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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
"Spare a though for poor, old Sean", 15 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up on a train; a beautiful woman sits opposite him telling him she has taken his advice, but Colter does not know her. He rushes into the bathroom to throw some cold water on his face and when he sees his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he doesn't recognise the face staring back at him. Within a few minutes, the train explodes and everyone on board is killed, except for Colter Stevens. Stevens then finds himself trapped in what looks to be a crashed military plane. A woman in an Air Force officer's uniform speaks to him through a console, asking him if he remembers who he is, and more importantly, if he remembers his mission.

"This is not time travel. This is time re-assignment." (Dr. Rutledge, Jeffrey Wright)

Colter is reliving the last 8 minutes of Sean Fentress' life. Sean was killed with everyone else on a Chicago train that morning. These people are dead. This has happened and according to Colter's supervisors, cannot be changed. Colter Stevens cannot save these people.

"Any soldier I've ever served with would say that one death is service enough." (Colter Stevens)

A terrorist was responsible for the bomb and has threatened to set off another dirty bomb in a highly populated area of Chicago. Colter must relive the last 8 minutes of Sean's life, again and again, until he finds the bomber so that the second explosion can be stopped. In short, Colter must change the past to save the future.

Is it just me, or whenever you see a train in a suspenseful movie, do you think Hitchcock? The movie begins with a sweeping aerial shot of Chicago and some very Hitch-style music in the background. The director may get a bit of a criticism for this. It seems these days, everyone borrows from Hitchcock. I think if you are going to be influenced by someone, why not be influenced by the great auteur? Especially if you are given a script where a lot of the action takes place on a train. As a filmmaker, you must be practically compelled to give a nod to Hitchcock. See it not as rip–off but as a homage.

"It's the same train but different." (Colter Stevens)

When you have repeat scenarios in a movie, they can seem dull and repetitive, and it is very hard to show the same set-up over and over again while managing to make it fresh and interesting. However, Source Code Director, Duncan Jones, and writer, Ben Ripley, have used humour and character to make the film seem fresh and interesting, and have also kept the running time to just over 90 minutes, so that the repeat scenario is not too laboured

In a quirky aside, Duncan Jones, the director, must really love Chesney Hawkes. In Moon, Duncan Jones' directorial debut, he used the One and Only, - Chesney Hawkes one-hit-wonder- as the alarm music, and in this film, he uses the song as Christina Warren's (Michelle Monaghan) ring-tone for an ex-boyfriend. You would think the son of David Bowie would have more high-brow musical tastes. However, this song does fit on both occasions and hammers home what the director is trying to say – if the song makes it into his third film, this might just be his trademark. Also, near the beginning of the movie, I noticed that Jake Gyllenhaal looks in the mirror and sees another face staring back at him. This screams Quantum Leap. So, it was nice to see the director acknowledging this by giving Scott Bakula a brief, but important, cameo. I like directors making little personal touches like this, it gives something for us movie geeks to talk about and it suggests to me that a director is not just making a film for a paycheck but it is more a labour of love.

The cast are all superb: Michelle Monaghan gives warmth and a personality to a character that is basically incidental; Jeffrey Wright is suitably callous as an "end justifies the means" villain; and Vera Farmiga plays Colleen Goodwin, with just the right amount of stoic pathos to make you like her. But above all, Jake Gyllenhaal shines in this movie. He is beginning to garner a reputation as an actor whose movies are a cut above the rest of the usual tripe that floods the cinemas. Prince of Persia is, of course, the exception that proves the rule.

Throughout the movie a sense of doom hangs over Colter Stevens and everyone else on the train. However, the movie does not end as you would expect, and after it is over, you will either love the ending or hate it. Some people will think it is too complicated and others will blast it for being a bit of a cop-out. It is an ending that will pique your interest and give you a chance to develop your own theory as to what actually happened. It is not Inception complicated, as some people are claiming. You may need a second watch to really grasp what was going on, but that would be about it.

"Everything's gonna' be okay." Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan)

If you like a bit of J.J. Abrams Fringe, you will like Source Code. If you have a doctorate in physics, you may scoff at the idea of it, but as far as I am concerned, Source Code ticks all the boxes as Sci-Fi actioners go. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It has wit, personality, breath-taking action sequences and an ending that you will probably want to chat to your friends about. What more do you want? Grab yourself some popcorn, suspend your disbelief, then sit back, relax and enjoy.

