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|Index||168 reviews in total|
371 out of 404 people found the following review useful:
The Best Yet?, 28 September 2005
Author: jacksflicks from Hollywood
I Claudius was maybe the best miniseries ever. Now, there's Rome, and
it's even better.
I agree with another reviewer, that quibbles about historical inaccuracies, such as accents or how old so-and-so should be, are silly pedantry. I've been a Roman history buff ever since my own high school triumvirate of Caesar, Cicero and Virgil, and I say that this historical fiction is both exciting AND quite accurate with the important stuff.
So far, every player has been terrific, in particular Ciarán Hinds as Caesar and Max Pirkis as Octavian. Julius Caesar was perhaps the most complex "great" figure in history. Was he a great populist, trying to champion the people against the Optimates, or was he an ambitious demagogue, who was using the Roman mobs to attain the imperium? Hinds depicts this complexity perfectly, while projecting a steely will that is shared by Caesar's emerging protégé, Octavian. Thanks to Max Pirkis's brilliant portrayal, we can already see the no-nonsense pragmatism, ruthlessness and brilliance that will propel this boy into becoming the greatest despot in history.
And what about that dissolute Mark Anthony? We can already see Actium in his face. And with Atia, I think Livia (as depicted in I Claudius) and Messalina have met their match.
And midst the struggle for mastery of Rome, we see the struggle of more common folk just to make a living. Rome makes the parallel stories of the Optimates and Centurian, now Prefect, Vorenus and Legionnaire Pullo a perfect vehicle for comparing the travails of different classes their love lives, social lives, how they treated the servants, how they practiced their faiths, how they fought. Seen from these different perspectives (which we did not get with I Claudius), we get a three-dimensional view and, for me, the closest to feeling like one is actually there of any historical fiction ever produced.
And look at the production values. Is it any wonder, when we see who's behind the camera Michael Apted and John Milius that we have an immaculately crafted work?
By their commitment to quality of production and integrity of story, HBO and BBC are demonstrating what television can be. This is a wonderful, wonderful series. Anyone with a love of history, drama and spectacle should be devouring it with delight.
222 out of 248 people found the following review useful:
"ROME" If You Want To..., 28 August 2005
Author: Christopher T. Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Arlington, VA.
And if the premiere episode is any indication, you WILL want to. Leave
it to HBO, to replace the dearly departed SIX FEET UNDER with a worthy
substitute already. And considering how outstanding that series was,
that's saying something for ROME, that it may be able to measure up to
how far the bar has been raised for dramatic series in a premium cable
Ten years in the planning and production, as lavish, sprawling, deep, dark and deviously, deliciously decadent as anything of its like, ROME combines historical figures with equally compelling fictional side characters, many of whom show us what it was like through their eyes, to bear witness to the heady rise and staggeringly shocking fall of one of the greatest empires in history.
For those who like their summaries simple, you only need to know that the core of the doings in ROME is comprised of three major stories: the contentious relationship between Roman movers and shakers Magnus Pompey (Kenneth Cranham) and Gaius Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds), which grows even more fractious when Pompey's wife Julia, also Caesar's daughter, dies in childbirth. Then there's Roman centurions Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson), two complex men struggling to do their duty and buck their fates as pawns in the machinations of the two leaders to which each is separately loyal, while testing the bond of their own tentative friendship, as much as the complications within their lives will allow.
And, oh yes, what would any man be without the support of a good woman behind him...hopefully not with a dagger in her hand? In this case the women would be Atia (Polly Walker), an ambitious socialite and political strategist who makes Lady Macbeth look like a rank amateur, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan), whose sweet and civilized demeanor more than likely hides the cunning and ruthlessness of a cobra. Oh, and does it bode well that Caesar is her secret lover, and that his confidant and friend, Cassius Brutus is also Servilia's son?
Webs are being woven and plots are being planned even in the first few moments, and the mostly British cast is well up to the task (the series is produced in conjunction with the BBC). It's also a great sign that not all the heavy hitters are among the cast of characters, but also behind-the-scenes as well, (Michael Apted and John Milius are vital parts of the creative team, and directorial chores are being handled by everyone from Allen Coulter (THE SOPRANOS) to Alan Poul (SIX FEET UNDER).) Plus the sets which dominate the bulk of the world-renowned Cinecitta Studios in Rome itself have a startlingly authentic feel. Every penny of the $100 million-plus budget is apparent on screen and was well worth spending.
Speaking of which, my TiVo is already set for the next episodes. Looks like Sundays will be well worth spending here, too.
209 out of 226 people found the following review useful:
a feast for the eyes!, 21 September 2005
Author: J5iftY5iveXtreme from none of your business
HBO's "Rome" is perhaps one of the best historical TV shows there ever
was and one of the best HBO has ever produced.
