film fatales #189: proof (jocelyn moorhouse, 1991)
african-american directors series: cooley high (michael schultz, 1975)

geezer cinema: napoleon (ridley scott, 2023)

It's a movie about Napoleon, so it's supposed to be big, IMAX big. It's more than 2 1/2 hours, and even that isn't enough ... apparently Ridley Scott has another hour-and-a-half that he'll add when the movie goes to streaming ... the film coast $200 million, it comes from Apple Studios, you could say it's an Apple TV show that got a few showings in theaters (much like Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon). This is a big movie, commensurate with its subject.

It's also a comedy. Honest, Ridley Scott said so. I admit to wondering if Scott saw people laughing in the theaters and only then pronounced that it was meant to be funny.

I don't care much about the historical inaccuracies. But it matters that Joaquin Phoenix is too old for the part of Napoleon. Napoleon was 51 when he died; Phoenix is 49. Not so bad. But at the beginning of the film, Napoleon is 24, and Phoenix is ... 49.

And considering it was more dialogue than action, I'm not sure it was worth the extra bucks to see it in IMAX.

And the action sequences are impressive. But I had recently re-watched Red Cliff 1 & 2, and a few times, I was reminded of a similar scene in Red Cliff that was 100 times better.

On a scale where Ridley Scott at his best is Thelma and Louise, and Ridley Scott at his worst is Black Rain, Napoleon is House of Gucci.


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