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Reviews and SPOILERS

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:09 pm

http://thefilmstage.com/2010/04/28/review-centurion/

[Review] Centurion
Posted on 28 April 2010 by Paul Chambers in Reviews

First things first, this is not a film you want to take your wife/girlfriend/that-girl-you-like-from-the-coffee-shop to the cinema to see. If you have bought tickets for such a purpose, cancel them. Now. Otherwise that girl you like will become ‘the-one-you-once-liked-before-she-thought-you-were-wrong-in-the-head’. Got it? Alright, let’s proceed.

Directed by Neil Marshall, Centurion is a historical thriller set in AD 117 during the Roman occupation of Britain. The Empire is facing resistance from a Celtic tribe known as the Picts, who repel any attempt to invade Caledonia (Scotland). The current governor of Britain, Agricolas (Paul Freeman), decides to dispatch the elite Ninth Legion, led by General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West), to wipe them out once and for all. Joining the Ninth is centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a former captive of the tribe, and Pict-raised scout Etain (Olga Kurylenko). Once they head north however, things go awry.

If the heady Latin names and period setting mean you are expecting sword-and-sandals gravitas along the lines of Gladiator or Spartacus, you’re in for a shock. This is not Oscar-baiting epic material.

Director Marshall definitely does not abide by the philosophy ‘less-is-more’. His is a Grand Guignol outlook, based on questions like ‘Why throw a pint of blood into a scene when you can throw twenty gallons?’ or ‘Why have a run-of-the-mill decapitation when there are plenty of other limbs to be severed, veins to be opened and throats to be slit?’. Battles were a brutal thing and this shouldn’t be skated over, but where other filmmakers may portray the odd one or two graphic slayings to set the tone, he shoves every detail of each into your face. Again and again. And again. And again. And… well you get the idea. We should expect this from the man who brought us the anarchy-fest that was Doomsday, but this time he has clearly decided that loosely basing your film on historical events means you can get away with murder. Several hundred times.

Visceral violence isn’t a problem if the rest of the picture stands up, but it doesn’t. The tone shifts constantly in the dialogue. One minute we are treated to prose that tries to emulate classics like those mentioned above, the next it’s talk you would hear during a drinking session in the pub. The result is that the film sits uneasy.

It’s a shame, as underneath there is a rather decent movie wanting to get out. Had Marshall stuck more strongly with the irreverence, we could have been looking at a hoot close to his cult debut Dog Soldiers, which could have worked well as a two-fingered salute to the epics. Or if he’d dialed-down slightly, it might have been a thriller to rival his sophomore effort The Descent. Unfortunately it flirts with both but doesn’t reach either.

In the pro column Centurion does use it’s £10million budget well, the C-minus opening credit graphics aside. The scenery is spectacular, and Marshall embraces it. Shot entirely within Britain, the terrain is at one point vastly beautiful, the next inhospitable and imposing. It is surely what J.R.R. Tolkien had in mind when creating Middle-Earth. Another plus is that the battle set-pieces are crisp and punchy as well as being frenetic.

Of whatever performances you can find amidst the carnage, Michael Fassbender carries the film but is let down by the script and Dominic West is charismatic though underused as the King Leonidas-light general whose men would readily die to protect. The rest of the cast do what they can but are generally wasted in characters which are faint echoes of others you’ve seen in similar material.

Marshall currently has several projects planned. He will need to reign it in and regain his focus if he’s going to deliver on his early promise.

5 out of 10 (deduct 2 points if you can’t stomach gore)

What did you make of Centurion?
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:12 pm

http://www.geeks.co.uk/21109-centurion-neil-marshall

YOU ARE HERE: Home » Film, TV, DVD » Centurion – Neil Marshall
Centurion – Neil Marshall
Rating:
By: andrewmoore
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Posted in: Film, TV, DVD, Reviews
Certificate: 15
Director: Neil Marshall
Producer: Celador Films
Running Time: 97 mins
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Noel Clarke, David Morrissy, Olga Kurylenko,
Centurion – Neil Marshall
Mythical Roman tale that doesn't hit the spot

Its been a while since we’ve seen a film set around the Roman Empire, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator wasn’t the last one was it?

Hoping to fly the flag for the ill-fated – but never forgotten – empire is the latest movie from Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), Centurion.

The premise behind the film is set around the legendary Roman Ninth Legion, whose disappearance still alludes historians and archaeologists to this day.

Writer and director Neil Marshall thought he would stab at a theory suggesting that they were essentially wiped out by the native Celts, or Picts, save for a few survivors who go on a suicidal mission across harsh enemy territory to get themselves home.

Though sporting an impressive cast list featuring, the ever-versatile, Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds), Dominic West (The Wire), Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Doctor Who), David Morrissey (State of Play, Red Riding) oh and that horrendous excuse for a Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, the film never really had the chance to suck you into its harsh environment and sheer brutality in the way I hoped.

Although I did enjoy it for what it was – which wasn’t much admittedly – the film suffered greatly from what seemed like a heavily edited script which made the narrative more ill-conceived than it should have been, jumping from one set of bleak circumstances to the next.

I was left rather disheartened as I never had the chance to truly connect with the characters down to the strangely fleeting script.

I guess one school of thought is that the film’s choice demographic aren’t so inclined towards complex character development when people are being butchered and blood, gore and bile is the name of the game. But as someone within the core audience – call me old fashioned – it erred a little too close to a gorefest, not satisfying enough of the brain.

That’s not to say Centurion was a complete shambles. Fassbender was brilliant in the lead role – considering what he had to work with. Dominic West, still playing a little on the McNulty character from The Wire, was also solid but the rest of the cast never really sparked my interest.

In a visual capacity I thought the director captured the ferocious settings in a beautiful manner, despite the rather comedic opening credit sequence.

However I can’t really fault him for trying something a bit different: the whitewashed effect on the camera lent a minor degree of elegance and class to a film which will hardly be associated with both those two words in the years to come.

An entertaining and brutal affair which unfortunately lacks a genuine killer edge, suffering from some horrendous editing room choices. Fassbender once again shows his credentials as a fantastic leading man, while Kurylenko shows all she’s good for is to stand there and never utter a word. Harsh but true.

A likely director’s cut upon the film’s DVD release might clear up a few of the ridiculous loose ends but perhaps – to be romantic about it – the disjointed nature of the film lends itself beautifully to the mystery of the Ninth Legion which has alluded historians for centuries since.

Suppose I shouldn’t have expected much more from the man who directed The Descent.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:22 pm

http://robnolanrobrage.blogspot.com/2010/04/blokes-romans-fassbender.html

Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Blokes, Romans & Fassbender

2010 is a strong year for Brit directors at the box office. Christopher Nolan (Inception), Ridley Scott (Robin Hood), David Yates (Harry Potter 7), Mike Newall (Prince Of Persia), Michael Apted (Narnia 3), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim) and many others will shortly release what will surely become some of the biggest films of the year at the box office. A welcome addition to that list is Neil Marshall, who made such a huge impact last decade with Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday. He's back with Centurion, a period piece which follows the last few surviving members of Rome's Ninth Legion as they fight their way through Scotland to safety.

And I'm happy to say it's very much a Neil Marshall movie. There's the familiar structure of a small, but able, group trapped behind enemy lines, trying to get to freedom. Like contemporary Westerns The Warriors and Escape From New York which inevitably inspired this (and Doomsday), there's also a Butch and Sundance vibe as the life-long warriors face the end of an era.

The trapped group in question are written and performed to a degree that we can identify each of them as individuals (not always the case in a chase movie) as well being likable and grounded enough as characters to empathise with. As expected, the dialogue is often loaded with down to earth, laddish quips which helps put you in their dire predicament. After his impressive performance in Inglorious Basterds, Michael Fassbender firmly establishes himself as a leading man...but one of a time long past. That's not a bad thing as he presents a strong, unflabbable, David Niven-esque, stiff-upper-lip quality that's all but disappeared in English actors. He's joined by the commanding, but boozy, Dominic West as his boss (who unfortunately gets dispatched way too soon...showcasing just what a fine job he does here). David Morrisey, Liam Cunningham, Noel Clarke and JJ Feild make up the rest of the memorable , er, merry men.

Add to that the striking Olga Kurylenko as the mute, Pict warrior who hunts the boys down. She's reminiscent of Ray Park in The Phantom Menace; no dialogue, but a ferocious and imposing physical presence that more than meets the stature of Fassbender and company. Imogen Poots makes a cute and welcome distraction...before the bloodletting begins in earnest once again.

And in typical Marshall style, it does indeed get bloody. The savagery of his previous movies is revisited...but thankfully without the appalling MTV editing that accompanied Doomsday. Also, Marshall's long time D.P. Sam McCurdy delivers some career best photography, presenting a harsh yet beautiful landscape in which the story unravels. It's paramount in a fantasy or historic epic, whether it's Lord of the Rings or Gladiator, that the storytellers create a world that you can utterly believe in...otherwise it'll undermine the whole narrative. The millennium old Scotland here is pitch perfect, in painterly wide shots or exhilarating helicopter shots raise this, visually, head and shoulders above everything Marshall has done before.

