2006.05.29

Another media weekend

Comments

Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven was an ambitious film which had, for me, a hugely compelling premise, atmosphere to spare, and lots of visual flair from this most visual of directors. On the other hand, it was weak in characterization and lopsided, with a heavy, drawn-out exposition and rushed middle and final acts. But after seeing the recently-released director’s cut, I need to completely revise my opinion. With 3-plus hours in which to breathe, the movie assumes the epic scope lamely aspired to by its shorter version, fed by moments and touches of color which fill in the world around the plot. Most notable is an entire arc involving Sibylla and her son — a character completely absent from the theatrical cut — which give her actions in the second half, previously an inexplicable mess, real pathos and motivation. If you have a taste for contemplative medieval epics (and yes, despite the huge action sequences, it is in the end a meditation on the madness of holy war), you probably owe it to yourself to give this movie a try. Please, though, stick to the director’s cut!

Also somehow ended up seeing Aeon Flux. Ahem. Not much else to say, except it’s worth noting that Martin Csokas cleans up really well (cf. Kingdom of Heaven).

The Da Vinci Code? Perhaps unsurprisingly (but only to my friends, who think I can’t shut up about how much I hate Dan Brown), I saw that one too. It’s better than the novel, if only for the fact that the most annoying character of all — the narrator — has been wholly removed. The cast is quite good, transcending the material and raising it to the level of pleasant diversion. I’m still loath to say I thought it was a good movie, though was pleased to note that they fixed up the most unbelievable moment in the story so I won’t have to complain about it anymore.

Beside that, SIFF is now in full swing. I haven’t even looked at the listings yet! I am so off my game*.

Anyone want to see any movies with me?

* seriously, I haven’t even seen X3 yet. I’m so scared that Brett Ratner will ruin everything. Someone reassure me, please!
tags: danbrown , movies , siff

  • Yay, I'm not the only one who doesn't like Dan Brown. I read one book (Hidden Fortress) and wanted to stab my eyes out with some jagged wooden picks.

    I admit, I kind of wanted to see Aeon Flux but was so disappointed by the outfit she wears in the trailers that I couldn't bear it.

  • Do let me know if you like it!

  • I saw Kingdom of Heaven in the theatre and was very underwhelmed. I'll have to check out the director's cut.

  • David: Hope you like it! I haven't finished it yet, myself.

    phoenix: I don't want to start on a rant. :) It might be enough to just do a tag search here on "danbrown".

    pastilla: I'm going to stick to beautifully-written books for now. And whenever Romance of the Three Kingdoms arrives, I'm sure that'll occupy me for a long while.

  • pastilla

    37 Uses For a Dead Sheep looks fascinating.

    re: Dan Brown . . . If you hate him, avoid Michael Crichton's State of Fear, too . . . his pedantic style is like being hit over the head with a 2x4 repeatedly.

  • I'm so happy to hear about your impression of Kingdom of Heaven. I've been hopeful, and have been wanting to see it for quite some time. The problem is making three contiguous hours of time in which we're alert, after the kids are asleep.

    It's partly because of you that I have Hard-Boiled Wonderland on my short wishlist.

  • I'd love to! Oh wait...long drive to hit the theatre, wouldn't it be?

    I tried my hardest to avoid Aeon Flux. Something about explosive balls and spiky grass being the only parts worth showing in the commericals making me think that they were the only parts worth seeing in the movie itself.

    I'd like to hear more about this hatred for Dan Brown. I refused to see DaVinci Code in the theatre because I haven't read through the series (I'm still on Angels and Demons-I started late) and heard it wasn't that great anyway.

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