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The Kingdom (Peter Berg film)

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The Kingdom (Peter Berg film)

Old 03-23-07, 01:38 PM
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The Kingdom (Peter Berg film)

I got to see an advance screening of this (introduced by Michael Mann and Peter Berg) yesterday. I thought it was incredible. Really well done. My only complaint was Berg's overuse of hand-held camera work -- something that (like Friday Night Lights) makes you dizzy in the theater after 2 hours. Him and Greengrass love those handheld shots. (BTW, I also saw about a 10 minute clip of Bourne Ultimatum and yes Greengrass uses the same camera techniques that he did in Supremacy -- if not more so -- some scenes with the camera man running and the scenes bouncing all over the place).

As for the Kingdom, it stars Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Chris Cooper. It's about an FBI investigation of a terrorist attack on a Western Housing Complex (i.e. heavily gated/secure American "neighborhood") in Saudi Arabia -- and how hard it is for the FBI to investigate a crime in a very hostile environment. The opening scene of the attack was intense and hard to watch (think Saving Private Ryan, but even harder to watch). The investigation-part of the movie was very similar to CSI, except for the location and the obstacles faced. Without giving too much away, imagine trying to investigate the site of a terrorist attack where you're told that you can't touch anything, go outside the Housing Complex, and have 5 days to finish with no cooperation from the local police/security. I think this is Berg's best film yet.

Peter Berg may be a director to keep an eye on. With The Rundown (pretty good action/comedy), Friday Night Lights, and now The Kingdom, he's doing pretty well for himself. I'm interested to see what he does next.
Old 03-23-07, 02:14 PM
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How are the shoot out scenes? Are they similar to Heat and Collateral?
Old 03-23-07, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by matrixrok9
How are the shoot out scenes? Are they similar to Heat and Collateral?
It's really more of a Berg film than a Mann film. I won't say that he hasn't been influenced by Mann, but I actually felt that the battle/shoot-out scenes reminded much more of Children of Men or Saving Private Ryan. Lots of hand-held camera (documentary style) scenes, where the camera turns after a gun shot is heard, surprised by it as much as the characters. It certainly adds a lot more tension and realism.
Old 03-23-07, 03:00 PM
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Did they say why it was delayed so much? This movie's initial spring release date... is like a ghost.
Old 03-23-07, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Did they say why it was delayed so much? This movie's initial spring release date... is like a ghost.
He didn't say, but we had the disclaimer that what we saw wasn't a "finished" product, though it certainly looked like one. I know they shot some of the movie in the United Arab Emirates, which may have caused some delays.
Old 03-23-07, 03:39 PM
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The original release date was April 20th. Maybe they were testing this movie to see if they could bring in both the Syriana and the Black Hawk Down and the Rambo III crowds (I saw a few meatheads at 300 telling each other they "gotta see this movie" even exclaiming "whoah!" at the explosion).
Old 03-23-07, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
The original release date was April 20th. Maybe they were testing this movie to see if they could bring in both the Syriana and the Black Hawk Down and the Rambo III crowds (I saw a few meatheads at 300 telling each other they "gotta see this movie" even exclaiming "whoah!" at the explosion).
I think it has a bit of a Black Hawk Down feel to it and will appeal to people who liked that film, so it could be purely a marketing decision.
Old 03-23-07, 07:04 PM
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I hear they delayed it to put it into AWARDS contention...if it opened in April, it would most likely get lost in the the wash, but a Fall release will keep it fresh in Oscar voters minds. Dying to see it.
Old 03-24-07, 04:58 PM
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i am really excited about this one too. can't wait!
Old 03-24-07, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DodgingCars
He didn't say, but we had the disclaimer that what we saw wasn't a "finished" product, though it certainly looked like one. I know they shot some of the movie in the United Arab Emirates, which may have caused some delays.
Alot of the freeway scenes were shot here in AZ last year. They had a brand new freeway closed down on weekends for like 2 months.
Old 03-25-07, 02:05 AM
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They had a stunt guy die in a bad car wreck here a few miles from me. That definitely contributed to the delay. They had to come back and do a re-shoot.
Old 03-26-07, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Alot of the freeway scenes were shot here in AZ last year. They had a brand new freeway closed down on weekends for like 2 months.
Yeah, he mentioned that a lot was shot north of Scottsdale.
Old 03-26-07, 02:58 PM
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This definitely looks like one I gotta see.

