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Centurion
BLU-RAY disk
11.11.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Centurion order download
Director:
Neil Marshall

Actors:
Michael Fassbender
Dominic West
Olga Kurylenko

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Romeís War with northern Britain has become a long and bloody stalemate that must end one way or another. Having no more patience to give, Rome dispatches its famed Ninth Legion to wipe out the Picts once and for all. Little do they know theyíre marching straight into a trap.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The Roman Empire never seems to run out of tales of valour, ambition, greed and violence and I for one keep eagerly coming back for more and more. GLADIATOR, KING ARTHUR, HBOís ROME and this past yearís SPARTACUS BLOOD AND SAND were but some of the recent treks through Rome and Iíve enjoyed them all. The story of the Ninth Legion was unknown to me before now but suffice to say CENTURION brings about a different take not on Rome per say but on the typical ďRome crushing its enemiesĒ storylines weíve seen numerous times in the past making this film an unexpected treat.

Itís not very often you see the good guys get their asses handed to them on this large a scale but thatís the tone of this film and it begins rather abruptly and then mercilessly continues until the very end. I dug that completely because I didnít see it coming (though I probably would have had I read the back of the box). The Picts were a relentless enemy; fearless, brutal and above all else cunning in battle. Watching them fight was awesome indeed but like I said, a little overwhelming when it came to the beat down they were giving out. It was a refreshing change of pace however, and as time wore on I found myself almost wanting to root for them (which wasnít hard considering the Romans were a bit of a mixed bag).

These Roman soldiers werenít like Arthur and his knights aside from the general (Dominic West) and our lone survivor of the first Pict raid, Quintus Dias. The rest of their merry band of soldiers were about half and half when it came down to the question of hero or villain and thatís the main reason I didnít really care if any of them got hurt. This was an interesting role for Bond babe Olga Kurylenko as not only did she kick all sorts of ass and take all sorts of names but due to a Roman ďaccidentĒ she ended up with no tongue and as a result says nothing the entire film. I was okay with this though as she was deadly as hell with a spear and looking just as hot as ever.

CENTURION wasnít the best Roman based film Iíve ever seen but it was entertaining and an original enough take on things to come across as relevant rather than milking a tired story. The landscapes used here are breathtaking and shot extremely well (I guess director Neil Marshall can shoot landscapes equally as well as caves). And if youíre looking for epic battle sequences overflowing with lots of blood, decapitations and random chunks of flesh than look no further because thereís lots of that going on here. The tale of the Ninth Legion is definitely worth watching despite having a good idea where the film is going from Jump Street. And if you donít already hate Rome, be prepared to dislike the Romans just a little more.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Director Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT) who both wrote and directed the film is joined by some of his production crew for this commentary that explores the myth and legends behind the disappearance of the famed Ninth Legion. Everyone on board are tremendous fans of the Roman history and loved getting the chance to tell this interesting story.

Blood, Fire & Fury: Behind the Scenes of Centurion: Here the cast and crew share their takes on the myths and legends surrounding the filmís story and then go full tilt into the battle sequences, effects and stunts as well as how they all came together. The battles here were brutally awesome.

Deleted Scenes: This seven minutes doesnít have a hell of a lot of substance so itís no surprise to me that they were cut, though the Roman higher ups bickering about their losses could have stayed in.

Outtakes: Well, these were definitely outtakes and not a blooper reel and as a result are not very interesting. Interviews: Here we have six interviews with the director and cast that are short and sweet to promote the film. It was cool to actually hear Olga talk here as she says nothing all movie which was a bit of a drag.

Behind the Scenes Footage: This is just over ten minutes of watching the crew film the movie and watching Dominic West try to look cool. Thereís also a look at some rough production designs, props and gallery stills.

Previews: Here we get some trailers for other Magnolia titles coming soon to Blu-ray as well as some HD-Net content. This Blu-ray also features a Digital Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I love a good flick about war and bloody battles and will never tire of hearing more and more about Romeís gigantic ego. This isnít the big budget extravaganza most of us are used to when it comes to these types of films but I guarantee itís worth watching even if you only watch it once.
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