Set during the first century B.C., this TV show tells the tale of two Romans serving in the army, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pollo. Vorenus in a strict, humorless and hard-working centurion, expecting his troops to obey him and is a loyal citizen of Rome. Pollo is muscular, carefree, party-loving, and womanizing, yet he is also a faithful, trustworthy friend, loyal companion, and overall lovable character. These two military men serve in Julius Caesar's army and live during a time of turmoil in Rome.
Originally planned as a TV miniseries, "Rome" has become an actual TV show. This TV show is mostly fictional, but it incorporates historical characters like Caesar, Pompey, Cato, Mark Anthony, and Atia, the most of Octavian, soon to become Rome's first emperor, Augustus. It is a time when the Roman Republic is corrupt, and high-ranking Romans like Julius Caesar and Pompey fight for power. The historical events in Rome are told thru the eyes of Vorenus and Pollo.
The script is intelligent and realistic, with some profanity, violence, and decadence. Unlike most portrayals of Rome, which tend to be clean and sanitize things, this is a graphic portrayal of Ancient Rome, complete with drunkards, brawlers, womanizers, prostitutes, adulterers, fornication, and loads of sexual acts. This TV series do not attempt to hide the dirty aspects of the Roman Empire. Rather, it is a honest depiction of the Empire, portraying its decadence and wickedness.
As for the production, one word - great! The sets are huge and realistic, with the viewer feeling as if he/she is in the middle of the scene. The costumes, too, are realistic and accurate. The sets, props, and costumes, etc. show signs of research. The actors and actresses did a great job, too, portraying their characters realistically.
Overall, this is a great series. I will be expecting more seasons of this.
185 out of 215 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful for history buffs and common viewers alike!, 29 August 2005
Author: fritzofgalatia from United States
Even though there has been only one episode so far, I have to say that "Rome" looks to be the best production of ancient Rome I have seen yet. Yes, Gladiator was a cool movie, but it lacked was historical accuracy. "Rome" has brought together what no one though possible: historical accuracy and good production. Octavian is an snide little wimp, but with political brilliance. Marc Antony is an arrogant and drunken man who has a love for brutality. Caesar is cunning and insightful. It's all there! The costuming is great, the dialog is crisp, the character interaction spot on and the plot flows smoothly. What more could you want!? This series is far and above that ABC knock-off "Empire", which couldn't even get Roman troops in proper costume. Every penny of this record-budget ($12 million for 12 episodes I think) series was well spent.
143 out of 164 people found the following review useful:
Rome for the First Time, 29 August 2005
Author: kjs99 from LA
Great. Loving classical literature and history, and the sometimes ridiculous film genre known as Sword and Sandal, I was thrilled by the first episode - I really feel like I'm getting something very like the grit and feel of the place and the politics for the first time. I've read some stupid comments here that somehow the series is less than authentic because these Romans speak English - and most absurd - that the actors are all too old because the average male died in his 40's. That figure - If true - is skewed tremendously by the fact that many died of childhood maladies that are easily treated today. Many men lived in to their 70's and 80's, especially in the aristocracy. Pompey - one of the oldest in the series - died at something like 58, and his death was anything but natural. Look, some suspension of disbelief is required every time you turn the TV on. I think they've done a great job with this series and I look forward to future episodes.
115 out of 136 people found the following review useful:
Excellent production, 30 August 2005
Author: nvserv from Long Beach CA
After seeing the first episode, the show promises to be an excellent
production showing the civilization and intrigue of the Rome of Julius
Caesar. We can't place our own moral code on these characters. They had
their own, and are shown living it. When your life depended upon
position and knowledge, you did everything you could to put yourself in
the best position possible. In an "about the show" program that I saw
about "Rome", the actress who plays Atia says that she doesn't feel her
character is evil. The character is doing what she has to in order to
keep her position and stay alive in that time. Life was hard, and so
one didn't have the luxury of being soft.
To those who complain about the accents, so what? Why would someone from ancient Rome speak with an Italian accent? Language and dialect evolve over time. Who knows what an ancient Roman accent sounded like? They aren't Italians speaking in English, they are Romans speaking their own Latin dialect. Latin is not Italian. Just ask my old High School Latin teacher. We just happen to have the movie magic version of a Universal Translator, so we can understand them.
The sets are perfect, showing a bustling city, full of activity. To those who complain about them, they have to remember that the ruins of ancient Rome that we see today have been scoured clean by the progression of time. The filmmakers felt that ancient Rome would have been more like Bombay, India, and I tend to agree with them.
