Monday, April 27, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Alexander The Great

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

Alexander The Great.jpg

DATE VIEWED: 04/27/2015


TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 16 minutes



SYNOPSIS: The family life and brief military career of Alexander of Macedonia are chronicled from his birth to his death near 380BC.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Great leaders have really messed up families.  In a time when absolute power could be amassed with 3,000 well armed troops, megalomania was an understatement.

PROS AND CONS: This is one sword and sandal epic that I have never seen until now.  While it was entertaining and somewhat historically accurate it also had a few flaws.  

As the art of cinema marches forward, looking back at what we thought was historically accurate looks pretty dated now.  Comparing Alexander to Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” makes this film look like a daytime soap opera.  The costumes seem a bit too perfect and fashionable for the period and I was mystified at the battle scenes.  While they were impressive enough in scope thanks to the Spanish Army filling in for the Persians (no CGI effects here), they always took place in streams or rivers, which is nuts from a military standpoint, even in pre-Roman times.

But this is nit-picking in a grand film that lasts over two hours.  Which is two hours of Shakespearean delivery to large audiences of squeaky clean Greeks.  I did admire the simple yet effective set designs and the vast landscapes.  Realistic depictions of crucifixions and stoning were also nice, since these are usually never shown in most other sword and sandal fair.  

It would be almost impossible to squeeze 10 years of conquest and battle into a two hour film, but they do a good job here of hitting the high points.  Life during this time could be a blurry line between humanity and god-hood.  Heady stuff.

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on