We get to hear the life tale of Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) from the mouth of his old buddy Ptolemaeus (Hopkins). We get to see how Alexander grew up seeing his parents, king Filippos (Kilmer) and queen Olympias (Jolie), fight against each other and manipulating him, how he saw his father get murdered right before a huge campaign against the Persians. Alexander takes his father’s place, defeats them and takes Babylon. But his wish to get placed amongst his heroes like Achilles and Herakles, he forms the biggest army he can and sets forth his journey into Asia where he conquers lots of tribes up until his forces get defeated by the Indian army.
But that’s not all, the focus goes more towards the constant psychological pressure from his mother, the assassination attempts on his life, the search for a successor that makes him marry barbarian women, his love for Hephaistion (Jared Leto), and his ultimate downfall that was made possible because of treatury by his closest warriors who are fed up with his constant hunger for more countries to conquer.
Sound and Vision:
It’s been a while since we’ve extremely impressed with a dvd’s image quality but A-Film has done an excellent job. There’s absolutely nothing bad that can be said and even the layer change is perfectly placed so that you won’t notice it.
The DTS track we checked out also nears perfection. The surround channels are actively used and even the speeches in the arena get some nice resonance in the surround speakers. The subwoofer gets loads of action with the fight against the Indian army (with the elephants) being one of the best examples of how a dynamic soundtrack should be done.
– Trailers for Million Dollar Baby, Der Untergang and the Quality Film collection.
– Audio commentary by Oliver Stone without subtitles
– Fight against time: Oliver Stone’s Alexander: A very long documentary made by Stone’s son Sean who follows the production.
– Alexander The Great: historical documentary from National Geographic.
– 11 pieces of interviews with Colin Farrel, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Christopher Plummer, Oliver Stone, producers Moritz Borman and Jon Kilik and composer Vangelis
– Promo documentary
Oliver Stone has gotten tons of criticism over his head with Alexander and I can understand why. Although the movie starts off really good and manages to keep you watching, towards the end, it does tend to become a bit long without any reason. When it comes to the acting, Colin Farrell starts off great, but also towards the end, it gets worse, just like Alexander’s mental health. Angelina Jolie is perfectly miscast as queen Olympias and someone would do best to tell her a British accent doesn’t improve her credibility as “barbarian queen”. A-Film has done a terrific job with the Special Edition, the image and sound are perfect, and the extras are interesting for once and not the usual promotional mumbo-jumbo we get to see a lot lately.