While critics have rightly pointed out that the characters aren't as rich as in his first two classics, there's more than enough relentless action, witty dialogue, inventive dismemberment, historic depth and battle/survival strategy to make this a must re-watch movie. A definite step up from Doomsday, Centurion is to be recommended. However, if you're expecting a violent Sean Pertwee death scene, you may have to wait until Marshall adapts the TV classic, The Professionals.
Posted by Rob at 09:26
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:32 pm

http://shadesofcaruso.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/romanes-eunt-domus/

Romanes Eunt Domus!

Quantcast

Though I will happily admit to a bias against the UK film industry that might make any patriots passing through want to throw me out of the country, Shades of Caruso is a big supporter of British filmmaker Neil Marshall, as I mentioned during this review of his third movie, Doomsday. All of my positive feelings towards Marshall are included there, where I praise him for his sly sense of humour, his sense of pace, his love of action cinema history, and his technical know-how. Doomsday may not have set the world alight, and it may have been damned by faint praise from even those critics who enjoy action cinema, but even if it’s not a patch on The Descent — probably my favourite British film of the last decade — I maintain it’s a thoroughly entertaining movie, well worth everyone’s time and patience.

Marshall’s latest, Centurion, is a step back, unfortunately. It revolves around Quintus Dias (Michael “Abs of Steel” Fassbender), a Roman Centurion stationed at the very Northern edge of the Roman Empire, on a line that defends against guerrila attacks from the Picts. Any attempt to invade Scotland/Caledonia has failed by this point, meaning Dias has been stationed there for over two years, long enough to learn the language of his foe. After being captured during an assault on the fort, Dias escapes and meets up with the Ninth Legion, who have been instructed to bring the battle to the Picts instead of merely holding the line. Their secret weapon is a Pict traitor, Etain — played by a mute and scary Olga Kurylenko — who promises to guide them to their enemy. Suffice to say, this does not go according to plan, and soon Dias is left in the company of a small band of Roman soldiers, who are forced to battle their way back to the line before the landscape, wildlife, and indigenous people of Scotland kill them all.

The tale of the Ninth Legion’s disappearance is so low on detail that it is ripe for exploration and redefinition, even more so than other infamous historical tales which have been picked over and explained in greater detail. I’m sure no two tales of the Ninth Legion will be the same, while the battle of Thermopylae leaves far less wiggle room. Marshall has said, in interview, that he fully intended to pitch Centurion as a movie in the same epic mould as Gladiator and 300, though on a much smaller budget. To be honest, though it does feel of a part with those movies, he still seems to be primarily channeling the movies he grew up with. If I were to pitch this movie to a studio, the frame of reference would be Aliens meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid meets The Warriors meets Southern Comfort.

Those last two films are key to figuring out what makes the best moments of Centurion work so well. It’s not to Ridley Scott or Zack Snyder/Frank Miller that Marshall owes the greatest debt. The small scale, slow-burning pace and quick, brutal action scenes make this feel more like a Walter Hill movie than anything else I’ve seen in a long time, as the small band of survivors bond and then race through hostile territory with a group of Pict hunters on their tail the whole way. As in many of Hill’s movies the group is made up of badasses and cowards who look out for each other, speak as little as possible, and make quick decisions when backed into a corner. Selling this as an epic is a non-starter, no matter how many aerial shots of macho men running over hills take up the latter half of the movie. The best and most interesting moments echo those clenched-fist ’80s classics, with the big action finale being a well-choreographed and exciting brawl, not a tedious FX blowout between two enormous armies. The decision to spend time getting to know the characters in the otherwise slack mid-section of the movie pays off and makes these showdowns more involving, just as it did in Hill’s films.

Unfortunately, while Marshall borrows the character dynamics and punchy action-style from a master, he also borrows (intentionally or unintentionally, I do not know) his visual template from Marcus Nispel’s woeful Pathfinder, delivering a tedious palette of cold blues, washed-out greens, and the occasional fiery orange. It’s a relief that Marshall doesn’t borrow Nispel’s other awful visual trick: seemingly endless slow-motion action sequences that make your average John Woo dovegasm look like the last ten minutes of Speed Racer. His action scenes play out fast, brutal, and gloriously gory, with axe-to-face being one of his favourite visual motifs. Nevertheless, those miserable colours wear on the eyes: by the end of the movie you’re glad every time a fire is lit just to give your senses a break from the monotony. Admittedly, that could have something to do with the terrible projection at the Cineworld in the West End’s chaotic Trocadero centre — a building where good movies go to die.

The pace of the movie is off as well, slackening to a crawl once the movie turns into an extended chase sequence between the surviving Legionnaires and the vicious Picts. By the time three of our heroes show up at the hut of an exiled Pict (Imogen Poots, sadly without the awesome-name-assistance of her 28 Weeks Later co-star Mackintosh Muggleton), the tension has almost entirely dissipated. It never really recovers, with even a terrific final showdown — featuring some total badassery from Liam Cunningham — feeling like an afterthought. Considering how strongly Marshall has ended his previous movies, this is an unwelcome surprise, though I’m not sure how well a chase movie works when played out on such a large geographical canvas. Claustrophobia and a sense of forward propulsion tends to make these things work better: The Warriors works beautifully because of the gang’s progression through a well-defined New York City towards a definite endpoint. In contrast, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used this plot and a similar landscape to great effect as it was more about the passing of an age than about action and pace, with several digressions from the chase plot before it kicks in again at the end. Centurion includes some of the notes of George Roy Hill’s movie, and these work well enough, but they betray that original tone of excitement without really adding anything else to the tale.

While some of Marshall’s directorial choices irked, it’s worth praising him for the stuff he got completely right. Most importantly, he pitched the tone at exactly the right level of seriousness: there’s no irony or knowingness here. He’s helped by an excellent cast, who treat the subject matter with sufficient gravitas to give the drama enough extra heft to carry it through the regrettable second act longueurs. The litmus test for this is Dominic West’s performance, which completely dials down the godawful hamminess he showed in Punisher: War Zone and 300. Though he’s not in the movie much, his turn as badass Virilus is good enough that you wish he was onscreen throughout. Ulrich Thomsen chooses to play Gorlacon, king of the Picts, as a quiet man, devoid of blustering histrionics. It’s a choice that pays off later in the movie when you realise the Picts are not the villains of the piece, though his hunters are to be feared. Kurylenko’s mute killer is a memorable foil for our heroes, ably backed up by the equally menacing Dave Legeno and Axelle Carolyn, while Paul “Belloq” Freeman shows up and makes the most of his screentime as the slippery British governor Agricola.

It’s the band of Roman survivors that carry the movie, though. Other than Quintus Dias, the most visible are Bothos and Brick, two lightly sketched characters that are given life by David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham: very clever casting right there, as both actors excel at humanising the otherwise underwritten soldiers. Noel Clarke is surprisingly good as the marathon runner Macros, again making the most of his scant screentime, and JJ Feild deserves praise for selling the duplicitous nature of Thax, even though the writing on that character is a little suspect. Without getting into spoilers, I’m not sure if his under-developed character was a fault of rushed writing or unavoidable editing issues. Whatever it is, the importance of Thax to the plot engine is underplayed a bit too much. It’s one of the main problems with the final act, which is a mixture of mechanical contrivance and fortunate happenstance, all of which leads to a heavily signposted denouement. A shame, when the rest of the movie had played with our expectations so well.

Nevertheless, many of the flaws of Centurion are easily forgotten thanks to the conviction of Michael Fassbender, who really really really should be an enormous star by now. His work as the unblemished hero is strong enough to power the movie past its problems, and proves he can carry an action movie with ease. Though Quintus Dias is a relatively humourless individual (in the classic Hill mode), Fassbender’s charisma and commitment to the role should win audiences over. Marshall is a canny man, and should be commended on getting these serious performances from his cast and leading man, but their good work highlights some script problems. Though his aversion to bombast is notable, his decision to hit certain script beats as delicately as he does is peculiar. Early on we find out that Dias’ father was a gladiator who won his freedom, a point that is a key to his character but is never mentioned again. While I commend Marshall for not ramming this fact down our throats with further exposition, it’s a character element that isn’t put into play thereafter, even though it could make the final scenes of the film more resonant. It’s a shame to see Fassbender not get to play out a heavily-accented arc, even if that would require him to shoot beyond the movie’s often measured tone.

It makes me wonder if we’re seeing Marshall’s own final cut, or something mandated by producers. It wouldn’t surprise me if this happened, as the film has already been treated pretty shoddily. Getting to see it was harder than expected, as it is currently only showing on eleven screens in London, and only one in the West End: the cinematic dumping ground that is the Cineworld Trocadero. Meanwhile, Cemetary Junction and It’s a Wonderful Afterlife both get a 42-screen release through London. If this were the middle of the summer season I could understand a small-scale action movie being released on a few screens, but it was released a week before Iron Man 2 come out. That’s a week where it might have done better business if it were promoted with any kind of effort: what it got was a few invested nerd-sites carrying interviews with Marshall and a quick bit on Sky Movies’ 35mm. There’s an audience out there for this kind of thing, though predominantly male. Yesterday there were only two women in the room preventing it from becoming a total sausage-fest. The UK Film Council backed the movie in production, but as is often the case they have no say in how widely it gets distributed, which just leaves Pathé to do the work. I don’t know why they decided this small release was a good idea: maybe they have an amazing algorithm that explains it perfectly. At least it’s getting better treatment by passionate promoters in the States.

