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Centurion reviews

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:22 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marshall-fine/huffpost-review-icenturio_b_692210.html

Author and film critic, hollywoodandfine.com
Posted: August 24, 2010 08:14 AM

If you did a mashup of Gladiator and Braveheart and remade it as a videogame, you'd probably wind up with something like Centurion, a mildly engaging action-thriller that seems to grimly revel in its gruesome violence.

Set in the second century A.D. in northern Great Britain, Centurion can also be read as a metaphor against imperialism and manifest destiny. Whether it's Algeria, India, Vietnam or Iraq, Centurion is yet another story built on the idea that invaders ignore the power of an indigenous insurgency at their own risk.

In this case, it's the Roman Empire, specifically, a legion of Roman soldiers on the northern frontier of its invasion of Britain. They can't seem to get any traction against the Picts, the local force that fights like guerrillas and has the Romans flummoxed.

Quintus (Michael Fassbender) is an officer in a legion that is all but slaughtered when his patrol is overrun by the Picts. Quintus is captured and taken to the Pict camp, where its leader, Ulrich Thomsen, tells him the Picts will never surrender and the Romans will never win. Before they can behead him, however, Quintus escapes, his hands tied, shirtless, dashing through the snow.

He eventually is picked up by the Ninth Legion, led by Gen. Virilus (Dominic West), who enlists him to go wipe out the Picts. But then Custer assumed he was going to annihilate Sitting Bull and we all know how that came out.

Directed by Neil Marshall (Descent), Centurion doesn't have a lot of suspense, though the tension caused by the threat of excruciating violence - and then the follow-through with swords, axes, disembowelments, beheadings and the like - is serious. But the battle sequences mostly seem to be made of killshots - or the sword-and-sandal equivalent: guys thrusting blades, pikes and axes into skulls and chests, with computer-generated blood squirting darkly.

Oh, yes, the dark: Though there's not a lot of night action, you'd think the whole thing had been shot during an eclipse. Apparently the accepted visual shorthand for first-millennium England is murkiness.

Centurion has a simple enough story - the Romans, who think they're in charge, have pissed off the Picts and now they've got to escape from these wildmen warriors. The characters are sketchily drawn - good guys, bad guys - and then they spend their time either running from their enemies or battling them.

Marshall knows how to get the adrenaline flowing but to what end? Centurion seems to be mostly an exercise in dress-up, with blood-bags thrown in for fun.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:28 pm

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/centurion/4962

Centurion *½

by Nick Schager on August 23, 2010

Though seemingly content to be a B-movie director, Neil Marshall heads further into C-list territory with Centurion, a period actioner that squanders the great Michael Fassbender and Dominic West in murky, monotonous Roman Empire carnage. In 117 A.D., Roman soldier Quintus Dias (Fassbender) is captured in the misty mountains of Great Britain by an indigenous guerilla warrior tribe known as the Picts. With their long stringy hair, patchwork animal-carcass clothing, tribal face paint, and multi-bladed weapons, these savage villains closely resemble the Mad Max-redux lunatics from Marshall's Doomsday, including the badass mute warrior babe, Etain (Olga Kurylenko), who leads the hunt for Quintus once he escapes imprisonment and joins up with the battalion of General Virilus (West).

While a story about a monumental military force facing fierce resistance from a land's native fighters might naturally lend itself to contemporary allusions, Marshall is after nothing more than gruesome combat full of skulls exploding into chunks of red meat and necks being slashed with gurgling brutality. Too bad, then, that his centerpiece mayhem is so monumentally dull, shot in unimaginative colorless hues, faux-gritty realism, and frenetic incoherence à la Ridley Scott.

Trapped behind enemy lines with those lucky few comrades to have survived the Picts's assaults, Quintus endeavors to make it back home, but Marshall—alternating between forest-set male-camaraderie vignettes and spastic battle sequences in a vein similar to his overrated Dog Soldiers—never makes his heroes' quest seem urgent or of any consequence. This is partly due to his plotting, which involves mishmashing loosely connected scenes together without ever suggesting the remaining distance his characters have to travel before securing sanctuary, or the means by which Quintus and company's stock adversaries always magically discover their whereabouts at the most inopportune moments. But mainly, Centurion doesn't engender any interest because the film itself shows no concern for creating characters worth caring about, with Quintus's featurelessness so pronounced, and his dimly lit, narratively sluggish quest so vacuous and formulaic, that the intense Fassbender is reduced to stoutly posturing in a vacuum.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:30 pm

http://www.nycfilmcritic.com/?p=2045

http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/specialty-releases/e3ie16e8b7507e085a99e16d5560e579cf5

Film Review: Centurion
Neil Marshall reaffirms his status as a contemporary “King of the B’s” with another straight-up genre flick that’s low on budget but high on fun.

Aug 11, 2010

-By Ethan Alter

filmjournal/photos/stylus/147815-Centurion_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.
It’s an understandable, but unfortunate, reality of the movie business that directors of A-list prestige projects grab the majority of our attention and acclaim, while those that spend most of their careers churning out B-movies—a somewhat outdated catch-all term used to describe low-budget genre pictures—often have to wait decades to be similarly appreciated. It’s only within the past 20 years, for example, that wizened genre masters like George A. Romero and Roger Corman have been widely celebrated for their skill and craft, with the latter even picking up an honorary Oscar at a star-studded Academy ceremony last fall.

Going by that math, sometime around the year 2030, British filmmaker Neil Marshall will at last be honored in some venue, be it a special industry gala or a week-long retrospective at one of the few remaining repertory movie houses. The recognition will be long overdue. Since his 2002 debut Dog Soldiers, Marshall has consistently proven himself to be one of the most reliable contemporary creators of kick-ass genre flicks around. 2005’s The Descent was an exceptionally well-crafted horror film, while the 2008 post-apocalyptic adventure Doomsday played like a gleefully wild mash-up of John Carpenter and George Miller.

Marshall’s latest effort, Centurion, fuses elements of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator with the Rambo series, telling the story of a Roman soldier dropped behind enemy lines and forced to survive with only his wits and superior fighting skills. In a terrific star turn, Michael Fassbender plays the titular centurion Quintus, one of a handful of enlisted men posted to a remote fort in northern Britain circa 117 A.D. Their assignment is to defend the Roman Empire’s tenuous border against the guerrilla-style tactics of the Picts, the fierce Celtic tribes that refuse to submit to foreign rule. Inevitably, the fort is overrun and Quintus taken prisoner, but he pulls off the first of many daring escapes and meets up with another Roman legion led by General Virilus (Dominic West), which is marching north to take the fight to the Picts. Too bad for them that their supposedly loyal guide Etain (ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko) is secretly working with the enemy and leads the soldiers into a trap from which few emerge alive. Following this massacre, Quintus spearheads a mission to rescue the captured Virilus and lead his small band of brothers back across the border before they too lose their heads to a Pict-axe.

The secret to Marshall’s success as a B-movie maestro is that he always takes the material seriously without making films that are overly serious. Like The Descent and Doomsday before it, Centurion is played straight—there are no Scream-like genre in-jokes and none of the actors can be caught winking at the camera. And yet the movie possesses a lively, almost lighthearted spirit that makes it a great deal of fun to watch. Narrative clichés that would be groan-inducing in another, more self-important period epic—like, say, this summer’s Robin Hood—largely roll off the viewer’s back here because they are delivered with an earnest enthusiasm by the writer-director and his game cast. (Indeed, Fassbender is so charismatic in the lead role, it’s a shame he wasn’t picked to play England’s most famous outlaw over the increasingly humorless Russell Crowe.)

