I've always admired Peter Berg. I just have to give him credit for jumping from stints as sidekick Dexter Rutecki in Aspen Extreme and David Whitlock in Fire in the Sky, to a notable director who has helmed the likes of Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights, and now, The Kingdom. On the eve of its wide release, Yahoo is hosting the film's opening sequence. Usually, I feel pretty iffy about moves like this -- a good opener is the way into a movie, and while it might be exciting to check it out from home, you don't want it to seem old by the time you hit the theater to see what follows. I am, however, happy to report that this time around, it was a great idea.

The Kingdom starts with a montage sweeping through the dustry sands of Saudi Arabia, briefly detailing the kingdom, the US, and its long history with oil, from 1932 to 2001. While that may sound boring, or even yawn-worthy, the music and editing on this sequence breeds more anticipation than some action movies. Historical video and audio clips are laid out on a clear timeline, and while no brief mention of an event can do it justice, it's a quick and excellent short primer for the movie. There's nothing quite as distracting as trying to follow along with everything in a film, especially a documentary, when you don't know the background.

It's definitely done it's job. I was interested before the clip, and after seeing the opening, it's on my short list. Playing similarly to a trailer, it's educational and interesting, and it's got so much information packed into a few minutes that it won't hurt to see it again when you go to check out the film. And, if you're wondering if the rest of the film matches up, you can check out James Rocchi's review tomorrow.