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Posts posted by Lianna

  1. I'm glad Orlando is doing this project because I think he will enjoy it. It involves learning new physical skills, and he always seems so enthusiastic about that sort of thing.

    I hope he doesn't bust up too many body parts, though.

  2. Actors drop out of projects because of scheduling conflicts all the time. I imagine that there will be even more of this sort of thing in the next year or so than usual because of the general chaos caused by the writer's strike.

    It's just startling because it's the first time Orlando has needed to do it.

    I tend to symphathize with the actors in such situations. For all the glamour of their profession, they are basically freelancers -- just like the many very ordinary people (myself included) who do freelance writing, editing, computer programming, graphic design, or other sorts of contract work. For any freelancer, maintaining a reasonable schedule is extremely difficult. Sometimes, things don't work out and it becomes necessary to change plans midstream. I suspect the same is true of people in the film industry.

  3. Beware: Spoilers below!

    I know this will be a minority opinion here, but I prefer the theatrical cut.

    I do like many of the extra scenes and lines that flesh out some of the characters in the Director's Cut, but none of them is really essential in the way that the storyline with Sybilla and her son was essential to Kingdom of Heaven. The characters in Troy are pretty well established already.

    In my opinion, the benefit of seeing these extra scenes is more than offset by what the Director's Cut of Troy does to the fate of Paris. Seeing him the way we do in his last scene in the Director's Cut -- traveling among the survivors but not taking a leadership role -- negates all of his character development in the latter part of the movie, as far as I am concerned.

    After the fight with Menelaus, Paris changes. He grows up. He becomes realistic. Knowing that he does not have the physical size or training for hand-to-hand combat, he switches to the bow -- a weapon he can handle. He makes an effort to improve his skill with this weapon. He expresses a sensible objection to bringing the wooden horse into the city. When Troy is attacked, he refuses to leave with the first wave of survivors and returns to the city to try to help Priam and Briseis. Before he turns back, he makes it clear that he believes that he probably will not survive -- a realistic sort of thinking that is a big leap from his former unrealistic, immature thinking. His realization that his chances are not good is evident from the way he says goodbye to Helen and from his decision to give the sword of Troy to Anneas. He also makes it clear that he has accepted his responsibility to defend his father (truly, as Helen admonished him to be, he is the Prince of Troy now, and it is his intent to make both her and Hector proud). When the Greeks break down the palace doors, he fights bravely and skillfully with his bow, and when he sees Achilles apparently holding Briseis captive, he again fights well (it is not his fault that what he is doing is against Briseis's wishes). He is no longer the adolescent mired in wishful thinking who thought he had a chance to defeat Menelaus, nor is he the coward who crawled to his brother's feet after the fight with Menelaus. He is a man. Perhaps not a hero, but a man.

    When I saw the theatrical cut, I preferred to believe that Paris did not survive -- that after Achilles' death, he went with Briseis only to the point where he could direct her to the tunnel and that he then turned back again in an effort to find his father, and was killed in the fighting or the fire.

    But if Paris did survive -- if the fire was so bad that he could not go back into the city a second time after getting Briseis to the tunnel -- then I would expect him to take a leadership role among the survivors. In the group of survivors we see, he is the only man of military age. He is also the only surviving male member of the royal family; even though he is not the King of Troy because Troy no longer exists, I think the survivors would be grateful to be able to turn to him for leadership. Moreover, as established in a couple of earlier scenes, he is familiar with the countryside; some of the others may not be. He should be in charge. If he has become the man that Hector and Helen have urged him to be -- and I think that he is well on the way to being that man by the end of the movie -- he should be organizing and trying to protect the straggling group of refugees. Yet he does not do this.

    Also, when I see the Director's Cut ending, I can't help but think that it should be followed by a scene in which Anneas says to Paris, "Hey, dude! Do you want your sword back?" I would really like to get that picture out of my mind.

  4. I want to see this movie made, if not in 2008, then in some future year. I think it could be a really impressive film.

    And there are at least a half-dozen directors better suited for the project, in my opinion, than Roman Polanski. This just never seemed to be exactly his sort of movie.

    It is, very much, Orlando's sort of movie, in my opinion, but casting is way, way, down the road now.

  5. I've read Angels and Demons, and if this is the role we think it is, it could be a very interesting one for Orlando. Maybe even more interesting than the rumored role in Pompeii (which I have never believed he was completely out of the running for), even though the Angels and Demons role would be smaller. The Pompeii role is a lead, and I must admit that I would love to see Orlando play it (because the topic interests me so much that I will go see that movie no matter whom they cast) but it has a lot in common with some of Orlando's previous roles. The Angels and Demons role -- if we are right about the character they're casting for -- is quite different.