Considering my praise is faint, why would I worry about its treatment in the UK? Despite reservations, I would still recommend it: Marshall’s action scenes are effectively staged, the cast are superb, and the location shooting generates an impressive atmosphere of desolation. Even more importantly, I’m glad that Marshall is continuing to make movies in the action genre that are inextricably tied to British history and culture, and think this is something that audiences and filmmakers in the UK would appreciate and respond to. By now you would expect that Marshall would decamp to America, and yet he stays and makes two quintessentially British action movies that nevertheless have a production gloss and editing style that mimics that of our American cousins. News that he is making Burst with Sam Raimi suggests he’s finally been lured away, but his next movie after that is possibly the most British thing he could possibly do: adapting The Professionals for the big screen. Fingers crossed he doesn’t cast Danny Dyer as Bodie.

Marshall seems to be a believer in the potential of the British film industry, something I have a very hard time with when much of it has so little ambition, or relies too heavily on the usual period trappings or the same old source material. It grieves me to hear that the excellent Andrea Arnold is making yet another adaptation of Wuthering Heights, though — as Daisyhellcakes pointed out to me — there’s more than a good chance that Arnold will really be able to play up the narrative complexity and bleak atmosphere, avoiding the two awful extremes of tourism industry video or sub-gothic Twilight homage. Most other truly talented British filmmakers are getting out of here and doing great work elsewhere, but Marshall is sticking to his guns, taking tropes from US films and reworking them to tell British stories for a British audience. It’s a commitment that is to be commended even when the results are not entirely successful, and to see this latest project rushed into a handful of screens just to have some critic quotes to put on the DVD is utterly disheartening.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:41 pm

http://eggmagmovies.blogspot.com/2010/04/some-films-take-you-by-suprise-for-good.html

Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Centurion Review
Some films take you by suprise, for good or bad. Kick Ass is a recent example of a film I expected to dislike and ended up quite enjoying. Other times you expect to enjoy something and end up disappointed (The Wrestler) or absolutely gutted (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. There IS no fourth film.) And then there are the films that do exactly, precisely, with zero deviation, what you think they are going to do. Welcome to the Centurion review.

The normally excellent Michael Fassbender plays Quintas Dias, the titular Centuron, whose battalion of Roman soldiers invading Britain is slaughtered by the native Picts early on in the film. Dias is captured but escapes and joins up with the Roman 9th Legion who are also wiped out save for Dias and four or five others. They are hunted by mute Pict tracker Olga Kurylenko and her crew and it is at this point that Centurion settles into being a chase movie. A very long chase movie.

To its credit, Centurion is a film that looks and feels bigger than it actually is. I would imagine the budget for the film was fairly low, very low by the standards of most movies of this genre, and for the most part the film succeeds in not being hampered by that issue. The film makes good use of its locations and the tough Scottish landscape with its cold, wet climate and much of the photography is stunning. But, in the end, who cares? Not me. Maybe had Centurion been a brisk, get-in-and-get-out, 85/90 minute job I could have gone with it. Though that said, a manageable running time didn't help my lack of enjoyment of Apocalypto, Centurion's spiritual cousin. As it is, the film takes what feels like an age to do very little. Michael Fassbender is one of my favourite young actors, not "British" actors as he is so often called by the way; he is Irish. I'm just saying. His work in Eden Lake, Fish Tank and in particular his stunning portrayal of Bobby Sands in Hunger have set him apart as an actor of considerable talent. Here though he is given very little to get his teeth into other than the film's many, many fight sequences. While he aquits himself well in these scenes, there is never any real sense of growth as he goes from centurion to General and, weirdly, I never really believed him as a leader of men. Fassbender is supported by The Wire's Dominic West who seems to have forgotten how to act, David Morrissey who I'm not sure has ever known how to act, Noel Clarke as a very East London sounding Roman andOlga Kurylenko as the silent but deadly Etain. When your most believeable and charismatic character hasn't got a single line to say you know you're in trouble.

You know exactly what you're going to get from Neil Marshall and I guess there is some comfort in familiarity. There's nothing inherently wrong with a meat and potatoes genre film, but what can I say? I like a spoon of gravy too.

4.5/10
Posted by Garreth at 03:30
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:59 pm

http://criterioncast.com/2010/04/27/neil-marshall-centurion-film-review-sxsw/

Ryan Reviews Neil Marshall's Centurion [SXSW Film Festival]
By Ryan Gallagher on April 27, 2010, 7:43 pm

Neil Marshall first found his way onto my television screen with 2005’s, The Descent. This is most likely the case for many others, as the film came out of nowhere for many who had not seen his earlier werewolf/war film Dog Soldiers. Many film sites and writers heralded Marshall’s entries in the horror-suspense genre with well deserved enthusiasm. Even though I own the DVD of The Descent, I have not gone back to re-watch the film purely based on how terrified I was the first time I watched it. I absolutely loved it, it presented sympathetic characters in a claustrophobic, other-worldly environment, forced to defend themselves against an unseen terror. The someone secret screening of Neil Marshall’s latest film at SXSW, Centurion, has helped cement Marshall in my own world of directors who can continue to produce genre films which I will happily consume.

While at Scott Weinberg’s panel with various genre directors, many hints were dropped about Marshall’s latest film, and a secret screening taking place later that week at the Alamo Drafthouse. Centurion was certainly not on any official schedule at the festival, but it was hard to not know about this screening, as the theater was full of film geeks that Monday at midnight, for the world premiere of the movie. Neil Marshall was in the theater, with just about every other film writer in town, eagerly awaiting what would be shown to us. We were not disappointed.

Centurion’s story is simple, the Roman Ninth Legion, in it’s campaign against the Picts of Scotland in 117 of the common era. Dominic West (of The Wire) plays Titus Virilus, charged with leading his legion into the north, to wipe out the Picts who have long stood up to the Roman Empire. We are quickly introduced to another Roman soldier, Quintas Dias, played heroically by Michael Fassbender (of Hunger, Fish Tank, and Inglourious Basterds), who has survived an attack by the Picts on his outpost, and in his escape, he encounters the Ninth Legion, on their way back from where he has just fled. The Ninth Legion is quickly, and almost unbelievably, dispatched by a surprise attack from the Picts, and they are then forced to make their way back to Roman-occupied territory, as they are tracked and killed by the Picts. Simple enough plot, get home before you are killed by the people you were charged with invading.

Will Quintas Dias make it back before he and his men are killed? Who exactly are we meant to cheer for in this film? We surely are meant to sympathize with our lead male characters, as they represent the civilized world. We are also introduced to the suffering, and horrible torture that the Picts have endured under the Roman invasion. As in real life, we are not meant to cheer for either side. Both commit horrible acts upon their enemies, out of survival, or revenge. What we are meant to feel, is the sense of adventure, of never feeling safe as long as you’re standing still. You need to keep moving if you want to survive the night. You’re in enemy territory, and they know every rock and blade of grass better than you do.

Neil Marshall’s Centurion is a run for your life, action film that knows exactly what it want’s to be. It slides in subtle messages about war crimes, atrocities, terrorism, guerilla warfare, while never clubbing you over the head and shoving them down your throat. It has grim elements, but moves along at such a pace as to never leave you over-analyzing their effectiveness. By the time you’re realizing that you’ve just seen a Pict version of an IED, you’re racing alongside the hero’s that you’re invested in. While they do introduce a few too many characters without giving you time to differentiate them from the others in the group (a huge problem with the recent Clash of the Titans). There are moments and characters in the film that might have deserved the editors scissors be taken to their scenes, as they tended to slow down the pacing without adding much in terms of character growth or tension. I can whole-heartedly recommend this film to anyone who has enjoyed films like Braveheart, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, or 300. While Centurion may not have some of the timeless and epic themes found in those other films, it carves out a place for itself at the historical action genre table, and definitely has earned the right to it’s spoils. I cannot wait to see the film again, and own it on Blu-ray.

To hear me discuss Centurion with Rudie, James, and Travis, check out the bonus episode that we recorded, discussing all of the films I saw at SXSW.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:14 pm

http://klswan.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/centurion-review/

Centurion review
April 27, 2010

This was completely different from what I was expecting. I’m not really familiar with Neil Marshall’s other films, as to be honest they look mildly terrifying. Centurion is the tale of the ninth legion and their clash with the Picts in Caledonia. Quintis Dias (Michael Fassbender) is picked up by the ninth after he manages a narrow escape from Pict leader Gorlacon.

The ninth, lead by General Virilus (Dominic West) have been ordered to the frontline but are accosted by the Picts en route; the legion is decimated and Virilus is captured. Quintus leads a rescue mission to the Pict camp but they are forced to fun for their lives and the wrath of Pict scout Etain (Olga Kurylenko).

