What Not To See

I don't have much time to blog anything about Kingdom of Heaven, but I will say this: Don't waste your money. Much like the Alamo, the most that Kingdom of Heaven accomplishes is completely confusing you about the history and context of the story. Nobody knew what was going on, who was good or who was bad (though they dropped more than a few hints the bad guys were the ones wearing the cross) or who was who, really.

There were many elements completely stolen from Troy, blatantly stolen. Orlando Bloom's recent characters have a serious penchant for sleeping with important men's wives, as in Troy. The Muslims are presented as gracious people who are forced into war by the Christians (I was actually laughing at some of the parts because they were so ridiculous), and in the end, the world is saved (kind of) by an agnostic!! Yea!! A Crusader who doesn't believe in God because he's above religion!! Yea!!

If you have to see it, pay to see something else as I suggested before. I would have been really frustrated if I'd given them my money. But my conscience is clear. :)

I'll go into the movie more sometime this weekend, hopefully.

Posted by Portia at May 7, 2005 08:53 AM

Emily, I saw Kingdom of Heaven last-night and I have to say....I enjoyed it. Great directing, cinematography, music, etc. And as far as the Crusades go, given the state of priests, religion etc in that time...it was a dark time, many many things have been done in the name of God that have been horrible. The Crusades to me, seem to be like some early missionary organizations where we go into a foreign country, clothe and feed the natives, take away their culture, teach them english and build a church and force a western belief system on them, all in the name of God. I'm guessing that the Crusades, just because I tend to think than man is like this, was more about personal power, and land than about religious quests. With that in mind, I didn't see that it was really making Christians look bad (it made power hungry men look bad), or God look bad, but focused on the emotional struggle and doubt that Orlando's character was going through. As far as sleeping with the important mans wife thing, this seems to be the case in most bio pics anyway (Braveheart, included).

Anyway, I enjoyed it from the angle that Scott went with it. I don't think he set out to make a religious epic in the first place. So....

Posted by: John Campbell at May 15, 2005 03:41 PM

Hey John! No one is saying you can't enjoy it, I just felt they didn't do a good job setting up any historical context whatsoever, and what they did set up wasn't accurate. They made Saladin look like the Cookie Monster and the hero was an agnostic. So, I found most of the plot laughable. However, I loved the cinematography and the costumes and the battle scenes. If you want to know more history about the Crusades, see my "Combating Ignorance" post. In sum, the Crusades were an answer to a 450 year long Jihad launched against Jews and Christians by, none other than, Muslims. I'll go into more detail in person. I could go on about that topic forever, but we'll "discuss amongst ourselves." But I'm glad you enjoyed it. There's nothing worse that being in a movie theater and miserable. That said, don't see "Unleashed." We walked out 5 minutes after it started. I'll blog about that too.

Posted by: Emily at May 15, 2005 09:40 PM

I think it was a great movie. My wife and I both enjoyed it. We will again watch it with our teenage daughter. I am pretty sure she will feel proud about the fact that the Christians learned the greatness and chivalry from the Muslims. It is well known and established fact that the Crusaders sluaghtered every Muslim, Jew and even local Arab Christian during their early encounters in the Middle East. Like the barbarians Mongol hordes, they even did not spare the little babies and women. I was happy Ridley Scott did not falsify the history. The greatness of Saladin captured the Europeans hearts so much that even the virulently anti-Islamic writers praised him in their writings. King Richard even proposed a marriage of his sister Joan to Saladin's brother. Another fact the Jewish people should never forget, during the same time mass slaughterings of the Jews were going on in various parts of Europe. And please before you laugh, read the history from the reliable unbiased sources.

If the Crusade was an answer to 450 years of Jihad, then the several centuries long of European colonialism of poor Africa, Asia and Latin America was answer for what? What was the crimes of these people? Also what were the crimes of the Jews in Middle East? They did not wage any Jihad against the Christians. Why were they slaughtered? Can you educate us on these? FYI - even the Vatican apologized few years ago for the murders of the Jews during Crusades.

It is always easy to find faults in others. We are fighting Talibans in foreign land, but here in the West some of us are displaying the same mentality. The Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) taught us to forgive our enemies, and love every body. Does spreading intolerance or hatred goes with that teaching? In every situation, we should always pause and think "What would Jesus do in this case?."

Posted by: Sarkar at May 23, 2005 12:39 PM

"It is a well-known fact that..." is not reliable to quote as a source of anything.

If Christians learned greatness and chivalry from Moslems back in the early centuries, what has happened in the meantime? At least Christianity has evolved, progressed, learned, become a better version. Nobody is defending the crusades here, even portia said they were heinous.

Islam remains in the 7th century with all their barbaric actions: cutting of people's heads, body parts, killing women in the name of honor...you call this behavior great and chivalrous?

The only intolerance I see is when an Islamic terrorist chops off the head or shoots an innocent civilian prisoner they kidnapped off the street--that's pretty intolerant to me and totally unreversible.

Posted by: Parviz at May 23, 2005 02:59 PM

Sarkar, or whomever you are, your comments are hilarious. I don't feel a need to respond to them because they're so off base. I posted in depth about the reasons why Muslims kill and have killed Christians and Jews for thousands of years (a little hint...it's cause they're not Muslim). I'm glad you read my site, but I wish you knew a bit more about history. Ridley Scott sure isn't giving it to you.

Posted by: Emily at May 24, 2005 08:51 AM