The Kingdom

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The Kingdom

Postby Maui on Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:28 pm

I've seen rather lengthy trailers for this flick in the theatre as well just watched an HBO First Look special on this movie. It's in theatres this Friday!

Peter Berg and Michael Mann joint effort. So far what I've seen looks very promising, I will definitely be checking this out in the theatre this weekend!

The story is true, based upon the Riyadh compound bombings that took place on May 12, 2003, in Saudi Arabia.





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Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:06 pm

Could this possible be as good as the rundown?
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Postby Maui on Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:25 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:Could this possible be as good as the rundown?


Well I had to google The Rundown - hahahahah, never heard of it.

Was it bad? :roll:

All I'm saying is The Kingdom looks good. Maybe it might be good! I can tell by the # of replies to this thread - peeps are most excited about this flick. tee hee hee

Nevertheless, I'm going to go see it with an OPEN MIND!
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:30 pm

Huh! Well I'm going to see it with an OPEN CINEMA PASS!!

Beat that!! No - you can't!

Can you!!??


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Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:32 pm

I don't know what that is.
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Postby Maui on Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:35 pm

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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:59 pm

It is impressive, no? to see that a the Chris Cooper, he has a so quickly parlayed a the "Leave a the Britney Alone" video inna'to a the starring role, eh?
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Postby Maui on Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:05 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:It is impressive, no? to see that a the Chris Cooper, he has a so quickly parlayed a the "Leave a the Britney Alone" video inna'to a the starring role, eh?



BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
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Postby Fawst on Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:06 pm

Oh, Dino, with gems like that you should be pimpin' in the Werewolf game! :D
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:25 pm

Just seen this.

The Kingdom starts well, after the initial events there is a sense of urgency however the film quickly slips into a lower gear and the pace decreases for the majority of the film, it's still interesting and compelling enough with strong to decent performances that keep you involved with both the story and the characters. The investigation is actually pretty short in terms of clues and leads with a greater deal of attention being spent on the political sensitivity of the situation and the Saudi red tape that stops the team from doing what they know needs to be done, looking at evidence from the crime scene for example is a giant hurdle. I'm glad that the two Saudi Military guys were given as much importance as the other members of the team and would have actually liked to have seen more of them even though they weren't sidelined. My biggest gripe with the film is that is turns out to be dumb luck through surviving sabotage that leads to the team stopping the bad guys. However and this is a big HOWEVER, the final 25 minutes or so of action make you totally forget about that as we are treated to some of the best action I have seen in a film all year, it's tense, bloody, violent, rapid, clever, easy to follow and most importantly BADASS.

By no means is The Kingdom the best film I've seen all year but it does have an intelligent message and is most definitely worthy of your time.
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Postby tapehead on Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:48 pm

Watched it last night. I found it a little frustrating that Berg has assembled such a great cast and then just gives us short asides and brief moments with them. I would love to have seen more repartee between Jason Batemen and Chris Cooper, but everything we see is gold - it seems like there are interesting and fully developed characters there that we just get intimations of. Likewise Piven gets a few good moments, but we dont enough of him to tell whether his phoning in that 'smarmy fucker' persona of his or there's something more at work.

Although the film is based on true events, I'm not sure that the last part of the team's stay in Saudi Arabia is accurate, but it gives the investigation story leading up to it weight and immediacy, and it works as a whole.

I'm also not a huge fan of the hand-held / mobile camera style employed, but then
John-Locke wrote: the final 25 minutes or so of action make you totally forget about that as we are treated to some of the best action I have seen in a film all year, it's tense, bloody, violent, rapid, clever, easy to follow and most importantly BADASS.
for this part of the film it makes sense - it's dynamic and exhilarating and works so well. There are a few moments, where missile launchers and grenades join in the chance and gunfight towards the end that are really stunning and exciting.
Garner and Fox do solid work here, and only in a few scenes does Foxx turn on the charisma, clouding the rest of the drama (either that or he just demands certain close-ups). Garner in particular does very subtle work, and in the final scenes involving Abu Hamza, when it's most important, she turns in a performance that is effective without relying too much on evoking clichéd sympathies.
Ashraf Barhom is the stand out - his character, Colonel Faris Al Ghazi's impossible position as liason for the Amercan FBI team on one side, with allegiances to his people and country on the other, is portrayed perfectly. His scene with Foxx, talking about the Hulk is a really nice touch.