I had thought the film was going to be a typical historical action drama with a quite a clichéd script and a lot of blood and gore. There was a lot of blood and gore but with a gritty story that concentrates on the individuals in the film. This is supported by the screenplay and some amusing banter from the soldiers. The romantic aspect of the film surprised me but I think that it rounded the film off well.

My only negative comment would be the uneven pacing of the film. The first several scenes are only a couple of minutes long and it seems as though you are just racing through the background story to get to the main point of the film. I felt that I couldn’t really get into the film until a third of the way in.

If you liked this you may also like: Gladiator, Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Hunger
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:16 pm

http://filmcriticbob.blogspot.com/2010/04/big-tuesday-night-review-alright.html

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Big Tuesday Night Review

The Film Review

Centurion

Britain, 117 AD. Neil Marshall’s latest outing has us placed in the north of Britain, i.e. Scotland, 117 AD. The Romans, who are tired by the Picts in Caledonia and there continuous rebellions, the Romans send in their toughest legion, the Ninth. But of course like all good plans it goes wrong, the few survivors, led by Quintus Dias (Fassbender), have to struggle back to the border from the deep behind enemy lines before fierce, vengeful warrior Etain (Olga Kurylenko) wipes them all out. Neil Marshall’s latest involves a small group of people facing overwhelming odds in a hostile environment. Blood is spilled and there is gore galore as they fight their way to safety. Sound familiar? Well he hasn’t strayed far from his usual style (i.e. bloodbaths and brutal action). From soldiers beset by werewolves in a forest in Scotland, to hapless women mauled by flesh-eating creatures of the earth, to a sci-fi military unit dealing with unnatural circumstances and imaginative cannibals in post-apocalyptic Scotland. Now it’s a one team bravado group of Roman soldiers pursued by Picts deep behind enemy lines in first-century Caledonia. So basically he likes making films as long as he can film it in Scotland.

Like many, Marshall can’t help but follow formula again and again but I don’t feel it’s his way of selling out it’s just easier to express himself when he doesn’t have to worry about the structure and complexity of it all. But while Centurion manages to hold your attention with ease with the many scenes of bloodshed and action with some dialogue thrown in for good measure, I can’t help but think, ‘’It’s good; don’t get me wrong but how about a satirical Comedy or something with more drama. You can still film it in Scotland?’’. Marshall’s obsession with the Scottish weathered landscape has never been seen before and especially with such breathe-taking results. Quintus (Michael Fassbender) and his men are seen to fumble through what can only be described a gauntlet of hail, mist and shadow in a land as threatening as it is beautiful. The Scottish highlands strike a chord that can’t help but send a cold chill down your spine as the camera catches every breathe of condensation in the air.

Centurion Official Trailer

The visuals and there influences can be easily spotted such as Gladiator’s opening battle scene which exerts a weighty influence or Braveheart’s more barbaric look combined with high paced fighting sequences. There seems to be great though in the casting process as a solid mix of British and Irish talent, including Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, J. J. Feild, Noel Clarke and Riz Ahmed, Dominic West all combine to give the film an atmosphere that draws you in during the battle scene when the Bad-ass Ninth Legion is hacked down to a pathetic group of survivors and so the chase begins.

But as nice and all it to see a good battle now and again, Centurion soon became a frantic dash to the finish line. It’s frantic chase dynamic left little time for a story. The survivors we haven’t already met are presented to us with a superficial campfire introduction scene, and as soon as you begin to enjoy the woolly banter of war you are immersed back into the elaborate chase scenes with copious amounts of shouting, cursing and shots of macho men running away from a crazed axe wielding woman (She doesn’t even look scary, just squints and scowls a lot). Quintus’ pursuers aren’t given much camera time; which makes Olga Kurylenko’s wolfish warrior Etain no more than a collage of scowls — with her character’s grievance against the Romans a pointless sub plot that most people would probably miss. The editors of Centurion must have turned cold and heartless with such brutal cuts to the film save for another formulaic plot addition as Quintus falls in love for no reason as far as I can see and details are missed out which I can’t help feel are continuity errors such as how, in an early scene, Quintus escapes his captors.

Marshall has once again produced a film to entertain the masses due to his excellent casting. Dominic west as Virilius has a ball channelling all the irreverent bravado cursing and shouting his way through. Fassbender, meanwhile, brings Quintus essential composure and pitiless purpose. Centurion should prove to those who have yet to acknowledge Fassbender as a serious actor to contend with that he has what it takes to lead a major motion picture. In the big picture, Centurion is a gritty, brutal chase movie that’s more about swords than sandals something Marshall might want to re-address when he makes his next film. Maybe in Scotland?
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:51 pm

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-whats-on-guide/films-and-cinemas/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=GoingOutFilm&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=xWhatsOn&itemid=NOED23%20Apr%202010%2008%3A44%3A49%3A813

CENTURION (15)

***

Director Neil Marshall atones for the sins of his poor Doomsday film with this fast, frantic and typically gory chase through second century Britain.

While it can't match the delights of his horror The Descent, fans of Marshall's high-octane blood-letting are sure to get a kick out of it.

After surviving a raid on his fort, Roman soldier Quintus (Michael Fassbender) finds his way to the legendary Ninth Legion and joins them on a mission to destroy the savage Picts. Things don't go well, leaving Quintus to command a handful of soldiers as they fight to recover their kidnapped general (Dominic West).

West and Fassbender add a level of class and depth to what is a fairly routine plot but Marshall directs with breathless intensity and the near non-stop stream of brutal action sequences are a hell of a lot of fun.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:22 am

http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/25554

Cinema Review - Centurion
Galway Advertiser, April 29, 2010.
Galway Advertiser

By Martina Nee

With breathtaking scenery, thrills and blood spills galore this film could have been the next Gladiator but sadly there was just too much carnage during the non-stop fight or flight scenes, not enough development of characters, and a less than impressive ending.

The film opened with the scenes of a bare-chested and haggard looking man running for his life having escaped the clutches of a warrior clan called the Picts. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a frontier fort, miraculously runs into a band of fellow Roman soldiers and is saved only to march north again with General Virilus’ (Dominic West) legendary Ninth Legion.

The year is 117 AD and the conquest of northern Britain by the Roman Empire has ground to a halt because of the guerrilla tactics used by the Picts who prefer to ‘pick away at the scab’ rather than engage their enemy in open combat. The Ninth Legion are ordered to wipe out the Picts and destroy their leader Gorlacon. However, the legion is ambused and decimated. Only a handful of men, including Dias, survive the attack, and they go on an impossible mission to save Virilus who has been taken captive.

This is where the real struggle begins, as a team of Picts, led by ruthless expert tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko), relentlessly hunt down Dias and his small band of men who find themselves deep behind enemy lines. They are now on the run for their lives against their fierce and cunning enemy, against the unforgiving terrain, and against themselves.

The film began on a high note, getting straight into the action, and there were plenty of gore scenes that had you gasping “Ooooh” and “Argh” sounds, however, after a while this all became too much. The director Neil Marshall, hooked on bloodlust, seems to have forgotten about developing the storyline and characters further. Fassbender who is an excellent actor could only do so much to create a real hero in Dias. The really impressive performance was by Kurylenko who played the really strong character of mute Etain. All this action, chasing, and bloody scenes should have led up to an incredible ending but sadly this was not the case.

If you’re into an action movie set well into the past then you might like this one, just don’t expect greatness.

Verdict: 3/5
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:24 am

http://entertainment.stv.tv/film/film-reviews/173331-centurion-the-review/

Centurion: The review

Britain in 117 AD the legendary Ninth Legion under the command of General Virilus are under orders to defeat the Pict forces attacking the Romans. Quintus a survivor of the Pict raids must try to save the General and his men when things don’t go to plan.

27 April 2010 16:06 GMT

Centurion (15)

The Plot
The year is AD 117 and The Roman Empire is at the peak of its domination. It stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. Northern Britain, however, has proved to be a thorn in its side. The relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in face of the guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy: the savage and terrifying tribes known as the Picts.

Quintus (Michael Fassbender), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to destroy the Picts and leave no trace of them on the earth and make sure to destroy their leader Gorlacon.

However, when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar terrain, and Virilus taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines. In a desperate attempt to avoid capture or destruction form their remorseless Pict pursuers in an unfriendly land, the band of soldiers race to rescue their General, and reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

From writer/director, Neil Marshall, Centurion is a survival thriller set against a background of conquest and invasion; a pursuit movie in the vein of Deliverance, Last of the Mohicans and Apocalypto.

The Verdict
Director Neil (Dog Soldiers) Marshall continues his canny knack for taking a modest movie budget and stretching it to the point where you think you're actually watching a big budget Hollywood epic and Centurion is a handsome production looking like his biggest movie yet.

Strong on visuals and bloody in violence Marshall's graphic detail is gory to the point where you almost feel it raw (and freezing cold in Scottish Highlands). But the script doesn't live up to its visual splendour, and we end up not caring about any of the half-baked and two dimensional characters.

