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Thread: Alexander, the Director's Cut

  1. #1

    Default Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I just watched Oliver Stone's director's cut of Alexander, and I have to say it's much better than the theatrical release and very well done. It's actually 11 minutes shorter than the theatrical release. It benefits from critical feedback in that the sexual overtones are toned down a lot which I was glad to see. I did expect to see a couple of the poorly placed flashback scenes relocated in the movie, but Stone went way beyond what I expected in this regard and it really lifts the movie to a high artistic level. What I didn't expect was the refocusing of the picture on exploring who Alexander was to such an extent that the viewer has to know the historical narrative quite well. The expository monologues by Ptolomy (Anthony Hopkins) are shortened, the opening one by a full 3 minutes, and there aren't anymore history lessons using the map. The events that are depicted are as historically accurate as possible, although, many events that were actually separated in time are condensed into a single sequence. Even so, the importance of the events and their affect on Alexander comes through accurately. The private scenes are all speculation, but consistent with Stone's view of Alexander who he admits is not knowable directly from the secondhand historical records available, and many of the situations depicted have more than one interpretation. The viewer is given options to think about. Alexander isn't presented as a macho hero the way the main characters in Troy, Gladiator, Braveheart and King Arthur are presented. It's interesting because in the movie Alexander says that people are remembered not for who they were but for what they did. What he did has had a profound influence on western civilization. Why he did it has relevence to present day attitudes.

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  2. #2
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Sounds great! If it's as good as you say it is, and assuming what you wrote is truthful, then I'll get it for sure. I liked the movie a lot, the only thing that bothered me was the long ass Ptolemy speeches. I couldn't care less that Alexander had sex with guys. I think anyone aware of the history of the pagan era of southern europe is very aware also that they didn't care who they slept with.

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    Boondock Saint Senior Member The Blind King of Bohemia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I never saw the original cut but the directors cut is very good and part from the Irish accents its a damn fine film with the battles being realistic, gory and enjoyable.

    My fav shot is the eagle over the opposing armies at Gaugemela, which really is cool imo.

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    The Theatrical Version is shocking, they have actually split the film in half to put it on two DVDs and then put some extra features on the first!

    Irritating and bad judgement.

    The flashback scenes! I remember those now! Why was the scene of his father's murder put there? What was the significance?
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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I watchedit two days ago. The scenery and the like are mazing as for the rest it sucked big wind. Give me the Richard Burton version any day. I must admit I fell asleep before the end.
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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    I must admit I fell asleep before the end.
    Old men easily fall asleep like that


    CBR

  7. #7
    Boondock Saint Senior Member The Blind King of Bohemia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    The richard Burton film is really shite man. Overacted and crap basically, the only guy i like in it is the great Peter Cushing but apart from that...

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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    I watchedit two days ago. The scenery and the like are mazing as for the rest it sucked big wind. Give me the Richard Burton version any day. I must admit I fell asleep before the end.
    I've seen the Richard Burton version. And I can't see how Stones version could be worse.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I wonder why the movie did so horribly at the box office. If i remember right, it wasnt directly competing with another blockbuster..

    Then again, I didnt see it - and I usually love that type of movie.

  10. #10
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    My favorite part was the elephants attackin the phallanx in the jungle. That was so awesome! I don't know why people hate this movie, I've seen 100 times worse from so called "Academy Award Winning" pictures. This movie is not perfect or a modern classic but it's pretty entertaning and artistic.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Oliver Stone takes responsibility for the theatrical release, but it was influenced by people who wanted the audience's hands held and the sex scenes played up for commercial reasons. They even changed the time jumps to, for example, "3 years later", because the theatrical audience wouldn't understand that 327 BC was later than 330 BC. The Director's Cut is a reworking of the entire movie to Stone's artistic vision unencumbered by those commercial considerations. He can't take the eyeliner off Haphaistion, but his death scene is completly reworked and the knife sequence with Roxanne is thankfully gone, although, that takes out the copy of Homer's Illiad that Alexander always kept with him. A small price to pay I would say.

    The story he tells in this version is compelling, and I didn't have any moments of "Oh no! What an artistic blunder." like I did with the theatrical release. All the flashback scenes work for me and are distributed over all three acts, and have relavence to the scene from which they cut away. I think he knew he was going to make a director's cut all along, and didn't put much effort into editing the theatrical release in which the classroom type narration is at odds with what Stone was trying to do. Even the big jump cut to Guagamela works better because of the scene preceeding it. There is a lot skipped in that 6 year jump, but Stones says he had to move the story ahead so he could cover the final 8 years.

    I would say that anyone who buys the theatrical release DVD just because it's 11 minutes longer is missing out. BTW, the film score by Vangelis is outstanding.

