Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Dread Pirate Roberts

"Kingdom of Heaven" comes out in a couple of weeks, and for a while now, people have been speculating about the wisdom of releasing a period piece that may or may not reflect current religious tensions.

To those people, I say this.

Watch the damn movie first.

From what I've heard about it, there's nothing particularly incendiary, as no one in the film is portrayed in a morally upright manner, with the possible exception of the Muslim leader Saladin. Now, he may or may not be portrayed as a stereotypically "good" Muslim, which in film means an honor-bound mystery man (see "The Mummy" for a particularly silly example - Steve, he did not say "Save yourselves - Kill the girl"), but I'll reserve that for the movie.

A lot of people are voicing disapproval in a similar manner to the way in which people complained about "The Passion," (and to a lesser extent, the "homosexuality" in "Alexander", which is just silly) but I feel that the two movies are in two different ballparks. Heck, they're probably not even the same sport.

What I do think is this:

1) Ridley Scott, who directed the film, has put out some material that I didn't particularly like. "Black Hawk Down" was not a particularly good movie, and by most accounts, "GI Jane" was worse. But I'm tempted to give a chance to a guy who made "Gladiator", which was a good popcorn flick, and "Blade Runner", which in my opinion is one of the best pieces of film ever made. So therefore, when he puts out a movie, which is made to entertain, I'm more likely to trust his filmmaking rather than Mel Gibson, who thinks that he's the second coming of Christ.

2) Mel Gibson is not Christ, and should have stuck with making "Lethal Weapon" movies. Danny Glover needs a job, Mel. "Braveheart" was good, but another piece about a martyr. And "The Patriot" was two hours of my life I'd like to have back, because I could have used that time to do something more productive, like bang my head against a wall.

3) As a logical deduction stemming from 1) and 2), since Mel Gibson is not in this movie, and Ridley Scott is at the helm, it is most likely not a piece of evangelical crap. At least, it is less likely to be one than if Mel were associated with it.

4) Orlando Bloom, who did work with Scott in "Black Hawk Down," is playing a blacksmith who finds out that he's not who he thinks he is. Seriously. I just hope his character's father in this movie was not nicknamed "Bootstrap," because that would just be silly.

5) Why not write a screenplay loosely based on "The Song of Roland"? "The Song of Roland," while being quite impressive on a literary level (it's not just a list of people killing people), does literally demonize Muslims, and it would be interesting to see a filmmaker subvert the text and take a little post-modern spin with it. It would just end up being a "might makes right" tale, but still, it would have some value. I have the feeling that some similar kind of desire does motivate the making of a movie like "Kingdom of Heaven," but again, we'll just have to see now won't we?

6) Last but not least, it is unfortunate that the loudest voices out there complaining are also the ones who have committed to seeing the movie in a specific lens of morality and ethics and religion, namely, their own.


Blogger panda said...

my man love for orlando bloom is only exceeded by my man love for jude law.

9:33 PM  

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