troy? good or bad?
#1
The trouble with troy is that Hollywood did what it normally does with history, spice it up. But in this case, the Iliad is read by half the people who can read and has been for thousands of years. Screw with it at your peril.
some points
1. People died who lived in real life and had an important history.
2. People lived who died in history
3. Why, who knows
4. I am a historian, costuming was wrong. We know exactly what the men and women wore then. Women's costumes were a 1,000 years too late. Eastern med. women wore long skirts with many flounces and pettycoats that stopped just below the bust. In cold weather, they wore a shawl. If the film already has an r rating, the stars have already done nudity before, why have male nudity only. The historian in me says, why not go for it and be real.
There is no rhyme or reason to it.
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#2
Masterblaster,

Since I am committed to reading the Iliad in its entirety (translation of course), I gather I should avoid the film and wait for the DVD.

Thanks for the warnings. I generally refuse to see a flick if I haven't read the book and am interested in the book. The imagination should not be limited to the film, in my opinion.

Why do you think they needed to "spice it up"? Quite thrilling as it is presented by Homer, you know! Can't get much better than immortals participating in the battles and being wounded, or top old Zeus hurling bolts!!Rolleyes
inked
"Aslan is not a tame lion. Safe?
No, he's not safe, but he's good."
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#3
It's a good movie, thoroughly enjoyable, and it does a great job of telling the basic story despite several major compressions of characters and events (including the loss of the ten years of warfare leading up to the events of "The Iliad").

If people aren't used to the film industry's getting details wrong by now, they never will be, I suppose.
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#4
Well, I'll never know, it had three strikes against it before I even considered seeing it (1. Historical Epic, 2. Two-Hours Forty-some minutes long, 3. Brad Pitt) :bg:

A friend of mine saw it last night, although I've yet to ask him about it. The only reason he went was because it was a date! :laugh: That's about the only way I'd be going to see it!

But seriously, I'm sure I've said before, if a movie goes beyond 2 and a half hours, I think it's just rambling. If you've got something to say, say it. If you've got that much to say, make two movies.
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#5
Frankly, I think this is the best performance I've ever seen from Brad Pitt. I don't know what people have against him. He's always been a decent if not exceptional actor in my opinion. His portrayal of Achilles is not quite as over-the-top as Homer's depiction, but I think that works better for Brad. He was certainly melancholy without coming across as stilted or forced.

Peter O'Toole was fantastic as Priam. Eric Bana was great as Hector. Orlando Bloom did okay with his wussy role (I have never really liked Paris, I guess).

All the major points of the epic were touched upon in some way, although it's useless to hope for adherence to all the key details. They tried to cover the entire war, and even Homer only picked on fifty days for "The Iliad".
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#6
Quote:Originally posted by Michael
Frankly, I think this is the best performance I've ever seen from Brad Pitt. I don't know what people have against him. He's always been a decent if not exceptional actor in my opinion. His portrayal of Achilles is not quite as over-the-top as Homer's depiction, but I think that works better for Brad. He was certainly melancholy without coming across as stilted or forced.


Agreed. Pitt is a definate up-and-coming actor of the most dedicated sort. While he may suffer from "pretty boy" syndrome, I have felt for a long time that he's another Robert Redford. Seeing them together in Spy Game was like a passing of the torch for me, and I'm sure, in years to come, others will regard it similarly. Pitt has amazing versatility, and ability to portray a variety of characters, and a desire to reach beyond being just a face. Legends of the Fall, Se7en, Fight Club, Twelve Monkeys and Snatch. all reflect that serious dedication to his craft. Ocean's Eleven and The Mexican show that like Brendan Fraiser, he also likes to have a little fun in his movies as well.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#7
The Iliad without the Greek gods is missing some major (and majorly important) characters. *sigh*
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#8
i've never read the Illiad, so I can't judge it against the book. I did enjoy the movie, but I would suggest waiting for video. There's really nothing here to rush out and see it on the big screen for. The performances were strong (I agree with Michael about Brad Pitt), the story was well told, the battles were alright. I personally liked the duals best.
Sheldon: I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.

~ The Big Bang Theory
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#9
Quote:Originally posted by Boomstick
Well, I'll never know, it had three strikes against it before I even considered seeing it (1. Historical Epic, 2. Two-Hours Forty-some minutes long, 3. Brad Pitt) :bg:

A friend of mine saw it last night, although I've yet to ask him about it. The only reason he went was because it was a date! :laugh: That's about the only way I'd be going to see it!

