods along. http://washingtontimes.com/news/2004/jan/17/20040117-112843-8485r/ || http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/madden200505270751.asp || check for spaces in the url if you're interested in reading the articles.

  • July 18, 2008, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Agree with you 100% Quint.

    by morGoth

    Even woody Bloom couldn't undercut the fine movie that is the directoes cut of KoH. Not a perfect movie but definetly a classic. The battle scenes alone...man!

  • July 18, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Master and Commander was still robbed...

    by Hooded Justice

    I appreciate that the LOTR trilogy was a formidable logistic achievement - and that it was made by (apparently) very nice people. And yes, there is much to be admired in that trilogy. But does that mean we should give it a pass on its more questionable qualities? Such as the prevalence of ho-hum second unit work? The so-so action/battle scenes; The ever-increasing use of (now very dated-looking) CGI; Legolas nuking the fridge, er, I mean, downing a giant elephant? multiple, plodding endings?<p> I thought FOTR was very good, TTT okay, but it looked like Peter Jackson lost his mind half-way through ROTK what with the ghostbusters army, endless marching orcs and interminable epilogues...<p>Sorry, Master and Commander should have got the prize! Great film, based on a great series of books.

  • July 18, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Good God, What Sources Are You Using For This?

    by Ill Clinton

    "The other issue I have with it (and this is nitpicky) is that's RIDDLED with historical innacuracy. It changes facts to fit its' narritive which is fine (Braveheart did it just as much)...but, the movie became something of an apology to muyslims for the crusades and 'western mistreatment'. And, while there is heavy truth to the abuses of the crusades, all of the characters in this movie are so far removed from reality and history as to make it frustratingly unwatchable at times. Examples: Bailian had sworn to never take arms against Saladin prior to entering Jerusalem than had a preist absolve him of that vow later on. After defeating Raymond and Guy, Saladin had the 100 most devout religious captured christians ceremonially sacrificed on an alter as an example of muslim superiority over the 'Christian false god'. Saladin only gave Bailian a right of passage out of Jerusalem when Bailian threatened to hang and disembowel every muslim in the city. These were NOT good people; they were people of their time...violent, brutal and plotting - that era required it. Ridley made a decent epic; but not one based on any true version of history." This sounds like it came straight out of the wikipedia and is almost as bad a distortion of history as the film. I can only gasp in awe at someone complaining of inaccuracies in the film while putting out this version. Make a movie on based on these "facts" and see how many historians eat your soul. Saladin had the Templars executed for any of a number of reasons, but a sacrifice to Allah was certainly not one of them.

  • July 18, 2008, 7:20 p.m. CST

    He's right.

    by SunTzu77

    His qualm about the film not being historically accurate is correct. You can find links to all the inaccuracies by reputable historians @ http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/kingdomofheaven.html

  • July 18, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Clinton...you can't read apparently

    by ScottinDC

    I never said he sacrificed Templars to 'Allah' you douche...he sacrificed them to prove muslim superiority over christendom...it wasn't about appeasing Allah - it was about proving out military might (which was associated with being 'blessed' in those times) and was directly linked to the claim of ownership over Jerusalem. And BOTH faiths believed that God represented their claims so they were invincible...and Saladin was proving that his was the superior claim. And the historical facts stated are just that - FACTS. Try reading 'Fighting for Christendom' by Christopher Tyerman or 'The Idea of Crusading' by Jonathan Riley-Smith. Apparently, based on the overwhelming ignorance of your post, you get your history from movies and TV and not research. So, before posting again, and making yourself look like an even bigger horse's patootie, go read a book (or is wikipedia the only source you know of for 'information').

  • July 18, 2008, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Wow. Bloom must be great for talkbackers to hate him so

    by Drath

    Good God, what is with these people and certain actors? They hated DiCaprio in the late 90s, they hated Affleck in the early '00s (okay, I wasn't thrillled with him either), then they hated Bloom, and currenlty they're favorite hate-on is for Shia LeBeouf--but clearly Bloom is still recent enough to get scorn. It's all taste, no one can convince you otherwise, but geesh, what an overreaction. He didn't ruin this movie, the studio did. Frankly, if you have to turn into Tom Cruise to be a star, then being a star is overrated.

  • July 18, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    movie was ok

    by BurgerKing

    did nothing to make me ever want to come back to it.

