dangermousie: (Balian/Sybilla by redheadwonder12)
After POTC2, I felt the need to have an Orlando fix, so I ended up rewatching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Now, I liked TE, but every time I watch this cut, I get annoyed with the studio for mucking with things.

In the DC, it actually becomes my favorite period epic. (Also the only one that talks about a glorious defeat, which is why I love it, but that's another matter).

Let me count the ways in which the DC is superior:

1. Pacing. The TE cut felt a bit too galloping for me. The pace really was much too fast and you got caleidoscopic glimpses of things you wanted to know more of. Not any more. The editing and pacing in this one is perfect. It's still a complex evolving world you get a glimpse of, and will never know everything about, but this time it feels it has just a real balance between the complexity of the real and the meatiness of the story. The pace is perfect. It's never too slow, but it doesn't run at breakneck speed either, any more.

2. Sybilla. All the characters benefit from the expanded time, but no one as much as Sybilla, all of whose storyline it seems was cut away in the TE. Now she isn't just a bit of arm-candy for Balian, but someone who is a lot more complicated, dark and conflicted than that. She comes across as a real person, and her own story with her son (a historical character) not only gives her realness, and brings forth interesting parallels with Balian's first wife, but also gives a logical reason for her feelings of guilt and grief in the second half. She is a real person now, and quite an interesting one/

3. Balian. He also benefits from the expanded stuff immensely. For one, we learn a lot more about his engineering and battle background, so all the stuff from the siege doesn't come from nowhere. And we just learn more about him in general. He is still an extremely self-contained person, who thinks more than he acts, heroic in a quiet way (and another thing I love about KoH. When's the last time a character like that was the protagonist of an epic), but I feel I know him much better. In fact, just as well as I should. I had no problem with him being a bit of a cypher in TE, but seeing DC, I like this so much better.

4. And because both Balian and Sybilla are fleshed out more, their love story is fleshed out as well. In fact, instead of 'they are hot, why not' thing, it really seems like a believable if understated relationship. It does feel like a love story.

5. Empahsis on screwed up families. All those people in France are interconnected into various FUBAR families, there is more on Baldwin's family and its dysfunction. I find it interesting. And more ponderings on what faith means. That's even more interesting.

6. On a more shallow note, the Guy and Balian sword fight is great. Orlando was born to be in epics wielding a sword. Seriously.

And if none of this is enough to convince you to check this out, than I will mention that DC has a LOT more of semi-naked Orlando in it than did the TE.
dangermousie: (Balian/Sybilla by redheadwonder12)
After POTC2, I felt the need to have an Orlando fix, so I ended up rewatching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Now, I liked TE, but every time I watch this cut, I get annoyed with the studio for mucking with things.

In the DC, it actually becomes my favorite period epic. (Also the only one that talks about a glorious defeat, which is why I love it, but that's another matter).

Let me count the ways in which the DC is superior:

1. Pacing. The TE cut felt a bit too galloping for me. The pace really was much too fast and you got caleidoscopic glimpses of things you wanted to know more of. Not any more. The editing and pacing in this one is perfect. It's still a complex evolving world you get a glimpse of, and will never know everything about, but this time it feels it has just a real balance between the complexity of the real and the meatiness of the story. The pace is perfect. It's never too slow, but it doesn't run at breakneck speed either, any more.

2. Sybilla. All the characters benefit from the expanded time, but no one as much as Sybilla, all of whose storyline it seems was cut away in the TE. Now she isn't just a bit of arm-candy for Balian, but someone who is a lot more complicated, dark and conflicted than that. She comes across as a real person, and her own story with her son (a historical character) not only gives her realness, and brings forth interesting parallels with Balian's first wife, but also gives a logical reason for her feelings of guilt and grief in the second half. She is a real person now, and quite an interesting one/

3. Balian. He also benefits from the expanded stuff immensely. For one, we learn a lot more about his engineering and battle background, so all the stuff from the siege doesn't come from nowhere. And we just learn more about him in general. He is still an extremely self-contained person, who thinks more than he acts, heroic in a quiet way (and another thing I love about KoH. When's the last time a character like that was the protagonist of an epic), but I feel I know him much better. In fact, just as well as I should. I had no problem with him being a bit of a cypher in TE, but seeing DC, I like this so much better.

4. And because both Balian and Sybilla are fleshed out more, their love story is fleshed out as well. In fact, instead of 'they are hot, why not' thing, it really seems like a believable if understated relationship. It does feel like a love story.

5. Empahsis on screwed up families. All those people in France are interconnected into various FUBAR families, there is more on Baldwin's family and its dysfunction. I find it interesting. And more ponderings on what faith means. That's even more interesting.

6. On a more shallow note, the Guy and Balian sword fight is great. Orlando was born to be in epics wielding a sword. Seriously.

And if none of this is enough to convince you to check this out, than I will mention that DC has a LOT more of semi-naked Orlando in it than did the TE.
dangermousie: (Balian/Sybilla by redheadwonder12)
After POTC2, I felt the need to have an Orlando fix, so I ended up rewatching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Now, I liked TE, but every time I watch this cut, I get annoyed with the studio for mucking with things.

In the DC, it actually becomes my favorite period epic. (Also the only one that talks about a glorious defeat, which is why I love it, but that's another matter).

