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Centurion reviews

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:07 pm

http://www.cinemaviewfinder.com/2010/07/on-demand-centurion-2010-and-dont-look.html

Saturday, July 31, 2010
On Demand: Centurion (2010) and Don't Look Back (Ne te retourne pas) (2009)
by Tony Dayoub

More and more, films which don't necessarily get a fair shake at the box office are being released through the On Demand platform. Movies with well known names attached both in front and behind the camera can now be watched comfortably from home. Last year's Two Lovers, directed by James Gray and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joaquin Phoenix, even made it onto my top ten list. The two films reviewed in this post don't come anywhere near being top ten material. However, each is of varying levels of interest and, though it doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, both are at least as good as most of this year's theatrical offerings.

Neil Marshall (The Descent) uses the mysterious fate of the Romans' Ninth Legion as the launching point for Centurion. Marshall casts the magnetic Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as a cunning foot soldier tasked with safely shepherding the remnants of the legion back home by its captured general (Dominic West) after their ignominious defeat at the hands of Pict savages.

Early in the film, a half-hearted attempt at political relevance with the Picts standing in for modern day Middle Eastern radicals falls with a resounding thud after prisoner Fassbender is subjected to waterboarding and makes silly pronouncements like:

I know this enemy well. They play only to their strengths and will not be drawn into open combat. Instead they pick at the scab until we bleed, hiding in the shadows like animals, striking hard and fast and falling back into the night. Come the dawn, we count our losses and sow the earth with our dead. This is a new kind of war, a war without honor, without end.

So does the Scottish Marshall side with the Picts, his geographical forebears, for fending off Roman invasion? Does this mean he wants us to view Islamic fundamentalism from a different perspective? Why does he place his cinematic chips firmly behind the Romans, then? Politically, the movie is a muddled mess.

Fortunately, Centurion's action setpieces and expansive vistas take precedence over its sloppy polemic. The movie is at its best when it wallows in the grime and blood of its extremely graphic battle scenes, adolescent spasms of violence which are imaginatively staged and sometimes even recall other films. The Pict attack on the Ninth is a grisly restaging of the Huron attack on the British in Mann's The Last of the Mohicans (1992), led by a traitorous native guide (Olga Kurylenko) just as that one was. The gritty, gory, and ultimately goofy Centurion ends up succeeding because of sequences like this where it rarely takes itself too seriously.

Don't Look Back is available now from IFC Films On Demand through 9/23.

Centurion is available now from Magnolia Pictures On Demand and arrives in theatres 8/27.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:30 pm

http://soresportmovies.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Centurion (2010) - Action Thiller
Centurion (2010) - Written and directed by Neil Marshall the fictionalized account of the Roman Ninth Legion and their massacre at the hands of the Picts, tribal Britons in 60 or 61 AD. In history the defeat of the Ninth is believed to be the result of spreading the soldiers across too many small forts thus sapping the strength from what would have been a legion of 5000 men. Instead a smaller force tried to break a Pict siege at colonia and was soundly defeated with 80% of the soldiers being killed.
In the movie version liberty is taken with history and the Governor Julius Agricula while attempting to win favor with Rome makes it his cause to destroy the Pict resistance. He orders his General Virilus (Dominic West) to take the legion and seek out the Pict stronghold and destroy it. How will he find the picts? Agricula has the answer in the lovely and deadly Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a Pict tracker who is under his sway. She heads out and leads the Legion north. They save a soldier running from the Picts named Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) , our narrator who joins the group as they head into hostile company.

The narration speaks about how the Romans are not prepared for the war they are fighting. The Picts do not stand in the open but instead wage a gorilla war striking and disappearing. This will be the battle where that changes. Except that Etain leads the Legion into a trap and they are decimated in battle. Only a handful of Romans survive lead by Quintus they move fast with the goal f rescuing their captured general. While avoiding the roving party pf Picts the Romans make their way to the Pict camp and make an attempt at saving Virilus. They can not free him and in their fight to escape the camp Soldier Thax (JJ Fields) kills the son of Pict leader Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen). In fact the entire rescue attempt is written just to create the idea that the picts will never stop hunting the remaining Romans. Indeed the hunting party lead by the skilled Etain stays on their heels for the entire movie. This is when the film turns into many other Marshall films the action survival film. Like in Dog Soldiers (2002), The Descent (2005) or Doomsday (2008) Marshall writes a pretty tight action survival film. He knows what he is doing and although there is a slow sequence in this one he makes the hunt tense with periods of gory action mixed in. Eventually we get to a final showdown for the remaining soldiers with the hunters and then there are a couple plot points to deal with some of the personalities of the survivors. The end was somewhat predictable but satisfying after the ride we were on.

In the world of Neil Marshall the Descent currently stands alone as a Masterpiece so where does Centurion fit? It is very derivative in structure to his other movies. Part of that is the need to create the survival action film. Some of it could be the M. Night Shyamalaning of Marshall although I hope not. Yes that is Shyamalan as a verb meaning caught in a self created style that will drake you down as it bloated carcass sinks into the depths. Doomsday was a better action film with better more realistic fight scenes. Here we have a lot of CGI blood spraying around and sometimes it doesn't fit, more manually triggered effects should have been used. When they did go for the old fashion variety they were well done and cringe producing. Dog Soldiers was a better survival movie even with its vital flaw of not having a werewolf transformation scene. Still it was scary and gory and wonderfully satisfying as a horror survival piece.

So Centurion has to sit in fourth of the four Marshall films. By no means a waste of time but still not something that builds on the past and brings Marshall to a new Higher plateau. That is what I was hoping for with this, that the film surpasses the older films and shows the growth of Marshall as a film maker. I am sure it did not. It was entertaining, it told an interesting story with action and adventure, but the obvious plot devices and predictability left me feeling ...well ehhh.

Rating (6.1) 5 and above being recommended. If I was to use the New Zombiegrrlz rating I would tell you to wait until you could rent it.

There are some other things to say about this film, I see on some message boards that there is some debate about whether there would be a black soldier in the Roman army serving in England. This is a small thing to me considering that the leader of the hunting pict is a woman and there are several woman warriors in the party. I think this kind of issue needs to be ignored, this is a movie made in our times where color and sex are not the primary concern in casting. It is not a historical piece shooting for accuracy it is a action film and if having diversity in it is offensive too the viewer then the viewer is looking at it much too seriously. It has very little to do with modern political correctness and more to do with trying to capture the largest possible audience. We always try to infer that we know what the director and casting director was doing when they made these decisions and we don't. Then of course you could read too much into it and see it as an allegory to US involvement in Afghanistan, great enjoy that, but until Neil Marshall comes out and says it is lets just look at it as the entertaining film it is.

posted by The Soresport at 7:06 PM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:57 pm

http://www.forafewmoviesmore.net/film-review/centurion-film-review/

Centurion – Film Review
August 4th, 2010 | Author: Dean

centurion_posterNeil Marshall is no stranger to entertaining genre films; Dog Soldiers was an insanely fun action/horror/comedy, the Descent is possibly the best horror film of the decade, I even dug the much-maligned Doomsday as homage to the classic action films of the 80’s. With his latest film Centurion, he returns to do what he does best and has once again succeeded in creating an engaging action flick. Primarily a white knuckled chase movie from start to finish, Centurion is a super macho, bloody as hell action/adventure with one aim in mind, to entertain the audience. And for the most part, it does so effortlessly.

Set during 117 AD, Centurion follows the attempted invasion of England by the Roman Empire. However, a ferocious new enemy stands in their path in the form of the barbarian like Picts. Using guerrilla-fighting tactics, they have managed to slowly wear the Roman army down piece by piece and bring their advances to a standstill. When the ultimate army of badasses known as the Ninth Legion are called in to wipe the Pict army from the face of the earth, it should be a piece of cake, seeing as though these guys make the Spartans from 300 look like a bunch of pansies. Unfortunately all doesn’t go as plan and the Ninth Legion are the ones who are wiped out. Now a handful of survivors are legging it cross-country with a Pict hunting party in tow. Minor plot details need not be revealed here considering the film is essentially a non-stop chase film with a series of gruesome action sequences placed throughout.

The decision to make the Roman’s the ‘good’ characters is a little questionable seeing as though they are the invaders here. However the film does attempt to address this issue early on during a scene that contains the Picts retelling stories of the atrocities the Roman soldiers have committed to their people. It’s an interesting and welcome addition that manages to provide some much needed depth to the film and allows the audience to see the film’s heroes under a different light, if only for a moment. The Picts bloodthirsty tactics soon drives these thoughts from our mind and they can’t help but to be seen as the villains.

Centurion is a fine looking film. From the snowy landscapes to the lush mountains and valleys, the film never fails to visually impress. However, these gorgeous shots of the English countryside are offset by the insane outbursts of graphic violence. Damn is Centurion violent. I think it may have set a new record for the number of throats slit and heads decapitated on screen. Have you ever seen a guy thrown into a tree so hard that his head explodes? Well you do here. The first major battle scene alone is so insanely vicious that it’s essentially a series of gore shots spliced together non-stop for its entire duration. Let it be a warning, if you’re squeamish, then this isn’t the movie for you.

The characters scattered throughout Centurion are an assortment of ultra badasses who have just enough emotional depth to stop them from just being one-dimensional killing machines. Michael Fassbender gives it his all as Quintus Dias, a Roman soldier who can kick ass while still display enough vulnerability and heart to allow us to cheer him on throughout his uphill battle. Dominic West has got to be in the running for the title of ultimate tough guy with his role of General Virilus’, leader of the Ninth Legion. The moment his mug comes on screen, you just know this is a guy not to be messed with. However, the stand out performance for me hands down was Olga Kurylenko as the mute Pict tracker Etain. She’s an intense and menacing presence throughout the film that’s never far from the action. The fact that she can’t speak actually adds to her performance seeing as though she has to display any and all emotions via facial expressions and body language. You can literally feel the pent-up rage and frustration radiating from her character.

