Movie PictureMost critics agree...Alexander is stupid!Oliver.
He's got black hair and a bad disposition. A rich kid left to live alone in his parents' owned 4 Seasons penthouse; he has everything he could ever want at his disposal. A bagful of cocaine and a mouthful of whiskey; this high school imbiber looks like a younger, Xeroxed version of Timothy Olyphant that's been laminated and stapled into the middle pages of Teen Beat magazine. The two of them could be brothers. Almost. They sure could pull off that passing notion and sell it in some loose adaptation of a crime novel; sized to fit in your back pocket. Oliver is crazy mad. Clinically insane. His brain isn't capable of existing within a social dialogue. And the boy is prone to punching himself in the face. He plays the slap game like some rage infected monkey that just sh*t itself. Oliver is flippant. And he has girl problems.
Ryan's dog knows the bowling score. Yeah. Ryan knows that Oliver is mental and could achieve fame as an award-winning case study. No one else believes it, though. Those affluent Orange County kids just don't care. They are self-absorbed in a "ridonkulous" sort-of way. Seth and Summer ignore the issues presented to them (even though Trask's vesting analog glitch could very well lead to an attempt at murder-suicide). Why? Because Oliver's got the hook-up. He's capable of bestowing backstage passes to next week's Rooney show at the push of a cell phone button. Marissa can personally identify with the counseled youth of America, so of course she's prone to believing in Oliver's lies. The two of them share many egregious psychological problems. Everyone is bound to get something out of a relationship with this slick dick. And that's why they blindly ignore Oliver's morose, deadly habits. What this Newport Beach slack-pack doesn't know is that Oly's got a gun. A tiny one. And it's pointed directly at Marissa's sunk-in cheek bones. He might just go off his rocker and shoot that skinny kooze in the face. Marissa is in danger of chewing bullets. Oliver wants to pull the trigger.
Movie PictureThe OC's Oliver Trask is fashioned after Oliver Stone.Yup. He might just do that.
"Whoa. Orange. What the f*ck are you talking about, man? You're supposed to be discussing Oliver Stone. Not some gay dude that cruised through a three episode story arc on The O.C."
I know. But don't you see? The producers of The O.C. have used Oliver Stone as a blueprint for one of their best high school villains. Stone, too, is apt to impact his lower jaw with his own fist. Call it a stylized upper-cut. Both of these Oliver templates are fanatical to the extreme. Conspiracy theories float freely about their bloated psyches. Only the Ryans of the world can clearly see the truth. Stone unwittingly set that O.C. emotional arc into motion. Oliver the director has liberally admitted to copious amounts of drug use. Oliver Trask, the fictional soap character, has a coke habit that gets him thrown in juvy. The most important back-story held within the characterization speaks for itself. The Germans gave Stone profuse stacks of cold cash, and then left him in a room alone. That's how he made Alexander, his latest Epic. After being fully funded by a bunch of beer and sausage swilling hotboxers, Oliver was left to his own devices while creating this massive endeavor. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But the excess has probably left the investors feeling flush. Kind of like those friends that invested time in Trask. Oly has been given all of this money by his billionaire parents that aren't around to supervise him (they're in Paris, opening another hotel). He's blown his inheritance in the most scrupulous ways.
Movie PictureOliver Stone used to have a drug problem.
He also used to make awesome movies.There's a direct, deep connection. Am I the only one that can clearly see it? Stretch those lids wide, folks. Emancipated, both Trask and Stone could do whatever they wanted. They simultaneously decided to cut the trunks off elephants.
Oliver Stone has a rich history. One that rivals the personal biographies of his numerous on-screen subjects. The way he has established himself in the film going environment will surely inspire some young cinematic entrepreneur. Undoubtedly, Stone's clandestine antics will fuel a crazed, Epic bio-pic not unlike the ones the director himself has handcrafted for our enjoyment. I'm sure of it. Hopefully the flow will be more lucid and congenial than the man's own latest outing; a bloated opus that has ripped apart at the seams. Do I dare say it?
