The Ultimate Cut
A Sound: A Extras: B+ Film: B+
release of Oliver Stone's Alexander
the film in its most epic scope yet. Four total versions of the film
exist, the initial theatrical cut and three home video director's
cuts: the Director's
in 2005, the Final
in 2007 and this new release Ultimate
in 2014. The two earlier DVD versions of Alexander
(director's cut and the theatrical version) sold over 3.5 million
copies in the United States. Oliver Stone's third version, Alexander
Revisited: The Final Cut
(2007) has sold close to one million copies and became one of the
highest-selling catalog items from Warner Bros. Let's hope the same
comes with this release, which has an incredible fold out packaging
and some really cool extras and two discs - one for the new Ultimate
Version and the second is the original Theatrical Version. It also
features a 40-Page Art Book with Concept Drawings, Storyboards and
Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Correspondence Memos Between Oliver Stone,
and the Cast and Crew New Documentary The
Real Alexander and the World He Made.
The discs add The
Commentary by Oliver Stone, Original Theatrical Version and
Commentary. Sean Stone's Feature-Length Documentary Fight
Against Time: Oliver Stone's Alexander
& much more!
stars Colin Farrell as King Alexander the Great, Angelina Jolie as
his Mother Olympias, Val Kilmer as his Father, and Anthony Hopkins as
the Narrator and Ptolemy I Soter - this is a must see release of the
film, especially if you haven't seen it in previous incarnations.
film is based on the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia,
who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and part of ancient India.
Shown are some of the key moments of Alexander's youth, his invasion
of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his
early life, including his difficult relationship with his Father
Philip II of Macedonia (Val Kilmer), his strained feeling towards his
mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie), the unification of the Greek
city-states and the two Greek Kingdoms (Macedonia and Epirus) under
the Hellenic League, and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331
BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts
he made to reach the end of the then known world.
story begins 40 years after 323 BC, around 283 BC, with Ptolemy I
Soter (Hopkins), who narrates throughout the film. We see
Alexander's daily life and the strained relationship between his
parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias and his tutor
Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honor, music,
exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his
Father is tragically destroyed when Philip marries Attalus' niece,
Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes King of Macedonia. Ptolemy
briefly mentions Alexander's punitive campaign in which he razes
Thebes and burns Persepolis, then gives an overview of Alexander's
West-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus
by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his EPIC battle against the
Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his
eight-year campaign across Asia.
shown are Alexander's private relationships with his childhood friend
Hephaestion and later his wife Roxana. Hephaestion (Jared Leto)
compares Alexander to Achilles, to which Alexander replies that, if
he is Achilles, Hephaestion must be his Patroclus (Achilles' best
friend and his lover). When Hephaestion mentions that Patroclus died
first, Alexander pledges that, if Hephaestion should die first, he
will follow him into the afterlife. Hephaestion shows extensive
jealousy when he sees Alexander with Roxana and deep sadness when he
marries her, going so far as to attempt to keep her away from him
after Alexander murders Cleitus the Black in India.
initial objection from his soldiers, Alexander convinces them to join
him into his final and bloodiest battle, The Battle of Hydaspes. He
is severely injured with an arrow but survives and is celebrated.
Later on, Hephaestion succumbs to an unknown illness either by chance
or perhaps poison, speculated in the movie to be Typhus carried with
him from India. Alexander, full of grief and anger, distances
himself from his wife, despite her pregnancy, believing that she has
killed Hephaestion. He dies less than three months after
Hephaestion, in the same manner, keeping his promise that he would
film echoes the scope of Lawrence
in many of its shots and is breathtakingly filmed and choreographed.
The picture is flawlessly captured in 1080p HD with a 2.40:1 aspect
ratio and lossless DTS Master Audio English 5.1 sound. Subtitles are
also available in English, French and Spanish.
clocks in around 207 minutes (about three and a half hours long)
whilst the Theatrical
is a much different experience running around 175 minutes. This is
definitely the version of the film to own and check out! Kudos to
Warner Bros for this fantastic release!
James Harland Lockhart V