Contains frequent strong bloody violence and strong language.

Last updated: 29 April 2010, 16:47
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sat May 01, 2010 1:22 am

http://undergroundrepublik.com/blog/2010/04/centurion-review

30 April

Centurion Review

Posted by ed in Movies

Matthew Power: brings another great review from the new film starring Michael Fassbender & Olga Kurylenko. Unfortunately I don’t know when this movie is coming to the americas, but when we do you will b the first to know!

Make no mistake about it, Centurion is a man’s movie, the type of man that would chuckle if a woman didn’t pick the iron when playing Monopoly, lucky enough I am that sort of man! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Centurion possesses all the key ingredients to tickle a man’s fancy – epic beards, dangerous women, swords, dirt, chases, decapitations, a band of brothers spirit, harsh wilderness and excess blood and guts. If you’re stimulated by decapitated heads in particular, this is a must!

Centurion is based on the legend of the 9th Legion, an army of 3000 Roman warriors who vanished without trace, Centurion is the tale of their conflict with their adversary, the Picts. Michael Fassbender is brilliant in the lead role as Quintus Dias a Roman corporal. Quintus is taken hostage by the Pict King, Gorlacon and the 9th are charged with bringing him home and ending Pict domination of Britain. Led by General Virilus (Dominic West – sporting a rather epic beard) and guided by a Pict prisoner and warrior named Etain (Olga Kurylenko – who does a great job as the main protagonist without even saying a word). But as they usually do, things go wrong when the legion is ambushed and Virilus is taken captive. Quintus and a handful of surviving soldiers (which include Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, David Morrissey, Liam Cunningham and JJ field) face a desperate struggle to keep themselves alive behind enemy lines, evading the Pict pursuers over harsh terrain, and in an attempt to rescue their General, then finally reaching the safety of the Roman frontier.

Neil Marshall has done a great job writing and directing this brutal and exhilarating film, visually Centurion is stunning and the characters are meaty and well developed, I actually felt for them, I felt hungry when they were hungry and I felt cold when they were cold (which looked like pretty much the whole time). I’ve been a fan of all of Neil Marshall’s films (yes even Doomsday – hold back the stones), when watching his work it always comes across to me that he’s a true fan of the genre of film he’s making, Centurion is no exception.

As much as I enjoyed the film, it did have a couple flaws, there were parts that were a bit incoherent – how did Quintuis escape the Picts at the start? What bright spark thought it would be a good idea to use Etain as a scout? It started off badly as well, the font used for the titles looked like it was made for a 13 year old’s media project, it completely distracted me from the beautiful scenery, in the scheme of the whole film that’s just nit picking though, Centurion lived up to my expectations and more, it’s a hell of a ride, I can see this having a cult following in years to come, which it comprehensively deserves. Two thumbs up from me.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sat May 01, 2010 1:45 am

http://www.gorepress.com/2010/04/30/centurion/

Centurion (2010)
Directed By: Neil Marshall
Written By: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Dominic West
Olga Kurylenko
Liam Cunningham
Centurion

Centurion is Brit-director Neil Marshall’s fourth film and, like the once brilliant M. Night Shyamalan, his recent works have failed to impress as much as his first two films. Centurion is a decent film, which fails on a number of levels, but luckily the tightly-written dialogue, some ace cinematography and the excellent acting throughout saves it from being an aggravating, confused mess. Although solid entertainment, Centurion smacks of lost potential.

It’s 117 A.D. and Roman soldier Quintas Dias (Michael Fassbender) is having a bad week. Having been attacked and tortured by the native Picts in the North of England, he escapes and finds himself teamed up with a mute Pict assassin Etain (Olga Kurylenko) and the entirety of the Ninth Legion. They head back into Pict country to destroy the Pict leader Gorlacon. Those familiar with the mysterious fate of the Ninth Legion will know this doesn’t go particularly well, and Dias soon finds himself battling for survival in a harsh, alien territory, all the while being hunted by the Pict’s most deadly assassin.

If this sounds fun, then you’re right. Centurion is very watchable, especially if you like your historical action flicks, and especially if you don’t mind a bit of blood. Centurion is brutal. Skin slicing, child killing, head chopping, eye stabbing – it’s got it all. This is no surprise coming from Neil Marshall, and it’s baffling how it was only released as a fifteen certificate in the UK.

The acting is fantastic throughout, with some brilliant performances from an ensemble cast of British actors. There are elements of the soldiery camaraderie that made Dog Soldiers so watchable and, despite the surprising lack of Marshall veteran Sean Pertwee, the ranks of the Ninth are bolstered by the recognizable likes of Dominic West, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke and Riz Ahmed. Cunningham and Morrissey especially shine as Brick and Bothos, adding slightly more sympathetic characters to the otherwise hard-to-like Roman soldiers.

This, however, is one of the major problems with Centurion. The characters. Not the dialogue, not the acting, not even the actual characterization, but what they represent. It’s very hard to feel any sympathy for any of them. The Roman’s are the unlawful invaders, the rapists, the pillagers, the sadistic bastards who killed farmers and families, whereas the Picts are the former farmers, who are now barbaric, vicious killing machines who fight dishonorably and take pleasure in lopping off a man’s head. Really slowly. Perhaps this is Marshall’s message – another war-on-terror parallel that teaches us violence always begets violence, and in the end war can only bring a perpetual hell-ride of misery and pain. And confusion.

The plotting is very undisciplined, something that seriously flawed Marshall’s previous work Doomsday. Whereas his first two films Dog Soldiers and the Descent had very solid, rigidly formatted plots that worked perfectly, Doomsday and Centurion lack flow and direction. Even after Quintus Dias is attacked and captured and escapes and returns with the Ninth, he then escapes a massacre and goes on a rescue mission… and there’s still more after that! It’s winding and uncertain, and Marshall even throws in a love interest three-quarters of the way through, which is as unnecessary as it is baffling.

Many of the surprises are distinctly unsurprising, bludgeoning the screen with clichés, and a lot of the plotting is convenient, leaving you feeling like Marshall had too much of a free reign on this project. Not as much as Doomsday, presumably, as Centurion certainly isn’t as completely scattershot as that, but it certainly lacks discipline. Some of the direction is also too frenetic to fully understand what is actually happening, and the battle of the Ninth Legion is shockingly short. Although this could never be as epic as Gladiator due to budgetary constraints, there are moments in which the build up never really reaches it’s potential.

Centurion is unmet potential. It is brutal, well acted and watchable. It is also confused, more than a little winding and surprisingly cliché-ticking. Enjoyable if you like Romans and buckets of blood, sadly passable for anyone else.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
Reviewed by Scullion
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sat May 01, 2010 1:54 am

http://mrgtb.com/2010/04/30/centurion-2010-228/

April 30th, 2010
Centurion (2010)

The year is “AD 117″, and the Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and as far East as the Black Sea. But back over in Northern Britain the relentless onslaught of Roman conquest has ground to a disastrous halt in the face of Guerilla tactics used by an elusive enemy.

They are savage and terrifying tribes known only as the “Picts”. Quintus, a sole survivor of a Pictish raid that took place on a Roman frontier fort, marches North with General Virilus and the legendary Ninth Legion. There orders are simple, wipe out the Picts from the face of the earth and destroy their leader Gorlacon.

But later when the legion is ambushed while on unfamiliar ground and Virilus their Roman leader is taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to try and keep his small army safe still left alive on British soil. They evade remorseless Pict pursuers on harsh terrain as the band of Roman soldiers try and rescue their General at the same time, as well as trying to reach the safety of the Roman frontier lines.

Release Date: August 27, 2010
Studio: Magnet Releasing (Magnolia Pictures)
Director: Neil Marshall
Screenwriter: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, JJ Field, Liam Cunningham, Imogen Poots
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller, War
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sat May 01, 2010 2:08 am

http://mycinemania.blogspot.com/2010/04/centurion.html

Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Centurion

Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West & David Morrissey

A decent enough historical thriller that while light on plot and high in violence is still entertaining enough as a chase film and features a good cast.

Constantly striving to show that UK cinema can compete with the USA in creating action thrillers even on a small budget, the films of Neil Marshall has been consistently entertaining despite placing emphasis on action over plot and frequently finding influence from better known and better received films. Marshall’s latest, Centurion, is his first to play with an actual historical event, that surrounding the Roman Ninth Legion which disappeared on a march into Northern England. Around this mystery, Marshall has developed another action thriller based around an unknown band of survivors. The result is still an entertaining thriller though again emphasises action and violence overall.

Quintus Dias (Fassbender) is a Roman centurion stationed in England who is taken prisoner after an assault on his garrison by native rebels known as the Picts. When he escapes he crosses paths with the Roman Ninth Legion led by Titus Virilus (West) who have been charged with wiping out the Picts to complete the Roman conquest of England at whatever cost but a trap laid by their Pict scout Etain (Olga Kurylenko) sees the Ninth Legion massacred with just Quintus and a small band of survivors left who then find themselves on the run for safety and hunted by the Pict forces who, unbeknownst to Quintus, are driven by revenge by the Pict leader of the death of his child at the hand of one of Quintus’ men.

