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26 / 02 / 2023
Fantasy F1:
We've had 13 seasons of Forwardcharm Fantasy F1 ... and I think, finally, it's time to call it a day. I just don't have the energy for this kind of malarkey anymore. Thank you all for playing, it's been great fun. Enjoy your year!

20 / 11 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twenty-second and final race in Abu Dhabi are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. That's it for this year, see you back here next year to find out if I could be arsed doing it all again.

13 / 11 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twenty-first and penultimate race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. The FINAL race is in Abu Dhabi NEXT WEEKEND.

30 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentienth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil in two weeks.

23 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race at Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND.

09 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race at Suzuka are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in 2 weeks.

02 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Suzuka, NEXT WEEKEND.

I've slightly changed the weightings of Alfa/Alpine/Haas to reflect their current performance.

11 / 09 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in 3 weeks.

04 / 09 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Zandvoort are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza, NEXT WEEKEND.

28 / 08 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Zandvoort, NEXT WEEKEND.

31 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Spa in about a month, at the end of August.

24 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race in France are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary NEXT WEEKEND.

10 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is France in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

03 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

20 / 06 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Canada are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 06 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

I've slightly increased the weightings of the Mercedes pair as their woes seem to be continuing.

29 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

10 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Miami are (finally) in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in 2 weeks.

24 / 04 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race at Imola are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Miami in 2 weeks.

I've slightly reduced the weightings of Norris / McLaren because they're doing particularly well at the moment.

10 / 04 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in Melbourne are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Imola in 2 weeks.

27 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in Saudi Arabia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Melbourne in 2 weeks.

I decided not to change the weightings again for now. Let's see how the next couple of races go.

20 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Saudi Arabia NEXT WEEKEND.

I have made some quick changes to the weightings - Haas seem much stronger than I expected and McLaren/Aston much weaker. I might tweak them again after Saudi.

13 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The 2022 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on the night of Friday 18th March to qualify for the first race in Bahrain.

12 / 12 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the final race in Abu Dhabi are in, and we have our 2021 winner! Check the results or see where your team finished.

05 / 12 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the penultimate race in Saudi Arabia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. The next and final race is Abu Dhabi NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th December.

21 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentieth race in Qatar are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Saudi Arabia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 3rd December.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

14 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Qatar NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 19th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

07 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 12th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

24 / 10 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race in Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 5th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 22nd October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Turkey in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 8th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

05 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Zandvoort are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 08 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
That was a weird one. The results from the twelfth "race" at Spa are in, and somebody got a MASSIVE score... possibly the highest we've ever seen in one week. Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Zandvoort NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 3rd September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 08 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
Well that was exciting, wasn't it? The results from the eleventh race at Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. We are in the summer break now, the next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 30th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

15 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
Bit of a problem with these new sprint races. Qualifying is now on the Friday. I don't really want to mess with the rules mid-season so we'll carry on having teams locked on Friday night, which means you can already see the qualifying results. But the scores are based on the GRID, not the qualifying, so effectively it's the result of Saturday's sprint race. We'll run with that for now and see how it goes. So cutoff for edits for Silverstone is still midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th July.

04 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race at the Red Bull Ring are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

27 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race at the Red Bull Ring are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is the second of the Austria double-header NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 2nd July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

20 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race at Paul Ricard are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is the first of an Austria double-header NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

06 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race at Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Paul Ricard in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 18th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

23 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race at Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. **NOTE** Leclerc still gets points for his grid position even though he didn't start the race, because the rules say we go with the grid on f1.com. Next race is Azerbaijan in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 4th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

09 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race at Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 21st May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

02 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race at Portimao are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 04 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race at Imola are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Portimao in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 30th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first two races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

The weightings for Alpine have increased because they've been a bit shit.

28 / 03 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Imola in 3 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

21 / 03 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The 2021 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th March to qualify for the first race in Bahrain.

 

 

Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven

Cast: Orlando Bloom, David Thewlis, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green, Edward Norton.

Directed by Ridley Scott.

Story: Christians vs Muslims in Jerusalem in the 12th century.

Running Time: 2hrs 25 minutes.

Certificate 15.

 

Things I don't like: War. Religion. Orlando Bloom's acting. Oh boy, I think I'm going to enjoy Kingdom of Heaven about as much as the Surprise Surprise Christmas Special.

No-one expects a bluish inquisition. Kingdom of Heaven stars Orlando Bloom as Balian, a recently bereaved blacksmith. For reasons I shan't divulge, he travels to Jerusalem and leads a Christian army in a scrap against Muslims. Balian is a good man and therefore has no qualms in sending his men to their death to defend a holy city that he doesn't believe in - despite the fact that the priest is painted as an evil swine for suggesting exactly the same course of action. The morality of Kingdom of Heaven is all over the place, telling us not to have blind faith in a religion, but blind faith in your convictions is to be admired and encouraged. As with all war films, killing people is just fine as long as you think you're the good guy. And still they try and preach to us. I can only hope nobody's listening.