  • July 18, 2008, 11:24 p.m. CST

    not sure which version I saw

    by the power of GREYSKULL

    but I liked it! I remember I was expecting some really bad cliche' Muslim bad guys and Poor Man's LOTR with Legolas as the main guy - but it was actually quite an intelligent film. <p> I think I remember Eva having a kid, so maybe I saw the Director's Cut - it was on TV and I'm pretty sure they didn't mention anything like "Special" or "Extended" Edition or something like that - it was long, but you know, with commercials and all... <p> Anyway, always thought this one was underrated!

  • July 19, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Wow, sounds like somebody has a hard-on...

    by morGoth

    ...against LotR. Hey, RotK won the Oscar, get over it. Whether some folks think it didn't deserve it or not will never change the fact. If you don't like the story, blame Tolkien, not Jackson.

  • July 19, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST

    The Director's Cut is a great film

    by Smoke Monster Loves Kate

    and is actually relevant to our current world situation. The 'Kingdom of Heaven' basically meant able, rational, intelligent rulers uniting Christendom and 'Muslimdom' into a global, peaceful alliance of sorts but human nature won't allow that to happen (re: idiot fundamentalists on both sides pushing the civilizations to clash).<p>Absolutely none of that carried over in the theatrical cut. It's remarkable how much better this was.

  • July 19, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Er, Morgoth...

    by Hooded Justice

    I don't "blame" Tolkien at all for the book he wrote. It's great.<p>And why is it necessary to apportion blame to anyone? I think that there was a lot of excellence in the LOTR films. There was also a lot of mediocrity. Get over it (learnt that phrase from you!). That's life. Who do I blame exactly? God?<P>Personally, I find the first LOTR movie to be the best. As the series goes on it seems to dip in quality. The final twenty minutes or so of ROTK are very poor indeed , embarrassing in fact - and don't blame Tolkien! He wrote a book, not a screenplay!<p>Who, or what are we supposed to blame? The fatigue the film-makers must inevitably have suffered as the project ground along over the years? The necessity of using pedestrian second-units without which the films would never have been completed in the first place? Pressure from the studio? Poor judgement? Orlando Bloom? God knows.<p>Or maybe, like you suggest, we should just accept that there is a lot of crapness in the world and just move on.

  • July 20, 2008, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Historically inaccurate

    by maelgrim

    Good film, but as you would expect many changes from History.

  • July 20, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I suggested nothing of the sort...

    by morGoth

    ...and there is nothing in RotK that I would objectively refer to as crap. I’m speaking of the theatrical release, natch. Also, many people have bagged on RotK because “it was all over the place” when that’s just how the separate parts of the story got resolved. So, I refer to those who “blame” Jackson for ruining RotK.<p> The much debated ending of RotK generally boils down to taste…like a Slim-Jim, one either likes it or they don’t. I found the ending, while not a suitable replacement for The Scouring of the Shire, perfectly acceptable in its own right and I’m a long time Tolkien fan.<p> And who's giving anything a pass? I already stated M&C was a better movie (movie making, not story) than RotK. But LotR, the movie was, in my opinion, better than M&C and more deserving of an Oscar.<p>I agree, probably exhaustion on everyone’s part accounts for the less than even state of RotK not to mention the mid-stream excising of XenArwen from much that had already been filmed!<p> But all that aside, I don't think they're two types of movies that can be easily compared except on the minutiae of technical details and, of course, whether they hit the mark the authors originally intended. In fact, all one can do is argue about the Oscars and, like I said, that’s a done deal anyway.<p>Get over it? I’m even over how Jackson made changes to the story (agree that maybe cutting back on funding might’ve allowed more focus on the writing) that weren’t necessary and only muddled what Tolkien had originally written. This is what resulted in any mediocre parts, I think. Nonetheless, I’m so utterly delighted with how LotR turned out that, in the end, there’s is nothing for me to get over. The sum of the whole is superior to some of its parts.

