Sunday, May 29, 2011


Wolfgang Petersen, 2004 (7.7*)
Memorial Day War-a-thon film #16
Based on Homer's Iliad, this updating of the story of the Trojan war with Greece over the queen Helen has added CGI effects to finally look as if there are the reputed half a million Greek soldiers on the shores of Troy. (Well they say Helen "launched a thousand ships", so the total men involved may have been as small as 50,000).

Led by King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) the Greeks have united as one large army in order to invade Troy, and the most fierce and undefeatable of their warriors is of course Achilles, played by Brad Pitt. What sparked this war is that Paris (Orlando Bloom), has talked the Queen of Sparta and wife of Menelaus, Helen (Diane Kruger), into going back to Troy with him to be his wife, in spite of protests from future king Hector (Eric Bana). Bana gives the films most complex and interesting performance and a voice of reason from within Troy, that one woman is not worth war for the thousands, while to Paris it's now a question of Trojan honor.

There's a lot of primitive war, much of it mano-a-mano, as the Greeks laid seige to Troy for a couple of years, having brought shiploads of food with them. The war/siege appears to have stalemated, so the Greeks eventually resorted to the infamous Trojan horse scheme.

This was a major blockbuster, like 50's era Hollywood, with an estimated 175 million budget, and grossing around 500 million worldwide. Winner of only 3 awards, with its only Oscar® nomination for costume design


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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