Built around some energetic action sequences, though high on violence and gore, Centurion works fairly well as a straight action thriller. The main characters are on the run, literally with the punishment of a violent death facing them if they slow or falter. There is some predictability involved in the assemblage of the survivors on the run with them filling certain personality types and the fates, even order of fates, somewhat easy to predict but, unlike the recent Clash of the Titans remake, more members of this band of men get to have moments to actually demonstrate character which is helped by the cast involved. The ending of the film is to be expected since history already shows no survivors were ever seen but this only detracts a little from the overall enjoyment. What does detract more from the enjoyment is the facelessness of the antagonists. Some comments are made in regards to the Picts, the country’s native inhabitants, being justified in their hatred due to decades of violence at the hands of the Romans but aside from this there is little done to humanise them or portray them as anything more than savages. The main Pict character, the scout Etain that tricks then traps the Ninth Legion, is a mute. Any drama to be had at really deciding who are the victims and who are the guilty considering the Romans are part of an invading force is rarely touched upon.

Centurion does feature some decent performances from several good actors. Michael Fassbender, following on from the acclaimed performances in Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds shows that he is capable of leading more commercial films in bigger roles while his band of survivors feature a mixed bag of performances from Liam Cunningham, likeable and grumpy; David Morrissey; Riz Ahmed, sneaky and untrustworthy and Noel Clarke whose character is generally unlikeable. Dominic West relishes the chance to play a loutish yet charming Roman General in Titus and Imogen Poots is likeable as a possible love interest for Quintus. Olga Kurylenko is perfectly convincing as a savage but there is otherwise little that is memorable about her performance though the underwritten nature of the character holds some blame.

Centurion is a decent action thriller with some novelty over the period of history in which it is set. There are a few likeable performances and Fassbender makes for an able leading man and some of the action sequences do thrill but there otherwise the film is generally average with the high level of violence, number of underwritten characters and predictable plot preventing this from being a great action film instead of just an average one.

Rating: 3/5
Posted by Dan at 12:53
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sat May 01, 2010 7:11 pm

http://nuts4r2.blogspot.com/2010/05/roman-around-scottish-countryside.html

Saturday, 1 May 2010
Roman' Around The Scottish Countryside
Centurion 2010 UK
Directed by Neil Marshall
Screening at Cinemas now

I’m beginning to think that British writer/director Neil Marshall is beginning to lead a bit of a charmed life... at least in respect to his amazing cinematic track record. Centurion is his fourth feature film following on the heels of his previous box office successes: Dog Soldiers (a really great werewolves VS the military movie), The Descent (a group of women trapped in an unexplored cave system trying not to be slaughtered and eaten by cave dwelling monsters movie... and one of the greatest horror movies of modern times... the cobbled together throwaway sequel did not live up to Marshall’s original) and Doomsday (a pretty good blend of Escape from New York cross pollinated with Mad Max 2 set in Scotland - a pretty solid movie with some nice, underused ideas amidst all of the familiar cliches which, perhaps, deserved to be a little better known over this side of the pond than it currently is).

His films have all done “quite well” in the UK and, apparently, quite phenomenally well in the US... making him one of our more successful exports I reckon.

Centurion is his first real stab at a non-sci-fi/non-horror movie, being as it is set in, where else, Scotland at the time nearing the end of the Roman occupation of Britain. It’s basically the story of seven Roman soldiers stuck behind enemy lines, trying to survive being hunted by ferocious Picts as they try to make their way to what turns out to be a fairly dubious definition of safety.

The film is headlined by Michael Fassbender (so good in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds), ably supported by a handful of Marshall regulars (such as the solid bear of a man, Liam Cunningham) and also... is it... yes it is... it’s Mickey from Doctor Who. Mickey Mick Mickey! Hello Mickey! Um... sorry, just had a moment there... the film also features successful writer/director Noel (alright there Mickey!) Clark as one of the Roman soldiers and as usual he does a good job... would have liked to see him used a bit more prominently but whatever. You can’t headline everybody. I’ll go and see his new film he’s written and directed in a few weeks time... he’s probably got more of a role in that one.

So anyway... where was I before somebody slipped me a Mickey (typecast muchly?)... oh yeah... Centurion is not what one might call a “woman’s movie”. There is basically not much plot (although there is a quick stab at love interest in the last half an hour of the movie to square things with the American box office) and it’s basically a movie which features lots of bloodthirsty, goriness of Romans and Picts slaughtering each other... and the occasional bit of Romans fighting amongst themselves when there’s no Picts around.

So... big on slicing and dicing, not bad on quick character sketches that let you know where you are... not so hot on story development but it’s not that kind of movie.

Couple of minor grumbles though...

Now don’t get me wrong, the handling of the “lads” in Dog Soldiers is more than enough to show that this director can write and direct perfect dialogue scenes... he’s a genius at it. Right up there with Tarantino for really connecting with his audience. However, it is my belief that Neil Marshall is, basically, a great director of silent cinema. Lots of sequences with no dialogue, beautifully handled to move the action along and no speech necessary at all. A very visual director in his approach to his craft. Which is why I was a bit miffed that he has a Michael Fassbender voice-over going on through the movie, more often than not telling you what is happening when there’s absolutely no need of any explanation whatsoever for anyone with an IQ greater than that of a lemon. It was really quite annoyingly unnecessary at times and it seemed to me that it might well have been a producers fear of leaving dialogue off for long sequences of film that we have to thank for that. Only guessing mind you. Would be interesting to know if the voice-over narrative was in the original script.

The other thing is... there were a couple of disorienting jumps in the narrative when you weren’t quite sure what was what. Little revelations like... “Oh. They obviously didn’t all run off in the same direction then because there’s only three of the in this scene” might actually have been better served with some of that annoying narrative which was strangely absent when it was needed most. In spite of what I said about Marshall’s visual genius, I feel like some of the scene transitions could have been handled a little better.

These are really minor gripes though... I thought Centurion was a great little movie which I suspect will be rediscovered (along with all of Marshall’s previous moments of cinematic genius) in a nice, big, healthy retrospective of his work some twenty years from now.

Neil Marshall...Veni, vidi, vici.
Posted by NUTS4R2 at 10:47
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sun May 02, 2010 11:47 am

http://the-void.co.uk/cinema/review-centurion-050/

CINEMA: Centurion

Written by Dee Pilgrim

Published on 02 May 2010

From intellectual and aesthetic to bloody and brutal – the second historical movie this week is all about gore and rage and ravening heathens.

Olga Kurylenko in CenturionThe setting this time is 117 AD Britain where Centurion Quintus (Michael Fassbender) is the only survivor of a raid by the Picts on his fort. With no comrades left to fight with he joins the legendary Ninth Legion under the command of its charismatic leader General Virilus (Dominic West) in a mass push into Pict territory in an attempt to kill their head man Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen) and the mute assassin Etain (Olga Kurylenko). But the Romans make the fundamental mistake of underestimating their enemy and the Picts massacre most of them leaving Quintus and a ragtag band of weary warriors to flee for their lives, the Picts in hot pursuit.

There’s some nice support work here by the likes of Liam Cunningham, Riz Ahmed and David Morrissey as the Centurions having to survive on their wits and little else and although the fight scenes are extremely well handled they do come to dominate the movie, leaving little space for more understanding of the Roman characters and absolutely none for finding out what makes the Picts tick.

Centurion is workmanlike and soldierly rather than being inspiring or surprising – a bit of a slog rather than an exhilarating dash.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sun May 02, 2010 12:01 pm

http://moonwolves.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/a-droid-premiere-centurion-2010/

A Droid Premiere – Centurion (2010)

2nd May, 2010 by Droid

A Droid Premiere

I’ve been on a pretty bad run of (self-inflicted) movie experiences recently, with the dire 70′s Arnies, and the hugely disappointing ‘Splice’ amongst a number I don’t dare mention for chance of their mere memory manifesting in to some sort of gigantic anus beast that will feed on me in the most hideous of ways. But, that has all changed. I foresee a brighter (immediate) future as I have entered a new period of viewing experiences. I’ve got awesome 80’s Arnies lined up, yesterday I watched ‘Brighton Rock’, with it’s terrific performance from Richard Attenborough, and then I proceeded to get my ass kicked by ‘Centurion’.

Centurion Poster In 117 AD the Roman Empire has most of the known world under it’s rule. But it’s progress through Britain is halted in the North by the Picts, a Scottish tribe which uses guerilla tactics and unforgiving savagery against the Roman army more used to overpowering opposing armies in open combat. The Ninth Legion, led by General Virilius (Dominic West), is ordered to defeat the Pict clan, but en-route are ambushed and slaughtered. The few remaining survivors, including Quintas Dias (Michael Fassbender), Bothos (David Morrisey) and Brick (Liam Cunningham), must make it out of enemy territory before the Picts find them.

That’s a broad plot description and I think that it’s best not to know too much about the films plot prior to seeing it. I was a little surprised by how it unfolded, which is one of the films many pleasures. It’s not by any means original, but it was a little different to what I expected.