As much of a good time that I had with Centurion, I still have a bone to pick with it. First off, Michael Fassbender’s narration throughout the film ranges from moody and atmospheric, to downright laughable. I had a chuckle or two thanks to its completely ridiculous content and delivery. Now my big issue with the film has to do with a certain subplot that’s introduced towards the end of the film. I won’t go into it too much to keep spoilers under wraps, but it involves the introduction of a female Pict outcast. Up until this point, the film has been raging forward at a breathless pace, only pausing briefly between action sequences to allow the characters and the audience to recover for a moment. Then suddenly, the film comes to a screeching halt. This section of the film plods along for way to long in an attempt to add some heart and warmth to the film. Now I can understand the desire to inject some tenderness into what is otherwise a bloodthirsty kill fest, the problem is that not only do these scenes feel painfully out of place, but they aren’t executed well either. It’s a blessing when the film finally moves on from this lull and gets back to work doing what it’s best at.

Anyone looking for an entertaining and fast paced action flick should definitely give Centurion a look. It may not be the most original film or be brimming with thought provoking issues. It is however, a film overflowing with brutal action sequences set to a bleak, gritty atmosphere. Despite a last act fumble, it’s a fun ride from start to finish and is a perfect viewing experience when you’re in the mood to switch your brain to autopilot.

3/5
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:40 pm

http://www.onlinemovieshut.com/online-movies/centurion-movie-2010

Centurion movie (2010)
Posted by michael 4 August, 2010
r

Centurion movie bring back the history to life as it tells the story of a band of roman soldiers who are stranded in an unfamiliar ground and fighting some cold blooded enemies who are at their tails to hunt them down at any cost. Thus it is struggle for survival as these brave soldiers try to win this battle by keeping their morale high and their hearts beating in order to confront an enemy that they can cope up with in their wildest and most improbable dreams. It will be a n ideal journey in to the battle field in the roman era as the audience are made to marvel at the adventure.

Centurion is set in the Britain in the period of 117 AD during the time the roman invasion was at the peak. A group of soldiers under the guidance of the brave general Virilus are on their way to the British highland to fight with the Picts and win over their land. However their journey is cut short when they are attacked by cold blooded Picts on their way and the general Virilus is held captive. As a lone centurion Quintus Dias become the sole survivor of it he tales up on the impossible task of freeing the general and taking the rest of the legionaries safely to the roman frontier.

Movies based on historical events had been the in thing in Hollywood through out the history and once in a while the audience is given with an opportunity to witness a period drama of some kind o another. However this movie is a stand alone and should not be considered in that light. Because what this one offers is something that is quietly unmatchable and unbeatable. The director Neil Marshall seem to be adding another great masterpiece to his collection of movies because this movie see him doing a maximum effort by bringing the history alive in the most successful and realistic manner.

This is the first time the audience gets to see Michael Fassbender giving life to a character that puts his acting skills to the maximum usage. The character he plays in the movie is a challenging one that requires amounts and amounts of hard work put in to it. The movie sees him playing the role of a lone warrior with the utmost ease and grandeur. The way he brings out the emotions in the movie is a thing to marvel at because it gives him the edge that is necessary for a serious bit of acting. It is a commendable out put that is given by him.

Dominic West also plays alongside him with equal amounts of energy and the combination adds so much light to the entire movie. The action filled scenes are brought back to liveliness by the participation of these actors in it. Another surprising factor in the drama is the performance by Olga Kurylenko who does the role of a cold blooded warrior. It is through actions and facial expressions that her character is mostly build and the featuring done by her is sure to make her name to make it to the list of most sought after actresses in modern industry. Centurion will see it to the theatres on August 27th and be among the first to witness action and adventure relives in a thrilling war drama.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:50 am

http://anythinghorror.com/2010/08/04/30-second-review-centurion-2010/

30 Second Review: Centurion (2010)

Posted by anythinghorror on August 4, 2010
Quintus is having a REALLY bad day!!

I know I know. This really isn’t a horror flick so what the hell am I doing reviewing it? Two words: Neil Marshall. Marshall continues to cut a bloody path through Hollywood, crossing multiple genres and spilling a lot of blood. A lot. Marshall is of course best known for his 2005 flick THE DESCENT, one of the best genre movies of the last decade. But Marshall has also given us DOG SOLDIERS (2002) and the underrated DOOMSDAY (2008). Marshall always manages to milk the most amount of tension and terror out of every scene … something he continues to do in his latest, CENTURION.

CENTURION is essentially a hypothetical story that examines what might have happened to the legendary Roman Ninth Legion, which history shows just vanished without a trace. We follow Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) and a small band of Roman soldiers as they fight for survival behind enemy lines after the Ninth Legion is decimated by the Picts (the “locals” in northern Britain). Marshall does here what he did (albeit a little less successfully) in DOOMSDAY: He takes all the elements that make these 300-like films great and fills his film with them. It’s like a friggin’ “greatest hits” flick!! The cast is solid and the plot is lightening fast. Unfortunately in the beginning it moves a little too fast and I felt like the story was getting ahead of me. But stay with it because it all comes together nicely.

Quintus is having a REALLY bad day!!

And if you’re thinking there’s no gore in CENTURION because its not a “horror movie,” man are you in for a surprise. The battle scenes are incredibly bloody and gory and he camera never flinches as sword meets flesh. All I’m gonna say is that Marshall employed a lot of amputees in this film!! To give you a taste; not too long after the opening credits a Roman soldier is on watch and decides to take a piss off the lookout post. Before you can say “Day of the Woman” an enemy soldier thrusts a very long and sharp spear into the Roman’s junk. Nice beginning. The only negative thing I can say about the battle scenes was that at times they felt a little mechanical as the camera jumped around the battlefield filming one killing after another. This is a small critique and I attribute it to Marshall still cutting his teeth on filming large battle scenes.

This really isn't a tender moment.

The one thing I found interesting here is with the story. We learn that as powerful and vast as the Roman Empire was, they never really got a foothold in northern Britain. But from the very beginning it’s obvious that the Roman’s are being set up as the protagonists and the northern British (the Picts) are the antagonists. I thought that was pretty odd. Aren’t the Picts just defending their homeland? Right? I’m not crazy; the Roman’s are the invading force … right?? I thought it would have added a lot more depth to the story if the Romans and the Picts were presented neutrally; that we see the story and can sympathize with both sides. Again, a small complaint that didn’t take anything away from my enjoying this film.

The one thing I was disappointed in was the “love story” angle about half way through the film (you’ll know it when you see it). It feels kind of tacked on in order to appeal to a female audience and to provide a much happier ending than what I thought was gonna happen. The way the film was going, and knowing Marshall’s past flicks, I really thought we were headed towards a real downer of an ending (which would have totally worked). But instead we end up with the typical “man gets the girl” Hollywood-ish ending. That was disappointing.

Neil Marshall, though, continues to impress me. He started off deep in the horror genre with a werewolf and “creatures in a cave” flick and has proven that even though he isn’t doing “horror” films anymore per se, he still loves the genre. Marshall has a knack for taking the best elements of a genre and boiling them down to give us a really tight, fast paced flick that is completely entertaining and satisfying. Again, I apologize for reviewing a non-horror flick here but I felt I needed to pass this one along. I totally enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

My Summary:

Director: Neil Marshall (and writer)

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars

Gore: 7.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:01 am

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

August 04, 2010
Film Review - Centurion

CENTURION Michael Fassbender

After 2008’s “Doomsday,” I lost faith in writer/director Neil Marshall, who torched all the promise generated by 2005’s “The Descent” to make a tuneless, odious John Carpenter wank that thankfully few seemed interested in. “Centurion” returns the filmmaker to an intriguing gallop, taking on the challenge of a historical actioner, following battered Roman soldiers as they march into Hell. This being Marshall, a nimble foray into brawn isn’t to be expected; instead the filmmaker floods the film with blood and growls, creating a mighty clang of history and gore. It’s Herschell Gordon Lewis’s “I, Claudius.”

As Rome attempts to conquer Europe in the 2nd century, their efforts are forcefully rebuffed by the Picts, a tribal nation out to defend their Northern Britain territory. Into the fray goes soldier Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender, “Inglourious Basterds”), a centurion who’s escaped enemy capture, only to find himself marched back into duty when General Titus (Dominic West) is ordered to plunge further into Pict control. Again beaten by the natives, Dias and a small band of survivors (including David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham) flee, forced to endure brutal environments and the concentrated efforts of an unstoppable, mute Pict tracker named Etain (an aptly cast Olga Kurylenko, “Quantum of Solace”), fighting their way back to the safety of the Roman army.

CENTURION Olga Kurylenko

“Centurion” is a rough and ready film, playing to Marshall’s strengths as a visual composer and closet sadist. It’s a film better seen than heard, with gorgeous widescreen cinematography from Sam McCurdy expressing a forbidding land of dense forests and snowbound mountaintops, creating an obstacle course for the Romans that challenge their survival instinct at every turn. It’s a compelling land of mystery ruled by an ill-defined tribe of painted natives who’ve committed their lives to spilling Roman blood. Now there’s a movie.

For the first act, “Centurion” tears off as a chase and revenge picture, barreling through a series of skirmishes that splatter the screen. Marshall loves the wet red, and he gives in to the temptation here, depicting the battle between the Romans and the Picts with head-chopping, wound-spurting accuracy, turning the battlefield into an escalating parade of horrifying body trauma, though most of the carnage is criminally cartooned by terrible GC-enhanced blood. “Centurion” is vicious and primal, but pleasingly so, allowing Marshall to create a film of spittle-drenched fury, which helps to reinforce the need for the Romans to find a safe haven, despite the fact that they are actually the villains of the story. It’s an energized piece of direction from Marshall, but it doesn’t last forever.

CENTURION Still 3

“Centurion” slows some as it regroups in the midsection, suddenly realizing an emotional core wouldn’t hurt matters. Enter Arianne (Imogen Poots), a dewy Pict exile who comes to the aid of the wounded soldiers, showing reassuring distaste for the tribe which invites warmth into Dias’s cold heart. The character’s introduction comes far too late in the picture to matter, only halting the action needlessly as Marshall clumsily scripts up a heart. It’s an accomplished, vivid ensemble, but they’re better left with minor dramatic beats than useless melodramatic ones.

