Thursday, January 13, 2005

Colby Cosh has some belated thoughts on Alexander, so do I.

Colby Cosh offer some belated views on the movie Alexander in response to Colin Ferral and Oliver Stone offering their excuses as to why the movie has fared so poorly at the box office. As far as movies this one was a horrible flop, the guardian is listing its price tag as 80 million pounds which is 180 millon Canadian dollars and netted only 18 million pounds or 40.68 million Canadian.

Oliver Stone is sticking to his social crusader role, claiming people hated the movie because of its controversial interpretation of Alexander's sexuality and that the movie was too "gay" for all us conservative neaderthals.

While Colin Ferral claims that the movie was exhausting with all the symbolism, mythology, icons and destiny extra, which seems to fall into the "people are too stupid and or lazy to like and understand the movie."

One of the song's in Team America World Police was called "Pearl Harbour" and the puppet sings "I miss you like Michael Bay missed the mark when he made Pearl Harbour, I miss you like that movie missed the point and that's an aweful lot girl." You could easily change Pearl Harbour to Alexander, and Michael Bay to Oliver Stone.

As a movie we are treated with the topic of one of the world's legendary military commanders and a three hour movie makes little attempt to capture any of his genius. They describe the preperation for one battle and didn't do a particularly convincing job of that. Several of the battle scenes were of interest, although as I recall there were at most three, and the final one in India was an atrocity where I left the movie theater thoroughly confused as I rather recall the battle having been a stunning Macedonian victory in the history books. However, according to Oliver Stone it was some sort of Hellenic Vietnam.

Furthermore, they didn't even mention many of Alexander's greatest battles, they never alluded to the superiority of the phalanx in its mobility and training, nor were we treated to even one of the forced marches of astonishing speed that lead to the Persians being outmaneuvered repeatedly.

Colby Cosh rightly pointed out that two out of three hours of the movie were fairly boring. To be fair, the sets were done marvelously and the costumes were nice. If only there had been an interesting movie to go with the background. Far too much of the movie got bogged down in a sordid bit of come hither glances that are only considered worthy of broadcast during daytime soaps, and a simmilair preoccupation with Alexander's alleged bisexuality. If Oliver Stone set out to make "Alexander's Hospital" or "Days of My Alexandrian Life" he achieved his goal. If he meant to make a movie about one of the giants of history he failed horribly.

The writing of the script left alot to be desired. The chronology of the movie was disjointed and unnecessarily hard to follow. Furthermore, none of Alexander's generals were really created as anything more than a prop of a character. Apparantly much in the way of character development couldn't be fit in while Stone was busy having Alexander making moon eyes at his gay lover. Alexander's attrocities are also glossed over as are his motivations for wishing to conquer so much of the world, aside for a sop tossed claiming Alexander was a protomulticuluralist. We really don't learn of his creation of the practice of crucifixion, nor of the numerous cities her burnt to the ground and sold into slavery for defying him.

The casting was also rather aweful. Collin Feral is out of his element when put into the role of epic leader. He sounded weak and pathetic attempting to rally the troops before battle. One can see Mel Gibson or Russel Crowe fitting into the role of leader in a movie and offering up the stirring pre-battle oration, however, Collin Ferral has demonstrated he simply cannot. Furthermore, he portrays a sniveling, self-pitying Alexander that causes one to wonder how the character managed to get out of bed in the morning let alone into the Middle East and India. Undoubtably he was unsuited for the role but the script certainly did not help.

True dissatisfaction will arrive with this movie once you consider how good a movie with as interesting a subject as Alexander the great should be. For "Great" this movie was in not. (ed. note Angelina Jolie was extremely hot though in a really creepy way, yet that was still only good not great.)


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