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In December 1144 Zengi, the Muslim ruler of Aleppo and Mosul, captured Edessa to mark the first major territorial setback for the Franks of the Near East. The news of this disaster prompted Pope Eugenius III to issue an appeal for the Second Crusade (1145-49). Fortified by this powerful call to live up to the deeds of their first crusading forefathers, coupled with the inspiring rhetoric of (Saint) Bernard of Clairvaux, the rulers of France and Germany took the cross to mark the start of royal involvement in the Crusades. Christian rulers in Iberia joined with the Genoese in attacking the towns of Almeria in southern Spain (1147) and Tortosa in the north-east (1148); likewise the nobles of northern Germany and the rulers of Denmark launched an expedition against the pagan Wends of the Baltic shore around Stettin. While this was no grand plan of Pope Eugenius but rather a reaction to appeals sent to him, it shows the confidence in crusading at this time. In the event, this optimism proved deeply unfounded. A group of Anglo-Norman, Flemish and Rhineland crusaders captured Lisbon in 1147 and the other Iberian campaigns were also successful but the Baltic campaign achieved virtually nothing and the most prestigious expedition of all, that to the Holy Land, was a disaster, as Jonathan Phillips explains in his 2007 article. The two armies lacked discipline, supplies and finance, and both were badly mauled by the Seljuk Turks as they crossed Asia Minor. Then, in conjunction with the Latin settlers, the crusaders laid siege to the most important Muslim city in Syria, Damascus. Yet, after only four days, fear of relief forces led by Zengi's son, Nur ad-Din, prompted an ignominious retreat. The crusaders blamed the Franks of the Near East for this failure, accusing them of accepting a pay-off to retreat. Whatever the truth in this, the defeat at Damascus certainly damaged crusade enthusiasm in the West and over the next three decades, in spite of increasingly elaborate and frantic appeals for help, there was no major crusade to the Holy Land.
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Silent Hill is a 2006 supernatural horror film directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary, based on the video game series of the same name published by Konami. The film stars Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, and Jodelle Ferland. The film follows Rose, who takes her adopted daughter, Sharon, to the town of Silent Hill, for which Sharon cries while sleepwalking. Rose is involved in a car accident near the town and awakens to find Sharon missing. While searching for her daughter, she fights a local cult and begins to uncover Sharon's connection to the town's dark past.
The movie was filmed in the Super 35 film format, except the scenes with the darkness, which were filmed in high-definition video, because of its ability to cleanly capture light and digitally manipulate it in post-production. The film contains around 107 different sets specifically used to represent the different versions of the town. The bipedal creatures in the film were played by professional actors or dancers covered in latex and prosthetic makeup. After filming, over 619 visual effects shots were used in the film, with the most prominent uses being the fog that drenches the town, the transitions to darkness, and the insects that surround Pyramid Head. Rotoscoping was used to add the fog and ash effects to shots including live-action actors, and the film made extensive use of set extensions as backdrops.
James Berardinelli of ReelViews awarded the film two and a half stars out of four, opining that it "is overlong, with too many unnecessary scenes" and that "a lot of the movie seems like pointless running around", but added that it "looks great" and "packs in a few scary moments and offers a nicely ambiguous conclusion". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave one and a half stars out of four, calling it "an incredibly good-looking film", but noting that he "did not understand the story" and criticizing how "all through the movie, characters are pausing in order to offer arcane back-stories and historical perspectives and metaphysical insights and occult orientations". Don R. Lewis of Film Threat praised the visuals but wrote that "this entire film is downright confusing and not in an intriguing way", calling it "the best-looking bad film I've ever seen".
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave a score of D+, stating that "a few of the images are startling" but "Silent Hill is mostly paralyzing in its vagueness". Dennis Harvey of Variety opined that "above-average interest is generated for a time by [the] elaborate visual package", but "in the end, Silent Hill degenerates into an overblown replay of all those Twilight Zone and Stephen King stories in which outsiders stumble upon a time-warped location from which there's no escape". According to Nathan Lee of The New York Times, "It begins as a quest, develops into a ghost-town mystery, devolves into a preposterous cautionary tale about witchcraft and religious fundamentalism, and wraps up like the outrageously overwrought fantasy of a movie nerd obsessed with horror who has been given obscene amounts of money to adapt a video game."