“Centurion” gets back to the business of cracking skulls for a grisly finale, but the air has been let out of its tires. Instead of reaching unimaginable heights of neck-snapping exhilaration, the picture limps to a finale, which, once again, betrays the fierce tone of the piece. Still, “Centurion” is a marked improvement over the nonsense of “Doomsday,” providing evidence that Neil Marshall still has plenty of potential within him.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:02 am

http://lickerterp.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion.html

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Centurion

Rome is fed up with the Pict people in Britain, so the Ninth Legion, led by Virilus (Dominic West) is sent in to beat the Picts once and for all. As they invade, they come across a run away Roman prisoner of the Picts, Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender). Soon after, the Picts wipe out almost the entire legion and it is up to Quintus to get his men home.

Centurion is actually kind of based on a true story. There was a Roman Ninth Legion that was sent to Britain to destroy the Picts and they did disappear without a trace. No one knows what actually happened to them and this movie is as good a guess as any.

Fassbender is really great as Quintus. Usually acting in smaller roles, he pulls off being the leading man very well, including when he actually has to lead men. West is a lot of fun as the original general as the leader, especially in the beginning of the movie where he shows that he is all about comradeship with his men, which he proves later on. Like Valhalla Rising, Centurion also has a mute character, this time Etain (Olga Kurylenko). Kurylenko does a fantastic job showing Etain's rage at the way the Romans have treated her people, just by using her eyes and a few bloodcurdling screams.

In general, I loved the comradeship that exists between the men throughout the movie. You can tell that these guys really got a long well in real life, which helps make the movie more believable. Although there are a few traitors here and there, the soldiers care about each other and try and look out for each other.

Again, like Valhalla Rising, Centurion is very bloody, even more so probably. I love it. The blood and fighting is done really well and actually looks real. The ways that writer and director Neil Marshall finds to kill off characters are always interesting and gruesome.

There are also plenty of fun surprises in store throughout the movie. I had no idea that the majority of the Ninth would get wiped out so quickly throughout the movie or whose side Etain was really on. Centurion lets you know pretty early on that anything goes and no one is safe, which is a nice touch for a movie.

Overall, Centurion is everything that a movie set in ancient times should be. There's plenty of great action, but at the same time, the character work is fantastic. This is a great addition to the "sword and sandal" genre.
Posted by Glenn at 2:33 PM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:41 am

http://damngoodcup.com/centurion

Centurion *Spoiler Alert* -- minor spoilers.

I love adaptations based on medieval and classical events. I love the sense that you are able to enjoy a good narrative and yet take a way a small slice of history. But such films are often difficult to produce and demands quite a bit budget for it to be successful. That however does not mean it can’t be good. Production values aside, there is no excuse and no reason why historical adaptations can’t entail a good story with solid characters. Unfortunately there have been so many historical adaptations that have been done to death; Kingdom of Heaven, King Arthur, Braveheart, just to name a few, that the task and challenge of adapting a story that is unique and interesting becomes much harder. There are films that have become so derivative and so simplistic in its storytelling, that it makes even enjoying the action scenes a pain to watch. Centurion, directed by Neil Marshall is one such film and it feels more like a fan film than an original piece. I should probably say up front that there are some spoilers in this.

Set in the year 117 AD, Centurion explores the mysterious disappearance of a legion of Roman soldiers, known as the Ninth-Legion, as they were setting out on an invasion against the Picts of Caledonia. A film that costs £10 million and a whole hosts of talent such as Michael Fassbender (300, Band of Brothers), Dominic West (300, 28 Days), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Max Payne) and Liam Cunningham (Hunger, The Escapist), you would aspect some level of fun and enjoyment out of it. Instead what you end up with is an endless slew of derivative plots, predictable scenes and boring action scenes. I should also mention the tiresome and pointless voiceover given by the lead character Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) that is either explaining what is right in front of you or fills your head with pretentious ideologies.

The film basically opens up with Quintus escaping the Picts and seeking refuge with a nearby Roman outpost. He soon finds himself heading back to the same direction he came from, after the Romans decided they want to wipe out the entire tribe. Their invasion comes to a halt after the Romans are ambushed and destroyed. Quintus and handful others are the only survivors from the brutal massacre and its from here, that the real story of the film begins. As the from drags on, the remaining survivors learn that their commander, Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West) has been captured. The film then becomes a search and rescue mission where the remaining survivors choose to jump into the lion’s den and free Titus from the Picts. At this point, there is still very little to care about. The character of Quintus has no depth in personality and very little changes from there. Nor do we really know much about the remaining survivors other than that one’s a chef from Greece and another is a fast runner. The only other character that I thought I could associate with is Etain, the hunter and main antagonist of the film. Much of the film is spent on either dodging her spear or her heightened senses. As a mute, whose family was butchered by Romans, I thought I found a character that I could feel sorry for and find interesting. I was disappointed by this however as Etain’s character and performance is just as flat as the others. She looks pissed off in nearly every single frame that she is in and we learn that she is also a conniving backstabber.

Back to the plot, the film spend at least half an hour trying to setup the suspense as the Romans reach the Picts camp. It then throws it all away when the attempt to free their commander fails and they decide to run away. From here on, any attempt to salvage the film is lost. Centurion continues on with a series of filler scenes as it tries to find some sort of direction to reach the end.

One would be hoping then that the action sequences would be enjoyable but even that becomes a pain on its own. The film is grainy and dark and the color looks as if someone took a blue filter and just stuck that across the entire film. I should also have mentioned earlier that this is really a boys film and I apologize for that. The amount of gore and blood within the film seems to be the only good thing about it. Neil Marshall loves gore and he works with it really well. Seeing heads fly of and spear flying through people’s head make the violence in this film one of the only tidbits to enjoy but after a while even that gets tiresome. Some of the choreography looks like it had been ripped straight out of 300. Ironic as half the cast members were actually in that film. A nice little incentive however is the use of Gaelic in most parts of the film but the dialogue was so fuzzy that it made trying to listen to the beautiful language almost impossible.

If I had to choose one word to describe what Centurion is it would be this: depressing. Centurion is one of those films that is quite difficult to enjoy. Despite the actors and their attempt to give a solid and amazing performance, the script fails to bring out their talent and in fact shunts them into a corner while trying to cloud the audience with a false sense of glory and wonder. There is just so much more about this film I could talk about: the horrible choice of location, the elaborate costume designs, which I think most of this film’s budget went into and the sappy romance at the end but it’s come to a point where even talking about it starts to become a pain. I wish I could recommend this film but Centurion is so overfilled with pointlessness that I would feel guilty by doing so. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

2 out of 10.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:46 am

http://bnowalk.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion-2010-army-of-one.html

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Centurion: Army of one

Neil Marshall's lean, mean Roman epic Centurion (now On Demand) features exactly one fight sequence that’s any fun. That’s not a complaint. The violence in the film is as ugly as it is barbaric. The first blow cauterizes your empathy muscles, but you never quite get used to the sight of a sword or an arrow slicing through a man’s head. Or maybe you do. Different strokes.

Regardless, Marshall's confrontational approach to violence immediately distinguishes Centurion from its rah rah sword-and-sandals sperm donors—300, Braveheart, Gladiator—but the film just as often settles for expectation, violating the Monochrome Accords that everyone signed in 1996 as a way to signify History only for the scarlet splatter of blood. Maybe the characters not played by Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, and Imogen Poots are thinly drawn because they’re archetypal, and maybe the plot lunacies like a woman’s scream pervading an entire valley are grasps at the stuff of legend. After all, the parts that aren’t retreads of men-on-a-mission and behind-enemy-lines flicks are ripped violently from The Metamorphoses, Titus Andronicus, and of course Joseph Campbell. But the film doesn’t quite achieve its potential until the finale, a mournful paean to the soldier beginning with a symphonic last stand where Marshall gradually weaves three isolated sequences together to a climax of double penetration. If you catch his drift.

Which is only the beginning of the film’s ascent. To this point, Centurion is an ode to the soldiering life, valiant but standard. It’s vulgar and raunchy and macho and brave. It tests its heroes and glorifies their victories. Its opening suggests it’s interested in geopolitical movements and specifically counterinsurgency strategy, but these are just glances at topicality; Centurion lives and dies with its men.

But then the film aspires to more, gathering each of its loose ends into a volley of emotional appeals that compensate for its shallow argument. We’re so wrapped up we barely realize that the coda, begging to be used as evidence against both inadequately prepared conquest and cut-and-run abandonment, says only one thing clearly: support our troops. Having beaten us with socks full of soap and earned our loyalty to Michael Fassbender, Marshall leaves us with a bumper sticker, and we take it for myth.
Posted by Brandon Nowalk at 11:41 PM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:11 pm

http://newscyborg.net/movie-review-centurion/

Movie review: Centurion
Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 04-08-2010-05-2008

Centurion (MA15+) **

Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, David Morrissey, Olga Kurylenko

Directed by Neil Marshall

Review: Shannon Harvey

Think Braveheart, Gladiator, or even the Saw or Hostel movies are gory?

Well, you better have your Roman shield ready for Centurion, an outrageously, unreasonably bloody medieval actioner where heads, arms and legs are chopped and lopped like it’s a woodcutters’ convention.

Give me mad Mel Gibson’s blue face and flashing backside over this shameless bloodbath anyday. Its catchcry would be: “You can take my arms, but you’ll never take my freedom!”

In fact, much of this second century silliness is so over-the-top I couldn’t help sniggering “It’s only a flesh wound” and recalling Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I wish it were played for laughs. Instead, British director Neil Marshall — who hit gold with Dog Soldiers and The Descent before bombing with Doomsday and this — delivers a dead-serious and dirt-ugly action film under the guise of a historic epic.

It’s AD117 and the Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain. But in the forests, glens and highlands of northern Scotland, Roman expansion has ground to a halt in the face of a savage, elusive enemy — the tribal Celtic Picts — who were no doubt unpleased with the Romans roamin’ their glens.

