May 18, 2004

The Oprah-ization of Homer

I haven't seen Troy yet, but if the bits described by Roger Ebert are at all representative, it should contain a great deal of unintentional comedy. And that's the best kind.

Example: in the midst of what has been traditionally referred to as the Rape of Helen of Troy, Helen herself explains why she has decided to leave her husband and to start a new life with Paris. "I don't want a hero," she says. "I want a man I can grow old with."

Heh heh. Gag me with a trireme. The Judgment of Paris and the gods themselves, according to Ebert, are entirely left out of the film, presumably to make way for cloying dialogue and touchy-feely motivations of this kind.

In other words: this movie sounds almost too fabulous to be true.

I can't wait. But no, it can't possibly all be at this level of awesomeness... or can it? My favorite movie about the ancient world will probably always be this, but it looks like Troy could be a contender.

(via Emily.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at May 18, 2004 06:44 PM | TrackBack

I have an unfortunate childhood fear of Frankie Howerd

Posted by: Georgina at May 18, 2004 06:57 PM

No review could possibly prepare you for how bad this movie is.
Be on the lookout for the 1,000,000 closeups of Brad Pitt's face as he puckers his lips in a very very bad attempt at "intensity". At one point there is actually a dissolve from one such close-up on land to another, identical close-up at sea. We all laughed so hard that everyone in the theatre yelled at us.

Posted by: Travis at May 18, 2004 09:46 PM

don't forget all the brad pitt man ass.

Posted by: haven at May 19, 2004 12:05 AM

Dr. Frank and Roger Ebert are the 2 most influential people in my life (kinda scary). I check both of their websites at least once a day. It's pretty cool to know that Dr. Frank checks Roger too. And Troy sucked (not sucked, but was very average and generic).

Posted by: jordan at May 19, 2004 01:36 AM

I think lots of people(girls)think this is a great movie because Brad Pitt & Orlando Bloom are in it, when leaving the theater I heard a girl on her cellphone say, "It was great, he was so hot!" It's sad that 'hotness' has become the standard by which chicks judge movies. On another note, anyone who actually read the Iliad probably would want to get up and leave halfway through, I stayed, but only to see how much worse it could get.

Posted by: Stephanie at May 19, 2004 06:11 AM

This movie was bad goodness. Just like "Showgirls" was so awful it was trashy good, so is "Troy" the equivalent, but in historical epic genre. I rolled my eyes at all the cheesy dialogue, voyeuristically appreciated Brad's gluteus maximus, and wondered how many digital artists it took to create the Greek fleet on the sea. Helen was so bland it was ridiculous to believe anyone would battle for her, but when you saw the vacuousness of Paris, it made perfect sense. All in all, a satisfying guilty pleasure. I laughed all through the horrid closing credits theme song.

Posted by: nickie at May 19, 2004 06:29 AM

Georgie, I know what you mean about FH. However, that BBC tv movie is one of the all time greats, the best Carry On that wasn't actually a CO.

Best FH line: "Hey there! Orgy girl!"

And the theme song is great, too: "Pompeii, salute, naughtay, naughtay..."

Posted by: Dr. Frank at May 19, 2004 04:08 PM

Another Hollywood bastardization of history. Not only sad, but replulsive as well. Next thing we know ther'll be a new Jason and the Argonauts movie that has him (Tom Cruise) sailing through the pillars of Heracles while battling not Triton or Neptune, but the evil pirate (Johnny Depp) who stole his wife/girlfriend (Halle Berry). Arrrrgghhhhh the agnony, the agony!!!

Posted by: Zaphod Beeblebrox at May 19, 2004 05:39 PM

hey can't go wrong with pirates...
even if they're not historically correct...
epecially if they're fighting ninjas. but of course that rarely happens.

personally i'm looking forward to something a
little more fictional and... *GASP*... possibly even quasi-original. That is Sky Captain and The
World of Tommorow. It looks and sounds super-cool.
Maybe it'll even have a good story.

p.s. Frank can you play any Marty Robbins songs
next Wensday? Or will you only do your songs?

Posted by: just me at May 19, 2004 06:29 PM

I have never cared for books on tape (or CD), but I did buy The Illiad and totally enjoyed it. Probably because it originally was an oral tale. (Insert ass joke here about the movie) It's the only book I prefered to hear rather than read.

