Cover Art/Menu: 4/10
The cover doesn’t do much to spark the imagination. If you have seen Alexander in either of it’s other forms, you will skip over the cover and go straight for what’s inside. The menu is purely navigational, so there’s nothing to report there. I guess I was hoping for something a bit more enticing for this third Alexander.
I guess the fact that this movie was re-edited yet again is an extra in itself. The only official extra is the introduction by Oliver Stone. He does the standard whys and how’s about getting Alexander put together his way.
The Movie: 7/10
I can’t say that because a movie looks amazing and has a lot of intriguing historical references in it, it’s great. Alexander Revisited is epic. From the battles to the theater-esque monologues, it’s a solid movie watching experience. I’m not that fond of the whole time shifting thing, going from now to 40 years ago, to 10 years later to 9 years earlier to 10 years later to 45 years later..etc. It’s not that I can’t understand the flashback narrative style. It’s just that this is a tale of a nearly mythical man’s journey of life from being the supposed illegitimate son of a king to becoming the conquering king of an every expanding territory. He didn’t get his power from being all nice and accommodating.
Stone gives Alexander the benefit of the doubt by making him a charming charismatic young man with a certain way with people. A way that draws them to him. They follow where he goes and buy into his plans for bringing the world together, even though it involves killing, and conquering other lands to take them as if it were their destiny to rule the world under Alexander’s grand plan.
Stone writes it as if Alexander were nothing more than a dreamer, a man who desires to see and experience the cultures of the world with an almost childlike enthusiasm. I’m not sure if a man who takes his army on a decade long killing spree across 10,000 miles away from their homeland is really that much of a cultural ambassador of good will.
In revisited we don’t get any more feeling that Alexander was close to his father, even though there are more scenes of them together. Alexander’s mother is too much of a bitter old cow to let her son ever feel fully devoted to his father (or alleged father). She wants him to believe he is the son of the Greek God Zeus and that he is destined for greatness. I would say if she were alive today and was true to Stone’s depiction of her she would be class-A nutso with some kind of syndrome or complex. Jolie doesn’t do much to impress, except try to pull off some strange accent and she looks quite sexy in her flowing togas and adorning live snakes.
My personal opinion of the movie, along with Farrell’s portrayal of Alexander is still muddied for some reasons I can’t figure out. Farrell isn’t as commanding as I guess I would like to see this man who dominated so many lands and changed the geography of the world. The time shifting narrative doesn’t seem appropriate or necessary. The Anthony Hopkins bits at the beginning and end are completely out of context for me, except to be used to fill in some historical bits and pieces that most of us might not know about Greek history, or the time frame during Alexander’s life.
It’s much better this time, I will say that. I got into the story more, enjoyed the sights and lush sets and costumes a lot. That’s the big bonus of this film any way you look at it. There seems to be no expense spared for the look of everything from their clothes to the buildings, and down to the tiniest objects that take up the spaces in between. It’s a lovely looking film with a few Oliver Stone moments, appropriately placed, including some psychedelic colors and tinkered with camera work meant to tune us into a particular character’s perception at critical moments.
This ain’t your casual Saturday night viewing, I will say that much. There are some gruesome fights, severed heads and stuff. There’s also strong sexual content, so it’s not for the kiddies to be watching for their Hollywood history lesson. It’s heavyweight viewing and demands a bit of commitment from you not to get fidgety or let your attention run astray. That might be part of why I do like it, it’s not for the light hearted movie fan crowd, that’s for sure. It’s not strong enough for me to jack up the scores, but it’s got some power to it and it’s definitely a movie that makes you feel like you have taken a long and difficult journey. It’s worth the time and effort to watch it either for the first time, or second, or third, if you have ventured through each version.
Unless you love love love this movie and all of it’s versions, I wouldn’t recommend making a permanent spot for it on your DVD shelf. If you were like me, kind of so-so the first time around, and now are curious enough to watch it all again, get yourself a rental. For a limited time the movie comes with a free ticket to see 300, while this adds a little extra value it would have been nice to get $10 off the eventual release of 300 on DVD instead.
Overall Score 6/10