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.

oscar run xvi: troy (wolfgang petersen, 2004)

The Affair of the Necklace. 102 Dalmatians. Angels & Insects. Maverick. A Handful of Dust. How many of these films do you remember watching? How many of them do you remember at all? I saw one of them, myself, and have heard of almost all of the others. It's not exactly a list of memorable classic films, though, is it?

These are all films of the past several years that garnered one and only one Oscar nomination, for Best Costume Design. They are proof that there are better ways to find good movies than to obsessively watch all the Oscar nominees.

Troy has been nominated for an Oscar this year. For Best Costume Design. It's worse than Maverick. And it's 2 hours and 43 minutes long. Two hours and 43 minutes of my life that I won't have back.