ALEXANDER: THE ULTIMATE CUT Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 47 days ago

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When Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone first unleashed his epic Alexander the Great biopic back in 2004, critics launched a war of words and audiences retreated from the box office battle lines.  In the aftermath of its disastrous theatrical release, Alexander was re-tooled for its 2005 home entertainment debut by Stone, who trimmed 8 minutes for a special “Director’s Cut” DVD, whose packaging promised a “faster-paced, more action packed” film.  Although the “Director’s Cut” sold moderately well, certain critics pummeled Stone once again, this time for further de-gaying an already largely de-gayed narrative about history’s most famous bisexual conqueror.

Determined to placate critics once and for all, Stone re-edited the film a third time in 2007 and, rather than subtracting footage, added in a total of 40 extra minutes, which included more literal sword fighting and implied naked sword fighting.  The resulting release, Alexander Revisited, was supposed to be the final word on the film.  Seven years later, however, and we have a fourth cut of the film, Alexander: The Ultimate Cut, which shortens Revisited by seven minutes.  The question is, has Stone finally made Alexander great?  Hit the jump for my Alexander: The Ultimate Cut Blu-ray review.

Fool’s Gold: 8 Oscar Hopefuls That Never Took Off

by     Posted 305 days ago

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For the past few months on Oscar Beat, we’ve been taking a detailed look at the Oscar race to come.  We saw frontrunners emerge out of the fall film festival circuit, and now we’re starting to see each category come together.  However, for this holiday weekend we thought it’d be fun to take a look at awards seasons past; specifically, films that were considered strong Oscar hopefuls until for one reason or another they dropped out of the race entirely.  This year we’ve already seen a couple of potential Oscar contenders fade from the race once critics got their first look—namely The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which now feels destined to be more of a commercial hit than a serious Oscar contender.

After the jump, we examine five films from the past decade that looked like they had the goods for Oscar glory but dropped quickly and quietly out of sight when it turned out they were nothing but hype.

Oliver Stone Talks UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, JFK Re-Release, the Controversy Associated with His Name, His Fourth Cut of ALEXANDER, More

by     Posted 348 days ago

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Out on Blu-ray this week is Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.  The twelve part documentary series, co-created with American University professor Peter Kuznick, offers an alternative historical narrative by drawing focus to the scarcely remembered moments, forces, and figures that shaped the course of post-World War II America.  In celebration of the release I recently participated in a small group interview with Stone.  Over the course of sixty minutes he talked about the documentary series, the upcoming re-release of JFK, his past projects, and a whole lot more.

In this second segment Stone talks about the controversy associated with his name, differentiating between skepticism and conspiracy, his hopes for the JFK re-release, the upcoming fourth cut of Alexander, reflecting on Salvador and Savages, thoughts on digital media, and more.  Find out what he had to say after the jump and check back this week for the final installment of the interview.  Click here to read the first installment.

Oliver Stone and Benicio Del Toro Talk SAVAGES, a Fourth Cut of ALEXANDER, LICENSE TO KILL, THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES & More

by     Posted 1 year, 309 days ago

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Oliver Stone, a remarkable wordsmith, can alternate from topic to topic with nary a breath in between.  A simple question on working with Salma Hayek can suddenly morph into Stone remarking on the nature of masculinity in the country to his first and only encounter with George W. Bush.  Add the equally outspoken Benicio Del Toro into the conversation – and it’s best just to shut up and let the two extraordinarily talented men talk.

The topic at hand was supposed to be the twosome’s collaborative effort: the unfairly maligned Savages (currently on DVD and Blu-ray); but the conversation veered from the film to thoughts on the drug war to a fourth cut of Alexander to Del Toro’s debut appearance in License to Kill to Stone’s current documentary series The Untold History of The United States, among many other topics of conversation.  For highlights from Stone and Del Toro, hit the jump.

Oliver Stone Says He’s Doing a Fourth Cut of ALEXANDER

by     Posted 1 year, 326 days ago

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Monday evening, Universal held an impromptu dinner with filmmaker Oliver Stone and actor Benicio Del Toro. The topic at hand: the underrated Savages – which met a caustic reception at the time of release and next week will be released on Blu-Ray & DVD. However Stone, ever the wordsmith and thinker, ran through a gamut of topics ranging from his feelings on Blu-Ray to this past election to even another (this would be fourth) cut of his initially maligned epic Alexander.

Stone told the press that, due to the success of Alexander: The Final Cut, Warner Bros. has asked him to go back and do another cut of the film for a future DVD release.  Hit the jump for the director’s full thoughts on a proposed fourth cut of Alexander.

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