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Centurion reviews

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:43 pm

http://thefilmstage.com/2010/08/18/review-centurion-2/

Categorized | Reviews, Theatrical Reviews
[Review] Centurion
Posted on 18 August 2010 by Jack Giroux

Neil Marshall delivers the goods when it comes to creating solid B-movie schlock. With Dog Soldiers and The Descent he showed great promise in the horror world. With Doomsday and now Centurion, Marshall shows he also has a steady hand when it comes to delivering on the action. Both films couldn’t be more similar. They each focus on a chase, have over-the-top kills, a solid lead, all while happening to be a mess.

The script really is where Centurion falters, just like Doomsday. Narratively, it feels chopped up and rushed. With a 97-minute running time it movesbriskly, but it feels like far too often like Marshall is rushing himself. It’s as if there was once a three-hour epic that got cut into the barest-bone film possible. It doesn’t quite hit the grand scope it seems to be going for. Visually, however, it mostly achieves just that – something grand. In terms of storytelling, it’s a mixed bag.

The best way to describe Centurion is as a period chase film. We follow a pack of Roman soldiers from the 9th Legion, a group that has mysteriously disappeared. This fills in the blank as to what happened. While in Northern Britain they’re attacked by a group of savages raging war. The few that live this attack go on the run, looking for their kidnapped general Virilus (Dominic West). Leading this small squad of survivors is Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender). Fassbender himself – who’s recently been turning out brilliant performance after brilliant performance – has the film pretty much rest on his shoulders. Unsurprisingly, he’s as solid as you’d expect him to be.

Probably the biggest surprise of Centurion is Olga Kurylenko. If you don’t know Kurylenko by name, she’s recently become known more for her American supporting performances, which aren’t exactly show stoppers (Max Payne, Quantum of Solace, and Hitman). But here, Kurylenko impresses. She has the trickiest role: playing a mute with a lot of internal damage. Kurylenko delivers an expressive performance, as she has to, and also makes for one of the more memorable action female characters in recent years.

When you have your Roman soldiers spouting obscenities left and right, it’s fairly obvious that Marshall isn’t striving too far from the B-movie world. What’s most interesting about Marshall’s take on the Roman soldier is how he does, somehow, make it all feel natural. He doesn’t throw you into Ancient Rome to see the mammoth buildings and the fantastical side – he’s going for a raw and realistic take. Marshall wants a “man vs. nature” type of vibe, and that works. You sometimes wish he’d focus more on that theme than the chase itself, but the idea comes across.

This feels like the polar opposite of the recent (and brilliant) Valhalla Rising. That’s a man vs. nature film as well, but done in a more existential and poetic way. This is the punk-rock version of that idea. While the result isn’t nearly as satisfying or intriguing, Marshall still turned out an entertaining and solid chase thriller. If you’re expecting plenty of messy, bloody fun like Marshall’s previous film Doomsday, you wont be disappointed.

7 out of 10

Centurion is now available on VOD and will have a limited US release on Aug. 27th.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:45 pm

http://www.hollywood.com/review/Centurion_Review/7122343

'Centurion' Review Movie Review
'Centurion' Review (R)

Daniel Hubschman
1 Out of 5 stars
Hollywood.com Says

The director's preference of gore over plot points kept me from ever being able to take it seriously

In 117 AD, the famed Ninth Legion of the Roman army inexplicably disappeared. Through the centuries, many legends pertaining to the missing squadron have unfurled. Some claim that the harsh elements of northern Britain brought them to their doom, while more extraordinary stories suggest that supernatural forces laid waste to the soldiers. Writer-director Neil Marshall sought to set the record straight about the lost faction of fearless Romans with his new film Centurion, but his audience receives much more mutilation than explanation.

A highly explosive cocktail of blood, sweat and steel, the film centers on Michael Fassbender’s Quintus Dias, the stoic soldier for whom the film is titled and a captive of the savage Picts, who have thwarted Roman subjugation for decades with effective guerrilla tactics. Quintus manages to escape the Picts’ village and regroup with the Ninth Legion, led by the brave General Virilus (Dominic West), which happens to be on its way to finally end the devastation at the behest of a pushy Roman governor. Like every failed attempt at conquest, the Roman forces are demolished. Quintus manages to survive, yet again (cue eye-roll), along with a small group of battered warriors who end up on the run through treacherous terrain, trying to stay a step ahead of Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a feared Pict huntress whose only joy in life comes from spilling Roman blood.

Like the movie’s breakneck production pace, the story moves incredibly quickly, leaving little time for the plot to be fully fleshed out (there’s not much of it, anyway). The film would have benefitted from some more character development, especially with the supporting cast because it is intended to be an ensemble piece, but as each soldier got picked off I began to realize how insignificant most of them were to the narrative. As with all chase films, though, it’s the thrill of the hunt that keeps you engaged, and Centurion delivers in that sense.

Fans of Marshall’s previous films The Descent and Doomsday will be drawn to Centurion’s similarly sadistic depiction of violence, which is in no short order. Squeamish moviegoers will likely spend at least half of the movie’s 97-minute runtime with their eyes clenched as heroes and villains hack away at heads and limbs, vividly illustrating the less-than-civilized age in which the film is set. Had previous entries into the swords-and-sandals genre like Braveheart and Gladiator not shown audiences and filmmakers alike that blood and story can be successfully balanced, Centurion would’ve fared better, but the director’s preference of gore over plot points kept me from ever being able to take it seriously.

Marshall’s mind is like an encyclopedia of genre conventions and he puts this knowledge to good use in terms of the movie’s technical components, conforming to the visual style that we’ve come to expect from this period. If it’s growth that you’re hoping for, don’t expect to find much; the only sign of it that the filmmaker demonstrates is in his at-times surprisingly poetic dialogue, which describes the repulsive details of war and gives its deliverer, Quintus, much-needed depth. Credit is also due to a handful of the actors (namely Fassbender, West and Kurylenko) who braved health-hazardous conditions to get the film made and take the on-screen chaos in stride, no matter how absurd it gets.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:46 pm

http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/21336/

BD Review: Neil Marshall's Bloody 'Centurion'
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

By: David Harley

Violent historical epics are a somewhat rare commodity, but scarcer are the ones that are actually worth watching. Neil Marshall – who is revered by horror fans for The Descent and loved by almost no one for the action/sci-fi/exploitation monstrosity Doomsday – follows up his genre studio mish-mash by taking a stab at the all-but-forgotten subgenre with Centurion, which comes complete with rolling fireballs and grandiose melee weapon skirmishes. Unfortunately, the film never elevates beyond being average for a variety of reasons, leaving viewers with something merely on the level with Dog Soldiers in terms of entertainment.

Centurion tells the story of Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), the survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman fort, who teams up with the General Virilus’ (Dominic West) Ninth Legion of Rome to wipe out the Picts and their leader, Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen). After the band of men fall into a trap behind enemy lines and Virilus is captured, Dias assumes command of the Legion and races back to the Roman frontier, evading a vicious band of Pict troops led by the vengeful Etain (Olga Kurylenko).

The most interesting aspect of the film, and coincidentally its greatest fault, is that it tells the story from the Roman point-of-view, with the Picts being presented as the antagonists. Historically speaking, Romans are the ones viewed as barbaric and villainous during the 2nd century. It’s a somewhat unique way to explore this chapter in history, considering that horror is the only genre that has successfully had audiences root for the villain on a fairly consistent basis. Regardless, even with full knowledge of the historical context behind the film, the angle would have worked had it not been for the numerous discussions about how the Romans raped and pillaged everything in their path – more specifically, what they did to Etain and her village. It leaves viewers with no one to root for and, in turn, you end up not really caring what happens to anyone because, essentially, they’re all bad guys.

