Truly Bad Films

Friday, February 03, 2006

Movie Review

Alexander (2004)

I was going to lift a line from Alexandra and say this movie is gay "from here to Gay Corner," but then I read Roger Ebert's review of it and he didn't think it was gay enough. Under-gay! Over-gay! I have no idea. If you have a problem with gay, you don't want to see this movie. I can say that with confidence.

Now that that is out of the way, I can also say, with confidence, that I loved Colin Farrell's performance. This guy can ACT! Wow! Even though he is a great looking guy, he isn't afraid to distort his face with every emotion out there. I haven't seen a young actor do this is in . . . waaaaay too long. I mean, I'm so tired of the prissy Orlando Bloom and Keanu Reeves "Insert Appropriate Emotion Here" way of gently gesturing toward the emotion their characters might feel if it didn't require them to move their faces and risk looking unpretty for a second or two. Colin didn't look pretty in much of this movie and while he did it he made me feel crazed war rage; nauseated horror and grief; frustrated hatred mixed with unbidden love. He is a glorious actor because he brings to life the blends of emotion real people feel. I love this guy.

The costumes and make up come across as real too. They are exceptional. Persian soldier's tunics looked home-dyed and sun faded. The chilblains on Macedonian cheeks in the high-altitude scenes looked like they might bleed at any second. The clothes and make-up together give this film a tactile significance no one can ignore. It's real. And the battle scenes are brutal. I'm a fairly hardened horror film fan and I was shocked at the battle violence: blades on chariot wheels go through soldier's legs like a Cuisinart, and war animals are killed with extreme fury.

But the movie isn't perfect. On the downside, it is very slow to gather momentum as it opens with a windy "Grandpa remembers" moment from Ptolemy that make this bazillion dollar film from Oliver Stone feel like a filmstrip you watched in 4th grade. And then Stone repeatedly does this annoying, impulsion killing thing where he illustrates a pivitol point in Alexander's life, and THEN shows a flashback that explains it. Why do we always get the vital flashback AFTER the scene from Alexander's adult life? It's as if Stone was trying to make Alexander's years as a child more important than his adult life. It confuses the story line and makes the whole film less involving. Yet, inspite of the broken story line and Ptolemy's recurring scenes of doddering recollections, I really enjoyed this film. Colin Farrell is amazing and I will watch anything with him in it from now on!


At 1:32 PM, Blogger bunnyjo georg said...

Wow, I'd read so many bad reviews of this movie, I thought it wasn't worth my time. It sounds like it is worth a second look. I truly love to see a good performance, gay or no. :)


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