Let me count the ways in which the DC is superior:

1. Pacing. The TE cut felt a bit too galloping for me. The pace really was much too fast and you got caleidoscopic glimpses of things you wanted to know more of. Not any more. The editing and pacing in this one is perfect. It's still a complex evolving world you get a glimpse of, and will never know everything about, but this time it feels it has just a real balance between the complexity of the real and the meatiness of the story. The pace is perfect. It's never too slow, but it doesn't run at breakneck speed either, any more.

2. Sybilla. All the characters benefit from the expanded time, but no one as much as Sybilla, all of whose storyline it seems was cut away in the TE. Now she isn't just a bit of arm-candy for Balian, but someone who is a lot more complicated, dark and conflicted than that. She comes across as a real person, and her own story with her son (a historical character) not only gives her realness, and brings forth interesting parallels with Balian's first wife, but also gives a logical reason for her feelings of guilt and grief in the second half. She is a real person now, and quite an interesting one/

3. Balian. He also benefits from the expanded stuff immensely. For one, we learn a lot more about his engineering and battle background, so all the stuff from the siege doesn't come from nowhere. And we just learn more about him in general. He is still an extremely self-contained person, who thinks more than he acts, heroic in a quiet way (and another thing I love about KoH. When's the last time a character like that was the protagonist of an epic), but I feel I know him much better. In fact, just as well as I should. I had no problem with him being a bit of a cypher in TE, but seeing DC, I like this so much better.

4. And because both Balian and Sybilla are fleshed out more, their love story is fleshed out as well. In fact, instead of 'they are hot, why not' thing, it really seems like a believable if understated relationship. It does feel like a love story.

5. Empahsis on screwed up families. All those people in France are interconnected into various FUBAR families, there is more on Baldwin's family and its dysfunction. I find it interesting. And more ponderings on what faith means. That's even more interesting.

6. On a more shallow note, the Guy and Balian sword fight is great. Orlando was born to be in epics wielding a sword. Seriously.

And if none of this is enough to convince you to check this out, than I will mention that DC has a LOT more of semi-naked Orlando in it than did the TE.
dangermousie: (BW: KHNH by m_jade8)
Pirates of the Caribbean re-awoke my Orlando Bloom love, so here are some pictures. Beware of hyperventilation.

Pictures behind cut )
dangermousie: (BW: KHNH by m_jade8)
Pirates of the Caribbean re-awoke my Orlando Bloom love, so here are some pictures. Beware of hyperventilation.

Pictures behind cut )
dangermousie: (BW: KHNH by m_jade8)
Pirates of the Caribbean re-awoke my Orlando Bloom love, so here are some pictures. Beware of hyperventilation.

Pictures behind cut )
dangermousie: (Default)
Thank you EVERYONE for the lovely lovely birthday wishes!!!!!!!

As a hopeless geek that I am, I am going to be spending my birthday evening watching Fanaa with Lord and Master (heeee. He hates it when I call him that :P) as well as [livejournal.com profile] aliterati and [livejournal.com profile] katranna. Yay. And tomorrow L&M and I are going down to Key West as his birthday present. Of course, our flight leaves at 6am so we shall see how awake I'll be, but I am all giddy!

And speaking of Bollywood, [livejournal.com profile] katranna posted a great post about gender norms in Bollywood: basically her thoughts on Paheli (with pictures) and how Bollywood is in some ways more equal than Hollywood because if it objectifies women, it objectifies men. Check it out.

In other news, I started watching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and even though I am only half an hour in, it's amazing what a difference this cut makes (after all, theatrical cut is only 70% of this one). I liked the TC just fine, but after watching this I am mad at the studio hacks who are responsible for the cuts that makes TC look butchered in comparison. This cut is clearly the one Ridley Scott wanted and this is the cut he should damn well have had. Somehow the world becomes more real, character relationships more measured and make much more sense. Little details. The movie feels rooted, the characters more complex. Balian goes from somewhat of a cypher to someone clearly broken down, a real breathing flesh and blood guy who I felt deeply for. Things that I half-surmised from the TC are clear here. and I thought the cuts really did Orlando's performance a disservice: Cut for spoilers for first half hour of Director's Cut )This is the movie that should have been and it's pissing me the hell off the studio hacked it.

Talking about crazy folks, our small but hard-wanking fandom made Fandom Wank again. Ahhhh, Battlestar Galactica, how do I love thee and the crazy you bring? See here.

Oh, and I finally watched Doctor Who ep "The Doctor Dances" and so much love. I adore the sexy, bisexual, snarky Captain Jack and when I thought he might have to die? Not a happy camper. And Rose and Nine dancing? I am in heaven. Eeeeeee!
dangermousie: (Default)
Thank you EVERYONE for the lovely lovely birthday wishes!!!!!!!

As a hopeless geek that I am, I am going to be spending my birthday evening watching Fanaa with Lord and Master (heeee. He hates it when I call him that :P) as well as [livejournal.com profile] aliterati and [livejournal.com profile] katranna. Yay. And tomorrow L&M and I are going down to Key West as his birthday present. Of course, our flight leaves at 6am so we shall see how awake I'll be, but I am all giddy!

