Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Alexander, 2004. Written and directed by Oliver Stone.
starring: Colin Farrell, Val Kilmer, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins.

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

As far as epics go, this was fine. Not the greatest, but definitely not the worst, either (as anyone who's seen Lawrence of Arabia will probably agree). Oliver Stone knows how to lay out a film, but I do think it was slightly too long. Furthermore:

1. This needed to be gay-er. The only tender moments in the film happened between Alexander (Farrell) and his friend, confidant, and lover, Hephaistion (Leto). If you're trying to convince me that these two truly loved each other (which was a major part of the story and the way it ended), you're going to have to do better than putting eyeliner on Leto and having them hug each other a little longer than necessary. It wasn't enough. I'm not saying there needed to be Taxi Zum Klo-calibre sex going on, but come on, you gotta at least lay a realistic foundation! Homosexual relationships between men were common and not hidden during the period this film occupied, why shy away from it? Stone is no stranger to controversy, so this sterile, dolphin-friendly sort of brotherly love really seemed like a cop-out. Maybe the director's cut was better about this, I don't know.

2. Just as I will only see Juliette Lewis as Mallory Knox for the rest of her life, I only see Angelina Jolie as Olympias. This role was perfect; it just fit her. And this is by far the hottest she's ever looked in anything.

3. Speaking of hot . . . check this out (right). DAMN.

4. There were some really impressive shots. The charging battle lines on horseback? The aerial shots of the eagle flying between the two sides? Elephants charging? The world turns red once Alexander is wounded? Excellent, really excellent. When they come into Babylon it was almost as if they were stepping into Willy Wonka's factory, with all the color and spectacle. That was fun.
. . . is there an online moratorium on any images of the red shots during the final battle scene or something? This was a major part of the film and there is not one image to be found, COME ON! Now I'm pissed.

This is the perfect film to watch upon the birth of a new baby, stuck on the couch in silence for about three hours. Or laid up with some sort of injury. Other than that, it will probably feel like an extremely long amount of time to devote to something when there are things like Spartacus or Chicago Code to be watched. . .

5. For further pontification on the films of Oliver Stone, visit My Friend Donald's Blog