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A pair of peaks at TROY!

Hey folks, Harry here with bad news... looks like they've cut Brad Pitt's and Orlando Bloom's penises out of the movie. Those early reports from the test screening of seeing these two massive and enormous creations of pure mankind... well, as we all feared, snip snip. Why they cut nudity and leave gore, I'll never understand... Seems like the last minute change of music didn't do much of anything (Should have hired Basil Poledouris!) Beware of spoilers for those of you that have zero concept for history...

Harry et al:

Saw Troy. The first action scene, where we get introduced to a insubordinate Achilles, sets the mood for his relationship with the king he works for (but does not follow), played greatly by Brian Cox.

But then there's Orlando Bloom. He's gay, he has to be. The editing makes him seem like a buffoon, the script tries to make him Legolas, and everything in between makes him a wannabe hero that ends up coming up like a pussy.

Eric Bana as Hector helps carry the movie, a man pledging himself to his nation because of his brother's stupidity and foolishness, and driven to be honorable in his pursuits even in a time of war.

Now, the historical accuracy is shotty at best. Menalaeus and Paris duel, Agamemnon falls at Troy, etc.

But those first two action scenes, of Achilees' brutal slaughter of the opposing army's champion, and him charging the beaches of Troy (alone with only his Myrmidons, seperate from the other Greeks) was breathtaking ... until later the shots copy LOTR a bit too much and the action gets trite.

The music is uninspiring, and unfortunately Sean Bean (as Odysseus) plays a lackluster performance as Achilles' only true friend.

So yeah ... see this movie for the action, but if you leave after the Greeks have captured the Trojan beach-head, you've seen the best action, and the best part of the film.

A few end notes: too many almost-nudity shots of women ... you give us blood, but no breasts, Wolgang! Secondly, WAY too many almost-REALLY-BAD shots of Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt in the buff ... of course, that's what's helping sell this movie, and the movie was a bit too long ... almost 2:45.

And to end, a quote that sent the theater up in laughs:

Menaleus walks into Helen's room to find her missing. A guard comes in with a witness.

M: Where's Helen?

G: She left with the Trojans.

I hope they weren't trying to be funny ... I hope.


next is a bloke from Indiana University in Bloomington. He had problems with the film, but I think the one regarding hating Orlando Bloom in the film... well, I hope to god I hate Orlando Bloom's character. My greatest fear is that they would attempt to make me like this fucking idiot... The biggest "THINK WITH YOUR DICK" idiot man in the history of history... Fuck PARIS! Hector Rules! heh...

Hey Harry! I’m a student at Indiana University Bloomington and since it’s finals week here they decided to offer us a special treat: an advanced screening for Troy! After a long wait outside the campus auditorium, we were finally let in and shown to our seats. Prior to the screening we were informed that the lens on the projector had shattered somehow and the movie would have to be projected through a flat-screen lens. This resulted in many loud sighs and yells from the audience and what made matters worse was there was a Warner Bros. representative there and if he wasn’t happy with the first ten minutes then they would stop the film entirely! Finally the lights! dimmed and we ready to experience the epic of Troy but not before being subjected to a horrible trailer for Catwoman and quick teaser for Ocean’s Twelve… I’ll try to avoid any spoilers!              

We begin on the beaches of Greece and Agamemnon (Brian Cox) is set to conquer another Greek kingdom with his legions. Unfortunately within a matter of minutes the screen completely went out of focus and the audience was stuck watching the opening dialogue/battle unfold through the eyes of Mr. Magoo. After numerous shouts for the camera to be focused and the speakers to be turned up, everything began sounding/running smoothly just in time to watch Achilles (Brad Pitt) take on a Greek warrior in one-on-one combat. The fight sequence goes by so quickly that it just screams “badass” in favor of Achilles. Shortly after this the camera went out of focus once again and we were stuck in Magoo-vision for another ten minutes…              

After much toying with the focus everyone was positive that the film would be shutoff but suddenly the camera focused perfectly, and while the characters were somewhat compressed, it was still viewable and in perfect clarity. The more I think about it to tell what really happens in the film would be rather pointless since a lot of people know what happened in the Trojan War so instead I’ll focus on the acting, score, cinematography etc.              

First off, the acting was splendid! Brian Cox truly captures the dark, greedy portrayal of Agamemnon from Homer’s The Iliad while Peter O’Toole comes across as the very noble and charismatic Priam, King of Troy. Brad Pitt and Eric Bana truly steal the show though as Achilles and Hector respectively and come across as completely believable and worthy actors to fill the shoes of such literary legends. I was rather doubtful at first when I heard Eric Bana was cast as Hector since I haven’t been too impressed with his previous track record. I’ve never seen Chopper, his role in Black Hawk Down was nothing spectacular, and The Hulk was just god awful. In fact, I was almost waiting for him to turn dark green, burst out of his armor, and just toss the Trojan Horse into the Aegean Sea while screaming “HECTOR SMASH!” However, in Troy, Bana puts forth an excellent effort and portrays a very commanding prince of Troy and has some excellent dialogue. Brad Pitt also does an amazing job with his lines and while he didn’t have to hide an accent such as Brian Cox and Sean Bean, it was still kinda funny to hear Pitt talking in his normal voice. Speaking of Sean Bean, who plays Odysseus, I really wish they fleshed out his character more. Odysseus in The Iliad was a vital character for winning the war and rather than portray him in battle instead we just see him conversing with Pitt from time-to-time and plotting the idea of building the Trojan Horse.            

