Skip to comments.Oliver Stone's "Alexander" is behind the times
Posted on 12/01/2004 9:19:41 AM PST by UltraConservative
Oliver Stone had a really rotten week. His huge-budget epic drama Alexander, starring Colin Farrell, Angeline Jolie, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Hopkins, premiered to critical raspberries and popular apathy. Alexander reportedly cost over $150 million to make, and over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, it garnered a mere $21,837,517, finishing sixth at the box office.
In all likelihood, Warner Bros., which produced the film, will still recoup its costs, despite the probability that Alexander wont come close to $100 million in domestic grosses. Europeans are expected to turn out in high numbers to see the Macedonian wunderkind; they turned out en masse to see the American box office flop Troy as well.
What was the hold-up for American audiences? It wasnt the nearly three-hour running time remember, each movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy ran over 178 minutes, with the most successful of the trilogy, The Return of the King, running at well over three hours. It wasnt the critical coolness toward Stones pet project several of the movies that finished above Stones at the box office last weekend were critically panned (although none to the extent of this disaster).
A large part of Alexanders downfall is attributable to the moral distastefulness of the subject matter. Alexander the Great is played as a mop-top, indecisive bisexual by Farrell. During the course of the movie, Farrell kisses a eunuch full on the mouth, and exchanges numerous lingering glances with boyhood chum and grown-up gay lover Hephaiston (played by an eye-liner-wearing Jared Leto). Anthony Hopkins, playing Ptolemy, intones: It was said . . . that Alexander was never defeated, except by Hephaistions thighs.
This stuff doesnt go over well with most Americans. Frankly, we dont want to hear about it, and were definitely not going to pay money to see it. Critics love films with homosexuality, but very few of those films go on to see great popular success. Since 1994, 17 actors and actresses have been nominated for Academy Awards for playing gay characters; meanwhile, every movie nominated for an Oscar since 1994 containing substantial homosexuality has fallen well-below the $100 million mark, except for As Good As It Gets and American Beauty, both of which were fueled by Oscar hype.
You can sense how much the critics wanted to love Alexander, too, primarily for its exploration of bisexuality, despite the fact that the movie is simply awful. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times ripped into the film, but praised Stones portrayal of Alexanders homosexual tendencies: There are moments in Alexander that show Mr. Stone in fine form, including . . . the aching tenderness between the ruler and his longtime lover, Hephaistion . . .
Meanwhile, most of the critics complained that Alexander failed because it didnt do enough with Alexanders sexuality. Desson Thomas of the Washington Post complains that Alexander's homosexual side is only bashfully explored . . . . There are no thighs, just whispers. Likewise, Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe writes, The nervous handling of the important relationship [between Alexander and Hephaiston] lays an absurd emotional dead spot over the picture's overblown finale.
Unfortunately for the critics and Stone -- the cultural pendulum has begun to swing toward traditional morality again. The five films that beat Alexander to a pulp were: National Treasure, The Incredibles, Christmas With The Kranks, The Polar Express, and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. These films were rated, respectively, PG, PG, PG, G and PG.
These are all family friendly fare. Thats what Americans want to see nowadays. Thats why Sharon Stone whined that social conservatism prevented the filmmakers from approving a lesbian kiss between her and Halle Berry in Catwoman: Halles so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. I said, How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? It's such a waste. But thats what you get for having George Bush as president. Thats why Wayne Llewellyn, president of distribution at Paramount, blamed Alfies flop on President Bushs re-election: It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around.
With the shift in social values currently underway, here are a few predictions: Brokeback Mountain(2005), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as gay cowboys, will be a critical favorite but a box office dud. So will Brideshead Revisited(2005) starring Jude Law and Paul Bettany as love interests. Meanwhile, anything Pixar puts out will do big business. Note to Hollywood: welcome to the backlash you inspired. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
People are sick of all the gay worship in the culture. Its gotten out of hand and there's a backlash.
I thought Alexander was behind Haephaestus?
And Leftists wonder why Americans rejected their party at the polls on November 2nd.
Here's a Clue-by-Four for 'em: Alexander the Great did not earn his title by being an indecisive foppish nancy-boy. He earned it by being a brilliant military strategist. Duh?
He found him in the end.
(1) In the book they were not lovers. One of them was a repressed pansy who had a crush on his friend, while the friend was straight and fell in love with the pansy's sister.
(2) Whether or not they respect the book or twist it into some sodomy circus, most Americans are not going to want to see a talk-heavy parlor drama about a decaying British noble family in the 1930s and 40s.
Heh heh heh. Hooray for Hollyweird.
I guess being in the rear meant something different in Alexander's army.
I thought Alexander waath juth FABULOUS! Oooth!
Did you see Noel on TNT this week? They plan to release it on a "disposable disk" for Xmas. $4.99 and it will last all of 48 hours ofter breaking the seal.
Except the Public Broadcasting fans.
Well, I never! Don't you know that Americans are preoccupied by sex? Don't you know that sex sells? Don't you know that the most important historical fact about any historical figure is not how they made their millions or how they conquered their empires or how they changed their cultures but how they nailed their boyfriends?
Get with the program. We don't care if Jesus died for our sins, we just want to know if He ever had sex with James or Mary Magdelene?
At least, that's all we care about if we're liberals. If we have lives outside of our genitals we care about important things.
The sad thing is that it is a truly great work of literature by the last great English novelist and it will be ruined in a two-hour movie.
Additionally, it was made into a multipart miniseries in Britain years ago, a series that was true to the book and with an unsurpassable cast.
Anyone who is truly into this sort of thing will have at least seen the miniseries when it ran several times on PBS or rented it on DVD.
For a long time I've been wishing that the gays and other assorted perverts would just go back into the closet and leave the rest of us alone.
Don't they understand that we don't like having that kind of crap shoved down our throats?
The mediots also gloss over the fact that there is no evidence of any homosexuality demonstrated by Alexander. in fact, the evidence is to the contrary.
This goes much further that one Oliver Stoned movie. This notion of revisionist history to usurp ancient Greek history is deliberate to normalize perversion as established by present day ivory towers homo-liberalism.
Did this Shapiro kid even see Christmas With The Kranks? It is a piece of garbage.