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A pair of peaks at TROY!

Hey folks, Harry here with bad news... looks like they've cut Brad Pitt's and Orlando Bloom's penises out of the movie. Those early reports from the test screening of seeing these two massive and enormous creations of pure mankind... well, as we all feared, snip snip. Why they cut nudity and leave gore, I'll never understand... Seems like the last minute change of music didn't do much of anything (Should have hired Basil Poledouris!) Beware of spoilers for those of you that have zero concept for history...

Harry et al:

Saw Troy. The first action scene, where we get introduced to a insubordinate Achilles, sets the mood for his relationship with the king he works for (but does not follow), played greatly by Brian Cox.

But then there's Orlando Bloom. He's gay, he has to be. The editing makes him seem like a buffoon, the script tries to make him Legolas, and everything in between makes him a wannabe hero that ends up coming up like a pussy.

Eric Bana as Hector helps carry the movie, a man pledging himself to his nation because of his brother's stupidity and foolishness, and driven to be honorable in his pursuits even in a time of war.

Now, the historical accuracy is shotty at best. Menalaeus and Paris duel, Agamemnon falls at Troy, etc.

But those first two action scenes, of Achilees' brutal slaughter of the opposing army's champion, and him charging the beaches of Troy (alone with only his Myrmidons, seperate from the other Greeks) was breathtaking ... until later the shots copy LOTR a bit too much and the action gets trite.

The music is uninspiring, and unfortunately Sean Bean (as Odysseus) plays a lackluster performance as Achilles' only true friend.

So yeah ... see this movie for the action, but if you leave after the Greeks have captured the Trojan beach-head, you've seen the best action, and the best part of the film.

A few end notes: too many almost-nudity shots of women ... you give us blood, but no breasts, Wolgang! Secondly, WAY too many almost-REALLY-BAD shots of Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt in the buff ... of course, that's what's helping sell this movie, and the movie was a bit too long ... almost 2:45.

And to end, a quote that sent the theater up in laughs:

Menaleus walks into Helen's room to find her missing. A guard comes in with a witness.

M: Where's Helen?

G: She left with the Trojans.

I hope they weren't trying to be funny ... I hope.

Pappy

next is a bloke from Indiana University in Bloomington. He had problems with the film, but I think the one regarding hating Orlando Bloom in the film... well, I hope to god I hate Orlando Bloom's character. My greatest fear is that they would attempt to make me like this fucking idiot... The biggest "THINK WITH YOUR DICK" idiot man in the history of history... Fuck PARIS! Hector Rules! heh...

Hey Harry! I’m a student at Indiana University Bloomington and since it’s finals week here they decided to offer us a special treat: an advanced screening for Troy! After a long wait outside the campus auditorium, we were finally let in and shown to our seats. Prior to the screening we were informed that the lens on the projector had shattered somehow and the movie would have to be projected through a flat-screen lens. This resulted in many loud sighs and yells from the audience and what made matters worse was there was a Warner Bros. representative there and if he wasn’t happy with the first ten minutes then they would stop the film entirely! Finally the lights! dimmed and we ready to experience the epic of Troy but not before being subjected to a horrible trailer for Catwoman and quick teaser for Ocean’s Twelve… I’ll try to avoid any spoilers!              

We begin on the beaches of Greece and Agamemnon (Brian Cox) is set to conquer another Greek kingdom with his legions. Unfortunately within a matter of minutes the screen completely went out of focus and the audience was stuck watching the opening dialogue/battle unfold through the eyes of Mr. Magoo. After numerous shouts for the camera to be focused and the speakers to be turned up, everything began sounding/running smoothly just in time to watch Achilles (Brad Pitt) take on a Greek warrior in one-on-one combat. The fight sequence goes by so quickly that it just screams “badass” in favor of Achilles. Shortly after this the camera went out of focus once again and we were stuck in Magoo-vision for another ten minutes…              

After much toying with the focus everyone was positive that the film would be shutoff but suddenly the camera focused perfectly, and while the characters were somewhat compressed, it was still viewable and in perfect clarity. The more I think about it to tell what really happens in the film would be rather pointless since a lot of people know what happened in the Trojan War so instead I’ll focus on the acting, score, cinematography etc.              

First off, the acting was splendid! Brian Cox truly captures the dark, greedy portrayal of Agamemnon from Homer’s The Iliad while Peter O’Toole comes across as the very noble and charismatic Priam, King of Troy. Brad Pitt and Eric Bana truly steal the show though as Achilles and Hector respectively and come across as completely believable and worthy actors to fill the shoes of such literary legends. I was rather doubtful at first when I heard Eric Bana was cast as Hector since I haven’t been too impressed with his previous track record. I’ve never seen Chopper, his role in Black Hawk Down was nothing spectacular, and The Hulk was just god awful. In fact, I was almost waiting for him to turn dark green, burst out of his armor, and just toss the Trojan Horse into the Aegean Sea while screaming “HECTOR SMASH!” However, in Troy, Bana puts forth an excellent effort and portrays a very commanding prince of Troy and has some excellent dialogue. Brad Pitt also does an amazing job with his lines and while he didn’t have to hide an accent such as Brian Cox and Sean Bean, it was still kinda funny to hear Pitt talking in his normal voice. Speaking of Sean Bean, who plays Odysseus, I really wish they fleshed out his character more. Odysseus in The Iliad was a vital character for winning the war and rather than portray him in battle instead we just see him conversing with Pitt from time-to-time and plotting the idea of building the Trojan Horse.            