  6. You said there was no love story -- but again if Scarlett Johannson is being considered, it must be because a love story has been written in to take more advantage of her abilities. I would love to see her with Orlando.

    There is a love story (which I should have made clear in my previous post), but it's kind of in the background. Consider Titanic again: there you had a love story, which was the most important part of the story of Jack and Rose, but you also had some intrigue going on. In Pompeii, it's the other way around. The thriller part takes center stage, but there is also the beginnings of a romance between Attilius and the land developer's daughter. The woman's role is fairly small, but it's important to the plot. However, she is far less central to the story than Attilius is.

    Of course, ComingSoon.net probably has good sources, and it may be that there is no chance of Orlando or Scarlett Johansson appearing in this movie under any circumstances. But I suspect that it's also possible that actors simply don't want to commit to projects like this one way in advance (especially when, as in this case, the funding for the movie is still iffy) and that Orlando's and Scarlett's names, along with lots of others, might come up again when it's time to get serious about casting these roles. After all, we haven't heard about anyone else being cast in this movie. We simply heard that the aborted story about Scarlett and Orlando was premature. And actors' schedules are always subject to change.

    I can't see Brad Pitt in this role unless the character is changed substantially. Brad is the wrong age and has too much presence. He would be interacting with certain other characters in the story as an equal or a superior, which is something that Attilius in the book does not get to do. It would make a difference. If Brad Pitt (or Russell Crowe, for that matter) told people to get the hell out of Pompeii, they would do it. That creates a problem.

  7. There may be more to this "rumor" than we know.

    I just finished reading the book on which this movie will be based (Robert Harris's Pompeii), and the lead character could have been created with Orlando in mind. In fact, I'm finding it hard to imagine the character being played by anyone else. It is so obviously Orlando's role.

    It's not just that audiences have been conditioned to accept Orlando in all sorts of odd-looking historical or fantasy haircuts and costumes (although I think this is an important point, considering that Roman male hairstyles and clothing are sillier-looking than most, by today's standards). It's a matter of the person inside the costumes.

    Marcus Attilius, the aqueduct engineer who is the protagonist of the story, is a cross between Will Turner and Balian. Even the physical description of the character fits Orlando -- Attilius is on the young side and noticeably slighter in build and less rugged-looking than most of the men that he works with (at one point in the story, someone who dislikes him refers to him as a "pretty boy").

    Attilius is, like Balian, a widower; he is still mourning his wife, who died in childbirth three years earlier. He is, like Will Turner, thrust into situations that -- at least at first -- seem way beyond him. He has just been assigned to a new job that makes him responsible for a major aqueduct serving several towns -- his first truly independent professional position. And all hell is breaking loose. His predecessor has mysteriously vanished, a sudden crisis has developed with the water supply, his subordinates dislike him to the point where he fears for his life (not without reason, as it turns out), he has managed to antagonize a land developer who turns out to be very important politically, there is evidence of corruption in the management of the aqueduct, and -- oh, yeah -- something funny is going on with that mountain.

    Nobody -- not even Attilius himself -- expects him to be able to handle all this, but he proves everyone wrong. Like Will, like Balian (even, I would argue, like Paris of Troy), he rises to the occasion and grows into his role, proving to be smart, resourceful, physically courageous in the extreme, and (this last part is particularly crucial to the plot) absolutely uncorruptible. He successfully handles every problem thrown at him, except the very last one (I think we all know what that is), and nobody could solve that!

    The role is very physical, even though Attilius never picks up a weapon. There is a life-and-death confrontation on the top of the mountain, an escape-from-Pompeii sequence much more exciting than anything you'll ever experience at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and an absolutely terrifying sequence involving a flood in an underground tunnel that Attilius is trying to repair.

    This could be a very big movie. Like Titanic, Pompeii will be based on an event and a setting that many people find fascinating. Like Titanic, Pompeii will show viewers a place and time they've always wanted to see and will have a spectacular and tragic conclusion that everyone knows about. Like Titanic, Pompeii will also have a fictional story about seemingly real people. The main difference is that the fictional story here is a mystery/adventure/thriller type story, not a romance (although there is a girl involved, and at one point she climbs out of a swimming pool while wearing nothing except the Roman equivalent of a wet T-shirt).

    If Orlando is offered this role, should he take it? I don't know. It wouldn't stretch him as an actor, so perhaps if he has something else available that would do that, he might be better off taking the other job. But on the other hand, he would be terrific in Pompeii, and it could mean playing the lead role in a hit movie. That would be a hard thing to turn down.

  8. I have to insert here while I'm talking about short screen time and being covered up, there was some critic that accused Orlando of receding into the background in this film. I submit, based on the very thing I'm covering now, that where he seems to be in the background he didn't fade, he was pushed.