Alexander is on the tired side of an affable soundstage; a boring seat struggle that's bound to cause leg cramps in a generous amount of art-seeking ticket buyers. Has Stone really hit his blue period? Maybe...When the one-word titled "Stone" hits theater marquees, I'm more than sure the man at its helm will skip the bulk of Stone's memoirs which focus upon this trite, stolid turd. Just as Stone himself has bounded over and excluded much of Alexander's own biography.
Movie PictureFriday night's Alexander crowd was FAB-TABULOUS!To say Alexander is "boring" is a sad statement to make. Never before have I ever been weakened by an Oliver Stone endeavor. His artful hand is not skilled at road weariness. He almost seemed incapable of producing something that would bear the weight of a wet burlap sack. But sitting, watching this new venture, that's exactly where it felt like I was living. At the bottom, in the river, tweed sucked into my mouth making it impossible to breath. My limbs were worn out, and by end credits, I could no longer struggle to keep my head up. Eyes half shut, Alexander tells his men that they can all go home. A moment of silence soon breaks into thunderous adulation. Not only did this sound come from the war torn men that make up Alexander's quasi-homosexual brigade of soldiers, it also came from the quasi-homosexual audience members that just wanted to go home and tell their partners that they loved them.
And then have butt sex with them.
Movie PictureLet's face it, faggy, you've taken the piss out of my rainbow."Golly, watching young boys wrestle around in the sand without any shirts on sure has made me itch." Really? I wonder if Oliver Stone realized he was making the first big budget gay date movie. It's on an Epic Scale. Or was he oblivious to that fact? This hulking thing clocks in at three hours. A lot of it is expository talking. There are two brief skirmishes. R rated, for sure, but nothing to write home about. The effect is languid. And it's about time the gay community had a ball busting bomb on their hands. (Gigli doesn't count.)
My mentor, historian and film theory professor Dr. Mark Chilcoat, used to stand at his podium and scream this somewhat obvious statement aloud, "If the director is truly a genuine artist, like Basquiat or Keith Haring, you should be able to go into his latest film blindly, and be able to tell that he directed it without anyone having to tell you that he did."
He's right. I should be able to walk into any given test screening (these almost never have credits attached), oblivious to who directed the film in question, and if it's by a well-known, big name auteur, tell instinctively who stood behind the lens. Here, today, with the hype machines at a constant pitch and spin, this conspicuous theory is hard to test drive. Ads scream a year in advance "who's directing what". If you pay even the slightest amount of attention to the entertainment news whoring of US, ET, or E!, you'll intrusively have every single tiny piece of production information crammed into your brain without the want or need for it to be there.
Watching After the Sunset, I wouldn't know that Brett Ratner had helmed the damn thing if I hadn't already been told by a hundred thousand eager websites. They're fervent about spilling this information (I'm not sure why). After the Sunset is faceless fluff. Fun, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't have the distinctive ambiance of something like The Polar Express. That thing looks and feels like a Bob Zemekis film. From the first page of the script to the last camera angle. I could have guessed it his. Birth, too, looks like the distinctive work of Jonathan Glazer. It intuitively reeks of the man's unhurried, languorous eye. Take Christmas with the Kranks for instance. I dare you to tell me who directed it. Joe Roth, that's who. Yeah, the guy behind Revenge of the Nerds 2 and Coup De Ville. What does that mean? I guess both Joe Roth and Brett Rattner are thematic tracers that live and eat by-the-numbers. You couldn't really call them out as artists. They're fast food bag fillers. Sometimes, as is the case with After the Sunset, that food tastes as good as a late night Western Burger eaten in a drunken frenzy. Other times, it taste like some jerk jacked-off in your burrito (aka: The Kranks). Both experiences are thrown on the floor like a pair of bitter pickles, and the genre rape is harmless. A forgotten drive-through endeavor (actually the sour cream sperm substitute is often times hard to shake)...
