Alexander the Average-At-Best

Oliver Stone has apparently fallen into the same class of director as Quentin Tarentino and Tim Burton, as far as I’m concerned: Too filled with belief in his own artistry to bother with the basics of telling a good story:

Stone’s film opened on Wednesday to near universal pans from critics who called it everything from a “noble failure” to an “indifferent epic.”

The Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer said the movie was “an act of hubris so huge, that, in Alexander’s time, it would draw lightning bolts from contemptuous gods.”

While critics pointed out the film’s obvious flaws, Gore Vidal defended the movie because Stone chose to make Alexander’s bisexuality one of its major themes:

Vidal rallied to the $160 million movie’s defense saying it was “barrier-breaking” because of its frank depiction of bisexuality. …

The film, based on historical accounts, deals matter-of-factly with the ancient Macedonian king’s affairs with both men and women — an issue many in Hollywood predicted would harm its box office chances. In an interview with Reuters, Vidal said the film was “a breakthrough in what you can make films about. Movies are always the last to register changes in society and this movie does it.”

First of all, I don’t know what America Vidal lives in, but it’s a sucker bet that it’s not anywhere between, oh, New York and Los Angeles. Or maybe San Francisco.

Secondly, the critics, as near as I can tell, aren’t even commenting on the relationship between Alexander and his boi-toi. Anyone who studies ancient Greece knows that homosexuality was pretty common, especially in the military. Whether Stone’s portrayal of it is accurate, I don’t know. One critic said on the radio yesterday that he’s never seen more men wearing mascara in his life.

Whatever. The bottom line, Gore, is that Alexander is just a bad movie. Period.

If gayness is all it takes to qualify as ground-breaking for Gore Vidal, I’m sure he can find all the breakthrough movies he can handle in the adult section of select video rental stores.

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