November 24, 2004

Alexander degraded

Speaking of film reviews, The Washington Post had what can only be described as a delicious dissing of Oliver Stone's Alexander:

If you played a word-association game with "Alexander the Great," you'd probably come up with "conqueror," "king," "warrior," "legend," "despot," "wastrel" or "killer." Unfortunately, Oliver Stone has chosen to build his epic of the Macedonian military genius around a word highly unlikely to make the list: "crybaby."

In Stone's view, this is a highly neurotic young man whose emotions, far from being repressed or disciplined as one would expect of a great soldier of the 4th century B.C., are worn on his sleeve, except, of course, that he doesn't have sleeves, the shirt still being two millennia down the road. So he wears them on his wrist -- and it's a limp one.

The faux controversy (which seems to me to be more of a marketing ploy than anything else) over Stone's treatment of Alexander's bisexuality might be more of an issue than I originally thought. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I've always found it odd that Stone wasn't criticized more for alleging in JFK that a cabal of flamboyant homosexuals killed Kennedy at the behest of the military industrial complex. Well, that's neither here nor there; I suppose I don't care much for Oliver Stone's films because his technique is to have one theme, then to beat the audience with it over the head until they're senseless. "Do you get it yet?" "How about now?" "How about now?" .

Stephen Hunter's review is a joy to read. I concluded that the film might be worth seeing as comedy.

Then there's Angelina Jolie as Mom. Really, words fail me here. But let's try: Give this young woman the hands-down award for best impression of Bela Lugosi while hampered by a 38-inch bust line. Though everyone else in the picture speaks in some variation of a British accent, poor Jolie has been given the Transylvanian throat-sucker's throaty, sibilant vowels, as well as a wardrobe of snakes. She represents the spirit of kitsch that fills the movie, and with all her crazed posturing and slinking, it's more of a silent movie performance than one from the sound era. Theda Bara, call your agent.

That might be worth the price of admission alone!

Posted by Ideofact at November 24, 2004 12:09 PM