But seriously, I'm sure I've said before, if a movie goes beyond 2 and a half hours, I think it's just rambling. If you've got something to say, say it. If you've got that much to say, make two movies.


I have to agree with you about Brad Pitt. I do not like the guy at all, though after seeing him as Achilles, I would not have cast anyone else. He was Achilles, great performance IMO.
Eric Bana was brill as Hector, definately an oscar nomination there.
Orlando Bloom was good as Paris, he portrayed him perfectly. Paris was a whimp and Orlando made him very believable and lovable as well. You so wanted him to beat the crap out of Menelaus though.
I dont know much about the history or the people of Troy but shouldnt Paris and Hector have looked like their father? The accents sounded all wrong too and putting a few gods in the film would have been a nice touch.
Even though the movie is lengthy it doesnt feel it goes for that long.
Whats wrong with all the man flesh?? Im sick of going to the movies and all we see is boobs, boobs and more boobs. 3 cheers to Wolfgang Peterson on this one. It made a nice change.
All in all I throughly enjoyed this one and cant wait to see it again and to buy it when it comes out on dvd.

No film will ever be the same as a book. Its just not feasable(sp?)
In :love: with Johnny :kiss:
-
In lust with Orlando Heart
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#10
Went tonight. Made sure I left any prejudices against the movie because of the Iliad at the door (though I did pick up on the references - I quite liked Achilleus' "You sack of wine" comment). Before I went in, I was given a HUGE coffee completely filled with sugar. Sadly, by a third of the movie, despite caffiene and sugar, I was tempted to fall asleep (and probably would have done if it wasn't for the fact I was wearing coloured contact lenses). Sorry, people. I found it quite boring. Parts of it were interesting - Achilleus' duel with Hektor, and I actually found Paris' duel and subsequent fleeing very interesting.

I liked a few of the characters. Hektor, of course, Odysseus, of course, and Paris. Yeah, you heard me, Paris. And not because of Orlando Bloom, he's actually been a character I've always been fairly interested in. I didn't like - well, practically everyone else. Achilleus, I didn't expect to like, Agamemnon, well he's always been a (insert curse of your choice here), Menelaos, hmm - I actually thought I'd find him more likeable. And as one of my classmates put it, "Patroklos comes across as Achilleus' slow cousin from someplace like the 'Naki!" Priam was likeable, actually. I didn't feel the scene between him and Achilleus had quite the same emotion to it as the Iliad (oh, fine, I'll confess I compared them mentally at that part), but I wasn't expecting that to be lived up to; it's a personal feeling of mine towards that particular passage. Er - who else? Helen, I found was surprisingly more pretty and likeable than I'd expected from the trailers. I'd like to have seen more emotion from Andromache - and Briseis?! I'll just not touch her.

I didn't like the music. Far too whiny and irritating. I think that's my list of "don't likes" cleared up. Thank god I'm not a movie reviewer!

Del, I agree completely with you. It's about time we got something to drool over! I'm also tired of boobs, and boobs, and boobs. Hehe! Not censored! Boobs!

Masterblaster, you forgot the interesting Archiac Period Athenian kouros all around Troy. A minor detail, but one both I and my friend found funny.
"Cali rules these forums. I think that whatever she says, she's always right, so I'm abdicating my throne for her to take over control. MWA to all! :kiss:"
- RobRoy
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#11
Looks to me like quite a few people missed the point of the movie. The movie's purpose was not to be a faithful retelling of "The Iliad". It was a "What if this really happened?" kind of movie.

So, what they were doing was exploring the possibilities of how real history could have given rise to the events of the Epic Poems (Homer was only one of several poets who wrote about Troy over the course of a 200 year period).

Was the costuming accurate? No. But then, we have no evidence to show that Greece was united or could field an army of 50,000 men Circa 1200 BCE, either.

The film-makers tried to make a believable story that resembled Homer's "Iliad" enough that people could believe something like that might have happened and therefore provided a basis for the Epic Poetry of Greece.

Hence, the fundamental premise of the movie is to tell a story that could have served as the premise for the poetry.

Poets change history, just as film-makers do. If the events in "The Iliad" are based on anything which really happened, Homer most likely dressed them up, just as the film-makers dressed them up.

