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Oliver Stone's "Alexander" is behind the times
Townhall.com ^ | December 1, 2004 | Ben Shapiro

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” won’t 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 wasn’t 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 wasn’t the critical coolness toward Stone’s pet project – several of the movies that finished above Stone’s at the box office last weekend were critically panned (although none to the extent of this disaster).

A large part of “Alexander”’s 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 Hephaistion’s thighs.”

This stuff doesn’t go over well with most Americans. Frankly, we don’t want to hear about it, and we’re 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 Stone’s portrayal of Alexander’s 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 didn’t do enough with Alexander’s 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. That’s what Americans want to see nowadays. That’s why Sharon Stone whined that social conservatism prevented the filmmakers from approving a lesbian kiss between her and Halle Berry in “Catwoman”: “Halle’s 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 that’s what you get for having George Bush as president.” That’s why Wayne Llewellyn, president of distribution at Paramount, blamed “Alfie”’s flop on President Bush’s 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: alexander; colinfarrell; gay; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; jaredleto; oliverstone; shapiro
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1 posted on 12/01/2004 9:19:42 AM PST by UltraConservative
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To: UltraConservative

People are sick of all the gay worship in the culture. Its gotten out of hand and there's a backlash.


2 posted on 12/01/2004 9:21:01 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: UltraConservative

I thought Alexander was behind Haephaestus?


3 posted on 12/01/2004 9:22:46 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (I'm here because I'm not all there.)
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To: UltraConservative
Meanwhile, most of the critics complained that “Alexander” failed because it didn’t do enough with Alexander’s sexuality.

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?

4 posted on 12/01/2004 9:25:33 AM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I thought Alexander was behind Haephaestus?

He found him in the end.

5 posted on 12/01/2004 9:27:12 AM PST by Semper Paratus (Michael)
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To: UltraConservative
So will “Brideshead Revisited”(2005) starring Jude Law and Paul Bettany as love interests.

(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.

6 posted on 12/01/2004 9:27:46 AM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: UltraConservative
This Homotheism is getting on everyone nerves. Most people would say "whatever you want to do in your bed room is your business" for the most part, but everyone has their limits.
I recall someone on another site saying how he didn't like the homo eroticism in Alexander and then was attacked for being a homophobe (he didn't say he hated homosexualists but that he just didn't want to see it in the film).

I may get this when it comes on DVD because Rosario Dawson is naked in it though. Hopefully those parts will be separately chapter-ed so I wont have to watch the whole film.
7 posted on 12/01/2004 9:27:53 AM PST by escapefromboston (manny ortez: mvp)
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To: UltraConservative
Note to Hollywood: welcome to the backlash you inspired. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Heh heh heh. Hooray for Hollyweird.

8 posted on 12/01/2004 9:28:43 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Semper Paratus

I guess being in the rear meant something different in Alexander's army.


9 posted on 12/01/2004 9:29:42 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (I'm here because I'm not all there.)
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To: UltraConservative

I thought Alexander waath juth FABULOUS! Oooth!


10 posted on 12/01/2004 9:30:02 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I thought Alexander was behind Haephaestus? geez..I just cleaned my computer screen, now it's covered with coffee spray
11 posted on 12/01/2004 9:30:10 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: goldstategop
People are sick of all the gay worship in the culture. Its gotten out of hand and there's a backlash.

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.

12 posted on 12/01/2004 9:30:15 AM PST by WildTurkey
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To: wideawake
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.

Except the Public Broadcasting fans.

13 posted on 12/01/2004 9:31:37 AM PST by Semper Paratus (Michael)
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To: UltraConservative

Interesting.


14 posted on 12/01/2004 9:33:43 AM PST by Dante3
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To: Prime Choice
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.

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.

Shalom.

15 posted on 12/01/2004 9:34:29 AM PST by ArGee (After 517, the abolition of man is complete)
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To: Semper Paratus
True.

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.

16 posted on 12/01/2004 9:36:46 AM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: goldstategop
People are sick of all the gay worship in the culture. Its gotten out of hand and there's a backlash.

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?

17 posted on 12/01/2004 9:37:28 AM PST by rllngrk33 (The fourth estate is now the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party.)
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To: UltraConservative

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.


18 posted on 12/01/2004 9:37:34 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: UltraConservative
The Incredibles was a pretty, uh, incredible movie.
19 posted on 12/01/2004 9:38:04 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: UltraConservative

Did this Shapiro kid even see Christmas With The Kranks? It is a piece of garbage.


20 posted on 12/01/2004 9:40:02 AM PST by GSWarrior
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To: wideawake
The sad thing is that it is a truly great work of literature

The novel was about finding redemption in the key scene where Lord Marchmont (who lost his faith) accepts The Lord at the hour of his death.

