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Kingdom of Heaven (4-Disc Director's Cut)
Kingdom of Heaven (4-Disc Director's Cut)
List Price: $34.98
Buy New: $19.87
You Save: $15.11 (43%)
Buy New/Used from $19.25

Avg. Customer Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars(based on 121 reviews)
Sales Rank: 4
Category: DVD

Director: Ridley Scott
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Label: 20th Century Fox
Format: Box Set, Color, Director's Cut, Widescreen, Ntsc
Language: English (Original Language)
Rating: R (Restricted)
Media: DVD
Running Time: 191 minutes
Number Of Items: 4

UPC: 024543241454
EAN: 0024543241454

Release Date: May 23, 2006  (New: This Week)
Theatrical Release Date: May 6, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
It's hard to believe Ridley Scott's handsome epic won't become the cinematic touchstone of the Crusades for years to come. Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the sum of its parts, delivering a vital, mostly engrossing tale following Balian (Orlando Bloom), a lonely French blacksmith who discovers he's a noble heir and takes his father's (Liam Neeson) place in the center of the universe circa 1184: Jerusalem. Here, grand battles and backdoor politics are key as Scott and first-time screenwriter William Monahan fashion an excellent storyline to tackle the centuries-long conflict. Two forward-thinking kings, Baldwin (Edward Norton in an uncredited yet substantial role) and Saladin (Ghassan Massoud), hold an uneasy truce between Christians (who hold the city) and Muslims while factions champ at the bit for blood. There are good and evildoers on both sides, with the Knights Templar taking the brunt of the blame; Balian plans to find his soul while protecting Baldwin and the people. The look of the film, as nearly everything is from Scott, is impressive: his CGI-infused battle scenes rival the LOTR series and, with cinematographer John Mathieson, create postcard beauty with snowy French forests and the vast desert (filmed in Morocco and Spain). An excellent supporting cast, including Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and David Thewlis, also help make the head and heart of the film work. Many critics pointed out that Bloom doesn't have the gravitas of Russell Crowe in the lead (then again, who does?), but it's the underdeveloped character and not the actor that hurts the film and impacts its power. Balian isn't given much more to do than be sullen and give an occasional big speech, alongside his perplexing abilities for warfare tactics and his wandering moral compass (whose sole purpose seems to be to put a love scene in the movie). Note: all the major characters except Neeson's are based on fact, but many are heavily fictionalized. --Doug Thomas

On the DVD
The Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut is truly a DVD set of biblical proportions. If you are familiar with Ridley Scott's excellent, albeit massive, extended DVD sets for Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, you have a pretty good idea of what you are in for with this set. The biggest difference--unlike the Gladiator Director's Cut, which had some nice new scenes that really didn't add much to the film--is that this cut of Kingdom of Heaven is a drastic improvement over the theatrical release. This extensive 194-minute version brings the film back to Scott's original vision, maintaining an impressive balance of history, plot, and believable period reenactments and battle scenes. The best way to describe the improvements on the extended version is the film is now able to breathe a bit more, it's less choppy, and it has stronger character development. In addition to the extended scenes (which now span two discs in a clunky Road Show presentation), there is an exhaustive three-hour, six-part documentary detailing every aspect of filmmaking from the development of the "idea" through post-production and release. Also included are three feature-length commentary tracks, the best being the first with Ridley Scott, writer William Monahan, and actor Orlando Bloom. Included on the original release but missing from this set are the A&E/History Channel documentaries, the theatrical cut of the film, and "The Pilgrim's Guide," the fantastic text commentary which pointed out the historical anecdotes as the film played. Fans of the film and completists will probably want to hold onto both versions. However, those picking up Kingdom of Heaven for the first time need only to look to this definitive version. --Rob Bracco

Among the best directors of our time, Ridley Scott (Gladiator), contributes generously to this extraordinary Collector?s Edition of Kingdom of Heaven. Featuring his Director?s Cut of the film and hours of fascinating extras including a six-part tour from conception to completion of filmmaking this definitive set makes what Variety called a "genuinely spectacular" film even more so!