Aside from The Descent, writing has never been Marshall’s strongest suit (that distinction would fall on building tension and action) and Centurion is no exception. The most puzzling part of the script is the introduction of exiled witch Arian (Imogen Poots), is supposed to be a love interest for Dias but there’s no basis for their non-existent relationship, nor is there any chemistry between them. Their few scenes together basically serve as a bridge between the second act and the climax and the only reason for her inclusion in the story is to have somewhere for him to go before the credits roll – which does make sense taking the film’s resolve into account.

Since there is very little character development in the film, the action takes the forefront which is both a blessing and a curse. The action is expertly choreographed and looks beautiful thanks to DP Sam McCurdy, whose style has perfectly bonded with Marshall’s since their work on Dog Soldiers. It is, without a doubt, the film’s strongest attribute. However, aside from a scene early on with the aforementioned fireballs, there is really no variation in the action; in fact, most of the action scenes might as well be considered looped footage, since they mirror each other so closely. Beautiful looking looped footage, but repetitive none the less. Seeing a head loped off loses its luster after it’s been done thirty times in ninety minutes.

Centurion, in a way, proves that Marshall learned from the big mistakes of Doomsday; it’s focused, it makes sense, and while other films might have covered the same ground in the past, it certainly doesn’t rip scenes from them tit-for-tat. Beautiful looking and action packed, Centurion is certainly what the doctor ordered if you’re just looking for a superficial experience. But without character development or a strong stand-out performance, it’s destined for nothing more than lazy Saturday afternoon reruns on USA.

Score: 2.5/5 Skulls

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:48 pm

http://twitchfilm.net/reviews/2010/08/fantasia-2010-centurion.php

TADFF 10: CENTURION Review

by Andrew Mack, August 18, 2010 10:57 AM
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Action, Fantasia 2010, Toronto After Dark 2010, UK, Ireland, Australia & New Zealand

[It's the first film playing on tonight's bill at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Time to revisit my review, as well as others listed below in the links.]

Michael Fassbender is Centurion Quintus Dius, in charge of a legion at the northern most part of the reach of the Roman Empire in Britain. One night the garrison is attacked by an army of Picts. They are the local peoples who inhabited the northern lands and defended what is now Scotland and Britain from the Roman invasion. His garrison is decimated but he is taken alive to the Pict leaders, Gorlacon. Rome's most powerful Legion, The Ninth, led my Maximus, is sent into the North as a show of force against this guerrilla army, guided by Etain, an expert tracker. Meanwhile, Dius has managed to escape his captors and sprints into the care of the Ninth Legion. He joins this legion and goes back into the North.

But Etain has led them into a trap and the Night Legion is slaughtered by the Pict army. Only a scrap of soldiers remain alongside Dius. They know Maximus has been taken back to the village and they go in the dark of night and try to free him. One of the soldiers does something terrible during the botched rescue attempt so Gorlacon sends Etain out with other warriors to hunt down these remaining Romans and kill them. Now Dius must lead this small band of men back South to safe territory before Etain and her warriors can track them down. The race for survival begins.

Centurion features possibly more running across mountains and fields than a Peter Jackson LOTR film! Fortunately for Marshall he chose to film in the Scottish Highlands which is just gorgeous territory. Neil makes great use of the wide angle lens with some well spotted territory. Centurion is certainly full of sweeping and majestic images which only emphasize the isolation of these lone survivors; The depth of Neil's technical skills of which there is no
question.

And there is no shortage of action and blood in Centurion though I felt some of it was cut too fast to really appreciate what was happening on screen. 'Wait! Did that guy just lose the top of his head?' 'Which limb did they just cut off?' But overall for what is billed as an action film certainly lives up to expectations. After a couple doses of mass violence and death Neil's film narrows in on two groups of no more that half a dozen people each and we watch them try to outwit each other; one group yearning to survive, the other yearning to kill. The structure of Neil's film is simple enough. Introduce Romans. Set up Romans. Romans and Picts die. Chase Romans. Romans and Picts die. Many Romans and Picts have died. Many.

And when it's time for a Marshall film it must be time for beautiful and deadly women. Once again Neil Marshall has strong powerful women characters in his film. Where he started back with The Descent, continuing with Doomsday, Centurion carries the torch and has no shortage of deadly femmes. What is known of Pict history is that if you could pick up a sword you could fight, including women, so Neil cannot be accused of pandering to fanboys with females donned in the skins of wild animals shooting arrows and swinging spears. Though we do appreciate their attractiveness. Olga Kurylenko certainly is exciting as Etain. Neil's wife, Axelle Carolyn, moves up from background extra in Doomsday to part of the chase party and has one of the more memorable deaths. Good on you girl.

The one difficulty I had with the film was trying to empathize with the Romans. After all, they are the invaders and the Picts are merely defending their homeland. So there's that. The soldiers and centurions get the raw end of the deal because they are simply the hammer of Rome and where they are told to go fight they go. But I kept thinking to myself that these guys marched upon Britain and tried to conquer it and that's just not cricket with me. So yeah. Good on you Picts. Way to kill those Roman... bastards...

What?

How many made it back?

Bastards!

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:30 pm

http://anyclip.com/spliced/reviews/centurion-theatrical-review/

18 Aug 2010
Centurion theatrical review

By Orr on August 18, 2010

Once you make a great film, a genuinely great film, it’s almost impossible to go back. As a director, you have a hungry fan base; lots of eyes are now looking up to you. I can only imagine how intense the pressure is. Usually, after making a film that becםmes a must-see, the director’s next project will probably turn out a disappointment. Like Darren Arnonofsky’s The Fountain after Requiem for a Dream, or Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales after Donnie Darko.

Brit film-maker Neil Marshall is facing this very trapping. In 2005 he directed his second feature The Descent, which is considered one of the best horror films of recent years. And for a good reason, too. It was surprising, chilling and very well-crafted. From that moment on, Marshall is obliged to produce films that equal this one. Why? Because he obviously can and because the audience NEEDS it.
His next film after The Descent was 2008 Doomsday, which vanished into oblivion pretty fast. Two years later he offers us a new film, and of course are mouth are watered again.
The good news is that Centurion is better then Doomsday. The bad news is that it’s not anywhere near the league of The Descent. But enough with history and comparison. We have a new film to talk about.

Centurion tells the story of fleeing Roman soldiers on their way back to Rome as they are being chased by revengeful and blood thirsty barbaric warriors. The film is an action/adventure tale with blood flowing down like the sea water in Titanic. Not something we haven’t seen ever since Zack Snyder entered our lives but very graphic indeed. The Romans are led by the main character played by Michael Fassbedner (300, Inglourious Basterds) who is one of my favorite actors lately. While giving a perfectly descent performance, in similar to the director he was much more impressive in prior projects.

My problem with Centurion is that it has absolutley nothing we haven’t seen before, since the dawn of movies, but mostly since the Gladiator-The Lord of the Rings period. The film looks like the blueprint of an old new-fashion action/adventure flick with nothing marked by singularity or novelty.
The film is very well-shot and has some pretty awesome fights scenes that can satisfy lovers of the sword-and-sandal genre (myself included) but with the exeption of some fast-food-like entertainment the film has nothing to offer.
Other than that, the plot is pale to say the least and the script is full of holes the size of a small East-European country. For example (no spoilers follow), how can the demonic tracker Etain spot the Romans from the other side of the forest but can’t smell them when they’re right beneath her feet? How did Centurion escaped his prison? Exactly who betrays who and why?
Once the script looks half-baked or whimsical, the film will never score high.

Before we wrap, two side notes that I must talk about:
The first is the spoken language of those periodic epic films. Of course no one expects (or wants) dialogue in Latin or something, but – and it disturbed me in Valhalla Rising as well – the use of the F word just sounds so out of place when the one who utters it wears a ship-skin coat and hold an axe. Not that I have a problem with the F word – some of my best friends are F’ed – it’s just that it’s so strange that it pulls me out of the film immediately.

