Leaving on a jet plane...
...tomorrow morning at 11:15 AM, but I cannot leave without something for my readers (if any still remain after my pitiful posting record this last week).
I saw Kingdom of Heaven today. I enjoyed it. Not quite as good as Ridley Scott's own Gladiator, but far better than the other recent "historical epics" of the past few years. Puts Troy in its place for sure. The battle sequences are spectacular. I've always appreciated how Ridley Scott (in Gladiator and in Black Hawk Down) never makes battles seem like video games. It feels fairly real. Viceral. I enjoy that aspect of it. Scott is also much more in control of his effects, using them to further the story and create a believable world. Not at all did I ever think that the film was too fake or "digital" looking.
It's not perfect though. For one thing, Orlando Bloom, as good as he is in the role, just doesn't have the charisma or gravitas that Russell Crowe brought to his portrayal of Maximus. Still he packed on plenty of weight and has moved past the "pretty boy" image of Legolas or Pirates fairly well. Also, the storyline, in its effort to combine historical figures and events into a believable story, tends to meander and lose focus. As a hero, Balian lacks the drive and narrative action that Maximus had in Gladiator. In the end though, it was nice to see a decently done film involving knights and battles of that sort.
In other movie news, fans of film fantasy have a few exciting peeks here.
Firstly, and I'm very excited for this one, the trailer for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is out. I cannot wait. A new book in the summer and a film in winter.
Secondly, the teaser for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is available on this French website. It looks ok. I still feel somewhat leery of letting the guy who made Shrek direct one of the msot beloved children's books of all time. Also, some of it seems a little bit to Lord of the Rings-ish. Which worked for those movies, but wouldn't work with Lewis's books. Either way, the trailer is supposed to be attached to Revenge of the Sith, and we'll see how the audience reacts to it.
Well, that's it. I'm off to Rome for a week. I may blog. I may not. Either way my laundry is calling me. And bags need final packing.