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
"All was well.", 13 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love Harry Potter and I'm not ashamed to admit it. From Platform 9 ¾ to Quidditch to that trusty old Invisibility Cloak, I love it all. In fact, I think I'm still struggling to get over the non-delivery of my own Hogwarts letter. But they say that all good things must come to an end, and so I regrettably find myself here – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 - the final installment in the Harry Potter franchise, a movie that I was both beyond excited about and dreading all at the same time.

Last time we saw Harry and Co. things weren't looking too hot – The Ministry had fallen, the search for the Horcruxes wasn't going exactly to plan, and You-Know-Who had finally gotten his grubby hands on the all-powerful Elder Wand. Part 2 follows on perfectly from where the first installment of The Deathly Hallows left off, whereas the first half was all about building up the tension, this half is all action all the time.

All the main characters we've come to know and love (or hate in some cases) return for the final farewell. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson play Harry, Ron and Hermione to perfection, as they all come into their own during this last part of the tale – through bravery, love, grief and fate we watch as their characters become the people we knew they were always destined to be. Radcliffe has always done a great job of portraying The Chosen One, but in his final outing he is particularly brilliant. Helen McCrory is great as Draco Malfoy's mother, Narcissa, who manages to endear herself to the audience as, when it matters most, she finally seems to do the right thing. Helena Bonham Carter remains flawless as the excellently evil Bellatrix, especially in the scene where she is actually playing Hermione impersonating herself. However, it was Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom who gave my favourite performance of them all, he's definitely come a long way from that bumbling kid swinging from the ceiling in The Chamber of Secrets.

The Snape Saga has been a major feature of the entire series - is he good? Is he bad? Does he possess the most dulcet tones of all time? Let's be honest, until the whole Dumbledore incident at the end of The Half Blood Prince it never seemed all that clear whose side he was really on. In Part 2 we finally find out exactly what Snape has been up too, why he said the things he said and why he did the things he did - and in a movie that is full of poignant moments, the most poignant may be when the heartbreaking truth about him is finally revealed.

Most of the film is centered around The Battle of Hogwarts, which is nothing short of a bloodbath, and, as anyone who has read the book will know, not everyone makes it out alive. At times it does make uncomfortable viewing - Hogwarts was the place that was always safe, it was always the shining beacon during even the darkest of times, and so to watch it turned to rubble isn't easy.

Of course the main crescendo of the movie is the final showdown between the artist formally known as Tom Riddle and The Boy Who Lived, as they finally finish what was started all those years before. This is what we've been waiting for from the start, this is what we knew would happen eventually and the movie does a brilliant job of reminding us that Harry's entire life had been leading to this moment. Thankfully when the moment does come it is every bit as spectacular as it needed to be.

As with all the Potter movies that have come before it, the special effects in Part 2 are great, and again they have created Harry's world perfectly. Throughout the series the adaptations have always stayed pretty true to the books and this one is no exception to that rule, and I don't think those who have read the books will be disappointed with how the finale is brought to life.

And so, it all ends … but does it really? As a very wise woman said last week, 'no story lives unless someone wants to listen … the stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen – Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.'

-Lauren, Spinetinglers

BackWoods (2006)
18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Unfortunately, a bit of a confusing mess., 27 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While holidaying in the Basque region of Spain, two couples discover a child whose hands are severely misshapen. The child has been gravely mistreated, and, as a result, cannot communicate. The two couples reluctantly decide to rescue her and report her circumstances to the authorities. However, severe weather and the denseness of the forest surrounding their holiday home make it impossible for them to make a quick getaway. Soon, the local inhabitants become aware that the girl is missing, and they rightly suspect the holiday-makers of taking her. Suspicions and paranoia begin to fester, and it isn't long before violence erupts. The villagers demand the little girl's return, and her rescuers refuse to give her up. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues, making a return to normalcy impossible for everyone involved.

