Alexander

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Alexander
Review (5.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)


Well, got a chance to check out an early screening of Oliver Stone's Alexander tonight and I must say, I left the theatre slightly disappointed.

Alexander stars Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great, the young man who had delusions of grandeur of conquering the world and came pretty damn close to doing so. Well, at least the world that existed at that time (around 300 B.C.). The movie follows Alexander through his years as a young boy growing up in Macedonia and his relationship with his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and his father Philip (Val Kilmer). We then see Alexander become the King of Macedonia and proceed to lead his army on an eight-year epic journey in which they conquer much of the Persian empire and end their journey in India in a final blood-soaked battle. The movie's main focus is on war, sex and relationships. The story of Alexander is narrated by an older Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins), one of Alexander's main foot soldiers during his years of war and blood. Some of the other main players in this movie include Christopher Plummer as Aristotle, one of Alexander's mentors, Rosario Dawson as Roxane, Alexander's first wife and Jared Leto as Hephaistion, another one of Alexander's foot soldiers and very, very close companions.

What is there to like about Alexander? Some of the battle scenes are magnificant to say the least. Violent? Yes, very violent. Lots of blood. Sometimes a little bit too "jumpy" which made them a bit difficult to follow but still, probably some of the better scenes in the entire movie. Especially the final battle in India, which features soldiers on elephants. Great, great stuff.

The acting in the movie is decent. I don't see any Oscars for any of the actors or actresses anytime in the near future but still, most of them did a good job. I wasn't as offended by the diversity of accents that many people seem to be mentioning. Angelina Jolie was great to look at. She has definitely jumped to the top of my list as one of the hottest chicks on the planet. Those lips, that body. Gold, pure gold, baby.

And then there is Rosario Dawson and the extended scene with her bare breasts. Those breasts are quite possibly the best breasts to ever grace the screen in the history of cinema. And some of the scenes and cinematography were just outstanding.

And dislikes? Well, I really didn't "hate" this movie. I was just expecting so much more. The story was well told but not very inspiring. I liked Alexander. I liked Colin Farrell as Alexander. But the title "The Great"? Well, this movie just didn't make me see him as "great". And maybe that is because of how the story was told. There just seemed to be too much focus on Alexander's relationships, whether it be with his mother, his father or with Hephaistion or other feminine-looking men. There seemed to be quite an emphasis on his homosexuality, which is all fine and dandy, but perhaps if the movie focused more on his desire to conquer the world and less on his desire to conquer a man's anus, I might have enjoyed it a bit more.

What else was going on... Well, like I said earlier, I found the movie a bit confusing at times with a lot of names being thrown around to the point where there were times that I didn't know who the hell they were talking about. The movie was long, logging in at almost three hours, which isn't always a problem but with a movie that was painfully slow at times, well, that three hours felt more like four or five. And seeing Colin Farrell's balls on the screen, well, I'm not too sure that was really necessary, although I'm sure some of the ladies will appreciate seeing that.

Nevertheless, Alexander is definitely not a movie for everyone. If you are a history buff, I recommend seeing it, as the movie examines an important character during an important time in world history. But just in terms of the average American cinema movie-goer, I'm sure people, in general, will be disappointed by this movie. It's not that the acting is bad or the direction is terrible. I just found too much of the movie confusing (even Hopkins' commentary was a bit confusing for the most part) and I never really felt any emotion at all during the entire movie. Not even for Alexander. I liked him and respected him but just felt I never really got to know him or what he was doing or why he was doing it.

The story of Alexander the Great is certainly one of the great stories in history that deserves to be told. Unfortunately, Oliver Stone does not give justice to this story. Although the movie has moments of greatness, it is a struggle through too many parts of the movie and for that reason, I recommend proceeding with caution if you are considering checking out this one. It is by no means the enjoyable movie I was expecting. It's entertaining at times but in the grand scheme

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