When the Picts stage a brutal raid on a Roman fort, it leaves Quintus (Michael Fassbender) as the sole survivor. He joins General Virilus’ (Dominic West) legendary Ninth Legion, which is ordered to wipe the Picts off the map. But when the Picts make a daring ambush (complete with rolling fire balls) and take Virilus captive, it’s up to Quintus to lead a small band of soldiers on a daring rescue attempt while trying to reach the safety of the frontier.

I must admit I didn’t know about the existence of the Picts or their resistance of the Romans in Scotland. And to be honest, I didn’t learn much more watching Centurion, which starts with a bloody battle and becomes one big, long chase movie, as if Robin Hood meets

Apocalypto. Other than a few explanatory opening captions, very little historical context is given over 97 minutes of running, fighting, chopping stabbing and killing.

In that sense, Centurion is not so much about a little-known facet of Roman history as a gory study of survival and the art of war.

The Picts use stealth, camouflage and ambush to hunt down an army that outnumbers and out-equips them. Bows, shields, spears, swords, hachets, daggers, axes and cleavers find their way through chainmail and steel with blood-spurting ease. It’s gritty, grisly stuff, no more so than when some starving Romans eat from the stomach of a freshly slain stag.

Recent Bond girl Olga Kurylenko adds spice as Etain, the Pict’s mute leader who had her tongue cut out in battle. But there’s no getting away from the fact this is a gory B-grade Braveheart, plus plenty of CG action.

I am not surprised it didn’t get a release in the US. I am surprised it did here.

Centurion is now screening.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:44 pm

http://www.soundonsight.org/sound-on-sight-radio-218-new-wave-of-uk-horror/

Sound On Sight Radio #218: New Wave Of UK Horror

Posted by Ricky D Conceicao on Aug 2nd, 2010 and filed under Horror / Cult / Sci-Fi, Podcasts Episodes #151-250,

The UK has always been known for distinctive genre fare, and this week we have a triple dose of British horror to try and prove it. First up is Jake West’s horror-comedy Doghouse, which pits a band of wronged men against a village-ful of killer women. Next, from Neil Marshall, director of The Descent and Doomsday, comes Centurion, a period romp with Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. Finally, from Severance director Christopher Smith – with whom we also have an interview – is another period flick, the religious parable Black Death.

Click link to listen to review podcast
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:03 pm

http://gordonandthewhale.com/centurion-gets-a-green-band-trailer/


CENTURION gets a green band trailer
Clark Lamson
by: Clark Lamson
July 14th, 2010

If two is company and three is a crowd, then what’s Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Neil Marshall, and a handful of angry Romans? Why, that’s just a good time.

Yesterday, Apple graced us all with a new kick-ass trailer from upcoming Neil Marshall project, CENTURION. This time, it’s a green band trailer meant for all ages. Check it out after the jump.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis, via Apple:

“CENTURION is set during the war between Roman soldiers and Pict tribesmen during the 2nd century Roman conquest of Britain. Michael Fassbender stars as Quintus Dias, Roman centurion and son of a legendary gladiator who leads a group of soldiers on a raid of a Pict camp to rescue a captured general (Dominic West). The son of the Pict leader is murdered during the raid, and the Romans find themselves hunted by a seemingly unstoppable group of the Pict’s most vicious and skilled warriors, led by a beautiful and deadly tracker (Olga Kurylenko), and hell bent on revenge.”

I had the pleasure of seeing this along with a crowded theater full of other bloodthirsty Marshall fans. After the release of THE DESCENT, which is loved by fans and critics alike, Marshall quickly became known as one of the better genre directors out there. Soon thereafter, Marshall released DOOMSDAY, which didn’t sit well with fans. If DOOMSDAY was but a lovers’ spat, hopefully, this will be the make-up sex that lovers of Marshall have been looking for.

CENTURION hits theaters on August 27.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:46 pm

http://www.onlinemovieshut.com/online-movies/centurion-movie-2010

Centurion movie (2010)
Posted by michael 4 August, 2010

Centurion movie bring back the history to life as it tells the story of a band of roman soldiers who are stranded in an unfamiliar ground and fighting some cold blooded enemies who are at their tails to hunt them down at any cost. Thus it is struggle for survival as these brave soldiers try to win this battle by keeping their morale high and their hearts beating in order to confront an enemy that they can cope up with in their wildest and most improbable dreams. It will be a n ideal journey in to the battle field in the roman era as the audience are made to marvel at the adventure.

Centurion is set in the Britain in the period of 117 AD during the time the roman invasion was at the peak. A group of soldiers under the guidance of the brave general Virilus are on their way to the British highland to fight with the Picts and win over their land. However their journey is cut short when they are attacked by cold blooded Picts on their way and the general Virilus is held captive. As a lone centurion Quintus Dias become the sole survivor of it he tales up on the impossible task of freeing the general and taking the rest of the legionaries safely to the roman frontier.

Movies based on historical events had been the in thing in Hollywood through out the history and once in a while the audience is given with an opportunity to witness a period drama of some kind o another. However this movie is a stand alone and should not be considered in that light. Because what this one offers is something that is quietly unmatchable and unbeatable. The director Neil Marshall seem to be adding another great masterpiece to his collection of movies because this movie see him doing a maximum effort by bringing the history alive in the most successful and realistic manner.

This is the first time the audience gets to see Michael Fassbender giving life to a character that puts his acting skills to the maximum usage. The character he plays in the movie is a challenging one that requires amounts and amounts of hard work put in to it. The movie sees him playing the role of a lone warrior with the utmost ease and grandeur. The way he brings out the emotions in the movie is a thing to marvel at because it gives him the edge that is necessary for a serious bit of acting. It is a commendable out put that is given by him.

Dominic West also plays alongside him with equal amounts of energy and the combination adds so much light to the entire movie. The action filled scenes are brought back to liveliness by the participation of these actors in it. Another surprising factor in the drama is the performance by Olga Kurylenko who does the role of a cold blooded warrior. It is through actions and facial expressions that her character is mostly build and the featuring done by her is sure to make her name to make it to the list of most sought after actresses in modern industry. Centurion will see it to the theatres on August 27th and be among the first to witness action and adventure relives in a thrilling war drama.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:10 pm

http://jebadel.com/movie/?p=506

Centurion
Filed under: General by patrick |

Centurion is one of the current brace of ‘sword and sandal’ films owing much to famed film-maker Cecil B. DeMille. Known for his lavish costumed epics and grandiose sweep to their many battle scenes, his movies still hold well today. Embodying their spirit, Centurion places great emphasis on action sequences replicating their larger than life feel on a fraction of their mega-budgets.

In A.D. 117, the Roman Empire sends one of their soldiers, General Virilus (Dominic West) to crush a rebellion. Wanting to conquer a large section of Northern England, its borders are protected by the savage Pict tribe. With the help of Quintus (Michael Fassbender), Virilus tries to outmanoeuvre them. Sadly his skills come to nothing as his opponents kidnap him during an ambush. Trapped behind enemy lines with the rest of his group, it becomes Quintus’ mission to rescue his leader and plot an escape as their deadly adversaries rapidly close in for the kill.

This lean and very mean mix of fiction and historical fact paints a murky picture of who the ‘baddies’ really are. Whilst the Picts are shown to be ruthless in their determination to protect their land, the Roman soldiers are no less coldblooded when attempting to acquire what they feel is their rightful territory. This tension explodes in a brutal way as the Picts’ use their blind hatred to pursue their prey whilst the soldier’s use their survival skills to safely retreat.

Neil Marshall’s direction almost keeps these elements moving at a rapid pace whilst making effective use of the striking Scottish scenery. Adding plenty of mood to the thin story, the wintry landscapes successfully underscore the differences in tactical expertise between the warring parties. This strand would have been even better had the characters not been as one dimensional as presented with the story losing its way in its final third. Marshall deserves kudos however for not shying away from the gritty violence in which his protagonists seemed to thrive with his aim for realism largely met.

Centurion marks a decent entry in the gladiatorial genre despite not being as good as it should have. Nicely shot with some inventive visceral action, it may be something Mr DeMille may recognise with its focus on ancient swordplay.

Rating out of 10: 6
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:48 pm

http://agcrump.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/review-centurion-2010-dir-neil-marshal/

Review: Centurion, 2010, dir. Neil Marshal

August 9, 2010

In roughly AD 117, Rome’s 9th Legion disappeared while on the march through Britain. What happened to them has been the subject of much debate and speculation amongst scholars; some assert that they were wiped out by Celtic tribes of Britain, while others believe that they simply disbanded, and still others suggest that they died fighting in Germania or in the East at the hands of the Persians. While we may never know what exactly happened to the Legion, the mystery has proven to be a subject of great intrigue to scholars and storytellers alike, and now Neil Marshal counts himself among their number with Centurion.

Marshal draws his inspiration here from the idea that the Legion were massacred in Britain at the hands of the Picts, a conglomeration of Celtic tribes hailing from Scotland. Of course he makes no claim to historical accuracy; a lesson in history is neither the point nor his interest. Instead, Marshal delivers a smartly constructed and deftly told action film about the aftermath of that supposed slaughter, departing from the epic scale of the historic events and focusing in on a much smaller scale conflict which occurs in their wake. Throughout, politics (those of the Romans as well as our own) are woven into the narrative, providing one of the numerous strata Marshal really concerns himself with.

Centurion‘s primary narrative kicks off after the Legion is butchered by a Pict ambush. Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a former prisoner of the Picts, leads the remaining members of the Legion through enemy territory in an effort to get home and tell the tale of their brothers in arms. Making things problematic for them are Pict hunting parties, and most of all the presence of tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko), who appears to be an avatar of vengeance out to shed as much Roman blood as possible. As predator closes in on prey, Quintus struggles with his duty to his men and his own disillusionment over the senselessness of their situation in the face of dangers both human and natural.

