He makes movies that nearly universally appeal to the common denominator. If that's a good thing is up to you but I don't think he's quite as unique or groundbreaking as he's made out to be.
I feel similarly about another, albeit very different, director: Darren Aronofsky must be the most overrated, ham-fisted filmmaker I've had the displeasure of watching. I used to think that The Wrestler was his only film which I like, but then again I think it was Mickey Rourke's performance. Ugh that heartbeat line at the end...
As for Nolan - he's in a JJ Abrams/Michael Bay tier. I can find myself enjoying his films (except that mess which was TDKR, awful movie) but he's certainly no gift to filmmaking.
The first time I saw Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, it was in theatres in 2005, I was 21, and I thought it was a really excellent film, it covered the Crusades quite nicely and such.
The second time, it was the director's cut which I purchased off my memory of enjoying it the first time, it was 2013, and I was 29, and I found it incredibly boring. It does a few things well, for example it manages to treat another culture (Arabs) respectfully and in a non-racist manner, given that Scott is from Hollywood this is in and of itself a tremendous achievement. I also thought it elegantly approached the horror of leprosy, it had decent costume and set design, and battle scenes.
However, being older, the adrenaline rush from good action scenes is no longer enough to compensate for the failings in a story. A lot of the characters were poorly developed, and further, a lot of the actors look alike which makes the story confusing and difficult to follow. Given that many actors looked alike, and the excess of plot in such a movie, it became difficult to follow who was who and what they were doing and what their angle was, which made the movie a lot more boring. The movie actually starts with Balian as a random Blacksmith, he meets his father, goes to Jerusalem, Jerusalem's leadership falls, he takes over, he defends Jerusalem, surrenders on decent terms, returns to being a blacksmith. That is way too much plot. It's too ambitious... I could condone excess ambition if it had been implemented better.
When I got to the end of Disc 1, I had to force myself to watch Disc 2, and I may have done so the next day, because the first part was kind of boring.
There is also the issue that Orlando Bloom is not a very good actor, and even more so, not a very convincing alpha male. He was better cast as Paris in Troy, where he played the pretty boy immature little brother. In Kingdom of Heaven, the viewer had to believe that Bloom was the great alpha male of Jerusalem, the visionary tactician, et cetera, and I wasn't buying it. He just doesn't look like the sort of man that other men would follow, nor can I buy into the idea that he would have the mental or psychological gravitas to accrue followers, he comes off as very average.
Finally, there's a huge amount of nonsense in the movie (something Scott continued in Prometheus) which makes it hard to follow. Balian of Ibelin has been a blacksmith his whole life, and all of a sudden he is a master tactician who outsmarts Saladin. What? There's also the dumbest line of dialogue I have ever heard, in a movie:
"How do we get to Jerusalem from here?"
"Go to where the men no longer speak Italian, and then keep going."
I have not heard such horrible dialogue since, and I'd be fine to never hear such horrible dialogue again.
Altogether, this helps explain why Kingdom of Heaven has a mediocre 7.1/10 on IMDB, a 39% on Rotten Tomatoes (185 reviews) with a 53% among top critics (40 reviews), and a mediocre box office gross of 212 million (on a claimed budget of 130 million).
I can't contradict you in depth as analysis isn't among my strengths, but the only thing I would agree with you on is that Bloom isn't the best of actors. The plot really isn't terribly difficult to follow, and as for people looking alike, I am really not sure who you are thinking of. The main players all had fairly distinct looks or at least voices to tell them apart.
That said, I can't really remember much of the dialogue. When I went to imdb I saw that it was written by the same guy who wrote the Departed, so I wouldn't be surprised if much of it is awful
One of my favorites of the year too (and it only came out in 2013 in the U.S., so I'll say it's one of my favorites of this year ). Spring Breakers, I mean. Moonrise Kingdom was good too.
Make it 2012 + 2013 then. Anyways i can't think of a single movie of 2013 that marked me.. had to look up em up and This is the End is the only remotely good movie i watched this year. (Looks like there are few movies that i need to watch from 2013 actually)
I really like Kingdom of Heaven...im one of the few though, the directors cut is amazing.
Never seen the DC given that I was mild on the first time I watched the movie. You have to REALLY liked the first theatrical release to buy the DC. Even if they it was vastly superior, if you didn't like the first viewing, it's not exciting to see it again.
Orlando Bloom was horribly miscast in this. He is so bland and not good enough to carry a picture of this magnitude.
After seeing the trailer on TV, it seemed pretty entertaining but NOW? Screw this film.
It will be a flaming turd of a movie. It completely strays from the actual story and the original film. They have taken a truly remarkable story and added monsters and other CGI crap to try and drain the all of the knuckle dragger's collective wallets who fall for this kind of garbage.
I have wanted to see a remake of this movie and this is what we get.......a Keanu freakin' Reeves Samurai and really cool monsters???????
Perhap's a Japanese Producer should make a movie about a legendary American historical event and cast a Japanese actor as the lead with a plethora of crazy monsters just to make the story interesting.