Seems like I covered all the major actors but wait because I’m still forgetting someone! Who could it be you ask? Why Orlando Bloom of course! Orlando Bloom is what ruins this film at times. He was fine in films such as Lord of The Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean where he barely has to read a script but this time they gave him a ton of pages to read. The problem is that he overacts every word that comes out of his mouth and constantly makes absurd facial expressions. There’s a difference between only having to say “Blood has been spilled this fortnight” in LOTR and going into a lustful speech on why he wanted Helen. Orlando in Troy comes across as completely pathetic and worthless and honestly if they wanted someone who could be viewed in such a light then they should’ve cast Tobey Maguire as Paris. Too bad Tobey doesn’t have the pretty-boy looks to fill those shoes and we’re stuck watching Orlando in constant states of over exaggeration…              

When it comes to the musical score, it’s a complete disappointment as well. It sounds like they re-hashed the soundtrack from Stargate, Gladiator, and other such films set in the ancient world and just mixed them altogether. And while these songs fit well in the aforementioned films, in Troy they stand out as annoying and barely fit the scenes they’re used in. I’ve read there were some issues regarding musical rights to the film prior to acquiring James Horner as the composer so I’m unsure as to whose fault it is for the soundtrack issues. Personally I’d not blame Horner since he’s had a good track record in the past and composed epic soundtracks before such as those for Braveheart, Glory, etc.              

Where Troy truly succeeds is in terms of cinematography and the story itself. The film truly captures the ancient Greek feel of the time period it is set in and I could definitely see an Oscar nod for costumes if nothing else. The sets are simply amazing and while not on the level of say Lord of The Rings, when one sees all of Troy they truly get a sense of how huge the city was. I was especially impressed with the Greek ships and the way the Trojan Horse is portrayed in the film. So many times has it been thought of as this finely crafted mammoth horse, perfectly carved and everything. In Troy the Trojan Horse looks like a bunch of scrap wood nailed/tied! together and when the soldiers climb out of it, the horse falls to pieces rather than possess a special “trap-door” for them to climb out of.              

The story stays true to Homer’s Iliad for the most part but there are numerous flaws during important sequences. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Sequences such as Paris’s stealing of Helen isn’t much of a theft. In The Iliad, Paris is depicted as conversing with Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena for a gift of choice and he chooses to have the heart of Helen. During the film there are no depictions of Gods or Goddesses other than a small scene involving Achilles’ mother who was a goddess. (Sorry but her name escapes me at present time) There are however plenty of references to the Greek gods and even Achilles’ act of hubris, cutting off the head of the statue of Apollo, is rather interesting. Even events such as the ! death of Agamemnon, the battle between Achilles and Hector, and the death of Achilles are greatly altered from the original literature. Rather than have such characters fall during the epic battles they are rather eliminated in very private episodes where no one else is really witness to their demise other than a few characters.              

Truth be told, there’s a lot I didn’t like about Troy. When I first heard about it going into pre-production up to seeing the trailer back around Christmas time, I was looking forward to opening night of Troy. The Iliad was a story that I’ve read numerous times, both for school and personal purposes, and to see certain key events in it altered at times bothered me and yet also made sense in terms of storytelling. I wouldn’t call Troy a horrible movie or even a bad movie because it was a good movie for what it was. However, when it comes to films of an epic scale, Troy cannot even be ranked on the same level as s! uch greats as Braveheart, Spartacus, Lord of The Rings, or even The Last Samurai. I find this rather saddening since the tale of the Trojan War is known as being one of the most epic battles in the history of literary works. I was expecting a lot more and was given a sub-par telling of epic warfare. Granted I would like to see it again to have another look at it, both in terms of film-making and for the sake of seeing it through a proper lens, even Magoo-vision is unable to cloud Orlando’s horrible acting which does rub a negative effect onto the movie as a whole. Also, I probably won’t be the only person to say this but at least one of the first to say that Wolfgang Peterson was NOT the right director cut out for such a film. To go from films such as Air Force One, Outbreak, and The Perfect Storm and suddenly expect to re-tell one of the greatest battles in history just didn’t seem like a job that should’ve went to Peterson… Hopefully some other people will write in regarding ! the advanced screenings because I know I left some parts out of my review and I’d love to hear what other people though. Hopefully the forthcoming adaptation of King Arthur from director Antoine Fuqua will be a worthy film in regards to epic storytelling and warfare…  

Hope you enjoyed my look at Troy and if you use this piece then please call me “Musashi.” Take care and keep up the good work!                    

Readers Talkback
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  • May 4, 2004, 6:30 a.m. CST

    ALFA!

    by TakeshiKovacs

    ALFA!

  • May 4, 2004, 6:33 a.m. CST

    FIRST ? I WAS ON THE TROJAN HORSE

    by el zar

    *

  • May 4, 2004, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Remember how badly Air Force One sucked?

    by Jon E Cin

    Good actors..trailers looked great..early reviews were positive....hmmm..could this be the same thing? He needs to do a sequel to Enemy Mine!

  • May 4, 2004, 6:48 a.m. CST

    I have a problem with Pitt

    by pogo on my own

    I dont see him has the big heroic warrior. A roll that fits Russle Crowe perfectly. He looks a little to much like a stoned surfer. And to ruin any credibility I have....whats with the hot dogs and no mellons?

  • May 4, 2004, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Brad Pitt should have stuck with The Fountain!

    by Jon E Cin

    why work with Wolfgang when you can work with someone like Aronofsky?

  • May 4, 2004, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Not History...Literature...

    by p5mmr9

    Sorry Harry...most historians agree the events depicted in the Iliad and others are pure literature. There is SOME evidence of a great war, but none around mythical beings like Achilles and Helen...

  • May 4, 2004, 6:57 a.m. CST

    I cant believe they didnt cancel that screening!!

    by Captain Katanga

    "somewhat compressed" is an understatement, you cant watch a cinemascope film through a flat widescreen lens! they must have been really keen to screen it.

  • May 4, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST

    I can't believe that they would even consider putting in penis s

    by NFLRefugee

    Doesn't sound right.

