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ALEXANDER WHAT A CATASTROPHE

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  • ALEXANDER WHAT A CATASTROPHE

    Hello, boy's and girl's in cyberspace. Like most Americans, I like to enjoy my holidays with a good meal, nice drink and some rest and entertainment. The entertainment for this year was "ALEXANDER". To make a long story short, what a big disappointment! Do not, I repeat, do not waste your hard earned dollars on this movie! For me, the movie completely lacked depth and failed to explain the origins of Alexander' "greatness"! This is very troubling as I love this period of history. Instead, you received a glossed over version of the story, with too much emphasis on his bisexuality, to the point of being distracting, but not distracting enough to fool you into thinking that there was some depth to this story. There were no solid details of how he was great military genius, and only faint hints of his incorporating foreign cultures into his troops. We did not see his lack of ability to control his army, or why, other than the great distance, the troops were very displeased with Alexander. In essence, the movie highlights his death by possible assassination, though according to history books, his alcohol abuse and his near fatal wound to his lung contributed to his death, as he probably never truly recovered from this wound. His death will never will be answered. The sacrifices to the gods and omens, his military genius, strange relationship with his mother, oration abilities and his vision could of been explored more fully. In the end, have a stiff drink and read the book"ALEXANDER OF MACEDON" by PETER GREENE. Take care and let's hope that RIDLEY SCOTT's version fairs better!

  • #2
    Colin F addressing his troops sounded more like a small queen than a large king, as it were. He raises his voice in a sort of scream rather than deepening it with authority, the way a good actor will. I've only heard the bits of sound track but it was enough for me. Didn't the last Alexander movie have Burton in it and wasn't that duff, too ? Burton's ten times the actor, what's more (or was when he even half tried). Maybe the subject is too big for Hollywood and perhaps needs a stage play first, to focus it, to build up some strong exemplary relationships ? Anyway, I'll take your advice and won't waste my money. I'm not a great Stone fan, anyway.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      For a movie about a military genius - there was no focus on Alexander's skills as a tactician. In one of the only major pitched battles in the movie we see yet another soldier's eye view of the bloody butchery, a virtual carbon copy of the techniques Ridley Scott employed in Gladiator (so effectively 'borrowed' from Saving Private Ryan).

      Pulling away from the action a little would have given the viewer a bit more understanding of how Alexander could defeat greater numbers using superior tactics... There's a brief eagle's eye view of the battlefield, which hints at what might have been, but they never develop it other than to show the sheer numerical odds against Alexander.

      The script is awful - the chronology doesn't make sense, and seems only to break up the movie into separate episodes that don't really allow much of a focus on the characters. it comes across more like a TV miniseries than a professional movie production. Anthony Hopkins old soldier's reminscences that frame the action are largely irrelevant and for me confirm the suspicion that a good actor doesn't necessarily know a good script when he sees one.

      The film only picks up in earnest after Alexander had already conquered the known world. His unification of Greece is largely glossed over so that we can skip to the decisive battle against Persia. Darius, far from being Alexanders nemesis as he is in Arrian's account of Alexanders Campaigns only appears twice in the whole movie. There is never the sense that Alexander has much of an opposition - instead we get to see Colin Farrel mincing it up, and having the occasional effete hissy fit when he doesn't get his way.

      Why then we have to endure an hour of Farrell and his mates backpacking through Asia, for reasons that are not really explained is anyone's guess. Its a distraction that could have been better filled with a focus on historical fact not supposition. But then, supposition is what you would expect from Oliver Stone.

      The performances too were largely unremarkable. Farrel is hopeless miscast and Angelina Jolie seems to be doing her best Bride of Dracula impression, complete with writhing snakes curling about her in almost every scene she is in. They even had Brian 'bless my beard' Blessed in it, in a performance that reeked of ham.

      Jared Leto and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (to my mind) were the only two cast members to show a bit of talent. Still... I couldn't work out why all the Greeks spoke with obvious Irish accents...

      All in all yet another disappointment. If you thought Troy was bad, don't bother with this. It's 10 times worse..
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

      Comment


      • #4
        Man, i try not to Take Movie Reviews too seriously without making a Judgement for myself, but man, EVERYONE hates this movie!

        Comment


        • #5
          Its the irish accents. A strange affliction which seems to affect the entire male cast.
          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ALEXANDER WHAT A CATASTROPHE

            Originally posted by Darius
            Hello, boy's and girl's in cyberspace. Like most Americans, I like to enjoy my holidays with a good meal, nice drink and some rest and entertainment. The entertainment for this year was "ALEXANDER". To make a long story short, what a big disappointment! Do not, I repeat, do not waste your hard earned dollars on this movie! For me, the movie completely lacked depth and failed to explain the origins of Alexander' "greatness"! This is very troubling as I love this period of history. Instead, you received a glossed over version of the story, with too much emphasis on his bisexuality, to the point of being distracting, but not distracting enough to fool you into thinking that there was some depth to this story. There were no solid details of how he was great military genius, and only faint hints of his incorporating foreign cultures into his troops. We did not see his lack of ability to control his army, or why, other than the great distance, the troops were very displeased with Alexander. In essence, the movie highlights his death by possible assassination, though according to history books, his alcohol abuse and his near fatal wound to his lung contributed to his death, as he probably never truly recovered from this wound. His death will never will be answered. The sacrifices to the gods and omens, his military genius, strange relationship with his mother, oration abilities and his vision could of been explored more fully. In the end, have a stiff drink and read the book"ALEXANDER OF MACEDON" by PETER GREENE. Take care and let's hope that RIDLEY SCOTT's version fairs better!
            Yeah you could read that book or you could read The Great Conqueror by Mike, it's one of the stories in Moorcocks Book of Martyrs. :)

            Comment


            • #7
              I haven't seen it but I will take your word on it. Hate to say this but I had a feeling it would be like Troy, pretty constumes and effects but a boring movie with bad acting.

