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Rome - The Complete First Season

Drama, Military & War, and Television movie directed by Allen Coulter, Michael Apted, and Timothy Van Patten

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Like a Roman Mirror to our faces

  • Sep 5, 2006
  • by
This is a geat production. As other reviews have noted, the actors and acting are first rate, the production values are superb, and the soundtrack alarmingly lifelike at times. So if you love eye candy, great sound, incredible drama, and wonderful sets and costumes, by all means buy it. I salute all the talents and crafts that came together to create it. On a decent home theater with a well-calibrated plasma or other monitor, this will truly knock your socks off.

What I find most amazing, on a fourth viewing (second of the DVD set), is that it is like a Roman mirror, which as is shown and explained were made of polished, hammered metal. They were not totally reflective nor polished, nor were they smooth, so everything was a reflected sufficiently to comprehend, but also blurred and distorted. In many ways, modern Western culture is still a concious reflection of Roman history, as a look at most of our entertainment and sports, and our legal system will confirm.

Simultaneously, Roman culture of this period is so alien as to become almost like a dream where the familiar (violence, sex, laws, individual lust for power or glory, family loyalty) become bizarrely twisted. Religious devotion becomes a desperate attempt to understand which God may have the jurisdiction over a particular situation and how that God can be momentarily appeased. Compassion and caring become weakness (and folly). Reaction to crime is not gauged on the event, but inspires shock or revulsion based on differences in status (free, high status, slave, barbarian) between the perpetrator and the victim. The happiness of children or other members is sacrificed without compunction to ambitions to improve family or individual status.

It is far more wonderful and terrifying than anything Hollywood ever "knocked off" about Rome, and can keep you awake at night thinking about similarities and differences between then and now.

If I had seen this in my teens, I would have majored in Ancient History.

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More Rome - The Complete First Seas... reviews
review by . April 01, 2008
Lucius Vorenus
I missed Rome when it was first showing on HBO, and I am glad I waited for the DVD release, since each episode is so good, I end up finished the whole season in a few sittings.    The first season focuses on the events in the late Roman repulic and leading up to Julius Caesar's Assassination, it's not the usual TV/movie about Rome that just show the grandiose vista and battles, it more focuses on the political intrigue, and the transformation of Rome from the viewpoint of two …
review by . May 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Superb acting, incredible sets, very well written.     Cons: It only went for two seasons. DANG.     The Bottom Line: One of the best history shows I've ever seen. Some situations are very mature and not suited for children.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I'm a natural sucker for a show like this. I'm an art history nerd who was HBO lonely after Carnivale ended.      …
review by . August 08, 2006
HBO takes risks, thank goodness, and this series ROME is a fine example of how far a television project can go toward the movie industry and still maintain interest when broken into weekly installments. There may be a number of quibbles from Latin scholars and historians as to the veracity of it all, but ROME is not a documentary: ROME is a novel played out in Grand Guignol fashion with a sterling cast and a creative production crew.    The action takes place in 52 BC and allows …
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Ranked #1075
Ilive in a small town in East Texas, where I'm happily married, work in a intereting job, but still try to find time to indulge passions for cooking and dining, music, the arts, and reading. I mix and … more
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About this movie


Stills from Rome (click for larger image)



A generously budgeted show jointly produced by HBO and the BBC, ROME takes viewers back to 52 BC for a chance to relive the reign of Julius Caesar. The first season revolves around the lives of two Roman soldiers, Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson), who win favor with Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) by defeating a mutinous plot from the devious Pompey Magnus (Kenneth Cranham). This affords the two men a gateway into the lives of Rome's ruling classes, and so the season unfolds, with intricately woven plots, fine acting, and stunning recreations of the ancient city, to provide a thoroughly engrossing television show. Details have been painstakingly pored over to ensure accuracy, so both history buffs and viewers less versed in the ways of Caesar should find something to enjoy here. This release contains the entire first season of the show.
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Release Date: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (August 15, 2006)
Runtime: 619 minutes
Studio: Hbo Home Video
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