Seems like I covered all the major actors but wait because I’m still forgetting someone! Who could it be you ask? Why Orlando Bloom of course! Orlando Bloom is what ruins this film at times. He was fine in films such as Lord of The Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean where he barely has to read a script but this time they gave him a ton of pages to read. The problem is that he overacts every word that comes out of his mouth and constantly makes absurd facial expressions. There’s a difference between only having to say “Blood has been spilled this fortnight” in LOTR and going into a lustful speech on why he wanted Helen. Orlando in Troy comes across as completely pathetic and worthless and honestly if they wanted someone who could be viewed in such a light then they should’ve cast Tobey Maguire as Paris. Too bad Tobey doesn’t have the pretty-boy looks to fill those shoes and we’re stuck watching Orlando in constant states of over exaggeration…              

When it comes to the musical score, it’s a complete disappointment as well. It sounds like they re-hashed the soundtrack from Stargate, Gladiator, and other such films set in the ancient world and just mixed them altogether. And while these songs fit well in the aforementioned films, in Troy they stand out as annoying and barely fit the scenes they’re used in. I’ve read there were some issues regarding musical rights to the film prior to acquiring James Horner as the composer so I’m unsure as to whose fault it is for the soundtrack issues. Personally I’d not blame Horner since he’s had a good track record in the past and composed epic soundtracks before such as those for Braveheart, Glory, etc.              

Where Troy truly succeeds is in terms of cinematography and the story itself. The film truly captures the ancient Greek feel of the time period it is set in and I could definitely see an Oscar nod for costumes if nothing else. The sets are simply amazing and while not on the level of say Lord of The Rings, when one sees all of Troy they truly get a sense of how huge the city was. I was especially impressed with the Greek ships and the way the Trojan Horse is portrayed in the film. So many times has it been thought of as this finely crafted mammoth horse, perfectly carved and everything. In Troy the Trojan Horse looks like a bunch of scrap wood nailed/tied! together and when the soldiers climb out of it, the horse falls to pieces rather than possess a special “trap-door” for them to climb out of.              

The story stays true to Homer’s Iliad for the most part but there are numerous flaws during important sequences. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Sequences such as Paris’s stealing of Helen isn’t much of a theft. In The Iliad, Paris is depicted as conversing with Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena for a gift of choice and he chooses to have the heart of Helen. During the film there are no depictions of Gods or Goddesses other than a small scene involving Achilles’ mother who was a goddess. (Sorry but her name escapes me at present time) There are however plenty of references to the Greek gods and even Achilles’ act of hubris, cutting off the head of the statue of Apollo, is rather interesting. Even events such as the ! death of Agamemnon, the battle between Achilles and Hector, and the death of Achilles are greatly altered from the original literature. Rather than have such characters fall during the epic battles they are rather eliminated in very private episodes where no one else is really witness to their demise other than a few characters.              

Truth be told, there’s a lot I didn’t like about Troy. When I first heard about it going into pre-production up to seeing the trailer back around Christmas time, I was looking forward to opening night of Troy. The Iliad was a story that I’ve read numerous times, both for school and personal purposes, and to see certain key events in it altered at times bothered me and yet also made sense in terms of storytelling. I wouldn’t call Troy a horrible movie or even a bad movie because it was a good movie for what it was. However, when it comes to films of an epic scale, Troy cannot even be ranked on the same level as s! uch greats as Braveheart, Spartacus, Lord of The Rings, or even The Last Samurai. I find this rather saddening since the tale of the Trojan War is known as being one of the most epic battles in the history of literary works. I was expecting a lot more and was given a sub-par telling of epic warfare. Granted I would like to see it again to have another look at it, both in terms of film-making and for the sake of seeing it through a proper lens, even Magoo-vision is unable to cloud Orlando’s horrible acting which does rub a negative effect onto the movie as a whole. Also, I probably won’t be the only person to say this but at least one of the first to say that Wolfgang Peterson was NOT the right director cut out for such a film. To go from films such as Air Force One, Outbreak, and The Perfect Storm and suddenly expect to re-tell one of the greatest battles in history just didn’t seem like a job that should’ve went to Peterson… Hopefully some other people will write in regarding ! the advanced screenings because I know I left some parts out of my review and I’d love to hear what other people though. Hopefully the forthcoming adaptation of King Arthur from director Antoine Fuqua will be a worthy film in regards to epic storytelling and warfare…  

Hope you enjoyed my look at Troy and if you use this piece then please call me “Musashi.” Take care and keep up the good work!                    

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