14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's Enormous Trojan War Looks Amazing on Blu-Ray
I'm really going to forgive some massive fundamental flaws and applaud this fun epic popcorn flick. Obviously, and it is assumed that like many cinephiles, I have a major problem with Troy's very existence to the core. Consider for a minute that the likes of Braveheart and Alexander are called "historical fiction" but they are based on people we know existed. Troy is...
Published on April 4 2008 by K. Driscoll
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forgetful
Set 32 centuries ago, Troy is one of the most ambitious films to be released in years.
Based on Homer's classic poem "The Iliad", the film depicts the tale of young Prince Paris of Troy (Orlando Bloom), who spirits Queen Helen (Diane Kruger) away from her aged husband, King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson). Menelaus, in turn, enlists the help of his...
Published on Dec 12 2008 by Greg Curtis
Most Helpful First | Newest First
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's Enormous Trojan War Looks Amazing on Blu-Ray,
This review is from: Troy: Director's Cut / Troie : Montage du rélisateur (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)I'm really going to forgive some massive fundamental flaws and applaud this fun epic popcorn flick. Obviously, and it is assumed that like many cinephiles, I have a major problem with Troy's very existence to the core. Consider for a minute that the likes of Braveheart and Alexander are called "historical fiction" but they are based on people we know existed. Troy is based on the Iliad but it works in such a way that the audience is possibly being urged to believe these were real events. So the film in essence is based on the possible events that took place during the Trojan War. In fact, it doesn't even stay particularly true to the Iliad but it does try to capture the icons associated with the Trojan War and at the very least it keeps in tone with the Iliad, especially with regards to the violence in its battle sequences and the portrayal of Achilles' wrath. However, no gods or mythical figures to speak of and that is, at the very least an indirect attempt to steer the audience from believing that this is fiction. Maybe it is just because so many other epic films released are based on some degree of truth. Troy is based on myths and that's alright if you want to portray it that way. 2004's King Arthur had the same problem but with less CGI. Troy has a lot of CGI and it cost $180 million to make. They didn't need to stretch so far for believability but like I said, some movies are just worth forgiving. This is eye candy; it is Hollywood to the bone.
Nevertheless, I liked Troy and it looks incredible on blu-ray. The director's cut includes extra battle cuts, extra nudity, and it even has some scenes that assist in character development. The extra footage is actually seamless and makes the movie far longer but also far better and if there is an epic film made for superior visual technology like blu-ray, Troy is just that film. There is no pretending here, Troy is a true Hollywood production and I actually mean that with at least some degree of affection. The cast is great and includes of course Brad Pitt as the seemingly invincible and infinitely angry Achilles, Brian Cox as one of the film's real villains in Agamemnon, Eric Bana plays the heroic Trojan warrior Hector, Sean Bean plays Odysseus, Peter O'Toole plays Priam with fitting melodrama, Tyler Mane plays the chaotic and violent Ajax, and the very beautiful Diane Kruger plays Helen; the face that launched a thousand ships, or was it her breasts? All are good in their roles but no one seems to take themselves too seriously and for the most part their performances, or in some cases just their presence, work within the film.
The battle scenes in Troy are huge and absolutely second to none. There are tons of battle scenes within this 196 minute Director's cut and they just keep on going while getting more and more exciting and out of control. The soundtrack for Troy is clearly an upgrade from the theatrical version and makes the battle scenes seem even larger as it booms and powers in and out of great sky shots over the beginnings, middles, and ends of various battles. The cinematography and visual effects, whether the fake kind or the real kind, look absolutely amazing on blu-ray and the great shots never cease in Troy. The music is huge, the drama is huge, and the visuals are even bigger. It is visually one of the most impressive blu-rays so far and that is because it is a visually driven film to begin with. Troy truly is epic in every sense of the word. Well, except for that whole idea of it being based on an epic poem.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forgetful,
This review is from: Troy - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)Set 32 centuries ago, Troy is one of the most ambitious films to be released in years.
Based on Homer's classic poem "The Iliad", the film depicts the tale of young Prince Paris of Troy (Orlando Bloom), who spirits Queen Helen (Diane Kruger) away from her aged husband, King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson). Menelaus, in turn, enlists the help of his brother, Agamemnon (Brian Cox), and two of Greece's greatest warriors, Achilles (Brad Pitt) and Odysseus (Sean Bean), in order to secure his wife's return. And thus begins a bloody siege around the walls of the doomed city that will end with the most clever military ruse in history. Despite his misdeed, Paris is backed up by his reluctant brother Prince Hector (Eric Bana) and doting father King Priam (Peter O'Toole).
Surprisingly, none of the performances are particularly stellar. As the inspiring and fearless leader in search of glory, the newly buff Pitt plays Achilles as a brooding hero with only two facial expressions: either a pout or a grimace. Though his love for a Trojan priestess complicates his loyalty, Pitt never lets you into his soul.