I'd give this a six or seven. like Locke says, thoroughly entertaining movie, with some issues on it's mind that it manages to explore a little without trivialising.
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Postby Bayouwolf on Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:08 pm

Finally got around to seeing this yesterday evening.

Given the subject matter, it's a decent take on how vengeance and politics override human decency.

Jamie Foxx plays an FBI agent with a personal connection to the Riyadh compound bombings. He assembles a team to go in and investigate the bomb site, only to find that due to the current foreign policy he's not allowed to even step foot on Saudi soil.
Using whatever means he can, he gets his team in. Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, and Jason Bateman (WTF!?!) round out the rag-tag band of agents sent in to bring the bad guys to justice. Once on the ground, they fall victim to Saudi policy that hinders any opportunity to investigate.

Notable (and otherwise) performances..
Ashraf Barhom ( as "Colonel Faris Al Ghazi") turns in the best performance of the film. His portayal of a man torn between what he knows is right, and what he is told to do, is superb. His is a story you can relate to regardless of where you call home or what you bow your head to.
Jason Bateman. There's a reason he's not a big film star. Throughout the film I felt like he should be wearing a red-shirt. His character just never felt right. Once he finally does come out of his shell, the movie's over. Meh... I liked him in Arrested Development. Stick to the small screen man.

The plot eventually trudges through like Chris Cooper at the bomb site, and we arrive at what I would consider some of the best urban warfare scenes ever put on film. They are shot with such surprising realism, although probably not historically accurate, and really give you a perspective as to what our people are up against every day.

There's some powerful moments and horrifying visual images, but they are few and far between.
6 out of 10.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:29 pm

Bayou wrote:...and we arrive at what I would consider some of the best urban warfare scenes ever put on film...


Co-signed. I give the movie an 8/10 for the last 30 minutes. But it got a little bump for making me remember why I love Jenny Garner so much (it has to do with Alias).
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Postby Peven on Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:50 pm

finally watched this tonight. have to say i think that those who are saying it is just an actioner without much substance aren't giving it enough credit. i love the intro of the film, reminded me a little of "Salton Sea", giving a good basic knowledge base, a reference point for what follows. the film then goes on to tell one specific story set in the backdrop the intro set up. it doesn't try to be "Syriana" but that doesn't mean it doesn't have depth. the last 30 minutes really took the film up a notch for me, too, and i even went for the last scene where Foxx and the kid reveal the words whispered earlier in the film. i think that wrapped up everything we had just seen in the film and gave us a nice, yet obvious, slap of perspective in the face
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Postby tapehead on Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:14 pm

Peven wrote:finally watched this tonight. have to say i think that those who are saying it is just an actioner without much substance aren't giving it enough credit.


INteresting - who is saying this? some reviewer? It seems like everyone posting in this thread credits the film with some smarts.
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Postby Zarles on Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:16 pm

Finally saw this today, and yeah, I liked it, too. I could've done with a little less Jamie Foxx and a lot more Jennifer Garner being allowed to bring some Sydney Bristow into the mix (especially on that big bad at the end), but all in all, a fairly enjoyable ride. If it had been a little less USA-rah-rah and a touch more substantial story-wise, I think it would've benefited a lot. Not quite sure what Jason Bateman was doing in there, though. As has been said, the last 30 minutes rocks. Some of the finest action directing I've seen in a while. RPGeeeeeee!!!

BTW, Garner is still the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet. I want my Alias movie, goddamnit.

8/10
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:51 pm

Zarles wrote:I want my Alias movie, goddamnit.


Sadly, Elektra's probably as close as you're gonna get
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Postby Peven on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:36 am

tapehead wrote:
Peven wrote:finally watched this tonight. have to say i think that those who are saying it is just an actioner without much substance aren't giving it enough credit.