21 posted on 12/01/2004 9:41:49 AM PST by Semper Paratus (Michael)
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To: UltraConservative
It's really political too. The theater-going Americans may be using more discretion in spending their entertainment dollars. Actors, producers, directors...etc. who have been and continue to be cheerleaders for the 'I hate America' element worldwide may begin to see the long overdue but swift kick they so richly deserve. They are in fact, ACCOUNTABLE to the guy who will lay out the ever increasing price for admission to their films.
22 posted on 12/01/2004 9:43:02 AM PST by SMARTY ('Stay together, pay the soldiers, forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus, to his sons)
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To: UltraConservative

I read campaigns of Alexander by Arrian who was a 3rd century Roman general. The book didn't talk at all about Alexander's sexuality. It mostly talked in detail about the nature of his war tactics and fighting and how he was never quite able to overcome the split between Persian (arab) and Helenic (greek) culture. I think that would have made powerful subject matter for the movie if they focused on that. To a Roman general being gay wasn't important. If he were a modern day general he would think about it in the way that we think about someone liking watching old westerns or something like that. It's just not that important, the focus on homosexuality says far more about our time than Alexander's.


23 posted on 12/01/2004 9:43:33 AM PST by Odyssey-x
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To: UltraConservative
Critics love films with homosexuality

One wonders why.

24 posted on 12/01/2004 9:46:16 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: goldstategop

I totally agree with you. Many in my family complain about it being shoved in their face all the time.


25 posted on 12/01/2004 9:47:21 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (I am poster #48)
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To: Semper Paratus

Precisely. Despite having no real hope or comfort left that could materially justify his faith, he returns to the faith anyway with a finally clarified inner vision.


26 posted on 12/01/2004 9:49:49 AM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Odyssey-x

The problem with the movie isn't the homosexuality, it's only showing two battles and Alexander whining and crying all the time and being a totally unsympathetic character (which is a completely separate issue from the homosexuality.)

This is another example where people basically try to squeeze reality to fit the axe they want to grind ("Americans reject movie with homosexuality") when it's really "Americans reject movie with horrible script."


27 posted on 12/01/2004 9:50:27 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Odyssey-x

There are basically 4 ancient ources for Alexander, all of which unfortunately lived a considerable amount of time after Alexander and based their histories on other primary sources which are now lost. It's one of the other 4 (I forget which) which implies Alexander's bisexuality. It's not like Stone invented the whole business recently.


28 posted on 12/01/2004 9:52:03 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: escapefromboston

My family liked this movie, although after a while the homosexuality got too much. The scene with Dawson was avoidable for me, although my husband, predictably, thought it the best part of the movie. But I thought that the movie did a pretty good job of showing how Alexander's conquests changed the world of his time.


29 posted on 12/01/2004 9:53:04 AM PST by twigs
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To: UltraConservative
--and then there is "Kinsey"---breaking all records for the movie most not watched--
30 posted on 12/01/2004 9:55:06 AM PST by rellimpank
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To: twigs
It sort of failed in showing his charismatic bond with his troops, and I think it should have had an additional battle (Chaeryonea (sp?)), Granicus, or Isssus. I mean, they TRIED (the scenes where Alexander is picking out individual soldiers in the Phalanx and remembering their names, talking about their families or previous heroism) but it was too jarring a contrast with his whining and crying otherwise.
31 posted on 12/01/2004 9:55:28 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: escapefromboston; hchutch
This Homotheism is getting on everyone nerves. Most people would say "whatever you want to do in your bed room is your business" for the most part, but everyone has their limits.

The problem is that what was once called "the love that dare not speak its name" now has no idea when to shut the f*** up!

32 posted on 12/01/2004 10:00:58 AM PST by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!)
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To: Strategerist

How strongly does it imply that Alexander was Bi? or do people just infer that he was because thats what they want to believe?
I haven't read any of these sources so I am really curious.


33 posted on 12/01/2004 10:02:07 AM PST by escapefromboston (manny ortez: mvp)
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To: Strategerist

I remember the bond with his troops scenes more than I do the whiny ones, but I agree about the battles. I would have preferred that the ones they showed were shorter. Then they could have added at least one more. I would also have liked more details on the battle plans for that first battle since I understand that his strategy was brilliant. There was one scene of planning, but it was so fast that I found it hard to follow. I liked this better than other OS movies.


34 posted on 12/01/2004 10:02:58 AM PST by twigs
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To: escapefromboston

It was very explicit. There were too many scenes of him kissing and hugging other men. And on his wedding night, his lover shows up and after his bride sees him and figures out what is happening, she, hmm, doesn't react too well. Like I said, my husband's favorite scene. I didn't care for it, but I suppose that's the difference in men and women.


35 posted on 12/01/2004 10:05:29 AM PST by twigs
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To: twigs

One problem with battle scenes in movies these days is it's all this fast-cut jiggly camera stuff with extreme closeups on individual soldiers in hand-to-hand combat (in many cases, when actually hand-to-hand combat was incredibly rare, like in the Revolutionary War or Civil War.....there were almost no bayonet wounds in either war) instead of a distant or overhead view showing actual tactics. Oddly enough the Lord of the Rings movies probably did the best job of this.