The second thing is the mother of all chase cliches which must be done away with: in the chase there’ll always be a part where the hunter loses sight of the hunted. A few minutes later he tracks him or her again from a distancr while the one being chased is facing an obstacle: a hill, a wall or a lake. Something of the sort. In that particular moment, the hunter will stop his chasing, pause for no reason, and will give a meaningful look toward the camera for a few seconds. What’s that about? You want to catch him or not? Just get him already. Fail.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:20 pm

http://cantate-domino.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion.html

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Centurion

Some were expecting more from Neil Marshall, given his early work; others think it is just another chase movie. Eager for any decent swords-and-sandals movie, I found the movie satisfying for the most part, but the final showdown was a disappointment. (Not enough survivors for a better action sequence.) Spoiler alert! The ending is somewhat similiar to that of Marhsall's last movie, Doomsday. I'd have to say that the movie fizzled towards the end.

I have to ask whether the casting for the movie deliberately served PC considerations or if it is historically accurate. The Roman Empire was a "multicultural empire" in a sense, in so far as its territory encompassed many peoples and cultures. How many non-Latin people moved into the heart of the empire? How many non-Romans (especially blacks and Semites*) were serving in the Roman Army at the beginning of the second century A.D.? Why would they willingly put their lives on their line to save a Roman general? (Especially when one of them states and shows later that he thinks he can survive on his own?)

I would like to have seen more about Roman culture. There is mention of duty and honor and keeping one's promises (when the leader is experiencing some self-doubt). What they are fighting for is never explicitly stated -- do we need another monologue about how the Romans sought to bring civilization and Roman rule to the barbarians? The costumes look authentic, but shouldn't we be more demanding about the depiction of the Romans? Do the actors play believable Romans? Or are they just moderns playing dress-up? In Gladiator, the setting reinforces the personae of the characters, whether it be Rome or the countryside villa. But there are also the small rituals, like the prayers of Maximus. Centurion has to make do with much less, since it is set in unconquered Great Britain, and so we have to be convinced that these are Romans. For some the costumes will be adequate. But I wanted more.

The movie portrays the Picts as reacting to harsh Roman rule and imperial ambition. Given their motivation, it may be difficult for a modern audience to be sympathetic to the Romans. Quintus Dias (played by Michael Fassbender), who leads the band of survivors, seems to show good leadership in the pursuit of his task and duty. If only his small band were a bit larger. He knows the Picts and their language, but is determined to further Rome's goal.

The fighting between the Pict woman (played by Olga Kurylenko) and Roman soldiers was not absorbing. Olga Kurylenko is not credible as someone wielding a spear because she is so skinny. Lucy Lawless in her Xena days would have been a better choice. Showing Celtic women warriors has happened before--there was the Clive Owen King Arthur movie and Alex Kingston's Warrior Queen, which was about Boudicca. How many Celt women were really warriors, what weapons did they use, and how effective were they? How dependable and accurate is the historical record? Some have attempted to play this aspect of Celtic society up in order to depict it as being egalitarian, but this strikes one as being more propaganda than history. How tall were the Celts, in comparison with the Romans?

We are accustomed to peace; my first thought watching scenes of brutality and savagery during war may was to consider whether the violence of pre-Christian times was worse than it is now. Were the ancients less "ethical" when waging war against each other?

*In this movie, a Syrian.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:22 pm

http://niknaksoldpeculiarblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion-blood-guts-and-romano-pictish.html

Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Centurion: Blood Guts, and Romano-Pictish relationships

You know, I think the movie night gang’s managed to benefit …

A bit …

From a bit of a feck-up by Brentwood Library.

We managed to get hold of a copy of the Neil Marshall directed historical drama, Centurion a few days before its official release … !

Not that I think any of us were complaining.

Because I believe we’ve caught a good film, however it slipped through the net …

Really, Essex Council’s library service really should keep an eye on these things: that’s how copyright violators and video pirates get hold of these things, honestly.

But at any rate, I know that Movie Night Adrian, Kevin D and I — along with Squeaky and Big Josh — managed to catch it, tonight.

Seems Big Josh caught it early, too …

Cie La Vie …

Centurion is set in the Britain of of 117AD: loosely based on stories of the disappearance of Rome’s 9th Legion, it sees Quintus Dias — played by Michæl Fassbender — leading the last legionaries out of Caledonia after an disastrous attempted on Pictish tribes, north of what was to become Hadrian’s Wall.

And I’ve got to admit, Centurion is really worth watching: at least, it got me happily raving about it and Adrian rating it as “Hmmm … Entertaining!”

About the only hold-out was Kevin D, bless him, who’s still a touch undecided about it.

Over-all, though … ?

Two out of three isn’t bad …

‹‹‹•›››

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:34 pm

http://maykillyou.blogspot.com/2010/08/non-spoiler-centurion.html

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Non-Spoiler Centurion

Watched Neil Marshall's new flick "Centurion"(you can pay $9.95 for it on Comcast On Demand).

It's okay. I loved Dog Soldiers and The Descent, but hated Doomsday, which was basically every good movie from the 80's crammed together into something awful. And he basically decided he wanted Snake Plissken, but he'd make her a girl.

Uh, yeah.

Anyway, Centurion is an okay waste of 95 minutes. There's not much story, and far too much CGI blood. Don't get me wrong there--there's a healthy amount of actual blood and cool guts/limb flying stuff, but there really is a ton of bad CGI blood. When are filmmakers gonna realize that is may be easier, but it doesn't look GOOD?

It can't be THAT much harder. I rejoice that CGI blood was not available when they made the original Conan The Barbarian...

Also another thought hit me: This is the 2nd Neil Marshall flick in a row that features a lead hot female, very strong and badass. And Neil's girlfriend is Axelle Carolyn, a hot actress who again plays a minor role as a minor badass...how is he not getting his girlfriend the lead parts in any of these movies?

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:09 pm

http://whatsontv.co.uk/blogs/movietalk/2010/08/16/centurion-genre-thrills-modern-parallels-from-roman-soldiers-on-the-run/


Centurion - Genre thrills & modern parallels from Roman soldiers on the run
Published
by
Jason Best
on August 16, 2010

Centurion - Michael Fassbender’s Roman soldier Quintus Dias flees pursuing Picts in Neil Marshall’s gory historical action thriller

Neil Marshall’s gory historical action thriller Centurion depicts a handful of Roman soldiers striving to out-run and out-fight belligerent local tribes after their legion is wiped out in an ambush in ancient Britain, circa AD 117.

The sight of a technologically superior occupying force coming a cropper in hostile foreign territory inescapably brings modern Afghanistan to mind, but Marshall (maker of werewolf movie Dog Soldiers, potholing horror flick The Descent and post-apocalyptic action movie Doomsday) probably has such genre classics as The Warriors and Southern Comfort equally in mind.

Michael Fassbender, so good - and so versatile! - in The Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglorious Basterds, makes a muscular hero as Quintus Dias, the legionary we’re rooting for the most; The Wire’s Dominic West stamps his authority on the role of his commander; and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is scarily remorseless as the mute Pictish tracker on the Romans’ trail.