And speaking of Bollywood, [livejournal.com profile] katranna posted a great post about gender norms in Bollywood: basically her thoughts on Paheli (with pictures) and how Bollywood is in some ways more equal than Hollywood because if it objectifies women, it objectifies men. Check it out.

In other news, I started watching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and even though I am only half an hour in, it's amazing what a difference this cut makes (after all, theatrical cut is only 70% of this one). I liked the TC just fine, but after watching this I am mad at the studio hacks who are responsible for the cuts that makes TC look butchered in comparison. This cut is clearly the one Ridley Scott wanted and this is the cut he should damn well have had. Somehow the world becomes more real, character relationships more measured and make much more sense. Little details. The movie feels rooted, the characters more complex. Balian goes from somewhat of a cypher to someone clearly broken down, a real breathing flesh and blood guy who I felt deeply for. Things that I half-surmised from the TC are clear here. and I thought the cuts really did Orlando's performance a disservice: Cut for spoilers for first half hour of Director's Cut )This is the movie that should have been and it's pissing me the hell off the studio hacked it.

Talking about crazy folks, our small but hard-wanking fandom made Fandom Wank again. Ahhhh, Battlestar Galactica, how do I love thee and the crazy you bring? See here.

Oh, and I finally watched Doctor Who ep "The Doctor Dances" and so much love. I adore the sexy, bisexual, snarky Captain Jack and when I thought he might have to die? Not a happy camper. And Rose and Nine dancing? I am in heaven. Eeeeeee!
dangermousie: (Default)
Thank you EVERYONE for the lovely lovely birthday wishes!!!!!!!

As a hopeless geek that I am, I am going to be spending my birthday evening watching Fanaa with Lord and Master (heeee. He hates it when I call him that :P) as well as [livejournal.com profile] aliterati and [livejournal.com profile] katranna. Yay. And tomorrow L&M and I are going down to Key West as his birthday present. Of course, our flight leaves at 6am so we shall see how awake I'll be, but I am all giddy!

And speaking of Bollywood, [livejournal.com profile] katranna posted a great post about gender norms in Bollywood: basically her thoughts on Paheli (with pictures) and how Bollywood is in some ways more equal than Hollywood because if it objectifies women, it objectifies men. Check it out.

In other news, I started watching the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and even though I am only half an hour in, it's amazing what a difference this cut makes (after all, theatrical cut is only 70% of this one). I liked the TC just fine, but after watching this I am mad at the studio hacks who are responsible for the cuts that makes TC look butchered in comparison. This cut is clearly the one Ridley Scott wanted and this is the cut he should damn well have had. Somehow the world becomes more real, character relationships more measured and make much more sense. Little details. The movie feels rooted, the characters more complex. Balian goes from somewhat of a cypher to someone clearly broken down, a real breathing flesh and blood guy who I felt deeply for. Things that I half-surmised from the TC are clear here. and I thought the cuts really did Orlando's performance a disservice: Cut for spoilers for first half hour of Director's Cut )This is the movie that should have been and it's pissing me the hell off the studio hacked it.

Talking about crazy folks, our small but hard-wanking fandom made Fandom Wank again. Ahhhh, Battlestar Galactica, how do I love thee and the crazy you bring? See here.

Oh, and I finally watched Doctor Who ep "The Doctor Dances" and so much love. I adore the sexy, bisexual, snarky Captain Jack and when I thought he might have to die? Not a happy camper. And Rose and Nine dancing? I am in heaven. Eeeeeee!
dangermousie: (Default)
It's going to be my birthday tomorrow and I don't know what I feel about this. Cut for silly birthday whining )

Enough of self-pity though. I dreamt last night that I was watching Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna in the theater. My dream self is just as big a fangirl as my real self. Actually, seeing that I am considering spending the evening of my birthday in a movie theater, watching Fanaa, I think my dream self has a ways to go.

In other movie news, I bought the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven and can't wait to watch it.

Now to completely switch tack. Has anyone else read Elizabeth Peters' Night Train to Memphis? It's one of my favorite books and I always read it when I am tired or need cheering up. Peters is best known for her Amelia Peabody series (which are good and I adored Ramses and Nefret but she should have stopped with He Shall Thunder in the Sky, which really tied up all the storylines). NTTM is not a Peabody book and is the first Peters book I've ever read. It's the last book of four or so in a very loose series of stories about Vicky Bliss, an art historian amateur sleuth and her mysterious and shady and snarky on-again-off-again lover John (real name John Tregarth, alias Sir John Smythe. He has an odd sense of humor), who also happens to be an extremely accomplished antiqueties thief. You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy NTTM (I hadn't at the time), and in any event NTTM is by far the best of the bunch. Vicky, the narrator is tough as a bulldozer, clueless, stubborn and hilarious. John is a fictional descendant of such characters as Lymond and Sir Peter Wimsey. The OTP is snarky and angsty and good. They actually remind me of Logan and Veronica from Veronica Mars a bit, personality-wise.

