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National Geographic - Beyond the Movie - Troy
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No single story in western civilization has continuously inspired and intrigued more people than the Trojan tale of war and deception. But, did a place called Troy really exist? Was Homer's epic more than just an engaging story? Join us in the search for a lost world and unravel the mysteries that swirl around this ancient city. Through stunning recreations and the perspectives of international scholars, National Geographic transports you back in time as we explore the ancient legends of this fabled city.
From the Back Cover
Millions will see the epic movie "Troy," and many will leave the theater asking the same questions: How true is this ancient story about the Greeks' ten-year war to win back a beautiful queen? Did King Agamemnon really launch a thousand ships to attack the city of Troy (where the queen had gone with her lover)? Did Troy actually exist? This intriguing program, which features dramatic recreations and penetrating analysis is a revealing look at the history of underlying Homer's legendary tale, about the Trojan War. Historians examine what we a know about a story that has captured imaginations for some 2800 years--and enriched our language with such phrases as "Achilles heel," "Trojan Horse," and many others. Sometimes crossing swords with past findings, this program is a lively and entertaining resource for the countless filmgoers who will want to know more about everything "Troy."
Top customer reviews
I was expecting much more from National Geographic. The first part is quite interesting and informative, but it truly deals little with the actual movie, other than with limited actor interviews. It is more the story of JRR Tolkien's original work. Maybe that's what they mean by beyond the movie, but if that was the case I would have preferred that the movie not be mentioned in the title.
Historically the information on the time period and how it may have affected the Lord of the Rings series was useful. The parts dealing with the verbal traditions of Finland were enjoyable.
What really hurt this DVD was the stretch from the adventures in Middle Earth to the trek across Africa by J. Michael Faye, which really struck me as self promotion. I understand The National Geographic Society had an important part in the "Megatransect" and featured it many times in various media. But they failed convince me that there was a strong connection between that and LOTR.
Overall, I did not feel that this DVD offered appropriate value in return for my money. It fell short of the high quality I had come to expect from National Geographic and would have been better served as an extra on a future LOTR DVD without the footage of the Mr. Faye's journey.
The first half is pretty good. We hear a basic outline of the premise, stuff about the hobbits and Middle-Earth and the making of the movie -- including clips from Jackson, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, and Sean Astin. We also hear about some of the things that shaped Tolkien's experiences for LOTR, such as his fighting in WWI and the destruction of little rural communities when he was a child. Also some production stuff, such as the descriptions of creating Hobbiton and Orlando Bloom waxing eloquent about his long-knives.
But then the documentary starts to unravel. We hear about the Kalevala - but hardly anything about how it affected Elvish. Lots of preachiness about the vanishing languages of the world, followed by a giant tract about modern enviromentalism, which gives the feel of a modern P.C. spin.
Very little about the heroes in the story is mentioned - they talk vaguely about Frodo, but literally nothing about Sam! How far would Frodo have gotten without Sam? Two miles? Three? Tolkien's religion was another great shaping force on LOTR, yet it doesn't get a word. Why not cut the tree-hugger monologue and include something about the moral structure of Middle-Earth, or the theological hierarchy? It's only one of the ways in which this documentary approaches Tolkien's work ALL WRONG.
However... if you are in withdrawal for PJ's live-action film, and can't wait for the DVD release next summer, then you might want this. It includes some great footage from the film (and one or two snippets of Two Towers): We see Legolas receiving his Lothlorien bow, the "fiery letters" scene, just about everything in the birthday party, the adorable "ask Rosie for a dance!" Frodo-Sam interaction, and Gandalf's first scene.
Overall, watch this if you don't mind a deadly-dull second half after a delightful first half, and some irrelevent stuff after hearing about the movie production.
No doubt a great deal was left unsaid, though I suspect that a truly comprehensive examination of this man's life and work could easily fill 12 hours of video. I mind this incompleteness less, though than the two detours which the film takes. The first takes the viewer to Finland, where the disappearance of an older way of life seems only tangentially related to Tolkien's books. The second is a protracted description of a man's journey across the remotest portions of Africa- again seemingly relevant only in the most abstract sense. I note that both excursions involve National Geographic associates. Judicious editing of these two unnecessary portions of the movie would have rendered it a bit short.
The film includes some interviews with people involved in production of the recent film adaptations of "Lord of the Rings", whose comments I found moderately pertinent.
Despite the distractions and somewhat "light" content, I enjoyed watching this.
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They only made these for Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers...Read more