Alexander
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Alexander 2004

Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest military leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world...

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I was hoping for Gladiator but what I got was a soft-core Caligula.

I might have been able to stomach the racist imperialistic doctrine if there had been any kind of plot to hold my interest. I don't know which is worse: Colin Farrell's flouncing golden curls that could only make sense in an Aryan wet dream or listening to him expound the merits of bringing civilization to the "barbaric", in this case Persian, people. This movie reads like pro-war inculcation; superbly timed to launch as Bush prepares to invade Iran.

I'd be completely convinced of a Republican conspiracy if there weren't so much screen time devoted to hairless young men in eyeliner and loincloths. Each scene is packed with as many canned gestures of homoeroticism as possible and by the fifth time a misty-eyed Jared Leto casts a lustful downward glance, I predict that even gay men will be bored if not mildly offended.

If you want to see some good battle scenes, rent Gladiator and catch Alexander sometime on basic cable. It will make a nice rainy day double feature with Gigli.
I saw a sneak preview the other day before it comes out on the 24th of November. What strikes me as funny is the fact that the release date was originally for November 4th, but was pushed back to the 24th because they felt it had Oscar consideration. Sorry, but I don't think so. The movie did not concentrate much on Alexander's achievements, but rather on a cheap, corny story line and whether or not Alexander was bi-sexual. The film was long enough, but I left about 2.5 hours into it. There were many moments that were meant to be serious, but were broken by what the actors did. The audience was laughing at many of the serious parts. The dialogue was not creative and boring. They switched between using language that would have been more believeable to use back then and language of modern days - what we use now. The fight scenes seemed as if they were fight scenes from a History Channel special. It seemed as if sometimes the writers didn't know what to say so they added in scenes that were not necessary to the story line, such as dancing, focusing between Alexander and his "boyfriend" many times, and even showing Farrell's butt and a quick glimpse of his genitals. There was a lot of filler and "fluff." It was a soap opera with bad dialogue and acting. If you thought Troy was mediocre, then this is much worse.
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Excrutiatingly, mind-numbingly dull. A complete mis-fire. Scenes meant to be seriously dramatic were laughed at by the audience. Most of the seminal events in Alexander's life take place off-screen, and are narrated by Anthony Hopkins as historian Ptolemy. Great cast cannot save this execrable script, or inept direction.
So-called controversy has clearly been "ginned up" to create interest in a movie which deserves none.
Movie wasn't terrible but it's no where what it should have been. People in the theatre made it a worse experience because they couldn't be mature about the sexual content. Whatever, rent this movie.
Movie Review: Alexander



Opening Wednesday November 24, and just in time for the holidays, is the highly controversial new Oliver Stone movie, "Alexander." "Alexander" has a star studded cast including Colin Farrell (Alexander), Angelina Jolie (Olympias), Anthony Hopkins (Ptolemy), and Val Kilmer (Philip). But this star loaded epic failed to show any power. In fact, "Alexander" reminded me of this summer's "The Village." Both movies had hype surrounding them, and both had big name directors and casts. And both movies were terrible, and the disappointments of their seasons.

First off, this movie is not an action movie as it appears to be. This may be the most long and drawn out drama/ biopic I have ever seen. The start of this movie is really slow. Not every movie has to have a James Bond like opening, but when Ptolemy (Hopkins) narrates for forty minutes, it gets old. There is too much non essential background, and it appeared as if there was a movie within a movie. The young Alexander trying and succeeding in riding the wild horse was like its own climax, and could have been its own movie. The movie runs very long, roughly two hours and forty minutes. In that time, there are only two battle scenes which combined last for less than twenty five minutes. In between the two battle scenes it just gets boring. There is way too much unnecessary drama. In all honesty, I think I could have edited over forty five minutes out of the movie. The last hour of the movie was terrible, except for the brief battle scene. I got so bored; that I was literally waiting for the final battle, and for Alexander to die.

Even though they were very short, the battle scenes were very good. They unfortunately were not enough to pull this movie out of the doldrums. The battles were very exciting, intense, and heart pounding. They were very violent and bloody, but realistically so. The only problem was that the camera was a bit too shaky. At certain points, it got a little hard to follow along with what was happening. The special effects and computer graphics were really good as well. The only 'effect" that I did not like was the red tinted ending. What was the point in that? All it succeeded in was making the movie harder to see, and harder to understand what was going on.

The quality of acting in "Alexander" varied with each character. Colin Farrell was okay, but nothing more. He broke down and cried way too much. Just when he started to show really good acting, he started to get teary eyed again, ruining the scene. Angelina Jolie gave a great performance. She was very convincing as a bitter and angry mother. In my opinion, she gave the best performance in the entire movie. Val Kilmer also did a fine job as Philip. The gay parts of the movie were not the emotionally moving parts that Stone had envisioned. The entire audience laughed at hearing the dialogue between Alexander and Hephaistion (Jared Leto). The homosexual nature of the movie was tolerable, except for the really creepy dancer/ servant of Alexander's whose sly smile irked me.

