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The Kingdom (2007)
all action, no depth with distracting camera-work and sound
A manipulative action pic full of explosions, carnage, car chases/ crashes and death. No substance. Shallow (indeed offencive) script gave a good bunch of actors nothing to do. Little plot or character development. Dramatic tension replaced with explosions and speeding cars. One of the American "heroes" sent over to teach those incompetent Saudis a thing or two is almost beheaded, but he is rescued in the nick of time (hush my beating heart!) Instead, the obligatory death-of-a-character-we-have-come-to-like scene is fulfilled by a Saudi who was redeemed by his association with the Americans. Happy ending! (Qualified somewhat by the possibility of a revenge sequel.) Dreadful camera-work-- POV of a drunken wasp. Sound-- awful. Couldn't hear half the dialogue. Not that it probably mattered.
For 'surprisingly hypnotic' read 'stultifying'
I saw this with a football fan and I enjoy (good) experimental films. We were both utterly bored. While Zidane himself is beautiful looking and an enigmatic, intriguing personality, this 'Art' documentary gave no real insight into his character or the game of football. Everything about the construction of this film was obvious and uninspiring. What was so special about the sound track? Yes, it flared in volume at odd times, which woke up the audience, but it was quite rudimentary. The half-time pastiche of events going on in the world on the day of the match was pretentious & silly. There was no apparent logic to how or why the Zidane quotes lifted from previous interviews were inserted into the piece as subtitles. (Granted, they did keep me from falling asleep.) Most professional reviewers have been quite cagey in their comments-- praising it as Art or experimental (ie. uncultured people won't get it...), yet never wholeheartedly saying they loved the piece. A bit of the Emperor's New Clothes, perhaps? For outstanding experimental/ Art House and truly hypnotic cinema watch "Hiroshima Mon Amour", "Beau Travail", "Sans Soleil" -- or any doc by Chris Marker.