  • May 4, 2004, 7:25 a.m. CST

    PEEK. not PEAK.

    by Teko

    spelling is hard

  • May 4, 2004, 7:42 a.m. CST

    What was that "bad quote" about?

    by scrumdiddly

    I didn't get it at all, why would it be funny?

  • May 4, 2004, 7:42 a.m. CST

    The second guy keeps saying, "In the Iliad..." for stuff that is

    by FluffyUnbound

    Agamemnon certainly does not die in the Iliad. That's from Aeschylus. There is no Trojan horse in the Iliad, which ends with Achilles returning Hector's body. Achilles does not die in the Iliad, despite what you may have heard about a heel. The choice of Paris is not depicted during the Iliad. And Odysseus is not a major character in the Iliad. Most of THAT stuff comes from either the Odyssey or non-Homeric sources. [End bitchy pedantic rant.] And by the way, the complaining about Orlando Bloom makes me think he nailed Paris perfectly. Paris is SUPPOSED to be an annoying little bitch.

  • May 4, 2004, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Bloomisms

    by Louis Cyphre

    Its true man, Bloom can't act his way out of a paper bag. I like the guy, he seems like a nice bloke, but his over-enunciation of every syllable is straight out of drama school, not that dissimilar from that irritating speck that plays Hermione in the Potter films. My friend and I crease up every time we hear him speak, and the Troy trailer had us in stitches! "They run as if their master's whips were against them!" Seriously, could you over-act any more Orlando? I read an on-set report from one of the UK film mags out this month and they were saying that Wolfgang Petersen was getting sick of it and turned to Bloom and just said "Act ... BETTER." Hyuk!

  • May 4, 2004, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Shoddy not shotty

    by Blue_Demon

    *sigh* I had hopes for this movie. Eh...two reviews in shouldn't mean much. Still...if one guy says it doesn't measure up to "The Last Samurai", it's not a good sign. "Samurai" sucked in my opinion. For a movie that shot scenes in New Zealand it looked rather dull. The battle at the end looks like it was filmed in a park in Texas. Heh-heh. Yeccchh. Tom's hair was shot with care though.

  • May 4, 2004, 8:30 a.m. CST

    The Literature

    by Lobanhaki

    If I recall, those private episodes ARE how Agamemnon and others die. Agamemnon is killed by his wife's lover, who are in turn killed by Agamemnon's son Orestes. Having done that (killing his own mother as part of the deal) He goes insane.

  • May 4, 2004, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Even the suggestion of boob is better than no boob at all

    by ChickenGeorgeVII

    Fuck it...I ain't proud...I'll take the cleavage....just like any reasonable man has played with his ding-a-ling while browsing over a copy of the underwear section of the Sears catalog...but what would really make me happy would be MONSTER TRUCKS!!!! HELL YEAH!!! SEE BRAD AND ORLANDO AND ERIC AND WHOEVER ELSE GET IN A TALL BOY...GOING VAAAARRRRROOOOMMMMM!!!! AND JUMPING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND SMASHING ALL THE OTHER TROJANS TO SMITHEREENS INSIDE OF THEIR CHEVY CITATIONS!!!! AND THEN GIVE IT A BUNCH OF KICK ASS MUSIC BY HANK JR. AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BOBBY LABONTE APPEAR IN IT TOO!!!! HELL YEAH...THAT WILL MAKE THIS MOVIE REALLY KILLER!!!!...And thus, and a dog named "Thunder" or "Lightnin'"! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!

  • May 4, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST

    how many of you are just looking up greek history/mythology webs

    by scrumdiddly

    LOL

  • May 4, 2004, 9:05 a.m. CST

    " Is there anyone else? "

    by tequilaworm

    yeah, Jenna Jameson and Serenity...CHEERS Amigos!

  • May 4, 2004, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Tobey Maguire? Please

    by Drath

    I knew it was only a matter of time before people realized Orlando Bloom was a pretty boy and must be hated...but come the fuck on! Tobey Maguire as Paris? Not only do I not buy that he could win Helen, but I think the actor is overrated. His performances aren't understated, they're wooden! Granted, he's better than alternatives like Paul "I make Keanue Reeves look deep" Walker, but the boy isn't right for Paris.

  • May 4, 2004, 10:59 a.m. CST

    By the way, tweeps who scream "Pitt can't act for shit!"...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    ...have obviously never even heard of "Kalifornia".

  • May 4, 2004, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Sean Bean

    by EmilyQFan

    He is just such a better actor than Orlando and has a pretty big part in the movie yet you never hear about him. He is barely in the trailer just a quick glimpse at the end during the fast cuts, he is never mentioned in any articles(Time has a huge spread on Troy and he does not even get a passing mention) I just dont get it.

  • May 4, 2004, 9:07 p.m. CST

    "After numerous shouts for the camera to be focused and the spea

    by Calibos's Ginger JewFro

    Last time I checked they used PROJECTORS to screen film. They "pro-ject" what a CAMERA films. And another thing , speckers don't have volume controls. You'd have to go to the Amplifier for that, buddy. Yeah, I have nothing better to do with my time, so what? Like you're so busy?

  • May 4, 2004, 9:20 p.m. CST

    "You give us blood, but no breasts, Wolfgang! " That's the MPAA

    by FrankDrebin

    Valenti's policy is that all nudity must go (because it's real) and all violence is okay (because it's pretend). Doesn't matter how artistic the nudity or how gratuitous the violence.

  • May 4, 2004, 9:40 p.m. CST

    And last time I checked, Radio Crash, theatres used SPEAKERS, no

    by IAmJacksUserID

    And no, I'm not really busy, but thanks for asking!