The acting is excellent, particularly Dominic West as the charismatic General. He’s beloved by the men of the Ninth Legion and in just a few short scenes you can see why. Michael Fassbender is solid as Quintas Dias, the Centurion of the title. He is the films hero, and portrays an intelligent, capable leader of men with believable conviction (although I half wish that West and Fassbender had switched roles; West is that good). There’s a lot of great support from Morrisey, Cunningham and Olga Kurylenko, who plays Etain, a Pict warrior and tracker with a very valid reason to hate the Romans. Despite never saying a single word, she has a strong presence and convinces as a fierce warrior.

The film is based on a Scottish legend, where the invincible Ninth Legion ventured in to Scotland and disappeared without a trace. Written and directed by Neil Marshall, it’s a brutal and bloody tale of survival. It a bit like ‘Predator’, in that a small group of warriors are picked off one by one by an almost supernatural opponent. Etain, who leads the Pict in the chase, is able to track them across the vast mountains and harsh Scottish terrain with almost leisurely ease. While not entirely believable, this makes her a terrifying foe for our heroes.

The film, made for just £10 million, looks amazing. I keep making this point over and over again, but where the hell does all that money go on films like ‘Iron Man 2′ and ‘Transformers 2′? I know special effects are expensive, but here, Marshall has created an epic on a pittance, and it looks fantastic. Simply seeing a wide shot of the vast Ninth Legion marching, or the aftermath of the decimating ambush, makes me wonder at how he made this film for so little. Using Scottish locations and historical re-enactment groups (for the Pict and Roman armies), the film never fails to convince of it’s historical setting.

The dialogue at times was a little too modernized, with characters using terms such as “get laid” and “wide berth”, which I doubt very much was in the vernacular of a Roman almost two thousand years ago. And although the heroes of the film are the men of the Ninth Legion, it was often difficult to feel unsympathetic towards the Pict. They are just in defending themselves against a foreign invasion. Their methods, while brutal, are an intelligent strategy against a huge army. Both Etain, and Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen) the chief of the Picts, are legitimately entitled to their hatred of the Romans. This made me somewhat conflicted in where my allegiance lied. While I wanted the Romans to make it back safely, I also felt that the Pict deserved some retribution. This detracted from my involvement in the film a little. And I was a little disappointed, because there is dialogue early in the film that sets up Dias as a terrifying fighter, who’s father was a famed gladiator who taught him how to fight. I was expecting a terrific showdown with Etain, where he unleashes his gladiatorial fighting style, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my lofty expectations.

But despite those small problems, ‘Centurion’ is a terrific film, made on a small budget by an immensely talented filmmaker. Trying to envision what Marshall could do with a decent budget (or an Alien film) just melts my brain. This film is getting completely and utterly screwed on release over here, in favour of garbage like ‘Iron Man 2′, ‘Date Night’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’. Do yourself a huge favour and see this instead.

3-changs-out-of-4

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon May 03, 2010 2:19 pm

http://globalcomment.com/2010/centurion-the-perils-of-empire-make-for-good-cinema/

Centurion: the perils of empire make for good cinema
By Mark Farnsworth | Published: May 3, 2010

Early on in Marguerite Yourcenar’s “Memoirs of Hadrian” the Emperor Hadrian, now 60, muses, “This morning it occurred to me for the first time that my body, my faithful companion and friend, truer and better known to me than my own soul, may be after all a sly beast who will end by devouring his master.”

Could Hadrian be describing the Roman Empire in Neil Marshall’s bloody return to form, Centurion? The realisation that there was a finite limit, an edge at which the eternal glory of Rome had to teeter at, for to go on would end in its self destruction?

Still from Centurion

Far away from the Eternal City, Centurion Quintas Dias freezes in the most inhospitable backwater of the Empire, Britannia. “Soldiers do the fighting and soldiers do the dying and the Gods never get their feet wet” narrates Dias. Men like Dias are the poor bastards who cling to the precipice, defending Roman civilization from the barbarian hordes of the Picts,who use guerrilla tactics alien to antiquities superpower and their conventional military might. Sound familiar?

“This is a new kind of war,” laments Dias, “a war without honour, a war without end.” The ironic similarities between the invasion of Afghanistan and the Roman occupation of Britain are sharply observed when the governor of Britannia, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, wants a quick military victory so he can get back to Rome. “This place is the graveyard of ambition” he snarls. Agricola promptly disobeys clear tactical logic and orders the full might of the 9th Legion to wipe out the Picts once and for all.

The 9th, led by their beloved, tavern-brawling General, Titus Flavius Virilius, is cocksure and up for the fight. “He’s a ruthless, reckless bastard and I’d die for him without hesitation,” barks Septus of his commander to Dias, recently escaped from a devastating raid by the Picts on his border fort.

Of course, such scar-faced bravado from Septus and his battle brothers can only ever end one way in these films, and the 9th are massacred, betrayed by their beautiful, mute tracker Etain. Marshall shoots this major set piece with stunning savagery, flooding the screen with a wash of blood and a fearsome rhythmic montage of hacked-off limbs, slashed throats and staved-in heads.

Dias and a motley crew of survivors at first try to snatch back the captured Titus but their botched attempt quickly descends into a hunt that mirrors Deliverance, Southern Comfort and even Cross of Iron as Etain and her warriors are unleashed by the Pict king to avenge a horrific crime committed by one of Dias’ men: “Her soul is an empty vessel which only Roman blood can fill.”

Centurion firmly places Marshall back on track after the self-indulgent and ramshackle Doomsday, that was such a disappointment when compared the expertly crafted menace of The Descent. Michael Fassbender continues his climb to A-list status with yet another riveting performance as Dias, ably supported by a great cast including David Morrissey and Noel Clarke, and Olga Kurylenko as the lethal Etain continues Marshall’s obsession with deadly women.

Long may it continue. ★★★★★
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon May 03, 2010 2:28 pm

http://tonyotim.blogspot.com/2010/05/film-reviews.html

Monday, 3 May 2010
Film Reviews
Takinga break from politics for one post to update on what I've been watching in the last week and a half or so. First up is:

Centurion
The latest from Neil Marshall (The Descent,Dog Soldiers) follows a group of Roman solidier running around in a snowy Scotland and trying not to get hacked to bits by troublesome picts. It's rather gorier than it needs to be and Marshall seems rather too fond of decapitating as many characters as possible. The Wire's Dominic West clearly has fun, but still seems to be playing McNulty, former bond-girl Olga Kurylenko scowls moodily at the camera throughout so its left to the ever-excellent Michael Fassbender and his group of talented younf brits to hold it all together, which they do making this an enjoyable chase movie with a Roman-twist, but the best bits are rather too obviously borrowed from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Overall - 6/10 - entertaining, but nothing special
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Tue May 04, 2010 7:29 pm

http://www.movie-gazette.com/17494/centurion

Centurion (2010)

Fight or die.

Starring:

Axelle Carolyn

Dave Legeno

David Morrissey

Dhaffer L'Abidine

Dominic West

Imogen Poots

James Currie

JJ Feild

Michael Fassbender

Noel Clarke

Olga Kurylenko

Rachael Stirling

Riz Ahmed

Ulrich Thomsen

Directed by:

Neil Marshall

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

Certificate: US: N/A UK: 15

Country: United Kingdom

Neil Marshall’s Centurion is a Roman adventure yarn set in England in 117AD as the Italian invaders are terrorised by the rebellious Picts of Scotland. Quintus Dias (Fassbender) and a handful of multicultural soldiers become stranded behind enemy lines after their regiment is ambushed and massacred by guerrilla bands of Scots. One of the group then manages to kill the Pict king’s son, who in turn sends expert tracker Etain (Kurylenko) out to hunt them down and do nasty things to them. This sets the scene for many bloody battles and men implausibly running up a series of really high mountains.

Overall, Centurion is ruined by a series of small annoyances. Too much time is taken up by aerial shots of mountainous scenery being used as fillers – so much so, you would think that Neil Marshall was a pilot in a previous career. Strangely, all the women have perfect skin and wear lipstick – obviously bought in the nearest Boots pharmacist – and there’s a strange Roman Soldier-witch romantic subplot tacked on at the end. Then don’t get me started on historical movies using cringeworthy anachronistic dialogue to make history more accessible to kids and morons. Even the opening credits are just weird.

These fairly minor but irksome flaws do well to ruin a decent behind-enemy-lines adventure story packed with serviceable hard-hitting action. The ambush scene stands out as brutally realistic and high on detail and generally there is lots of exquisite period detail throughout which stands in stark contrast to much of the laziness that surrounds it. Michael Fassbender is okay as an easy lead to care about and he acts his way through Centurion, as with 300, like a man who’s not quite sure whether his latest project will be great or awful. All in all, it’s an easy way to spend 97 minutes and it’s pretty enjoyable but that doesn’t mean it is particularly good.

It's Got: Cringeworthy dialogue, a decent story, plenty of lipstick.

It Needs: Less of the panaromic scenery shots.