An epic marvel that's as beautifully acted as it is visually awesome, Kingdom of Heaven stars Orlando Bloom as Balian, a Jerusalem blacksmith who has lost his family and his faith. But when his father (Liam Neeson) shows him his destiny, Balian vows to defend his country, and in the process, falls in love, becomes a formidable leader, and steps forever into history

Customer Reviews:   Read 116 more reviews...

5 out of 5 stars A noble Crusade...   May 28, 2006
Kingdom of Heaven was probably my favorite film of last year, and the 194-minute director's cut gives the film more room to breathe, but it won't make converts of the unbelievers. Instead, it's a more leisurely paced version of the film for the faithful who liked the theatrical cut and want to revisit its world and characters in a little more detail. Closer in style and tone to sixties roadshows than Scott's Gladiator, and all the better for it, in many ways it's the richest and most ambitious of the recent batch of epics. It's more of a journey in the extended version, and a bloodier one (the added violence will please the gore hounds), although there are a few moments that tip over into self-indulgence and could have been tightened or omitted entirely.

The extended opening allows more character detail, but at the expense of more of Michael Sheen's caricatured greedy priest, now revealed as Balian's brother. Orlando Bloom's limitations are also given a little more room than they had in the theatrical cut, but he certainly never stoops to the lows of Gerard "I'm wonderful, me" Butler in Beowulf, Colin Farrell's Alexander or Clive Owen's truly catastrophic non-performance in King Arthur that left that film with a void at its center. Edward Norton's performance as the Leper King suffers a little from using different takes than the theatrical version, and at least one of his expanded scenes is simply longer without really being any better than its equivalent in the shorter version. The real winner in the extra footage stakes is Eva Green, who I think I'm falling in love with and whose part is considerably expanded and much more complex, allowing her a mass of contradictory motives (few of them noble), impulses and emotions that were smoothed away in the theatrical version. The subplot involving her son also helps add more of an emotional charge to Baldwin's death, with the shot of his leprous face no longer gratuitous but essential. In fact, in this version of the film, there are even a couple of genuinely touching sequences.

While the added complexity in this cut is more in the characters than in the plot, some of the problems of the theatrical version have been addressed. The shipwreck is just as rushed in this cut as in the theatrical version, but the pacing problems in the astonishingly spectacular siege finale are much improved by the addition of a fairly minimal amount of footage. It no longer seems quite so hurried and there's more of a sense of the human cost after the battle at the Christopher Gate that was lacking in the shorter version by the simple expedient of including characters we briefly get to know among the dead. There IS one massive miscalculation after the siege where a redundant swordfight has been added: not only is it completely ineffective, dwarfed by the sheer scale and weight of what has come before, but it's also unnecessary, winding up a plot point no-one cares about any more and simply underlining the events of the previous scene.

It also now comes with added Bill Paterson, which is rarely a bad thing, especially since his brief scene as a compassionate Bishop establishes the incompatibility of fanatical adherence to religious law with the actions of a loving savior that is one of the film's major themes. Although most of the Christian clerics here are transparent hypocrites, they are also counterbalanced by David Thewlis' Knight Hospitaler just as the `good' Muslims are counterbalanced by fanatics as both Saladin and Baldwin have to walk a tightrope with their own people to prevent war.

Thanks to a strong script this is easily Scott's best film since Blade Runner. Unlike Gladiator it doesn't feel like it was written on the hoof, and he has enough confidence in the material not to overdo the stylistics at the expense of the storytelling: here the visuals serve the picture, which isn't always the case in his past work. Even John Mathieson, probably the worst cinematographer to ever win an Oscar, finally delivers the goods. CGI is used sparingly and very effectively when it is (none of the poor FX problems that plagued parts of Gladiator here, thankfully). Instead, much of the spectacle is shot for real - not only is it usually cheaper, but it's certainly a lot more impressive to look at.