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    Don't worry, I don't exist Member King of Atlantis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Are these sex scenes with two men, cause if so,

  13. #13

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Atlantis
    Are these sex scenes with two men, cause if so,
    It's just suggested in a few scenes, but the degree that is was dwelt upon in the theatrical release was excessive and got to be superfluous to the story. There are only two scenes like this in the director's cut and they are brief. The movie has an R rating.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    It's not that it's too historically innacurate or anything.. but the movie just rubs me the wrong way. I would have a hard time recommending it to anyone.
    Same here it seemed more like a political statement than a movie on Alexander.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Same here it seemed more like a political statement than a movie on Alexander.
    Alexander's politics were unconventional and it's an important to include it to understand the man as far as is possible. The movie is tying to explore why he did what he did in considerable depth. Stone injects personal speculation at several points, not all of which I agree with, but it's plausable. Of course, the military victories are what enabled Alexander to impliment his political vision, but other than the climactic battle at Guagamela, they aren't shown. The only other battle shown is a composite of two battles in India which effectively ended the pursuit of his dream. What comes across in these battle sequences is how Alexander's personal charisma and heroism could change the outcome of a battle, and that's histotically correct. I think Alexander, the Director's Cut is successful in providing an opportunity for people to almost grasp who Alexander was as a person if they are interested in doing so.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Stone injects personal speculation at several points, not all of which I agree with, but it's plausable.
    At several points? It permeates the entire movie. The accents sucked so bad it almost made the whole movie a joke. The stupid flash backs drove me nuts. And the lack of battles was a crime. This could have been done 10 times better by almost any of us here at the org.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    At several points? It permeates the entire movie. The accents sucked so bad it almost made the whole movie a joke. The stupid flash backs drove me nuts. And the lack of battles was a crime. This could have been done 10 times better by almost any of us here at the org.
    Stone isn't making the story up. He's very knowledgable about the historical record, and is failthful to it. Roxanne's jealousy of Haphaistion is speculation as is Alexander blaming her for his death, but it's plausable. All the scenes between Alexander and his mother are speculation, but it's consistent with what's known about their relationship.

    The accents are intentional, and meant to convey the ethnic diversity of the Macedonians. Olympia's accent is intentional to convey that she was an outsider which she was.

    The flashbacks provide motivations and parallels to the adult Alexander. They are very well placed in the director's cut, but not in the theatrical release. Non-linear narrative is used a lot these days, and does put more demand on the viewer.

    I was disappointed in the lack of battles, but you can't cover the life of Alexander in a 3 hour movie. On the other hand, Stone had $150 million to spend, but he did comment that the battles were very expensive to shoot. Stone's personal view of Alexander is that the end-justified-the-means. He doesn't actually present that point of view, but the soft side of Alexander is played up quite a bit. By skipping all the massacres and enslavements that Alexander perpetrated you could come away from the movie thinking that Alexander was more benevolent then he was. At the end of the movie, Ptolomy does say that if Alexander hadn't died he would have ended killing all of them, and that dreamers like Alexander try to brush aside all who stand in the way of the pursuit of their dreams. Alexander must have been a complex person. His personality influenced by social and family relationships shaping who he was which allowed him to accomplish what he did. He was fortunate or unfortunate, whichever way you look at it, that his fathter provided him the military invention to pursue his goals, but Alexander took that and did more than anyone thought was possible. To this day it's still hard to believe what he accomplished.
    Last edited by Puzz3D; 08-06-2005 at 17:37.

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    Member Member Tricon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I liked the directors cut, but haven't seen the theatrical release yet.
    It'll be interesting to compare this picture with future releases. Though I would guess, since so many people were "rubbed the wrong way" (oh, I love this) by the suposed "gayness" of the movie, the other movies will stay clear of that- and thereby portray a few things wrong.
    When I said Death before Dishonour, I meant alphabetically.

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    At several points? It permeates the entire movie. The accents sucked so bad it almost made the whole movie a joke. The stupid flash backs drove me nuts. And the lack of battles was a crime. This could have been done 10 times better by almost any of us here at the org.
    Easily. Oh, well some of us, at least.
    I've never seen it, and have no disire to, despite my love for the era and similar movies. I guess I just got disinchanted after the horrid Troy and Arthur, I don't want to waste my time and money to get angry at another ahistoical movie.

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I think we can all agree though that given a man as interesting and world-changing as Alexander, Stone has done a poor job making an interesting and world-changing film. Shame.
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  21. #21
    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I agree with Steppe Merc, after I saw Troy there was NO WAY I was going to go see Alexander or Arthur-- the irritation was just too fresh in my mind. But I may have to rent the Director's Cut on Puzz's recommendation.

    DA

  22. #22
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    it sucked. period. to many love scenes to little fighting. i mean it didnt had to be a sensatianalist (sp?) movie like troy but the could atleas have shown the 3 mayor battles. they only showed 2. if i'm right you didnt even saw him cross the hellespont and march on troy.

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  23. #23
    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Perhaps they should have made it into 3 films split along the same lines as Valerio Massimo Manfredi's trilogy of books on the man.

