Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Sick at home

Well I had a strange weekend in Chico that left me sick and tired. I will spare you all the details of the sickness, but it did involve many trips to the porcelain god of love.

Anyhow we went there for Laura's sister's graduation. It was a nice ceremony despite the main speaker was atrocious. You could tell the guy had a thesaurus on him while writing the speech. The BBQ afterwards would have been great if I had been able to imbibe anything. Laura's dad bought a Sierra Nevada Wheat (which up there costs only 70$ ... Down here I think that is like 110$.

But no Matt could not drink any because he had the sh*...- okay I will stop.

So now it is Tuesday and I find myself dialed into work from home taking it easy. Tomorrow I am hoping that I am all better.

Let me talk about Troy briefly. The movie was underwhelming. It was a good movie and entertaining, but did not live up the spectacle that someone could imagine on their own. Few movies do, but I think this one could have if handled differently. You see there are no Gods or Goddesses in the movie. It is just humans; which is fine, but the great thing about Greek Mythology is the relationships between the Gods and the Mortals and everything in between that is a demi-god and what not. It is the Gods meddling that usually holds sway over what happens in the Mortal world.

In Troy we are left with a bitter Achilles' (Brad Pitt) who is so full of pride that he refuses to accept the leadership of King Agamemnon (played by Brian Cox). Throughout the movie they go back and forth. "He won't fight for me" ... "I won't fight for him" .. blah blah blah.

That is the main dissension in the movie until (SPOILER) Hector, who was my favorite character in the movie and strangely as I remember was my favorite character in the Iliad slays Patroculus in battle thinking that it was Achilles.

Well this infuriates Achilles and if you have read the Iliad you more or less know how he reacts. I always thought this part of the Iliad was crap. If Achilles was not such a prideful man his cousin would never had died (at the time he did at least) ... Its achilles own fault that patroculus dies... Anyhow, the poem has been written and I am writing a movie review about the adaption not a book review.

So what was good: The battles are good. The Hector - Achilles duel is very good. Whenever Achilles battle prowess is exemplified the audience is probably thinking, oh that was cool, but these moments are few and far between and last roughly a few seconds each. The first battle and when he throws the spear are examples of this.

As I alluded to above what I wanted to see was the God's influence. For instance there are parts of the Iliad where the God's directly impact the course of the battles. I have a copy of the Iliad right next to me but am too lazy to open it up.

This movie should have been about grandeur and spectacle ... Instead we got a little bit of spectacle and too much humane adaptation of the story with the Gods taken out... The Gods' messages are conveyed through the mortals and for me this just didn't work. I wanted to see strings being pulled. The impact and emotions of each character could have been amplified if there was a supernatural aura about the battles, dialogues, and events.

Should you see it: Yes, but don't go in thinking it will be the greatest thing ever.



chaosTheory said...

is this just a troy thing or are you going to start rating movies by number of swords?

Matt Stein said...

Its not a Troy thing ... stay tuned.

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