Sunday, December 30, 2012

Alexander (2004)

Director: Oliver Stone

Starring: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rory McCann, Gary Stretch, Ian Beattie, Neil Jackson, Raz Degan, Christopher Plummer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Fortune favors the bold

Plot: 'Alexander' traces the short, but adventurous life of the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), whom conquered almost the entire known world of his era. From his childhood as the son of King Philip, to acending the thrown at age 20 in 336 B.C. upon his father's murder, and starting in 334 B.C., Alexander crossed into Asia on his 11-year conquest of the known world. From his conquests of Egypt, to battles with the Persians and the capture of Babylon, operations near Maracanda and in Afghanistan, and pushing all the way to India where he reigned unchallenged before his sudden death at age 32. Though Alexander made use of the well-oiled army created by his father, he pushed the limits of Macedonian & Greek power to levels King Philip could not have dreamed of.


My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nope, and I dig these kinds of flicks, too.

I guess if you're going to watch this you need to see Stone's approved favorite version, THE FINAL CUT.  I first watched it in 2006 or early 2007 before I started chronicling my movie watching but something happened in the interim - I forgot that I didn't care all that much about it.

Colin Farrell doesn't do the role justice.  Forget his accent, he seems out of water and sometimes lost.  He's not to blame for the film's failure.  I can handle long movies as long as they're good but this one meanders all over the place and major battle scenes are made more confusing by telling us which flank we're watching.  It sounds like it would help but the problem is in the execution as we don't get to see a large area of fighting - it's all close up so it doesn't matter what part you tell us it is because it looks no different than any of the others.  Remember the huge battle scenes in flicks like SPARTACUS (1960) and how they'd show you the scope of the thing by showing the entire battlefield and then cut in and out between that and the close ups of fighting?  That's how you do it.  And don't get me started on Vangelis's score.  Woof.

Anyway, I don't mind the themes Stone explores in the picture.  He can do whatever he wants but the film in total is much too long for it to be so drab and at times lifeless.  I REALLY wanted to like this.  I tried hard, REAL...hard.  Normally I love these kinds of films but this one isn't begging for me for another chance.

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