Blu-ray Review “Alexander: The Ultimate Cut – The 10th Anniversary”

Starring: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson
Director: Oliver Stone
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 3, 2014
Run Time: 175 / 206 minutes

Ultimate Cut: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Alexander” is like the film that never goes away. Since the film was released 10 years ago there has been various cuts of the film from The Theatrical Cut to The Final Cut (which wasn’t the final cut) and now we have The Ultimate Cut right in time for the film’s 10th Anniversary. Oliver Stone really does love editing his films after they are done. The Theatrical Cut was released in 2004 and is 175 minutes. The Final Cut released in 2007 is a whopping 213 minutes and is actually structured much differently. The Ultimate Cut is a little slimmer but not by much clocking in at 206 minutes with an intermission.

Official Premise: Alexander is based on the true story of one of history’s most luminous and influential leaders; a man who had conquered 90% of the known world by the age of 25. The film chronicles Alexander’s path to becoming a living legend, from a youth fuelled by dreams of myth, glory and adventure, to his intense bonds with his closest companions, to his lonely death as a ruler of a vast empire. The film stars Colin Farrell as Alexander, Angelina Jolie as Queen Olympias, Val Kilmer as King Philip II, Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, Jared Leto as Hephaistion, Rosario Dawson as Roxana, Christopher Plummer as Aristotle, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Cassander.

Since the film was original cut to reduce violence and sexuality, the director was unable to achieve his vision. With this Ultimate Cut, Stone follows closely to the outline of his original script and clocking in 31 minutes longer that the theatrical cut, this is in fact the Ultimate Cut of this film. I have to admit, this is actually a better cut than the theatrical release. This 10th Anniversary Blu-ray both the 2004 theatrical cut and the new Ultimate Cut. I would have loved to see them go to hell with themselves and just include The Final Cut as well. This Blu-ray also includes The Ultimate Cut on Digital HD with UltraViolet.

I was really impressed with the special features included for this release because the new cut is a bonus enough but they went ahead and still delivered a bunch of new extras. Firstly, there is a new documentary “The Real Alexander and the World He Made”, which looks into the life and legacy of Alexander the Great. There is a brand new Ultimate Cut commentary track from Oliver Stone, as well as a theatrical cut commentary was well with Oliver Stone and Robin Lane Fox. Oliver’s also talented son Sean Stone has his own feature-length documentary called “Fight Against Time: Oliver Stone’s Alexander”.

There is also four featurettes included on the production including “Resurrecting Alexander”, “Perfect Is The Enemy of Good”, “The Death of Alexander” and “Vangelis Scores Alexander”. But wait there is still more included here. There is an awesome “The Art of Alexander”40-page art book, which features numerous concept drawings, production storyboards and behind-the-scenes photographs. As well as collectible packaging, with correspondence memos between Oliver Stone and his cast and crew. If you enjoyed this film or didn’t enjoy this film, this is a really great collectible and a much improved cut of the film for sure.

Alexander: The Ultimate Cut + Theatrical 10th Anniversary UCE is available on Blu-ray 6/3/14 at the WB Shop

Alexander Newton talks about film “Justice/Vengeance”

Alexander Newton stars in the upcoming independent film “Justice/Vengeance”. Media Mikes had a chance to speak with Alexander recently about the film and what it’s like working with his father, Joshua Newton.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the film “Justice/Vengeance”?
Alexander Newton: The film is a revenge/thriller set in two different time periods. One of those periods is today and the other is in the 1940’s. My scenes are during the flashback portions of the film as I play the younger version of the lead character. I think the film is quite important as it speaks out against racism. It is sort of a morally questioning movie. It’s one of those what if? stories. When my dad wrote the story he asked himself what if his dad found the man that killed his family during the holocaust and what would he do. There is a lighter side of the story as it has some romance set in the 1940’s. The movie definitely will appeal to a wide variety of people.

AL: Can you tell us a little more about your character?
AN: My character escapes the execution of his village and becomes sort of a freedom fighter. He spends the rest of his time in Europe fighting the Nazi’s. He eventually moves to New York where he becomes a police officer. This is where you see the older version of my character Joseph played by Roy Scheider.

AL: What was it that drew you to this role?
AN: It’s such a powerful story. It is heartbreaking as well. I felt like this was a role that was really important to do. It was great working with my dad on the film as well. I really trust him and I think he did a great job directing the movie.

AL: Do you ever find it difficult working with a family member?
AN: I don’t really think so. I find it very rewarding. We are both very comfortable with each other. I don’t think we are ever afraid to say anything to each other. (Laughs) It’s fun and we work very easily together. We haven’t ever had any problems on set. We get along really well. He is a cool Dad.