              Comment


              • #8
                The above post was mine. Anyways, I though the Persian costumes were realy good.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I decided not to see this movie when I first saw a picture of Colin Farrel on set. I was unhappy with the decision to cast him in the first place, but seeing him with an obviously bleached mullet really put me off. I'm seriously depressed about it also because I have an extreme fondness for Alexander the Great. It's disappointing that they didn't focus on his military genius. As devilchicken pointed out, the battles should have been shown from above because if you don't understand military tactics (and most people don't), there's no way you're going to see how Alexander won against such odds without a good bird's eye view.

                  It sounds like this movie picked out everything contraversial about Alexander's life and exaggerated it (his bisexuality, his crazy mother...) Not only is that depressing, it's irresponsible. I do have some questions though for people who have seen it:
                  1. Does the movie include Sisygambis (Darius' mother)? Darius fled from battle leaving behind his mother, wife, and daughters. Alexander took them in and treated them respectfully. I'm curious if this was in the movie.
                  2. Do they show or even talk about the death of Cleitus? Cleitus (sometimes referred to as Cleitus the Black) was part of Alexander's cavalry and was killed by Alexander in a really sad instance of drunken rage due to the fact that they couldn't dilute their wine (bad water in Bactria) and were therefore, drunker than usual. Alexander was severely depressed after this incident.
                  3. Philotas and his father Parmenion were put to death for conspiracy although we don't know for certain if there really as a conspiracy. Is this in the movie?


                  There's a ton more questions I could ask, but if those things weren't in the movie, then I can say definitively that this movie is a piece of crap and everyone who saw it needs to go do their own Alexander research to undo all of the lies and half-truths they learned from watching it. There are certain things in Alexander's life that need to be known for anyone to understand who he was and why he was that person. If you want to know why Alexander was great, don't rely on Hollywood.

                  Does anyone have a link to any information about the Ridley Scott movie? I haven't heard anything about this. Thanks in advance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The other project I thought was being done by Baz Luhrmann, not Ridley Scott.

                    Ridley's busy doing Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom, a movie about the crusades.
                    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think I am going to even watch Ridley Scott's movie Kingdom of Heaven. A sickening feeling tells me he will make the muslims seem like good people, who did nothing wrong. Then again I could be wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just remember that I did a Life of Alexander the Great. A graphic version for LOOK & LEARN magazine in the 1960s. As I recall Don Lawrence drew it. I generally worked with Don on that stuff. I don't often wish I'd had a chance to write a script, and there's no telling whether it would have made any difference, but in this case...
                        Alexander's respect for scholarship, for instance, doesn't seem to have been included in the profile, either. I'm getting depressed at all these duff epics being produced. Like many people, I had high hopes that LOTR would raise the level, but instead it just allowed a lot of second-raters a crack at first rate material.

                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also, I did a little study into the genetic origin of the Greeks after getting miffed at Brad Pitt’s blonde haired Achilles. At first, I thought that that was some Hollywood nonsense until I went back and quickly reread the Iliad. Achilles is described as golden haired by Homer and I was shocked.
                          My point about the hair was that it looked so obviously bleached. It was a really crappy dye job basically. It didn't look remotely natural.

                          The movie was about him as a person. The martial stuff was really a distant second.
                          It appears to have fallen short in that aspect as well though. Besides, it is impossible to seperate the person from the military leader. That is a part of who he was...it shaped who he became.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just saved a few bucks and rented a movie.

                            I watched David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

                            I'm confident that it is a much better movie than Alexander (I don't think you could pay me to watch it :twisted: ) even though Lynch's movie doesn't even have a coherent (fairly surreal) story line, and probably has much better acting (starring my girl, Naomi Watts).

                            Save yer money!
                            \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                            Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Also, I did a little study into the genetic origin of the Greeks after getting miffed at Brad Pitt’s blonde haired Achilles. At first, I thought that that was some Hollywood nonsense until I went back and quickly reread the Iliad. Achilles is described as golden haired by Homer and I was shocked.
                              My friend Dienekes who is a Cultural Anthropologist specializing in Ancient Mediterranean peoples...and also happens to BE Greek was rather miffed by the whole Troy movie. He had this to say:

                              I very much doubt that most ancient greeks had blue eyes MUCH less light blond hair. Of course, the producers would probably say that there are not enough Mediterranean actors to fill the roles in a large film. But if they could find room for so many Northern European individuals in their cast, I think they would be surprised to find even more Greek-LOOKING people elsewhere. Strange that Hollywood prides itself on bringing the past alive, in these movies but they can't quite get the appearance of even the main characters correct. If this was set during the Potato Famine then the cast they picked would be fitting, but then that would make for a totally different film now wouldn't it? The original Greek language version of the Illiad mentions only 4 individuals that are xanthe (fair-haired). By tracing back the characteristic phenotypes of the population estimates indicate that only a minority at the time would have had eyes of a color other than brown, mainly hazel or green. Blue and grey would have been far rarer. Casting yet another bleached-blond 'Greek' with plainly Germanic features is simply another instance of Hollywood shoving it's ideal down the throats of an ignorant audience.

                              And here is an 18 page report he wrote on the subject:

                              http://www.dienekes.com/ras/volume2.pdf

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