And speaking of VM, crazy people on TWoP are continuing to puzzle me as they are all currently bemoaning the lack of passion in L/V kisses. They are all "we love the ship but JD and KB don't know how to kiss passionately." Maybe it's me, but that's kinda insane. A kiss is a kiss, unless there is some weird biting, and L/V kissing is totally swoony, but not only that, all their make-out scenes are scorching hot. Argh. Seriously, these scenes are as hot as scenes with people keeping their clothes on can be, and I've rewatched those scenes a bit too much for sanity :P

And I am continuing my watch of Chobits which is adorable. Chi is extremely lucky she ended up with Hideki. He does not treat her as a personcom, but as a person. He can't help it. When she shuts down because of insufficient battery he freaks out, even though she is (others think) a machine and can be recharged later. He ends up carrying her, climbing embankments, to get her some energy summplies, and when they fall off a height, he automatically positions himself so as to break her fall and so as the impact of it will hit him and not her. When he finds her half-dressed after a 'job' (long story) he takes off his shirt and puts it around her, even though she is not regarded as a person. He takes her to a bookstore and when the choice is between a dictionary he needs for studying or a book she wants, he buys the book she wants as a present. When she earns money and wants to give it to him, even though he is broke, he insists she keep it as it's hers. Chi is supposed to be a computer, but Hideki treats her as a person. And you know what? She is one, and his actions bring it out and it's all wonderful. But Hideki is also lucky he ended up with Chi. Otherwise he'd be very lonely in the big city, and have no one to cheer him on and to care for.

And I close with the ridiculous Bolly fashion.

Fashion Horrors to keep you from sleeping )
dangermousie: (Default)
It's going to be my birthday tomorrow and I don't know what I feel about this. Cut for silly birthday whining )

Enough of self-pity though. I dreamt last night that I was watching Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna in the theater. My dream self is just as big a fangirl as my real self. Actually, seeing that I am considering spending the evening of my birthday in a movie theater, watching Fanaa, I think my dream self has a ways to go.

In other movie news, I bought the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven and can't wait to watch it.

Now to completely switch tack. Has anyone else read Elizabeth Peters' Night Train to Memphis? It's one of my favorite books and I always read it when I am tired or need cheering up. Peters is best known for her Amelia Peabody series (which are good and I adored Ramses and Nefret but she should have stopped with He Shall Thunder in the Sky, which really tied up all the storylines). NTTM is not a Peabody book and is the first Peters book I've ever read. It's the last book of four or so in a very loose series of stories about Vicky Bliss, an art historian amateur sleuth and her mysterious and shady and snarky on-again-off-again lover John (real name John Tregarth, alias Sir John Smythe. He has an odd sense of humor), who also happens to be an extremely accomplished antiqueties thief. You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy NTTM (I hadn't at the time), and in any event NTTM is by far the best of the bunch. Vicky, the narrator is tough as a bulldozer, clueless, stubborn and hilarious. John is a fictional descendant of such characters as Lymond and Sir Peter Wimsey. The OTP is snarky and angsty and good. They actually remind me of Logan and Veronica from Veronica Mars a bit, personality-wise.

And speaking of VM, crazy people on TWoP are continuing to puzzle me as they are all currently bemoaning the lack of passion in L/V kisses. They are all "we love the ship but JD and KB don't know how to kiss passionately." Maybe it's me, but that's kinda insane. A kiss is a kiss, unless there is some weird biting, and L/V kissing is totally swoony, but not only that, all their make-out scenes are scorching hot. Argh. Seriously, these scenes are as hot as scenes with people keeping their clothes on can be, and I've rewatched those scenes a bit too much for sanity :P

And I am continuing my watch of Chobits which is adorable. Chi is extremely lucky she ended up with Hideki. He does not treat her as a personcom, but as a person. He can't help it. When she shuts down because of insufficient battery he freaks out, even though she is (others think) a machine and can be recharged later. He ends up carrying her, climbing embankments, to get her some energy summplies, and when they fall off a height, he automatically positions himself so as to break her fall and so as the impact of it will hit him and not her. When he finds her half-dressed after a 'job' (long story) he takes off his shirt and puts it around her, even though she is not regarded as a person. He takes her to a bookstore and when the choice is between a dictionary he needs for studying or a book she wants, he buys the book she wants as a present. When she earns money and wants to give it to him, even though he is broke, he insists she keep it as it's hers. Chi is supposed to be a computer, but Hideki treats her as a person. And you know what? She is one, and his actions bring it out and it's all wonderful. But Hideki is also lucky he ended up with Chi. Otherwise he'd be very lonely in the big city, and have no one to cheer him on and to care for.

And I close with the ridiculous Bolly fashion.

Fashion Horrors to keep you from sleeping )
dangermousie: (Default)
It's going to be my birthday tomorrow and I don't know what I feel about this. Cut for silly birthday whining )

Enough of self-pity though. I dreamt last night that I was watching Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna in the theater. My dream self is just as big a fangirl as my real self. Actually, seeing that I am considering spending the evening of my birthday in a movie theater, watching Fanaa, I think my dream self has a ways to go.

In other movie news, I bought the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven and can't wait to watch it.