Marshal brings economy to Centurion‘s action. Violence is doled out in spades throughout the film but Marshal knows precisely when to invoke it and for how long before moving on to the next scene. And he knows, better than many, how to organically lead into his action beats and in fact is so excellent at creating tension and a palatable sense of dread through his build up that the moments before the bloodshed are almost as pleasing as the portrayed acts of brutality. Maybe most of all, Marshal doesn’t come off as a violence fetishist; his action is crisp, clean, well-choreographed, and cool, but at the same time we never forget that the purpose lies in the nihilistic cruelty of it all. We’re allowed, of course, to cheer at some of his more memorable kill shots– in a number of ways, both the Picts and the Romans alike appear to have somehow seen every single Friday the 13th movie before all of us– but the question of “why?” feels central to the thrust of every spear and sword.

It’s a question Marshal appears keen to address. The Legion, we learn, mobilizes against the wishes of commander Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West, in a small but gratifying part); men’s lives are lost by the machinations of Roman politicians. And this leads into maybe the most important part of Centurion: Determining the good and the bad in the war between Rome and the Britain natives. In the end, between the endless and self-interested scheming of the political parties and the archaic beliefs and practices of the feral Picts (whose fear of witchcraft leads them to scar and exile members of their own tribes), Marshal appears to empathize with soldiers both Roman and Pict alike, and most of all of Quintus. Fassbender narrates infrequently during some of the film’s quiet moments, ruminating on the unwillingness of “the gods” to risk themselves. He’s clearly referring to the Pantheon but the sentiment applies to the leaders behind both sides of the war (and taken in a modern context the film’s thoughts about why wars are fought and who fights them read like a thinly veiled remark about a certain modern and unpopular war being fought in the Middle East today).

Fassbender himself is the backbone of Centurion, as comfortable swinging his sword into the face of an enemy as he is with wielding his heart and emotion. Quintus Dias, that archetypal noble and jaded warrior searching for something that the battlefield cannot provide him with, reads like a trope but plays totally fresh by virtue of Fassbender’s quiet charisma. Marshal didn’t afford much to any of his characters, but the entire cast seems to have taken this as an opportunity more than anything else. If development is somewhat thin, it’s more than made up for through the interplay of actors that understand the bonds that form amongst soldiers at war. Everyone, from the centurions to the cook that accompanies them, does a great job filling in the blanks and fully realizing their characters. Maybe Liam Cunningham does this best of all as the salty, grizzled, but benevolent old veteran for whom the Britain campaign was to be his last tour. And if you’re wondering, yes, each character in Centurion can be described in so many cliches, but this doesn’t matter for two reasons. First, of course,the performances rise above those cliches; second, Marshal doesn’t care about reinventing the wheel. He’s comfortable working within the parameters of the genre– and he’s smart enough to enlist an able cast of performers to make the most of those boundaries.

Olga Kurylenko, bringing a ferocious animal instinct to her every move, may be Marshal’s most intelligent decision across the whole of Centurion. Etain could end up being the best villain to grace screens this year, a pale and furious beauty more adept at the art of rending the human body asunder than any other warrior we meet in the film. She’s also mute– Romans cut out her tongue while sacking her village– and in this sense Kurylenko is saddled with the most difficult character to realize of the lot, but she emotes her rage and frustration and anguish with such expertise that she makes it look easy, adding up to a terrific and totally unexpected performance.

I think we need more movies like Centurion. Too many directors today are self-conscious about embracing the elements that make genre films what they are and end up taking themselves far too seriously; like Vincenzo Natali in Splice, Marshal isn’t afraid of those conventions and chooses to support them with talented actors to surpass them. Most of all he understands that when working within the parameters of a genre, the best way to keep a film from feeling stale and treading old ground is to simply make a great movie that uses those staple characteristics really, really well and in exciting and engaging ways. Of course, there’s more to Centurion than the sword-and-sandals blood and grit on its surface, but my high-mindedness aside the real reason to see the film lies in its stature as a totally excellent entry in genre filmmaking from one of its best working directors of the day. Marshal has yet to make a bad film; if it’s up to him, that streak will go on for a long time yet, and I couldn’t be happier.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:02 pm

http://dickhollywood.com/reviews/centurion-another-misstep-for-marshall/

Centurion: Another Misstep for Marshall
Dick Hollywood | August 8th, 2010 - 8:47 pm

Centurion at IGN.com

Well I must say that Centurion, Neil Marshall’s latest Flick, is better than his last one Doomsday, but not by much. Starting out a very promising career with his wonderful fresh take on the Werewolf Genre, “Dog Soldiers” and then his fantastic claustrophobic fright-fest masterpiece the Descent, I really was looking forward to watching his next endeavours. But alas Doomsday was a muddled messy homage to all things apocalyptic and road warrior-ish. Hoping he would settle down and redeem himself with his next endeavor. Well not so much… I am sorry to say.

This film is Bloody and violent and fun in many scenes, but the flick really did not gell for me at all. I has a great cast including Micheal Fassbender, Dominick West and Olga Kurylenko, but the it is a chase film much like Apocalypto, though not as good. I mean seriously, I really do not remember what the hell was going on. Pretty forgettable . The Romans are tyring to conquer the world including Britain, but a fierce sect of guerrilla warriors know as Pict’s will not have it! They storm a a fort and capture Michael Fassbender. He narrowly escapes and runs into a troop of Roman Soldiers on orders to kill the Pict leader. They are ambushed and all are killed but a handful of men who are then tracked and hunted down by the Pict’s when they kill the Pict leaders son while trying to their captured General (Dominick West). Blather Chatter Blather Chatter

The Flick works really well during the fighting scenes. Some of the goriest and fun battle scenes I have yet to watch, but a gory fun battle scene doth not make a great movie though it can make a slightly enjoyable flick. They are just there as filler for an empty story and some very awkward manly man dialogue. It is fun to a point, but never really felt like a whole film. just scene after scene of fleeing and fighting and bleeding and hiding. Hell, I like this Marshall guy and I am hoping that he will return to form like his first two flicks. Centurion just ain’t it for me.

So Says Dick Hollywood!
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:06 pm

http://www.shadowandact.com/?p=28778

Review – “Centurion” (Enough Pleasure To Feel Guilty About)
By Tambay, on August 8th, 2010

A Centurion was a commander of an army of 100 soldiers in ancient Rome – a title worn by Michael Fassbender as Quintus Dias, the only survivor of an attack on the Roman legionary fortress he commands, by the so-called “savage” Scottish Picts. He’s captured and held prisoner, but is eventually rescued by the legion of General Titus Flavius Virilus (played well by Dominic West of The Wire fame), while on an ordered mission to seek out and exterminate the Picts, and their king, Gorlacon. However, all doesn’t go as planned when the legion is betrayed and nearly wiped out in a surprise attack by the Picts, leading to the capture of Virilus. Quintus Dias and six others survive the attack, and vow to rescue their captured general, instead of retreating to the safety of Roman jurisdiction.

Comparisons to other so-called contemporary “Swords & Sandals” flicks are inevitable – adventure films set in Biblical times or the classical era, loosely based on real history and mythology. This sub-genre of the historical epic feels like it’s started to wear itself out however, given the number of films under that umbrella that have been released in the last decade or so; a revival that can be attributed to the immense success of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator in 2000; followed by Alexander (2004), King Arthur (2004), Troy (2004), Kingdom Of Heaven (2005), 300 (2007), The Last Legion (2007)… and this year alone – Robin Hood, Clash Of The Titans, and the soon to be released Centurion, which really doesn’t offer anything new to radicalize the genre.

It’s content with being a stripped down version of many of its epic predecessors – a brisk 90-minute plot-driven adrenaline rush. The viewer is instantly thrown into the thick of the story, from the opening credits, not quite relenting until the end titles roll; and even then, there is no obvious finality to it. Not that it’s lacking in depth, but it’s obvious that the filmmakers weren’t entirely interested in the audience’s connection with the film’s characters. You’re given little opportunity to breathe or think. Although, that’s likely intentional for obvious reasons.

At the risk of sounding sexist, it’s very much a guy’s movie; the violence is plenty and bloody, with a preponderance of graphic set-pieces, in which limbs are severed, heads are cut off, torsos are penetrated with spears, urine is used in torture, and more. The tag line on one of its posters says it all: “History Is Written In Blood.”

Indeed Centurion is flowing with it.

It’s gritty, yet oddly beautiful, thanks to the mountainous Scottish highlands, towns and villages in which the film was partly shot, as well as the Surrey hill ranges in England. Although, its color palette is expectedly drab – traditional ancient battle armor, against a snowy winter chill, all wrapped up in a greyish-blueish tint.

The performances are strong, from Fassbender, West, and much of their supporting cast, despite the thin script they were given to work with. Although, Noel Clarke as Macros, one of the 6 survivors, feels somewhat out of place – and not necessarily because of his dark skin. However, his character isn’t on screen long enough to dampen the overall experience. Bond girl Olga Kurylenko as the mute but deadly tracker, Etain, looked like she was trying a little too hard to mask the glamorous cover girl underneath all that “warrior paint.”

It’s attempt at a love story was expected, but still felt forced, and really could have been omitted. While finding respite from the gruesomeness of life at the time in the angelic face of a banished beauty believed to be a sorcerer, may, on its surface, seem like a welcomed shift, it was a transparent effort.

Films like this hark back to what we could say were much less complicated, yet more violent times – relatively speaking of course. Ideas like duty and honor were held in high regard almost above all else. Men were willing to die for each other and for country. There really is no good nor bad, only survival in its most basic form. You fought for what you wanted or you perished. But director Neil Marshall doesn’t expound much on any of these ideas, nor can I say there’s an obvious commentary here.

The running voice-over throughout the film felt unnecessary – whether as Dias’ interior monologue, or even as a griot of sorts. It served no instructive purpose. The imagery and dialogue should be informative enough.

Don’t go looking for a history lesson here; that’s not Centurion’s interest. It’s not quite revisionist history, but certainly some liberties have been taken in the telling of the tale of the 9th Legion. Ultimately, the intent here was to make an entertaining action thriller, and to that end, it’s certainly a mostly thrilling 90 minutes, but unfortunately empty enough that it won’t linger on much after you exit the theater.

