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28 Things We Learned From the Commentary Track for ‘The Kingdom’

The Kingdom Jamie Foxx
By  · Published on May 17th, 2012

It’s a wild career Peter Berg has created for himself. The kid from Shocker and Aspen Extreme grew up to have an eclectic mix of directorial offerings. Everything from wicked, black comedies like Very Bad Things and damn solid action flicks like The Rundown. He’s even dabbled in the Summer blockbuster like Hancock and this Friday’s Battleship. I think that movie made Cole angry. Berg’s most important work of art came in the form of Friday Night Lights, arguably the best show in the past decade. You be the judge which side of that fence I fall on. Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t Lose.

But we can’t exactly run a Commentary Commentary on the full series run of that show. That would take too long, and there’s not enough Monster in the world to keep the writing juices flowing. So we’ll do one on The Kingdom, Berg’s 2007 film about an FBI investigation of a suicide bombing in Riyadh. That’s in Saudi Arabia, something you’d know if you’ve seen this film’s opening credits. Or watched The Daily Show more often.

Enough about TV. On with the Commentary Commentary for The Kingdom.

The Kingdom (2007)

commentators: Peter Berg (director)

Best in Commentary

“I think that everyone would like to believe that somewhere in Middle Eastern countries exists moderates, people who are proud Muslims but are not interested in extremism and killing in the name of any religion, and that was certainly a core theme of this film.”

Final Thoughts

Peter Berg provides all-in-all a decent commentary for The Kingdom. It’s become all too evident in recent editions of this that a single director speaking alone about his film is prime time for dead air. Berg, like a number of directors before him, leave long pauses on this commentary, some more than a minute long. It helps bounce back and forth between two or three people, but Berg does the best that’s expected from someone flying solo.

While providing anecdotes from set, theories about the film, and reasons for why he wanted to do it, he’s also very good at pointing out what’s happening in the film. It’s not in a play-by-play manner, as many directors do on theirs, but more of a catch-up every 20 minutes or so. It doesn’t take anything away from the rest of the commentary, and it ends up helping the casual listener.

There is a lot of pointing out what shots were done in Arizona and what was shot in Abu Dhabi. We can’t tell the difference, man. We get it. It’s understandable that Berg doesn’t go through the ending action scene on a more detailed level, as the DVD/Blu has a feature on the making of some of those action pieces. Overall a fine commentary that goes with a fine package for a solid action film. Recommends all around for The Kingdom.

Check out more commentary commentary in the Commentary Commentary archives

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