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Watched about an hour and a half of Alexander Revisited, which was about as much as I could stand. At the risk of repeating myself, how is it possible to make a film about Alexander and make it so very boring? Supposedly this is Oliver Stone's original vision of the movie before he had to cut it, but god knows that thing is sadly lacking in vision of any kind. Where he doesn't lift directly from the historical sources he bastardises Mary Renault, and in the rare cases where he's forced to improvise (the wedding night with Roxane) the results are even more awkward. And now it even drags in places that I don't remember it having dragged quite that badly before.

It's as if he made every effort to keep the viewer from getting into the movie - the beginning with Ptolemaios dictating his memoirs, the mosaic map with the names in Latin instead of Greek letters, the constantly interrupting VO and subtitles (the average moviegoer isn't a military historian and really doesn't need to know where the Macedonian Left, Right and Centre were in the battle of Gaugamela)... These things constantly break the forth wall, almost from the start rob the movie of any attempt at authenticity and just smack of tv documentary. Boring.

Colin Farrell might look the part, but he can't act it and, on the whole, is simply awful and completely lacking in charisma (a bit of a problem when you're playing Alexander), the dialogue sounds stilted and artificial and none of the actors can really bring it to life, and generally speaking the whole movie suffers from a bad case of too much telling and too litte showing (that endless scene with Philip and Alexander in the caves of the badly painted educational myths, *insert Smallville joke*).

One can see where Robin Lane Fox was at work; e.g., in the battle of Gaugamela the attention to detail (on the Macedonian as well as the Persian side) is incredible, and an enormous amount of money must have gone into costumes and props there; but there is no life in any of it. You never lose the awareness that you're watching actors.

In conclusion, still bad. *sigh*


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Glad we agree (you, me, and every movie fan and classicist I heard from).
Jul. 6th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Some reviews on amazon said the 'revisited' version really makes a difference, so I made the mistake of giving it a second chance... Should have known better, that movie isn't salvageable.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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