Released on 16th August.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:18 pm

http://cinemarvellous.blogspot.com/2010/08/65010-centurion-2010.html

Monday, August 16, 2010
[6.50/10] Centurion (2010)

With his brilliantly uncompromising horror hit "The Descent", UK director Neil Marshall set the bar high, even for himself, and I think he's struggling to top his own effort, ever since "Descent"'s success back in 2006. His 2008 post apocalyptic sci-fi action flick "Doomsday" was decent and fun to watch, but nothing special. With his latest roman epic "Centurion", Marshall yet again fails on his attempt to outshine "The Descent". This doesn't necessarily mean that "Centurion"'s not a good film. It's well-shot, tense and quite entertaining, yet unfortunately, there's almost nothing memorable about it, except for its visuals. The aerial photography of the Scotish highlands is stunning to look at, and really gives the film a truly epic scope. The steely blue tint nicely reflects the harsh and cold atmosphere presented in the movie. The big bloody and butal battles are not only first-rate, but they also help to set the dark and grim mood of "Centurion". The story revolves around a splinter group of Roman soldiers, who fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. The plot isn't the most original, but it moves along briskly, leaving us little time to draw breath. The acting is above average. Michael Fassbinder has undoubtedly great screen presence, an action film star needs. Plus he can act and he's a pleasure to watch. Dominic West also delivers good performance as Roman general. But the stand out for me is former Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko - she's not only eye-candy, but she gives a forceful, tense performance as Etian, the nasty human hunter. Although Olga's character is mute, her body language is so strong and she's so expressive, it's fascinating to watch. Also, her skill with the spear in particular is more than impressive. Overall, "Centurion" is fairly gripping, gory and intense, and it offers arresting visuals and strong performances from everyone involved. Not one of Marshall finest films though.

* My Rating: 6.50/10
* Rotten Tomatoes: 56% (5.2/10)
* IMDb: 6.6/10

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:36 pm

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/dvd-review-centurion/

DVD Review: Centurion

Author: Scotty2 — Published: Aug 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Centurion is the story of an island of plucky natives defying the wrath of a massive foreign power and winning. No, I’m not talking about World War II, but the Roman invasion of Britain in about 100 AD. Described by Nuts Magazine as “the British answer to Gladiator” (a quote which is odd in itself because Ridley Scott is British), it follows the story of the Ninth Legion as they fight against the dastardly Picts, who don’t want to be ruled by the Romans and are putting up a fight.

The Romans are the good guys here (or so the film makes out; personally I support the Picts) and the protagonist is Quintus Dias, who ends up having to lead his men home with bravery, honour, and all that. None of the Romans particularly shine in their roles but they aren’t bad either. Recognisable faces among the cast include Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Adulthood, Doctor Who) and Lee Ross (Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes), as well as a small role from Paul Freeman (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Hot Fuzz).

Of course (since this is a British film and you need to be able to actually understand them) you have second-century Romans speaking the Queen’s English. This is hilarious in itself as it makes them sound like Londoners about a millennium before the word was even invented. Some of the dialogue is well written and genuinely hilarious. Said dialogue is punctuated by a lot of seemingly anachronistic swearing (I don’t know how often the Romans said "f&#!" and "s$#!" but I bet it wasn’t a lot), which adds to the unintentional hilarity.

Adding to the atmosphere of the film are the impressive sets and locations, such as the Roman forts and the mountains in Scotland. Suiting the Roman theme of the film, there are also a lot of battles and gore, with director Neill Marshall not skimping on the blood. As axes fly, blood sprays with a gush usually reserved for wounds inflicted by serial killers. I saw a man’s head basically explode by being shoved into a tree and another guy lost his head in a rather graphic fashion. Well, I say he lost his head — it actually got cleaved in half. Horizontally.

There is some good directing work in evidence here, which is most obvious in the battle scenes and the camera angles, which look like they were stolen from Lord Of The Rings and contrived to make the enemy camp look like it could be wiped out with a hand grenade. (It would’ve added to the funny banter if one of them said “A grenade…my empire for a hand grenade!”)

The DVD has the customary special features, with a commentary track from the director, as well as deleted scenes (with optional commentary), and outtakes (which are only slightly funny). The disc also contains five featurettes about the filmmaking process, such as where the idea came from and the work that goes into the special effects. (And the blood. Oh, so much blood.)

If you like more violence than you can shake a spear at (most blokes do), lots of anachronistic swearing, and if you liked 300, then this is the film for you. To paraphrase Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, “What have the Romans ever done for us?" Provided us with a blood-filled, reasonably entertaining movie, that’s what.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:57 pm

http://www.bigthoughtsfromasmallmind.blogspot.com/2010/08/tadff-review-centurion.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010
TADFF Review: Centurion
Centurion

Set in Britain in AD 117, The Roman Empire is at war with savages known as Picts. The Picts refuse to submit to Roman rule, and plan to destroy any Roman that crosses their path. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), the sole survivor of a Picts’ raid on a Roman frontier fort, finds himself leading a small group Ninth Legion soldiers. The Ninth Legion was once a fearsome band of Roman soldiers until they were ambushed by the Picts. After their general (Dominic West) was captured, and the majority of the men slaughter, Dias was entrusted with the task of leading and six remaining Ninth Legion soldiers home. Yet their quest home is riddled with danger as the Picts’ leader, Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen), has made it his personal mission to hunt down the remaining members of the Ninth Legion at all cost. Dias and his band of soldiers must navigate through unfamiliar terrain, and evade the Picts’ expert tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko), in order to reach Roman soil before it is too late.

Normally a film with this much blood and carnage would hold my interest on the most basic, and primal, level. Unfortunately the relentless amount of decapitations was not enough to keep my eyelids from closing down a few times throughout Centurion. Now I am fully aware that the unusually large amount of softball that I have played in the last couple of days may have factored into my weary state. Yet Centurion, of all the films at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, should have been the jolt of adrenaline that my body needed. Sadly, the repetitive nature of the film only added to the dullness of the overall production. The film pretty much follows the same formula throughout: The Romans talk a big game, get their asses handed to them by the Picts, then run into the woods looking for a safe place to hide. Add in some beautiful scenery and that is pretty much the film in a nutshell,


Centurion was high on my “to see list” as it stars Michael Fassbender and was directed by Neil Marshall. After his brilliant work in films such as Hunger and Fish Tank (my review to come soon), not to mention his role in Inglourious Basterds, Michel Fassbender is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors. He brings so much vigor to every role he plays. Fassbender’s talents are wasted in this film. He is not giving much to work with at all as Neil Marshall spends more time on the action scenes than he does crafting a solid plot. Although Marshall’s previous films Dog Soldiers and Doomsday were entertaining, neither really showcased his talents fully the way The Descent did. I was hoping that Centurion would be Marshall’s best film yet but it ended up being his weakest one to date. The only thing I will say in Neil Marshall’s favour is that he always incorporates strong female characters into his film. Olga Kurylenko, who you may remember from Quantum of Solace, is the real bright spot of the film. Not only is she a fearsome warrior but she is also one of the few characters who actually has an interesting back-story. Granted, her life is summarized in two or three lines but at least it is something. Most of the other characters are rather indistinguishable from each other.

Since the bloody action is always at the forefront, Marshall never provides enough character development to bring any depth to all the carnage. At the beginning the Romans are portrayed as good and the Picts are viewed as bad…but is really the case? Both sides have committed great sins against each other. As the film goes on, it becomes increasingly tough to care for either side. Centurion tries hard to follow in the footsteps of the many sword and sandal films that came before it. Yet, at the end of the day, Centurion is nothing more than a mindless action film that is fairly easy to fall asleep to.

Grade: D

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:59 pm

http://screenrant.com/centurion-reviews-niall-74033/

Centurion Review

If you aren’t asking for anything more than a tightly-paced sword and sandal action film with plenty of grit and violence, then ‘Centurion’ is for you.

Rating:

3 out of 5

centurion - violent
Screen Rant’s Niall Browne Reviews Centurion

Centurion follows the Roman army’s infamous Ninth Legion as it moves forward from Hadrian’s wall into Scotland to destroy the Picts, a violent and barbarous race that plagued the Romans throughout their time in Britain.

The film opens with a bloody attack on a Roman outpost and the only survivor is Quintus Dias (played by Michael Fassbender), who barely escapes, only to happen upon the Ninth Legion as they march into Scotland, led by a mute Pict guide named Etain (Olga Kurylenko). Etain betrays the Legion, who are all but destroyed by the violent attack. The survivors (alongside Quintus Dias) set off in pursuit of the Picts, in order to save their Commander Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West). However, their plan isn’t entirely successful and soon they find themselves being hunted by Etain and her band of ferocious Pict warriors.

