Strong female characters in a Neil Marshall film are never in short supply, and with “Centurion” even thought it’s primarily a testosterone laden gladiator film of the highest order, Marshall stamps his trademark style on to it with sheer grit, a noticeable blue hue that makes even the gladiator action feel steeped in grindhouse, and of course he offers up a small array of female warriors in a world where men dominate and do battle in the woods. Marshall is up to the challenge to give his fans a rare entertaining gladiator film that’s not only very traditional in the way of “Spartacus” but features some of the most gruesome action sequences and dazzling performances in years.
Tag Archives: Gladiators
“300” is really nothing more than a movie about war. It’s about a society that paints war as heroic, and beautiful, about a society that views death in battle as heroic, and unflinching loyalty to government as brave. And yet, we know better. But this was the society. This is society period. It’s not difficult to see what the subtext is if you look hard enough.”300” though is also a beautiful action film that stages every scene as a living painting. Frank Miller, in spite of my disagreement with his views, is a wonderful writer. And he without a doubt set the stage for many writers to explore new domains in the comic book world.
Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (DVD)
“Why a third version of Alexander? The best answer I can manage is, I couldn’t get it out of my system. It’s a film that’s been haunting me since the theatrical version first appeared in November 2004 in the U.S., followed by a Director’s Cut on DVD in July 2005.” – Oliver Stone
Jesus Christ, Mr. Stone, why? Why can’t you just leave that gaping wound alone? Why can’t you just let it heal? Why can’t you just leave well enough alone and accept that you made a really bad movie? You made a bad movie! There was no homophobic conspiracy, no boycott against you. You made a neo-“Caligula,” a film that takes itself so seriously it can’t even realize it has a huge “Kick My Pompous Ass” sign on its back. While we chortle in the distance, you’re still hung up on this figment that we just can’t accept a film about a hero who is bisexual. So, you grace us with three cuts of the same crappy film. Stone, know when to stop breathing air in the infectious cavity. You win some, and you lose some. You lost big with “Alexander” and you only help increase the sentiment with this “final” cut. You’re off your game, face it. And worst of all, Stone wants to cater to his audiences rather than accept defeat. There was the original cut (175 min.), then the trimmed down cut which increased the action and pulled back on the homosexual overtones (167 min.), and now there’s this “Final Cut.”
After the failure of “Alexander”, Stone, always the conspiracy buff, used this excuse: “Alexander failed because of conservative opposition to homosexuality.” Which answers the question, what does a conspiracy theorist do when they fail? Make their failure in to a conspiracy. “No, it wasn’t my fault, it’s the government!” But if a heavily homosexually driven film like “Brokeback Mountain” could succeed why couldn’t a film with mild homosexual themes make it? Answer that one, Stoner. Did you ever think that perhaps your movie really sucks? Because it does. Never since “Caligula” have I seen such a cheesy, ridiculous, and utterly boring “epic” that fails to be as good as it tries to be. From Anthony Hopkins typical dramatic narration spelling the film out for us, right down to the sickeningly grandiose style it’s unashamed to flaunt, “Alexander” is a bad movie that will show all that the gladiator fad is over and done with. So quit it, y’hear?
“Troy” is ultimately the prime example of how such an immense concept ripe with possibilities and potential can be so botched in the wrong hands. While an achievement in visuals, “Troy” fails in every other aspect including its writing and storytelling. Peterson excels at creating a half hour too long epic with just no point in sight. The film has so much going for it, but quickly blows it as we drudge on and on for three hours without any real substance nor do we take anything away from this demanding experience. As they say, if a film is great, three hours can fly by, but with a poor film, three hours can drag on, and this did indeed drag on with melodrama, romantic sub-plots and everything that drags this down. I love the legend of Helen of Troy and the face that launched a thousand ships, but this is not what I was hoping for, and it doesn’t pay homage to its true storyteller.