The flick was released in the UK in the spring, and will see USA theaters August 27th. Although, you can watch the film now via VOD pre-release screenings.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:08 pm

http://schofizzymoviereview.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-centurion.html

Sunday, August 8, 2010
Review: Centurion

A band of Roman soldiers are caught behind enemy lines after they suffer terrible defeat. The group must quickly work together in order to survive as the tribal warriors hunt the rest of the 9th Legion down and kill them.


Neil Marshall's "Centurion" has a whole lot of ambition but unfortunately the over-used plot points become too much of a been there done that routine to walk away all that excited. Nearly every aspect of the survival filled movie has been seen before. That is not to say that the quasi-historical action isn't filled with brutal swordplay and white knuckle action sequences, because it is, they just come across as an old hat on some new faces.

Speaking of the faces, I have a ton of mixed emotions about the cast. Michael Fassbender nails his performance. He has just enough charisma to keep you engaged when the film hits a few lulls in momentum. He also carries the group dynamic fairly well with the other Roman soldiers caught behind enemy lines. Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko on the other hand do nothing to engage the viewer. I have to admit my feelings on West are biased, I have yet to enjoy him in any role I've seen him in. Something about him comes off abrasive regardless of the fact most of his characters are intended to be that way. Kurylenko however is nothing but eye candy and proves that ten fold. Kurylenko plays a mute warrior and her performance is about as believable as her playing an unattractive obese struggling woman. Every time she is on screen I pictured some cameraman in the background screaming, "Work it, work it, look fierce, you're a fierce lioness!" Simply said she just does not work for me.

There is an odd sense about "Centurion" that forces the viewer to question just who we are suppose to be rooting for. You start off thinking okay, I'm suppose to be siding with the Romans, then the film shifts to having you believe the Pict warriors are who we should be cheering on. Then the film decides to flip flop back and forth so many more times that by the end you don't care who side is whose, you'd just wished them all a violent death.

On to the violence. Being a Neil Marshall movie, one should expect some in your face violence and you definitely get just that. A big majority of the battles are high energy, filled brutality and lots of bloodshed. About the bloodshed for a minute, "Centurion" features both practical blood effects and cgi. Unfortunately I have nothing positive to say about the cgi blood. It is completely off setting. It looks nothing like real blood. On the positive side some of the limbs that we see hacked off are worth dealing with the sprays of cgi blood. All of the practical effects are great. Marshall knows his way around an action and he gives us a number of worthwhile sequences here.

Another avenue I walked away from "Centurion" with mixed emotions was it's overall look. The film takes place in some gorgeous settings and has some fairly well put together set pieces, but the overall grayness to the film just becomes overtly depressing. There certainly is room for an argument that Marshall wanted a feeling of despair from all of the gray, but it just doesn't work for me. I am also fully aware of the grayness to the location. But every scene just seems like extra fog was injected along with almost a silver tint to the film. Something McG tried to no avail in "Terminator Salvation." The overall look just comes across as I've previously said, been there done that. Trick is I've seen it done better.

When all is said and done "Centurion" is a brutal high tension action that has some excellent moments. Unfortunately moments don't measure up to a fluid and thrill packed ride. I'm beginning to think I would like Marshall a whole lot more if he had someone else helping him with his writing. Developing this ideas a little further so that they are exceptional instead of just enjoyable. "Centurion" could have been epic, but it ended up just being forgettable.

Schofizzy's Score: 7.3/10
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:09 pm

http://efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=20622&reviewer=404

Centurion

by brianorndorf

"The apology for Doomsday"
4 stars

After 2008’s “Doomsday,” I lost faith in writer/director Neil Marshall, who torched all the promise generated by 2005’s “The Descent” to make a tuneless, odious John Carpenter wank that thankfully few seemed interested in. “Centurion” returns the filmmaker to an intriguing gallop, taking on the challenge of a historical actioner, following battered Roman soldiers as they march into Hell. This being Marshall, a nimble foray into brawn isn’t to be expected; instead the filmmaker floods the film with blood and growls, creating a mighty clang of history and gore. It’s Herschell Gordon Lewis’s “I, Claudius.”

As Rome attempts to conquer Europe in the 2nd century, their efforts are forcefully rebuffed by the Picts, a tribal nation out to defend their Northern Britain territory. Into the fray goes soldier Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender, “Inglourious Basterds”), a centurion who’s escaped enemy capture, only to find himself marched back into duty when General Titus (Dominic West) is ordered to plunge further into Pict control. Again beaten by the natives, Dias and a small band of survivors (including David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham) flee, forced to endure brutal environments and the concentrated efforts of an unstoppable, mute Pict tracker named Etain (an aptly cast Olga Kurylenko, “Quantum of Solace”), fighting their way back to the safety of the Roman army.

“Centurion” is a rough and ready film, playing to Marshall’s strengths as a visual composer and closet sadist. It’s a film better seen than heard, with gorgeous widescreen cinematography from Sam McCurdy expressing a forbidding land of dense forests and snowbound mountaintops, creating an obstacle course for the Romans that challenge their survival instinct at every turn. It’s a compelling land of mystery ruled by an ill-defined tribe of painted natives who’ve committed their lives to spilling Roman blood. Now there’s a movie.

For the first act, “Centurion” tears off as a chase and revenge picture, barreling through a series of skirmishes that splatter the screen. Marshall loves the wet red, and he gives in to the temptation here, depicting the battle between the Romans and the Picts with head-chopping, wound-spurting accuracy, turning the battlefield into an escalating parade of horrifying body trauma, though most of the carnage is criminally cartooned by terrible GC-enhanced blood. “Centurion” is vicious and primal, but pleasingly so, allowing Marshall to create a film of spittle-drenched fury, which helps to reinforce the need for the Romans to find a safe haven, despite the fact that they are actually the villains of the story. It’s an energized piece of direction from Marshall, but it doesn’t last forever.

“Centurion” slows some as it regroups in the midsection, suddenly realizing an emotional core wouldn’t hurt matters. Enter Arianne (Imogen Poots), a dewy Pict exile who comes to the aid of the wounded soldiers, showing reassuring distaste for the tribe which invites warmth into Dias’s cold heart. The character’s introduction comes far too late in the picture to matter, only halting the action needlessly as Marshall clumsily scripts up a heart. It’s an accomplished, vivid ensemble, but they’re better left with minor dramatic beats than useless melodramatic ones.

“Centurion” gets back to the business of cracking skulls for a grisly finale, but the air has been let out of its tires. Instead of reaching unimaginable heights of neck-snapping exhilaration, the picture limps to a finale, which, once again, betrays the fierce tone of the piece. Still, “Centurion” is a marked improvement over the nonsense of “Doomsday,” providing evidence that Neil Marshall still has plenty of potential within him.
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:17 pm

http://grahamsdownunderthoughts.blogspot.com/2010/08/movie-review-centurion.html

Sunday, August 8, 2010
MOVIE REVIEW ... CENTURION

MOVIE REVIEW ...

CENTURION

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Centurion is one of the current brace of ‘sword and sandal’ films owing much to famed film-maker Cecil B. DeMille. Known for his lavish costumed epics and grandiose sweep to their many battle scenes, his movies still hold well today. Embodying their spirit, Centurion places great emphasis on action sequences to replicate their larger than life feel on a fraction of their mega-budgets.



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In A.D. 117, the Roman Empire sends one of their soldiers, General Virilus (Dominic West) to crush a rebellion. Virilus wants to conquer a large section of Northern England whose borders are protected by the savage Pict tribe. With the help of Quintus (Michael Fassbender), Virilus tries to outmanoeuvre them. Sadly his skills come to nothing as his opponents kidnap him during an ambush. Trapped behind enemy lines with the rest of his group, it becomes Quintus’ mission to rescue his leader and plot an escape as their deadly adversaries rapidly close in for the kill.

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This lean and very mean mix of fiction and historical fact paints a murky picture of who the ‘baddies’ really are. Whilst the Picts are shown to be ruthless in their determination to protect their land, the Roman soldiers are no less coldblooded when attempting to acquire what they feel is their rightful territory. This tension explodes in a brutal way as the Picts’ use their blind hatred to pursue their prey whilst the soldier’s use their survival skills to safely retreat.

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Neil Marshall’s direction almost keeps these elements moving at a rapid pace whilst making effective use of the striking Scottish scenery. Adding plenty of mood to the thin story, the wintry landscapes successfully underscore the differences in tactical expertise between the warring parties. This strand would have been even better had the characters not been as one dimensional as presented with the story losing its way in its final third. Marshall deserves kudos however for not shying away from the gritty violence in which his protagonists seemed to thrive. His aim for realism largely met.

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Centurion marks a decent entry in the gladiatorial genre despite not being as good as it should have. Nicely shot with some inventive visceral action, it may be something Mr DeMille may recognise with its focus on ancient swordplay.

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Movie Review Rating 6 / 10

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Centurion released in Australia on Thursday 29 July 2010.

If you have any comments to make about this Movie Review, then please use the comment box, titling your comments with Movie Review Centurion

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:54 pm

http://dillypogo-reviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion.html

Monday, 9 August 2010
Centurion
Neil Marshall has never been one to shy away from gore in his films. Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday were equally bloody affairs, gloriously splattered in gruesomely visible entrails and crimson coloured bodily fluids. As expected, his newest project, an epic war thriller entitled Centurion, appropriately follows suit with this ever-present theme of maniacal bloodshed.

Throughout the movie we watch constant stabbings, beheadings, never-ending amputations, eye-gouging, throat-slitting, severed limbs flying everywhere, broken bones and bodily mutilations all at the sharp ends of swords, spears, hatchets and arrows. At one point - five minutes into the film to be precise - a man gets stabbed in the groin while taking a piss. Now that's just rude!

