How Old Was Orlando Bloom Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 "Kingdom of Heaven" Sought to Be an Epic Film, But Became a Disaster in Production

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"Kingdom of Heaven" Sought to Be an Epic Film, But Became a Disaster in Production

Kingdom of Heaven – 1 Star (Terrible)

Unfortunately for “Kingdom of Heaven,” what started out as an ambitious epic film about a little-known time in history became a near-disaster upon release and was mediocre at best. The accusation is enough to spread.

First, there’s a reason why the immortal “Gone with the Wind,” which featured a tumultuous love affair in the American South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, ran nearly 4 hours. You probably won’t make a quality classic film about the Civil War in less time. Ken Burns’ acclaimed documentary “Civil War” consisted of 9 episodes and took 11 hours to watch.

Second, in the Middle Ages there may be a market for a film about the Christian Crusades, a series of military expeditions by Europeans to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Unfortunately, that market is very small compared to a Civil War, World War I, or World War II epic.

Third, when 3-time Best Director Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (“Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator” and “Thelma & Louise”) pitched the film to the studio at 194 minutes (3 hours and 14 minutes), studio execs demanded that it was cut to two hours because they believed that audiences would not sit through a 3-hour film.

This turned out to be a critical error in judgment. It was almost impossible for Scott to tell the story of Kingdom of Heaven in 2 hours, and when the film received really mixed reviews and turned out to be a financial disappointment in the United States, the mistake was clearly visible.

Fourth, this film was not only supposed to be an epic story, but its production costs were huge. Most of the filming took place in Morocco, and Mohammad VI, King of Morocco, provided 1,500 of his soldiers with support equipment to help with filming.

In addition, 15,000 handmade costumes were apparently made for the film, which also required helmets, boots, gloves, chain weapons, belts and scabbards. The flagship budget for the film was $250,000. 7,500 weapons, 3,000 shields and 20,000 arrows were used in the film. In one scene alone, there were 143 extras, 60 soldiers, 125 horses and 60 camels.

A massive replica of Jerusalem was built in the Sahara desert, containing 28,000 square meters of wall that required 6,000 tons of plaster. The front was 1,200 feet long and the walls were 56 feet high. Good point.

Fifth, writer William Monahan’s first draft of the script was 186 pages long. Executive producer Lisa Ellzey thought Fox would never approve the script due to its length, so she trimmed it down to just 20 pages before submission.

Sixth, Orlando Bloom was not ready to play the lead role of Balian of Ibelin and his performance did not reflect the kind of command and presence necessary to pull it off.

Seventh, as a moviegoer I had a lot of trouble following the story because its presentation required a lot more help in context or from the narrator to understand what was happening when and why it was important.

Eighth, the sound in the movie was terrible. There were times when the dialogue was impossible to understand and without this crucial element the film could not be rated as good by my standards. Sound is too basic a necessity for success, and if it goes unnoticed because it’s done well, it’s not a problem.

Ninth, this whole project was sad from start to finish. What could have become a good film could not overcome the obstacles on the way. The two bright spots of the film were the performances of Liam Neeson as Godfrey de Ibelin and Ghassan Massoud as Saladin, the great Muslim leader.

In his quest to be noble, Liam Neeson was able to deliver this dialogue as Godfrey de Ibelin: “Be fearless in the face of our enemies. Be brave and honest so that God will love you. Always speak the truth, even if it leads to your death. Protect the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.” (Spoken to his son Balian when he knighted him.)

History records that Saladin and his Muslim soldiers actually captured Jerusalem after defeating the King of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin near the Sea of ​​Galilee. When Saladin’s soldiers entered the city of Jerusalem, they were not allowed to kill civilians, rob people, or damage the city.

In many ways, Muslims look better than Christians in the Kingdom of Heaven, and historically they have.

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

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