Granted, Marshall isn’t quite as adept at shooting action sequences as Scott or even Miller, but he gooses the proceedings with some agreeably outlandish bits of bloodshed and a relentless pace. And in a classic genre movie tradition that’s perhaps best typified by Romero’s zombie pictures, he’s even worked a measure of social commentary into the film. It certainly doesn’t require that much of a leap to view the Picts as stand-ins for the homegrown insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the Roman soldiers represent the in-over-their-heads U.S. and/or U.K. troops. (At one point, Quintus even refers to the conflict as a “new kind of war…[one] without end,” echoing, among other things, the title of Charles Ferguson’s acclaimed Iraq War documentary No End in Sight.) It may not be A-level art, but Centurion provides all the entertainment value you expect from a solid B-movie.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:43 pm

http://www.crowsnbones.com/2010/08/centurion-film-review/

Centurion Film Review

British filmaker Neil Marshall has attracted a lot of attention with his debut Dog Soldiers, a smart, low budget werewolf tale, before making perhaps the best horror film of the last decade with the unbearably tense and claustrophobic The Descent. The follow- up, Doomsday was a fun apocalyptic B- movie. It was no masterpiece, but any director who can make a GOOD trash movie with Malcolm McDowell clearly has talent to spare, so I was curious to see what he would do next.

He is back with Centurion. It is a historical adventure, taking place in the second century A.D. and follows the story of the Ninth Legion, a group of Roman soldiers who dissappeared after a raid in the north of Britain and are assumed to have been slaughtered by the Picts (although historians dissagree on their exact fate). Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) stars as a centurion who has to lead a small group of survivors to Hadrian’ s Wall. Along the way, they have to face wolves, Pict trackers (who enjoy finding creative ways to kick Roman ass) and the harsh, unforgiving landscape of Caledonia. Some great character actors show up as members of the ill- fated legion, including Dominic West (The Wire), Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), Liam Cunningham (Dog Soldiers, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Clash Of The Titans) and David Morrisey (State Of Play, Doctor Who, Red Riding). Unfortunately, they don’t get much screentime, as the survival rate of Roman soldiers in Pict territory seems to have been extremely low in those days. Olga Kurylenko (Hitman, Quantum Of Solace) somehow shows up as a mute warrior as well. Which is not very convinsing, since no amount of wolf fur and blue paint can discuise that she is a smoking- hot supermodel and not somebody who disembowels people for a living. Not that I am complaining or anything. They should cast her in every film as far as I ‘m concerned.

Marshall deserves a lot of credit for making this a small, terse story of survival and not some bloated epic. This is partly because the budget is very tight, but he makes it work. This is the sort of adventure story that Robert Howard used to write for Weird Tales when he ran out of Conan material. Short, brutal and disposable. And when I say brutal, I mean it. There is a huge number of bloody dismemberment on display here and I loved every single frame of it. At the end of the day, Centurion is an entertaining movie and that counts for something. It could have been a lot worse (anyone who has had the misfortune of watching the idiotic King Arthur, with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly knows what I mean). I am still waiting for Marshall to fullfill the promise he showed with The Descent though
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:06 pm

http://itsjustmovies.com/12076

Under Review: ‘Centurion’

– by ADAM POYNTER –

Neil Marshall burst onto the scene years ago with his debut of “Dog Soldiers.” The movie was liked by most and he went on to direct “The Decent,” “Doomsday” and now “Centurion.” If you have seen any of these films, you know Marshall’s visual style and love of blood and gore in his films. He embraces the animalistic side of man and doesn’t shy away from bloodshed. Also a writer and editor for some of his films, Marshall really injects a lot of himself into his cinematic endeavors. Although this is an admirable thing to do, Marshall needs to make sure he doesn’t have the same downward spiral that M. Night Shayamalan’s career has taken and realize that sometimes a bit of distance from a project isn’t such a bad thing.

“Centurion,” set in 117 A.D., is a tale about the legend of the ill-fated 9th Legion of the Roman Army, which went to battle and never returned. This is Marshall’s interpretation of their story. “Centurion” is a Roman chase war epic that tales the story of the Italian contingent that are terrorized and slowly killed off by the rebellious and vicious Picts, a tribe of Celtic warriors that refuse to submit to foreign rule. The lone survivor of a massacre at his outpost, Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) manages to escape the clutches of the brutal Picts King, Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomson) and luckily he meets up with the 9th regiment on its way to battle.

After their regiment is ambushed and massacred by a guerrilla band of Scots, Quintas and a handful of multicultural soldiers become stranded behind enemy lines. Then, on a rescue mission to free their captured general, Titus Verilius (Dominic West), one of the group kills the king’s son, who in turn makes an oath that he will not rest until the small group of soldiers has been killed. He sends expert tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko) and a group of warriors out to hunt them down and slaughter them all. This sets into motion a chase scene of grand proportions and many bloody battles and intense action sequences. Can the few remaining soldiers of the 9th Legion make it home alive when they are stranded hundreds of miles into enemy territory?

This could be considered a “B Film,” since it has a lower budget than most period movies and not a lot of well-known actors. But as has been the trend in the past 10 to 15 years, B movies are registering with a wider audience and garnering more appreciation. This movie takes itself just serious enough as to not be considered cheesy or a spoof. The movie is narrated by the character Quintus Dias, who takes us on a journey with him. Normally, narration can be seen as a cliché, but Fassbender pulls this off quite nicely with total sincerity. Not totally period-accurate, the main characters often use modern dialect and phrases, this to me helps set the tone for the film and I like it. Using wide telescopic aerial shots to show the vast beauty and rigidness of the land, we get to see the many different types of landscape they have to venture through to get home. I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie does — on a much smaller scale — for tourism in Scotland what “Lord of the Rings” did for it in New Zealand.

The main focus of this movie is Michael Fassbender as the leader of the few remaining Roman soldiers and rightfully so. He completely embodies his character and you can see the qualities of a true leader in him. His casting was brilliant and is what helps make this movie work. There are a few plotlines that have no real relevance to the main story, but overall this film is a quick-paced action adventure that can thrill you, make you cringe, and have you cheering all at the same time. So go into this movie with the right mindset and you will truly enjoy.

“Centurion” is being released in limited theaters Aug. 27 and is rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language.

. . .
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:38 pm

http://100percentofnothing.com/movies/5778

It’s Time to Kill or Be Killed: Movies in Theaters the Week of August 23rd
By
Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa’s Pick of the Week: Centurion

Action/Adventure starring Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, and Dominic West. Opening August 27th. In 117 A.D., a small platoon of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines against the savage and deadly Picts. – Rated R (Limited)

Centurion is a gritty epic that combines the realism and heartfelt story such as in Gladiator with the gore and creative cinematography such as 300. The trailer basically makes this film look like an entertaining under-the-radar epic, my expectations are very high in hoping that this film has something new to offer to the old-school Roman gladiator story
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:43 pm

http://www.thesis.mekerr.com/blog/?p=1603

Centurion
I saw Centurion for free. So I guess the question is would I have paid money to see it. Sure, if I was in the mood to watch the very interesting Michael Fassbender in a historical drama/action movie about times of the Roman Empire. But I think the audience for this type of fare is pretty small. However, Michael Fassbender fans will find it a full and interesting role for him.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:07 pm

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2010/aug/25/bc-centurion-movie-review-adv27cc-_-entertainment-/?entertainment&national-entertainment

Centurion'

* Originally published August 25, 2010 at 10:40 a.m., updated August 25, 2010 at 11:43 a.m.

By Roger Moore

The Orlando Sentinel

The "soldiers trapped behind enemy lines" story has been a favorite since Xenophon followed Greeks home from deep in hostile Persia in "Anabasis" in 400 B.C.

That's the plot of "Centurion," an old-fashioned quest epic set in Roman Britain. Beautifully filmed, given a lyrical lilt by virtue of a poetic voice over narration and featuring the brutal, personal and graphic violence that is today's cinematic style, it's a B-movie with a hint of history to it.

Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds") stars as Quintus Dias, a soldier we meet on the run, through the snows of Northern Britain. He's bleeding. He's half-naked. And the Picts, the fierce people who hadn't yet learned to distill Scotch whisky, are after him.

Quintus Dias narrates that this has become "a new kind of war, a war without honor, without end." Draw your own modern parallels here.