  • May 4, 2004, 10:06 p.m. CST

    I'm seeing Troy for sure but the only reason Orlando Bloom was c

    by andrew coleman

    Just because he played a cool character who said like 3 things in each LOTR movie all of a sudden Bloom is big shit. When I saw the Troy trailer in the theatre women were cheering when he came on screen, WTF? He looks like a bitch in real life and especially in this movie. If he is casted as James Bond I don't know what I'll do. Still I really want to see Troy looks better than a lot of other shit coming out this summer

  • May 4, 2004, 10:11 p.m. CST

    troy mcclure

    by hank quinlan

    Oh god. A scope movie through a flat projector. Horrors. Only weeks ago, the fest I was at projected my scope film through flat lenses. It was horrible. I had to run and tell the projectionist. Nightmare. You know what's funny. Most people dont even care. They dont care if the sound sucks or the movie is out of focus. It's sad. Im guessing the audience just wanted to see some Troy action. Shit always happens. Anyway, the Bloom debate. Should be interesting to see if he can pull it off. Where it will be most glaring will be in Elizabethtown if he turns out to the British Ashton Kutcher. Still, he may not be as bad as all that. But then I still think Keanu gets a bad rap. Bad to me is less the flat deleivery then an obnoxious over the top performance. Or just someone who isnt trying at all. The good news is Peter FUCKING O'Toole is in Troy. There's a guy who needs to be fucking working more. I'm glad he is in a big studio movie. He should be in like every one. Also, to see Brian Cox and Brendan Gleeson. Two big pasty guys from the other side of the pond. Those fuckers are COOL! And Bean too, who doesnt get his due. Also, many smoking hot ladies. I predict if this movie is pretty good it will steam roll anything after it for a few weeks. If it's only Last Samurai good (which is still pretty good) then it's gonna get crunched. It HAS to be better then Van Helsing.-

  • May 4, 2004, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Doesn't TROY pretty much have to succeed?

    by Renata

    Last I heard, the production budget was upwards of $170 million without publicty and ads, which could add another $100 million to the tab. So, doesn't this movie have to make like $500 million to be profitabe? Tall order for a movie about the Trojan War, running almost 3 hours, and R rated. At least TITANIC was PG-13. I'm still looking forward to it.

  • The fucking movies that are coming out and that you are getting excited about require and make necessary exactly the kind of piss-poor actors that you are all going on and on and on about. We don't need a new young Nicholson(The Last Detail, Cuckoo's Nest, and Five Easy Pieces-Nicholson) or a new Pacino(Scarecrow, Panic in Needle Park, and Dog Day Afternoon-Pacino) or a new Deniro(Godfather II, Deer Hunter, Raging Bull-Deniro) because the movies are retarded bullshit fantasies or they are ALL based upone a gimmick, even the good ones and I include Memento, Being John Malkovich(movies about movies, ad nauseum) and... pretty much every damn thing that's been praised in recent years (I liked Fight Club, but to make it this generations Taxi Driver is absurd... Taxi Driver is STILL this generation AND the next generation's Taxi Driver, cause it's timeless and not based on a fucking gimmick and a twist). Hey, I enjoyed a lot of those movies too... I LIKE Fight Club, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a return to 70's quality acting(the aforementioned thespians), screenwriting(Towne, Schraeder), and direction(all fifty or so of them). Anyway... I think Brad Pitt CAN be good, but since when has he thrown his considerable power and influence behind a low-budget movie about real people and real situations? MANY, MANY TIMES those great actors of the 70's took HUGE pay cuts and worked for scale in order to achieve a lasting performance on the screen in a film of merit with a director and a project they believed in. For those of you that think Affleck is throwing his buddy Kevin Smith a bone once in a while by doing films like Jersey girl, that poor, poor man took a pay cut of 5 million dollars for Jersey Girl and and did it for 10 instead of his normal 15 mil. You know how much Deniro got for Taxi Driver? Fucking Scale... probably around $35,000.00 Obviously Jersey Girl isn't Taxi Driver, but if Affleck won't take a paycut and put his clout behind the man who really started his AND Damon's career, then who the hell WILL he put his clout behind to get a great script made with a passionate, sincere director. Same goes for Pitt, Clooney(he ONLY does 'interesting' with this generation's journeyman, Soderberg) and then these fuckers have the NERVE to call their company Section 8? Obviously a reference to Full Metal Jacket. These idiots WISH they had the balls, the passion, and the intelligence of a Kubrick or even a fucking Sydney Lumet. What really pisses me off and makes me depressed is that I believe that at one point they did have all that, but then the studios dangle HUGE paychecks in front of them and you get people like chris nolan directing a fucking batman movie. Do you think Scorsese would have taken Superman II if they offered it to him at nearly the same point in his career as Nolan? And what is it with these guys WANTING to work with Nicholson(yeah, I'm looking at you Alexander Payne, run out of things to say after TWO films?), Pacino, Deniro and every other washed up fucker who's OBVIOUSLY in it now for the money, presumably to send their great, great, great, great grandchildren to college, or, in Deniro's case to fund his hotel, restaurants, and film center, probably hit bad after 9/11. Any self-respecting director should want to work with THIS generation's Nicholsons or Al Pacinos or Meryl Streeps. A Philip Seymore Hoffman or a Steve Buscemi or a, gasp, Nicole Kidman. Seriously... the movie business is just in serious fucking distress and I doubt we will ever get to see interesting films again unless the inexpensiveness of making films on HD combines with a new distribution model and some serious budget-caps that I believe MIGHT take place after a few of these $150 million-PLUS films that are coming out this summer just fucking tank or take whole studios down with them, ala a Heaven's Gate. The process all over again, except this time in reverse. It'll be the blockbuster mentality taking them down instead of the 'let the director have absolute artistic power and control' mentality. But... I don't know... it seems like no matter how many of these things lose money, they just keep lining up to make the next one. A film like Troy could finance about 10 or even 20 smaller, more interesting films and doesn't someone like Brad Pitt, who once said he wanted to have an interesting career like Pacino, shoulder at least a LITTLE of the responsibility for this?... the question is, are those interestiong, sincere, or dangerous scripts even out there? Does ANYONE care about artistic integrity anymore? Or is everyone just gettin' while the gettin's good and lining up at the enormous studio trough filled with never-ending piles of cash aimed at selling you the latest multi-billion dollar confection or the cinematic equivalent of a 20 piece chicken McNugget. Does ANYONE else see what I'm talking about? Honestly, I'm only saying this cause I really care and wish we were saying better stuff instead of these celluloid piles of trash that ALL look the same. Is there really any difference between Troy, King Arthur or whatever the fuck it's called, and the Alexander the Great movie? Do you think any of them will attempt anything so bold as a Lawrence of Arabia either visually or with as brilliant a script as Robert Bolt's? Maybe I'm asking too much... but, my original point was that we're getting exactly the kinds of actors we deserve for the films that are getting made and making money.

