Monday, February 21, 2005


I just got back tonight from seeing Alexander, the overblown saga brought to you by the guy with as big an ego (at least) as Alexander the Great himself, Oliver Stone. Overall it was OK, and fairly accurate historically, at least more so than Troy. The whole homosexuality thing was played up for shock value, I guess. He says he didn't, but I'll bet Stone couldn't come up with anything to be controversial about, so he has all the soldiers cheering about dancing boys and the "pretty army." I guess it's good for all the homophobic American boys who've seen it to realize that you can like other men and still be a military hard-ass. It's just too bad Stone had to play it up to sell more tickets.

The military tactics from that age are interesting to me, and they were pretty accurate as far as I could tell, but the accuracy was ruined by the crappy cinematography. Many movies use shaky camerawork and rapid cuts to heighten the sense of urgency, but what was used here was ridiculous. I couldn't keep track of what was going on, and several times I started to get motion sickness and a headache. The war elephants were interesting, although I don't think a huge elephant would rear up against a horse like that.

I know it's been out a while back home, and everyone's probably forgotten about it by now, but if you're interested in learning more about Alexander the Great, a history professor from Idaho has a really informative and easy-to-read site. Another page with a great map of Alexander's conquests was created by a few highschoolers (if only I made things as cool back then). I like watching historical movies, especially the more accurate ones, and knowing a bit about the history makes it all the more enjoyable.

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