Ok, so I've blown the cliff hanger for this installment of The Corner, but I really enjoyed Ridley Scott's latest epic. Most of you know that I am a big fan of the medieval period, but most of the sword and sandal movies that have been released in the last few years have been, to say the least, disappointing. Hollywood seems to have developed this need to 'humanize' legendary stories, thus draining them of all majesty, mystery, and fun. In Troy they took the archetypical battle between the gods, using men as pawns, and turned it into a petty land dispute. In King Arthur they distilled centuries of tales of chivalry, wizardry, and betrayal down to two hours of watching bored, angry men trudge through the snow, with the only real payoff at the end being the leather body thong Keira Knightly wore at the very end. I didn't even bother with either Alexander the Great pic.
Then along came Ridley.
Ridley Scott has shown us that Gladiator was no fluke. Sure, authenticity nazis might quibble about who was really emperor of Rome, or when Saladin laid siege to Jerusalem, but who cares?! The stories in both Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven were riveting. I have never had anything against Orlando Bloom, but his portrayals up till now have not overly impressed me either.(yes, I know ladies. he was dreamy as Legolas) Especially since he has been thoroughly eclipsed by the likes of Vigo Mortensen and Johnny Depp. But he absolutely shines in Kingdom of Heaven. His rise from lowly blacksmith to great knight is the stuff of legends. Don't sweat the historical accuracy. This isn't a documentary. This is a fairy tale, filled with larger than life good guys and bad guys, with honor and treachery around every corner. This is a well told story, with great acting, huge battles, and enough blood to be believable, but not so gory that you can't take the older kids to see it. I highly recommend it.