INteresting - who is saying this? some reviewer? It seems like everyone posting in this thread credits the film with some smarts.


not people here. sorry, i should have been more clear. i remember seeing reviews and hearing from some people i know that had really downplayed anything the movie had to say.
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:25 am

Wankers all.
I didn't really want to see this,
because I've frankly had my fill of the Muddle East.
Very solid work all around.
Those detractors are full of shit, or themselves.
Which is probably the same thing.
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Postby Peven on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:29 am

The Vicar wrote:Wankers all.
I didn't really want to see this,
because I've frankly had my fill of the Muddle East.
Very solid work all around.
Those detractors are full of shit, or themselves.
Which is probably the same thing.


it went from a "watch" on my Netflix queue to a "buy" now that i have seen it
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:33 am

It earned it.
And I still can't get over how much that one Saudi cop looked like Jean Reno.
And Jenn makes a t shirt look more interesting than usual.
I wonder how it's doing in DVD sales?
Can't recall what BO it did.
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Postby Peven on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:45 am

The Vicar wrote:It earned it.
And I still can't get over how much that one Saudi cop looked like Jean Reno.
And Jenn makes a t shirt look more interesting than usual.
I wonder how it's doing in DVD sales?
Can't recall what BO it did.


hells yeah. those things were weapons of mass distraction, especially the way they were being emphasized all the time, like with her carrying a bag with a cross-strap that may not have lifted but certainly separated and accentuated
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:06 pm

I saw this about a month ago and I too was surprised at how good it was. I had heard it dismissed repeatedly as anti-Arab and ridiculously pro American. But I thought it was surprisingly even handed, a message of how everyone suffers from the actions of a twisted few.

I was especially surprised the Garner scene was getting such criticism -- I remember reading "people are cheering when she stabs the terrorist in the leg, Americans are such horrible people." In context though -- hell, I was cheering too! In my mind, anyone going to behead an innocent man deserves what they get.

I suspect half of the people criticizing it as nothing but American propaganda didn't see it, or were trying to make themselves look politically savvy. It wasn't the deepest film by any means, nor perfect, but it is a step in the right direction for Hollywood, you know? Considering the masses who went to these expecting "Arabs/Muslims are bad, Americans are good and kill them" they may have come away learning something. Never a bad thing in my book.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:10 pm

The Vicar wrote:I wonder how it's doing in DVD sales?
Can't recall what BO it did.


Can't speak to DVD, but BOmojo shows a planetary gross of about $86 million against a production budget of $70 million.

Why did this film cost $70 million? How much of that did Foxx get?
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:17 pm

DennisMM wrote:
The Vicar wrote:I wonder how it's doing in DVD sales?
Can't recall what BO it did.


Can't speak to DVD, but BOmojo shows a planetary gross of about $86 million against a production budget of $70 million.


Mojo also has a breakdown of DVD/Home Video rental gross, which is apparently about $72.5 million.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=homevideo&id=kingdom.htm
not sure how much of that goes to the rental stores/services. I didn't see a breakdown for DVD SALES anywhere...
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:41 pm

I had no preconceptions going into this, was sort of hoping for another "Syriana" in the back of my mind... but it was a turd. I'd written this elsewhere in the zone, forget where now, but The Kingdom was a fairly pedestrian effort IMO.
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:57 pm

DennisMM wrote:
The Vicar wrote:I wonder how it's doing in DVD sales?
Can't recall what BO it did.


Can't speak to DVD, but BOmojo shows a planetary gross of about $86 million against a production budget of $70 million.

Why did this film cost $70 million? How much of that did Foxx get?


Probably most, although Cris Cooper has an Oscar too.
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:18 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I saw this about a month ago and I too was surprised at how good it was. I had heard it dismissed repeatedly as anti-Arab and ridiculously pro American. But I thought it was surprisingly even handed, a message of how everyone suffers from the actions of a twisted few.

I was especially surprised the Garner scene was getting such criticism -- I remember reading "people are cheering when she stabs the terrorist in the leg, Americans are such horrible people." In context though -- hell, I was cheering too! In my mind, anyone going to behead an innocent man deserves what they get.

I suspect half of the people criticizing it as nothing but American propaganda didn't see it, or were trying to make themselves look politically savvy. It wasn't the deepest film by any means, nor perfect, but it is a step in the right direction for Hollywood, you know? Considering the masses who went to these expecting "Arabs/Muslims are bad, Americans are good and kill them" they may have come away learning something. Never a bad thing in my book.


The dialogue was cheesy, but yes, it was on a fairly even keel as far as the rah-rah stuff went. It's slightly pro-American, but given that it's an American movie, it's not too intolerable. It's not like it slides into Bayhem levels or anything.