Movie PictureNumber 1 at the box office Thanksgiving 2012 - STONE! I doubt many people will argue this fact: Oliver Stone is first and foremost an artist. I think that much is true. Surely. Every single one of his films has a very distinctive stylized guise. I should have been able to walk into Alexander, site unseen, and been able to tell that it squirmed out of his urethra. He owes himself that much. Well, this can defiantly be said for the script. It's spot-on Stone-centric storytelling at its finest. Every key facet and nuance is accounted for. So much so that Alexander, in page form, looks like a sixteenth draft rewrite of Oliver Stone's Brain De Palma directed (you can always tell a De Palma film) hit screenplay, Scarface. That film followed Tony Montana, named after Stone's favorite football player Joe Montana (Oliver was fighting a cocaine addiction during the writing of Scarface; just as Oliver Trask from The O.C. was fighting a cocaine addiction during his attempted courtship of Marissa Cooper). Montana builds a vast empire with his best buddy Manny Ray at his side. It's about power and friendship. And it exhibits a great hatred towards women. It's an exact replica of the Alexander template. Except, Manny and Tony didn't engage in any erotic massages. That we ever saw, anyway (it can be argued that the chainsaw -shower scene is full of homoerotic metaphors).
Oliver acknowledges and accepts the parallels between the two screenplays by having Angelina Jolie scream one important line of dialogue at Colin Farrell's Alexander. "The World is Yours." As you might remember, this sentence was emblazed in neon on a huge globe seen in Tony Montana's mansion. And was used to great effect in the ending shoot-out. (The quote also appeared in the original 1932 version of Scarface.)
Sadly, if you close one eye and study the mise en scène, Oliver's normally enthusiastic and unmistakable thematically charged aura disappears. His trademark imagery and scenic atmosphere is absent. Aside from its pink hued climax, Alexander is indistinguishable from all the other dustbin show pony epics that have been dropped like turds in the backyard of our local multiplex. The bookend spoken word set pieces that open, interrupt like an intermission, and close the film didn't seem like something Stone would have put into a film. Right away, I was thrown. Oliver's usually quick to pull you into his works. These prologue-epilogue narration expanders only work in calling Anthony Hopkins' liver spots to attention. I never would have expected such base storytelling from the Stoneham.
Movie PictureOliver Stone, newly appointed Greek God
of Lethargy, points to clouds of boredom. Alexander is the type of cinematic fare I'd usually avoid like the plague. I hate any given on-screen sandbox utopia. These dirty, dry exposes only work in making me thirsty, and they fail to evoke any type of emotion from my heart. Yet, Stone's name on the bottom of that poster intrigued me. Surely he'd have something new and interesting to say about this inherent type of Greek Tragedy.
That he doesn't is oddly mystifying.
Did he stop taking drugs? "Man, I'll personally buy you two bags of mushrooms if it means another awesome outing like The Doors." I'm not sure why, but I love that movie. I passed up a chance to see the elbow grabbing Silence of the Lambs with two hot teenage girls just so I could go see it again, by myself, back in high school. To this day, I regret the decision. That type of opportunity doesn't come along everyday. Hasn't ever happened again, to tell you the truth. Still, The Doors meant a lot to me. I wanted to watch it on the big screen, one last time, before it left theaters. Sweet vaginas aside...
Movie PictureI'll buy Stone another bag of mushrooms if
he promises to make another movie
as inspired as The Doors.
I promise. While watching Alexander, I wanted to put a jacket over my face and play with a couple of action figures in the illuminated hue of that nylon screen. Something I haven't done since my parents took me to see Fiddler on the Roof back in the early 80s. Oh, how a matriarch has fallen.
A big budget Epic in the making. "Dude, I love more than most of your resume. But, goddamn it, I hate your new movie. Why did you have to turn into such a jerk?"
Now excuse me while I go spend Christmas with some Krank. A big bag full of it. "I'm snorting this sh*t for you both, Oliver Stone and Oliver Trask!"
Movie PictureThanks for stopping by, you dumb jerk! Maybe it will help me make since of this madness that you have both bestowed upon the world...(Okay, you caught me. I can't afford drugs. I do have half a bottle of Toilet Duck under the sink. Who's up for snorting that? Anyone?
Ah, Duck haze. "You know what, Gilbert? Watching this bootleg of Alexander is actually making me feel kind of funky. Maybe it's not such a bad deal after all."
Yeah, right. Even after an 8 oz. bottle of the tasty blue stuff, Oliver's latest film still sucks. Adios, and...
Dont't forget to also check out: Alexander