As you would assume, the movie takes place in ye olde violent times; 117 AD in fact. We're in Scotland, and Roman centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) is the sole survivor of an ambush on a highly guarded fort by a fearsome tribe known as the Picts. He is captured, but promptly escapes with some help from a Roman legion led by Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West), whom Quintus decides to tag along with.

The armoured legion is soon attacked and little are left standing as Titus is captured by the tribe. Are you noticing a pattern here? Along with a small group of Romans, Quintus invades the tribe's huts to rescue Titus, during which the tribe chieftain’s young son is killed.

Hell-bent on revenge, a tongueless female warrior called Etain (Olga Kurylenko) furiously chases after our miniscule band of Roman soldiers through the woods with other tribe members. As much as our protagonists desperately try to hide, the tribe is always right behind them.

Centurion ended up being quite a surprise for me, as I was expecting a laborious and annoyingly generic period war film with no real sense of excitement. Turns out it's a fairly entertaining and excessively brutal tale that's reasonably fun for almost all of its running time. Make no mistake, this is no Gladiator or 300, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

The action sequences are nicely shot, with Marshall's energetic direction thankfully not resorting to tedious rapidity, meaning that we can actually tell what the hell is going on. Swords clang against each other and armed horse riders swing axes into Roman foreheads, which only becomes repetitive towards the end.

The script is filled aplenty with half-witty banter between our main protagonists, which is very reminiscent of Marshall's directorial debut, 2002's Dog Soldiers. It makes for a dandy, slightly humorous break from the high drama and gut-wrenching violence of the constant action scenes. Although containing the occasional cliché, it's a reasonably satisfying script.

However, one of the film's definite flaws is that the sword wielding characters are substantially underdeveloped. Their personalities aren't that strong and thus don't have enough of an impact, which may cause you to simply forget about them soon after the end credits roll. Fully fleshed out, truly memorable characters would be exceedingly preferable to the bland, rough, tough warriors we get here.

Then again, the cast does a fine job with the characters they're given. Fassbender is an exquisite leading man, one who emits the right amount of emotion when necessary as well as kicking some tribal ass. His character, on the other hand, doesn't feel like our hero until about an hour into the movie, with our only clue that he's the main character being that he's the narrator.

Noel Clarke, Dave Legeno, Axelle Carolyn, David Morrissey, JJ Feild and Riz Ahmed all have largely forgettable roles, so much so that I genuinely can't remember which character is which. Who really stood out for me though is Dominic West as Titus, certainly the best performance in the film. West is a fascinating character actor and I for one very much admired him as the stubborn and unflinching leader.

There's also Kurylenko as Etain, our menacing, bloodthirsty villain. What's interesting is that her character doesn't have a single line throughout the entire film, what with her tongue having been previously cut out by a Roman, but she still manages to be one scary bitch. She's pretty awesome in the film and makes for a decent and powerful antagonist.

Marshall brings the thrills and kills, but the movie is lacking in suspense. For instance, a scene where our heroes are hiding under the floorboards of a hut while Etain searches around atop obviously calls for much tension, but this just doesn't happen. Etain quickly buggers off, leaving me scratching my head, wondering why Marshall didn't take advantage of this situation. It's puzzling, no?

Nevertheless, Centurion is still a profoundly fun, blood-infested movie with a fine cast and nifty direction. It's certainly not a great film, just one above mediocre that I would recommend for giving a go. That is, unless you've got a weak stomach, in which case I recommend watching The Little Mermaid instead.

7/10
Posted by Dillypogo at 17:42
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:35 pm

http://celluloidwordslick.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion.html

Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Centurion

Neil Marshall‘s Dog Soldiers was a decent debut, a werewolf movie that focused on the prey rather than the monsters and the tale of squaddies up against spindly-legged lycanthropes shares a lot with Marshall’s latest film, though not the humour.
Both films pit a group of soldiers against a feral enemy in the Scottish wilderness, but in the case of Centurion it’s Roman soldiers trying to escape the ruthless Picts that hunt them. There is an attempt to inject a familiar brand of ‘laddish’ humour between the soldiers, echoing the camaraderie found in Dog Soldiers, but it works less well here as the situation facing them is more realistic and somehow the move from supernatural horror to action/thriller also dampens the impact of comic relief. The main problem with the film is the lack of spark that would set it apart from a myriad group of similar action films and prevent it from feeling like an accomplished straight-to-DVD B picture, with echoes of everything from Ravenous to the 13th Warrior and Pathfinder to Gladiator.

The cast is fine with Michael Fassbender yet to tarnish a great run of performances and Dominic West particularly enjoyable in what would be an easily fudged role of the meathead captain down with the grunts, repairing a lot of damage done by his odd turn in 300. Liam Cunningham, David Morrisey and Riz Ahmed also shine, though Olga Kurylenko is presumably there as a pretty face and bankable name as a Bond Girl and I wonder whether the character’s muteness featured in the script before she came on board. Imogen Poots (the daughter in 28 Weeks Later) as Arian, the suspected witch outcast, feels a little out of step with the movie, both a refuge from the otherwise relentless pace of the hunt and also out of time, perhaps a bit too modern for the setting. As an action feature I would expect the female roles to be more one-dimensional or not to ring true, but with the Descent as a writing as well as directing credit it’s surprising that Marshall has not made more of his female leads here.

The location work deserves some mention as countless scenes of Scotland millennia past are framed in their stark beauty as the dwindling squad battle the elements as well as their pursuers, with the cinematography washed of colour in order to highlight the cold and unforgiving clime. Action scenes are relatively few as the film concentrates on the run, with one large-scale battle a victim of quick cuts in editing, but outside these the film struggles to shape the largely stock characters, Fassbender’s hero remarkable chiefly for his endurance and ability to speak the native tongue, whilst Cunningham is cursed with the genre trope of being speared only to pull his attacker in for a bit of macho brutality.

I can’t decide whether Centurion is disappointing or just underwhelming, either way it’s sad that the film doesn’t seem to equal the sum of it’s parts. it’s by no means a bad film but it just doesn’t elevate itself up above other genre entries enough to be more than a solid entry, rather than a benchmark. Fairly decent in isolation but lacking the freshness Marshall brought to his first two features.
Posted by Monsieur Le Capuchin at 8/10/2010 07:29:00 PM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:01 am

http://pfangirl.blogspot.com/2010/08/trailer-tuesday-centurion.html

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Trailer Tuesday: Centurion

I honestly don't understand why it's so difficult to make a good movie about Roman military exploits in ancient Britain. 2004's King Arthur and 2007's The Last Legion, apart from trying to add some realism and Roman history to the Arthurian legend, were both as dull as ditch water. Centurion, the latest from The Descent, Dog Soldiers and *ahem* Doomsday writer-director Neil Marshall, attempts to change the fortunes of this very specific historical action-adventure sub-genre. Still though, Centurion doesn't look like an overwhelmingly awesome film experience, even if the red band trailer provides a better indication of the film's R-rated uber-violence.

Previously known as Ninth Legion, Centurion is a survival thriller that theorises what happened to the real life Roman Ninth Legion - consisting of well over 4000 men - which mysteriously disappeared during a disastrous campaign in northern Britain circa 117 ADE.

Inglourious Basterds, 300 and Hunger's Michael Fassbender stars as Centurion Quintus Dias, a soldier who has already survived a devastating fort raid by the Picts. He joins General Virilus's (Dominic West) Ninth Legion on a mission to slaughter the savage local tribes once and for all. Unfamiliar with the Picts' guerrilla warfare though, the Legion is ambushed, Virilus captured and it's up to Dias to rescue his commander and keep his small squad of men alive behind enemy lines. At the same time the band struggle with unfamiliar terrain and harsh weather, they have to contend with the Picts' most bloodthirsty group of hunters and warriors, led by the mute but deadly tracker Etain (Quantum of Solace and Max Payne's Olga Kurylenko).

Like all of Marshall's movies, expect Centurion to be graphic, action-packed and very well made. You can also expect it to certainly have flaws. Having screened widely in the UK and Europe, as well as at various film festivals around the world, Centurion is currently 54% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie seems to be dividing reviewers neatly down the middle. While some critics have praised Centurion for its energy, excellent cast and refreshingly no-nonsense approach to action movie-making, others have complained about its lack of character development and "monotonous violence." Although apparently not as good a period-set chase movie as Apocalypto, Centurion is much more satisfy than Robin Hood and Clash of the Titans, both of which were released earlier this year. That kind of comment certainly piques my interest, although I'm keeping my expectations moderated given the number of times I've been disappointed this year already.

In the United States Centurion is currently available for Video on Demand viewing via Xbox Live, Playstation, Amazon and VUDU. The film will still also receive a theatrical release in North America on 27 August. Centurion opens in South Africa in 2 months' time, on 15 October.

Posted by Pfangirl at 8:57 AM
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:19 am

http://reelrhino.blogspot.com/2010/08/reel-rhino-review-neil-marshalls.html

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Reel Rhino Review: Neil Marshall's CENTURION

What a great opportunity! I am a huge Neil Marshall fan and I stumbled across this flick over the weekend. CENTURION is currently available ON-DEMAND and it will be released in theaters on AUGUST 27th, 2010.

I love getting the chance to see movies before they hit theaters LEGALLY! I really don't understand the whole pre-release process. I have a feeling that studios will gauge the size of a planned release based upon the success of a movie in pre-release. To that end, while I love seeing movies in the big house as opposed to my house, I feel like seeing movies I like ON-DEMAND actually helps the film makers.

NEIL MARSHALL has a very limited filmography. His feature-length directorial debut was 2002's DOG SOLDIERS, a BRITISH production featuring a Scottish band of soldiers who are engaged in a military exercise, meet with some trouble under the full moon. Yep, a werewolf flick that is absolutely awesome!

2005 brought Marshall's first mainstream theatrical release, DECENT, although we (Americans) didn't see it until August of 2006. This horror film was well received critically and deemed by many movie goers as "THE SCARIEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!"

