Release Date: May 14, 2004

Movie of the Day for Wednesday, March 23, 2005
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A cautionary tale for everyone who ever asked for a pony.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
32/48 Les Winan What happens when Orlando Bloom runs out of period pieces? Will they let him use a bow and arrow in a modern film?
49/55 Reagen Sulewski In Ancient Greece, battles were often decided by who had the best hair.

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Going Greek is in again, and I am not talking about in the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy capacity. Instead, I am referencing the recent Hollywood run on all things Homer. The tip of this iceberg is this $100 million epic based on The Iliad.

Troy re-tells one of the most famous stories in the history of written languages. Helen, the Queen of Sparta, is kidnapped by Paris, the Prince of Troy. Helen's husband, King Menelaus, is something of an old-school romantic rather than a mod swinger. He wants the missus back. He beseeches his powerful brother, King Agamemnon of the Myceneans, to put together a bandit party to re-steal the kidnapped Helen.

For his part, Agamemnon has been aching to get a piece of the Troy action for a while now. This region is the only one not currently under his control, because their citadel is an impenetrable fortress. For the love of his brother and the desire for empire, Aggie (as I am certain his friends called him) dutifully agrees to help.

Something of a fan of overkill, the two brothers in arms proceed to assemble a naval fleet of historically unprecedented size. This leads Helen, who I am certain was pretty enough in her own way, to become the subject of the most overblown hype the world had ever known until the day Jeremy Shockey entered the NFL. Her P.R. Agents began crediting her as the most beautiful woman in the world; history remembers her as the face that launched a thousand ships. I say she was no Zhang Ziyi, but alas, the story predates digital photography so my assertion is impossible to prove.

Under any circumstance, there was only one man capable of successfully invading Troy. He was a warrior for the ages, and his successes lasted the test of time. His name was Achilles, and he will be the hero of this story. It probably won't be played up much that he was such a sissy that a blow to his foot killed him, though. Achilles, something of a strategist, eventually employs an attack involving a trojan horse that leads his troops to victory. Maybe you've heard about it. I'm told it's quite famous, though it sounds a bit Seabiscuit-y to me.

Troy is arguably the frontline project of the first half of the year. The cast includes Brad Pitt, The Hulk (Eric Bana), that nerdly elf (Orlando Bloom), living legend Peter O'Toole (c'mon Academy, this might be your last chance), Julie Christie, Brian Cox, Sean Bean and Saffron Burrows. Oddly though, the all-important role of Helen was given to an unknown, Diane Kruger, rather than an established beauty.

The helm is being taken by The Perfect Storm's Wolfgang Petersen. Between that film and Das Boot, he has become the go-to guy in Hollywood for nautical adventures. If Master and Commander does wind up being a franchise, don't be surprised to see him in the director's chair somewhere down the road there, either.

One interesting footnote: although we generally don't make notations about the technical aspects of production, Warner Bros. is hyping as one of the Troy sets as of the largest ever. They have apparently recreated the palace and the rest of the citadel in order to more accurately give viewers the perspective of the size of the task Achilles faced in his invasion.

BOP, never afraid to go out on a limb, boldly predicts that Troy will be big. We also think the sun will set tonight and might even rise again tomorrow. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Troy
Main Cast Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger
Supporting Cast Peter O'Toole, Sean Bean, Saffron Burrows, Rose Byrne, Julie Christie, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund
Director Wolfgang Petersen
Screenwriter David Benioff
Distributor Warner Bros.
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 165 minutes
Screen Count 3,411
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Troy
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Perfect Storm, The 6/30/0041.33 46.23 3407 12131.00 13053.8 182.60 204.27 4.42
Gladiator 5/5/0034.82 38.95 2938 11852.00 12753.5 186.61 208.76 5.36
Last Samurai, The 12/5/0324.27 24.27 2908 8346.00 8346.0 111.11 111.11 0.00
Patriot, The 6/30/0022.41 25.07 3061 7321.00 7877.9 113.30 126.74 4.64
Braveheart * 5/26/9512.91 17.89 2035 6344.00 8458.7 75.59 104.78 5.65



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