The series shows life as it was in those days. I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops further.
129 out of 167 people found the following review useful:
This show is HOT!!!, 13 September 2005
Author: jesseny-1 from United States
Just watched the third episode of ROME and I love it!! I was surprised
to read some of the negative reviews on this forum.
Political intrigue, great acting, sex, violence (the hand to hand type not the I'll shoot ya from a mile away kind), booze, gambling, prostitution, HOT HOT women, macho guys, murder, what's there not to like?!
Not to go into all the details, but getting to know the characters is crucial. And after three episodes, We know the players. The actors are real good, thanks to the producers to go and get real actors not some pretty boy talentless losers. I read that the actors were mostly Brits and that is key. Most American Actors wouldn't be able to pull off the roles. Some of the acting is flawed but hey, it's a TV show and a darn good one. Being a history buff and after watching Collin Farrell and Angelina Jolie embarrass themselves in Alexander and Brad Pitt in Troy, Rome is quite a refreshing period piece.
Liking a TV show has a lot to do with connecting with the characters. And there are a lot of them, about 12 main characters.1st of all Polly Walker as Atia is incredible!! This show was made for her. She's so hot and devious, and cunning, and okay hot, and such a strong personality, absolutely radiant woman, Wow.Then there's Ray Stevenson as Titus, he's like a Bullet Tooth Tony from Snatch. Macho, whoring, gambler type, a mans' man tough guy. Kevin McKidd is real good as a complex quiet type. Really good cast of fine actors. Indira Varma (plays Niobe)- SIZZLING HOT and she can act a little too. Not to mention Ciaran Hinds, he plays Caesar, absolutely believable, thank goodness. Kenneth Cranham (Pompey)-Fine, the actor that plays Cato (Karl Johnson)is also good.
The set is legit. I feel like we're in Rome and not some Hollywood Movie set. I'm not sure if they're are using 3D MAx (or some other computer engineered set) but it works.
Then there's the story line. A lot of evil doings going on and political maneuvering, love affairs of course, surely Rome was like that 2000 years ago! Obviously they have their history consultants, they are using the names of real people of Rome who lived 50 BC or there abouts and of course most is fictionalized to entertain us, so the plots are thick.
Anyway, thumbs up from me, THIS IS A DON'T MISS SHOW.
137 out of 183 people found the following review useful:
Don't listen to the Naysayers, 14 September 2005
Author: Salvatore Serio from United States
Having watched the first three episodes, I am anxiously looking forward
to seeing the rest of the episodes. All of the intrigue that was Rome
is presented well, considering that no one involved lived during that
time that could give accurate details on Roman life. For that matter,
all historical presentations that are over a hundred years old are
filled in with speculation and assumption and for that no one can
discredit the attempts at accuracy.
For all of the naysayers, listen well. You complain that the show is full of pointelss dialogue. Rome was one of the first political empires to exist. When you have a Senate, it becomes very political. As for the accuracies to design, as I said, we can only speculate in accordance to available artifacts, as to how the place really looked. The designs do look as I picture in my own mind. Another complaint that I saw was about the sex with one such comment relating Rome to "Skinimax". The fact is this is set prior to Christian corruption, shunning the act of sex. So yes, there was a lot of it.
95 out of 125 people found the following review useful:
Excellent mini series, 4 September 2005
Author: stpatric from United States
I have watched both of the first two episodes and I am very impressed,
and look forward to seeing all 12. So far this is the best mini series
that I have seen in years. If the next ten episodes are as good as
these two, then I will rate this series right up there with Roots,
Centennial, and Lonesome Dove. I guess that dates me somewhat, doesn't
I agree with all of the other many positive comments on this series. There are still people out there who enjoy intelligent programing, instead of all these mindless sitcoms and reality shows. I too am a history buff, and enjoy the authenticity that this series projects to the viewer, as opposed to just more Hollywood glitter like that abominable "ALEXANDER".
100 out of 136 people found the following review useful:
Senatus populesque Romanae!, 29 August 2005
Author: Chris Swanson (email@example.com) from Phoenix, AZ
This series is off to a stellar start! I was VERY impressed by the first episode. True, a great many characters were introduced, but what do you expect? You have to get the pieces onto the board before the game can begin. I'm really looking forward to where it goes. I'm a history buff with a fascination for Greek/Roman/Byzantine history. "Alexander" was dreadful. I couldn't even watch the first episode of "Empire" without turning it off. But this... this looks good. Now let's get a movie based on Turteltaub's fine book "Justinian". All in all fantastic. I hear that it's only a mini-series slated for twelve episodes. That's a pity. I'd like to see a regular series set in this world. Excellent all around to everyone involved!
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