Neil Marshall is a director who likes to wear his inspiration on his sleeve – and when watching Centurion it is easy to see where his ideas came from. The Germanic opening of Gladiator is clearly a visual inspiration for the film – as are Aliens and Apocalypto – so it’s good to see that Marshall borrows from the best. Now, Centurion isn’t as good as those films, but Marshall certainly gives it his best shot.

Marshall first broke onto the cinematic scene a decade ago with Dog Soldiers. He parlayed the success of the film into his great horror achievement, The Descent – a move which led to his biggest commercial success. The filmmaker was given a larger budget and carte blanche for his next feature, Doomsday, a John Carpenter/Mad Max riff that was slammed by critics and died at the box office. The disappointment of Doomsday - with its overblown excesses – must have led Marshall to regroup and think smaller… which leads us to Centurion.

The first highlight in the film is the casting. Marshall has assembled a magnificent cast, led by the great Fassbender. The Irish actor has been on a great run during the last few years, delivering stellar work in Inglourious Basterds, Hunger and Fish Tank. He is clearly an actor to keep an eye on, and in Centurion he delivers a strong and charismatic performance. The Wire’s Dominic West is also clearly relishing his role as the leader of the Ninth Legion. Loud, strong and brash, West makes Russell Crowe’s Maximus in Gladiator seem like a shrinking violet. The rest of the Legion (including David Morrisey, Liam Cunningham and Noel Clarke) are also pretty decent – despite their roles being underwritten. Kurylenko delivers a pretty feral performance, even though her character has no tongue.

Centurion - violent

Centurion is not for the faint-hearted. It’s an extremely violent and gory action film in which heads and limbs are removed by slashing swords and every body part that can be skewered, is. In fact, it’s almost too violent: once you’ve seen five decapitations, you’ve pretty much seen them all. However, Marshall knows how to handle action and he doesn’t skimp on battle sequences, so if you want a gritty and violent sword and sandal action film, then Centurion is for you.

The real stars of the film are cinematographer Sam McCurdy and the Scottish countryside. The sweeping helicopter camera shots showing the snowy and mountainous terrain are just breathtaking, and if the film reaches a wide audience then Centurion should help do for the Scottish tourist industry what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand.

The main flaw of the film is the script. At times the dialogue in the film errs on the side of cliché and many of the characters appear to be underdeveloped, which is a shame when you’ve got the sort of cast that Marshall has assembled. The lack of development is also due to the film’s very brief running time of 97 minutes. There’s an awful lot going on and it feels that quite a bit of plot and characterization were left on the cutting room floor.

Now it’s clear that Marshall doesn’t intend to win any Academy Awards with Centurion, but most films detailing such events have upwards of three-hour run-times. While this isn’t needed for Centurion, an extra 20 minutes to develop plot and character would have been nice. The third act romance could also have been sacrificed for a few more minutes with the Legion. The rushed pace could be due to budgetary reasons, granted, but it’s a flaw that cost the film one full star by my rating.

It’s good to see Neil Marshall getting back on track after the disjointed Doomsday. With Centurion he’s delivered an old-fashioned (if gory) action film with a Roman twist. If you’ve enjoyed his previous efforts, then you will enjoy this as well. He’s a man who loves movies, and he clearly makes films that he likes to watch – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Centurion isn’t flawless by any stretch of the imagination, but it is filled with plenty of gory action and it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. However, four movies in and it’s becoming apparent that Marshall’s skill is as a director and not a writer, so if he wants to avoid an M. Night Shyamalan-style decline, it might be good for him to tackle someone else’s material – or at the very least, only co-write his next feature.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:13 pm

http://mechanicalforestsound.blogspot.com/2010/08/film-centurion.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Film: Centurion

Centurion (Dir: Neil Marshall, 2010, UK, 97 min)

Screened at the 2010 Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Toronto, Canada.

Stuck at "the asshole of the world" — the Hibernean frontier of the Roman Empire — the homesick troops are almost as unhappy with their presence there as are the locals, who have kept up a twenty-year low-intensity campaign of guerrilla warfare. Trying to break the stalemate, the Governor sends in General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) to capture the Pict King. Led by the mysterious Etain (Olga Kurylenko), en route the Legion rescues Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), sole survivor of a forward post overrun by the Picts.

Filled with some decent-enough slash-and-gouge set-pieces (billowing CGI blood a-plenty, if you like that sort of thing), director/screenwriter Neil Marshall has pared down the Roman Imperial Adventure Epic to something a bit more manageable. Without computer-enhanced, screen-filling armies, the Ninth legion looks like a realistic frontier fighting force — formidable, but not impregnable, especially up against an enemy that won't fight face-to-face in the gentlemanly way. The movie has that going for it, plus some winning big-screen vistas of the rugged, mountainous terrain.

But in terms of plot and characters the movie falters badly. By about the midway point, the film has basically devolved into an old Western, as if someone had done search-and-replaced "Comanches" with "Picts" and pretty much let it go at that ("they hardly eat, they barely sleep... they will track you forever until they find you!").

In fact, the mute tracker Etain, foremost of the Picts in the film, might as well be wearing a cardboard sign around her neck reading "The Other", as she is the most animalistic of what is shown to be a dirty, unkempt paganistic tribe up against the shiny, rational Romans.1 Granted, the Roman characters aren't particularly well-rounded, either. With the exception of West's General Virilus (a soldier's soldier who arm-wrestles and drinks amongst his loyal grunts), no one else makes much of an impact. Fassbender's Centurion Dias — who we spend the most time with — is a bit of a wet blanket, espousing some platitudes about honour and so on, but not much else. Even the winsome Arianne (Imogen Poots), who we encounter later on in the movie doesn't come off as much more than a set of pillowy lips and gorgeous eyes, despite her presentation as a sort of proto-feminist freethinking witchy woman.

So: some nice countryside shots, some okay hack-and-slash, cardboard characters and a kludge-y plot flavoured up with some unnecessary voice-overs. Not an unmitigated failure of a movie, but really nothing special. Marshall, who showed so much promise with his imaginative first two features (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) hasn't proven here that he has the ideas to breathe life into a bigger-scaled feature. This seems fated for direct-to-DVD release in North America, but I wouldn't say this is one of those cases where a worthy film is slipping through the cracks.

Preceded by: the twelve-minute Sock Tease (Dir: Aaron Kopff), part of the series of all-Canadian shorts running before features at the fest. Goodness... what to say here? Sort of an after school special ("Dad... how can I tell if she really likes me?") with a sock puppet as the main character. It gets weirder. Possibly destined for cult status.

1 Not that the Romans aren't also shown as cruel tormentors, as well. But while the Picts are presented here as something more that brutal savages, you'd think that the last century of anti-imperial/anticolonialist thought — or even an Asterix comic — might be grounds for a more nuanced view.
Posted by Mechanical Forest Sound at 10:30 AM

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:23 pm

http://mcneilmatinee.blogspot.com/2010/08/hunter-hunted-centurion-plays-toronto.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Hunter, The Hunted (CENTURION Plays Toronto After Dark)


So tonight was a new experience for me, as it was my first go-round with the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

Bob has been suggesting to me for a while that I should give it a go. It's not exactly in my wheelhouse, as I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of genre films...but the fun times I've had at the small handful of TIFF Midnight Madness screenings I've been to - not to mention last month's blast at HOUSE - led me to give it a try. Got off to a bit of a slow start though.

Despite the festival running for almost a week, tonight was my first screening - Neil Marshall's CENTURION. It's a hyper-violent sword and sandal epic about a platoon of Roman soldiers on the run from a legion of Celtic warriors on the fringes of The Empire. It stars Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke, Olga Kurylenko and Dominic West, and draws more from GLADIATOR than it does THE 300. Unfortunately though, it wasn't nearly as much fun as either one of those movies.

