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Oliver Stone Epic Rich Fodder for DVD, But He's Not So Hip on the Format

30 Nov, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

The new Oliver Stone epic Alexander, currently in theaters, could be a goldmine for DVD extras.

Not only does the film star have some of today's hottest actors — Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto — but it's filled with rich history and lavish sets, spectacular costumes and monumental battle scenes. The movie, which took 13 years to bring to screen, follows the life of Alexander the Great, a man who conquered 90 percent of the known world by the time he was 25 years old.

The possibilities for disc extras are plentiful, from a reality-vs.-Hollywood study of the three-hour film and a look at the luxurious costumes to Greek mythology features and a behind-the-scenes documentary shot by Stone's 19-year-old son, Sean.

While excited about the DVD future of Alexander, Stone isn't entirely enthusiastic about the format itself. In fact, he thinks DVDs will destroy today's cinematic experience.

“It's the end of movie-movies the way we know them,” he said during a Los Angeles press event for the film. “It's like mail-order sex, Internet sex. It's an easier way to access the person. It's not good for us.”

The DVD format cheapens movies, he added.

“If you walk into a room with 5,000 DVDs, how are you going to respect movies? How do you know the good ones?,” Stone asked. “It's going to the LCD — the lowest common denominator. It's making movies into supermarket-shelf items, which is probably the best you can get at Wal-Mart. … It's hopeless.”

Recently, Warner Home Video released an encyclopedic collection of Stone's work, packed with extra features from 12 of his famous films, like JFK, Platoon and Wall Street. Also included are documentaries such as Persona Non Grata and Looking for Fidel. So it's not as if Stone boycotts the format; he knows the popularity of DVDs is impossible to ignore.

“Whatever the new technology is becomes the money maker, not necessarily rightly,” he said.

But whatever is next on the horizon could rock DVD's stable foundation.

“The fact is, this is digital — it's not going to hold. People say analog is the only thing to make it,” Stone said. “This could be a big scam at the end of the day. In five years, all your DVDs are going to be worthless… There's no hope. There's only new technology.”

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