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Alexander - the 'film' via DVD
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viletrog



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Manchester,UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:16 am    Post subject: Alexander - the 'film' via DVD Reply with quote

I am so glad that I couldn't wait until it's release in the UK and so bought myself an Eastern version of the DVD - fortunately, it only cost me £7 approx $10 - what an unmitigated pile of tosh! After all the hype, me, cheering the fact that Di Caprio had his intended version cancelled - because I thought, with Robin Lane Fox as advisor and Oliver Stone as the film maker, we were in for perhaps one of the greatest films of all time - celebrating one of the most fascinating people of all time. Not only was the film historically inaccurate - talk about 'poetic licence'! - it was boring and in the main very average acting. What possessed Lane-Fox to put his reputation on the line, as one of the great contemporary experts on Alexander, and have himself associated with this rubbish. Di Caprio was to play Alexander, based on books written by some professor called Massimo (I think that's how you spell it?). Each and everyone of his books is a travesty of the truth - I think he must have got confused with Alexander and Last Tango in Paris? How pleased I was that one of the main sources to be used for the Stone film would be Mary Renault's trilogy. Whilst Stone has used some of her work, the rest of the film seems based on reaching the lowest common denominator - I notice Stone says some of his cuts were to make the film more accessible - for those of you who are angry that he cut it, don't worry, he did you a great favour - to have to sit through many more minutes of this most disappointing of films, should be viewed as a 'kindness' rather than an affront. I take it all these people involved in the film saw the rushes and the final version, how could they sit through this garbage, given their collective depth of experience, and not see that it wasn't much better than the Richard Burton tour de force -reaches for a bucket to be sick into!
My greatest disappointment is, having spent so much money (money better spent on feeding the poor - never mind another 'Live Aid' self congratulatory concert) this film/story will probably never be re-made properly in my lifetime - it took them 40 years to make this new one - if we have to wait another 40 years - making me then 91 years old - I'll probably be up in heaven/down in hell, with Alexander and his mates - perhaps that wouldn't have been such a bad option now, rather than waste my time, my money and faith on such poor storytelling - and got it straight from the 'horse's mouth' - so to speak! JT (John Tierney - extremely upset and disappointed) Evil or Very Mad
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birdiemom94



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure how much sympathy you will get around this place with your post. Pretty much everyone around here liked the film. I certainly didn't see a lot of what you mentioned, when I saw the film. Could it have been better? Yes (but thats the case with many films), but I don't think it deserved all the venom that it got.

But everyone has an opinion, thank you for posting yours.

Dara Smile
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Maz



Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

birdiemom94 wrote:
I am not sure how much sympathy you will get around this place with your post. Pretty much everyone around here liked the film. I certainly didn't see a lot of what you mentioned, when I saw the film. Could it have been better? Yes (but thats the case with many films), but I don't think it deserved all the venom that it got.

But everyone has an opinion, thank you for posting yours.

Dara Smile


I couldn't agree more Dara. The film had been so critically slated that I thought I was in for an all out borefest, so you can understand my joy when I watched and enjoyed it. Obviously people have different oppinions but I'm just wondering why you would go to the trouble to sighn up to a forum just to post the negativity you felt for the film Confused
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viletrog



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Manchester,UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:13 am    Post subject: Alexander - the film via DVD Reply with quote

I'm not looking for 'sympathy' Dara - just someone to do what they started out doing - as I said - and your post, and the other that goes with it, has proved my point: 'all down to the lowest common denominator' - it seems Stone may have achieved his declared intent - 'to make the film more accessible' - I think we call it 'dumbing down' - cool, if that's the superficiality you choose to live with - just don't expect everyone to be air headed. I for one won't be wasting any more money or time on this trash - if you really knew the story, you might feel the same way too, but then, maybe not! cheers - jt Cool
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The film 'Alexander' was anything but perfect film wise, but I've got to say that I didn't find the history quite as **** as you seem to say it was. Was there a lot of opinion put in it (about how Alexander died, how he interacted with his mother, father, Hephaistion, Roxanne, etc,), hell yes, but all those things are just opinion anyway. THere is no definitive version of how Alexander acted or what he meant to people in private, just a lot of educated guesses. What we do know about is what he accomplished. Which is there in the film, and it's unfortunate that much of it was glossed over in a monologue (a definite weak point IMO) but that is a mistake of the direction not in the actual history, which is actually, but like I said, glossed over.

Would you, a person who 'really knows the story' care to explain exactly what the film got so historically wrong, other then the opinions expressed about ATG personal relationships?

