2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Thursday, December 02, 2004

This white man's burden is the idea of his own greatness. Like Troy before it, the obsession of Oliver Stone's Alexander (Colin Farrell) is the creation of his own myth. Bypassing the majority of the youthful king's unification of the Mediterranean, Stone is more interested in Alexander's existential crisis as he and his weary army of loyal Macedonians march farther and farther East trying to forge and define a legend-in-progress.

Narrated "historically" by Alexander's fellow general-turned-historian Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins), Alexander spends much of its first hour touring frescos and wall-paintings depicting the trials and tribulations of heroes in the Greek myths. Ostensibly the director is drawing a parallel from these two dimensional, public, simplified, myth-making tableaus with the projection of the film on the wall of the cinema. But even Stone's idea of chronicling a faux-historical journey of a great man’s army as if it were a self-conscious media machine from 2500 years ago fails to explain the constant ellipses Alexander uses, jumping from the warrior's teenage tiff with his father Philip (Val Kilmer) to Hopkins proclaiming only through narration that Alexander soon after ascended to the throne subsequently conquered much of Europe.

The elision is a hard swallow in contrast to the first and principle battle of the film, which is carefully setup as a straight tactical reenactment. Stone takes his time detailing Alexander's risky strategy, subtitling specific army positions and literally giving a bird's eye view of the phalanxes and cavalry maneuvers, but then inexplicably leaps over the battle's dramatic conclusion--Alexander apparently losing his gambit but the next sequence showing him entering Babylon in triumph. Much of Alexander’s three-hour running time follows this mystifying technique of attempting broad extrapolation, turning it into extended visual self-gratification, and following it by chronological truncation. The drama of the film--existing mainly in Alexander's vaguely defined motivation for dragging his countrymen into the Eastern hinterland, and his laughable pseudo-Freudian conflict with his "sorcerous" mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) who attempts to mold him into a great homosexual king--is limpid, generalized, straightforwardly melodramatic, and constantly fails at elucidating the film's characters, story, or historical interpretation. Alexander's unexplained motivation to reform the “barbarous”, and “racially impure” East into the civilized, cultured, united model of the white West likewise fails both to explore this fascinating ideology of Greek city-state building and to connect Alexander's military mission with the America's current political situation.

That a nearly three-hour movie never makes clear what it really is about is shameful, and as Stone leaps and glosses over history, action, characters, and a story all at once, one wants to picture a film that has been homogenized and butchered by its own grandiose production scale rather than the bewildering mess of a director's vision. One searches furtively for some sort of subversive content from Stone, and the end of the hunt produces only one possible answer: that the expositionally glossed over, dramatically immature, historically didactic film is really Stone showing how presumptive both the public and historians are when looking at fragmented historical records and artistically depicted myths. In its grand, inexplicable failure, perhaps Stone’s film is an attempt to show that the archetypal stories created on those walls in Greece are just as vapid, melodramatic, simplified, and pandering to mass tastes as a mediocre, overripe spectacle of ineptitude like Alexander.