We flash back to the ambushes that put Quintus on the run, the rough-and-tumble Ninth Legion, led by a two-fisted general played by Dominic West of "300." The Roman governor (Paul Freeman of "Raiders of the Lost Ark") sends the troops out to "sow the Earth with our dead," and sure enough, only a mismatched handful of the ambushed soldiers survived. Quintus Dias must lead them back to the frontier to safety.

Writer-director Neil Marshall ("Doomsday," ''The Descent") smartly anchored the film around Fassbender, who makes a fine hero. Marshall fills the supporting cast with sturdy British character players - David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham among them. He pits the survivors against one another and against the elements, and pushes the surviving soldiers through the wilds of northern Britain (the wilds of Spain substituted for it) with a fury.

One misstep in all this is the woodlands scout, played by Bond beauty Olga Kurylenko as all hair and eye shadow and editing that doesn't cover her discomfort at all the horseback riding and brutal fighting of the early scenes. She grows into the part's fierceness - eventually. The equally lovely Imogen Poots shows up as a woodlands exile who may be friend or foe to the fleeing soldiers.

"Centurion" is a B-picture, with a predictable story arc and predictable action beats. You just know they're going to have to leap off a cliff into a river, at some point. But it's a darned entertaining outing from a director who knows action, loves narration and doesn't share Hollywood's fear of period pieces that don't involve Greek gods.

___

CENTURION

3 stars

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West, David Morrissey

Director: Neil Marshall

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Industry Rating: R for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language

___
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:08 pm

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20415538,00.html

Centurion (2010)
Reviewed by Chris Nashawaty | Aug 25, 2010

Details Release Date: Aug 27, 2010; Rated: R; Length: 97 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama; With: Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko
SHE-WOLF Olga Kurylenko hunts Romans in Centurion | Centurion

Director Neil Marshall has made some good films (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), but he won't make anyone forget Gladiator with the sword-and-sandal gorefest Centurion. Inglourious Basterds' Michael Fassbender plays a scrappy Roman soldier leading the remnants of the slaughtered Ninth Legion against the savage, face-painted Picts tribe led by badass Bond babe Olga Kurylenko. The plot's pretty thin — even for a gladiator movie. Fortunately, when it comes to crunchy impalings and messy arterial geysers, Marshall's a maestro. B
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:09 pm

http://www.nypress.com/article-21568-centurion.html

Wednesday, August 25,2010
Centurion
Michael Fassbender packs on pecs to fight the Picts in Centurion
By Armond White
. . . . . . .

Centurion
Directed by Neil Marshall
Runtime: 97 min.

Why make a genre movie—any movie, really—without inspiration? Neil Marshall, the director of the horror film The Descent, now comes up with another late genre entry: his imagination evident in the redundant antiquity battle tale’s title, Centurion. Shadowed by Zack Snyder’s fascinating 300, Marshall adds nothing new to the basic plot, least of all the kind of genre delight Snyder evidenced and not the revisionist intelligence behind Walter Hill’s 1979 neo-gladiator movie The Warriors.

OK, Centurion isn’t a slog like Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. There’s almost authenticity in this vision of Euro history, especially through Sam McCurdy’s dense cinematography layering darkness and mist—the overloaded atmosphere creates an almost original look. But everything else is hackneyed: Even Michael Fassbender packing on pecs, abs and scowl to play Quintus Dias, the Roman soldier in 117 A.D. assigned to fight the Picts, the vicious primitive Celtic tribe.

Committed to exploitation-movie horror, Marshall heaps on the battle scenes, piling up carcasses as Dias defends his commander General Titus Virilus (Dominic West, whose doomed role gives him the chance to out-emote Fassbender) and leads his Ninth Legion army back home. These good actors don’t perfect warrior iconography like Gerard Butler in 300, partly because they’re less feverishly imagined. The script limits them to gruff Brit locutions and anachronistic vernacular (“Put the f#%@#&! knife down!”). Dias’ primary foe is a mute feral female, Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a vengeful, painted-face warrior. Action flicks have no cooler device than a woman scorned. Etain’s just a wraith with weaponry. “Her soul is an empty vessel, only Roman blood can fill it.” But Marshall hasn’t learned his Walter Hill lesson to make a woman as compelling as a man. Etain is merely relentless.

That’s also how Marshall directs the redundant action scenes. Whether battlefield skirmishes or forest ambushes, they’re all the same unmeasured mayhem. New rule: Only one decapitation per ancient action movie. It used to be a sign of the boldest battle film to show a head rolling off a soldier’s neck, through the air and across the screen. After Marshall and his F/X team throw in the second decapitation (with more to come), they’re not special anymore. This could be an offshoot of video-game excess, or it could just mean that Neil Marshall is mindless.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:11 pm

http://wegotthiscovered.com/2010/08/25/centurion-review/

25
Aug
Centurion Review
Category: Featured Posts, Movies, Reviews

Director Neil Marshall was once Hollywood’s next big thing. Dog Soldiers put his name out there and The Descent had people talking. After the release of The Descent, many hailed him as the wunderkind of British film. Moviegoers were excited to see where Marshall would go next and many were looking forward to another fresh and exciting take on the horror genre. Following The Descent, Marshall put out Doomsday in 2008.

The film didn’t preform well at the box office or critically and it took away some of the steam from Marshall’s rolling train. When news came that Marshall’s next film would be the historical action film Centurion, based on the legend of Rome’s Ninth Legion, people grew skeptical.

After a step in the wrong direction, we were left wondering if Marshall could fix his mistakes and get back on the path of his once very promising career. Is Centurion the film that we’ve been waiting for since The Descent? Or is it just another reason for us to believe that we jumped the gun on Neil Marshall and his once promising career?

In what feels like Gladiator mixed with Conan and Lord of the Rings, Marshall takes us back to the year AD 117. The Roman Empire is in power and their reach spreads from Egypt to Spain. Upon entering Scotland, the Empire seems to be faced with a new enemy. A relentless and savage tribe known as the Picts are proving to be a worthy opponent. The guerrilla tactics of the enemy have made it tough for the Romans to continue their conquest and so it has come to a halt.

Fed up with the constant opposition from the Picts, Rome sends in their toughest legion, the Ninth. Eager to wipe out the Picts once and for all, the Ninth set off on their quest but are met with shock when a surprise attack by the Picts wipes out almost the entire legion. Leaving only a few survivors, Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) leads the group of soldiers as they battle their way back to the safety of the Roman army while constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the Picts.

Boasting some gorgeous shots of the Scottish landscape (photographed wonderfully by cinematographer Sam McCurdy), Centurion turns the cold, harsh and desolate land into its own character. Marshall, clearly familiar with Scotland, creates an antagonist out of the land and it proves to be as big of an obstacle to the Romans as the Picts themselves.

The crowded forests and snow covered mountains are every bit as deterring to the Romans as the Picts are. Beautiful yet menacing, McCurdy turns Caledonia into an eerie yet breathtaking landscape and it makes for a great setting for the narrative. The sweeping scenery also makes the film look like it was a lot more expensive than it really was.

Drawing clearly from films like Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and Zack Snyder’s 300, it’s easy to see that Marshall is heavily influenced by some of the best in the business. The battle scene plays out like an eruption of carnage.

Blood and violence are found here in great abundance. Decapitations, arrows through the neck, limbs severed and heads being crushed, are just some examples of what you’ll be treated to in this ultra violent film. Relentless in its portrayal of violence, the battles here are vicious. Aside from some sub-par CG effects, the battles are all pretty amazing and are easily one of the highlights of this film. Marshall, who isn’t exactly a stranger to blood and gore, is clearly loving every minute of it as he revels in the crimson tide that is splashing onto the screen.

Rising star Michael Fassbender gives an incredible performance as Centurion Quintus Dias. He makes you care for his character almost instantly and although Hunger gave him more to work with, he does a great job with the material he has here. Also nice to see on screen is Dominic West aka Jimmy McNulty from HBO’s The Wire. It’s been a while since we’ve seen him on the big screen and he does some good work here. In fact, almost everyone in the cast delivers strong performances. There really aren’t any weak links.

