Contributor; Chicago, Illinois


Hi ScreenAnarchistss.

Dave Canfield with Imagine 'Dat! here. before I head out with the fam for our out of town turkey day celebrations I thought I'd share the turkey with you. Or more aptly Phil Forsyth's review of a turkey named Alexander. Should this movie gobble up yourpost dinner dinero? It was all Greek to Phil.

Thanks to Todd for sharing the content and thanks to you for giving "Alexander" Stone the box office spanking he deserves. Go see The Incredibles again and leave this one alone.

Warner Brothers
Dir Oliver Stone
173 min Rated R for violence and some sexuality/nudity

Recipe for a blockbuster-or at least a movie you hope will be one.

Step One: Assemble an all star cast. If free attach Cameron Crowe to direct because if a long list of A-List stars doesn't make you want to sit through an over-acted blood-drenched and self indulgent three hour history lesson perhaps seeing the name of that director who you think directed that one movie you kinda liked, will.

Step Two: Make Up History as You go along. If you've already decided to abandon originality and make a movie about a historical event that you know most of your audience knows nothing about, you can tell them whatever you want!! Crazed mom bent on world domination? Voilla! History schmistory. And get Angelina Jolie on the phone- everybody thinks mom when they think of her!! We're only at step two and the girth of your bloated historical action epic is already written!! Check your 8th grade social studies workbook for an outline.

Step Three: Make sure you toss in a scene or two of gratuitous nudity and sex. People don't come to an Angelina Jolie movie to NOT see gratuitous sex and nudity- especially when your plot has them thinking MOM. In a pinch someone else can get naked but you must have nakedity and sexualness.

Step Four: Get someone to give you a bazillion dollars. Toga's and CGI Eagle thingy's are expensive.

Step Five: Finally, add a variety of predictable artsy visual metaphors. You don't need to worry about meaning. It's just to keep the critics. happy.

If this formula does not produce several multi-million dollar opening weekend smashes go out and rent Troy, the Cleopatra miniseries, Gladiator, Ben-Hur, and The Ten Commandments. Cross reference with Greek mythology, add more naked people and try again.

The buzz for Alexander has not been good and for good reason. Stone has succeeded in bringing too much and too little to the screen at the same time! Too little character development and story flow and way , way too much historical exposition and artistic liberty with same. But if you can't say something nice...

I'll accentuate the less apprehensible qualities. Anyone anticipating remarkable visual landscapes won't be disappointed. Beautiful scenery abounds throughout.

The battles are certainly epic.

And there are hints of good, possibly even great performances buried under several of the dozens of laughably raging emotional outbursts. Unfortunately these performances are edited to fit the average American attention span and slathered in over the top orchestral cheese. The music makes tender moments sappy and righteous anger becomes comedy. It's all in the notes.

Overall Alexander feels like a big budget rush job fresh off Troy's back burner, and served up with empty ambition. This fits Alexander’s theme perfectly, ambitious but lacking the grandeur that could have been.

-Phil Forsyth

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