The premise for The Backwoods is an intriguing one. The idea of how quickly basic human instincts make situations spiral out of control, is nearly always used to good effect in movies. For any writer/director, this concept opens up a myriad of opportunities to shock, as well as to fascinate. This fact probably accounts for why this device is a much-overused set piece. Films of this genre, when well executed, are guaranteed, at the very least, cult-classic status (e.g., Deliverance and Straw Dogs). However, when poorly executed, the resultant films can resemble a confusing, farcical mess. Unfortunately, The Backwoods is an example of the latter.

The Backwoods starts off well, trying to develop the main characters, before violence eventually erupts. However, what we have learned of their character in the initial scenes gives us little insight as to why the characters react as they do to the situation they are dealt. For example, Oldman's character, Paul, is the only one of the four main characters who is thoroughly determined to save the girl. At no time does he falter, even when he could save his life by telling the villagers where the disfigured girl is. This character trait does not hold true, because, up to this point, his character has appeared arrogant and overbearing, with little or no regard for those around him. Having said this, the four leads all give solid, believable performances, and, for the most part, cover up, rather than expose, the inconsistencies in their characters' nature.

Apart from flaws in the development of central characters, this movie has other problems. First, the deformity that the little girl has seems too ludicrous to be believable. If you have ever seen Batman Returns, and you remember the misshapen hands that The Penguin had, you will get the idea. As a viewer, the fact that the little girl has "Penguin hands" makes it hard to take her plight seriously. And finally, the main reason why this movie is farcical rather than stimulating is the movie styles to which it chooses to pay homage. I can understand the stylish, 1970s-vibe it tries to recreate, and I can also appreciate the nods directed toward Peckinpah and Boorman. But, what I can't understand is why the writer and director chose to insert a Sergio Leone-style climactic scene. Up until the final scene, the movie has tried to be dark and thought-provoking. Up until the final moments it has tried to teach the audience something about the human psyche; it has failed miserably, but it has tried. And then, all of the sudden, ten minutes before the end, you have a man-on-man gunfight, reminiscent of a spaghetti western. This ultimate fight appears to be forced and is very much out of place. The only thing that links this final scene to what has preceded it, is the fact that the ultimate scene's outcome is as confusing and pointless as the rest of the movie.

In short, The Backwoods is a jumbled mess, which is full of inconsistencies in character, plot, and style. The only factor that rescues The Backwoods from being a complete disaster are the proficient performances of its lead actors. If you want to watch a film that explores basic human instincts, why not try Magnolia Pictures', The Signal. You will find that film a lot more entertaining and a lot less confusing than this shambolic piece of film-making.

In Bruges (2008)
15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
"Maybe that's what hell is, an entire eternity spent In Bruges.", 25 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a contract killing goes disastrously wrong, two hit men are told by their boss, the foul-mouthed Harry, to hide out in Bruges. So they head for Bruges, even though they have no idea why they have been sent there, or even where Bruges is. It's in Belgium. In Bruges, the two hit men are forced to come to terms with their own inner demons, and they are doomed to face the consequences of their actions.

It is easy to spot that Martin McDonagh, the writer and director of In Bruges, is heavily influenced by Quentin Tarantino. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the type of movie Tarantino would have made, had he been born in Dublin and not Knoxville, Tennessee. Every Tarantino trademark, from the Mexican standoff to the retrospective storytelling, is brilliantly executed in this film. In addition, the use of piquant and pervading dialogue to build McDonagh's characters and drive the narrative is also superbly executed. Tarantino would be proud. However, this film is not just another Quentin Tarantino knockoff by a British director. Apart from the obvious nods to Tarantino, there are other elements that make this an interesting and distinctly entertaining film. The film is shot on location in Bruges, a small, picturesque town in Belgium, of which most people probably have never heard. Bruges is portrayed as a town steeped in history and religious lore. And, despite Farrell's character, Ray, saying it is a "s******e" at every possible opportunity, Bruges looks quite exquisite on the big screen. If it is to be the last place you see before you die, it is definitely a beautiful place to go.