Now to completely switch tack. Has anyone else read Elizabeth Peters' Night Train to Memphis? It's one of my favorite books and I always read it when I am tired or need cheering up. Peters is best known for her Amelia Peabody series (which are good and I adored Ramses and Nefret but she should have stopped with He Shall Thunder in the Sky, which really tied up all the storylines). NTTM is not a Peabody book and is the first Peters book I've ever read. It's the last book of four or so in a very loose series of stories about Vicky Bliss, an art historian amateur sleuth and her mysterious and shady and snarky on-again-off-again lover John (real name John Tregarth, alias Sir John Smythe. He has an odd sense of humor), who also happens to be an extremely accomplished antiqueties thief. You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy NTTM (I hadn't at the time), and in any event NTTM is by far the best of the bunch. Vicky, the narrator is tough as a bulldozer, clueless, stubborn and hilarious. John is a fictional descendant of such characters as Lymond and Sir Peter Wimsey. The OTP is snarky and angsty and good. They actually remind me of Logan and Veronica from Veronica Mars a bit, personality-wise.

And speaking of VM, crazy people on TWoP are continuing to puzzle me as they are all currently bemoaning the lack of passion in L/V kisses. They are all "we love the ship but JD and KB don't know how to kiss passionately." Maybe it's me, but that's kinda insane. A kiss is a kiss, unless there is some weird biting, and L/V kissing is totally swoony, but not only that, all their make-out scenes are scorching hot. Argh. Seriously, these scenes are as hot as scenes with people keeping their clothes on can be, and I've rewatched those scenes a bit too much for sanity :P

And I am continuing my watch of Chobits which is adorable. Chi is extremely lucky she ended up with Hideki. He does not treat her as a personcom, but as a person. He can't help it. When she shuts down because of insufficient battery he freaks out, even though she is (others think) a machine and can be recharged later. He ends up carrying her, climbing embankments, to get her some energy summplies, and when they fall off a height, he automatically positions himself so as to break her fall and so as the impact of it will hit him and not her. When he finds her half-dressed after a 'job' (long story) he takes off his shirt and puts it around her, even though she is not regarded as a person. He takes her to a bookstore and when the choice is between a dictionary he needs for studying or a book she wants, he buys the book she wants as a present. When she earns money and wants to give it to him, even though he is broke, he insists she keep it as it's hers. Chi is supposed to be a computer, but Hideki treats her as a person. And you know what? She is one, and his actions bring it out and it's all wonderful. But Hideki is also lucky he ended up with Chi. Otherwise he'd be very lonely in the big city, and have no one to cheer him on and to care for.

And I close with the ridiculous Bolly fashion.

Fashion Horrors to keep you from sleeping )
dangermousie: (Default)
I am dying to find a good book dealing with the Crusader Kingdoms (KoH inspired me). I have found and started reading James Reston's "Warriors of God." It is excellent, but it deals largely with the Third Crusade, and rather sparingly with the events beforehand. It does mention that in RL, Saladdin's surrender terms included a demand for each Christian man/woman/child to pay a certain amount or be sold into slavery, and that when even after various exemptions, payments, etc, 8000 people still remained, Balian (and the Patriarch who is rather more complex than in the movie) offered himself as a hostage to Saladdin in exchange for letting those people go free, but Saladdin refused saying that 2 for 8000 were a poor bargain. I am very very impressed.

I have also found really interesting entries in the Wikipedia about the Real Balian, who actually sounds like quite a hero. See above and see here. He was also Balwin IV's stepfather by marriage, having married Balwin's widowed step-mom.. Also: Real Sybilla: here; Real Baldwin IV: here; Real Guy, who ended up being the ruler of Cyprus as detailed here; and a Real Baldwin of Ibelin, Balian's elder brother. It seems that the filmmakers were inspired to do a Sybilla-Balian subplot based on him, as Sybilla and Baldwin seemed to have had a relationship.. Oh, and an interesting life of Balian's stepdaughter, Isabella

Now I need a good book about the time period. Anyone?

ETA: I am going to try to find a cheap copy (it is $70+ on amazon, eeek!) of "The Leper King and his Heirs : Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem" by Bernard Hamilton, as it sounds quite fascinating (and Balwin sounds like quite a guy). Any others?

ETA 2: Christianity Today has an article on the real Balian here. While I don't agree with their conclusions about the principles and morals of the thing, it does have interesting bits. One, Balian's real speech to Saladdin:

Know O Sultan, that there are very many of us in this city, God alone knows how many. At the moment we are fighting half-heartedly in the hope of saving our lives, hoping to be spared by you as you have spared others; this is because of our horror of death and our love of life. But if we see that death is inevitable, then by God we shall kill our children and our wives, burn our possessions, so as not to leave you with a dinar or a drachma or a single man or woman to enslave. When this is done, we shall pull down the Sanctuary of the Rock (today's Dome of the Rock) and the Masjid al-Aqsa and the other sacred places, slaughtering the Muslim prisoners we hold—5,000 of them—and killing every horse and animal we possess. Then we shall come out to fight you like men fighting for their lives, when each man, before he falls dead, kills his equals; we shall die with honor, or win a noble victory.

The article also says that in an effort to avert poor Christians being enslaved, Balian paid out of his own purse Saladin's price for many who could not afford it (and as Reston's book points out, after all that offered to be a hostage for the rest). I got to say, it always makes me feel good to know that really good people existed in history and are not just filmmakers and authors trying to look on the sunny side of life.