Not to mention, last time I checked film made for the lowest common denominator where much more 'commonly' embraced by people.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And one last thing Viletrog, I'm guessing it's not the 'Tarn'like views that Alexander expressed in the film that your objecting too, seeing as you do recomment Renault?
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birdiemom94



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just made a statement, I am not here to pick a fight. I am just saying that you probably won't find a lot of people who will agree with you, here.

Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion, thats fine. I wouldn't call something "dumbed down", because some people liked it and you didn't.

I am not an expert on ATG, but I have posted on another board with a professor that was and she stated the film was fairly accurate (she liked it). So I don't live with superficiality and I don't find people to be air headed that don't agree with me. But, I didn't find it to be trash at all, either. I have certain movies that I liked and this happened to be one of them. Thats my opinion. I liked it because I felt Stone went to great pains to make it accurate. I wasn't one that went just for the "entertainment" value of the film. Yes, I read Robin Lane Fox's book, so I knew some going into the film (I am no expert by any means).

No film is going to be 100% accurate. This one was not as well. But I accept it for what it was... a MOVIE!! It's not the be all to end all authority on ATG. It is one man's interpretation. Thats what I take it as. Someone else may come along and make another film on ATG and it may be totally different. It's all interpretation. I do respect Stone for even trying to take on a project like this. It's not a perfect film. I found a lot of things about it that could have been better. But I didn't think it was as bad as all of the critics said it was.

I am not going to keep going around about this. I was not trying to offend you with my first post. Let's just leave it that we are on opposite sides of the issue and leave it at that.

Thank you,

Dara Smile
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Goldsnail



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot quite understand the criticism when it comes to sources. Views may differ on acting, directing, editing and so on - you have your opinion and that's fair.

But where did you read that the movie was going to be hugely based on the Renault books? I know that Baz Luhman's diCaprio-version was going to be based on the Manfredi books. Maybe you confused something there? I mean, Stone DID "steal" a couple of scenes from "Fire from Heaven" in my eyes, but as far as I know he never claimed to make a movie out of the books.
Historically, it seemed mostly quite correct, as correct as one can be when making a movie, I suppose. No movie can be correct because it'd be boring - life rarely works in the terms of drama, things have to be left out and others strengthened. I think the movie worked brilliantly as a portrait of the decaying sanity of Alexander, and that it took a good effort in explaining his eccentricities, even if one may disagree with that explanation. It's an interpretation and the reasoning is strong throughout the movie. Now, I have a different view on Alexander's death than Stone showed in his movie, but I can understand his viewpoint.


I fear that if you're waiting for THE REAL ALEXANDER MOVIE (TM) Wink you'll never see it. Nobody has read things quite like you have. Nobody envisions things like you do. If movies are made of books, many fans of the books are deeply disappointed because characters and settings are just too different. However, I've found that when I try to see movies seperate from what they're based on, they often make good entertainment. Prejudice can kill the fun to a great degree. It's always best to watch a movie expecting nothing at all, then the only real surprise can be that the movie is waaaay better than you'd ever have thought Wink
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

" Alexander" is a movie that some people simply hated and the rest..... fell in love with it !


The end
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Maz



Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

viletrog wrote:
cool, if that's the superficiality you choose to live with


Sorry but I find the fact your labelling people from your personal oppinion offensive. Alot of us do know the actual story, if you had cared to look in the forum ''Alexander' The Man' you may have noticed many members have read biographies of his. Sorry man, but your being kind of rude... you obviously have strong negative feelings on this film and here is probably not the best place to post them if you can't handle people disagreeing. And if you have bought the DVD what else would there be left for you to 'waste your money on' Confused
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PersianElite



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is that movie released on DVD (Edited version) in Europe yet? can someone tell Smile thank you! Very Happy
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Maz



Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PersianElite wrote:
is that movie released on DVD (Edited version) in Europe yet? can someone tell Smile thank you! Very Happy


I think in some parts of Europe it is, have a look around there are a few threads on that particular subject.
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viletrog



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Manchester,UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Abraham Lincoln was strangled not shot..... Reply with quote

A few facts for Rachel....filling in the holes for Maz's so called 'knowing the actual story'...and for Dara's learned professor and Goldsnail's contention that perhaps I'm confused........oh, and Goldsnail, thanks for the lecture on perceptions, I must be sure to rehearse your lessons before I dare to open my gob again.

A few points for you to try to learn from....

