The Kingdom

| Category: Film | | Comments (0) | Views: 0

Last night we attended the Below The Line screening of The Kingdom at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills. After a harrowing journey to the theater (rush hour in LA heading towards Beverly Hills, missing the turn off for our street, and heading straight into Arlington Heights on Pico), we arrived just in the nick of time, at 7:30, ready to see the film. I was at the Writers Guild Theater earlier this year attending the VES Festival, so I should have known how to get there, but of course I had taken Olympic previously, and not Pico.

The Below The Line Film Screenings are for qualified artisans whose occupation is below the line producer. A line producer is a key member of the production team for a motion picture. Typically, a line producer manages the budget of a motion picture. Alternatively, or in addition, they may manage the day to day physical aspects of the film production, serving a role similar to the unit production manager. Line producers usually do not act as part of the creative team for a picture. Because line producers work on location, they don't work on more than one film at a time (unlike other producer roles). A line producer may also hire key members of the crew, negotiate deals with vendors, and is considered the head of production on the set.

Being a part of the VES, I was able to RSVP for this screening ahead of time. However, before the film started, one of the BTL crew introduced the film and mentioned that most screenings are open to anyone that is in the industry that is below the line.. Only certain screenings are for guilds, like the VES and other filmmaking ones. After his brief presentation, in which he also mentioned that BTL is going onto its fifth year, the film began, sans trailers.

From the looks of it, the film seemed to be projected digitally, but shot on film originally. There was no gate weave, but the texture and grain of the film was decidedly shot on film. It opens with a brief introduction of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and how it came to be, as well as going into the dates of well known events in the world, such as the date of oil discovery in Saudi Arabia, and attacks on American assets in the Middle East and elsewhere. After the introduction, the film opens on a baseball game, as shown in the trailer, and the predictable results. The film progresses quickly, showcasing an FBI team that works its way into the Saudi world to try and solve the terrorist attack. As foreigners that were only brought on as a courtesy to the Saudi government, they quickly become integral in the solving of the crimes. The actors all play their respective parts well, and this film is mostly action. The politics are left aside for the most part, and this is a simple whodunit plot. The finale is surprisingly abrupt, but it's a fitting end to the film. Most of the key action scenes in the film are shown in the trailer, but they are definitely longer in the film. As a whole, I enjoyed it. Some good invisible effects work and some adequate greenscreens, but nothing that would detract from this film. This film comes out this Friday. I give it a good 8/10.

Leave a comment