This movie will be best enjoyed in a large theater with an open mind. I think someone like Homer and the other Epic Poets would have approved.
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#12
I also caught the movie last night, and I went with my wife, who had only a vague knowledge of the texts, which was fascinating to me, since I thought everyone was required to read it at some point in their schooling. Guess I was wrong.

There are, in my opinion, two reasons to see Troy in the theatre:
James Horner's (Glory, Legends of the Fall, Enemy at the Gate) score, which is heavily reminiscent of his score for Willow was haunting and errily prescient for the entire movie. Peter O'Toole, aged and vibrant, plays Priam in one of the most under-rated efforts I have ever seen.

You'll have to forgive David Benioff's script, though. You'll have to forgive it in a big, big, Passion of the Christ kinna way. Illiad is a monstrous text, and, as with similar epics, contains so much action and detail, that in order to convey anything of meaning when translating it to the screen, you'd have to pick just one or two things to focus on, or else it falls apart at the seems. Benioff picked the wrong focus. Amid the various themes of love, loss and honor, Benioff picks the rather recalcitrant Achilles, greatest warrior the world has ever known, on his quest for . . . glory? immortality through name recognition?

Really?

Well, ok, that's what we get, that's what we get.

Bradd Pitt does an excellent job in his portrayl, chanelling his inner-Tristan (Legends of the Fall) from ten years ago and looking every inch the warrior of old. He's muscled, dealing death and mayhem with just a flick of his wrist, and walking away as though angry at having to draw his sword and only swing once.

Eric Bana, as the torn father, husband, brother, son and warrior of Troy does an excellent job with what he's given. Unfortunately, as the "best man [Achilles] ever faced" we just don't ever get to see much of his prowess with a blade. What we do get to see is the fine line that Hector must walk between honor, courage and sensibility. Between defending his home and his people, and saving his wife and child. Inevitability plagues the poor guy, as evinced in the opening scene when he first discovers the folly of Helen and Paris, and first orders the ship to return to Sparta, and then orders the ship to turn around again, and head for Troy.

Through all this, Benioff crams a father's love for his sons, sons love for their father and two brothers love for power, and some kind of relationship between Achilles and his . . . cousin, I guess, and a woman's love for a warrior, destined to glory and death.

Every now and then, though, the romance of the Greek epic pokes its dusty head up to remind us that even though Benioff gave us what we knew in our hearts was the true reason for the war, we prefer the "face that launched a thousand ships" reason. We prefer that love was the reason for one of the greatest set of battle-epics told down through the ages.

And though Odysseus knows that politics is the true reason, no matter what the Blind Poet tells us, we'd still prefer to see the beauty of Helen and the love of Paris, who risked everything to follow their hearts. I mean everything here kids. We're talking not just their own lives, but the lives of nearly 100,000 Greek and Trojan soldiers and citizens.

Overall, I'd only lightly recommend that you catch this movie in the theatre. Again, the music is amazing, though only in an understated sense in that it will never overwhelm you the way that some other scores can become an uncredited leading actor, like Howard Shore's in The Lord of the Rings. But Peter O'Toole's efforts should be noted, and re-noted, and then noted again. The looks of love, pain, suffering and anguish simply shouldn't be relegated to a small screen for their first viewing. They deserve every square foot of the big screen to convey the power of his abilities chanelling Priam as few have ever done.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#13
Most of the characters in the iliad are historic, are they correct, who knows. but Homer was a lot closer in time to some Hollywood directer so I will believe him unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Read the publications on the Hittite peoples, there has been a lot of new evidence on the actuality of the Trojan war and the part that the hittites played.
The costumes worn by the mediterrainian peoples in the late bronze age are pretty well known. If you know what is right and chose differently, why bother. Just put them in modern clothes, save a lot of money that way.
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#14
Quote:Originally posted by masterblaster
Most of the characters in the iliad are historic, are they correct, who knows. but Homer was a lot closer in time to some Hollywood directer so I will believe him unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Relatively few of the characters in "The Iliad" are deemed to have any historical validity. Many of the characters are major characters in Greek mythology, and I am not speaking only of the gods.

Furthermore, Homer lived several centuries after the events he was writing about. The Mycenean world fell into a dark age around the year 1200 BCE. A lot of knowledge was lost which though we have recovered it was not available to the Epic Poets of Greece.

