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Some Radically Different Takes On ALEXANDER!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I ran a pair of reviews here the other day for ALEXANDER, and I got a couple of e-mails from people saying I’m intentionally trying to pick reviews that will hurt the film. Ummmmm... no. I like Oliver Stone. Hell, there was a time when I would have rabidly defended pretty much anything he released. I would love for this movie to turn out to be something great and bold and a return to form for him. And a review like the one I got in yesterday gives me some hope that might be the case after all:

Hey, Moriarty --

Not sure what movie Simfar and your other friend saw at the DGA (by the way I heard Oliver Stone's talk came after the screening not before) but I saw ALEXANDER at the Producers Guild of America screening that same night. The producer, Maurice Borman, and Colin Farrell spoke after the screening aend I, and everyone I spoke to in the audience, really liked the movie.

Yes it was long (almost 3 hours) and yes parts of it were over the top but it's damn interesting, has some absolutely great scenes (especially the battles) and was everything we wished TROY was...intelligent, thoughtful and had a lot of stuff about what was going on in the characters heads...in other words it was an interesting movie not just Brad Pitt's pects.

The best way to sum it up came from the moderator of the after screening discussion, Ed Zwick's partner Marshall Herskovitz who said "This is a really demanding movie that you have to see more than once to take it all in." There's just so much in this movie it's hard to digest, especially for some of the crackpots that write in to Ain't It Coo News.

And when Colin Farrell spoke he talked about the accents ("the Macedonians were seen as country bumpkins by the Greeks much like the Celts and Scots were seen by the more formal English...that's why they spoke that way). And as for the bisexuality, Farrell told us that that was just the way it was back in Alexander's day...by the way Oliver Stone can't win for losing...either he wasn't brave enough to show more man on man stuff or he's criticized for making the movie too gay...c'mon give the guy a break.

Anway, this is not the greatest movie of the year...it's got some major problems. Stone tried to pack too much into one movie but I really felt for some of the characters and there's battle scenes in here that have stuff the likes of which we've never seen before...and in this day and age it's not easy to put something on the screen that's brand new...maybe it looks new because a lot of the battles have real men fighting each other instead of just using special effects.

At least let's give Olly credit for making a really big ambitious movie with a lot in there...it beat the pablum that's out there every other weekend by a mile.

Thanks, Moriarty

And here’s another fairly positive take on the film:

I managed to get into the DGA screening of Alexander, and I have to disagree with the other mixed review to say I found it to be really incredible and epic, especially the kick-ass battle scenes, Colin rallying his troops, and eye-popping shots of Rosario Dawson (full frontal nudity!!) and Angelina Jolie.

Stone has made an incredible flick about one of the most important historical figures ever (think Platoon meets Nixon in Bagdad before Christ). He’s been trying to make this since he was in film school, and you obviously get his level of passion for this film. The look is fantastic, obviously CGI in many parts, but very hard to tell where the computer takes over from the real world. Colin Farrell, who I was not a great fan of until now, delivers a complex balls-out (literally, ha ha) performance, Angelina Jolie will get another Oscar nomination, and the rest of the cast (Val Kilmer, hottie Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins) are all good.

Here’s my take:

Acting: Angelina is incredible, commands every second of the screen, and delivers a complicated performance, Colin is mostly great in a very difficult role, Anthony Hopkins, in a small part, is classy and understated, Rosario Dawson is really sexy as a Alexander’s Persian barbarian wife (love the knife wielding dance of seduction she does), and Jared Leto is good but not great as his goth best - and I mean really best - friend. By the way, the accents, which are all over the place, were explained by Stone as being how the outlander Macedonians would have sounded to the city Greeks, which might make sense, but still seemed a little jarring to me.

Story: Begins with Alexander about to die of illness, and then flashbacks to trace his childhood and rise to power. I won’t get into the actual story since it’s already been written about, except to say I found myself transported back into another world. The battle scenes are the highlights, two incredible battles, one of which involving an entire army on elephants charging through the jungle, which has to be seen to be believed – they keep showing this on TV commercials, but the whole thing on the big screen is sooo cool. Also great is the battle and Alexander’s strategy at Gagamala.

Pace: Yeah, the movie is long, but it’s a complicated, epic story, and I felt the pace was more or less right, with just a few places Stone could have quickened the pace. The Hopkin’s character seemed to drone on a bit, but I’m not sure how clear the film would have been without his narration.

Rosario: Special mention must be made of Rosario Dawson, who is so f****ing hot in this movie, she’s completely steals every scene she’s in, and I look forward to viewing her and Colin going violent sexy and totally nude with each other again and again.

I know they’re screening this one pretty heavily right now for the Guilds, so I may hit one of the screenings sooner rather than later. I’ll admit... I’m very curious.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 12, 2004, 1:38 p.m. CST

    righteous

    by Kida_Greenleaf

    see...quality AND naked rosario! everyone wins!

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 3:55 p.m. CST

    I don't get it - why are people talking about scottish accents?

    by scrumdiddly

    as an actual scot with an actual scottish accent, I'm a little apprehensive about all this...