    Oh, yes, TithenFeredir. That's a big part of what bothered me. And not just because I'm a fan of Orlando's. If the writers had chosen to make something unrelated to Will the central climax of the story, then pushing him into the background might have been justified. But Will is central to the conclusion of the trilogy. Losing him in the crowd in the first half made no sense in terms of storytelling.

  9. I was disappointed. :blow:

    I wanted to love it. I hoped to love it. I actually do love the basic concept -- which I see as Will successfully reaching all his goals but paying the price for his understandable but dishonorable betrayal of his shipmates by being sentenced to ten years separation from his family.

    If only it had been executed more effectively.

    The key stories here, in my opinion, are those of Will and Elizabeth and of Will and Bootstrap. In order for these stories to work and for us to truly care about the fates of these three characters at the end of the movie, there has to be a proper buildup earlier on. But it doesn't happen. Instead of a focus on Will and Elizabeth and the grossly underused Bootstrap, we get pointless, isolated set pieces about Jack Sparrow that contribute nothing to the story. We get a child hanged in a Disney movie. We get endless harping on the uninteresting relationship between Squidface and Mumble-Jumbo (and by the way, we knew all along that she had to be Calypso; after all, she's the only other female character besides Elizabeth). We get distracting allusions to every other epic movie ever made (yes, we've all seen Return of the Jedi and Titanic and Troy and The Two Towers and the original Star Wars, and now, could we please get on with this movie?). We get a lot of nonsense about how piracy equals freedom -- an idea that really doesn't stand up to much scrutiny, especially when made the focus of a pre-battle speech that makes no sense at all. We get lots of expensive CGI and fancy scenery and loud noises and stupid monkey tricks and stuff blowing up and scenes of Jack Sparrow with his shirt off (despite the fact that Johnny wasn't really in good enough shape to be photographed that way), and we get nine Brethren all dressed up with nowhere to go and nothing in particular to do, and then when we come to the most emotionally intense sequence in the whole film, we get a quick cut to a stupid parachute scene that totally destroys the mood. Whose idea was that?

    None of this is a criticism of Orlando. He did a fine job with what little he was given to work with. (And the leg scene -- oh my goodness! :hott: I was actually embarrassed to be watching that scene in a public place!) But the impact of his acting was muted, in my opinion, by the choices made by the writers and editors. :rant:

    When filmmakers put together a truly effective movie that combines comedy and action and drama, they know when to turn off the jokes and the explosions and let the meaningful moments shine so that the audience can truly feel for and with the characters. The people who made Raiders of the Lost Ark got it right. So did the Pirates team, in the first movie of the trilogy. But this time around, it just didn't click, and I found that the only reason why I cared at all about the fates of the main characters was because Hans Zimmer's brilliant score was urging me to do so.

    At World's End could have been -- and should have been -- so much more. It will probably earn a billion dollars, but it didn't capture my heart.

  10. I haven't seen it and won't get to until later today, after some members of my family complete some totally unnecessary shopping. (So what if your only pair of comfortable shoes is falling apart? Go barefoot, dude! I wanna see this movie.)

    But I have to say that I think Disney's request to the professional reviewers that they not reveal the plot past a certain point in the movie has been a disservice to Orlando. Everyone here is talking about how effectively he played his role -- regardless of whatever each of you thinks of the movie as a whole. But none of the professional critics has gotten into that aspect of the film, and I think that's because his most important work came in the second half of the film, and the critics were asked not to discuss the plot of the later parts of the movie in detail.

  11. As you all post your impressions, and relive a wonderful experience, I want to chime in again with a few I have seen LOTR so many times, I know all the dialogue - but would someone PLEASE tell me, what was Legolas' MONEY shot? I feel so embarrassed that I don't know. (or don't get the reference).

    What I have heard is that Legolas's "money" shot is the shot of him when he comes into Frodo's bedroom toward the end of ROTK, when Frodo wakes up after being rescued by the eagles, and the surviving members of the Fellowship come into the room one by one.

    I cannot fathom why people like that shot so much, though. It's one of my least favorite shots of Legolas. It's blurry, and he looks funny in that outfit. I prefer him in action, with bow and arrow. Or soaking wet at Helm's Deep. Or pulling Boromir back from the abyss in Moria. Or climbing onto that Oliphaunt. Or holding back his fellow elves so that they won't start a fight at the Council of Elrond. Or congratulating Aragorn at the coronation. Or arguing in Elvish with Aragorn in the armory. Or making like a tour guide in the Paths of the Dead. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    And Orlando's Troy money shot (frontal, naked, shown down to the point where if they went a centimeter lower, they would have lost the R rating) beats all of them.