For the record, I think Garner stabs the big bad at the end in the head, not the leg. She gets in a few good shots with a knife, actually (one right in the yabbos), but the killshot is in the noggin, if I'm remembering correctly. Anyone who would scoff at her doing it and call Americans 'horrible people' for cheering is just too politically correct for their own good. Go back to Berkeley, ya damn hippie.

Pretty cool scene. Nothing on par with what she's capable of based on her work in Alias (she did a lot of those stunts herself), but I wasn't expecting a medic/forensics expert to be doing backflips off the wall or anything. Not that I would've minded it... I heart Jennifer Garner. She could stand around showing off her shoulder muscles for two hours, and I'd still pay for a full-price ticket. Zoe Bell did a few of her stunts in this, too. Bonus! :D
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:33 pm

Zarles wrote:The dialogue was cheesy, but yes, it was on a fairly even keel as far as the rah-rah stuff went. It's slightly pro-American, but given that it's an American movie, it's not too intolerable. It's not like it slides into Bayhem levels or anything.

For the record, I think Garner stabs the big bad at the end in the head, not the leg. She gets in a few good shots with a knife, actually (one right in the yabbos), but the killshot is in the noggin, if I'm remembering correctly. Anyone who would scoff at her doing it and call Americans 'horrible people' for cheering is just too politically correct for their own good. Go back to Berkeley, ya damn hippie.
:D


What, we don't get to cheer when the bad guys get it?
Political correctness is a jar of fish shit.
I can promise you, IF this ( film ) was shown in any Middle Eastern countries, they cheered like mad whenever an American got hurt or killed.
Double standards & poltical correctness. Great twin bill.
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:38 pm

I think you misunderstand me.
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Postby MacCready on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:26 pm

No, I think he was agreeing with you.
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Postby tapehead on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:28 pm

See I always thought MaCready was The Vicar's Alt...
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:32 pm

Now I think I'm misunderstanding me.

Where's that Alias boxset when you need it...
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Postby Fievel on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:39 pm

Why do you want Jennifer Garner's box set in front of you?

Okay, that was dumb.

I liked The Kingdom. It was a lot better than I thought it would be.
I thought it would be more of a thinking film, but the all-out action at the end was fun.
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:45 pm

Fievel wrote:Why do you want Jennifer Garner's box set in front of you?


Too... many... responses...!

:: brain explodes ::
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:53 pm

I thought the movie was okay. Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman got on my nerves though. Not the actors themselves but the characters. They were the shittiest FBI agents in the world. What kind of pussy complains about driving super cool fast in a car? What kind of FBI agent gets all PMSey and cries while on the job? How are the Muslims going to respect women if you act like a nut case in front of them? I just wanted Jamie Fox or Chris Cooper to turn to one of them retards and slap them in the face and tell 'em to man up.
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:56 pm

Seriously! Put a burka on and get back in the kitchen, babymaker! What do you think this is - 1969?
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:58 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I suspect half of the people criticizing it as nothing but American propaganda didn't see it


I don't know if I want to say "you're probably right," because 1) I didn't see it yet either and 2) it's not like I've taken any polls lately; but there might be truth in this. I can only speak for myself, but I know that the advertising made it seem very Team America to me.
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Postby Zarles on Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:08 pm

It leans that way, but I honestly don't know of any other way they could've sold it.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:38 am

Ribbons wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:I suspect half of the people criticizing it as nothing but American propaganda didn't see it


I don't know if I want to say "you're probably right," because 1) I didn't see it yet either and 2) it's not like I've taken any polls lately; but there might be truth in this. I can only speak for myself, but I know that the advertising made it seem very Team America to me.


Me too! My dad actually rented it and I really had no interest because of all the negativity I had heard about it. And certainly, the first few minutes in uncooperative Saudi Arabia made me think well, this is predictable. But then it actually turned around into a decent movie.

I should have known it would be all right, it had Chris Cooper. He's not exactly Team America quality.
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Postby RogueScribner on Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:32 am

Zarles wrote:
BTW, Garner is still the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet. I want my Alias movie, goddamnit.




Garner is many things, but a tomboy beanpole she is not!


So this movie is actually entertaining my fellow Zoners? I totally wrote this movie off as YAMEM (Yet Another Middle East Movie), but maybe I'll add it to my Netflix queue.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:59 am

Don't do it!

This movie was bad, but not awful. I give it points for some of the action elements and the Arab policeman character, but the premise is pretty laughable IMO.