Where the film starts to falter isn’t in the performances, it falters in the character development category. Marshall, who clearly has a passion for action focuses so much on the fighting and chasing that he totally forgets to tell us who these characters really are.

Aside from the obligatory camp fire scene where our soldiers each get a paragraph or two to tell their story, we never really know who these men are. It makes it hard to connect or even care about them. Even worse is Marshall’s lame attempt to introduce the token love interest. The character of Arianne was introduced way too late into the movie to even be remotely interesting and the film probably would have been better without her to be honest. She slows down the so far terrific pacing and all her scenes were boring and nothing more than a futile effort on Marshall’s part to add heart to his film.

Behind the camera Marshall paces the film fittingly and aside from the scenes with Arianne, none of the scenes feels too slow or unnecessary. Perhaps Marshall moves too fast though. He’s so focused on the action that plot details get left behind and some plot points end up being pretty vague and questionable.

Due to the somewhat messy plot and lack of character development, a lot of the suspense that we found in Marshall’s other films, most notably The Descent, is noticeably absent. Add in some dialogue that’s rather uninspired and an unnecessary amount of predictability and things start to fall apart. Perhaps with a bit more dramatic shaping, Centurion could have turned out to be a truly great film.

Ultimately what will draw you into Centurion is the thrill of the chase. The barbaric nature of the Picts makes the Romans quest to find a safe haven all the more dire. It’s an exciting game of cat and mouse but if the film had included just a bit more substance it could have turned out to be truly great. While there are better chase films out there, Centurion is still worth checking out.

Any movie that has you rooting for the side that raped and killed innocent women and children must be worth at least some attention, right? Despite the questionable role of the Romans being the film’s protagonist, Centurion is still worth your time. It’s an exciting and action packed film that on a pure entertainment level, doesn’t disappoint.
Score: 7/10

* Pros:
o Great fight scenes
o The cast does a great job
o Exciting and intense
* Cons:
o Cheap romance subplot does not fit in
o Not enough character development
o A bit of the plot gets lost in the action

Centurion was released on August 27th, 2010
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:14 pm

http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/film/88531/centurion-film-review

3/5

Film review
Centurion
AWOL soldier Michael Fassbender has a grueling Roman holiday.

Dir. Neil Marshall. 2010. R. 97mins. Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko.

“This is neither the beginning nor the end of my story,” says Quintus Dias (Fassbender) at, well, the beginning and the end of the grisly, gory Centurion. As long as the blood’s pumping through this determined Roman soldier’s veins, the character knows that his res are going to be perpetually in medias, but that’s not going to stop him from trying to complete, with much lethal effort, whatever quest is currently at hand. Quintus’s testosterone-slathered philosophy comes courtesy writer-director Neil Marshall, who occasionally brings this guys-on-the-run actioner, set in 2nd-century Britain, within spitting distance of its superior cited influences: Walter Hill’s bayou chase film, Southern Comfort, and Mel Gibson’s sanguine Mayan epic, Apocalypto.

Marshall has assembled a terrific cast of barkers and bellowers—everyone from The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty (West, as the appropriately named General Virilus) to Mickey from Doctor Who (scowler extraordinaire Noel Clarke). And he gives the great Fassbender a chance to flex his sensitive yet still ruthless sword ’n’ sandal muscles. Quintus is the kind of guy you’d unquestioningly follow to hell and back—and what hell his band of macho men must face after their legion is nearly destroyed by the savage Pict tribe and they attempt to return to Rome.

The wintry landscape is unforgiving; flesh-rending arrows and spears are a constant, unforeseen threat; and there’s a buxom lass, Etain (Kurylenko), who’ll gladly behead them in between striking some droolworthy Heavy Metal cover poses. Would that Marshall’s sense for sound and image measured up to his pointed pulp instincts. Unfortunately, everything has been digitally graded to an off-putting slate gray, hacked to disjointed pieces and subwoofered into the red. It’s prime B-movie material put through the Ridley Scott Cuisinart.—Keith Uhlich
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:17 pm

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/centurion-its-better-than-300/Content?oid=4734792

August 24, 2010

Film
Centurion: It's Better Than 300

by Andrew Wright
<i>Centurion</i>: It's Better Than <i>300</i>

Courtesy of Magnet Releasing

Centurion
dir. Neil Marshall

For a director with the best horror film of the past decade under his belt (The Decent), it's been hard to get a handle on Neil Marshall, what with his triumph being bookended by the slight-but-fun Dog Soldiers and, more recently, the fan-wank love letter to '80s B-movies Doomsday, an undisciplined mess of a film almost saved by sheer exuberance. (To lift a line from Pauline Kael, it was crap, but crap on a rocket-cycle.)

Happily, Marshall's latest, Centurion, manages to split the difference between his earlier films, resulting in a taut, suspenseful war film that can also go deliriously excessive when warranted. For anyone burned out on the quick-cut, overly stylized Bruckheimerization of modern action movies, this is the real headbanging deal.

Set during the early A.D. Roman conquest of Britain, Marshall's script follows a dwindling cadre of Roman soldiers (including Michael Fassbender and a scene-stealing Dominic West) struggling to get out from behind enemy lines while under constant siege from a rolling boil of ticked off Picts, led by a mystical, mute female tracker with one helluva grudge. Wolves are involved.

On the surface, this saga of desperate men against impossible odds may resemble 300, but Marshall eschews that film's simonized, posturing stance in favor of a leaner genre sensibility: Characterizations are quickly sketched but satisfying, the bad guys are given just enough depth to be scary, and you always have a sense of who happens to be firing arrows at whom. The squeamish may want to look elsewhere (the filmmaker tends to have an issue with eyeballs staying in their proper place), but if you're in the mood for a guilt-free rush, this is just the thing: an all-out action film that won't leave the viewer feeling ill-used. Fans of Gonad Cinema, hark. recommended
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:32 pm

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/beat-the-devil-the-last-exorcism-and-centurion/Content?oid=2018203

Audiences emerging in bewilderment from The Last Exorcism, desperately seeking the cheap thrills that movie lacks, are warned not to blindly buy a ticket to Neil Marshall's sword-and-wolfskin historical actioner Centurion.

Evidently seeking to retrace the ground trodden by Gladiator, Braveheart, and similar violent costumers, writer-director Marshall's (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) scenario takes us back to the year 117 CE, when a legion of Roman soldiers is testing the furthest boundaries of its empire by fighting the fierce Picts in the highlands along what is now the English-Scots border. Great balls of fire, flying arrows, eye-gouging, decapitation, copious blood, overacting. The main sounds are men and women — one of the nastiest Picts is a female named Etain, played by Olga Kurylenko — yelling "Aaarrrrgghhh!" and the swissssshhhh! of blades being pulled out of scabbards and the bodies of dead enemies.

Questions arise. When exactly was eye makeup invented? Why do screenwriters still, after Life of Brian, give Roman characters names like Virilus? (He has a cousin, you know. Contagius Virus.) Why is it that the Picts speak their own language (it's really Scots Gaelic, according to the press notes) but the Romans never speak Latin, only English? What are those wolves doing out in the daytime? By the time the heroic Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) settles down with the nice witch Arianne (Imogen Poots) in that little cottage in the glen, we've processed enough sliced meat to open a chain of delis.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:33 pm

http://singleguyliving.com/preview-review-centurion-and-the-last-exorcis

Preview Review: Centurion and The Last Exorcism
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What’s going on movie goers? Are you tired of watching trailer after trailer and everyone of them telling you that “this movie is a smash hit”, only to be disappointed after dropping $10-$15 on a ticket? Well look no further, here at Single Guy Living we take our experience of watching countless movies to bring you the Preview Review. We base our preview reviews on nothing more than the trailers, internet buzz and my personal option.

