I saw Troy last night. I live close to the Atlas theater, which sports the largest screen in South America (although, sadly, no THX sound), which is well suited for this kind of thing.
And it is a traditional movie. It´s like Cleopatra, only the girl can´t act and the guy is not a middle-aged alcoholic.
I think Ebert got it right when he said that the actors are trying to make their characters human, and it´s counterproductive because the characters in the Iliad are not human, they are archetypes.
It´s a damn greek tragedy! The whole idea of greek tragedy is men without will being thrown into their fates by evil gods. I wonder how the greeks managed to stay religious considering all their deities seem to be bastards.
On the other hand, Bana as Hector was ok. He has that what the hell am I doing here look a character in tragedy would have if he at the same time was aware of what he is doing, thinks it´s nuts but can´t stop it, which I think is how anyone would look if the gods forced him to go fight hand to hand against a guy that´s supposed to be invulnerable, while a thousand nice archers who are on your side just look.
What distracted me most during the movie is how modern military ideas made the logistics of the troy siege incomprehensible. For example, the landing is like a Delta-Day: D-Day with greeks. Saving Private Achilles. Any half-not-braindead guy would decide that maybe it was a better idea to lad a few kilometers away in a non-defended coast, take over a few farms, whatever. But no, they land smack in front of Troy. The boats are rammed into the beach. You know what that does to a flat-bottom greek boat? (I am assuming they were flat-bottomed, or it´s just too stupid).
Those things were pretty fragile. And if the tide was low, they would flood and sink as soon as it went up.
There is a reason why the amphibious troop transport ship was invented: you can´t do that with regular seagoing ships.
Then they don´t surround Troy. So, any Trojan that felt like fleeing could use a secondary gate and walk away from it all.
Oh, and just for kicks, the greek camp is at the bottom of a hill.
Not to mention massed armies running at each other over hundreds of meters. Marching was invented because if you do that, you are already tired when you get there. And fighting with bronze-age sword, spear and shield is a tiresome job!
Ok, I admit that 50000 greeks walking wouldn´t be so cinematographically exciting, but hey, I am just whining here.
Oh, and it seems the siege lasted all of a month. I wonder why the trojans didn*t just sleep through it. Ok, they are supposed to be morons, with the horse and all that.
But don´t get me wrong, I have seen much worse movies, like return of the lobster man or eyes wide shut. It´s just that Homer (or as he is known in Hades, "Spinning Guy") wrote a rather fun epic poem, and it really didn´t need all that much tampering.