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This isn't a completely useless film. It makes one appreciate the original. Wouldn't it have been great if the filmmakers could have adopted the characters from that one and combined their story with some of these modern effects! Instead we get this group of drab, unpleasant survivors wandering around amazing sets delivering lines of painfully ridiculous dialogue. What a waste. We need to relate to these people before we care what happens to them. Filmmakers, we're not so impatient that we can't pay attention to some actual character development before you overwhelm us with visuals.
I'll gladly take Irwin Allen's version over this one. For all it may have lacked, it evoked emotion. No one will be watching this remake in twenty years time with anything like the affection that fans have for the '72 film.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
A brilliant film! Ridley Scott shows us how a historical epic should be done. Interesting characters, meaningful dialogue, glorious sets and effects. There is a sense of realism to this film, not a conscious sense of what modern technology can produce for the screen. I went to a late showing, and my only gripe is that it could have used an extra 30 minutes or so. Apparently the director was required to cut as much or more to satisfy the powers that be. When that extended DVD comes out, I'll be in line to buy it.
Orlando Bloom can be proud of his portrayal of Balian. He plays the virtuous knight without coming across as too pious or too cynical, a fine line to walk. He is our center in the story, not seeking to win a war, but hoping desperately for a resolution. Loved him, wouldn't want any other actor in the role!
Edward Norton is positively fascinating as Baldwin, the leper-king. The supporting cast was great, particularly Saladin, and Jeremy Irons as Tiberius. The zealots were a little over the top, with Marton Csokas practically gnashing his teeth (the villain!) but I even loved to hate him, just as I loved to hate Joaquin Phoenix as the pasty, evil emperor in 'Gladiator.'
The movie received applause from our audience. Forget all the lousy epics that have been handed to us lately. Go see 'Kingdom of Heaven' and enjoy.
An intriguing new story.
Despite the frivolous title, this was a fun and suspenseful film. Holmes has stumbled across a creepy case, forcing him to delve into the psychology of a twisted killer. Rupert Everett is a younger, more dashing Sherlock than we're used to seeing, but he plays the part well. Ian Hart also makes a different sort of Watson, but there is chemistry (and a bit of underlying tension!) between the detective and the good doctor. I'd like to see the actors take up the roles again.
The sets and costumes are wonderful, although many of the scenes are awfully foggy, even for London. Some of the discussions between the characters regarding the murders tend toward being a little graphic, but it is most interesting listening to the rather repressed Holmes discussing the details of sexually motivated crimes! Not an ordinary sort of case. The conclusion is satisfying. Well worth watching.
The Village (2004)
Up until this movie, I had been impressed by Shymalan's work and thought each of his films was an improvement over the last. 'The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable', and 'Signs' were intelligent movies, intriguing and original, the sort of intricate movies that demand to be watched a second time so that audiences can catch what they might have missed.
I was very disappointed with 'The Village'. It had potential, but the few good, suspenseful moments were never enough to save the film, only enough to make me wish there had been a few major rewrites. The cast should have been brilliant, yet those of us watching were laughing so much during the first half at the horribly silly dialogue (coyotes, indeed) that it was difficult to take the characters seriously when the story took a darker turn.
This was a movie full of itself, trying to pass for atmospheric and clever and chilling. Give it a miss and go back to 'Signs'; remember that Shymalan has given us good entertainment before, and have hope that he will do so again with his next film.