Centurion
Rated R
Staring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West

This is like the movie “Behind Enemy Lines” except instead of Owen Wilson we get a small group of Roman soldiers set around 117 A.D. They have to fight their way back home and anything that gets in their way is going to take a sword to the brain.

Will this entertain you? Yes it will. At first I wasn’t too sure about this movie, but then I saw it was directed and written by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday). From his track record I know this movie is going to include a few things, over the top violence, betrayal, and at least one ass kicking hot chick. Marshall to this point has never disappointed me and this movie has the potential to be great.

Will this get you laid? Yes it can. Marshall ’s films all seem to have a recurring theme of hot chicks with power. Seeing women beat up on men will leave any of your lady friends pumped and ready for action. Invite them back to your place afterwards and get ready for some hardcore f#%@#&!. Just make sure you pick out a safe word first.

I give Centurion a preview review of 9 out of 10.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:35 pm

http://jbspins.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion-no-pax-romana-here.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Centurion: No Pax Romana Here

It is 117 A.D. and the Roman “conquest” of Britain has been a miserable, blood-soaked experience—for the Romans. Just ask Centurion Quinus Dias whom we first meet running for his life from a very ticked-off war party of Picts in Neil Marshall’s Centurion (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New York.

Posted to the most distant Roman outpost, Dias is miserable in Caledonian Britain (what is more or less Scotland today). Things only get worse when his fort is over-run by a Pict surprise attack. The sole survivor, Dias escapes his captors, making his way to what just became the newly Northern-most Roman outpost. Tired of taking a beating to his prestige back in Rome, the local governor commands General Virilus to hunt down the mysterious Pict leader Gorlacon with his vaunted Ninth Legion, to which Dias is now attached.

Virilus is not thrilled with his assignment, but he supposedly has the advantage of the services of Etain, a Pict tracker ostensibly civilized by the governor. Given the way her eyes smolder with hatred, following her into battle is probably a bad idea, but they do it anyway, with predictable results. Now Dias must lead the remnant of the Ninth as they try to rescue their revered General behind enemy lines.

Centurion is a fairly straight-forward historical hack & slash, with maybe a hint of the fantastical. At one point, Dias and his men find refuge with Arianne, a woman shunned by the Picts as a purported witch—not that she really is one. She just seems to know a lot about healing herbs. Neil (The Descent) Marshall definitely has a knack for gritty battle scenes, and the clever symmetry of his opening and closing scenes perfectly suits the story of ancient (if misplaced) heroism. Unfortunately, the film lags a bit in-between, with too many scenes of rock-climbing and limping through the Caledonian forests.

Michael Fassbender is one of the few actors working in film today with potentially movie star-like screen presence. Yet in Centurion, the grizzled badness of Dominic West’s Virilus somewhat outshines him. Still, he has some credible chemistry with Imogen Poots as Arianne the witch. Unfortunately, Ulrich Thomsen is a bland villain as Gorlacon (probably because the film is too conscious of its alleged modern parallels), while as Etain, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko looks distractingly blue, almost like she walked out of Avatar. Oddly, the Centurion’s Romans are played by Brits, whereas the Britons are mostly played by Scandinavians, Slavs, and even the Belgian Axelle Carolyn.

Centurion’s craftsmanship is definitely above average for action films. Cinematographer Sam McCurdy’s dazzling vistas make the Caledonian mountains look like the Alps. It also boasts one of the cooler opening title sequences of the year. Still, its heavy-handed “occupiers” versus “insurgency” themes often sabotages the film’s momentum. Ultimately, it is an okay summer diversion, but it is effectively limited by its reluctance to definitively pick a side and stick with it. It opens Friday (8/27) in New York at the Angelika.

(Poster by British comic artist Simon Bisley)

Labels: British Cinema, Michael Fassbender, Six Shooter Series 2

posted by J.B. @ 3:00 AM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:44 pm

http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=2154

August 25, 2010
Centurion

starstarstar
A movie review by James Berardinelli
Centurion

ADVENTURE: United Kingdom, 2010

U.S. Release Date: 2010-08-27

Running Length: 1:37

MPAA Classification: R (Violence)

Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Olga Kurylenko, Imogen Poots

Director: Neil Marshall

Screenplay: Neil Marshall

Cinematography: Sam McCurdy

Music: Ilan Eshkeri

U.S. Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Subtitles: In English and Gaelic with subtitles

There's a mild Conan the Barbarian flavor to Centurion - not necessarily in the way the plot moves, but in the general sense of grittiness as the heroes journey before a series of majestic backdrops while being pursued by an unstoppable evil. The film doesn't include many of the common staples of fantasy adventures - there are no magic or monsters - but the time period (117 A.D.) is friendly to the kinds of characters and motifs favored by the genre. It's "swords and sorcery" without the "sorcery" but with a double helping of "swords" to compensate.

Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a centurion in the Roman army, is the last survivor of a barbarian attack on a far-flung Roman garrison in the Scottish Highlands. Escaping his imprisonment by the Picts, he struggles through inclement weather and hostile terrain to reach the Ninth Legion, to which he is attached for an assault on the barbarians. The Ninth is led by General Titus Virilus (Dominic West), who is part brawler and part skilled fighter and beloved by his men for both qualities. But the legion is betrayed by their scout, the mute Brigantian Etain (Olga Kurylenko), and led into a trap. There are a mere handful of survivors, including Quintus, who takes command. His goal: lead the small, ragtag group to safety - but first rescue the general: a task that exists somewhere between difficult and suicidal. The men escape the assault on the Pict camp, but they are pursued by Etain and a small group of hunters who have sworn a blood oath to kill the Romans or not return.

Despite the historical setting and writer/director Neil Marshall's use of a legend (the disappearance of the Ninth Legion) as the basis of the story, Centurion can be summed up in three words: running, maiming, and killing. It's hard to go for more than a minute or two without seeing one or more of those activities. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the viewer is aware that the goal of the film is to depict violence in an uncivilized world rather than to provide a history lesson. Centurion is less interested in exploring the difficulties of maintaining order around the edges of a sprawling empire than it is in providing a catalog of suitably brutal encounters. No one can claim the bloodshed was toned down in the quest for a PG-13 - and I consider that to be a positive quality.

Marshall, who helmed the underrated horror film, The Descent, has a flair for the visual. Some of the mountainscapes, captured by use of a helicopter, are nothing short of spectacular. In fact, the whole film looks great, with Marshall having effectively captured the feel of the era. (Even the credits show a degree of invention.) None of the women appear too neat or clean, and the men possess the rugged look one expects from soldiers sent to patrol the farthest arm of the Empire. When it comes to battle scenes, there's not too much fast cutting and things are spiced up with a liberal use of viscera. When characters are run through, there's no question what's happening to them. The viewer doesn't have to employ too much imagination.

The movie finds time for a quasi-love story, although its inclusion seems a little forced. Still, it works within its context by providing a plausible reason for the pace to briefly slow. One could argue there's a lesson here about tolerance and trust, but that might be looking too deeply into things. What it unquestionably illustrates, however, is the chemistry between Michael Fassbender and Imogen Poots (who plays an exiled Pict "witch") - these two will be reunited in a new adaptation of Jayne Eyre. In fact, Fassbender is a hot property these days. Not too long ago, he was appearing in small indie productions like Fish Tank. Soon, he'll be Magneto in the next X-Men movie, X-Men: First Class. He's a convincing hero, substituting decency and honor for the uncouth braggadocio of Dominic West, whose portrayal of General Virilus is scene-stealing. Also noteworthy is former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, whose voiceless interpretation of Vengeance Personified is intimidating. She's wilder here than she was when tagging along with Daniel Craig.

