Still licking the wounds inflicted by the twin blows of merciless critical pummeling and a brutal box office drubbing, Oliver Stone’s grand folly appears in two simultaneously released editions: the 175-minute theatrical version and a slightly shorter (and slightly improved) director’s cut. Stone’s re-edit substantially alters the film—scenes are dropped, added, trimmed, and otherwise rejiggered. Most significantly, several (chronologically) early Macedonian scenes are moved much later into the film, further disrupting narrative progression. In his director’s-cut commentary, Stone defends his hero against accusations of excessive brutality (and comparisons to George W. Bush), bristles at the media fixation on the “pansexual” Alexander’s relationships with males, and speaks up for the man-on-man hug as a legitimate expression of platonic love. Perhaps the most disquieting revelation is that B.C. dates were dropped from the theatrical cut for fear that American audiences wouldn’t realize that 320 B.C. was 30 years after 350 B.C. Whether this says more about the mentality of studio executives or the overall state of the union is very much an open question.
Memories of Murder
Set during the 1980s and based on the story of South Korea’s first serial killer, Bong Joon-ho’s sociological policier (which received an eyeblink of a theatrical release last month) is a convincing portrait of a nation on the brink. The disc contains both the original Korean audio track and, for the subtitle-phobic, a dubbed English version.