One of the best things about it is Olga Kurylenko playing a rather badass tracker - who's mute, but still manages to let loose a damn good scream. She has a confidence about her, and her character seems to have this Terminator-like unstopability. She plays the sort of hunter you'd desperately try to hide your tracks from, because once she finds you - she's going to take you apart.

Then there's Michael Fassbender as our lead roman, a dude named Quintus Dias. He plays the part well, but isn't given a whole lot more to do besides continuing to lead his band of foxes from the would-be hounds that are perusing them. No badass lines, no wicked cool fighting moves...nothing to make the character particularly memorable in that Leonidas or Maximus sort of way. Again - not much fun.

These shortcomings (and there are many more) aren't a bad thing per se, as this festival isn't exactly about bringing in the best films the world has to offer. Unfortunately though, this wasn't quite the sort of B-Film to get the crowd ramped up. Don't get me wrong, they certainly were appreciative of a handful of delightfully gory deaths...but it didn't quite seem to connect with them on a level that I'm told PHOBIA 2 and ALL ABOUT EVIL achieved. Not too sure what this says about CENTURION's mainstream chances if it didn't click with an After Dark crowd.

Oh well, ya gotta start somewhere...and it's always fun to spend a night with my fellow Toronto movie bloggers.

Look for more TADFF coverege on Saturday when I recap my experience watching RUBBER - the film about a killer tire.

Posted by The Mad Hatter at 8:00 AM

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:32 am

http://www.moviesoffice.com/centurion-%E2%80%93-movies-reviews/

Centurion – Movies Reviews
Published: August 19, 2010

Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko in Centurion

This is a movie that’s sure to impress history fans. It’s neither the over the top swords ‘n blood sort of Roman Empire box office movie nor as overacted as most of those types of movies seem to be.

“Centurion” is almost like a western. It’s a well made and thoughtful addition to the new movies list. This upcoming movie is, in fact, so good that it’s slated to beat another and similar movie, “The Eagle of the Ninth”, that’s coming out this fall. Some might think, because it lacks big name actors, that Centurion will not be a draw. In fact, fans of good movies will be drawn to this film.

Two members of the cast who were recently in “300”, Michael Fassbender and Dominic West, play members of a group of soldiers trying to make it out of the forests of the northern part of Great Britain while eluding the Picts who are chasing them. They are also trying to keep together the last soldiers of the Ninth Roman Legion. “300” was all about the thrill of combat. “Centurion” is about what it’s like after the combat.

Director Neil Marshall certainly has some interest in battlefield action and gore but he makes it quick and most of the Roman soldiers are dead at the end of it. Fassbender plays the son of a gladiator who tries with all of his might to rescue anyone who has lived through the battle to get them to a Roman camp.

Interestingly enough, while Fassbender plays the hero of the movie, Director Marshall treats the enemy, the Picts, with great respect, as does Fassbender.

The style of the movie, thanks to cinematographer Sam McCurdy, Marshall’s usual cinematographer, is dark and fits the story.

Other members of the movies cast include Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Riz Ahmed, JJ Field, Dimitri Leonidas, Imogen Poots, and Ulrich Thomsen . It has no MPAA rating and runs for 97 minutes.

“Centurion” is sure to rank as one of the best movies playing in theaters now.
The new movie release on August 27th

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:34 am

http://moviemoxie.blogspot.com/2010/08/toronto-after-dark-film-festival-2010_4767.html

Thursday, 19 August, 2010
Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2010 Day 6 - Wednesday August 18, 2010

It was a double bill of UK features at day 6 of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, so much so that Noel Clarke was in both of the films tonight (along with Doghouse from Day 2). Both films had their own kinds of brutality but also posed interesting questions. Centurion was my most anticipated film of the festival, but I find that it's Heartless that I can't get my mind of off. Also with the feature films we also saw some Canadian shorts, list evenings were the creepy and curious Sock Tease along with the formidable Chloe & Attie which I saw previously at the Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Rather listen than read? Check out my Day 6 Vlog!

Centurion
Writer/Dir: Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kyrylenko, Dominic West, Liam Cunningham, Noel Clarke, Ulrich Thomsen, Imogen Poots
UK

I was so thrilled to hear that Centurion was going to be at this years Toronto After Dark Film Festival, after all it made my Most Anticipated Films of the Year list even though it didn't have a release date. It's an epic sword and ... as there aren't sandals we can go with sword & snow tale, it stars Michael Fassbender (Hunger) as Quintus Dias, a Roman soldier whom is amongst the ranks fighting against a long and deadlocked struggle against the Picts. Olga Kyrylenko (The Quantum of Solace) stars as Etain, a fierce tracker and hunter that's a real force to be reckoned with and I have to say she was extremely impressive, skillful and strong. The film takes a step outside the comfort zone of the epic formula by choosing to focus on a fairly contained time period and surrounding incidents, giving an epic style slice of life of a centurion where you really don't know what is going to happen. I have to give it kudos for going with something different, but, I did that left me wondering why tell *this* story? That question along with not being entirely sure who I wanted to cheer for, left me a little off kilter. In this set up I'd usually be cheering for the Picts, who are led by Ulrich Thomsen (Fear Me Not / Den du frygter) but they are so brutal that I couldn't cheer for them. I was also a little leery with the intermittent voice overs, which I cringe at in epics as they tend to be used to help the audience make sure we know where we are but I found here it was clear enough by the story they were showing us and therefore a little too much. But, the films is gorgeous to watch from a visual perspective, with many a sweeping overhead shots along with bloody and brutal battles along the way. The acting is strong overall and the casting was great. I although I found the Picts to be brutal , I did love the looks & feel of their ferociousness as well as the fact that they had several women warriors amongst them.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:19 pm

http://www.underbellyofsunshine.com/?p=1001

It’s a KITTY!!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I will not yield

Today would make it 2 weeks since I started working. This after 8 months of sleeping in, doing whatever I want, when I want. Needless to say there is a transition period between this incredibly lax lifestyle and the structured existence of a working individual.

I, of course, did something foolish. After work on Wednesday I decided to check out a movie at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. I thought I had made the transition and could handle the little extra time out of the house. I was very, very wrong.

I wake up at 6:30 in the morning and after going to the movie, getting something to eat, and traveling home I didn’t make it home until around midnight. That is a hell of a long day. I spent the next day at my desk in a dense fog. I was sleepy and physically tired. Also when I am in this state my body loves to torture me and my face was hurting, literally. Like I got punched or something. I was not impressed. But I did survive and it was all worth it cuz the movie was good.

Centurion is about Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a Roman soldier who was captured by the Pictish when his base was destroyed in a raid. After he survived being tortured he escapes and meets a Roman legion sent to take out their foes. He joins with them only to be led into a trap where they are decimated in a guerrilla style attack. Quintus survives again with a small band of soldier far behind enemy lines. They are relentlessly hunted as they try to make it back home through some very unforgiving terrain.

The movie was written and directed by Neil Marshall so I was prepared for the gritty atmosphere and bloody battle scenes depicted in the film. But I was pleasantly surprised how complete the story was. I have to admit I didn’t see The Descent but I have watched Dog Soldiers, which I really liked, and Doomsday, which was enjoyable but really 3 movies haphazardly linked together to make one film. The latter really had me worried that this movie would not flow or be complete.

The battle scenes were epic and bloody. There was tons of sword play, heads being cut in 2, loss of limbs, and spraying of blood. Even though a lot of the spatter was obviously digitized in post production it didn’t really detract from the overall effect.

The movie was filmed in the UK and Marshall utilized the landscape well. He used many long sweeping shots of snow covered hills and fields, the lush greens of the forest, and rocky terrain to emphasis the loneliness of these few soldiers and the vastness of their journey. There was nothing new about this technique but it was done well.