Centurion accomplishes with verve what it sets out to do; it's an accomplished adventure story set in an underused time and place. The climactic battle raises the adrenaline level a notch and, by being just about the right length and delivering the anticipated results, it is a satisfying way to wrap up the chase. During a summer in which movies have constantly undershot expectations, it's nice to find a low-key production that accomplishes the opposite.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:48 pm

http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/screen/Centurion-101418054.html

Centurion
By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 25, 2010

B

Movie violence has come a long, bloody way since the days when the result of a gunshot was a clean hole and a quick, melodramatic death. But few today have gone as far into grisliness as British director Neil Marshall. Most of The Descent, his breakthrough film, was bathed in dim, crimson cave light, which largely obscured the bloodiness. But Doomsday and now Centurion largely unfold in the great outdoors, for a clear view of geysers of arterial spray, too-realistically severed limbs and miscellaneous, heartless brutality. Even for the seasoned gorehound, Marshall’s films hack off body parts you’ve never seen hacked off before—or ever thought you’d want to.

Centurion tells of the famed Ninth Legion, a second-century, 4,000-man army sent by the Roman Empire to conquer the Celtic tribes of Scotland. As the tale goes, no one came back: The tribes were reluctant to kowtow to Rome’s corrupt proto-conglomerate, and had perfected guerilla warfare. Centurion sides, sort of, with the Romans, following the titular centurion (means he leads a hundred men in battle), Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), who survives a brutal raid only to wind up joining an equally luckless legion. This one at least puts up a fight: Led by charismatic Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West), our doomed heroes spend the (succinct) film keeping death at bay. Yup, it’s Jimmy McNulty and Lt. Archie Hicox swordfighting a bunch of people, including a badass, mute Celtic babe who has a way with sharp objects (Bond girl Olga Kurylenko).

Essentially a chase film—think The Naked Prey with heavy armor—Centurion’s brutality extends past hacked-at flesh. Marshall is a tough filmmaker, not afraid to kill off prominent characters in the most blood-spraying way possible, and his worldview isn’t straightforward. The protagonists may be Roman, but Marshall’s sympathies are for the men laboring for a faceless, heartless empire, not the faceless, heartless empire itself. He even has sympathies for their savage opponents—a group of innocents cruelly efficient at defending what’s theirs, intent on not being victimized. This, as Dias gravely puts it, is “a war without honor, without end,” which may sound familiar. As The Expendables threatens to take action cinema back to the jingoistic, black-and-white morality of the corndog ‘80s, Centurion reminds us that nuance can kick ass, too.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:54 pm

http://moviebuzzers.com/2010/08/is-centurion-the-ancient-equivalent-to-the-expendables/

Is Centurion the Ancient Equivalent to The Expendables?

Centurion
I had been planning to watch Centurion and write a review but Alex beat me to it and wrote one. After watching the movie, however, I am still compelled to write my own quasi review. Let me start off by saying that although the movie took place in Britain in A.D. 117 it might as well have taken place A.D. 2010 South America.

While watching this movie I kept noticing similarities between it and The Expendables. There were corny lines, secondary corny predicable plot twists, and tons of blood and gore, just like there were in The Expendables. Don’t get me wrong both were movies I enjoyed watching and would see again, its just that they had similar qualities that made me feel as though I was watching an ancient version of The Expendables. In my opinion the one-liners in The Expendables are superior to those in Centurion, as were the plot twists and blood and gore. That sort of thing is expected when you compare a box office hit to a secondary grade movie. Plus, A12 automatic shotgun in the hands of Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) versus a sword in the hands of Quintus Dias (Michael Fssbender), I think the modern version wins every time.

I want to point out that the similarities are just that. For me when watching the movie you can see how they relate to aspects in the expendables but they’re not dead on the same exact type of thing just transported back a few thousand years. For example, a small group of trained military trained guys largely outnumbered fighting for their lives occurs in both movies. The big difference is that part of that group die in Centurion and in The Expendables they all live. Also you never get the sense in The Expendables that they’ll fail or that any of them will die, whereas in Centurion you get the sense that someone will die and that they may fail their mission. I think that aspect leads to a better overall plot line in Centurion that the Expendables but again that’s expected because The Expendables is just a over the top, ridiculous, chest hair growing movie.

Before I end this quasi-review, I wanted to touch on two aspects not touched on in Alex’s review. Firstly, the writer and director Neil Marshall continues in my opinion his line of overly bloody and gory movies that without their good plot twists here and there and descent story line would not be worth seeing. For those of you that have seen the Descent Movies or Doomsday you know exactly l what I mean. One other interesting trend with his movies is that the main character or one of the manin characters in the Descent Movies and in Centurion get screwed at the end which personally adds to the movies enjoyment. The other part I wanted to mention is that this isn’t Michael Fassbenders first trip back in time. Some of you might remember him as the long haired Stelios in the 300 or as Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglorious Bastards. Its seems as though Fassbender portraying a soldier isn’t something new to him and I can’t say that I’d be opposed to seeing more of them.

Anyway, let me know if you see what I did in the comments below.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:01 pm

http://oneguyrambling.com/?p=3895

Centurion
Posted on August 26, 2010 by OGR

When you want to look like Outlander you're aiming low.

Every now and then a relative unknown makes a film that shows a great deal of promise and creativity, depending on how good the film is I occasionally make a mental note to hunt down the next film they make and see what they come up with.

Sometimes the results are good (Park Chanwook – “Sympathy for Mr Vengeance”, Christopher Nolan – “Insomnia”), sometimes not.

A few years back a small horror film called Dog Soldiers got a couple good reviews so I looked it up, it was ok/not great but solid enough to get the internal sticky-note embedded inside my skull. A couple years after that came The Descent, and if you’re reading this website there’s a fair chance you already know about that.

Neil Marshall seemed to have “the goods”.

Then came Doomsday, OK he overstepped the mark but I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt due to the credits in the bank…

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Now Centurion, or should I call it The Descent 2?

But there is already a sequel to that film I hear you say, and I acknowledge that. But while The Descent 2 was so faithful it was almost a remake, Centurion too is eerily similar in many respects.

OK so this is set in ancient Rome and not a cave = different, but let’s keep going;

The Descent – 6 people are isolated by circumstances and beset by enemies.

Centurion – 7 people are isolated by circumstances and beset by enemies.

The Descent – While on the run one of the party suffers a graphic broken leg.

Centurion – Ditto.

The Descent – The leaders of the attackers are vicious and unintelligible.

Centurion – Ditto.

The Descent – To escape one of the survivors willingly and perhaps unnecessarily sacrifices another.

Centurion – Ditto.

OK one similarity = fair enough, 2? = pushing it… But 4 key plot details practically the same and it reeks either of a lack of inspiration or laziness.

The cast... Wait - now I'm confused.

Centurion follows a small band of Roman soldiers isolated from the main army and caught deep in enemy territory. It is very violent but obviously CGI assisted – this is starting to reduce the visceral impact for me when pinkish blood spurts out in blatantly computerised fashion – and features a couple of good original scenes, but there is just too many similarities that remind you of a former – and much, much better – movie.

Oo-er Missus.

Even if you are ripping yourself off it still is a little dishonest. The use of supposed rebel hottie fighters is excusable except for the fact that they really only get into one stoush, hard to justify just how awesome they are if they take on an enemy in lesser numbers.

There are some sweeping vistas and exciting camerawork that reminded me a lot of the Lord of the Rings in terms of scenery, but the comparisons ended there.

If you want to watch a movie about a small group attempting to elude vicious assailants rent The Descent, better yet buy it.

If you want to watch the same thing only nowhere near as good you might check this out. Just let it be known that if Neil Marshall lived in the US he might be named Zack Snyder, whether you think that is a good thing or not is up to you.

Final Rating – 6 / 10. Neil Marshall keeps coming up with fanboy-friendly plots and settings, but it seems he left the best of his ideas behind in The Descent. One more chance Mr Marshall.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:03 pm

http://allaboutwarmovies.com/2010/08/23/centurion-2010-somewhere-between-gladiator-king-arthur-and-300/

Centurion (2010): A little bit of Gladiator, King Arthur and 300

August 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

When I started this blog I wanted to stick to war movies in the strict sense of the term only but now I feel I am in the mood for more liberties. A few months back I would not have included Centurion but now I do. I would not have mentioned Gladiator, King Arthur or 300 either. (If I did, King Arthur would be high up in my Top 10, probaly even making Black Hawk Down step down.)