  • May 4, 2004, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Why wouldn't it

    by TheSpleen

    be awesome. This movie, in my opinion, is the next big epic(Post ROTK) and with an all-star cast like that I don't see why it wouldn't be awesome. I've been looking forward to this movie for more than 7 months.

  • May 4, 2004, 11:37 p.m. CST

    What was in the OCEANS 12 teaser!

    by SilentType

    Eh?

  • May 4, 2004, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Agreed that Paris is SUPPOSED to be a whiny pussy, but...

    by Serious Black

    ...he's not supposed to LOOK like a whiny pussy, which Bloom does. I remember a part in The Iliad where Hector or Priam or somebody is talking to Paris and they're basically asking him why he's such a pussy when he has the look of the hero. They should've gotten Ben Affleck for Paris. At least he's got size, and a lot of people already enjoy hating him. Still, this movie is tops on my must-see list, followed by King Arthur and Van Helsing.

  • May 5, 2004, midnight CST

    Even Leonardo DiCaprio would have been better than Orlando Bloom

    by Serious Black

    At least Leo can act.

  • May 5, 2004, 12:22 a.m. CST

    wow SK

    by hank quinlan

    That was a pretty good rant with some great points. I cannot completely go with you on all of it though the underlying point is well taken especially revolving around Pitt and actors not using their clout. I think we agree about the 70's but I do think they have gotten a rosy tint to them lately. You did have great character movies but you also had great studio pictures. Many of the ones we love ARE studio pictures. This was Soderbergh's argument for jumping ship when he made Out of Sight (a marvelous movie as good as anything out of Hollywood) that you have to change it from within (though I think it has changed him). Also, I think these character driven movies can devolve into an exhibtion of method acting and sloppy storytelling. Like say Scarecrow or a lot of Cassavettes stuff. I get it. It's like real life. Whatever. We do get some great movies. Large and small. Things like Eternal Sunshine (which you may find gimmicky) or You can Count on Me. Basquiat. Jackie Brown. And Seven ranks with the French Connection. Heat. LA Confidential. Liberty Heights. The Cider House Rules. Rushmore. Summer of Sam. Bringing out the Dead. Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet, Hell even Alemraeyda's Hamlet. And all though it's a loaded topic, you have to at least say Gibson made one of the most personal films ever and bet his whole career. Would Scorsese have made Superman 2? Of course not. He never would. But there is merit in the Batman story despite it's stigma as a "comic book" movie. Just because I love Five Easy Pieces doesnt mean I don't think Batman could be a great film. Today is more like the 50's or early 60's with studios making big huge movies. They made some crap then. But they made some great ones too. Lawrence of Arabia, the Searchers, Spartacus etc. I will never lose hope and once in a while they do write a blank check to Terry Malick to make the Thin Red Line. And actors take cuts to be in his film. Ya know they made a lot of crap in the 70's too. Like Black Sunday etc. ANd just last year the kind of movie all the critics yammer for came out and got a huge push. Lost in Translation. I'm no fan. I think it's overrated but it's exactly what people say doesn't get made. Yes, there are problems. But it's always a business and that will always win. And most people do not want to see a lot fo these movies. Which by the way 10 or 12 70's style flicks always play at Sundance like this years We don't live here anymore and no one ever watches them. Sometimes it's a shame but sometimes they just aren't great. I refuse to give up faith. But maybe we just have different tastes. But you make a compelling argument.

  • May 5, 2004, 1:47 a.m. CST

    racism in these films

    by chubb rock

    Why is it they never have people of Meditteranean descent in these films playing the key roles? Always British or whiter than white? The British people had a field day when Bridget Jones wasn't British. Why are Australians in all these types of films? Latin Americans even threw a fit when a black guy played the hispanic villain in Singleton's Shaft. But where is all the Greek people in these films? They never have any in them, what is up with that?

  • May 5, 2004, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Relax guys, Oprah has endoursed the movie.

    by The Founder

    Saw Pitt on Oprah to catch some info on the movie, but sadly it went a whole other direction, all oprah seem to touch on was how hot Pitt is and him in the nude and love scenes in the movie. They talked very litte about the film and showed little. This film won't be as huge as Hollywood thinks it will be.

  • May 5, 2004, 2:03 a.m. CST

    It figures that WB would pile all this money into this movie wit

    by The Founder

    Hollywood and them phony media outlets are going to overblow and hype this movie. I have no interest in seeing this film. I'm sorry to the Pitt fans, but he is way way overrated, people on this site bitch about Will Smith, but at least Smith movies actually make some money, where Pitt's don't. When I heard this movie was 200 million in the hole,I knew WB was behind this. It figures WB would cast 2 actors like Pitt and Bloom in the lead, who has so called looks and light on talent, and expect them to pull in an audience, this movie needs more then female support to succedd, so why WB is broadcasting about Pitt and Bloom is the buff is asinine. That already has turned me away. Pitt's accent is laughable, and I'm surprised no one has complined about it.