The acting was good. The actors were all gruff, loud, and believable as warriors and soldiers. Olga Kurylenko played Etain, a female warrior sent after these man. In many movies where a woman is placed into battle, a softer, more feminine side is shown at some point. In this she was brutal to the core and believable as a savage. Except for Dominic West I haven’t heard of any of the actors in the movie. The Lead, Fassbender, was apparently in 300 and Inglorious Basterds but the rest did work mostly in England and Europe that I don’t know much about.

The script was fun. Amongst the morale building speeches and poignant words a lot of humour was interjected into the movie. It lightened the overall dark survival mood but not in an inappropriate obtrusive way. Even though movies like Gladiator are good their serious tone can be overwhelming.

Overall Centurion is a good movie. It has a pretty good script and storyline with some solid acting and good directing with a few laughs thrown in there. It is worth seeing on the big screen so you get the full force of the battle scenes and the sweeping landscapes.

Tra
posted by Tra at 3:11 pm

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:20 pm

http://www.theyshootactorsdontthey.com/2010/08/centurion.html

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Centurion
Neil Marshall | 2010 | 97 min | UK

I was very excited when I heard that Neil Marshall was tackling the story of the 9th Roman Legion who went missing in the frontier of the empire's territory in 117 AD. What would Marshall conjure up? A reinvention of Gaelic vampire lore? A period return to his werewolves? Oh boy, I had looked forward to that for a long time. Well, the wait is over! And Centurion delivers nothing new.

My problem with the movie is not that I was disappointed by its lack of supernatural hoo-ha, however. The story is interesting enough: a legion is decimated by a local army employing guerrilla tactics that are totally alien to the Romans, and is wiped from the official history books. And the calibre of talent is remarkable, led by Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. Unfortunately, the script just goes through the usual paces, delivering a few character surprises, but mostly favouring the path of countless other action films. Even the action set pieces are dry. There are some gory moments, plenty of tight camera work rendering those moments largely indecipherable, and virtual buckets full of CGI blood jetting forth from CGI wounds. By the time a comely unarmoured woman is introduced, you know exactly where everything is heading.

Though I did very much enjoy most of the cast, I do have one casting gripe: Ulrich Thomsen, who plays Pict leader Gorlacon, was done up to look far too much like Sting for me to have ever taken seriously on screen. "Is that Sting? Why is Sting so mad? That might be Sting," etc.

On the bright side, the photography in the English and Scottish countrysides is beautiful. Marshall seems to recognize this as the highlight of the film, too, because he really got his money's worth with that helicopter rental. There are countless extreme long shots of our heroes and their pursuers racing across hilltops and plains. These running shots could be a drinking game if anyone were willing to give Centurion a second watch.

At 97 minutes it absolutely drags its way to the end. Apparently there is a 120 minutes cut in Finland as well? Good God. Centurion is not terrible, but the best that can be said about it is that it is serviceable. On the heels of Doomsday, The Descent, and Dog Soldiers, it is very disappointing that Marshall would accept that as good enough.
Posted by aaron at Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:23 pm

http://goneelsewhere.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/review-centurion/


Review: Centurion

August 20, 2010 by filmman

There is a lot to like in the first half of Neil Marshall’s Roman chase movie.
The production design, cinematography, acting, costumes, and…did I mention the acting?

Neil Marshall's Centurion

If Marshall had maybe cast lesser actors in this, I could have enjoyed it a bit more. But he didn’t and instead he has some of the strongest actors together on-screen that I’ve seen in quite a while in what ultimately becomes an empty genre exercise. And that really is a shame, because what could have developed into a really bangin’ take on one of the great mysteries of Roman History (the unknown fate of the Ninth Legion) really just becomes Neil Marshall’s own bid at making a lesser Apocalypto.

Michael Fassbender is Centurion Quintus Dias, who survives a raid on his lone outpost and is taken prisoner by the Picts.

Somehow (if editing is to be believed), a messenger (even though he was apparently shot in the back with an arrow), is able to notify the Romans of the Ninth Legion of the fate of the outpost (without an arrow in his back).

Needless to say, the legion is dispatched in all haste to counter the enemies who attacked the outpost, the Picts. Now, if this all already seems convoluted and rushed, that’s because it is. It seems as though there were large chunks of this movie taken out and we’re meant to understand that Dias escaped capture and that some messenger got free and that General Titus Virilus (excellently played by Domenic West) can just be approached by a messenger who doesn’t realize he’s a commander, and really, none of that matters, as the first half of this movie is a sumptuous headfirst dive into period Roman-ness and no amount of detail is laid to rest in bringing the world of the Romans onto the screen.

Even short early scenes of Virilus arm-wrestling a man (who really doesn’t seem to get how powerful a man Virilus is) are handled extremely well and point out just how violent a people the Romans could be.

In this first half, Marshall touches on the violence and the random brutality of it all, but then, the movie devolves into a simple chase movie with a main antagonist who can’t speak.

Okay, I get the point of this, but no amount of mute scenes with a bad-ass lead female are going to satiate my genre geekiness. Good lord, let her say something cool as she hunts our fleeing Romans. I can only stick with so many shots of her turning over rocks or beheading Roman soldiers or…well, you get the idea.

So anyhow, in this second half, Marshall throws us a lead character who is ridiculously pure in his intentions, especially with a Pict witch-who-isn’t-a-witch who decides to help our heroes-on-the-run and really, none of it all matters, because you know exactly how this will play out and you will likely have turned off by this point and if you’re still involved in making it to the end, you’ll get a few more great landscape helicopter shots and some more dramatic deaths and it’ll all mean nothing in the end.

Which is a shame, because had Marshall spent more time on the Ninth Legion and following what he believed happened to it, this would’ve been an awesome movie by someone obviously really interested in the source material.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:27 pm

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

Friday, August 20, 2010
Centurion

It looks Roman at least.
The setting is very apt and the music suits the ambience. The story line is smooth and compact and no mushy business. The attitude of the Roman generals and soldiers have been wonderfully portrayed and so have been the love for freedom of the Scots. Olga Kurylenko has done a pretty good job. I liked her. Michael Fassbender also has done a good job. The best thing I liked about the movie is the dialogue used both in the beginning and the end "This is neither the beginning nor the end of my story". I simply loved it. Watch it for the love of history, at least some bit is history.
Posted by Black Pirate at 9:21 PM

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:27 pm

http://www.pitaoe.com/2010/08/henry-saw-centurion.html

Friday, August 20, 2010
Henry Saw: Centurion



An entertaining, if forgettable, historical action film from director Neil Marshall...

Centurion, currently available via cable On Demand, and also coming to theaters near you, is a perfectly enjoyable romp. Directed by the man who made the nearly perfect horror film The Descent, Centurion more closely resembles his other films Dog Soldiers and Doomsday, but is a definite improvement on those pictures. Centurion is easily Marshall's second best film, is very capably made, and entertained me both times I watched it on my TV.

Pathé Productions' plot description: 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 Picts. Quintus Dias (Fassbender), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' (West) 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. Enduring the harsh terrain and evading their remorseless Pict pursuers led by revenge-hungry Pict Warrior Etain (Kurylenko), the band of soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.



Centurion is hardly a work of art. It's simplistic, fairly simple minded, and never pretends to be anything but an action film. Though led by a truly gifted actor in Michael Fassbender, the movie is happy to revel in its ultra-violence and simplistic plotting, in order to present the most exciting product Marshall can provide. As an action movie it works quite well. The fight scenes are all exciting, and aside from a muddled concluding sequence, all quite easy to follow. Centurion balances a relatively light-hearted tone, Marshall knows what kind of movie he is making, with an appropriate level of semi-serious gravitas. In this vein, Dominic West hits the perfect notes as an unconventional general in the Roman army.



I really enjoyed Centurion. It's far from flawless, and hardly adds anything new to the genre, but it is a fun way to pass the time. Relatively well directed, solidly acted, and decently choreographed...Centurion is worth a watch.