Stone SORT of tried to do this with Gaugamela with the view from the Eagle overhead, but it was still too hard to follow.


36 posted on 12/01/2004 10:05:56 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

Yes, I liked the overhead shots with the Eagle.


37 posted on 12/01/2004 10:07:51 AM PST by twigs
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To: vikingchick

OS said on PBS interview that he wanted to show the 'manic depression' of Alexander.....guess that was not all that appealing to movie-goers...LOL!!!!


38 posted on 12/01/2004 10:07:56 AM PST by BossLady (A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have -- Abraham Lincoln)
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To: UltraConservative

The lead in the movie just does not fit the profile of Alexander. I mean .. just looking at him does not portray the character .. and then when he opened his mouth and started speaking .. it was sort of weak and whimpy.

I'm gaging it against Gibson's portrayal of Wallace in "Braveheart".


39 posted on 12/01/2004 10:08:49 AM PST by CyberAnt (Where are the dem supporters? - try the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: Strategerist

This is a "gay" movie with any amount of homosexual scenes.

It is exactly a HUGE problem with this Oliver Stone hack job. It is the homosexual advocates who are trying to blame the bad script as they are trying to blame kerry for loosing 11 out of 11 marriage amendments.

It remains to be sceene which studio heads roll over approving this fiasco. It also is far more likely that the suits will not be so quick to approve financing for a homo-movie.


40 posted on 12/01/2004 10:12:26 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: BossLady

I would assume from the movie that A did a slow decline into mental illness and alcoholism. I saw a history channel special on him and they implied the same thing. Also the bisexuality. They said that both of his parents were worried about his attraction to boys when he was a teen.


41 posted on 12/01/2004 10:12:42 AM PST by twigs
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To: UltraConservative
I enjoy movies but when I discover that a film has a blatant liberal message, dominated by militant liberal actors, or highly recommended by liberal critics I simply don't spend any money to see it. Maybe these people will get the message when their garbage flops at the box office.
42 posted on 12/01/2004 10:13:02 AM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: UltraConservative
The minute I saw the first publicity stills of Colin (Gag Me) Ferrell with that blonde Kentucky Waterfall wig, I laughed my girdle off. Hilarious! Hollywood is so clueless.

Now, if they had cast David Wenham from LOTR (Faramir) and left out the gay stuff, I would be first in line...


43 posted on 12/01/2004 10:14:18 AM PST by StrictTime (Look for my Glow-in-the-dark thong at the Freeper Inaugural Ball!)
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: UltraConservative
Meanwhile, most of the critics complained that “Alexander” failed because it didn’t do enough with Alexander’s sexuality.

Well, you could get more explicit I suppose, but at some point the movie only shows in those seedy adult bookstores a quarter at a time. Tough to make a profit that way.

Or so I've heard...

45 posted on 12/01/2004 10:17:22 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: UltraConservative; EveningStar
“Brokeback Mountain”(2005), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as gay cowboys

Undoubtedly, they will be eating pudding.

46 posted on 12/01/2004 10:21:25 AM PST by AmishDude
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To: UltraConservative

History is filled with incredible events brought about by incredible, but real, human beings. It's a waste of resources to bend a truly earth shaking event into a gay soap opera. Failure of this film is a credit to Americans sensiblities. I hope someday someone sees fit to tell the real story. Maybe Mel Gibson.


47 posted on 12/01/2004 10:23:18 AM PST by Spok
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To: FrankWild

Now if only we can spread the word about this "gay" movie abomination to potential european viewers.

Having this bomb in the EU would just be perfect.


48 posted on 12/01/2004 10:24:18 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: CyberAnt
The factors in my mind are: 1. Colin Farrel isn't physically big enough to look the part. And 2. Stone has burned his credibility in the red states.

The other dirty little secret always has been that the main stream "G" rated movies always clean up at the box office with or without press. Kinda makes you wonder what all those marketing honchos really do do with their time.

49 posted on 12/01/2004 10:24:42 AM PST by Thebaddog (Dawgs at rest.)
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To: UltraConservative

What the heck is the matter with these people. Alexander is known for conquering most of the known world, not playkng butt buddies. Who cares who he was prodding. I expected to see some of his military brilliance not who he wished he could poke. How in the world could his sexual preferences have anything to do with how he changed the history and geography of his world. Leave it to the homo loving hollywood elite to force more of this garbage down our throats. And they wonder what went wrong in the election. Simply amazing.


50 posted on 12/01/2004 10:42:20 AM PST by Allosaurs_r_us (Carn<i>Well, the liberals didn't want profiling, so this is what they get insivores for Conservatism)
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