When Hollywood gets together in the conference room to green light movies (that’s industry talk for gittin er done), you would think they’d establish some ground rules. The rules would be simple, and would seem to go without saying. For example, we DO make epic historical films about great historical figures because their sweep and scope is one of the things that makes movies so great. Similarly, we DON’T cast Jared Leto because the only thing darker than his eye shadow is the stain he leaves on the tradition of acting. For example, we DO feature sword fights and raging battles, but we DON’T allow Angelina Jolie to speak in a Natasha Fatale voice. Just basic, super obvious ground rules. The reason you would put them on paper when they seem like something everyone should know is because if you don’t put them on paper then movies like Alexander get made. Sure, some rules were made to be broken, but not these fucking rules.
I watched the “Director’s Cut,” to see the movie as it was meant to be seen. It’s nice (nice means sad, right?) to know that Oliver Stone was unashamed to take complete ownership of the film and share his purest of visions. I have absolutely no idea how you could change a single second of it (JK, I have a ton of ideas, starting with cutting all of the seconds).
I’m not a historian, so I can’t really speak to how true this movie stayed to its source material, but basically Alexander was the Macdeonian king of Greece who was a fearless warrior with an Irish accent who expanded his empire all the way to India before dying of AIDS. That sounds about right. He was in love with his best friend Jared Leto, who also died of AIDS, which he got from drinking wine at a key party. Alexander had a very troubled relationship with his mother, played by Angelina Jolie. Did you know that in ancient times it was common for your mother to be only one year older than you, so when a 29-year-old Angelina Jolie played the mother of a 30-year-old Colin Ferrell that was actually just facts. It’s also a fact that Alexander the Great’s mom was a Nazi. And while it’s probably just an apocryphal story that Alexander screamed “you birthed me in a sac of hate” at his mother during a weird Oedipal fight, that is why he’s considered by history to be the first great comedian, because that is the funniest thing ever.
The movie was based on a book by historian Robin Lane who, according to Wikipedia, gave up his credit in order to be “allowed to take part in the epic cavalry charge during the film’s recreation of the Battle of Gaugamela.” Gave up his credit, huh? You mean like took his name off the movie? Sounds like someone’s figured out a way to be a historian and a genius.
You need look no further than Colin Farrell and his blonde weave to understand why this movie is unbearable. In his first rousing Braveheart-style speech, they actually had to cut away after about thirty seconds to keep the audience from laughing (it did not work). And it’s not like his co-stars do anything to help. Jared Leto looks like Jordan Catalano in furs. Val Kilmer’s one-eyed King Phillip is more believable, but only if you think of him as an older Madmartigen, and you do, and he’s not believable I was just joking. Anthony Hopkins is also in this movie, which I know because I thought “who is that old man who’s like a poor man’s Anthony Hopkins.” Turns out Anthony Hopkins is so talented he can also be the poor man’s Anthony Hopkins as long as the money’s right and the movie is horrible.
The film’s treatment of homosexuality was hateful. We’re supposed to believe that the most powerful man in the civilized world has a secret relationship with Jared Leto? No, David Blaine. Homosexuals want the same things as everyone else: meaningful relationships with human beings. If he wanted to stick his dick in an unthinking bag of hair, then his relationship with Rosario Dawson would not have been as troubled and sexless.
Not that the movie didn’t do an epic job of portraying the true greatness of Alexander. For example, did you know that Alexander invented the tax system?
It says it right there. Tax System. Right after this shot, Alexander wearily puts down his pen and fucks some dude because if there’s one thing this movie taught us, it’s that Alexander was gay. And there is only one thing this movie taught us.
I’ve noticed that every clip I pick in The Hunt occurs near the end of the film, but I think that’s because it’s only at the end of these film do things begin to truly collapse under the weight of so much fur and leather armor. Please note the incomprehensible emotional swings, Angelina Jolie’s fucking voice, and how much you hate this.
One time when I was working in a cubicle job, I walked into my boss’s office with my fly open. That was pretty embarrassing. But you know what? I never had to walk into my boss’s office and tell her that I directed Alexander. That’s your lame anecdote, Oliver Stone.