Battle of the Macho Miniskirts -- On Saturday night, I had an overwhelming urge to see a big silly popcorn movie, and so Nat and I went to good old Showcase Woburn to see Troy, starring (in order of acting competence) Peter O'Toole, Eric Bana, Sean Bean, Brian Cox, Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, and German model Diane Kruger as a totally uninspiring Helen of Troy. In the spirit of the goofy-poetic movie review championed by the Brothers Woodward, here's my take:
Tanned thighs, blue seas, and
painful, wooden dialogue:
classic summer flick.
Now, granted I was in the mood for this movie, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed it -- in fact, I turned to Nat as the credits rolled and said, "That was a million times better than Gladiator!" to which he could only reply with a gaping, "Are you serious?!" We settled the question by watching "Gladiator" on DVD last night -- I love that Russell Crowe, but much like the first time, the movie eventually put me to sleep. It's about 40 minutes too long, and the supporting characters are just unwatchably bad...Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nielsen, ouch! Russell is the only thing holding the movie together, and he makes awful dialogue seem plausible and dignified. While "Troy" comes off as painfully derivative in the special effects department -- it owes a lot to not only "Gladiator" but "Lord of the Rings" also -- and is not going to win any acting awards, I thought the juicy personal dramas were nicely foregrounded (especially the spicy tale of runaway virgin priestess Briseus), so you could sort of skip past the sweeping computer effects and follow the real plot. Eric Bana was excellent as Hector, the dutiful older brother who saves not only the dreamy Paris from death in a duel, but the whole city of Troy (for a while, anyway) by battling Achilles, played by the ripe thighs of Brad Pitt. He's more buffed than I've ever seen him, but he just can't carry off the armor like Russell can, it's a pity. As with many blockbusters, it's best not to delve too deep -- I really enjoyed the beautiful, very historically accurate costumes and set design, the glittering Aegean Sea backdrop, and some of the battle sequences were amazing (giant flaming hay balls!). I'll stand by my assessment: down with Rome, up with Troy! Of course, speaking of movies we saw this weekend, I'm also the one who liked "The Matrix Revolutions" best out of that trilogy, so...