Jul 29, 2013
Alexander the Great “Pilot” (part 5 of 7)
Now it’s time to cut loose, ancient Greek style! This is probably the scene that Adam West blew all out of proportion to the point where thirty years later, it became an orgy scene. Instead, all we see are toga-clad men and women standing around and drinking wine, and watching in utter bliss as two men have weak fisticuffs.
Alexander arrives to break up the match, and Cletus Van Damme explains that he was simply showing “Tauron” how Alexander got away from “that prison beggar”. I have no idea what he’s talking about. Is it that difficult to get away from prison beggars? I think I’d be more worried about the prison rapists.
Alexander says Tauron is “an engineer, not a fighter” (and one would assume, also not a bricklayer) so Alexander steps up to duke it out with Cletus personally. Cletus chuckles, because Alexander is so very much smaller than he is, ha hah! He sticks out a finger to wag it disapprovingly at Alexander, so Alexander grabs his arm and flips him onto his back. Well, so much for calling him Cletus Van Damme.
Cletus gets up and wraps his arms around Alexander’s waist, lifting him up and giving us ample view of Shatner’s tidy whities.
And then, right before our eyes, Shatner invents one of Captain Kirk’s trademark fighting moves. He flails out his arms, pretending to be beaten, then suddenly brings them together, boxing his opponent’s ears. Cletus is disoriented, which allows Alexander to judo toss him to the ground. The fight seems about to continue, but quickly ends in laughter.
Cleander runs up and Adam West gets his second line with, “Good lesson, [Cletus]! I’ve always wanted to know how to fall without breaking any bones!” Zing! Don’t get too high on yourself, Cleander. It wasn’t that long ago that someone was thanking Zeus you’re not king.
Several of the men propose a toast to Alexander, who according to them has proven that “as Aesop said, a quick fox is better than a dumb ox!” A dumb ox? Damn, everybody’s bagging on Cletus today.
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Karonos then delivers a heartfelt toast to Alexander, which we all know is total bullshit. He says, “May you live as long as it is in my heart to wish it! And may you rule as long as it benefits Greece!” I sense some dual meanings in there, somewhere.
Alexander drinks from a huge chalice, then takes Ada by the shoulders and asks her to “pleasure us with a dance”. No, he’s not asking for a lap dance. I don’t think. Ada replies, “With… pleasure, my lord!” Well, there’s definitely a lot of pleasure going on here, that’s for sure.
As Ada begins her exotic dance routine, Alexander totally snubs her by turning his back to her and talking to Karonos, even putting a hand on the back of Karonos’ neck. Which is not doing a whole lot to diminish the Gayness Quotient here.
He asks where Karonos planned for the army to march, and Karonos says he intended to return home. Alexander simply says they see “eye to eye” on this, and walks away to sit on his throne. He reclines and leers at Ada with a big, proud smirk on his face.
Ada twirls around in her cape, and then does yoga positions on the ground as everyone looks on in wonder.
But soon, the killjoy known as Antigonus enters. He tells Alexander that his men are ready for their orders, then glances over at Ada and asks if they’ll have to wait all night. Damn. This guy really needs to get drunk, or laid, or preferably both.
Alexander begrudgingly breaks up the party and asks his Council of Generals to remain behind. A moment later, soldiers wheel in a miniature map of the surrounding terrain. Damn, they had quite the model-making skills back in the day.
Much to scheming Karonos’ chagrin, Alexander reveals in extreme close-up that they’ll march forward instead of returning back home. So much for seeing “eye to eye” on those plans, I guess.
Alexander knows where General Memnon has set up camp, and they’ll head in that direction in separate groups, and then rendezvous two days later. In rapid fire succession, Alexander barks out orders to each of his generals. General roll call: Aristander! Tauron! Cleander! Antigonus! Karonos! Cletus! And Attalos! And they’re all shot in extreme close-ups where you can practically count the nose hairs.
Karonos protests that they have “conquered the coastline from Syria to Egypt”, and that’s more than enough, and they should return home to protect Greece. I wonder if Alexander’s men ever had to deal with Iraqi insurgents? But Alexander says Greece won’t be safe until King Darry-us is destroyed.
Karonos complains that the men are exhausted. He suggests compromising with Darry-us to reach an end to war, but Alexander won’t hear of it. I mean, they didn’t call him Alexander the Accommodating, now did they? And by now, it’s obvious the director was way, way too in love with extreme close-ups, because their entire discussion is filmed this way.
Alexander says he didn’t come to conquer Persia, but rather to “put an end to the barbarism” there. Though I’m not sure how he can do that without “conquering” it. Karonos screams back, “We cannot conquer the world!!”
Alexander gives him a meaningful look and says, “Then we shall build a new one.” Well, it sounds nice, but it really makes no sense in relation to anything they were talking about. Karonos says Alexander will “build a graveyard instead”, and finally Alexander puts an abrupt kibosh on Karonos’ party-pooping ways. He says they must attack Memnon before he attacks them, and Karonos finally relents and says he’ll always follow his king.
Next up, Alexander and Cleander retire to another room to talk, but Antigonus barges in yet again. I’m thinking “barging in” is his only specialty around here.
He yells at Alexander once again, this time about all the crazy, vague battle plans. Alexander explains the secrecy is necessary, because lately the Persians have been knowing every move he makes before he makes it. He suspects a traitor, thus Cleander is the only person he trusts with the full battle plans.
Seeing that he’s ruffled Antigonus’ feathers, Alexander gives him a hug and offers to share a drink with him, after which he’ll tell him everything. Antigonus agrees. “But none of that sweet Persian prune juice you swallow!” Yes, by all means, let’s have none of that “sweet Persian prune juice” around here. But then again, Antigonus does seem pretty anal retentive, so maybe it would help him get his motility on.
Instead of prune juice, Alexander offers “good Greek wine! With bite like a Macedonian wind!” And he actually pours the wine out of a giant, bagpipe-like bag that he slings over his shoulder. Wow, not only is that an insane amount of alcohol, but it’s also portable. I really, really need to get one of these for baseball games.
Outside the tent, as previously planned, the Persian prisoner shows up dressed as a Greek soldier. He takes aim at Alexander’s tent with a bow and arrow, drawing a bead on Alexander’s silhouette. He draws and shoots, but only succeeds in assassinating Alexander’s Giant Bag-O-Wine.
Antigonus and Cleander immediately draw their swords and run out, while Alexander pulls the arrow out and glares at it in close-up. Is he miffed that someone just tried to kill him, or that gallons and gallons of wine are surely gushing out onto the ground right now?
Outside, the Persian prisoner is pleading with Mr. Unseen Someone. “My lord, I tried!” Mr. Unseen Someone whacks the Persian with a sword, and sure enough, it’s Karonos. Wow! You mean, the traitor is the one guy most vocally opposed to Alexander’s plans? I, for one, never saw this coming.
So Karonos has killed the prisoner, ensuring that he can’t talk. On a related note, what was up with the prisoner calling Karonos his “lord”? I mean, that’s a pretty big leap to go from saying Memnon will crush the Greeks like beetles or whatever, to referring to one of the Greeks as his “lord”. Maybe he was looking to defect because he was sick of the prune juice.
Alexander and the others run up, and Karonos claims that the prisoner escaped and disguised himself in their clothes. Alexander ruefully notes that he’d feel better if the arrow were Persian, but it’s not. “It’s Greek!” Well, yeah. If the guy was disguised as a Greek soldier, why wouldn’t he have Greek arrows? Regardless, I would say this is a suitable place for a commercial break. Oh, look, here it is.