Showing posts with label David Thewlis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Thewlis. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Kingdom of Heaven

"I once fought two days with an arrow through my testicle"

Ridley Scott directs an all star cast in a story about the Crusades and in particular the 12th Century battles in which Muslims attempted to recapture the city of Jerusalem from the Christians. Balian (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith in rural France. A Knight (Liam Neeson) visits him and informs him that he is his father. After Balian kills a Priest who mocks his dead wife, Balian is given the chance to join the Crusades in the Middle East. While there he learns the ins and out of the Politics and Religion of the region and ends up in a prominent position in the defence of the Holy city of Jerusalem against a Muslim invasion.

This was the second Ridley Scott film I watched today having watched Alien for the first time this morning. Kingdom of Heaven is not anywhere near as good as that. The first thing I’ll say is that the sets looked sumptuous and were well dressed. The costume also looked good and the special effects were on the whole excellent, despite the odd dodgy shot. The acting was also generally quite good. Charisma vacuum Orlando Bloom was actually alright but still far from the screen presence that a role like this requires. He is joined by a fantastic cast which includes Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Sheen, Ghassan Massoud and an almost unrecognisable Edward Norton. Had I not looked at the cast beforehand I honestly wouldn’t have known he was in the film. Marton Csokas was a bit of a let down on the acting front.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

War Horse

I’d been looking forward to Steven Spielberg’s War Horse for months and had squeezed my girlfriend’s hand each time I’d seen the trailer in the cinema. Unfortunately I left the film feeling disappointed. For me, a person with a deep fascination with the First World War, I felt there was a lot of Horse before we got to the War. I understand that the film is called War Horse so would obviously contain a lot of ‘horse’ but being unfamiliar with the source material my only knowledge of the story was the films trailer which was more Saving Private Ryan than Black Beauty.

The film however was not terrible and for me the touching scene featuring barbed-wire in No Mans Land was a standout. I felt that the film could have lost one of the strands which made up the story. Instead of the story with the old French man and his granddaughter, I’d have preferred to have seen more of the trenches, but this could well be due to my interest in the war.

One of my main problems with the film and which spoiled it for me was that the French and German characters all spoke English. This is a particular bugbear of mine and I think that the sorts of people who go to see War Horse are not the sort of people who would mind subtitles. It is not Ratatouille. This became even more stupid when two German characters were speaking English to each other while a German officer in the background spoke German.

I can understand why many people have found the film sad but as someone with no particular love for horses I felt indifferent towards it and didn't spend enough time with any ofhe hman characters to feel anything for them either.

War Horse is not a bad film but I found my excitement of the trailer nowhere near matched my enthusiasm for the film as a whole.