Be it as it may, to compare Centurion (a British movie by the way) to those above mentioned movies is very unfortunate for it because it is not up to the comparison, I’m afraid. Nevertheless it is entertaining. However, compared to the three others, Centurion is super gory. And there are a lot of very combative warrior women in it. By the way, Dominic West, from The Wire, is in this one too but he is not the main character. He stars as General Vilnius. Michael Fassbender has the leading role as the Centurion Quintus Dias. The German actor Fassbender could already be seen in 300, Inglourious Basterds and The Devil’s Whore, to name but a few of his movies.

The year is 117 AD. The Roman Empire stretches from Spain to Egypt and as far as the Black Sea in the East. Only Britain is fighting off its invaders. The Empire is stopped by the savagely fierce Picts. Centurion Quintus Dias is the only survivor of a Pictish raid. He joins the legendary Ninth Legion of General Vilnius who is on a mission to erase the Picts and their leader Gorlacon from the face of the earth. When they are ambushed and the general is captured Quintus Dias is left alone with a small platoon far behind enemy lines. They first attempt to free their general and after this the real hunt begins. Led by a female warrior tracker (Olga Kurylenko), surnamed she-wolf, who has been mutilated by Romans in her youth and sworn to destroy each and every one of them, the Picts hunt them relentlessly. Without the help of a Pictish outcast, said to be a witch, they would not stand a chance but even so, they are soon highly decimated and in great trouble.

As said before, Centurion is really gory. It reminded me of Gladiator because of the battles in the woods. Of King Arthur because of the way they flee and are hunted, because of the scenerey, mountains and snow and also because of the female warriors. Same for 300. A little group outnumbered by a fierce enemy. The end however is quite different from the other three.

As I already said, it is not as good as the other three mentioned movies, since it is not heavy on psychology and the Picts are shown as savages whereas we are led to believe the Romans were faultless, but it is an entertaining watch with loads of battle and fighting scenes.

For a change the trailer is quite true to the movie.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:06 pm

http://www.moviesreviews2010.com/centurion-2010-review/

Centurion (2010) Review
Posted by admin On August - 23 - 2010

Give Neil Marshall a few thousand extras, broadswords, arrows, and let him stuff them all into grungy medieval conditions, and the results are predictably splatter-rific. Written and directed by Neil Marshall (“Doomsday”, “The Descent”), “Centurion” chronicles the missing adventure of the Roman Ninth Legion circa early second century A.D. (As an aside, Kevin Macdonald’s “The Eagle of the Ninth” can be considered a follow-up of sorts to Marshall’s film, in that “Eagle” chronicles the search for the fate of the same Ninth Legion, though as far as I know, the two films were made independent of one another.) In Marshall’s film, though, the focus is less on what happens to the Ninth and more on what happens to the survivors after the Legion goes missing.Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) stars as Quintus Dias, our narrator and Roman Centurion who is on the run from Pict barbarians when we first meet him. Dias eventually runs across friendlies among the Ninth Legion led by General Virilus (a impressively bulked up Dominic West, “300”), whose army is on the march into Pict territory on orders from Rome. It is the latest move by the civilized Romans to conquer the barbarian Picts, a bothersome race of hut-living primitives that don’t cotton much to Roman subjugation. (Insert your personal political/war allegories here.) Virilus is guided behind enemy lines by the mute scout Etain (Olga Kurylenko, “Quantum of Solace”), who quickly reveals her true Pict loyalties by leading the Ninth into a bloody ambush that leaves the Romans all but obliterated. (Don’t get your panties into a bunch, fanboys; Etain’s betrayal is all over the pictures, synopsis, and trailers for “Centurion”.)

There are survivors of the ambush — including Dias, Bothos (David Morrissey), Thax (JJ Field), Macros (Noel Clarke), Brick (Liam Cunningham), and a few others. After the survivors’ attempt to rescue Virilus from Pict captivity proves unsuccessful (and in fact, it just ends up pissing the Picts off even more), the remaining Romans begin their trek back to friendly lands, but that’s easier said than done. The second half of the film is one big chase movie, as the Pict King Gorlacon (Ulrich Tomsen) sends Etain and a few selected hunters after the Romans. The Third Act introduces a love interest for Dias in the form of Arianne (Imogen Poots, the kid in “28 Weeks Later”, all grown up and providing excellent eye candy), an outcast Pict woman who chooses to help the fugitive Romans. Sparks fly between Arianne and Dias. Or as much as romantic sparks are capable of flying in a Neil Marshall movie, anyway.If you’re not familiar with the name Neil Marshall, then you’ve missed out on some excellent genre entries like the post-apocalyptic sci-fi actioner “Doomsday” and the creature horror movies “The Descent” and “Dog Soldiers”. You can now add the brutal hack and slash of “Centurion” to the list of over-the-top genre films by the British director. The film is definitely pure Marshall, and if your interest was instantly piqued when you heard “Neil Marshall gets to play with broadswords”, you won’t be the least bit disappointed with “Centurion”. There is probably a little too much CGI bloodshed for my taste, but for those accustomed to (and indeed, expects more of) the director’s odd fixation on decapitations and seemingly out-of-nowhere bodily amputations, “Centurion” has you covered in spades.

The suddenly ubiquitous Michael Fassbender (Hey, that’s Michael Fassbender!) leads the cast as Quintus Dias, though really, it could have been anyone. Characterization is not and was never Neil Marshall’s strong point, and that hasn’t changed with “Centurion”. To give you an example of how poorly Marshall handles the characters, he actually wrote in a scene where the Roman survivors gather in a cave and begin swapping origin stories. I s$#! you not. Nevertheless, Fassbender is certainly up to the job of a harden Roman Centurion. I swear, the man doesn’t have an inch of fat on him. Equally impressive is Olga Kurylenko as the Pict huntress Etain. The character has plenty of reasons to despise the Romans, and truth be told, Marshall’s script doesn’t really give us any real reasons to hate her. In fact, there isn’t really a real villain in the movie, with the exception of one of the Romans, who proves to be less honorable than the rest. And did I mention that Imogen Poots is incredibly easy on the eyes?“Centurion” has already opened in the UK and is scheduled to land Stateside in limited release later this month. It will also be available in all the usual places, including instant video-on-demand and for download, but beyond those avenues, I don’t foresee a whole lot of opportunities for “Centurion” to slice and dice its way into the hearts and minds of the American mainstream. The bottom line is this: if you weren’t a fan of Neil Marshall coming in, you probably won’t be one leaving. The film never really rises to any level of “epic” (it’s actually quite sparse once you get past the initial Pict ambush of the Legion early on), and Marshall’s proclivities for hacking off limbs and dusting off characters left and right will come across as a bit much to newcomers. For those used to the man’s filmography, though, “Centurion” is everything you expected and wanted, so in that regard it’s a very successful Neil Marshall film.

Theaters: August 27, 2010
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender,Dominic West,Olga Kurylenko
Distributed by: Magnet Releasing
Genres: Drama,Thriller
Running Time: 97 minutes
Produced by: Christian Colson
Screenwriter: Neil Marshall
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:43 pm

http://philippage.blogspot.com/2010/08/rave-centurion.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
RAVE - Centurion

Unlikely to appeal to the Breakfast at Tiffany's crowd, but nonetheless a solid entry into the Blood 'n Guts division.

For those of you who thought that Gladiator was a nice start, and the cable series Rome, and Spartacus were good upgrades to that, Centurion is excellent, especially if you like your Bronze Age action bloody.

Set in Northern Britain, the Roman army has been stalled for 30 years by the troublesome Picts. See, you couldn't understand a word a Scot said even in 117 AD.