Though something tells me the real Balian would hunt down Ridley Scott for making him, a true blue-blood, into an illegitimate blacksmith.
dangermousie: (Default)
I am dying to find a good book dealing with the Crusader Kingdoms (KoH inspired me). I have found and started reading James Reston's "Warriors of God." It is excellent, but it deals largely with the Third Crusade, and rather sparingly with the events beforehand. It does mention that in RL, Saladdin's surrender terms included a demand for each Christian man/woman/child to pay a certain amount or be sold into slavery, and that when even after various exemptions, payments, etc, 8000 people still remained, Balian (and the Patriarch who is rather more complex than in the movie) offered himself as a hostage to Saladdin in exchange for letting those people go free, but Saladdin refused saying that 2 for 8000 were a poor bargain. I am very very impressed.

I have also found really interesting entries in the Wikipedia about the Real Balian, who actually sounds like quite a hero. See above and see here. He was also Balwin IV's stepfather by marriage, having married Balwin's widowed step-mom.. Also: Real Sybilla: here; Real Baldwin IV: here; Real Guy, who ended up being the ruler of Cyprus as detailed here; and a Real Baldwin of Ibelin, Balian's elder brother. It seems that the filmmakers were inspired to do a Sybilla-Balian subplot based on him, as Sybilla and Baldwin seemed to have had a relationship.. Oh, and an interesting life of Balian's stepdaughter, Isabella

Now I need a good book about the time period. Anyone?

ETA: I am going to try to find a cheap copy (it is $70+ on amazon, eeek!) of "The Leper King and his Heirs : Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem" by Bernard Hamilton, as it sounds quite fascinating (and Balwin sounds like quite a guy). Any others?

ETA 2: Christianity Today has an article on the real Balian here. While I don't agree with their conclusions about the principles and morals of the thing, it does have interesting bits. One, Balian's real speech to Saladdin:

Know O Sultan, that there are very many of us in this city, God alone knows how many. At the moment we are fighting half-heartedly in the hope of saving our lives, hoping to be spared by you as you have spared others; this is because of our horror of death and our love of life. But if we see that death is inevitable, then by God we shall kill our children and our wives, burn our possessions, so as not to leave you with a dinar or a drachma or a single man or woman to enslave. When this is done, we shall pull down the Sanctuary of the Rock (today's Dome of the Rock) and the Masjid al-Aqsa and the other sacred places, slaughtering the Muslim prisoners we hold—5,000 of them—and killing every horse and animal we possess. Then we shall come out to fight you like men fighting for their lives, when each man, before he falls dead, kills his equals; we shall die with honor, or win a noble victory.

The article also says that in an effort to avert poor Christians being enslaved, Balian paid out of his own purse Saladin's price for many who could not afford it (and as Reston's book points out, after all that offered to be a hostage for the rest). I got to say, it always makes me feel good to know that really good people existed in history and are not just filmmakers and authors trying to look on the sunny side of life.

Though something tells me the real Balian would hunt down Ridley Scott for making him, a true blue-blood, into an illegitimate blacksmith.
dangermousie: (Default)
I am dying to find a good book dealing with the Crusader Kingdoms (KoH inspired me). I have found and started reading James Reston's "Warriors of God." It is excellent, but it deals largely with the Third Crusade, and rather sparingly with the events beforehand. It does mention that in RL, Saladdin's surrender terms included a demand for each Christian man/woman/child to pay a certain amount or be sold into slavery, and that when even after various exemptions, payments, etc, 8000 people still remained, Balian (and the Patriarch who is rather more complex than in the movie) offered himself as a hostage to Saladdin in exchange for letting those people go free, but Saladdin refused saying that 2 for 8000 were a poor bargain. I am very very impressed.

I have also found really interesting entries in the Wikipedia about the Real Balian, who actually sounds like quite a hero. See above and see here. He was also Balwin IV's stepfather by marriage, having married Balwin's widowed step-mom.. Also: Real Sybilla: here; Real Baldwin IV: here; Real Guy, who ended up being the ruler of Cyprus as detailed here; and a Real Baldwin of Ibelin, Balian's elder brother. It seems that the filmmakers were inspired to do a Sybilla-Balian subplot based on him, as Sybilla and Baldwin seemed to have had a relationship.. Oh, and an interesting life of Balian's stepdaughter, Isabella

Now I need a good book about the time period. Anyone?

ETA: I am going to try to find a cheap copy (it is $70+ on amazon, eeek!) of "The Leper King and his Heirs : Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem" by Bernard Hamilton, as it sounds quite fascinating (and Balwin sounds like quite a guy). Any others?

ETA 2: Christianity Today has an article on the real Balian here. While I don't agree with their conclusions about the principles and morals of the thing, it does have interesting bits. One, Balian's real speech to Saladdin:

Know O Sultan, that there are very many of us in this city, God alone knows how many. At the moment we are fighting half-heartedly in the hope of saving our lives, hoping to be spared by you as you have spared others; this is because of our horror of death and our love of life. But if we see that death is inevitable, then by God we shall kill our children and our wives, burn our possessions, so as not to leave you with a dinar or a drachma or a single man or woman to enslave. When this is done, we shall pull down the Sanctuary of the Rock (today's Dome of the Rock) and the Masjid al-Aqsa and the other sacred places, slaughtering the Muslim prisoners we hold—5,000 of them—and killing every horse and animal we possess. Then we shall come out to fight you like men fighting for their lives, when each man, before he falls dead, kills his equals; we shall die with honor, or win a noble victory.