  • May 5, 2004, 2:38 a.m. CST

    disappointing

    by Hedin

    I was at the IU sneak as well and the movie was a disappointment. It has it moments but its far from being that next big epic movie everyone wants/expects. It has a very uninspiring soundtrack, very poor character introduction/development..aside from Achilles, Paris, and Hector you really aren't introduced to the main players that much, and even those 3 are lacking in areas (as I left heard some people trying to figure out who was who among the Greek heroes and even having read the Iliad several times I had a hard time picking out who was supposed to be who), Bloom playing Paris a little too over the top (Pitt did a decent job but I just really wasn't convinced with him being Achilles), the fact that it was supposed to be an epic war and yet there was very little fighting (the few fights there were were ok but nothing I would call spectacular), no sense of time scale between events in the movie, and a lack of following with the original story (felt like I did with the LOTR series where I felt like Jackson read cliff notes of the stuff and just filled in details as he wanted without and real regard to what it was supposed to be), they even got the time frames on how the gods were worshipped wrong, and the movie had several cheesey stupid moments that just made you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking. Acting of the major players (aside from Pitt and Bloom) was ok, I thought Banna did a good job as Hector and Bean played a good Odysseus that sadly got very little screen time. Despite a runtime of about 2:30 it seemed very condensed, I think it would have been better if they had added more content to it and broke it up into 2 seperate movies. If you have a cheap matinee near you it might be worth seeing but I wouldn't pay full price for this at all.

  • May 5, 2004, 4:06 a.m. CST

    That's weird...

    by Lord_Soth

    The music in the trailers and the official site is the best thing I've heard since... well Last Samurai, but aside of that in the last years (only judging epic movies). How could they fuck up it so badly?

  • May 5, 2004, 5:20 a.m. CST

    music

    by Hedin

    The music just didn't seem to add any dramatic effect or anything to the movie. It could partly be because the overall sound levels were not that high that I was able to get the full effect of the music but I just didn't think it really brought much to the table.

  • May 5, 2004, 5:22 a.m. CST

    Ocean's 12 trailer

    by Hedin

    Oh...the trailer really wasn't a trailer too much, didn't show any clips from the movie just a rundown of who was in it (all the original 11, garcia, roberts, a few new people), release date (12/14 I believe it was), basically just said "they're back"

  • May 5, 2004, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Trojans...

    by Mrs Danvers

    ...is a brand of condoms in the Empire of the United States. I guess notion of the most pulchritudionous woman in the history of world "leaving with the frangers" would get a laugh in most cinemas.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Oh, and SK090...

    by Mrs Danvers

    You are not alone.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Calling Braveheart a worthy epic is like saying 8 Crazy Nights i

    by GOATBOY500

    Braveheart is historically inaccurate, badly acted, emotionally manipulative bullshit. Even Brian Cox and Brendan Gleeson couldn't save it. Still, they're both in Troy and since Mel's off banging his head repeatedly against the Old Testament, then Troy should be pretty damn good. PS fuck Bush

  • May 5, 2004, 9:21 a.m. CST

    About the 70's rant.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Here's something you have to remember: in the late 60's and 70's, we still had literature and a theatre in the US. That gave the studios something to draw from - a minor leagues, if you will, although I'm sure the writers in those fields would bristle at that description. You mentioned Robert Bolt, and that's a good thing. Do you think "A Man For All Seasons" would be made today? Never in a million years. But it wouldn't be made AS A PLAY, either. Or if it was, no one would notice, because we don't have theatre anymore, we have bus trips for blue hairs. If it doesn't exist as a play, it doesn't get made as a film. And there is no longer a discernible line between "serious" bourgeois literature [since the experimental shit was never going to be made into films in any era] and Oprah books - so all of that material turns into Lifetime movies, or near-Lifetime movies starring Mandy Moore or Natalie Portman. So Hollywood is left with the raw material that remains: its own carcass [remakes], comic books, TV shows, and Grisham or Clancy books. Occasionally you get a good original script, and those are the films we should be grateful for. But you can't expect to match the achievements of an era when films were cheaper to make, when more people went to films weekly, and when there was still a literary and theatrical culture feeding the machine.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I think I should mention "Angels in America".

    by FluffyUnbound

    See how that worked? A serious original theatrical work becomes a hit, and then becomes an acclaimed film. But how many serious original theatrical works are there, today, that the public becomes aware of? Not many.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:35 a.m. CST

    I just want to see Diane Kruger's titties

    by Rupee88

    I think I may jerk off before going to see this movie. If they show her tits, I don't want to be too affected and taken out of the movie. If I am drained of lust, I will be able to handle it better. Then I can always save up a few days of jizz when the DVD comes out and jerk off to it.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    They cut the nudity? Suddenly, I"ve lost all interest in seeing

    by minderbinder

    Doesn't even make sense, it's still going to be an R, why not leave in the tits?

  • May 5, 2004, 9:53 a.m. CST

    They cut the nudity? Suddenly, I"ve lost all interest in seeing

    by minderbinder

    Doesn't even make sense, it's still going to be an R, why not leave in the tits?

  • May 5, 2004, 10 a.m. CST

    They cut the nudity? Suddenly, I"ve lost all interest in seeing

    by minderbinder

    Doesn't even make sense, it's still going to be an R, why not leave in the tits?

  • May 5, 2004, 10:15 a.m. CST

    They cut the nudity? Suddenly, I"ve lost all interest in seeing

    by minderbinder

    Doesn't even make sense, it's still going to be an R, why not leave in the tits?

  • May 5, 2004, 12:02 p.m. CST

    It's nice to see Brian Cox finally get recognition. He was the *

    by SalvatoreGravano

    In the masterpiece that was "Manhunter" - and his performance was light years above Hammy Hopkins's toothless smile.

