Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Kingdom of Heaven

I saw the epic movie The Kingdom of Heaven last night with my son John and Max, Bryson, & Drew. I wish I could tell you how amazing this movie is. It easily moved into the Top 5 movies I have ever seen. It is truly an epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war. A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic and forbidden queen, and rises to knighthood. Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming forces while striving to keep a fragile peace.

Ebert wrote a great review of the movie that you may want to read by clicking here.

It is a violent movie. It is a disturbing and thought provoking movie. I expected a really graphic love scene in the movie but it was one of the most tasteful displays of sex I have ever seen. In fact, it was a non-scene. Implied, but not shown. Overall, I would highly recommend the movie to those who can stomach a lot of violence and I would not recommend it to anyone under 16. Of course last night the theater had the "token-idiot-parents" who felt it reasonable to bring their two elementary aged daughters to this movie. Be prepared to be impacted for life. There are some scenes that were shot so well that the visual picture will never leave my mind. (and that is a good thing) Two in particular were the view from the city of the two armies approaching each other in the desert and the aerial shot of the armies doing battle at the broken wall of Jerusalem. If you have seen the movie then you know what scenes I'm referring to.

The best line of the movie for me came at the end of the movie where Saladin responds to Balian's question to him, "what does Jerusalem mean?" with the deeply profound reply of,
"It means nothing. It means everything."

For some the Kingdom is Heaven means nothing.

For some it means everything.

Kingdom of Heaven


Jenni said...

Thanks for the review Joel. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie!

Sam Middlebrook said...


Dude... I saw this last movie last night based solely on your review. I thought I could trust you. After all, you did introduce me to "Tombstone".

This movie stunk, bro. Once Liam Neeson died, the whole movie died with it. I kept thinking - "I've seen this before" the whole movie. All of the castle wall shots were cut-and-paste from "Lord of the Rings", and the hand-tohand combat scenes were a mix of Gladiator and Braveheart.

2 out of 5 stars, MAYBE.

The only redeeming quality of the entire film was the portayal of religion versus faith, but even that was overshadowed with murder and adultery.


Joel Quile said...


I'm sorry bro. I forgot to mention that a movie about the crusades might have a "little" murder in it. My bad. I can totally identify with you being put off by the adultry content too. I've stopped reading the Bible for that same reason. AS far as the "cut and paste" work, I have to agree with you on that one too. I mean, hey, The Lord of Rings had castles in it so as far as I'm concerned the are "off limits" for all future films. Maybe they should have made them softer and out of pink stones to keep intelligent moviegoers like yourself from being confused. Stupid historians. Can't they change things up a bit and do some rewrites? So what if the castles and the Jerusalem scene was historically correct? It reminded me of Castle Grey Skull and I kept seeing "He-Man" everytime I looked at Orlando Bloom.

The hand to hand combat scenes reminded me of Gladiator and Braveheart as well. I'm sure it was probably because that was the way they fought back then but I was really disappointed that Ridley Scott didn't change it up. I was hoping for a bit of "Jet Li/Matrix" action where both the rider and the horse would be levitating in the air for about 2 minutes. Dang it.

I'm sure that the redemptive theology of Bloom's character, the insight into the extremist influence in religion and the blantant truth of the false motives of the crusades themselves were not missed by a deep thinker like yourself. The problem was that you probably just kept thinking, "I've seen this before"

Father comissions the son to go to a far off land and serve him and rescue the people and bring peace. Same old story.

I'm with you bro. All those "Messianic Overtones" kept distracted me too.

Oh well, there is always Tombstone. Now there is a movie without murder, adultry, and "Messianic Overtones!"

Oh wait...

Sam Middlebrook said...

Wow. My shoes are ruined. It's getting deep.

But, I do love you.