Bana overacts in an effort to make the noble Hector the centre of attention, while Bloom is eager as the meek Paris but his skills on-screen remain undeveloped. Unfortunately, there is no chemistry between him and Kruger, who serves as little more than eye-candy and the catalyst for the war; though she can hardly be considered ugly, it seems unlikely her face could launch "a thousand ships".
The accomplished Bean is sadly underutilized, but it is hoped that his character's decade-long mysterious journey home will be made as a sequel. The only standout is Cox, who plays the arrogant and ruthless Agamemnon.
David Benioff's screenplay takes a realistic approach to events, omitting the interfering and petty gods which would only clutter the narrative, as well as the prophecies which would give away the fate of many of the principals. While he makes use of the spirituality and superstition of the ancient cultures, he offers little of their customs and rituals. It is important to note that he also condenses the 10-year war into a matter of weeks. Though Benioff tries hard to develop the story like a Shakespearean tragedy, he lacks the Bard's poetry and emotion.
The costumes, meanwhile, are incredibly detailed and impressive, so much so that they outshine the unimaginative art direction. Composer James Horner's score is also cliched, and relies too heavily on brass.
Director Wolfgang Petersen (who hasn't made a picture since 2000's The Perfect Storm) is unable to capture the magic of other ancient epics. The sheer scope of the battle scenes is overwhelming, but his vision lacks feeling and offers only the occasional breathtaking image.
While the story of Troy may last for all eternity, the film -- like the city -- will be lost to the sands of time. Rating: 5 out of 10.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Intense Movie,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More then a longer version,
This review is from: Troy: Director's Cut / Troie : Montage du rélisateur (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)The director's cut is more then just a longer version of the theatrical release, it is practically a new, stand alone, film. Extended battle scenes, more in depth character introductions and an overall recoloring of the film makes it a much more captivating film.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great director, great expectations,
This review is from: Troy: Director's Cut / Troie : Montage du rélisateur (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)From the man who brought heavyweight drama like Das Boot, and rootin' tootin' action like Perfect Storm, well, I suppose this is the Hollywood movie.
Wolfgang Petersen really goes all out in this lipgloss historical soap opera. Looking forward to seeing all the armour on Blu Ray.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there any more, Is there any more,
This review is from: Troy (Director's Cut Ultimate Collector's Edition) (2007) (DVD)For a movie loosely based on a poem written thousands of years ago, the director and screenwriter have done an excellent job in re-creating the epic story and the ancient world on the screen, which was probably quite a difficult task. The production is fantastic, visual effects are great, and yet my opinion on Troy is divided in two: The movie is built in such a way that we, the viewers, aren't entirely sure who are the bad guys. Brad Pitt's Achilles is displayed as the star, the hero, and yet he fights for the Greeks, who are displayed as brutal warriors under the rule of a greedy tyrant, Agamemnon. In fact, the entire Trojan War was started only because of the greed of the king of Sparta, Menelaus. Paris, the prince of Troy (son of Priam, the king) took Helen, Menelaus' wife, back to Troy with him after a peace meeting in Sparta. This enraged Menelaus and so Agamemnon, his brother, rounded up the entire Greek army to attack Troy and retrieve his wife. On the other hand, the Trojans are sort of shown as the "good guys". Just because of one mistake that Paris made, the Trojans now have to hold back an attack of 50,000 Greeks, while loosing thousands of husbands, sons and cousins in the process. Hector is displayed as a family man: He doesn't want to go to war, he'd rather stay home with his wife and newborn child, but he is loyal to Troy and must fight for her. This is slightly different than the way the Trojan War had always been conveyed to me: Helen did not run off with Paris, but Paris seduced her and practically kidnapped her with him back to Troy. Hector was a big, brutal warrior who had absolutely no problem with killing as many people as he possibly could. I really liked the way the movie showed the Trojans as the good guys and the Greeks as the evil, greedy tyrants. It's definitely a fresh and original approach to the story.
Production-wise the movie is stunning. The costumes, the sets, and the weapons... everything is top-notch, with excellent attention to details. The visuals are also stunning. The shot of Brad Pitt standing on the deck of a ship with the camera slowly zooming out, eventually revealing the entire Greek navy consisting of 1,000 ships is really a treat to the eye. The computer graphics are excellent. It's really hard to tell in the huge battle scenes which soldiers are computer graphics and which are extras, although you know that some of them must be CG because there are so many. The long shots of the city of Troy are also great eye candy. In all, the one thing this movie is especially excellent at is entertaining, and it is definitely a visually satisfying movie.
