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Troy (Director's Cut) [HD DVD]
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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Brad Pitt picks up a sword and brings a muscular, brooding presence to the role of Greek warrior Achilles in this spectacular retelling of The Iliad. Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger play the legendary lovers who plunge the world into war, Eric Bana portrays the prince who dares to confront Achilles, and Peter O'Toole rules Troy as King Priam. Director Wolfgang Petersen recreates a long-ago world of bireme warships, clashing armies, the massive fortress city and the towering Trojan Horse.
No doubt about it, the 196-minute unrated director's cut of Troy represents a significant improvement over the film's original 162-minute theatrical release--and not just because it has more sex and violence. As director Wolfgang Petersen notes in his new "Troy Revisited" video introduction to this 2-disc special edition, he didn't have the time or directorial discretion (prior to Troy's release in 2004) to present a cut that more closely matched his vision for the film. Three years later, Petersen approached the film with a more relaxed perspective, and the result is a well-crafted expansion on a film that was previously underrated, with 30 minutes of previously unseen material. Character dynamics have been improved and intensified; the epic-scale narrative is now easier to follow, with greater emphasis on the inner turmoil of Achilles (well played by Brad Pitt) and his rivalry with Hector (Eric Bana); and viewers will feel a more satisfying escalation of tension and suspense from battle to battle. The film's enormous battle scenes (impressively enhanced with CGI) are bloodier and gorier, but they're also more effectively integrated into the political story, which goes beyond Homer's The Iliad and the death of Hector to incorporate elements of Virgil and a more revealing study of the differences between Trojan king Priam (Peter O'Toole) and his megalomanical Greek rival, king Agamemnon (Brian Cox), whose lust for revenge is now one of the film's most powerful ingredients. Some of Troy's original weaknesses remain (such as Orlando Bloom's wimpy performance as Paris), but overall, this director's cut easily justifies its existence, regardless of the film's overblown and historically inaccurate depiction of Troy as a gigantic city of massive columns and statuary. The good parts are better, and the not-so-good parts are more easily forgiven. And no matter how you cut it, Troy is a lavish feast for the eyes. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
"Troy" may not be the most reliable source for gaining a deeper understanding of Homer's masterpiece; the battles don't possess a fraction of the Iliad's brilliance while most of the heroes are omitted (including my fav Diomedes) not to mention the Trojan horse is technically in the Odyssey etc., but make no mistake it IS a visually gorgeous, historical epic with just a dash of fantasy thrown in. It is also the performance of a lifetime, featuring a gorgeous and talented movie-star in the prime of life which parallels (albeit on a smaller scale) the character being portrayed, thus lending legitimate hubris and helping "Troy" transcend what would've otherwise been a fairly mediocre production and maybe even pushes it towards a modern classic (although Leonard Maltin would prolly never say that). :o)
If there is one thing that Troy had going for it in the theatrical release, it's the pace. There's no lag in the original. The Director's cut screws this up, and it's hard to enjoy it compared to the original. The extra footage really doesn't add anything interesting. There are no restored story arcs or characters. The additional 40 minutes seems to come entirely from lengthening each scene slightly, thus producing a longer movie by the time it has ended.
That's not the worst of it, however. The real problem lies with the remixing of the soundtrack. Many of the memorable tracks that you heard in the original have been removed and shuffled to a different scene in the movie, and hardly any of them are appropriate for their new locations. Additionally, scenes that had no music before are suddenly provided with it unnecessarily, and likewise scenes that were accented with music before are stripped of it.
Troy was by no means a masterpiece anyway. I enjoyed it simply as a decent epic with a unique take on an ancient story. In other words, there was nothing that a Director's cut could have done to make it better, but it did get worse.
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