And yes, there was a tinge of "American propaganda" to the whole affair.
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Postby Peven on Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:48 am

Pacino86845 wrote:Don't do it!

This movie was bad, but not awful. I give it points for some of the action elements and the Arab policeman character, but the premise is pretty laughable IMO.

And yes, there was a tinge of "American propaganda" to the whole affair.


i disagree. in fact, i think that last scene alone pretty much deflates any "American propaganda" accusations


edit:
throughout the film the Americans are portrayed as ignorant of the Arab/Muslim culture, continuously saying and doing things that are offensive and even when they are made aware they show little sensitivity, especially Bateman's character. it portrays that aspect of Americans that expects consideration from others regarding our own sensibilities and yet gives little to no consideration for the sensibilities of others who are different. the same kind of intolerance that is typical of the fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. a narrow point of view. and that is shown on both sides. it is a central point of the film, imo.

through the police captain and his partner we see the virtues of a "good" Muslim life are much the same as many Americans would think of a "good" Christian life. we see fathers' love for their children, a man's love and respect for his own father, and we see how men-in-arms in each culture look out for each other's sons if their compatriots fall. two sides to the same coin and all that.
Last edited by Peven on Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:08 am

I agree.

My qualm mainly has to do with what I perceive as a misguided, Western-centric sort of propaganda, rather than a blatant "Right Wing" type... you know, "the road to hell etc."

I'm not writing up very much now as the details of the film are pretty hazy right now, but that's the general impression I had at the time.

Plus I remember getting the feeling that the FBI agents in this film are actually textbook villains. So is the bomber of course, but less obvious perhaps is the evil coming from the FBI.

The main policeman fellow saved the film though, he was awesome.
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Postby tapehead on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:55 am

Pacino86845 wrote:I agree.

My qualm mainly has to do with what I perceive as a misguided, Western-centric sort of propaganda, rather than a blatant "Right Wing" type... you know, "the road to hell etc."

I'm not writing up very much now as the details of the film are pretty hazy right now, but that's the general impression I had at the time.

Plus I remember getting the feeling that the FBI agents in this film are actually textbook villains. So is the bomber of course, but less obvious perhaps is the evil coming from the FBI.

The main policeman fellow saved the film though, he was awesome.


We are in concurrence, I think that was Ashraf Barhom as Colonel Faris Al Ghazi - every scene he was in elevated the movie for me as his untenable position and difficulties made it seem more realistic. He was excellent, and I would have been really happy to see this story told more from his perspective.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:37 am

Precisely, thanks for chiming in tapes.
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Postby The Vicar on Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:12 am

tapehead wrote:
Pacino86845 wrote:I agree.

My qualm mainly has to do with what I perceive as a misguided, Western-centric sort of propaganda, rather than a blatant "Right Wing" type... you know, "the road to hell etc."

I'm not writing up very much now as the details of the film are pretty hazy right now, but that's the general impression I had at the time.

Plus I remember getting the feeling that the FBI agents in this film are actually textbook villains. So is the bomber of course, but less obvious perhaps is the evil coming from the FBI.

The main policeman fellow saved the film though, he was awesome.


We are in concurrence, I think that was Ashraf Barhom as Colonel Faris Al Ghazi - every scene he was in elevated the movie for me as his untenable position and difficulties made it seem more realistic. He was excellent, and I would have been really happy to see this story told more from his perspective.


That would have been interesting.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:05 pm

BUMP!

Interesting converation, folks. I agree with that Ashraf Barhom required a bit more screentime, but what was there is enough to add balance and tell the story. Some more everyday life on the streets of SA would've been good, but then you wouldn't have felt the same feeling of alienation that you do when being placed in such a radically different culture as the agents did.

Personally I can't see much in the way of American propaganda here, more it's a study of how delicate a situation can be on both sides. It fell very heavily on the position that the SA side found itself equally as the need to uncover who was responsible for the atrocity. It's worth bearing in mind that the story is being told with American minds... er, in mind.

It's not Syriana, not by a long stretch. It's a very different movie and the only comparasion is some of the subject matter. That it went into the investigation as much as it did and allowed even the more frustrating elements, like the General, appear to be acting within some sort of reasoning was commendable.

In fact the movie can be viewed from many sides, even if one takes the forefront.
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