The acting is also pretty good. Brian Cox definitely stands out as the power-hungry Agamemnon. His acting is top-notch. Peter O'Toole is also good as Priam, the king of Troy. Eric Bana was great as Hector, although I don't think he physically matches the part. Brad Pitt wasn't as bad as I was worried he would be. In fact, his acting was quite good. Which brings me to my second opinion: While Brad Pitt's acting was quite good, I just don't think he fits the character of Achilles. It seems as if Brad Pitt wasn't entirely comfortable with Achilles' character, so he took it and dressed it over his own personality, which changed the character a bit. Physically, though, he looks perfect for the part. Eric Bana, on the other hand, is just the opposite. He truly captured the essence of the Hector character, and his acting is great, but I don't think that he physically matches the part. He's just kind of small and scrawny, while Hector is supposed to be taller and more muscular than Achilles, which is not how it seemed in the movie. It also seemed that his character was a bit too weak. He's supposed to be the greatest fighter on Earth, matched only by Achilles, and yet he struggled a bit just to kill Achilles' cousin, who had never even been in a battle before. When you look at how easily Achilles killed the giant soldier in the very beginning of the movie, it kind of makes Hector look far weaker than he's supposed to be. Also, while Agamemnon was supposed to be power-hungry and greedy, he was not hasty, and was considered to be one of the wisest kings. And yet, in the movie he makes very hasty and stupid decisions, which kind of lower his character to a stupid power-hungry oaf, while he was really quite smart. One character that I'm really happy about is Odysseus, played by Sean Bean. His character's essence was truly and perfectly captured: He's cunning, a good warrior and extremely smart. He constantly gives Achilles advice on how to approach Agamemnon, and is conveyed perfectly as Achilles' close friend. Odysseus also suggests various war strategies to Agamemnon, who is reluctant to listen. Now as much as I dislike Orlando Bloom, he actually pulls off the Paris character quite well, and fits the part of the weak, cowardly, naive pretty-boy prince perfectly.
All in all, Troy is definitely an entertaining movie, and the production is remarkable, but a few major historical inaccuracies, strange casting choices and a particularly cliché Hollywood ending lower my appreciation for the film.
Troy is an excellent movie. For any war/history buff there is enough here to feed upon to overlook any flaws.
There was a complaint about the film not having a good side to relate to. This one irritates me. Real life seldom has the simplistic good guy vs. bad guy dichotomy. This in my mind makes Troy that much more believable. When events unfold I actually believed they could happen. Japanese cinema is so good at times precisely because we don't know who the good guy is. The question is simply irrelevant.
The script was written with a mind to keep the important details of the original story intact but to make it as realistic as possible. The gods are there but only in spirit. They don't get directly involved in the action like the original. I think this is a good thing as well. Troy looks like historical recreation rather than a literal translation of the poem. In one scene I thought there was an unlikely event and researched only to find it actually is in the Iliad. When the writer was asking for too much, he was in fact being true to the text. My bad.
OK, visually this film is amazing. Not just the army special effects but the sets and scenery are all beautiful. The costuming is first rate and feels very authentic. Remember, we are going back 3200 years. Quite an accomplishment.
The violence is likewise beautiful. Blood and guts galore, but interestingly it is both on the battlefield AND in single combat. A fight fan will appreciate the attention to detail in the combatants' moves. I had never seen a shield wielded so realistically on film. Spear and sword are given very realistic treatments as well.
Brad Pitt is a good actor. No question about that. Here he has a few moments where he seems out of place, a pretty boy in a soldier's world. But the combat scenes with him are more than enough to make up for that. It has already been discussed how much bigger he is than in Fight Club. The womens will have plenty to look at. His character is complicated and this is also true to the Iliad. Brad Pitt does this internal conflict lots of justice. His actions in the film really seem appropriate. I never asked, like I do in other films, "Why did he do that?" But this is not Brad Pitt's film. It's Eric Bana's.
Eric Bana was amazing. If Achilles was complex, then Bana's Hector is even more so. I had only seen Bana in Black Hawk Down and The Hulk and while BHD was good, there wasn't much for his character to do but be a soldier. The Hulk was so bad I wrote him off completely, blaming his acting for not saving a horrible script. But here in Troy I have new-found respect. He is the main character in the film if you judge by acting power. Lots of emotional struggling going on here that Bana takes on like a pro. He will join this generation's acting elite if he finds more roles like this.
The rest of the cast is good enough with a special note for Peter O'Toole and Brian Cox. Their lines are well delivered and their characters are believable.
4.0 out of 5 stars Troy,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome sword-sandal adaptation of Homer's epic poem,
Many people may not like, but...I love the film's version of the ill-fated Helen & Paris. Also I like the fact they put Helen in a bad marriage ("...every day I was with him, I wanted to walk into the sea and drown"), 'til Paris came along and whisks her away. For other discussions on the film, I am Achilles/Briseis shipper. Though no one ever thought of doing a shipping of them. Also one last thing : I never liked Agamemnon..."Peace is for women." What bull-s**t! A tyrant with shot-put for brains.
That is all I have to say about this film, and I don't have any particular scene I like, because I love the film from beginning to end.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pitt tried,
This review is from: Troy (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)I put off watching this fill because Pitt just was so miscast. I think he really tried in the role, and he obviously buffed up for it, but it was still a detractor for me. Even so, I really enjoyed the film. Nice fight scenes. Great to see Legendary Peter O'Toole in a nice smaller role.
So really enjoyed, though it just missed for me.
2.0 out of 5 stars did these people read the Iliad?,
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Troy (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) by Wolfgang Petersen (DVD - 2005)
CDN$ 9.93 CDN$ 5.97