Sunday, January 09, 2005

Historical Epics

We watched this movie on DVD tonight, and while I had some problems with it, I found it fairly enjoyable overall. Plenty of spectacle (even though a lot of it was CGI) and some good battle scenes. Those battles suffer a little from being shot too close, but not as much as in some movies I've seen. For a movie with as much action as TROY has, though, there are stretches where it gets awfully talky. It's also a movie that doesn't connect well emotionally with the viewer until the end. For much of it, I didn't really care who won the battles and didn't sympathize with any of the characters except Hector and Odysseus. (It didn't help that I couldn't get the Simpsons version out of my head -- I kept hearing Ned Flanders saying "O-diddly-ysseus".) But in the end I thought it was okay.

Earlier in the week we watched KING ARTHUR, which I also sort of liked. The battle on the frozen river was the highlight of the film. Clive Owen was pretty good as Arthur, and I think he could probably play James Bond (since he's rumored to be in the running for that part if Pierce Brosnan doesn't do the next Bond film). I've liked Keira Knightly in everything I've seen her in, too, including the made-for-TV PRINCESS OF THIEVES where she plays Robin Hood's daughter.

One odd thought struck me while we were watching TROY: how come Sergio Leone never made a sword-and-sandal epic? Seems like it would have been a natural for him. But then we might not have had ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, and I don't know that I'd make that trade.


Anonymous said...

James, before Sergio started making westerns he did some sword and sandal work. He directed COLLOSUS OF RHODES and is known as an uncredited director on SODOM AND GOMORRAH and LAST DAYS OF POMPEI.


Unknown said...

What bothered me about TROY was that after the CGI scenes of the thousand ships sailing the wine-dark sea, only about 100 or so guys seemed to get off them.