    (Synopsis provided by Amazon)
    Child of a Dream: An evocation of ancient Greece, this first volume of "Alexander" describes how the combined discipline and passion of his parents formed the talented Alexander, protege of Aristotle, and then portrays the start of his great adventure to conquer the civilized world in ancient times.
    The Sands of Ammon: Continuing the epic saga of Alexander the Great. The Sands of Ammon brilliantly describes Alexander's quest to conquer Asia, the limitless domain ruled by the Great King of the Persians. In a seemingly impossible venture, Alexander and his men storm Persian fortresses and harbours, crippling King Daruis' domination of land and sea. Even the legendary Haliacarnassus is defeated by the Macedionan armies. Ruthlessly, Alexander's war machine moves ever onward taking him up into the snow-covered Anatolian highlands, and ever closer to his destiny. But there is much danger ahead. Despite the defeat of Daruis, the Island City of Tyre and the Towers of Gaza prove to be formidable obstacles. Undeterred, Alexander surges forth over land and sea to the mysterious land of Egypt And there, in the sands, lies the Oracle of Ammon, waiting to reveal an amazing truth to Alexander. One that will change his already amazing life.
    The Ends of the Earth: Alexander's epic quest continues into the heart of Asia and on towards the mystery of India. The Macedonian Army march ever onward in search of glory, crushing resistance at every turn. The culture and beauty of Babylon is quickly ravaged and the Palace of Persepolis burnt to ashes and cinder. An empire is destroyed and a new and bloody era begins. But there are other things on Alexander's mind. An ambitious project to unite the peoples of the empire under one homeland, begins to obsess him. There are rebellions and bloodshed, but the curious beauty of Queen Roxanna gives Alexander the strength to fulfil his destiny...This is a truly compelling, romantic and exciting book, and a fitting conclusion to the bestselling Alexander trilogy.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I really didn't like the fact that they kept on doing those stupid flash-backs they should have just made it in order. I also didn't like the fact that there was only one battle at the invasion of persia I thought that there was going to be all three battle and then bam Gaugemela the last battle of the Invasion of Persia. I just didn't like it very much there should have been more battles.



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  25. #25
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    btw GC you saw his father dying in one of the flashbacks if i'm not mistaken

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  26. #26
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube
    Yeah. You just can't fit Alexander's life into a short movie.
    3 hours is not short, it's actually pretty close to the maximum theaters will accept in order to show the film x number of times a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Russiancsar
    I really didn't like the fact that they kept on doing those stupid flash-backs they should have just made it in order. I also didn't like the fact that there was only one battle at the invasion of persia I thought that there was going to be all three battle and then bam Gaugemela the last battle of the Invasion of Persia. I just didn't like it very much there should have been more battles.
    Those weren't flashbacks. Have you ever seen Quentin Tarantino movies? Film doesn't have to be presented in order. Same goes for literature.

    I think Stone was trying to present the story in an artistic way by showing the killing of Phillip at that point in time.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Senior Member Ser Clegane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    I actually liked the movie. It's not one of my all-time favourites but I am looking forward to watching it again on DVD ... I just have to wait until the price drops a bit - if I buy it for the full price, Mrs Clegane will give me the evil glare

  28. #28
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Just watched it. My God it was awful.

    There were times when it looked like a Breck shampoo commercial. Other times it was just painfully boring or downright painful. I watched it during the afternoon with an entire bag of chocolate cookies and I still nearly slept through half of it.

    Gah! I felt the need to apologize to my Sony Wega for making it screen that unadulterated pork pie of a moldy movie.

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  29. #29

    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube
    What really bugged me was how much time was skipped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube
    It felt like a very incomplete movie.
    I think you have to know the history before you watch the movie. It also isn't an action picture. The two battles shown are composites of four battles, and that's all Stone needs to get the character development elements he needs. They also bookend Alexander's pinnacle of success, and the end of his successes. Also, the battles scenes were very expensive to film. However, I do agree that the brutal side of Alexander is understated by skipping certain battles, although, it may be there in the dialog and I just missed it. Stone is presenting his view of what motivated Alexander, and he is more successful in doing that in the director's cut. It's paired down, and easy to miss the significance of what's being shown. The use of the flashbacks is important in bringing these motivations out. The cave sequences dealing with Greek mythology are better distributed and make sense now. The influence of Alexander's parents in Act 3 might be a bit overdone, but it gives you something to think about.

    The theatrical release is obviously not entirely his doing in the sense that he had to compromise with what the producers wanted, and I don't recommend it. I think he did a very good job re-editing the picture. I don't entirely agree with Stone's view of Alexander, but he does leave things open to interpretation where there is doubt, and there is a lot of doubt because all the sources we have are secondary accounts written long after the actual events. Stone also did a new commentary track for the director's cut without Robin Lane Fox's distracting yapping, and in it he clearly explains what he's trying to present in the movie.

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  30. #30
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alexander, the Director's Cut

    Face it Yuuki. Most of us just like most of the general public think this movie stinks. If it werent set in ancient times and be about Alexander no one would watch it. You would think it would be hard to make a bad movie about such a great man but Stone has managed to do it.
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