1. When Alexander speaks to the Persian princess, in the film - this is factually (sourced) incorrect - what in fact happened was that Alexander met with Darius's mother, after the battle at Gaugamala - he does not meet them in Babylon - when they meet he says 'Yes MOTHER he too is Alexander' - referring to Hephaistion - the name of Darius's mother was Sisygambis.
2. Alexander went on to marry Stateira, and Hephaistion married her sister - this was an attempt at integration - there was also a mass wedding ceremony of all the Macedonian troops to local women - obviously not significant enough for Stone to mention and where he does allude to the relationship and meeting of Alexander with Darius's mother and sisters - he gets it wrong.
3. Alexander did not meet Bagoas in Babylon, or through Roxanne - he actually met Bagoas in Hyrkania, when Bagoas pleads for the life of Nabazanes - one of Darius's murderers.
4. Bagoas's famous dance - he in fact won a dance competition, in front of the whole Macedonian army (who shouted: 'Kiss Him') - the dance took place after the visit to India and after the desert - also anyone who knows anything about Ancient Indian culture will know that before British rule, their attitude towards sexual mores were much more flexible and easy - unlike the reaction portrayed in the film - which didn't happen anyway, cos the dance didn't take place in India - I think this is pandering to current sexual opinions about *** and Gay love - of course in those days there were no '***' - just people who had, generally, a very liberated and healthy attitude to sex of all kinds.
With regards to Prof. Massimo Manfredi's book about Alexander - I wouldn't trumpet the fact that Stone may well have drawn on his 'novel' - his novel is 100 times worse than the film - and very inaccurate - Manfredi too should be 'defrocked' or whatever it is one does to historians who lie about the truth.
5. Hephaistion did not die in Babylon but in Ekbatana -Alexander painted the walls of the city black in mourning for Hephaisition.
So it seems Stone's determination to cut the film to shreds, to miss out important, and I think incredibly dramatic events, were a sop to the Bible belt in the States? and I wonder if he cynically thought 'Well most people won't know the facts anyway, so we'll give them any old yarn'? - he's not interested in what the real story is, just whether his film will manage to pay for itself.
Very sad.

There are many other things I could say, from the sources, but I have a feeling that some of you prefer fantasy and cloud cuckoo land.
Dara, I responded in the way I did because I found your first response to my criticisms aggressive and dismissive i.e. 'You won't find much sympathy round here' - so now who's refusing to listen to other people because it jars with your idealising? Take that one on board Rachel - if you can understand it - or has it, like the story, just gone 'WHOOSH' - right over your head? I suspect so.
Dara, I will say this, that at least your follow up response explained your previous statement - and that you at least tried to make an effort.
The rest of you...stay happy in your 'Land of Make Believe' - I'm sure it's much nicer than reality.
With regards to film making and poetic licence - of course I accept that nothing is perfect, of course I accept that Colin Farrell (who I love as an actor), in my opinion was very wooden - and that that is just my opinion.
In the Author's note in Mary Renault's 'The Persian Boy' - second of the Alexander trilogy - she apologises for not using proper names, such as Alexandros instead of Alexander.. and so on with others...she also accepts that some of the stuff she has said is conjecture (although based on a deeply informed opinion) - with regards to not hearing that Mary Renault's work would be one of the 'sources' they would use - and did use, this was said in an interview with Robin Lane Fox - given he was the advisor to Stone, I unfortunately concluded that he might have the ear of Stone and therefore Mary Renault was an important source for their story. And there endeth the lesson - as I don't usually spend my time giving free lessons, consider this posting as a bonus.
Someone wondered if I had visited the ATG site - YES - so what?
Well that's it from me - no more free lessons and certainly no more attempts to demistify the world of reality as opposed to sheer fantasy - I think Stone must have mixed up his genres too - Kleitos was killed long before India - unless of course we are being asked to make the leap that he came back as one of the 'undead' - in which case Stone needs to be clear - to places like Amazon, that this is NOT an historical epic, but should be listed under 'Fantasy/Horror.
If you really want to get some kind of feel for who Alexander was, and what life was really like in those days, you will not go far wrong in reading Renault's books - it's interesting that until recently her books had gone out of print in Britain, whilst in the States they continue to be printed and sold - and for an English author to be given tha accolade of being a philosopher and historian - you Brits should be proud.
For the person who is looking for a European edition - PersianElite - there was a Scandinavian version - in English - available at CDWOW - on t'internet. - cheers - jt
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Maz



Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your getting personal, rude and offensive... hopefully Kevin will have this locked. I'd reply to that post but judging from your words you seem too ignorant to be able to debate without being either sarcastic or judgemental i.e. your not worth anymore of my time. Goodbye.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. It would have been pointless to introduce Sisygambis to the story and not have her show up ever again. She was an interesting character in history but just another character of many in Alexander's life and would be lost in the shuffle.
Most people unfortunately didn't even recognize or remember Pausanias when he showed up again. Stone had to make an impression of Stateira that would make people remember her. Unlike poor Pausanias. I don't think this is a purposeful blunder so much as trying to keep an

2. Now the mass wedding is a regrettable oversight. But one of many. It was not a mistake, but like the many things that would have easily made 'Alexander' a 12 hr movie instead of a 3 hr one.
Besides that, the fact that you call the mass wedding Alexander's attempt at 'intigration', is a very Tarnesque opinion. Along with that whole "I see the future Hephaistion..." speach, that many historians seem to consider over idealistic fodder.