AL: Can you tell us about your song that is featured in the film?
AN: The song is called “Lost in Forever”. It is played over the end credits of the film. We also did a music video for the song. The song has not been released yet as we are still waiting for the right time to release it. Everything is all ready to go we just have to find the right time to put it out there.

AL: Did you write this song specifically for the film or was it written beforehand?
AN: We set out to make a song for the film. This song is separate from the others that I am doing as it is about the story in the film.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other music?
AN: I dabble. (Laughs) I am working hard at the moment on a couple interesting projects. Separate from when I am acting and auditioning several times a week I am making music. I am writing with other artists and producing other artists. I also am writing for my own material as well. I am pretty busy and it’s all been cool. You will definitely be hearing my stuff this year.

AL: Do you find one of the arts to be more difficult than the other?
AN: Not really. Like anything that you put enough work into it’s worth it. I love both of them so I don’t really see either as difficult. I just see them as things I do.

AL: Do you have any other projects going on?
AN: I have a small load of projects that I am working on. I have a movie that we are going to make this year that is a comedy. That will actually be the second film I am doing with my Dad. I also will be doing a film in Texas that will be a lot of fun.

Sasha Alexander talks about Season 3 of “Rizzoli & Isles”

Sasha Alexander is known best for starring as Chief Medical Examiner Maura Isles on the Turner Network Television series “Rizzoli & Isles”. The show enters its third season on June 5th. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sasha about this upcoming season and what we can expect.

Mike Smith: What fears did you encounter when you thought of filming season three, as opposed to the other seasons? Was there something different you felt going in?
Sasha Alexander: I was really excited because I feel like season two ended with such a strong emotional and intense kind of moment between Maura and Jane. So I was curious to see where we would begin season three, and we started just kind of moments after. So Maura is reeling from the shock and, obviously, the anger she’s feeling that Jane shot her father. It’s really great. It’s really fun to play that side of Maura and to have it be that kind of that intensity was exciting to see where it was going to go.

MS: What characteristics of Maura is closest to what you have for yourself?
SA: Kindness. I think Maura’s kind. I think she’s generous and polite. I would definitely say those are some of my better qualities. I’m not as much of a brainiac as she is. I certainly don’t have as big of a vocabulary. Those are the similar qualities, and I like the fashion.

MS: The dynamics between you and Angie is unbelievably phenomenal. What do you attribute that to personally as opposed to on screen?
SA: Personally, a sense of humor. We both share a similar sense of humor. We have a lot in common in real-life interms of our families and being mothers and all that. So I think that we bring those things. And having heart. Having a respectfulrelationship as women bring that to the screen. Wanting that to be to the screen. Wanting it to be a positive relationship between these women. I think that attributes to sort of the way we play the characters.

Are the ramifications from your best friend shooting your father going to be explored throughout the entire season, or do you think that they’ll be able to put it behind them?
Sasha Alexander: No, they wrap up pretty quickly. At the end of the first episode, they get to the bottom of what the crime was, and what actually happened. So I think that that clarifies a lot for both Jane and Maura. But they’re not completely ready to say they’re sorry because there’s a lot of miscommunication between them. So that leads into the second episode and, you know, Korsak, and Forth, and Angela all sort of get involved in kind of getting them back together. And they end up in a kind of life or death situation. And so their friendship will kind of come back by the end of the second episode. And they really earn their way back. I like the way that it all comes together. It’s not wrapped up immediately, they’re back together very quickly. Quickly enough.

MS: What was it like to work with Jackie Bithide?
SA: Oh she’s a wonderful woman. She’s has a really enormous sense of humor. She’s so beautiful. And she’s not like at all, fake and done up for a woman. She’s just lived, and she’s gorgeous and a really funny, funny lady. I like her a lot and I had a good time working with her.

MS: I was reading in an earlier interview that you’d done before the first season, that you hadn’t read Tess Gerritsen’s books before getting the job. Have you caught up with the seriessince you’ve starting playing Isles?
SA: I have. I have a few more books left to read, but yes, I’ve read a lot of them and I love her writing. I’m a big fan of the books and what she’s created and of her personally. She’s really an amazing lady. So, yes.

MS: Judging by the way last season ended, the dynamics between you and Jane are going to be completely different. How did you approach playing the character going into the new season?
SA: Well, Maura’s going to get much tougher this season. I think all this stuff with her family has really – it’s changing her in a different way and its toughing her up. She’s in a moment of self-discovery; of figuring out who she is; where she came from; and finding her biological mother is a big part of the first part of this season. And I think all that brings on a lot of emotional stuff for Maura that is very new. But she’s going to toughen up. I think that Maura’s been, sort of compartmentalizing certain parts of her life. And now ever since Patty Doyle sort of entered the picture it’s opened up this whole new part of who she is. And so we’re going to see a tougher Maura. I still think a really funny Maura, and none of the comedy is going to go away. But I think a tougher Maura.