  • July 20, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    From one life-long fan to another...

    by Hooded Justice

    Well, as you say, there's no accounting for taste, Morgoth. However, as I am a life-long fan of Tolkien and ( slightly more recently) of O'Brien - and liking both enormously - I feel I am in a good position to compare the quality of both movie adaptations. Also – and this is important - I have no reason to be biased towards one or the other.<p>And I have to say that M&C wins out every time. Weir captures both the spirit and detail of O’Brien’s books better than Jackson does with LOTR – and still manages to create an outstanding piece of cinema in its own right. No need to bore you with a checklist here – but comparing them side-by-side, M&C is the more successful adaptation. I should emphasise here that I’m discussing the films – not the original texts. I am in no way saying O’Brien is a better writer than Tolkien! As far as I am concerned each is a grand master of his particular genre.<p>Now, as good as the LOTR films are (whether taken singly or taken as a whole), I can not apply the words “outstanding cinema” to them. They just are not on the same level technically as M&C (nor could they be – given the different scales of each production). In terms of script, direction, cinematography, action scenes, pacing, editing, seamless and judicious use of CGI… M&C wins hands-down. I don’t want to insult you by breaking down each of those categories and spelling them out – it’s all subjective and based on my own tastes and experience – but, importantly NOT based on any bias towards one or other of the film-makers.<p>But just to take ONE example: I find the fight/battle scenes in M&C to be completely riveting. For starters, they are orchestrated (and communicated to the viewer) with an eye to the strategy and tactics being employed by the participants. And then technically they are executed beautifully and with a palpable sense of risk and danger.<p>Now Tolkien went to some lengths to describe the progress of his battles in his writing – and they are extremely gripping – as are all his fight/action scenes (the Mines Of Moria sequence is particularly brilliant). But this just doesn’t translate into the movies: the fight and battle scenes are (to me) competent but otherwise fairly dull. They are also drowned in excessive CGI. I remember that when watching ROTK, I was enjoying the experience just fine until the ghostbusters arrived on the battlefield and Legolas jumped the elephant. They lost me there. After that, I found myself zoning out for the rest of the movie as more and more CGI and multiple endings trundled past.<p>Well, that’s just one aspect – and I’m already getting long-winded. But for me, M&C will always be one of the many, many movies in the history of the Oscars that was robbed of its Best Film Oscar by an inferior - but more popular and financially successful production. So M&C stands in excellent company: Dr Strangelove, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, The Shawshank Redenption, Goodfellas, Fellowship Of The Ring, etc…

  • July 20, 2008, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Morgoth...

    by Hooded Justice

    ...Got carried away with my story-telling! I should make clear that my position is that M&C is a superior and more deserving piece of cinema then all the LOTR films put together! I say this because you seem to be treating the LOTR trilogy as one single film. Now, that means you're comparing a nine (ten?)-hour film to a two-and-a-half-hour film and I will simply state that quanitity does not equal quality. I would not give LOTR extra "credit" for being longer or because it has more characters or because more events happen in the story!<p>However, I have to debate the whole concept of treating the LOTR trilogy as ONE film. Yes, I know what you mean - they are three sections of one big story, based on ONE big book. Sure, we both know that.<p>But in terms of structure, tone, pacing, music score, colour scheme and editing style, each one of those movies is DEFINITELY distinct and indivdual. In fact, I'm sure that each one had a different editor. Each movie has its own beginning, middle and end. This is a deliberate choice of the film-makers - and they have changed some of Tolkien's original structure to achieve that outcome, justifiably so, in my opinion.<p> I will say that they also differ greatly in quality. So I have no difficulty seeing them as three distinct films - in fact it makes more sense to me that way. (The book, on the other hand, makes more sense as ONE big book). <p>As I've said above, the first movie is by far the best, being the one that LOOKS to have benefitted from the most attention to the story, drama and performances. It also depends less on CGI than the other two - and I can only say that's a good thing. But that being said, even if FOTR were up against M&C, I would STILL have to hand the Best Oscar to M&C.

  • July 22, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Whoosh!

    by morGoth

    Now that was a mouthfull and a half. Well my friend, let's just end it with the standard cliche "I won't change your mind and you won't change mine." Good speaking with you and I think we are much closer to each others POV that it seems. Look forward to future discussions...namarie mellon.

  • July 22, 2008, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Yes, Morgoth...

    by Hooded Justice

    I realised towards the end of my tirade that I was (mostly) agreeing with you...<p>Now if I could have worked that out a little earlier, it would have saved me a lot of time...

  • Aug. 17, 2008, 9:30 p.m. CST

    This Director's Cut was Scott's best this decade....

    by TheWaqman

    Even better than Gladiator IMO. An underappreciated movie, fucking studios. Should have let him release this cut.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Test

    by BurnHollywood

     ▲<br> ▲ ▲

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Test2

    by BurnHollywood

      ▲ ▲ ▲

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Test3

    by BurnHollywood

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Test4

    by BurnHollywood

      ▲<br> ▲ ▲