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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE KINGDOM
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 110 minutes, feature audio commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, interactive timeline
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Universal Pictures/ Forward Pass/ Relativity Media
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 9-28-2007
DVD RELEASE DATE: 12-23-2007

ANALYSIS (taken from 9-18-2007 movie review):
THE KINGDOM follows an elite FBI team (led by Ronald Fluery (Jamie Foxx)) sent to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing in an American housing compound. They find their investigation difficult due to protocol and distrust. The FBI has five days to find the bomber behind it. Their only ally is Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum) that helps Fluery and his team.

THE KINGDOM reflects the current situation in Saudi Arabia and the conflicts within (and against the USA). It is action driven at times while throwing in a little character development, investigation, politics, and how Saudi Arabia has been influenced by Western culture. Saudia Arabia is a kingdom at conflict with itself. Some have embraced influences of Western culture while others want the Americans off Muslim soil (even if it means killing them all). The United States State Department wants to toe the line and not make any ripples in the name of good politics. The FBI team just want to find the ones responsible. The last 30 minutes are an intense thrill ride full of action. THE KINGDOM also makes one truth known- no side is winning because we each side wants to kill them all. How do we win when more terrorist want to kill Americans once we get rid of the most immediate threat? It keeps going on. THE KINGDOM walks the fine line between current events and action and kept me watching from start to end.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
11 minutes of deleted and extended scenes add some interesting character and story bits that were cut to tighten the pace and to get a little repeated material out.

The next most interesting extra is the interactive timeline tracing events in Saudi Arabi as they relate to THE KINGDOM from the 1930s to now.

A feature audio commentary with Director Peter Berg (chich I haven't listen to), a look at the Apartment Shootout by spliting it by each character involved), and a few making of featurettes round out the extras:
CONSTRUCTING THE FREEWAY SEQUENCE- how they planned and shot the freeway scene (includes previz and behind-the-scenes video). They used up to six cameras to shoot part of it (different from Berg's usual three camera approach in the film)
CREATING THE KINGDOM- a eight part making of featurette that covers shooting on the Saudi sets they built in Arizona, location shooting in the Arab Emirates, the bomb school and combat training the director and cast went through, and more.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE KINGDOM is a solid thriller with great DVD extras (deleted scenes and the interactive timeline are worth checking out).

this DVD review is (c)12-31-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  


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