The article also says that in an effort to avert poor Christians being enslaved, Balian paid out of his own purse Saladin's price for many who could not afford it (and as Reston's book points out, after all that offered to be a hostage for the rest). I got to say, it always makes me feel good to know that really good people existed in history and are not just filmmakers and authors trying to look on the sunny side of life.

Though something tells me the real Balian would hunt down Ridley Scott for making him, a true blue-blood, into an illegitimate blacksmith.
dangermousie: (Default)
Saw it again yesterday. Andrew had plenty of comments how it looked nothing like Jerusalem.

Loved it even more the second time, and noticed a bunch of cool details. Here are my top 20 scenes (10 was too few) (no order)

1 When Sybilla is cutting off her hair, her reflection is distorted in the crude mirror, making her look like her brother.

2 "I am Jerusalem, and you will give me the kiss of peace." Baldwin making Reynauld kneel and stripping off his protective glove, kiss his leper's hand, and then hit him over and over.

3 "Queens do not walk. Yet you are walking." Balian to Sybilla when he sees her walking with the throngs of refugees. He dismounts and starts walking next to her. I just love his smile here. A smile from Balian is as rare as Legolas getting freaked.

4. Balwin's army appearing in front of Kerak. That shot gives me shivers: the glitter of the giant cross, the knights, the surreal figure in the mask. Wow.

5. Tiberias' farewell to Balian. "I thought we fought for God. Then I knew we fought for wealth and lands and I was ashamed" (paraphrase). And then he wishes for God to be with Balian because God has forsaken him, Tiberias.

6 Balian knighting everyone. I just love that speech. And when the Archbishop asks him if being a knight makes a man a better fighter, and Balian answers yes. Woo. Shivers.

7 Godfrey saying to Balian, very gently, that he has a right to take him and the tears in Balian's eyes.

8 The aerial shot of Balian's small force crashing into Saladdin's army.

9 The horsemen of Saladdin riding in a circle before Hattin.

10 At the defense of Jerusalem, the camera pulls back and you cannot distinguish the differences in the armies any more.

11. Tiberias swearing allegiance to Guy a second later than the rest. He looks like he wants to choke.

12. The way in the beginning of the movie, Balian looks out of his eyes like a hunted animal. I really get the feeling of Godfrey "gentling" him as one would a nervous horse.

13. Godfrey knighting Balian. "And that is so you will remember it" *smack*

14. Balian ambushed by the Templars. "Is that why you came to the Holy Land?" And then he goes all Legolas on them.

15. Sybilla's crown when she crowns Guy.

16. Baldwin recounting his victory over Saladdin when he was 16.

17. Balian staying on his knees, glaring defiance, as he is thrown down as a captive at Kerak.

18. The mouse running across the slippers at Ibelin. I don't know why.

19. Hearing the Crusader cry "God Wills it." (Deus Lo Vult). Hasn't been heard for centuries.

20. Balian turning around at the fountain, expecting a fight on his hands again, rather weary and unsurprised. And being recognized as Baron of Ibelin instead.

Yours?
dangermousie: (Default)
Saw it again yesterday. Andrew had plenty of comments how it looked nothing like Jerusalem.

Loved it even more the second time, and noticed a bunch of cool details. Here are my top 20 scenes (10 was too few) (no order)

1 When Sybilla is cutting off her hair, her reflection is distorted in the crude mirror, making her look like her brother.

2 "I am Jerusalem, and you will give me the kiss of peace." Baldwin making Reynauld kneel and stripping off his protective glove, kiss his leper's hand, and then hit him over and over.

3 "Queens do not walk. Yet you are walking." Balian to Sybilla when he sees her walking with the throngs of refugees. He dismounts and starts walking next to her. I just love his smile here. A smile from Balian is as rare as Legolas getting freaked.

4. Balwin's army appearing in front of Kerak. That shot gives me shivers: the glitter of the giant cross, the knights, the surreal figure in the mask. Wow.

5. Tiberias' farewell to Balian. "I thought we fought for God. Then I knew we fought for wealth and lands and I was ashamed" (paraphrase). And then he wishes for God to be with Balian because God has forsaken him, Tiberias.

6 Balian knighting everyone. I just love that speech. And when the Archbishop asks him if being a knight makes a man a better fighter, and Balian answers yes. Woo. Shivers.

7 Godfrey saying to Balian, very gently, that he has a right to take him and the tears in Balian's eyes.

8 The aerial shot of Balian's small force crashing into Saladdin's army.

9 The horsemen of Saladdin riding in a circle before Hattin.

10 At the defense of Jerusalem, the camera pulls back and you cannot distinguish the differences in the armies any more.

11. Tiberias swearing allegiance to Guy a second later than the rest. He looks like he wants to choke.

12. The way in the beginning of the movie, Balian looks out of his eyes like a hunted animal. I really get the feeling of Godfrey "gentling" him as one would a nervous horse.

13. Godfrey knighting Balian. "And that is so you will remember it" *smack*

14. Balian ambushed by the Templars. "Is that why you came to the Holy Land?" And then he goes all Legolas on them.

15. Sybilla's crown when she crowns Guy.

16. Baldwin recounting his victory over Saladdin when he was 16.

17. Balian staying on his knees, glaring defiance, as he is thrown down as a captive at Kerak.

18. The mouse running across the slippers at Ibelin. I don't know why.

19. Hearing the Crusader cry "God Wills it." (Deus Lo Vult). Hasn't been heard for centuries.

20. Balian turning around at the fountain, expecting a fight on his hands again, rather weary and unsurprised. And being recognized as Baron of Ibelin instead.

