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"Empire" (2005)
19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
It's not history, it's entertainment!, 6 July 2005

Other commentaries have criticized this series for its historical inaccuracies. Well, it was not presented as a documentary. The critical question in reviewing any film or mini-series is "Is it entertaining?" This series is entertaining. It is presented well. The sets are excellent. The acting is far better than most television fare. The two most engrossing character portrayals are Cassius (Michael Maloney) and Tyrannus (Jonathan Cake). Those two and some of the lesser roles carry the film. Cassius is the most believable villain since Hannibal Lecter. If you enjoy good acting, Mr. Maloney's performance alone makes the series worth watching. The central character, Octavius (Santiago Cabrera) is not strong enough to create an interest for the viewer, think of Colin Farrell in Alexander. The viewer will be far more concerned with the fate of Tyrannus than that of Octavius. Other performances are so strong as to emphasize the weakness of the lead. However, only the first three episodes have been shown to date, and at this point Octavius is only a 17-year-old kid. Perhaps the weakness is an actor's or director's choice and should not be mistaken as a weak performance. As the character grows into Augustus will the performance seem stronger? Time will tell. Until then, pop some corn and enjoy the entertainment.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The 1953 version is better., 1 July 2005

The acting is superb, the best asset of the film. Ms. Fanning's abilities are far ahead of her age. She is amazing. It's her film. We should definitely see more of Jason Chatwin. Cruise and Robbins are, as always, engrossing two watch. This film certainly is not up to the director's standards. Nor is the music up to the standards of the composer. At times it is intrusive. The special effects were OK, but nothing new. The film drags in places and the ending is so predictable and so unsatisfying. It is worth renting the DVD, which will probably be out soon, but it isn't worth $8-$10 since nothing requires that you see it on a big screen. If the 1953 version is available on DVD I think you will enjoy it more.