Orlando Bloom, Balian actor.  Arf. Right, that's my war film rant over with, what about the acting? Well, Orlando's aspirations of mediocrity seem to be paying off, he even reaches the dizzy heights of adequacy here, largely due to him toning down his bouncy puppy dial a tad. With better timing and a little less intensity at the appropriate moments, he could become a decent actor eventually. All of the cast are pretty good, with David Thewlis and Ghassan Massoud (the Muslim army boss) worthy of particular praise. The real star though, is the special effects guy. The long shots of the battle scenes are spectacular and some of them are indistinguishable from the real thing - it's only obvious that the scenes are not real because they contain a hundred thousand people. The sequence involving the city siege is one of the most effective uses of computer graphics I can remember seeing - it seems utterly real and believable that these fiery balls are being hurled at the city walls and that huge siege towers containing twenty men are rolled up to the walls. Very impressive stuff. The closer battle scenes I found less captivating. It's all very well jumping the camera around, hack here, slash there, when it's one-on-one ŗ la Gladiator (also directed by Ridley Scott), but when there's a battlefield full of people you simply can't see who's slashing whom. People are maimed, blood is spilled, and we assume the victims are nobodies because we didn't get a close-up of their faces. It might convey the confusion of hand-to-hand combat, but it doesn't help the cohesiveness of the experience.

Eva Green.  Remember her in The Dreamers?  Ahhhhh. So it's good after all then, is it? Well, yes and no. If you like this sort of thing (Troy, Gladiator, King Arthur), then Kingdom of Heaven will be right up your alley. I, however, was bored silly. There was one enjoyable moment - when the Christians were warmongering, they got so excited that I thought the Spanish Inquisition were about to burst in - I don't think I was supposed to find it funny though...

I enjoyed this film: 1/5

I think the average moviegoer will enjoy it: 3/5

Testosterone Satisfaction Rating: 2/5 Plenty of hacky-slashy, but Eva Green's raunchy bits, despite her protests, were left on the cutting room floor.

To enjoy this film you should: enjoy mindless swords & sandy sieges.

 

Kingdom of Heaven is on general release in the UK now.

 

Your comments

The comments printed here are not necessarily the views of Forwardcharm!

 

Well Kingdom of Heaven Ridley Scott should have stopped after Gladiator. Bloom is fine in Lord of the Rings as one third of a hero but asking him to stand alone in the spot light is a mistake, heís a lot better in Kingdom of Heaven than he was in Troy (letís face it he couldnít be worse)

Letís begin with reminding ourselves of two things, namely the 6th Commandment Thou Shalt Not Kill) and the similar statement from the Qurían And do not take any human life that God willed to be sacred other than in the pursuit of justice Why then in the name of all that is Holy do men kill under the banner of God Wills IT To this day millions have died for their faithí and they continue to do so, anyway this is a film review not religion 101.

Back to the film: Balian is a French blacksmith whoís wife dies, enter Godfrey of Ibelin Balianís forgotten dad. Son and father trot to holy land, dad dies on route, Balian enters Jerusalem and parties, sinks a few wells and presto happy campers. All would be ok if not for 200,000 Muslims knocking at the gates and the nasty Knights Templar waiting for war, bing bang bosh epic battle. The End!!

At nearly 2 and half hours itís a long film and whilst the battles are indeed epic the rest of the story fails to hold your interest, however itís not the standard Christian v. Muslim battle either, this time the Christians are the bad guys and the Muslims the ones with compassion and understanding, shame really that everything revolves around Jerusalem and there is little mention made of the people who actually have a right to fight for this particular city.

Itís difficult if not impossible to cram so much history into so small a time frame. Kingdom of Heaven supposedly takes place during the last part of the second crusade (or just after it) as Saladin and his 200,000 knights fought to re-take Jerusalem. Scott got the French bit right and thatís about it, only in Holywood could the Knights Templar be portrayed as warmongers and nothing else (Read The Templar Revelationí). Itís worth noting that Christians did nothing until Islam had conquered two-thirds of the known World, and the Crusaders with the Popeís blessing believed that they were restoring former Christian lands to their rightful status (Gee Religion and History 101)

I have serious doubts if a French (or other Western) Knight would be as multiculturalí as Balian (but thatís our PC society) and Iím sure that people all over the world living in hot places know how to get water without needing to be shown!

There is however something magical about Kingdom of Heaven, either magic or divine intervention because how else could a blacksmith become an expert military strategist form an iron determination from a beaten population hold a city from a much stronger force and come out of it all hailed as a hero and saviour!

I could go on, simply because this film had so much potential but fails majestically to deliver, Bloom is no Crow and whilst the supporting cast are very good the film has a hole where the hero should be and is potted by historical mistakes. If you want a picture with good action and great battle scenes this one is for you if you want something else like a detailed plot and sub-plot then youíll be disappointed.


Mike G