Saturday, June 23, 2007

Alexander the Great - crippled by TV

Alexander the Great is a wonderful historic figure to make movies about, whether it is with Richard Burton in 1956 or with Colin Farrell in 2004. Movies are not the best way to get an accurate idea of history, but it sure is a wonderful means to be introduced. Bob Packett of the podcast 'History according to Bob' delivered a series of lectures on the history of Alexander, from his ancestry to his death and including his father, mother, horse and generals. Bob frequently compares the history as to how it was depicted in the 1956 and 2004 movies, so as to give the cinema public some additional reward for their money.

From my part, since I had not seen either movie, this functioned also as a movie review. Bob is least enthusiastic about the more recent feature, so I wasn't exactly searching to go and see it. However, last Friday, my wife and I had a quiet evening and found out that Channel 10 (ערוץ 10) was offering this film. So we sat down and tried to enjoy.

What a disaster that was. I can't say anything about the movie as it was thoroughly crippled by the TV. Every two to five minutes we had ad banners going through the screen for the next generation Uri Geller to bore us and every ten to fifteen minutes we had a sudden disruption with a long block of commercials. All in all this was so intrusive, we couldn't get 'into' the movie and simply abandoned it halfway. (When Alex has conquered Babel) A total and effective way of spoiling the viewers enjoyment, but also urging the question: should the distributor of a movie allow for feature on TV, if he knew the product would be mangled like this? The unexpcetant winner of the situation is likely to be Blockbuster's as we are now intent on getting to see Alexander the Great properly. Once we are at it, we might as well get the 1956 version, I am sure Bob will approve of that.

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