The transfer quality is not as good as on the theatrical version, but it's more than acceptable. The extra features on the 4-disc set are impressive (or what I've seen of them), including a deeply depressed screenwriter mulling over its US failure. Of the additional deleted scenes included as extras, there's nothing that needed to go back into the picture: most are ideas that didn't really work while a couple are just plain silly. The DVD also includes an interesting collection of trailers and TV spots that try to sell it as everything from [I]The Passion of the Christ II[/I] in an outrageous piece of false advertising involving adding a "Don't worry, God is with me" line of dialog not in the film (particularly ironic considering its Humanist viewpoint and the crisis of faith of its hero), a family movie, an epic adventure, a country and western rock video and a kick-ass heavy metal teen bloodbath: anything to avoid mentioning Muslims or, God forbid, history. Can't think why this didn't take off at the US box-office...

5 out of 5 stars The Missing Pieces Found   May 28, 2006
  3 out of 3 found this review helpful

Anyone who has seen the Kingdom Heaven should at least give this one a rental. You owe it to yourself. Whether you liked the theatrical release or were disappointed by it, you will find the pieces that you may have sensed were missing from that earlier version. The 2005 release was cut, released, and marketed as a summer action/thriller. The director's cut is different film. What we have here instead is a historical epic that answers all of those nagging questions that I have seen many reviwwers seize upon.The seeming plot flaws are smoothed and eliminated and much more developed characters result from these changes.

If nothing else, this veersion of the movie is proof positive that editing can make, break, or destroy a film. The restored and extended scenes in this version of Kingdom of Heaven make it a totally new experience.

While the Extended Versions of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy are superior versions of very good, theatrically released films, the Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut is vastly superior to its theatrical version.. Indeed, I would submit that this version will supplant the theatrical version, which will be soon forgotten, It just doesn't measure up to this version.

5 out of 5 stars Incredible!   May 28, 2006
  2 out of 2 found this review helpful

This is one of those incredible movies that I want to watch again and again. It is not a happy ending, and I found myself lamenting over lost chances for peace, but this story line makes an impact on the viewer that won't be forgotten. When the peaceful King Baldwin dies at a young age, it's hoped that the blacksmith son of Knight Godfrey will take the king's place. Though things would've been far better, Balian struggles too much with his dark past to do what must be done to marry the princess, take the crown, and save the kingdom from bloodshed. Great movie!
Chrissy K. McVay - Author

5 out of 5 stars The Director's Cut--An exceptional piece of filmmaking   May 26, 2006
  7 out of 7 found this review helpful

Wow! After seeing Ridley Scott's director's cut--the definitive cut--of Kingdom of Heaven I became angry and exhilarated all at once. I was angry at how badly studio execs can screw over directors in Hollywood thinking they know what audiences want. (They obviously don't if you look at the awful movies that have been released in the past two to three years.) It almost seems as if many of Ridley Scott's movies are butchered by the studios--Blade Runner, Legend, and Kingdom of Heaven. All three director's cuts of these movies are heads and above better than the studio exec versions. I implore studios to leave Ridley Scott's movies alone!

I saw the theatrical print of KoH and was less than pleased. It was obvious the picture had been butchered. I cared not one iota for any of the characters. Even the war scenes I could barely invest in. Now, though, the true picture has been released and boy is it a revelation. The director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven is one of the best movies you'll ever see. It might even be better than Braveheart, a movie that closely mirrors KoH. The director's cut would have been nominated for every award possible and I think most will agree after seeing this definitive version. Everyone who loves historical epics needs to own this movie. Do not ever see the theatrical print. This is the only version you will want to see.

5 out of 5 stars The movie that SHOULD have been screened.   May 26, 2006
  9 out of 9 found this review helpful

The theatrical cut was a mess. This director's cut fills out and expands the story, without making it feel a moment longer.

It answers the questions of "how did Balian know how to defend a city" and "How did he know how to fight so well" and "Why did Sybillia go bonkers like that" and all the others.

The deep, deep cuts in the theatrical film made so many complex political, religious and personal layers in the story and the characters just go away. They are restored in this cut and it is a glorious movie.

Fox really screwed over Ridley Scott, Eva Green and Orlando Bloom by making Scott cut this movie the way they did. The Director's Cut would have been Oscar material.

Copyright 2006