Another key ingredient of this exemplary film is the tour de force performances by the three leads and supporting cast. Colin Farrell, in my opinion, has never really lived up to his early promise. Farrell has had more misses than hits, but his performance in In Bruges shows that he has impeccable comic timing and can also deliver a performance that is, at the same time, both subtle and poignant. Gleason is superb, as usual, as the older and wiser hit-man, who cannot bring himself to punish Farrell's character for his gruesome mistake. And, finally, Ralph Fiennes drops the repressed upper-class-Englishman guise that he usually adopts and plays the frenetic, foul-mouthed gangster with gusto.

In Bruges does get very dark at times, for a film that is billed as a comedy; thus, some viewers will be put off. But, I believe its propensity to shock you one minute and make you laugh the next is one of the film's strongest qualities. Although the writer-director was born in London, it is obvious that there are many strong Irish influences in his life. And, these Irish influences are very evident in his writing.

In Bruges, is a darkly comic film, with lashings of Catholic guilt throughout. Its strength lies in its outstanding characterisations and its ultra-sharp dialogue. In Bruges is an example of screen writing at its finest and the film is destined to become a classic. Even better still, it is a first-rate advertisement for the city of Bruges. And, after watching the film, I know I want to go there!

Zodiac (2007)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Four Men, One Obsession: Who is the Zodiac?, 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On December 20th, 1968, Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau are shot. Darlene dies and Mike lives. Seven months later, the San Francisco Chronicle receives a letter in which the writer claims he is Darlene's killer and intends to kill again. This letter would not only terrify the public, but would start an obsession for four men. This obsession would ruin marriages and careers. For the next two decades, these four men were fixated on one question, one that would never be completely answered, a question that may, within itself, be just as dangerous as finding the answer: Who is the Zodiac? Zodiac is a superb film that is as realistic and authentic as a film based on actual events film can be. It is filled with characters who can only be inspired by actual people. The film boasts an excellent cast, with every actor contributing scintillating performances. Robert Downey, Jr., is charismatic and quirky as Paul Avery, bringing this character to life, as the audience witnesses his descent from a funny and brilliant ace reporter to a practically unemployable alcoholic. Anthony Edwards is pensive and understated as the cop who cannot handle the pressure of an unsolved case. Mark Ruffalo's Detective Dave Toschi is a determined and streetwise cop whose frustration almost consumes him, as each lead produces insufficient evidence to charge a suspect. Finally, Jake Gyllenhaal's Robert Graysmith is funny and heartwarming as the cartoonist-turned-amateur-sleuth, who comes the closest to solving the crime.

The director, David Fincher, is masterful at bringing the dark and macabre to the screen and he does not disappoint with Zodiac. The attacks are not as dark or elaborate as those seen in his previous film, Se7en, yet the director still manages to portray each murder as cold, callous, and shocking. The story is brilliantly told in chronological order, starting with the first victims. We see what starts off as a routine murder investigation grow out of control, as two detectives and two reporters become consumed by the hunt for the Zodiac murderer. These four stories are presented in a way that seems believable and genuine. Their obsession seems to leap off the screen and touch its audience. As the film progresses, the viewer also becomes obsessed with the pursuit of the killer. However, this pursuit is not going to end with Harry Callahan shooting the killer dead. There is no neat Hollywood ending to this film; it will not answer all of your questions. In fact, you will find yourself asking that same question – Who is the Zodiac? The DVD extras contain the usual mix of trailers, but it also contains a "featurette" on the making of the movie. Fincher fans will love this. If you are not convinced that Fincher strived to create a film that was both authentic and unbiased, you will be after watching this insight into his process. The Zodiac DVD is available for purchase on September 24th.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The dead should stay dead - didn't you see Pet Sematary?, 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After witnessing the death of their mother by paranormal means, (she was sucked up into the ceiling and then burst into flames) two brothers, Sam and Dean, travel all over America to avenge her death. They hunt demons, ghosts and whatever else they can find in the hope that they will eventually capture and kill the demon responsible for their mother's demise.

Supernatural is one of the shows that is destined to follow in the footsteps of Buffy and X files, becoming a truly great dark fiction series. Season Two opens following the explosive Season One Finale. The Winchesters (Sam, Dean and their father John) are all in hospital recovering from a violent car crash. Sam and John are recovering well; however, Dean awakens only to find that he is having an out of body experience and is likely to die. Never fear, Dad comes to the rescue and makes a deal with someone that you should never make deals with (did the story of Faust teach us nothing).