Yours?
dangermousie: (Default)
Saw it again yesterday. Andrew had plenty of comments how it looked nothing like Jerusalem.

Loved it even more the second time, and noticed a bunch of cool details. Here are my top 20 scenes (10 was too few) (no order)

1 When Sybilla is cutting off her hair, her reflection is distorted in the crude mirror, making her look like her brother.

2 "I am Jerusalem, and you will give me the kiss of peace." Baldwin making Reynauld kneel and stripping off his protective glove, kiss his leper's hand, and then hit him over and over.

3 "Queens do not walk. Yet you are walking." Balian to Sybilla when he sees her walking with the throngs of refugees. He dismounts and starts walking next to her. I just love his smile here. A smile from Balian is as rare as Legolas getting freaked.

4. Balwin's army appearing in front of Kerak. That shot gives me shivers: the glitter of the giant cross, the knights, the surreal figure in the mask. Wow.

5. Tiberias' farewell to Balian. "I thought we fought for God. Then I knew we fought for wealth and lands and I was ashamed" (paraphrase). And then he wishes for God to be with Balian because God has forsaken him, Tiberias.

6 Balian knighting everyone. I just love that speech. And when the Archbishop asks him if being a knight makes a man a better fighter, and Balian answers yes. Woo. Shivers.

7 Godfrey saying to Balian, very gently, that he has a right to take him and the tears in Balian's eyes.

8 The aerial shot of Balian's small force crashing into Saladdin's army.

9 The horsemen of Saladdin riding in a circle before Hattin.

10 At the defense of Jerusalem, the camera pulls back and you cannot distinguish the differences in the armies any more.

11. Tiberias swearing allegiance to Guy a second later than the rest. He looks like he wants to choke.

12. The way in the beginning of the movie, Balian looks out of his eyes like a hunted animal. I really get the feeling of Godfrey "gentling" him as one would a nervous horse.

13. Godfrey knighting Balian. "And that is so you will remember it" *smack*

14. Balian ambushed by the Templars. "Is that why you came to the Holy Land?" And then he goes all Legolas on them.

15. Sybilla's crown when she crowns Guy.

16. Baldwin recounting his victory over Saladdin when he was 16.

17. Balian staying on his knees, glaring defiance, as he is thrown down as a captive at Kerak.

18. The mouse running across the slippers at Ibelin. I don't know why.

19. Hearing the Crusader cry "God Wills it." (Deus Lo Vult). Hasn't been heard for centuries.

20. Balian turning around at the fountain, expecting a fight on his hands again, rather weary and unsurprised. And being recognized as Baron of Ibelin instead.

Yours?
dangermousie: (Default)
First part is a serious critical analysis, the second high-pitched fangirl squeal. Priceless.

here

Samples (from the gushy part, of course):

Here’s Crevette with a second Kingdom of Heaven review for those of you in love with Orlando Bloom... I believe you’re called “women”.

Thank you, general collective gene pool that spawned Orlando Bloom. Your contribution to the sublime creature that is Orlando Bloom is herewith noted and appreciated.

The man was freaking HAWT. He was beyond HAWT. He totally met and exceeded all my HAWT expectations. He is a HAWT overachiever. He is das uberHAWT. He is the GAWD of HAWT. I fall down at worship at the altar of his HAWTNESS

Oh! He's fighting with Liam! Liam just bitchslapped him! YES! YES! YES! ROLL HIM AROUND IN THE DIRT SOME MORE, JEDI MASTER!

OH! Fighting! HIT HIM AGAIN! BLOOD? YAY! ROLL HIM AROUND IN THE DIRT SOME MORE! IT ONLY INCREASES HIS HAWT FACTOR! I'LL GLADLY VOLUNTEER TO TONGUE BATHE HIM CLEAN!!!



Heeeeeeeee.....
dangermousie: (Default)
First part is a serious critical analysis, the second high-pitched fangirl squeal. Priceless.

here

Samples (from the gushy part, of course):

Here’s Crevette with a second Kingdom of Heaven review for those of you in love with Orlando Bloom... I believe you’re called “women”.

Thank you, general collective gene pool that spawned Orlando Bloom. Your contribution to the sublime creature that is Orlando Bloom is herewith noted and appreciated.

The man was freaking HAWT. He was beyond HAWT. He totally met and exceeded all my HAWT expectations. He is a HAWT overachiever. He is das uberHAWT. He is the GAWD of HAWT. I fall down at worship at the altar of his HAWTNESS

Oh! He's fighting with Liam! Liam just bitchslapped him! YES! YES! YES! ROLL HIM AROUND IN THE DIRT SOME MORE, JEDI MASTER!

OH! Fighting! HIT HIM AGAIN! BLOOD? YAY! ROLL HIM AROUND IN THE DIRT SOME MORE! IT ONLY INCREASES HIS HAWT FACTOR! I'LL GLADLY VOLUNTEER TO TONGUE BATHE HIM CLEAN!!!



Heeeeeeeee.....

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