My Big Fat Greek Epic

Form posted this is the comments to Banana's review and I am hereby elevating it to an actual entry. Thanks, Dave!

Sharon wanted me to take her to see Troy for her Birthday/Graduation present, and she made me promise not to read Anna's review until we went. But last night I saw the movie and this morning, I read the review, so now I post without regret. This movie pissed me off. Not so much that I would sit in my war tent and sulk. But enough to tie the DVD to the back of my car and drag it around my house seven times. If Wolfgang Peterson came to my house to ask for it back, I wouldn't allow the funeral games to be held for it.

Peterson is a great director, and I say that because he directed "Das Boot," the greatest submarine movie of all time. At the end of it, I actually felt bad for the German soldiers. And as we know, the "go to" villain in this age of moral relativism is the Nazis. You can hate them without having to apologize to anyone, but Petersen had me rooting for them.

However, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, this script needed a different director and his name is Mel Gibson. He is the man when it comes to bloody revenge tails and has a thing for "Wrath". As you can tell from his earlier work, he is crying out for a Lit Hum classic that suits his aesthetic, and I would rather have him sack Troy then blow up the Light House. (Or "Pride and Extreme Prejudice".)

Like most movies of our time, this one shows the glaring weakness in computer rendering technology, which is, it still cannot do anything to render character development. As a result, I have no idea why any characters did anything that the did, except that Homer might have mentioned it in his book. Besides the heavy handed stuff about your name lasting throughout the generations, there is nothing about why Achilles is moody on any given day. Why Hector is merciful on any given day? Why do all the Greeks buy into Agamemnon's crap? How does nationalism and glory jibe together? What really motivates Prium? His love on country, the gods, family, peace? The importance of burial is never fully fleshed out and neither is Eric Bana's corpse. It is all a mess, and did not have me rooting for anyone. Stick to one or two things and actually flesh them out. Gibson would have not read further than the first word in the Poem to figure out how to develop the characters. (And he might have done the whole thing in Greek, with sub-titles for people not named Bruce King.)

Feeling a little like Virgil to Bana's Homer, I have to say that the war prize stuff sucked. Maybe with the Abu Ghirhard prison scandal, an American audience could not bare to see Achilles violate the Geneva Convention. What ever the case may be, they should have either stuck with the geo-political plot line or stuck to the stealing of women, because the two did not really mix so well together.

And for a director who computer generated the "Perfect Storm," you would think the involvement of deities would be easy enough in a non-cheesy manner. Big storms punishing the Greeks. A disturbing close up of Apollo's statute's severed head followed by a shot of the unforgiving sun. It could have been done tastefully. I am just glad the plague made at the very least a 2 second cameo.

One thing he did well was Achilles as psychopathic killing machine. That had me happy they I was watching a movie version of the Iliad. It was pretty much how I envisioned it as was not cheesy or unrealistic, because after all, Achilles is supposed to be that deadly.

If there is anything this Virgil can add to what was already said it is this.... has any of you seen "Sharpe's Rifles?" By any of you, I mean someone who would watch BBC America a lot. It was a mini-series that used to be shown quite a bit on Masterpiece Theatre. Anyway, Sean Bean was the leading man, and he was great. I loved it. His main stream American exposure has been mixed. He was great in Patriot Games but has been reduced to side kick ever since he played a Bond villain in Goldeneye. Anyway, if there is something that Troy did leave for its audience, it was the possibility of watching him wander home for 10 years, and then fuck up the dudes living off his stuff. That is a theme that doesn't need to be watered down for an American audience.

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