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 3:57 p.m. CST

    also..General Colin - ahahaha

    by scrumdiddly

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Man, they had me with a naked Rosario Dawson...

    by Lost Skeleton

    ...and that after reading the negative reviews yesterday.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:29 p.m. CST

    oh my god,

    by CurryIce

    i am so worried about Alexander...I pray that this movie blows!

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:47 p.m. CST

    "Colin rallying his troops" -- Yikes!

    by eraser_x

    Someone should put together a montage of over-the-top speeches and outbursts. They can warm up with Alexander's "Conquer your fear!" Then, they can move on to ".. but they'll never take our FREEDOM!" (Braveheart) "Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off! It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you!" (First Blood) "You can't handle the truth!" (A Few Good Men) and so forth. Any other suggestions?

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:50 p.m. CST

    "think Platoon meets Nixon in Bagdad before Christ"

    by Dragonfire

    Huh?

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I saw the film last weekend and attended the press junket. The i

    by Lenny Nero

    By throwing in some Scottish and Irish accents, as well as Jolie's what-the-fuck-is-it accent, it regionalizes each character. Believe me, they thought about this. Also, the movie is pretty good, slightly messy but intimate.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 7:20 p.m. CST

    fine, no one else is contributing to my list, so I will :-)

    by eraser_x

    "STELLLAAAAAAA" (Streetcar Named Desire) (or was it Cat On a Hot Tin Roof?)

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Rodrigo Prieto

    by watashiwadare

    Probably doesn't know it, but after this is advancing on Master eligibility soon.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 7:50 p.m. CST

    eraser_x

    by AttackingClone

    How about Theoden in ROTK or Aragor in ROTK for that matter

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Is a plant an above the line or below the line cost on a 150 mil

    by Silver Shamrock

    Even got in the talking point about how this isn't another Troy Brad Pitt peck fest. I heard two hours in the movie switches to infra-red?!? WTF?

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 9:33 p.m. CST

    the gay love scene in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

    by beamish13

    whose idea was it to tone it down and make it seem like Billy Hayes and the Swiss guy were one-time lovers (in actuality they were boyfriends for a long time).

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 9:34 p.m. CST

    I absolutely refuse to believe that Angelina Jolie is capable of

    by beamish13

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 10:12 p.m. CST

    "This is a really demanding movie you have to see more than once

    by Drunken Rage

    Uh... no. That just means it's a shitty movie.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 10:18 p.m. CST

    The only thing i want to know is...

    by GrandoCarIissian

    ...does Rosario Dawson have a natty bush?

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 11:22 p.m. CST

    *bad* accents really get on my tits, doesn't matter whose they'r

    by scrumdiddly

    anyway - GAY PORN! w00t!!!

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 11:38 p.m. CST

    As long as Jared Leto gets killed or maimed.

    by joe brady

    David Fincher seems to enjoy doing nasty things to this guy's head; Stone should carry on the tradition. I don't know what it is that bothers me about him, but watching Ed Norton pummel the bejeezus out of him in "Fight Club" was one of the most satisfying film moments of all time, for me anyhow.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Yet more Troy bashing

    by Mr Bonefish

    I just can't trust a cat who thought Troy blew. Ahh, so it was all about Pitt's pecs?? What the hell? What a moron.

  • I wonder what kane accent she sports this time...

  • Nov. 14, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    "Troy" was horrible, but it's something to be expected when a re

    by SalvatoreGravano

    ...tries to deal with an epos almost 30 centuries old. Too much of a culture clash for him to understand it.

  • Nov. 14, 2004, 11:27 a.m. CST

    AttackingClone (inspirational speeches)

    by eraser_x

    Thanks for thinking about the inspirational speeches with me! I just thought of the very best one ever: John Belushi's in Animal House. ("Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?") Also, there was a good speech in Goonies. ("Down here, it's OUR time!")

  • Nov. 14, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST

    URG, wasn't TROY horrible?

    by Sepulchrave

    I watched that piece of nasty-ass fascist revisonism on DVD a few weeks back, and I was never so glad that I hadn't paid for a cinema seat. Talk about sucking every drop of decency, nobility or cultural awareness out of a story. Achilles was a prick, a real fucking prick, exactly the kind of shaved and oiled shithead that Ben Stiller nailed in Dodgeball. The clumsy heterosexual propaganda, the weak gods, the NFA battles, you expected there to be a fucking half-time show with cheerleaders and a float. Sometimes it's so sickening watching other people's stories being raped and ruined so that they can be served up like cheeseburgers to the lazy, insular, couch-potatoes of the Mid West. Alexander may not be much better, but it'll be nice to see a homo who can get some dirt on him and chop some heads. And what's all this stuff about 'it was normal back then'? Are you suggesting that we have changed in some fundamental way as a species since then? Greek homosexuality was a conservative social device used to bond men together in war and as a hierarchy. Men have always been happy to fuck anything that moves, it's just the last two hundred years of post-Victorian training that put a stop to most forms of weird-lovin'.