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I'm so glad my colleague JW showed me how and where to download movies safely off the Internet last week. After watching Alexander last Friday, yesterday's film was The Incredibles, which I enjoyed immensely: a good story, topnotch animation, funny, entertaining, and uplifting.

Today, it was Troy, and I know now that I won't want to buy the DVD even if it has a gazillion extras. What version of The Iliad was this screenplay based on? Menelaos and Agamemnon, dying in Asia? Patroklos Achilles's young cousin rather than his lover? Andromache, a woman whose very name indicates that she fights with the men, a weepy woman whose only interest seems to lie in babies and nappies? Why, in this sanitised version of events, was the sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis omitted? It's integral to the story because without it, the Greeks could not have sailed for Troy; and it would have added a nice bit of drama.

As to the art direction: I'm willing to overlook the fact that the protagonists are drinking from metal cups of a design alien to the Mycenean and indeed Greek world; but why dress them when they're not fighting in fetching blue sarongs? At times, it felt like I was watching The Beach.

I liked the fight scenes, though. Orlando gets to wield a bow and arrow again after LotR (is that why they asked him to play Paris?), Sean Bean is excellent in his part of Odysseus, and Eric Bana's Hector stays remarkably close to the hero of legend -- but on the whole, I really found the film quite tedious.

I remembered to stock up on oliebollen and appelflappen, our traditional and necessary Dec 31st munchies, but forgot the bubbly and the smoked eel. I'd better go get some before the shops close, or 2005 and I will start off on the wrong foot altogether.

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( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
vegmb
Dec. 30th, 2004 06:21 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear that the movie was not up to par, and I was so looking forward to watching it. *sigh*

I picked up my bubbly Tuesday while I as in town. :)
gamiila
Dec. 30th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC)
Oops! So sorry if I ruined it for you...but, if you like that sort of stuff, I can heartily recommend Alexander...it stays closer to historical detail and tells a much better story.

I think Troy fails because it's too ambitious a project. There's no time for character development and a concentrating on sweeping views of no doubt digitally enhanced battle formations drawing up under the walls of Troy or storming the beach nearby. Homer's epic is compressed and condensed so that in the film, the Trojan War lasts no more than 14 days, 12 of which are spent under a truce, instead of the legendary 10 years of misery and hardship and heroics.

And on top of that, Helen is completely miscast, and about as intriguing and beguiling as a candy floss.
vegmb
Dec. 30th, 2004 09:29 pm (UTC)
I want to see Alexander as well. I may see Troy still just to look at Orlando and Brad...I had stopped watching movies just because they had pretty men in them, but...
gamiila
Dec. 30th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
I had stopped watching movies just because they had pretty men in them, but...

Well, Troy certainly does have its share! Although I must admit that strangely enough, Brad Pitt doesn't do it for me, he has got a nice bod that we get to see rather a lot of. Orlando is pretty, but he always looks so pained with it...Eric Bana isn't bad-looking, and Peter O'Toole used to bne quite handsome, too...For me, there was dead sexy in the form of Sean Bean: even if it's only a bit part, I saw and heard enough (his being such a clear case of taking the boy out of Yorkshire, never taking Yorkshire out of the boy) to melt again!

They showed FotR on TV yesterday -- brilliant film, but it only really gets interesting when Boromir (Sean Bean again!) enters the story...and his screen death is the only instance in the whole of the trilogy that's ever moved me to tears!
vegmb
Dec. 30th, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)
I was quite the Brad fan about 10-11 years ago, but he has lost a lot of his appeal...but he did look nice in the promos for that movie. I didn't know who Sean Bean was, but now that you have informed me, he is quite the cuttie.
gamiila
Dec. 31st, 2004 08:14 am (UTC)
Sean has been a guilty pleasure of mine since the mid- or late 80s...ever since I watched him cavorting buck naked in the woods in Lady Chatterley's Lover. He's quite a prolific actor of stage, film and TV, but mostly plays the baddie in Hollywood action movies.

Like most people, I was bowled over by Brad's appearance in Thelma & Louise, and he has played in some wonderful films since then (A River Runs Through It, Fight Club; but I don't know...maybe he's just too pretty to my liking ;-))
( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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