  • May 5, 2004, 12:20 p.m. CST

    this movie will rock anyway

    by camangren

    it's so sad the nudity was cut off... stupid MPAA ratings! but it is one of the greatest stories, so I'll go to see it anyway. But let me get things straight, these two guys are complaining about Bloom making Paris look like a stupid pussy?! Well in the Iliad I completely hated the fucking bastard, HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A STUPID PRETTY BOY that gets all the girls. So I think that seeing it that way, Orlando was perfect to play the part as he is a fucking pretty boy. Hope he gets killed in the end.

  • May 5, 2004, 4:27 p.m. CST

    70's rant guy here with some replies...

    by SK909

    Yeah, I believe that the Batman story has merit too. I love comic books as much as the next guy, and I do believe that Lost in Translation was at least a little bit of what I'm asking for, although, AGAIN, it didn't help that it HAD to be self-reflexive of Hollywood with Murray playing, essentially, himself with a Chevy Chase version of his career, and Scarlett Johanson being married to a guy who's a well-known photographer within the industry. Although, I suspect that Sofia Coppola was making the exact same comment on the state of the industry that I'm making with stuff like that Camera Diaz-like character played by the chick from Scary Movie as well as Rabisis's character who was probably the only glimpse that audiences have or will ever have of how the exact same things are wrong on the OTHER side of the camera. Sofia's father, after all, is the 'godfather' of the 70's. Getting back to my original point though, I guess I AM asking too much when they can't even get their fucking genre movies right. If Batman is ACTUALLY good and becomes a classic(I'm not holding my breath), then I guess we can start asking for good, smaller films, but you can't deny the sheer quantity and quality of 70's films to which entire books and documentaries have been devoted to in recent years. Do I think we're seeing that decade through slightly rose-tinted glasses? I thought so for a while, but now when I look at it and I see what we're getting today, I honestly don't think so. And believe me, this is after a lot of looking at those movies and comparing them to today's supposed equivalents. I completely agree, however, with Soderbergh's intentions, cause I think he is one of the few directors who actually get the point that all those movies WERE Hollywood films with Hollywood actors and they got made because the price was right. And this goes back to what I said about actors who have their agents speaking for them and pretty much acting as gatekeepers, and if you have an agent that's getting an offer for a really great, small film where your client might have to take a million versus a big tent-pole studio picture that's gonna put 10 million in the coffers, figuring you get your 10% , which offer do you champion to your client? If I were an actor that wanted to make interesting work, I wouldn't even have an agent or a publicist or any of that shit, cause they're obviously going to act in their own interests and in the interest of raising the rates. An actor like Brad Pitt(don't know why I love him as an example) COULD have a career similar to Robert Redford's. In fact, they are almost the exact same type of actor, only Redford put his clout behind a lot of risky films and ventures for the love of quality filmmaking that stands the test of time. With Cuckoo's Nest, Nicholson had it in his contract that he had to approve final cut, and, though he didn't make any changes, this is a far cry from the riders most likely seen in today's contracts: super-sized trailers, a dozen handler's on the studio payroll, a massage therapist for J.Lo's and Ben's dog, and two months use of the company jet. The film itself? Oh, that will sort itself out. Ya been to one premiere, you've been to 'em all. This, in a nutshell, is what has gone wrong with the industry over the past twenty years. From top to bottom, crews and actors are concerned with making enough on each picture to last them four lifetimes rather than doing something of merit with the potential to become a classic. Factor in the near loss of the slow-roll out and you have the need to spend $30 or $40 million dollars on marketing alone just to make sure everyone and their grandmother knows the exact date the film hits the cineplex! With LOTR, I believe we did get a new, big Hollywood classic, and the same with Schindler's List and even Pulp Fiction(I would put Tarantino in a category all his own, like a Kubrick - pointless to compare to other filmmakers). But I can't escape the feeling that there's something missing, and YEAH, I do like to see real for real's sake cause it's something one can identify with on the most immediate level. I wouldn't dismiss a film like Scarecrow so quickly, because when you're watching it, you do get the feeling that anything can happen at anytime and it's hard to gauge exactly where the film is going cause it IS so real and this is the way life is. I believe that reality television, as ridiculous as most of it is, has become enormously popular precisely because mainstream films and television shows have become so unbelievably predictable. Audience's aren't really as savvy as the films themselves are just carbon copies of familiar stories and one can often tell in the first ten minutes exactly what's going to happen from start to finish. Reality television brings back some of that, for lack of a better word, 'danger', and the unpredictability we used to get on a regular basis with films and even television. I think we have had it at times, with movies like Sling Blade or Pulp Fiction and television shows like Seinfeld, but things have been mighty cold for the past 9 or 10 years on both fronts. So yeah, I think reality television's popularity is more symptomatic of the audience's thirst for unpredictability and suspense and has less to do with the cost of producing such shows and the 'dumbing down' of america. The last thing I want to say is that you are right - there no longer is a 'farm league' with theater and literature and you basically either have the Oprah-shilled books or stuff that's too experimental to get made and then the same thing goes for theater. This is something that I didn't even recognize and it's a really excellent point in this never-ending analysis of where the industry is going. Well... that's all I have to say and I kinda just wanted to get it down and it was cool to hear some responses to reign in a little of what I was saying, along with some new points that I hadn't even thought of.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Shotty = Shitty + Shoddy!

    by Gul Shah

    I love it! How Joycean!

