|Alexander - Director's Cut |
Two-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer
Director: Oliver Stone
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
CONQUERING 90% ON THE KNOWN WORLD BY THE AGE OF 25, ALEXANDER THE GREAT LED HIS ARMIES THROUGH 22,000 MILES OF SIEGES & CONQUESTS IN JUST 8 YEARS. THE WORLD WE KNOW TODAY MIGHT NEVERBEEN IF NOT FOR ALEXANDER'S BLOODY, YET ... more »
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Alexander Revisited...a review from one who has the 3 DVD's
Raymond F. Gillis | Yonkers, New York | 02/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oliver Stone's Alexander Revisited is now something of a masterwork. He is given the chance to tell the story as he would have originally liked to have presented it. The 45 minutes of extra's are true extra's...spread out in short 2 to 5 second edits...to more lengthly exchanges that happily include Brian Blessed as the Physical Instructor, Christopher Plummer as Aristotle and quite a bit more voice over and character addition from Anthony Hopkins as the aged Ptolemy.
The action starts almost immediately with a longer, more graphic version of the Battle of Gaugemela (Wonderfully undertaken, Stone paying homage to the great Sergei Bondarchuk with those terrific panning shots) and then works backwards through Alexanders youth. The film moves forward and backwards from there yet the new subtitles give you the year and how long, before or after, from the previous scene. It is quite instructive to anyone the slighest bit confused and is a superb history lesson. Also good are longer dancing scenes with Roxanna's troupe and Bogoas' troupe...both superb, filmic scenes...beautifully done. The Bogoas character (Francisco Bosch) is also expanded and made far more sympathetic.
The Indian Battle (wonderfully filmed in Thailand) is also more graphic as are some of the more intimate scenes yet nothing is without merit. This is not 2007, it's 330BC and mores and the concept of battle, honor, fidelity etc were different for those times. I for one, praise Mr. Stone for a very accurate feel and presence...and even minor characters are explained in far greater detail...such as the young Guardsman who killed Philip (Kilmer)...in a flashback we see his motives. It is now far more beautifully edited...from a master filmaker who values editing, JFK gets my vote as the best edited film of all time.
I am giving it 5 Stars...a masterpiece. Do watch the Stone introduction, he says it better than I..."If you liked the original you'll love this, if you hated the original you'll hate this even more!" Now there is a man!
The only part I am saddened about is that over the end titles Vangelis' epic piece 'Titans' is still only 2 minutes long...yet it fits the edit...and I would urge you to purchase the CD for the complete 4 minute version...one of the best pieces of film music I felt ever written."
More true to history than people think
A. M. Chugg | 03/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally sat on the fence in my opinion of the theatre release of Alexander, but Alexander Revisited has won me over as admirer of the film. The new cut has a truly epic feel and the leading characters are portrayed with more breadth and depth. In particular, the climactic crises of Alexander's career are conveyed more intelligibly and convincingly than before. I am the author of both academic articles and non-fiction books on Alexander, so I feel I should comment particularly on the historical accuracy of the film. In my opinion Alexander Revisited is notably honest, daring and sincere in its pursuit of historical accuracy. Although Oliver has deliberately conflated events which actually occurred at different times and places into single scenes (I think he had to in order to tell the whole story in a single film), almost everything has some kind of historical basis in the group of 2000 year old accounts, which provide most of our knowledge of Alexander. For example, such details as Cleitus severing the arm of a Persian about to strike Alexander, the incident with the monkeys in India and Alexander's visit to the wounded after the battle are all in the sources. Even that eagle is mentioned by Curtius. Furthermore, many snippets of dialogue are based on words actually said to have been spoken by Alexander: e.g. "He too is Alexander", "So would I if I were Parmenion", "It is a lovely thing to live with courage..." Great attention to historical detail was also paid to the costumes and scenery. Babylon was particularly good - the ziggurat, the flowers and the caged big cats were all really there when Alexander drove into the city in a chariot. Overall, Alexander Revisited gives a more authentic sense of the real history than any other film about the ancient world that I can think of. Gladiator was a great film, but its greatness owed more to Marvel comic strip principles of action and violence than to its setting in ancient Rome. Alexander Revisited is a great film because it tells one of the most compelling human stories in all of history with faithfulness, drama and pathos."