  12. Let the tomatoes fly. This movie is review proof. It's going to make a staggering amount of money no matter what a bunch of film snobs say.

    I don't even care about the confusing plot. I'll only be paying attention to Will Turner anyway. I think that even my feeble lust-addled brain can follow one character's story arc. And if not, I'll just have to see the movie more than once. :2thumbs:

  13. Well, both Orlando and Scarlett would be good choices for this movie, but I can see why neither would want to make a commitment to it if it's being postponed many months. For Orlando, the part wouldn't really contribute anything new and unique to his acting experience, and for Scarlett, the part might be too small to justify the wait.

    But this should be a very good movie -- no matter who stars in it -- whenever it gets made.

    I wonder, though, whether Roman Polanski intends to include any of the erotic art that was found all around Pompeii. (Google "Pompeii erotic art" if you want to see what I'm talking about.) :O

  14. Sounds interesting. The film is based on the book Pompeii by Robert Harris. I haven't read it, but it seems to be a thriller with this historical setting, and it sounds eminently suitable for being turned into a movie.

    Men in skirts again? :2thumbs: And Scarlett should look great in the gowns.

  15. They're all very attractive, dramatic shots.


    There was a review of DMC, I can't remember from what publication, where the reviewer said something about how Orlando and Keira could switch roles and nobody would ever know the difference.

    At the time, I thought that was nonsense.

    But now, looking at these photos, I can see where the reviewer was coming from. The facial expressions, the loose hair, the way they hold the weapons, a certain androgyny in their faces and body shapes. Yeah. There's a kind of similarity between Will and Elizabeth. Maybe that's why they look so good together. But it's still weird.

  16. The whole point of Troy, in my biased and probably illogical opinion, is that the gods don't play a role.

    This isn't the Iliad. It's the writer's idea of what the real events that later served as the inspiration for the Iliad might have been. This is one possible version of what might have actually happened during the Trojan War -- before history was modified and exaggerated into myth and legend and before a culture that truly believed that the Gods intervened in everyday events interpreted historical events in light of their beliefs.

    You get two hints of this in the movie. First, in an early scene, a boy comes to find Achilles, who is supposed to fight the Big Guy. The boy says that people are starting to believe that Achilles' mother is a goddess and that Achilles cannot be killed. Achilles dismisses the latter idea as nonsense, and when we meet his mother, she seems to be as human as anyone else (do goddesses have gray hair and wrinkles?). I think that the writer is showing us here how easily legends can form around a war hero as outstanding as Achilles.

    The second hint comes near the end of the movie, when the writer shows us exactly how the idea that Achilles was killed by an arrow shot to the heel might have arisen. The Achilles of the movie is shot multiple times but pulls out all the arrows except the one in his heel. The Greek soldiers who find him must have been mystified. People don't die -- at least not quickly -- from foot wounds, yet the mighty Achilles did. WTF? Probably by nightfall, a supernatural explanation for his death had been devised.

    You can extend the same sort of thinking to the rest of the movie.

    Why does legend say that the Gods saved Paris's life when he was losing his battle with Menelaus? Might it be because the real explanation -- that Hector did something utterly unethical to save his brother -- was something that people could not accept? Perhaps the storytellers who heard the true version were so sure that it was wrong (how could noble Hector do such a thing?), that they had to come up with an alternate explanation.

    Why does legend say that Helen was extraordinarily beautiful, when in fact (as the movie shows us), she was simply a lovely but by no means extraordinary young woman? And why does legend say that the love between Helen and Paris was something extraordinary, when in fact Helen may not have been in love at all (she spends most of the movie regretting her rash, depression-motivated impulse to flee Sparta with Paris), and Paris's love was of the immature, overromanticized sort typical of guys in their late teens? Could it be because people thought that if a war was fought over a woman -- or over a love affair -- that it must have been an extraordinarily beautiful woman and an extraordinarily meaningful love?

    Why does legend refer to Briseis only as a "slave girl"? Could it be because people couldn't stomach the idea that a member of the royal family of Troy -- and a priestess, no less -- would willingly give up her virginity to a Greek soldier?

    You get the idea.

    Troy has depth of its own. It's just not the same depth that you find in the Iliad.

  17. Here are a couple more mentions of the KOH EE from end-of-the-year DVD articles:

    From the Greensboro, NC News-Record http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a.C0104/612290304

    Best do-over: Ridley Scott turned a middling theatrical release into a compelling epic with his engrossing four-disc director's cut of "Kingdom of Heaven" ($35).

    From some Canadian newspapers including the London, Ontario Free Press http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/Entertai.115561-sun.html

    Kingdom Of Heaven: Director's Cut: Ridley Scott overhauled his movie in this surprising four-disc set. And he finally made sense of his epic Crusades saga.
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