directed by Oliver Stone
US/UK/Germany/Netherlands 2004

 

I once heard a description of Oliver Stone's work as being the American equivalent of classic Greek epics. Big themes. Ambitiously told. Stone’s films are often flawed but full of passion and meaning. When I learned he was making a film about the life of Alexander The Great I thought if anyone could pull it off...

The consensus is that Oliver Stone blew it but I have to disagree. I found Alexander to be an intelligent, beautifully shot and typically complex Oliver Stone movie. The acting is excellent.
Not only by Colin Farrell, who confidently portrays one of history's biggest enigmas but also by Val Kilmer, Angelina Jolie, indeed, the entire cast. While long, the movie is seldom boring. Accepted historical accounts are enacted faithfully and realistically. Stone puts us in the ancient world and we are left to deal with the resulting culture shock. Brutality, sexuality and social interaction are all being thrown at us on their own terms. On my initial viewing of Alexander, I found that it took me a while to grasp this. Then I remembered that the first time I see any of Oliver Stone’s films I am left reeling.

What is made very clear is that Alexander The Great was very much a man of his time. But, after him the world would never be the same. I have to applaud the film makers for attempting to put this legacy on film, warts and all.

Excerpt of review by european films.net located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 16, 2004 (US)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Widescreen Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 175'
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English/French (dubbed in Quebecois) (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English/French/Spanish (removable)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Oliver Stone and Historian Robin Lane Fox
• Vangelis Scores Alexander
• Behind The Scenes of Alexander with Sean Stone (3 Documentaries):
• Resurrecting Alexander
• Perfect Is The Enemy Of God
• The Death Of Alexander
• DVD-ROM PC - Weblink to the Online World of Alexander the Great
• Two Disc/Dual Layer

DVD Release Date: August 2, 2005
Two-Disc Keepcase

Chapters 40

 

 

Comments The image is consistently clean and sharp. Colors are correct, if somewhat warm. Oliver Stone states in his commentary that he used a different color palette for each of the three major sections of the movie to cue the viewer since there are some sequences shown out of chronological order.

The original aspect ratio is said to be 2.40:1. My measurements indicate that the DVD image is roughly 2.37:1 indicating minimal cropping.

The Dolby 5.1 surround track is clean with good directional effects. It did not give my subwoofer much of a workout. Surprising, since the battle scenes are huge.

The commentary by Stone and Oxford University historian Robin Lane Fox is very interesting and informative. The behind the scenes footage shot by Sean Stone, Oliver's son, is also very entertaining and well worth a look.
 out of  

 - Gregg Ferencz

 

 






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