John Winchester exchanges his life for Dean's and with his last breath whispers into Dean's ear that someday he may have to kill his brother because Sam has a destiny that definitely will be tainted with darkness. As the two brothers try to figure out what will happen to Sam and if they can stop it, they embark on a series of scary, humorous and entertaining adventures. Armed with shotguns filled with rock salt they encounter everything from Psycho Carnies in Clown Suits to Dead chicks that can run.

In the first part of Season Two we meet a few new characters, the best of which is Ash, a redneck MIT dropout who is all business up front and a party in the back. I hope that he will become a series regular, as he is a witty and welcome addition to the cast. We also learn a bit more about Sam's destiny as the first part of Season Two is full of intriguing hints about revelations to come.

The first Season of Supernatural was a great watch and the first part of Season Two does not disappoint. Therefore, if you love programmes that are filled with movie references and story lines that are steeped in myth and legend, you will love Supernatural.

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Zod is Coming…, 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Clark Kent is back; armed with only super powers and flannel shirts, can he save the world from Zod…? In season 5 of Smallville, Lana Lang and Clark Kent finally get it together. Clark, who has temporarily lost his powers, feels he can finally be honest with Lana. However, their happiness is be short-lived as Clark's powers are restored, and he is forced into lying to her again. Needless to say, their on/off relationship is now off, again. But don't worry too much about Lana - Lex is there to console her… Clark, however, has other things to worry him, such as Milton Fine, a liquid-metal shape shifter (T1000 anyone?) who is putting into play a villainous scheme to bring back Zod, Krypton's version of a genocidal maniac.

Season 5, in my opinion, has tried to be to be a little bit different from other seasons of Smallville, and not necessarily to its detriment. Quite a few of the episodes are movie pastiches; the most blatant would be Mercy, which is an obvious pastiche of the Saw movies. There are many other movie tributes this season; for example, Carrie and Stir of Echoes are touched upon, to name but a few. I love movie references, personally: recognising them is the only time that I, as a total movie geek, can feel superior to others, and it is also the only time when I know that all those hours watching low-budget horror flicks has not been wasted!?! But the homage does not stop at the movies for this season. One episode has a vampire called Buffy Saunders, who Lana just has to slay, and there's a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet in another – very highbrow for what is quintessentially a teenage drama.

For those among you who aren't distracted by allusions to other forms of popular culture, there is plenty to entertain in this season's Smallville. Lex is as shady and charismatic as usual, Chloe and Clark kiss, and Lois is her angst-filled, no- nonsense self.

Like all the other seasons of Smallville, this show owes more to programmes like X Files than it does to the original Superman comics, with the supernatural rather than the extraterrestrial element penetrating every episode. But don't lose heart, Sci-Fi fans: Zod is coming; therefore, I can only imagine that season 6 will be steeped in Superman mythology.

Sleepers (1996)
Father Bobby would have made a good "hit-man." It's a shame we lost him to the other side., 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A journalist and a lawyer conspire together to get two brutal assassins acquitted of their most recent murder. What the world does not know is that their latest victim, Sean Nokes, tortured and raped these four men as boys. When Nokes was killed, these men were exacting their revenge for years of torment. When this movie was first released, there was a lot of controversy over whether it was a true story or not. No one really knows how much of the story is true, if any of it. I tend to step back from this argument, as I believe that it doesn't really matter. If it is true, it's a great story; and if it isn't, it still is a terrific marketing device and a great story. Sleepers is an excellent film. The plot is beautifully knitted together by a clever narrative. The events depicted on screen are, at times, hard to watch, but are brilliantly woven into a fascinating and complicated plot. The dialogue in this movie is tremendous, and the men and women of Hell's Kitchen come gloriously to life through witty turns of phrase and poignant drama. The performances are sublime. Robert De Niro makes one of the "coolest" priests I have ever seen on screen, and Brad Pitt portrays a greatly disheartened and troubled lawyer. (This proves once again my own personal theory that Pitt is fantastic when he is not the lead.) Sleepers is a movie full of anguish, remorse, and bloody, cleverly-plotted revenge. Sleepers will make you shed a tear; it will make you wince at its brutality; and, it will make you cheer on the most violent and brutal of assassins, as they are acquitted of a murder they did commit.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Try to Avoid This Rush Hour, 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lee and Carter are no Riggs and Murtaugh! An attempt on the Chinese Ambassador's life is made just as he is about to reveal the names of the Triad leaders. While the ambassador is lying in the hospital, Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) and Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) promise his daughter that they will catch the man who attempted to assassinate her father. Lee and Carter travel to Paris to save the girl, solve the crime and catch the bad guy.

