I will have to differ slightly here. If this was just a fictional story it would be ok. The history they play with and screw up are what I think hurts the film. That and Orlando Bloom can be annoying. Needless to say Balian, do not slam Orlando too much when in company of some ladies. That is the main reason he was cast. I think.
He was actually a better Paris in "Troy".
The extras to this film which include some history lessons are very good.
Keep in mind that I had not ever heard of the historical person till I came to Stormvale.
Its ok but you can save your money and buy Batman this week or better yet Age Of Empires 3 comes out thursday.
Actually, I think even as a fictional story about the Crusades it suffers from depicting period personalities in a manner I find unbelievable. The speech Bloom gives to rally the troops is something no sane person of the period, and especially a warrior in charge of the holy city of Jerusalem, would give. Pure modern nonsense. A more skilful script could have modernized the story and characters more subtly, like "Lawrence of Arabia", but that kind of subtlety is lost on Hollywood these days.
I don't really mind Orlando Bloom in and of himself, although the casting is annoying. The real Balian d'Ibelin was a formidable figure respected by both sides - Bloom should stick to playing Paris. And yes, his Paris was just fine in "Troy", which I thought was a surprisingly good film.
My real annoyance is that to any degree this film achieves popularity with SCA members, people might assume I had chosen my name to emulate the Bloom character. I haven't been very active outside Stormvale for years. Petty of me, I'm sure, but one has one's vanity.
And I know that most SCA members, recent or older, had never heard of the historical character, but that just adds to my frustration. I wish they'd left him alone, quite aside from embarrassing me.
And to Melisande: no, I don't know how serious I'm going to be about changing my name unless I do have to hear about Orlando Bloom for months or years to come. After all these years, it's difficult to imagine being anyone but Balian.