Alternatives:
Braveheart, Gladiator, Last of the Mohicans
Summary

A Roman adventure yarn that, despite some decent action and an interesting enough plot, annoys in a hundred different ways
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Tue May 04, 2010 11:42 pm

http://www.moshblog.me.uk/2010/05/04/british-cinema-streets-ahead/

British Cinema – Streets Ahead
May 4, 2010, 10:31 pm

Last night I caught two films at the Cineworld, both British yet both on opposite ends of the financial scale. Both, however, were excellent and proved beyond a doubt that you don’t need a bazillion dollars and household name megastars to produce entertaining, thoughtful cinema.

Centurion

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Rome decided to go all out against the Picts, doesn’t come off too well and leaves seven soldiers stuck deep behind enemy lines.

Second time lucky, I managed to catch this one before it vanished from the multiplex. I’m very glad I did as well. Similarly to Disappearance above, this is a low-budget (compared to Hollywood) effort, filmed in the UK and using British talent. It’s the opposite end of the pay scale, though, with a very large cast, some wonderful scenery and gory effects.

Neil Marshall’s first major release was Dog Soldiers which I loved. The horror story background was played off against the great incidental dialogue. Centurion follows this pattern as we see the Roman soldiers bantering with each other.

Centurion isn’t a straightforward epic, however. The huge cast is quickly whittled down to a smaller core with an actual plot. Imagine BAT*21 meets Gladiator meets Braveheart. Ish.

The way the story is told is very clever – the first line of dialogue marrying up perfectly with the last. Essentially we follow one character – Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) – as he finds himself attached to a legion sent north to defeat the Picts who have so far withstood the Roman invasion. As history will tell you, they continued to do so and the legion’s fate is not a pretty one.

Seven men survive out of three thousand. They set off to rescue their general, and then to find their way back to safety. All the way they are hounded by a near-mystically gifted tracker (Etain, played by the disturbingly sexy Olga Kurylenko) and a small group of Picts intent on ensuring they don’t make it.

The film seems to have been shot almost entirely outdoors which must have been uncomfortable for all involved as it looks flipping freezing. I’m no historian, but the settings and so forth seem pretty authentic although the language has been brought up to modern standard (including the swearing). A nice touch to have the Picts speak what I assume is some early version of Gaelic which is subtitled. Again, apologies if my lack of historical knowledge proves that statement to be utter crap.

It’s certainly not a heart-warming film. As we’d expect from Marshall, it’s brutal and unforgiving. Beatings, bashings, decapitations, stab wounds, hacks, slashes… all present and accounted for.

I await the forthcoming Robin Hood film which is probably the most similar release so far this year. I’d like to compare the budgets and see which one I enjoy the most. Judging by the trailers, I think it’s going to be Centurion. And, hey, wasn’t the best thing about Costner’s version Alan Rickman – who just happens to be British?

Yes, this week I am mostly very proud of our home-grown films.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Tue May 04, 2010 11:54 pm

http://www.nouse.co.uk/2010/05/04/centurion/

Centurion

May 4, 2010
Lev Harris

Film: Centurion
Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko
Runtime: 97 Mins
Review: Lev Harris
Rating: ***

It seems that filmmakers are never afraid to tackle and (for want of a better word) copy exactly the same subject matter as another film made in the same year. Such is the case with Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle Of The Ninth, released later this year, in the wake of Centurion, Neil Marshall’s latest offering.

The history of the mysterious disappearance of the ninth legion is non-existent, thus handing Marshall complete artistic and creative control. The premise is simple: following a guerrilla ambush of an entire Roman battalion by the Picts, seven members of the ninth legion of Rome are trapped behind enemy lines with little hope of survival. They attempt to reach the English border before they are picked off by revenge-driven Etain and her band of warriors.

At first sight, this chase thriller couldn’t be further removed from Marshall’s previous movies, but on further inspection many similarities arise, albeit disguised in leather jockstraps and metal armor sculpted in the shape of the warriors’ torsos. The Descent features a similar band of outcasts, a group of women being chased by a higher power in a cave, as opposed to the Scottish highlands. As a result, a feeling of staleness abides while watching Centurion. A change of tack for Marshall is needed; getting someone else to pen the script might be a good start.
The film begins entertainingly enough with a battle in the woods akin to the beginning of Gladiator. The carefully crafted hand-to-hand set piece is visually satisfying, but soon it becomes obvious we are watching a collection of chase sequences that, whilst gritty and brutal, don’t live up to the excitement of the opening: the film loses its initial tempo and starts to sag. One only need watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to remember why Centurion comes off as distinctly average. Some scenes have been taken right out of Butch Cassidy, whose set-pieces resonate due to our emotional attachment to the anti-heroes. This is desperately missing from Centurion. There is a five minute getting-to-know-you campfire session between the remaining Roman soldiers, yet no sooner has this finished when half of them succumb to arrow shots to the back or spears through the mouth.

You are left with a feeling of indifference towards the deaths of the lazily-drawn secondary characters; even the backstory of antagonist Etain, a clear copy of Titus Andronicus’ Lavinia, is referred to only half-heartedly. Meanwhile, Michael Fassbender makes the most of his turn as the leader of the resistance, unfailingly dedicating himself, and bent on escaping back to the border, while also showing a side of vulnerability to his character.

It ends with a throwaway attempt at character development, as a predictable romantic sub-plot hurriedly gives way to then end credits, revealing nothing but uncertainty about how to end the story. Comparisons to 300 and Gladiator are inevitable, and while it surpasses the former, its formulaic nature means that it never reaches the heights of the latter.
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed May 05, 2010 7:37 pm

http://meksmeanderings.blogspot.com/2010/05/centurion-marshalls-period-piece.html

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Centurion - Marshall's Period Piece.

I was pretty excited about this film. Neil Marshall is one my favourite directors and Michael Fassbender on of my favourite actors.

I liked the way the opening credits were done. Broad sweeping words on matching vistas. Giving you a great vision of how harsh the terrain the film would take place on actually is.

After the first scene though things started to go downhill for me. Dominic West playing Dominic West with a bucketful of bluster thrown in really didn't do it for me. Neither did the Cockney accents of his Roman soldiers, a la Saruman's Urak Hai. One of my pet peeves in period films is the use of modern accents to tell us someone's personality/character. I don't need to view everything in it's correct language and enunciation. I just don't want strong modern accents thrown in.

I'm afraid this film made me think Neil Marshall should stick to modern day set films. Many will probably disagree. To me this film gained nothing from it's period setting. It was too modern day laddish. I can't really explain what I mean here as I'm sure the Romans were laddish too. This just felt a little too Guy Ritchie for the 2nd Century. This was what ultimately took me out of the film.

The cast were mostly very good. Fassbender I suspect would be good in Crossroads if he was cast. David Morrissey played yet another blinder. Solid dependable co-star who doesn't need to chew up the scenery. As was Liam Cunningham. Olga Kurylenko played her part very well. That she was mute definitely added to her character. If looks could kill though, she'd leave a trail of death with her eyes only. I felt Dominic West overplayed his boisterous, 'I'm one of you my soldiers' role. Brian Blessed type acting that doesn't suit him. he just looks false. Noel Clarke seemed to play his usual streetwise lad about London. Again that didn't fit the setting for me. Axelle Carolyn will be one I'll keep an eye out for in the future. The camera loves her and she held her own in her scenes.

Towards the end the film was a little predictable in places. But nothing I'll lose sleep over. I really wanted to enjoy this film. It was the first time I've felt a little let down by Marshall. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, I just didn't enjoy this film like I did his others. At least he had the sense to keep it short. None of this trendy 2 hours+ I keep having to suffer with other filmamkers. I'm hoping he returns to modern day or at least recent history with his next project. He's still one of my favourites, he just has a slight blot on his record.

2.5 pawprints out of 5
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu May 06, 2010 1:28 am

http://twilightroomofthesoul.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-name-is-quintus-dias.html

Wednesday, 5 May 2010
MY NAME IS QUINTUS DIAS

So opens Centurion, Neil Marshall's new movie a fictional retelling of the story of the Ninth Legion and what happened to them in Scotland in the 2nd Century AD. Marshall's last film was Doomsday which was also set in Scotland and despite featuring the gorgeous Rhona Mitra really was awful. A ratbag of cliches and influences stuck on a plot stolen from Escape from New York the only thing it had going for it was Ms Mitra and Bob Hoskins in the Lee Van Cleef role. This time the inspiration is Walter Hill's The Warriors and Marshall has made a film worthy of the comparison. Some of the reviews have been a bit sniffy but I think this movie shows real development. Instead of a bunch of action cliches stuck together with no rhyme or reason he gives us a film with a proper plot character development and a real sense of place and time. He is helped in this by an excellent cast including Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, David Morrisey and Olga Kurylenko. She has a pivotal role as the mute Pict warrior who hunts down the survivors of a disastrous excursion north of the border by the infamous Ninth Legion of the Roman Army. I'll take a will guess that Marshall didn't spend anything like the $120 million apparently lavished on Clash of the Titans and whilst I quite enjoyed that movie Centurion is superior in every aspect.
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