KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005)
Having recently been made a “Sir”, it was only a matter of time before Ridley got around to making a movie about how badass knights are. Well, the non-Templar variety, anyway.
To be honest, as I generally like to be, this is the type of film that was made with me in mind: Slow, beautiful to look at, and violent as fuck. I feel like there is certainly a “GREAT” film to be made about the Crusades; This isn’t it, but it’s the closest that we’ve got at the moment. Verhoeven needs to get off his ass and dust off his old Crusades script.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this is almost an apology for the jingoism of Black Hawk Down. It’s provided as evidence that you can be noble and courageous without being an empire building twat.
On a technical level, this is probably Ridley’s best work. I’ve only seen the Director’s Cut, because by all accounts the theatrical cut gargles balls.
9 out of 10
Over the top and pedal to the metal is where Tony belongs, and he delivers in spades with this film. Based, I’m guessing extremely loosely, on the life of Domino Harvey, we have all of Tony’s fetishes satisfied; Guns blazing, people screaming in freeze-frame, and the inevitable intrusion of gangsters. It’s as if he did a remake of True Romance, using his Man On Fire aesthetic.
Richard Kelley’s script thankfully contains no time travel optimal wormholes, and limits his pretension to a scene involving mescaline and Tom Waits, where pretension is completely appropriate.
Some may write this sort of movie off as mindless, and they would be correct, but I’m more shallow than not, so I love these little primal screams that Tony likes to get out of his system.
8 out of 10
A GOOD YEAR (2006)
Ridley’s homage to lighthearted French romantic comedies, and a love letter to France in general. You almost expect Maurice Chevalier to wander in from offscreen to serenade Russell and Marion.
Speaking of Marion; Goddamn. Very sexy. Love the accent, too.
Yeah, it’s slight, and you know where it’s going the whole time, but I would say that it’s fairly charming. Much like Russell’s character, I found myself seduced by the quiet life.
8 out of 10