I have never seen any credible historian treat "The Iliad" as anything other than a dramatization of what amounts to a tribal memory of a past conflict.
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#15
Quote:Originally posted by Michael
Relatively few of the characters in "The Iliad" are deemed to have any historical validity. Many of the characters are major characters in Greek mythology, and I am not speaking only of the gods.


About 400 years by most accounts. Which is akin (very roughly) to a current author writing down the tale of Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill, and having it similarly serve as "historical" in my estimation.

Perhaps a better anology would be if U.S. history had remained mostly an oral tradition, and then an American poet/playwrite writing down the Battle of the Alamo, after adding embelishments to the most embelished accounts already extant.

Homer's epic is filled, itself, with anachronisms and historical inaccuracies. <shrug>

Quote:Originally posted by masterblaster
The costumes worn by the mediterrainian peoples in the late bronze age are pretty well known. If you know what is right and chose differently, why bother. Just put them in modern clothes, save a lot of money that way.


Out of general curiosity, what exactly did you object to with the costuming? I'm not even close to knowing what the actual historical dress would have been, so I'm just curious what you took issue with.

I tried to pay close attention to the weapons, to determine if they were indeed bronze, as I understand the swords and spears should have been, and for the most part, I felt they were fairly accurate on this part. But again, I only have a rough working knowledge of ancient Greek weaponry and armor, so chances are that I'm wrong.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#16
Quote:Originally posted by Michael
Looks to me like quite a few people missed the point of the movie. The movie's purpose was not to be a faithful retelling of "The Iliad". It was a "What if this really happened?" kind of movie.


Oh, ye gods. Not this again! Michael, I don't want to cross swords with you on this matter, so I'll cut straight to the point. See the top of my post, if that was in any way aimed at me. The note I made at the bottom of my post was aimed at masterblaster, who seems to be another Classics geek like me, so I pointed it out.

Quote:
A lot of knowledge was lost which though we have recovered it was not available to the Epic Poets of Greece.


What do you mean by this?
"Cali rules these forums. I think that whatever she says, she's always right, so I'm abdicating my throne for her to take over control. MWA to all! :kiss:"
- RobRoy
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#17
Quote:Originally posted by Calaquendi
Del, I agree completely with you. It's about time we got something to drool over! I'm also tired of boobs, and boobs, and boobs. Hehe! Not censored! Boobs!


Always a good read Cali, I love your rants :laugh: and thanx for agreeing with me too, can always count on you.

I juat wanted to add this that I thought was funny.

"May the gods be with you."

I laffed out load in the cinema when Priam said this to Hector. No one else in the cinema did. Odviously they hadnt seen Star Wars. Im sick.
In :love: with Johnny :kiss:
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In lust with Orlando Heart
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#18
I am not a classics man but all the evidence so far does not disproove anything homer said. The places existed, we are pretty sure the people existed, and the war happened. Why throw out Homer if there is no proof that he is wrong. If Homer said something, and there is no evidence otherwise, I will believe Homer.
It seems funny that people are saying it is all right to throw the only docuement of the period. That is bad history. The ongoing excauvations are showing that Troy was a much larger city than originally thought. REad the translations of Hittite docuements of the period.
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#19
Quote:Originally posted by masterblaster
I am not a classics man but all the evidence so far does not disproove anything homer said. The places existed, we are pretty sure the people existed, and the war happened. Why throw out Homer if there is no proof that he is wrong. If Homer said something, and there is no evidence otherwise, I will believe Homer.
It seems funny that people are saying it is all right to throw the only docuement of the period. That is bad history. The ongoing excauvations are showing that Troy was a much larger city than originally thought. REad the translations of Hittite docuements of the period.


<sigh>

And, once again, let's remember this movie is a work of FICTION and not considered a historical movie.

Couple that with the fact that I still don't grasp your issue regarding the costuming. Once more, let me remind you that Homer's epic is riddled with historic anachronisms. Further, there are plenty of surviving documents and information regarding the times. Homer is hardly the only source on the subject.

Your milage may vary.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#20
Quote:Originally posted by Calaquendi
What do you mean by this?


I mean that we take for granted many details about that historical period which have been discerned through the efforts of archaeology and related disciplines -- details which neither Homer nor the other Epic Poets who wrote about Troy appear to have known.
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