G. Tempany | Brisbane Australia | 03/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having admired the initial theatrical cut i was disappointed with the directors cut released on DVD. To me this appeared to be a sell out by Oliver Stone to appease the negative reaction this film received on release and try and win over more people with extended battles and less homosexual overtones. The directors cut played out badly and missed important backstory and character development shown in the original version. Hearing a final uncut, full length version was to be released i purchased hoping Oliver had had a rethink and restored his film to its greater glory. Well i can happily say he did and more. This is the cut which despite its 3.5 hour running time should have been released at the beginning. Alexander and his relationships have been given greater attention here and it helps the audience gain a greater understanding of this flawed but valiant person. The battle scenes have been extended and include some new graphic additions (a person being squashed to a pulp by an elephant being a memorable one) really adding to the scope and brutality of warfare. Colin Farrell does a great job however i felt Val Kilmer to be slightly weak and unbelievable. Overall this is a fine film which makes a noble attempt at capturing the essence of one of history's most revered and mysterious figures. The elephant battle scene is one of the best ever committed to film. Oliver Stone confirmed he wanted to make a film like the old greats (Ben Hur) with the same large canas and epic vision. Whilst he has succeeded i cannot forgive him for taking three goes to get it right. I would of thought someone as gifted as him wouldn't have needed to do this and is very lucky Warner Bros have given him another chance. I have not heard of anyone being this lucky before. Nevertheless i highly recommend this film for history buffs and battle fans who should rejoice in the fantastic canvas on display here. This is definitely NOT the disaster so many labelled it and the director should be very proud he has finally got it right."
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 04/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There aren't too many epic filmakers these days, and just about all of them court controversy at some point in their careers. Oliver Stone is just that kind of a man. From "JFK" to the recent "World Trade Center," he is not afraid to make decisions that will rankle people. Such is the case with his glorious mess, "Alexander." Everything about this movie is so right that the total failure of the film to connect can only lie on Stone's shoulders.
Colin Farrell plays Alexander as a troubled Mama's boy. The much debated 'gay content' is limited to googely-eyes shared between Farrell and Jared Leto (the hottest sex scene is when Rosario Dawson and Farrell get it on). Everyone - from Farrell to Val Kilmer, speaks as if Macedonia was Northern Ireland. Except Angelina Jolie, who plays Alexander's mother like she just left a gig doing Natasha voice overs for "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoons. Kilmer, by the way, is nothing short of brilliant as King Phillip. I didn't even recognize him at first, he is so enveloped in the role.
The filming itself is rich, lush, beautiful. So what does Stone do with it? Everyone stands up and makes speeches. Over and over, people talk on and on through scenes that go way beyond their need. Anthony Hopkin's voice overs give the film a much needed narrative connectivity, yet Hopkins himself barely appears. When he DOES show up, it is to pontificate like he's onstage at some Shakespearian production.
The battle scenes are mammoth, chaotic, splendid. That is, unless you want to have any indication of who is fighting who. Then, all the thrown dust and swirling camera work leave you guessing. Same with the bizarrely intercut timelines. You will have several WTF moments as you try to figure out not just the what, but the when an activity is taking place. Be patient and you will be rewarded with the spectacle of Alexander's final battle in India, with charging elephants and stunning scenery.
When comparing "Alexander" to "Troy" or "Kingdom Of Heaven," Stone's movie falls somewhere between the two. "Alexander" is more an accurate portrayal of Alexander than "Troy's" bungling of Homer's Iliad, (at least Stone didn't flinch away from bi-sexuality they way Wolfgang Peterson did with Achilles in "Troy"), but Troy never felt like it was dragging in pace. One the other hand, Colin Farell and the cast of "Alexander" are far more convincing than "Kingdom Of Heaven," even if I believe Ridley Scott managed to craft the more watchable movie.
It's too bad that all this amazing work is left floundering in chaos, becuase "Alexander" had all the making of a brilliant movie. It is so ambitious that I can't help but add the fourth star, but I suspect that a few more edits might have made this a more choherent movie. We all know Oliver Stone has it in him, after all, he made a movie that was mostly two hours of men buried in rubble fascinating. Why "Alexander" seems like it was left as rubble mystefies me.