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It’s been sitting here on my desk for more than a week now: a pre-release screener of Oliver Stone’s 2004 epic disaster Alexander, now in an unrated director’s cut out on DVD today. Okay, it’s not really 14 hours long, but the theatrical cut felt as long as centuries of ancient Persian warfare, so how could an even longer cut not feel downright epochal? I’m dreading watching it: it’s not like the original version of the film suffered from wild lapses in plot. Yes, it suffered from a few missing pieces in the story of the boy conqueror — my original review from 2004 is a horrifying reminder of a traumatic cinematic experience — but it suffered way more from what was in the film … like hilariously over-the-top performances from the likes of the often terrible Angelina Jolie and the usually reliable Colin Farrell. They will, at least, be good for some laughs during the rewatching, I’m sure. As may the new material, an extra 30 minutes of, apparently, “thunderous action” and “evocative sexuality” that will now, we are promised, recall Lawrence of Arabia and Patton.

Oh dear. Now I really must watch this.

If nothing else, the warning label on the consumer product — “Content Advisory for Violence and Explicit Sexual Situations” — is sure to move a few copies. But the best thing, I’m guessing, about the new DVD? It comes with a free pass to see the new ancient-warfare flick 300, which is awesome.

Okay, I promise to buckle down and check this out. If you hear snickers of derision, that’ll be me.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
MaryAnn Johanson
author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride
minder of FlickFilosopher.com

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