Monday, August 29, 2005

Random Observations About Oliver Stone's Alexander

1. Alexander's father Philip of Macedonia was played by Val Kilmer. Val frikkin Kilmer. I did'nt recognize him with the scruffy beard, the prosthetic mangled left eye, and the ridiculous Irish accent. Yes, in order to play an ancient Macedonian king it was necessary to cultivate that Irish accent. I think he just felt out of place. Almost all the actors in this movie had Irish or Scots accents. It does'nt really bother me if actors speak in their natural tone in a movie about the ancient world, but an American faking an Irish accent kind of made me laugh.

2. Angelina Jolie played Alexander's mother Olympias. Nobody told her that the other actors were just using their natural accents so she put on this thick Greek/Russian accent. It was so ridiculous I literally fell on the floor laughing clutching my gut. I had to go take a break. It was a cross between Ariana Huffington, Eva Gabor, and Natasha from Rocky and Bulwinkle. There was probably some joke between her and Val O'Kilmer. At least she did'nt wear an eye patch.

3. Some guy playing one of Alexander's generals had a fairly pronounced Scottish accent. It must have rubbed him the wrong way to be playing in a movie about Alexander the Great because the Scots harbour a belief that they are the only ones who have ever conquered the world. Anyway, this guy kept saying by Zeus!. I wonder if even Macedonians or Greeks ever said by Zeus!. I think they said by Zeus! in that cartoon about Hercules.

4. The soundtrack by Vangelis was horrible, even by Vangelis standards. It was loud and screechy and gave me a headache. What would happen if you left the music out and just let the scene and the dialogue carry things? Oh, sorry I forgot, the main star is Colin Farrell. Picture this, after Oliver Stone yells cut on the 49th take: Yeah Colin, a word please, yeah, it is'nt quite working. You see Colin, there's going to be a lot of electronic junk music in the background and I'm just concerned you're going to get out-acted by it.

5. The soundtrack (again). It reminded me of John Cleese in Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch when he shoots the Bazouki player.

6. Colin Farrell. Simpson's Comic Book guy voice: Worst actor ever. There are several sub-plots going on where Alexander's soldiers plot mutiny and assassination. One begins to see the rationale.

7. I think Oliver Stone was trying to be clever and create an allegory about current American delusions of Imperialism. It does'nt really work very well that way. For one thing you can hardly compare Alexander the Great to President Bush. Alexander was considered highly educated, relative to his time and peers. Alexander led his army into battle and risked his life. For another thing, Alexander was fairly successful at conquering his enemies. He was a good conqueror. Nobody knows how to conquer anymore.

8. The movie does capture the endless bragging of the Imperialist. Alexander is always going off on demagogic rants about how they are going to build a great world and how all the other cultures are inferior and how they desperately need the Empire's know how, values, religion, and so on. Sound familiar?

9. Now I'm not saying you should not watch this movie. Watch it. Make up your own mind. Far be it from me to tell you what to do after watching a movie about global domination. No really, don't listen to me.

I'm exhausted now. My fingernails all turned purple. Now to start working on my next movie review. Your going to love that one.

PS This post really got mangled in the blogspot meatgrinder. I may have to make further corrections. Please recommend this post

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