  • May 5, 2004, 8:39 p.m. CST

    re:SK again

    by hank quinlan

    Another thoughtful response. I cannot argue with you that we are subjected to a horrific state of affairs with movies costing so much. And believe me I feel you on the Pitt example. None of the actors who took scale on Pulp Fiction would do that now ten years later. I think Julianne Moore is a great example of someone who uses their powers for good instead evil. SHe even told her agent just to send her everything as she didn't trust him. Also, I know you dismissed Clooney but after that guys accountant told him after Batman he never had to work again he said he would only do projects he liked. And he starred in 3 Kings, Oh Brother, Thin Red Line, Out of Sight and helped get movies like Confessions get made. He's not perfect but I really do think he is trying. Do I think people like him and Julia Roberts could get even more risky? Sure. But you are right. Everyone gets greedy. They want the money and the big project (see also: Charlie Sheen, Kevin Costner). I ran into that even here in Austin making my movie. Very few people are in it for the love. People who work in movies are not necessarily movie fans. Just money fans. As for your comments regarding certain 70's movies like Cassavetes and Scarecrow...that may just be personal taste. I just have very little patience for indulgent performance driven films (as I see them). When it works in movies like 5 easy pieces, it's amazing, but alot of times it's handheld camera with a bunch of guys improvising, saying FUCK a lot and engaging in irrational behavior (see also: Husbands). 21 grams was a throw back to the 70's and I found it the arthouse eqivalent of a Michael Bay movie. I concede the golden age of filmmaking etc. They made some amazing films but I hate deifying the past over the present. As I pointed out, I still think we get just enough to be grateful for. As Tarantino said, if you get 4 or 5 classics a year can you really expect more? It's just like rock n roll will nevr have the Beatles or the Stones again. But you might get an Eminem or Nirvana. Fluffy had some great points as well. We don't have great literary heros anymore. I also wish I could agree on the reality TV thing. I think it's just PANDERING bread and circus lowest common denominator that appeals to the need for instant fame without talent, blood lust, and a stupid public that couldn't appreciate great writing if it was tattooed on their back. Oh yeah and lots of good looking people:) But I think the 90's had some great high water marks we may not realize for another 10 years. Seven, Quiz Show, Shawshank, Tarantino's movies, The English Patient, Blair Witch, Glengarry Glenross, Breaking the Waves, Goodfellas, etc. I love all kinds of movies. I am excited for Troy. Should Pitt have made 3 really great movies with smart directors instead? Probably. But again, they would rather roll the die on 200 mil action then 20 million dollar greatness. Any day of the week. You can't fight it. But when they asked Schrader what he thought about Titanic a few years ago, he said that when a studio makes that much money it's good because it helps finance guys like him further down the road. I hope that's a silver lining for you. And thanks to everyone for an awesome discussion.

  • May 6, 2004, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Last Post, just wanted to finish it out again...

    by SK909

    I agree completely on Clooney, and perhaps there's a tendency to exaggerate on here when trying to get a point across. He definitely cares about being in some interesting films. I would even say that Tom Cruise makes a decent effort, although he usually only works with the biggest and the best directors on the hottest and most interesting scripts, so at least he knows enough that A) shit rolls downhill, the director is the most important person on the set and B) he has limitations as an actor that can be enhanced by working with the right people on a great script. Plus, he did his part in Magnolia based soley upon how great Boogie Nights was and P.T. Anderson was smart enough to take all of Tom Cruise's strenghts and filter them into a great role And hey, I agree on reality television. I think a lot of it caters to the LCD, and it's just plain retarded. I was just thinking that there might be a bit more to its unbelievable success. And if writers can't make stuff more interesting than reality, what does that say about the non-reality shows? Oh, and btw, I HATE Cassavetes. I think Scarecrow is a little better than you remember it. I don't think it's self-indulgent at all, and would go so far as to say that its Pacino and Hackman at the top of their game. I definitely don't think there's as much cursing as something like the stuff you're talking about. 21 Grams, I know exactly what you mean. It's just as bad, if not worse than the empty big-budget spectacales. At least they're honest about what they are. Lastly, I think that if the last 20 years have taught us anything, it's that if a movie like Titanic does well, the studio wants to make more Titanics. I think Schraeder knows how to play the game as he's one of the few who remained friends with Lucas at all costs and actually got something out of it with films like Mishima. Plus, it can't hurt to be friends with one of the two billionares in town. The real shift to smaller films and salary-caps will occur after a few of these Titanic's sink, pun intended. I would even be happy if they'd just trust the material more and not let executive's and fast-food companies get involved in the making of these mega-blockbusters, cause when you do, you get quality films that have classic potential. And, in the end, big or small, that's what we all hold our collective breath for. The love of it and the feeling that we were there when something special happened after the curtain rolled back. Well, that's my final thoughts, I'd have to say this was one of the most satisfying talkbacks I've ever participated in and I'm not even sure if anyone's reading anymore, but I'd just like to say thanks for making it interesting.

  • May 6, 2004, 7:20 a.m. CST

    ORLANDO BLAND MUST DIE!

    by Lost Buttons

    Why this guy is in movies is completely beyond me. He is by far the worst actor currently operating in Hollywood. Initially miscast in LOTR, his patented blandness and mediocrity has ruined every movie he's been in ince then. His reign of crapness must end now! (ditto for the awful Keira Knightly).

  • May 6, 2004, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Thanks SK

    by hank quinlan

    It was really a great exchange of ideas and thoughts. Feel free to email me if you ever have any other thoughts.

  • May 7, 2004, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Troy

    by Howard1970

    I have seen Troy. What's all this Orlando Bloom bashing? Paris is pathetic and cowardly, the character he's portraying. If you think Bloom is pathetic, he's doing his job well. It's also a very difficult part and a brave choice to play the only man who isn't a fighter in the film. He has a very theatrical way of acting and is closest to O'Toole out of most cast members in that. It gives the role a bit of class. Diane Kruger is surprisingly good. Brian Cox excellent. Julie Christie not in it long enough. But, you can't squeeze all the parts of the mammoth Iliad and other works into a 2hr 40min film. Having Gods in the movie would have detracted from the themes of humanity, man's battling with himself and others, etc. In this, and other things, Petersen / Benioff show great vision, akin to Peter Jackson. Excellent script, some wonderful lines - many from 'Homer' though! Cinematography and music a little doubtful though. A first for Hollywood in that a film of this scope has more semi-clad men than women. Generally, film pushes all the right buttons and will easily bring in the bucks.