3. Where Alexander met Bagoas is actually up for debate. I have heard that other sources just treat him as one of the harem. Giving that scene to Bagoas would again be drawing the audience to another character to take away from ATG in a film with definite issues with time.
I never liked Bagoas anyway and was glad that his presence was fleeting.

4. I know about Bagoas's dance taking place later. Bagoas's dance also didn't entice the arguement between ATG and Cleitus, and then proceed to Cleitus being speared to death by ATG(as you have listed at the bottom of your post). I call it putting everything together in a nutshell.
And while I don't know about ancient Indian cultural attitudes to *** behaviour I understood that the reaction was more about ATG hedonism and over-indulgence. Something that he was taught to strive against by Aristotle to be a proper Greek. Also I was under the impression that the Indians never took to ATG as king quite like the Persians did.

5. 'Hephaistion did not die in Babylon but in Ekbatana -Alexander painted the walls of the city black in mourning for Hephaisition. '

I know. He also ordered that the doctor be killed. Then he spent a that day and the night laying on top of the body. And he cut his hair just as Achilles had done with Patroclus died (which they should have done to those awful extensions), and he had the manes and tails of the cavlry horse shorn as well. Then the body was mummified so it could be moved from Ecbatana to Babylon where he built the most extravagant funeral pyre ever recorded. Most expensive funeral in history apparantly.
Unfortunately they only had him cry of two minutes on the body, while he ordered the doctors death, then they had him rush into a completely fabricated situation accusing Roxanne of killing Hephaistion and him nearly killing her only to stop when she announces that she's pregnant. Now that was untrue, because Roxanne was still pregnant 8months later when ATG died. That was all just to make Stone's point with the mural of Heracles flashing before his eyes, paint the picture that Alexander was what he hated now; his father. He was powerful and great as a king, but suspicious and lashing out at everyone close to him and doomed to be lonely.

I hated that they change Hephaistion death the first time I saw it, but I conceeded to respect the greater point that he wanted to make out of the situation.
What I hated more so was showing Alexander get the arrow in his chest fighting King Porus in India instead of after he jumped down from the Malian wall. Mostly because up until that point Stone had actually gotten Alexander's MILITARY career right. (He could have spent more time showing it instead of telling imo, but he hadn't fudged any of it until then.) Because ATG is remembered for being a great military leader and world conquerer, not because of being nice to Darius's mother or daughter, where he met a Persian pleasure slave, or which location he kissed him infront of the troops or his generals. And as much as I love the ambiguity of the relationship of ATG and the apparant bond that was not broken, even in death, he is still more well noted as ruler of Macedonia, conqueror of Asia, Egypt, and India, not because he painted the wall black in the palace of Ecbatana.
The fact that Stone even tried to include these characters like Bagoas, or elevate Hephaistion from the other campanions, is really icing on the cake, a cake that should have been worked on a little more first. Sorry I didn't catch your points before, but the points(icing) that you made, has been researched and debated everywhere, where their were people who saw 'Alexander' posting. I was mistakenly under the impression that you had something new about Stone falsifying or leaving out ALexander merits as a leader. It could be easily argued that he focused to little on that, that made him 'The Great'.

But instead Viletrog, you have decided to accuse me of not getting the story or ATG, because I share a differing view then yourself about the final product of the film. What I do get, is that what you really seem to want out of the film was a documentary really, not a feature film. Which I already stated that a miniseries format would be better for ATG, but you'd rather ignore that, and insult my intelligence instead.
And while I too, enjoyed Mary Renault's trilogy on ATG overall, 'The Persian Boy', deified a very unimportant character overall in ATG story and still was painted by MR views of ATG, much like STone's film. Of course it would be nice if Stone's film came with notes, but considering just about everything wrong with the film was spread on the internet in minutes, I'm not sure it's really necessary.

Might I suggest you either try the epicfilm board to see Pr Reames-Zimmerman review or just go to her site.

This is my last attempt at polite debate. If you just would rather say it went over my head then talk about any points; don't bother.
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