Guerilla tactics employed by the McShiftys disperse a Roman army, and stragglers try to leg it down south where there's central heating and decent food.

Tight action, and did it say it was BLOODY?
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:26 pm

http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/movies/27centurion.html

Axelle Carolyn as Aeron in “Centurion.”
Two Vastly Different Enemies Share a Common Thirst for Blood
By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: August 26, 2010

From the heaving mass of carnage in Neil Marshall’s galumphing, atavistic gorefest, “Centurion,” a cautionary message struggles to escape. Beware of overreaching, ye imperialists. The indigenous people of whatever region you presume to conquer know the territory a thousand times better than you do and will eventually prevail.

Olga Kurylenko plays a warrior fighting against invading Roman soldiers in “Centurion.”

Your fancy armies stocked with exhausted, undernourished soldiers who aren’t prepared for the harsh climate and terrain are for naught. Unlike your soldiers, who were dispatched from a distant capital in another land, the natives have every reason to fight to the death; this is their territory. All you’re doing is following orders from vainglorious leaders thousands of miles away who will abandon you unless you bring them good news.

Sound familiar? The empire isn’t British or American, but Roman. The year is 117 A.D., and the battles take place in the woods of northern Britain (now Scotland) where Roman soldiers are fighting the tribes known as the Picts. Every primitive war toy is wielded, from battle axe to spear to blades of all sizes; even a pack of wolves is dispatched. The Romans speak in cultivated English accents, the Picts in (subtitled) Scot Gaelic.

The Roman mission is to destroy the Picts and eliminate their leader. But when the Ninth Legion, commanded by General Titus Virilus (Dominic West), is ambushed and Virilus captured, Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), whose legion has also been decimated, struggles with his rainbow coalition of remaining warriors to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

The Romans’ most fearsome antagonist, Etain (Olga Kurylenko), is a scowling, mute she-devil with a blue-painted face and a gruesome back story. She has the instincts of an Indian tracker and wields her weapons with unerring mastery. If Mr. Fassbender is too refined to play a bloodthirsty warrior, Mr. West is every centimeter a carnivorous military beast. The movie throws in a possible love interest for Quintus in flaxen-haired Arianne (Imogen Poots), an exiled Pict woman who lives alone in the woods.

For all its analogies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, or wherever, the underlying thrust of “Centurion” is its celebration of bloodlust, its assertion that the primal instinct of humanity, or least the male half of the species, is to make war. In the blood-soaked battle scenes set in pristine woods, often at night, armored hulks clash, tangle, grunt, and roar in orgiastic combat. Heads are severed and attached to poles, muscled torsos slashed and speared. The real message: Life’s ultimate pleasure lies in extreme fighting — to the death.

The movie is rated R (Under 17 requires parent or guardian). It is drenched in violent gore.

CENTURION

Opens on Friday nationwide.

Written and directed by Neil Marshall; director of photography, Sam McCurdy; edited by Chris Gill; music by Ilan Eshkeri; production designer, Simon Bowles; produced by Christian Colson and Robert Jones; released by Magnolia Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes.

WITH: Michael Fassbender (Quintus), Dominic West (Virilus), Olga Kurylenko (Etain), David Morrissey (Bothos), Noel Clarke (Macros), Riz Ahmed (Tarak), J J Feild (Thax), Liam Cunningham (Brick), Ulrich Thomsen (Gorlacon), Imogen Poots (Arianne) and Axelle Carolyn (Aeron).
A version of this review appeared in print on August 27, 2010, on page C10 of the New York edition.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:28 pm

http://www.movieline.com/2010/08/review-next-level-bloodshed-stunning-visuals-keep-centurion-from-genre-oblivion.php

reviews || by Michelle Orange || 08 26 2010 7:00 PM
REVIEW: Next-Level Bloodshed, Stunning Visuals Keep Centurion From Genre Oblivion

Movieline Score: 7

If you’re like me, and you find yourself retreating to a safe place in your mind whenever human beings are being graphically decapitated on screen, you’ll spend the majority of Centurion, horror maestro (The Descent) Neil Marshall’s Roman bloodbath, on psychological lockdown. The more philosophical and intellectually detached among you might wait out the frequent plasmatic explosions from an interested distance, speculating on the cultural circularities implicit in evisceration as entertainment, or teasing out the film’s bizarre but unmistakable urination motif. The rest — the majority, I suppose — will revel in every hyper-realistic goring, unconcerned with the irony of the bloodthirsty, second-century barbarism Marshall dwells on, giving the film its of-the-moment appeal.

Which is not to say Centurion doesn’t hold a couple of surprises of the non-spear-in-the-crotch variety: Marshall divides the available sympathies in the story of the fate of a three-thousand man Roman legion charged with wiping out a tribe of Picts in what is now Scotland more evenly than is usually done in warrior epics. Although the side containing both Dominic West (as the legion’s General, Virilius) and Michael Fassbender (as a rescued prisoner and centurion named Quintus) is obviously the side you want to be on, the Roman frontier is not something the men are terribly invested in; they fight because it’s all they know, and they fight for each other.

“He’s a ruthless, reckless bastard,” one soldier says of Virilius, “and I’d die for him without hesitation.” (Seconded!) The chaos of their engagement with the Picts, who resist them with a hellacious force born of the brutality of Roman rule, and the increasing desperation as their ranks are depleted, develops into what feels like a late-breaking theme: a soldier’s disillusion with his cause.

“This is a new kind of war,” goes a typically anonymous passage of Fassbender’s narration. “A war without armor, a war without end.” As an opener it puts a bit of a damper on what felt like an under-represented part of Roman history — their presence in the north — and a grizzled “Save yourself!” coming from a dying soldier about three minutes in compounds the fear that this will be another entry on the studio’s classical action epic ledger, distinguishable mostly by its date of release.

And yet Marshall clearly has something else in mind: He has gone to extremes in shooting the film on its forbidding location in the middle of winter — these Romans left the sandals at home — and has done some imaginative fashioning of the Pictish people as part Viking, part painted warrior. Chief among them is a tracker named Étaine (Olga Kurylenko, who brings the badass), she of the mute, Ladyhawke glower and seriously smoky eye. After leading the legion into catastrophe and battling Virilius in one of the more successfully executed fight scenes, she leads the vendetta-driven hunt of the remaining handful of Romans through the highlands as they try to return home. An unscheduled stop in a secluded hut inhabited by the ravishing Arianne (Imogen Poots), a young woman banished by the Picts for supposed witchcraft, doubles Quintus’s growing alienation from his supposed roots: “I am not one of them,” she says. “They are not my people.” Of course the encounter has more than a polemical purpose; only a sadist would separate such an uncannily matched set of cheekbones for long.

A massive production with some stunning visuals (Marshall is fond of aerial vistas that find his men marching along the misty, be-snowed crests of various mountains) and stunts to complement — if not offset — its bloody pyrotechnics, Centurion is part heroic mission film, part curious wartime picaresque. It’s also a product of Marshall’s idiosyncratic idea of period fidelity: The Pictish speak a form of Scots Gaelic, but the Romans speak perfect action movie — “I knew we shouldn’t have trusted that bitch”; “My mother’s a f*cking comedian”; “Hopeless is the stuff of legend, and being a legend will get you laid.” If the dialogue is rife with deadening clichés, the personalized attention to every sinew rip, clotted splatter, and esophageal gurgle reaches for a contrasting extreme of expressionistic vigor. Why yes, I believe that is how a head would hang off of a neck after the third chop of an axe! I do declare that is the sound a man would make as he takes a gutting knife to the neck!

It’s this new language that Marshall is interested in, and if he can’t get his actual characters to articulate themselves in any convincing way, their weapons speak it fluently. His attempt to blend exploitation extremes with B-grade gladiator pics, adding a political gloss for those who prefer a little wonk with their warriors, amounts to something like an obscure cinematic dialect. I suspect native speakers will embrace it with knowing gratitude and the unstudied will simply tilt their heads before tuning it out completely.
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