I am sure that the holder of the title The Scariest Movie of All Time is very open to debate, but it is certainly an exercise in claustrophobic film making that is executed with perfection AND with the desired effect...fright...lots and lots of fright. It was funny when this was released in theaters because it actually had two waves of release, the later issue featuring the original ending deemed TOO FRIGHTENING for American audiences. Really MPAA? Too frightening? Really? Pretty funny thought, isn't it? The budget for THE DESCENT was $5.5 million and it turned $26 million in the States, a Worldwide gross of $57 million, and has done $22 million on DVD to date. Not bad, huh?

Pretty damn good by even the strictest of standards! Marshall was soon after green lit for what would be his most ambitious and expensive film to date: DOOMSDAY.

I have touted DOOMSDAY before and I will again here. It features Rhona Mitra, who was also Kate Beckinsale's replacement in the UNDERWORLD series. DOOMSDAY is a futuristic action thriller where a team of military personnel, including a bad ass Mitra, work to save humanity against a dangerous threat. It is a movie with several tonal, tempo, and production design shifts that serve the story very well. She plays of sorts like a female Mad Max, hell bent on success, so that she may save humanity. She is to find the leader of one of two barbaric factions at war with one and other. Kane, played by Malcolm McDowell, holds the key to survival but is he too consumed with the war on his son's faction to be concerned about the rest of humanity? This is a fun movie that combines elements of some of our favorite post-apocalyptic fare in a beautiful contrast of the variety of calamity one would find in a world with no law and absolutely no order. If given the chance...check out DOOMSDAY.

Now DOOMSDAY is likely the reason for the pre-release of Centurion. Doomsday had a $33 million budget and made only $10 million in the US, $21.5 million Worldwide, and has to date only drawn $8.5 million on DVD. Due to this lackluster return on his first big budget fare, it is likely that the rise to the top for Mr. Marshall was put on hold. Keep in mind, I loved DOOMSDAY and gave it a 5 of 5 horn review. It was much better than it was ever given credit for, but none the less, here we are!

CENTURION tells the tale of the 9th Legion of Roman soldiers at war across the British countryside with a band of guerrilla warriors, known as the Picts. The Picts are outstanding warriors who used tactics and the landscape to bring to a halt, the invasion of their home. It is said near the beginning of the film, they fight with no honor, appearing in the night and disappearing just as quickly. They introduced techniques of battle that were yet unknown to the Romans, and these techniques served them effectively well, creating a deadlock in this region that lasted 20 years. This film tells the tale of battles that raged to end this deadlock.

Our story starts with a fleeing prisoner, Quintus Dias, a Centurion in the Roman army. He is on foot, running through the snow. We learn from his narration that this is neither the beginning or the end of his story. We fade to two weeks earlier when he is standing post at his fort...not as an assignment, but as a soldier standing in wonder of what this war will bring. Dias is played by Michael Fassbender who is quickly making a name for himself in American cinema, most recently in Inglourious Basterds, that little Tarantino flick from last fall, but also in Zack Snyder's 300 and unfortunately, JONAH HEX.

The post at which Dias is stationed as second in command gets ambushed by Pict warriors and he is taken prisoner. He manages to escape and is only saved as scout of the Roman 9th Legion spots him, calls for reinforcements, and his life is spared by his Roman brethren. The General in charge of the 9th Legion, and leader of the march headed into Pict territory is Virilus, played by Dominic West, previous McNulty of THE WIRE and less ceremoniously as Jigsaw, in PUNISHER: WAR ZONE.

Olga Kurylenko, the former Bond Girl from Quantum of Solace, plays the ruthless woman warrior, Etain. She is a fearless femme fatale and she has no speaking roles as we will learn later, her tongue was cut out at the hands of her enemy...but who is the enemy? Etain proves to be a force to be a force to be reckoned with and her battle scenes are reminiscent of Ray Park as Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Gorlacon, leader of the Pict army and King to their people, is played by Ulrich Thomsen. He is wiry, but tough and he has a kick ass Fu-Manchu goat-tee that won me over quickly.

This movie is basically about two things: fighting and fleeing. And I am talking long runs across mountain ridges, Lord of the Rings-style, type fleeing. Heroes on the run as they are pursued by enemies of much greater numbers. But that comes later and the largest battle, worthy of the best of epic battle scenes, is given to us early on. Most of the later battle scenes consist of smaller numbers in hand-to-hand combat, which are very bloody scenes.

A comment about the blood. It is pretty apparent that much of the bloodletting was digitally added. It looks great though, and the battle gore is on par with any fighting flicks of recent days. Make no mistake, this is a gore-fest to the nth degree.

So we have two things here...a tail of loyalty and bravery that leads to an epic mission, within an epic mission. We also have well choreographed battle scenes that yield bloodshed on par with The Bride's decimation of the Crazy 88's, ala Kill Bill Vol. 1. The story is easy to follow, but its shifts in direction come at breakneck speed. We are given only one scene of character development with the small band of Romans that we follow throughout. The on-screen action and also the narration of Dias speak volume to the Roman allegiance to God and Country, so character development is an unnecessary luxury. This is a movie about duty and honer within the framework of fighting a war of questionable motives.

The Picts are portrayed as brutal, yet skilled, but how would you react to the advances of your otherwise would be conqueror. The are brutal, but that doesn't make them wrong. Don't worry, though, it becomes very clear as to who we should be cheering for and rooting against. One thing we learn quickly, is that the Pict warriors would sooner die than submit, so we have an antagonist that is the whole of their group, a worthy adversary to say the least.

I really enjoyed what Neil Marshall gave us here. It is fun, well-shot, features great costumes and beautiful sets, and perhaps most importantly, it has some very well-executed action scenes. One scene in particular as the first major battle commences was quite cool. I won't spoil it, but sadly, if you have seen the trailer, you know what I am talking about.

This film is quite bloody, but it only adds to the ambiance that comes with an otherwise drab toned film. Perhaps the slate gray overtone was what made the blood seem oh so much more vivid and don't get me wrong, the color palate of this film was spot on. It is well shot and well-fought and the end product is a terse 97 minute period action epic. I think the running time contributed to the quick shifts in story, but it is to the movie's benefit as much longer action epics seem to occasionally become self-indulgent, which fortunately doesn't happen here.

The Reel Rhino rates this at 4 of 5 HORNS. I don't know how many theaters will end up carrying this, but it would be an enjoyable watch on the big screen. If not, check it out NOW as it is out there on VOD through a variety of cable companies and content providers.

Perhaps it was the poor performance of DOOMSDAY that led to this early release. Doomsday is by my account a better film than the credit it has received. For now, support a good film...check this out on VOD or at the theater when you have the chance. It is a fun film that is set in another era, in another world to you and I. Keep it coming Mr. Marshall...come hell or high water, I'll keep watching!

This is kind of a tweener review...The Other Guys left me wanting more for the weekend. I couldn't leave my weekend movie series in the "just mediocre" zone, so I am very happy to have checked this out. Next week I will be catching SCOTT PILGRIM vs THE WORLD (check out the trailer below).

Also, keep an eye out for my IMAX vs. ETX technology review that I can tell you now, is a lose lose for the consumer. No matter the end to that story, we (the consumer) lose as prices continue to climb. Hey, $9.99 to watch Centurion seems pretty damn affordable when you start thinking about it that way!

Till next time, take care!

RR
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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:41 am

http://ramascreen.com/centurion-review/

CENTURION Review
Share12 Posted by Rama On August - 9 - 2010

GRADE: 4 out of 5

CENTURION is bloody enjoyable! merciless and fearsome. Audiences are always looking for the next Gladiator, the next Braveheart, the next Last Of The Mohicans type movies, CENTURION isn’t exactly on that same level but it’s certainly a smashing effort on the part filmmaker Neil Marshall who brought us The Descent and Doomsday. CENTURION offers some of the most brutal, most barbaric battle scenes you’ll ever see in Cinema…

AD 117. The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. But in northern Britain, 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, sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus’ legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the earth and destroy their leader Gorlacon.

But when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, and Virilus taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines, evading remorseless Pict pursuers over harsh terrain, as the band of soldiers race to rescue their General, and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

When it comes down to it, CENTURION is guilty pleasure. Definitely a testosterone-centric atmosphere, heads severed, arms flying, blood spraying, throats get slit left and right, I wouldn’t even consider this artful at all. This is Roman fight, Neil Marshall style. There’s no 300-esque stylized shots, just straight up graphic violence to the point where it might come off a bit pointless. The intention of the film is still unclear to me, that’s probably one of the few weaknesses of CENTURION. A survival story that turns into a rescue mission and then a game of cat and mouse chase that’s way too upfront without leaving anything to imagination. And I don’t think Marshall knows how to approach love story well. In fact, the temperate romantic elements in this film seems a bit out of place. You have all this macho, murderous commotion and then all of a sudden it hits the brakes right in the middle only to give Fassbender’s character Quintos a woman for her to flirt with.

Fassbender shows great leadership in this film, he does radiate a leading man charisma, one that sadly got repressed in that god-awful Jonah Hex movie, til today it still baffles me why he signed on to that gig.
Fassbender is no Maximus or William Wallace but he understands his character’s idealistic beliefs and the story does allow you to see where he’s coming from, why this protagonist is so much bound by his word. Fassbender is calmed and focused, your typical ancient hero.

Nothing stands out about the rest of the technicalities. To say that Marshall constructed elaborate action sequences would be giving too much praise because this is no better than what Mel Gibson could easily come up with but it’s still enjoyable because it will forever be a man’s movie. Whenever the fight scenes happen, you just know somebody’s going to die in the most horrendous way possible because forgiveness is not an option and that’s CENTURION’s appeal.

I like to point out that Olga Kurylenko is shockingly convincing as a cruel, heartless villainness. I love her character, not only because she’s played by hottie Olga but also because she’s such a relentless, persistent, highly skilled tracker who’d stop at nothing not even death. One of the most badass women in movies this year.
In one particular climatic scene, Neil Marshall sets it up as a spectators sport, not so much two gladiators in an arena, but when both sides clash, you can’t help but to root for either team. You want Fassbender and his friends survive and you also want Olga’s gang to win because it’s so easy to admire them.
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