If Hannah Arendt focused on the banality of evil, Oliver Stone focuses on the banality of goodness. His new film “Snowden” feels like a retread of “Wall Street,” where a terminally bland young man is intoxicated by the excesses of a brilliantly corrupt environment but turns on his benefactors in the name of justice. In this case, Stone is working from a real-life adventure that does not necessarily translate smoothly into a reel-life presentation.
Tag Archives: Oliver Stone
Any Given Sunday (1999) 15th Anniversary Director’s Cut [Blu-ray]
Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday” is a film that literally anyone can watch. Because while it’s certainly a sport films centered on the industry of football, its central themes are relatable to anyone. While on the surface it’s about business and athletes, and competing, mainly “Any Given Sunday” is about a group of people trying desperately to out run the clock of time, and gain some sense of security for their future before father time catches up on them. When we meet these people in the narrative, many of them are at the beginning of their short careers trying to build a future, while others find their windows of opportunity closing and desperately cling to any chance to secure their future for themselves and their family. Stone composes a very richly defined ensemble drama about the football industry and how demanding it is both as an arena for skilled athletes, and athletes anxiously trying to bank on the momentum of their popularity, as fleeting it may be.
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?