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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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The Gory Glory of the Roman Empire

  • Aug 8, 2006
  • by
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 us to understand the power struggles and changes of influence between Pompey Magnus (Kenneth Cranham) who leads the Senate, and Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds). Caesar has returned from his Gallic wars supported by his soldiers such as Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and his somewhat unfaithful wife Niobe (Indira Varma) and Lucius' best friend (and philosophically polar opposite) Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). But the populace and Senate have formed other ideas during Caesar's prolonged absence at war and all manner of intrigues surface, are planned, and are plotted.

There is a generous (some would say excessive) amount of violence and sex spattered about, but then when in Rome.... Some of the supporting cast are particularly fine: Polly Walker is more beautiful (and more evil) than ever as Atia and other small roles are graciously filled with superb actors.

The distractions from the series include the ever-present town crier who periodically catches us up on the history as a media newspaper person in toga. And the opening credits are animated grafitti that become silly and tiresome. But the overall production values are first class and the color of the cinematography is some of the finest seen on television. It is a long song, but it can be taken in digestible pieces. Well worth viewing for a different view of Rome in all its squalid splendor. Grady Harp, August 06

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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 . September 05, 2006
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 …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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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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