Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. ... See full summary »
Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. Octavian intends to regain his empire by landing his army at Alexandria, besieging the city and capturing and executing the pair. However, while Octavian's army is bigger than Marc Antony's forces, he and Cleopatra have allies who can come to their aid. Both sides prepare for a final showdown. Written by
Wothwhile The good, the bad and the Roman and the Egyptian
This movie popped up recently on FOX movie channel with the opening credits letter-boxed to 2:35 and the rest full frame. It's a shame it's cropped but you don't feel like you're missing image most of the time. There aren't any obvious "talking noses" on each side of the full frame cropping at least. The opening ten minutes are pretty poor with bar room brawls and other unfunny comedy. But once Marc Anthony appears it all gets much better. It's nicely produced and well acted and portrays Cleopatra as, well frankly, as kind of a slut that men don't notice until after they have fallen in love with her. The production design is well done there aren't a lot of huge cities portrayed but what is shown is well done, including a brief nicely done shot of the famous lighthouse at Alexandra. Unlike some Italian films of this genre there are no supernatural elements. There are some impressive "thousands of men on horses" scenes and Cleopatra rides around in a chariot pulled by at least 10 horses. But one let down in that when the actual battle scenes arrive they are done on a pretty small scale and end very quickly. Blame the second unit director for this I suppose. It tends to be large scale set ups to a battle that then shows 5 or 10 guys and lasts a minute and a half. There is however some good smaller scale fight scenes so maybe budget prevented more large scale, either way it's disappointing. It also must be said that what I saws, the Full frame American version, has a number of fast fade outs some of which pretty obviously seem to reveal material edited out of the film. Again though it's well acted and has a few surprises, you can complain there should be more "real" character action rather than one that basically focuses on fiction buddies who happen to be part of large events. But there are many other films that take the same sort of approach to real events and characters. Cameron's TITANIC takes this same approach. So fans of this genre check it out but be a little prepared to be let down in the action department.
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