Overall, I do not recommend this movie to anyone. It just drags on and on, and does not seem to end. This is not a movie to see in theaters or even on DVD. It was a waste of almost three hours of my life.
Alexander is taking a lot of crap from people who say it was boring, too long, too talky, and things like that. I guess Alexander could not be expected to be 100% historically accurate but for a movie that aims to encapsulate some highlights of Alexander's life it is not that bad. Yes, there is a lot of talking and yes the film spends a lot of time dealing with Alexander's personal conflicts but why can't people deal with the more emotional, personal side instead of needing to see endless battle scenes with little dialogue?

Another thing that bothers me is that there are some people who are making a stink about the portrayal of love between men in the film. I mean, seriously, there were certainly a few scenes where the men show and tell that they love each other but there was no sex or major kissing going on. On the other hand, there was an extended fight scene between a naked Roxanne and almost naked Alexander that nobody is talking about. Early on in the movie, there is dialogue about where Alexander's mother recognized his penchant for boys and tells him about the things he must do in public for show and how they are different that what he does in private. Anyway, it just bothers me that a film cannot even show muted affection between two men without drawing comments from homophobes. I really think this aspect my be a driving force behind why people don't like the movie. I've heard people say that there was "just something about" the movie they didn't like and I think that is what it is.

Anyway, I liked the movie. Yeah, it was talky and a bit drawn out, but overall it was not horrible. Maybe it will inspire some people to do some of their own research on Alexander the Great.
Gets my vote for the most disapointing film of the decade. Alexander is 3 long hours, of not much happening, or at least not much of anything interesting happening. I am very suprised with Stone, because I find most of his films brilliant, I loved JFK, Platoon, Natural Born Killers, and Wall Street, he could have done much better than this! Instead of focusing on things viewers should be interested in, the film mostly keeps the audience focused on the fact that he was a bi-sexual. SO WHAT! The film would have probably been better with no scenes, or suggestive items about that, because while some were paying cash in hopes of getting a quick look at Colin Farrell's penis, I wanted to see the action sequences Stone had put in, but even those were alittle fuzzy, I think one tomatoer said it best when he said, "all the fight scenes look like a battle put together on a history channel special". The visuals are good, but that doesn't make up for the fact that this is a truly horrible film. And of course you have to have Alexander give a dopey speech to his army, like we haven't seen that before (Braveheart, and The Return of the King to name a few). This one has a spot on my top ten worst of the year.
You would think all of his struggles would collectively make a worthwhile movie, but it doesn't here. Director Oliver Stone seems to be obsessed with Alexander's homosexual tendencies with the numerous scenes with his servant and Hephaiston. Even the battle scenes are poorly done, especially when compared to what's been done before. Sure, there was probably that much dust when they did battle, but it doesn't look good on the big screen. But for a man known to be a warrior, there are only two battle scenes in the whole film. The first was quite confusing since by this account, it seems Alexander lost the battle when he allowed the opposing leader to get away and surveyed the large number of injuries and casualties that resulted, yet the next scene shows him being welcomed into Babylon with open arms. How did that happen? It leads into a major criticism of the film. Yes, it's a 3-hour film, but there was way too much dialogue, most of it not even constructive. That's no fault of Farrell, who did a good job playing the title role. Jolie lays it on with a thick accent, but does she even age in the film? Stone and the writers lead situations nowhere and even mixes things up with a flashback that wasn't even needed. All in all, it's a quite boring film that just doesn't connect all of its pieces together and doesn't connect with the audience.
I guess I was not terribly dissappointed after watching Stone's epic story of Alexander the Great.
First lets go over what I did not like.
1. Everybody had different accents Stone should have had the actors spend more time on this or took advice from Gibson's Passion.

2. The narrative, specifically at the beginning sucked. If Stone had chose to show scenes chronologically he could have done away with it completely. Instead he makes us wait almost 2 hrs. and 8 yrs later till he explains or assumes Phillip's (Alexander's father) murder and by then you hardly care. Sir Anthony Hopkins is wasted as the narrator.

3. All the hoopla over the homoeroticism is so stupid. Jared Leto in a piss poor performance is Farrel's longtime companion or some say lover. The Lover's dialogue is unintentionally funny and almost Disney cartoon like. Everytime you think they are going to have passion they hug. Too much time is spent on this underdeveloped subplot. It should have been fearless or not at all.

4. One more long speech from any cast member and I would have walked straight out of the room.

Here is what I did like:
1. Mr. farrell is not flawless as the title character but he is fearless and respectful. Though it is so funny when you hear his Irish accent poke its head through his endless speeches. He carries the film on his shoulder, a task that, with the script would be hard for any actor.

2. Jolie as Olympia steals every scene she is in. She plays it like a female Dracula and somehow it works. The rest of the cast is average to good.

3. Some of the cinematography blew me away. It just happens few and far between. Stone seems to have shied away from his usual over the top camera work.

4. The subject in itself carries the film tremendously. I couldn't help but make comparisons to the son of Zeus and the son of God. Odd maybe but in his time some thought he was the son of Zeus.

5. The battle scenes. Now we live in a time post-911 and post The Return of the King so battle scenes have alot to compare to. The war in India is the one flawless thing in the film. It is awesome in all the Stone ways.

All in all I was glad I saw the film. If you're not interested in the subject or the actors STAY AWAY because it is very flawed film making that should have been flawless. One of Stone's lessor efforts that maybe, just maybe will improve over time.