The story goes that this film was not released in China because they only can release a certain number of Western films per year and they had reached their quota. Also, the other reason they gave for not releasing a film in which China's biggest star appears was that the Chinese censors found Chris Tucker's character offensive. When I heard this, I thought it was just another case of political correctness gone mad and it couldn't possibly be that bad. After seeing the movie, however, I have to agree. I wish it had not been released here either.

The movie only runs just under 90 minutes (thankfully). The stunts are nothing spectacular and the comedy set pieces are below average. In fact, the funniest part of the movie is the blooper reel at the end, which would lead me to believe that it is not the fault of the leads that the movie is not really that funny or engaging. The blame should lie firmly at the feet of the writers.

With my saying all of this, I am sure fans of the series will turn out to see it in droves; yet, I can't help but think that most will find this the weakest in the series. But don't worry, Rush Hour 4 is on its way. I am sure it will be better – well, let's face it, it couldn't be any worse.

"Rome" (2005)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Glorious Filth!, 27 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Revenge, treacherous intrigues, incest, betrayals, bloody violence, corrupting power, and explicit sex all contribute to the glory of Rome. Rome delights viewers by giving them a delicious taste of the villainous history of the Roman Empire, between 52 B.C. and 31 B.C.. We see the rise and bloody fall of Julius Caesar and also the political machinations that followed, between Mark Antony and Gaius Octavian Caesar (Augustus Caesar). The stories of these characters are well-known to most of us, with writers such as William Shakespeare and Robert Graves offering us detailed character portraits. However, this is where Rome strives and succeeds to be different. Rome throws out all of these noble, heroic, and clichéd images and starts afresh. Antony, for example, is portrayed as the ultimate lad, his thirst for excess and vice unrelenting, and he just loves a good barbarous battle. Whereas Octavian is an intelligent and often cruel political strategist, who prefers to sit in his tent as the battle commences. Yet, this rehashing of characters is not all that Rome has to offer, for its genius lies in other quarters. Rome brings to life creatures that are only briefly mentioned by historians, such as Vorenus and Pollo, two soldiers whose exploits are at centre-stage of all the action. And, according to Rome, both men have a profound, if often accidental, influence on Roman history. Vorenus is unintentionally responsible for Julius Caesar's death, and Pollo is responsible for Cleopatra's claim on the Roman Empire. If there are any heroes in Rome, Vorenus and Pollo are the most likely candidates. Vorenus is an honourable soldier, whose dedication to doing the right thing often leads him to ruin and unhappiness. However, Pollo is an entirely different sort of creature. He is just such a lovable, "big-bear," who the viewer can easily forgive the odd, homicidal rampage. Both men are fiercely loyal to each other, even after an argument, and they save each other's lives on numerous occasions. But Rome's "piece de resistance" is without a doubt the character of Atia of the Julii, played by Polly Walker. She is scheming, vengeful, cruel, and, at times, foul-mouthed; you cannot help but adore her. She perceives life to be a series of trivialities sent by the God's to vex her. Only when she realises that she has lost Antony and that her son has become a cold, callous opportunist, just like his mother, do we see a solemn side to Atia's nature. Of course, some will argue that Rome takes considerable liberties with history, but what writer worth their salt would ever let history get in the way of a good story? Rome informs us of the salacious and villainous exploits of Roman nobility, yet it does not forget the Plebs and the Foot Soldiers, who constitute the life-blood of any empire. This epic saga is tantamount to glorious filth, and you will love every violently lecherous minute of it.

In short, Rome is a sumptuous production that sports a superb cast and outstanding writers, and is, quite simply, sublime.

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