I like Peter Berg, I just hope he's not in over his head with this film.
Old 03-26-07, 03:11 PM
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Looking forward to this. Berg did a great job with Very Bad Things and The Rundown was pretty good as well.
Old 03-26-07, 04:31 PM
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One thing I noticed from the trailer is the crafted detail that the characters might have. There's two scenes, one in the chopper and another in a board room, that grabbed my attention and made me remember it. Something about the dynamic with Garner, Cooper, and Foxx really shined. Those few seconds stood out more than all the seemingly commonplace action.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, DodgingCars.
Old 03-26-07, 04:34 PM
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I really liked Lars Von Trier's original. Looking forward to see Peter Berg's version of it. Hopefully it's better than Stephen King's.
Old 06-20-07, 03:08 AM
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Saw this tonight. Describing the action sequences as Children of Menesque is dead on. Lots of scenes seemed similar in style to Children and Narc. I really enjoyed the hand held shots (greatly enjoyed Bourne Supremacy) and agree that the film is very well directed. Berg really does have range. To me the directing is definitely the film's strongest point.

The writing is decent and has some nice beats, but overall is fairly average and nothing very original. The film wasn't nearly as political as I thought it would be - and I don't mean that as a critique. Though it does make a few political points, it really does play more as part procedural (as mentioned by DodgingCars), part thriller, part action film with The Kingdom as a backdrop that brings unique twists to fairly standard fare. Political scenes in DC (though generally well done) seem inserted just to keep things going in Saudi Arabia.

The acting is, I feel, somewhat pedestrian, but this could be because the actors weren't given too much to work with. None of the characters are really fleshed out. But then again, though I like some of his work, I've never been a big fan of Foxx and for some reason I can't pinpoint Garner just irritates me, so I may be biased. Piven is ok is his small role. I really like Bateman and Cooper, but they just weren't given a chance to showcase their talent (but Bateman does have some funny scenes).
Spoiler:
And the scene where Bateman's character is rescued received more applause and cheering than I remember in quite some time
The best acting may have been from the Saudi Arabian escorts assigned to the FBI.

Some parts I really enjoyed:
Spoiler:
The opening credits which give a visually engaging and informative "Saudi Arabia for Dummies" overview of the situation in the area which the film takes place. Nice quick way to give context. Really loved the shot near the end where the caravan taking the FBI to the airport is bombed and for a brief flash the viewer is placed inside the SUV to see the explosion from the characters' POV. And though it is far from subtle and is fairly predictable, the ending was a nice way to make a quick point about the cyclical nature of violence. As good a way as any to go out.


Would give it a B-/C+ overall. Fairly solid movie, but nothing amazing. I definitely agree about Berg - he is definitely more on my radar now. Really liked Very Bad Things and thought that both this and The Rundown were fairly good for what they are. With the right material, he may be able to make a really great film.

Last edited by vasb; 08-05-07 at 02:00 PM.
Old 07-22-07, 09:16 PM
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just saw a new trailer for this today and it re-sparked my interest. previously i hadn't realized that jeremy piven is in this movie. was he late addition?

still looks really good to me!
Old 07-22-07, 09:20 PM
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No, Piven was always in the flick.
Old 07-23-07, 02:21 AM
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They actually shot the highway scenes like a mile from my house. It's gonna be interesting seeing how it turns out because I doubt Arab highways look like the one over here.
Old 07-23-07, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Perkinsun Dzees
I really liked Lars Von Trier's original. Looking forward to see Peter Berg's version of it. Hopefully it's better than Stephen King's.
These are totally different films, they just share the same title, Lars's film is about a hospital. Berg's film is about Us citizens getting killed in the middle east and the FBI investigation into it.
Hardly the same thing.
Old 07-23-07, 10:14 AM
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When is this movie coming out? I remember seeing trailers for it months ago, was intrigued and then promptly forgot about it.
Old 07-23-07, 10:49 AM
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Draven: Original release was March/April. New release date is September... 21st I believe.

I actually like the old trailer more. The new one seems very action-oriented.
Old 08-05-07, 04:48 AM
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The third trailer for this movie is up on the Apple website and the new release date is 09/28/07.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/thekingdom/
Old 08-05-07, 11:25 AM
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I'll see anything that Michael Mann is involved with. Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman & Jeremy Piven are just the icing on the cake.

I'm waiting for this to hit DVD cause I don't go to the theaters anymore but I hope this does good at the Box Office when it releases Sept. 28th in theaters. It had a $80,000,000 dollar budget & people tend to miss out on these movies but hopefully this won't be the case.

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