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Customer Review

231 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alexander Revisited...a review from one who has the 3 DVD's, February 28, 2007
This review is from: Alexander, Revisited: The Final Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Oliver Stone's Alexander Revisited is now something of a masterwork. He is given the chance to tell the story as he would have originally liked to have presented it. The 45 minutes of extra's are true extra's...spread out in short 2 to 5 second edits...to more lengthly exchanges that happily include Brian Blessed as the Physical Instructor, Christopher Plummer as Aristotle and quite a bit more voice over and character addition from Anthony Hopkins as the aged Ptolemy.

The action starts almost immediately with a longer, more graphic version of the Battle of Gaugemela (Wonderfully undertaken, Stone paying homage to the great Sergei Bondarchuk with those terrific panning shots) and then works backwards through Alexanders youth. The film moves forward and backwards from there yet the new subtitles give you the year and how long, before or after, from the previous scene. It is quite instructive to anyone the slighest bit confused and is a superb history lesson. Also good are longer dancing scenes with Roxanna's troupe and Bogoas' troupe...both superb, filmic scenes...beautifully done. The Bogoas character (Francisco Bosch) is also expanded and made far more sympathetic.

The Indian Battle (wonderfully filmed in Thailand) is also more graphic as are some of the more intimate scenes yet nothing is without merit. This is not 2007, it's 330BC and mores and the concept of battle, honor, fidelity etc were different for those times. I for one, praise Mr. Stone for a very accurate feel and presence...and even minor characters are explained in far greater detail...such as the young Guardsman who killed Philip (Kilmer)...in a flashback we see his motives. It is now far more beautifully edited...from a master filmaker who values editing, JFK gets my vote as the best edited film of all time.

I am giving it 5 Stars...a masterpiece. Do watch the Stone introduction, he says it better than I..."If you liked the original you'll love this, if you hated the original you'll hate this even more!" Now there is a man!

The only part I am saddened about is that over the end titles Vangelis' epic piece 'Titans' is still only 2 minutes long...yet it fits the edit...and I would urge you to purchase the CD for the complete 4 minute version...one of the best pieces of film music I felt ever written.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 28, 2007, 11:23:41 AM PST
Excellent, thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2007, 8:05:30 AM PST
Wayne S. says:
Awesome review, and I agree...
This cut rocks!

You're right about JFK!

Cheers!

Posted on Mar 31, 2007, 4:19:02 AM PDT
G. Tempany says:
Whilst i agree that JFK is an excellent film i think the best editing ever has to go to Natural Born Killers. So many different film stocks, so many different angles and moods to convey. Either way they are both great. Good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2007, 3:47:47 PM PDT
I am glad you liked the review and it is my hope more people see the film. Thank you, Ray

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2007, 3:54:05 PM PDT
Hi Wayne. I am very glad you liked this cut...it should've been the one that played in the theatres (along with the expanded Kingdom of Heaven, which was fabulous)...and I am pleased you liked the editing on JFK. I was astounded by it when I saw it...and quickly saw it again just to believe my eyes. So much information, expertly edited...fabulous. Thank you for your reply and looking forward to the new Stone film...on General Custer. (I would put John C. McGinley in the roll if anyone asked me!) Be well, Ray

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2007, 4:02:50 PM PDT
You make an excellent observation about NBK...and a very good argument. I cannot argue with your logic and reasoning and agree it was indeed worthy of such a title. I suppose I was drawn to JFK because of the vast ammount of information unavailable up to that point...and the fact that Stone spent not a day in court, which his detractors would've arranged had he gone too far. It speaks well for the Art. I am glad you enjoyed the Alexander Review...I think it was slandered for 3 reasons. (1.) Too much Homosexuality for some, (2.) The idea that it was made outside of the Hollywood mainstream and (3.) Oliver Stone's reputation...which I consider outstanding (I should love to meet the man and chat with him) yet many consider troublesome. I view this as their loss...and he one of the finest Film Directors around. Thank you very much for your words and let us look forward to superb cinema in the very near future. Peace, Ray

Posted on May 21, 2007, 1:15:20 AM PDT
There's no way this film compares to JFK. None. Watch both of them together and you'll see what I mean. JFK was a masterpiece of editing, I agree with you there. But this was a total mess!

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2007, 9:48:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2007, 9:49:54 PM PDT
Hi Ernesto;
I was stating the re-edits as a skillful job. I agree JFK is a masterpiece of editing, perhaps none better...in fact so good very few can measure up.
I did not mind the editing here...although I was not crazy about the crimson filters during the Indian forest battle.
It's a different film with a different pace.
JFK was so frenetic that it was almost mind boggling...yet it had to be. When looked at it in this context I believe my point is well taken...or at least more understandable.
Thanks for your comments...always valuable.
Ray

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2007, 4:52:27 PM PDT
I'm sorry Raymond, I should have read more carefully. I thought you were referring to the original version. The re-edits were very much an improvement, but JFK was sooo much tighter and more effective, all the way throughout. Even a heavily edited version (the theatrical release) could have been done much, much better.

The crimson (in my mind's eye I remember it as being lavendar?) filter was a throwback to Natural Born Killers and The Doors. I think Stone likes to use these "visual distortion techniques" as a way of effecting a psycho-active episode, to break from the real into the mythic. This was an attempt to portray the events as other-worldly, legendary, mythical, etc. At least that's how I interpret it. It worked a lot better in NBK than it does here. To me it was another reminder that Stone has lost effectiveness. I hope he can get his groove back with the Custer film...but Little Big Man is going to be very hard to top in that regard!

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2007, 8:15:59 PM PDT
Hello again Ernesto;

Your opinion is most valid, please, no need to apologize. You have great insight into the craft of film making.

I look forward to Custer...and yes, Little Big Man was a wonderful film. Have you ever been to Little Big Horn? If not it's an amazing battlefield, never quite portrayed accurately. Lots of sudden dips and valleys...almost taylor made to hide troops (even mounted cavarly) in. The Lakota used it to great advantage and hope this comes out in the film.

I think John C. McGinley, a Stone veteran, would make a superb Custer. Do you know who the lead is?

Yes, heavy filters worry me a bit, the use of the cool filters in the German battle in Gladiator, the CSI Miami look of overly warmed filters etc.

Ths film was apparently a Labor of Love for Stone, much like Richard Attenborough with his Gandhi. In spite of quite a few bad reviews I still enjoyed the film...the costuming and Sets were especially accurate.

Let us, as always, hope for the best.

Be well, Ray
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