Posted by: Chrees at May 19, 2004 10:09 PM

Question for those who've seen the movie: would it have been better as directed a la Mel Gibson? That is, all 24 books word-for-word? Brad Pitt reciting ancient Greek in dactylic hexameter with the original, sing-songy tonal accents? Why doesn't Hollywood have a Pagan fundamentalist big-name director to take this project on?

Posted by: Nick at May 20, 2004 01:30 AM

Outstanding observation Nick. Remember how awful that modern Romeo and Juliet movie with the original dialect was? The modern version of the Tempest is going to be just as foul also. Still, this version of Troy deviates so much from the original tale that it is pretty difficult to even relate the two stories as being one in the same at times. Call me a purist, but this movie was all about glitz and glamour with not a single drop of substance. I mean, it's all about the story, man! Did anybody else notice how small the Trojan horse was? C'mon this was the Trojan horse, not a Trojan condom. Like, three people jumped out of it!!! The creatins from Sparta, er I mean the Spartans from Crete were lackluster as well (couldn't resists the obligatory Mel Brooks joke). I give the movie 3 thumbs down (look at my name and you'll get it if you're a HHGTTG fan, which incidentally is in production for a motion picture right now).

Posted by: Zaphod Beeblebrox at May 20, 2004 01:48 AM

"It's sad that 'hotness' has become the standard by which chicks judge movies."

guys do that too. it's sad that people do that in general but it's not just girls.

Posted by: r a e d y at May 20, 2004 02:01 AM

'Hey there! Orgy girl!' That too conjures up memories. Georgie, orgy...according to friends the fact that they rhyme means songs must be written and sung. I don't find Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom particularly hot, but it sounds like to enjoy the film you might have to.

Posted by: Georgina at May 20, 2004 05:18 PM

The sad thing is that it took me a second to realize you weren't talking about Mr. Simpson in the title.

This Up Pompeii film seems like it might be a bit easier to take than your last movie recommendation, Straw Dogs, which I haven't yet gotten up the nerve to watch.

Posted by: Dave Bug at May 20, 2004 09:19 PM

Not in the ancient world, but have you ever seen this?

If not, you absolutely must.

Someone (with a tad of talent) definitely needs to write "The Illiad, by Homer Simpson."

Incidentally, have you seen this or this?

Sigh. Have you always disallowed linking?

Personally, I hate stretched out comments boxes.

Posted by: Gary Farber at May 21, 2004 12:35 AM

You might have to wait a while for that bersion of "The Illiad" but there's always "MacHomer".

Posted by: Lynn at May 21, 2004 06:17 AM

I started to leave a comment, but I liked it so much, I put it on my own blog instead!

Posted by: Lexington Green at May 23, 2004 04:14 AM

while i don't waste my time with bad movies(so i
haven't seen it) unless they're old i have heard a couple things:

the special effects truly look like effects

some of the fight scenes look like they came
out of crouching tiger hidden dragon...
which isn't really correct if you're going for
historical accuracy to my albeit pitiful understanding of such things.

i don't think i'll be seeing it.

Posted by: just me at May 24, 2004 11:35 PM

Hey dr., have you heard all the chaotic what-have-you's regarding andy kaufman? he claims to be back. 20 years after faking his death, he's back, just as predicted. there is not enough info to make a comfortable decision, so i will cross my fingers.

Posted by: lukeblack at May 25, 2004 05:35 AM

Holy cow, Luke! That was cool as hell! I hope it's true. He'll go down in history! Everyone will start saying "If Andy could do it, then maybe Elvis did too". Amazing!

Posted by: Zaphod Beeblebrox at May 25, 2004 05:42 PM

okay now again i don't really know because
i'm not a big andy kaufman fan but i heard
news about that as well.

that blog,presuming its the blog you are
linking to,people who are fans have been
saying it isn't really him,it doesn't sound
enough like him and all this.

hate to burst your bubble,but i would side with
not getting too excited.

Posted by: just me at May 25, 2004 06:35 PM

well, if anyone would do something like this it would be andy kaufman, but personally i don't believe it at all.

Posted by: utility knife at May 25, 2004 10:21 PM

Check out It's not real. Wish it was though...

Posted by: Mikey at May 26, 2004 01:56 AM

i already saw snopes, but snopes is no more credible than any other source. possibly even less reliable. snopes is merely a website ran by a husband and wife. although most of their info is credible, they are only human and rely on speculation as the rest of us.


Posted by: luke black at May 26, 2004 07:16 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?