KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is a loud, epic period piece depicting battles with swords, arrows, horses, and men fighting for what they believe in. If it sounds familiar it’s because it should – you’ve seen it all before. Even though I don’t “hate” movies like these, I’m certainly getting tired of them. GLADIATOR was terrific, but after that, none of them really did anything for me. KING ARTHUR, TROY, ALEXANDER, and now KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; each was masterfully made in their own right, but they still left me cold. However, I at least found some entertainment in TROY and KING ARTHUR. I found none in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. It was a great big giant bore. It took me two sittings to finally get through it, and upon finally finishing it, my first words uttered were, “...thank god...”
There is a large amount of people who enjoy epic movies such as these, and even though I am not one of them, I can understand why they do. It’s all about tastes. Personally, I prefer stylized kung fu fighting to giant crowds charging into each other. Fortunately, the people who do enjoy action extravaganzas with knights and horses and such are in luck. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is full of emotionally charged battles where thrusting “clanks” of swords blast out your speakers, and stirring angelic music plays in the background. Despite personally finding the movie boring, I can’t see why fans of the genre wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s visually stunning, the sets and costumes are fantastic, the directing is strong, and the acting is great... Well, Bloom sort of sucks, but that’s nothing new. In the same way that this movie’s nothing new. But hey, who likes change anyway, right?
The Pilgrim’s Guide: A history-based subtitle track that unloads plenty of information of the true story on which the movie is based. Decent.
Inside Look (1:44): A preview/making-of for the upcoming movie TRISTAN & ISOLDE.
Interactive Production Grid (83:05): A detailed, exhaustive making-of documentary. It is separated into three sections (Directing, Cast, and Crew), which are then separated into another three sections each (Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production). So... nine parts in total. A bit overlong for my tastes, but everything is covered, so fans should be pleased.
History vs. Hollywood (42:58): A&E brings us this documentary in which historical events in the film are mirrored against those from the real life ones. It’s essentially interview clips of experts inter-spliced with movie footage, as well as a tour of the real castle used in the movie. Worth watching if you’re interested.
Movie Real (44:31): This is another A&E documentary, very similar to that of the one above. The main difference though, is that this one questions the Crusaders actions.
Internet Documentaries (8:57): 4 relatively mediocre featurettes that barely get a chance to discuss their subject matters, which include production design, wardrobe, and more.
There is also a Theatrical Trailer.