Grade: B

Best Scene: The escape scene

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:57 pm

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

Friday, August 20, 2010
Centurion

Writer/director Neil Marshall is not afraid to go all out with the blood and guts in the films he makes. He has mostly made present day horror films but now goes back in time.

I've been very surprised that there are so many films coming out this year which have similar stories or are about the same thing. This film is about a group of Roman soldiers known as the Ninth Legion. There is also another film called 'The Eagle' which is based on the same soldiers but has a different story. As for this film it is not too bad. The story is pretty predictable and you know where it's going at all times. But you don't mind too much as the action is pretty good. Neil has done a good job of making his film look good on what I'm sure is a very small budget. Neil certainly knows how to direct action and this film is on a bigger scale than what we've normally seen and he rises to the challenge.

I'm not sure if its is because of 'Inglorious Basterds' that we are seeing more films with Michael Fassbender or I notice him more. He is an excellent actor and caries this film really well. I'm sure we'll see him as the leading man more often now. Dominic West is excellent as always. Olga Kurylenko has been given a non-speaking role which I find has amused many reviewers because she is a Russian actress and the accent would sound out of place in the movie. She certainly does a good job of playing the strong silent type.

A decent action adventure film that while has a pretty predictable journey is still a fun one to have. Good for the action scenes.
Posted by Movie Moose at 2:18 AM

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:00 pm

http://www.getthebigpicture.net/blog/2010/8/19/movie-review-centurion.html

Thursday
Aug192010
Movie Review - 'Centurion'
DateThursday, August 19, 2010 at 11:32PM
Centurion

Starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, and Olga Kurylenko
Directed by Neil Marshall
Rated R

Almost without fail, a movie needs to have a interesting story to go anywhere. Short of that, a film had better have something incredibly intriguing in another way. Take Crank, for example: It's remarkably simple and there's no character development, but it's set up like a video game so the movie has some momentum. Still not great, but it's a good example.

Neil Marshall's Centurion is plainly short on anything interesting once the setting is established. And there's clearly a lot more that could be done with it.

While Marshall (The Descent) has found something that on the surface should be a compelling movie idea, he squanders a lot of hard work on the visuals, an authentic presentation of brutal times, and terrific casting with a story that doesn't even seem to have many consequences if things don't work out the way they're designed to. We're transported to AD 117 quickly and seamlessly, but as the story of a sole survivor of a raid on his Roman outpost in what is now northern England unfolds, it's obvious something's missing.

"Even the land wants us dead," narrates Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) before his legion is attacked on a cold winter night by the marauding Picts, and it is the land that might be the most appealing player in the entire film. Credit Marshall for showing the harsh conditions as a tactical obstacle rather than just a setting, but once the other pieces are all in place, it's just the occasional fracass that keeps Centurion afloat.

The plot is bare bones. Quintus Dias, fleeing the Picts, meets up with another group of Roman soldiers searching for their kidnapped general, kidnapped by the same barbarians. At the same time, the Picts are in hot pursuit of Quintus Dias, emphasis on the hot: Leading the charge is Etain, played by recent Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.

Historically, these battles occurred, approximately. The region's right, the dates might be wrong, but the long history of the Roman Empire is filled with this sort of thing, so accuracy, which is hard to gauge, also isn't that important.

Michael Fassbender is about to be something. He's a great actor and he seems to be in that part of his career where the studios are trying to see where he fits best. He played a thumbnail sketch of Errol Flynn in Inglourious Basterds, was fantastic in Hunger a couple years ago, and passed the time in Jonah Hex, a more difficult accomplishment than it might sound. He will be seen next summer as Magneto before he's Magneto in the X-Men prequel, which might be the one that unlocks the door.

You can see, even with very little of consequence to say and an unwaveringly narrow course of action to undertake, how much Fassbender invests in his character. Movie stars should watch this guy, both because he's a prime example of how to work even when you're supporting average stuff and because he'll be breathing down their necks sooner than later.

Marshall loves female characters, an peculiar fixation for an action director. The Descent was an entirely female cast until the brief denouement, The Descent leaned largely on Rhona Mitra, and here, he has two totally different shades of women who are key elements to the film. Kurylenko's Etain is described as little more than an animal and that's how the actress plays her. She's forceful with no dialogue and livens up every action scene.

Meanwhile, there's Imogen Poots, about whom we wrote flatteringly in a far different capacity in Solitary Man. She's a late arrival in this film, only a couple of scenes, but fighting against little else, she really stands out in limited duty. And you might want to add her name to Fassbender's as someone to keep your eye on. In fact, I'll guarantee it: Her big break is not far away at all.

And despite so many potential positives, Marshall is not able to put a cohesive, consistent, substantive movie together. He's a skilled director, but the writing in this film, in terms of both dialogue and general storytelling, just doesn't fit with everything else.

Centurion can currently be seen On Demand; it will be released theatrically on August 27th.

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Re: Centurion reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:03 pm

http://choosen.tv/centurion-toronto-after-dark-film-festival-2010

Centurion - Toronto After Dark Film Festival (2010)
Thu, 08/19/2010 - 11:28 — Anonymous

Centurion (2010) dir. Neil MarshallStarring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko**By Greg KlymkiwNeil Marshall is one terrific director, and he comes to every film he makes with the pedigree of being an editor - in fact, two of his directorial efforts, Dog Soldiers and Doomsday were edited by himself. Sadly, it is the editing that fails his latest picture Centurion.Marshall's brawny screenplay, loosely based on a historical record that is itself a bit murky, focuses on imagining what might have happened to an entire Roman Legion in what is now Great Britain in the early part of the first millennium. It's a solid, simple script that should have yielded a much better picture.It tells the story of a brave centurion, Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) who promises his superior, General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) that he will lead a small group of Roman soldiers to safety after the entire legion has been savagely decimated in a guerrilla-styled offensive perpetrated by the merciless Picts. The rest of the movie is one long chase scene punctuated by dollops of vicious fighting. Leading the Picts is the sumptuous near perfection that is Olga Kurylenko as Etain, a warrior goddess who had her tongue cut out by the Romans when she was a child.Kurylenko is quickly becoming one of my favourite actresses. Not only is she mind-blowingly gorgeous, the camera loves her like nothing else and I appreciate the diversity of roles she takes on. She could be an action star on the level of her Ukrainian compatriot Milla Jovovich (and probably even bigger), but if she plays her cards right, she also has the stuff to take on more roles in non-genre pieces and still deliver bigtime. In Centurion, she conveys a wide range of emotions even though, and perhaps especially because, she is forced to present her character without the benefit of dialogue. She conveys everything through action.Speaking of "action" (in the Jerry Bruckheimer sense of the word), with a picture like Centurion, how the action scenes play out is virtually the whole shooting match. Unfortunately, much of the film feels as if it were edited with a series of multiple rapid golf club swings and slices. The first 20 minutes of battle and exposition is so choppily cut, that it's almost hard to believe the film comes from such a precise craftsman as Marshall. One only has to recall the superb craft in Marshall's The Descent where the cutting was measured for maximum impact. Even worse in Centurion, is how the relatively easy-to-follow setup is rendered utterly confusing and takes far too much effort to piece together while watching the movie. (This takes some doing considering how simple it all really is.)It's obvious Marshall had more than enough coverage to allow for a cutting style that could hang back a bit, yet the movie's story and set pieces are foisted upon us using the currently fashionable quick cutting. Where this annoying cutting hurts the most is in the action scenes. For all of the great fight choreography and Marshall's exceptional eye, it's pretty much all for naught. The only sequence that packs a wallop the way it should is when the handful of centurions are on the run from Kurylenko and her bloodthirsty Pict warriors. The sequence works because Marshall's compositions are exquisite and the less frenetic cutting style allows the action to play out in ways that are both emotional and rooted squarely in narrative.I detest this wham-bam-thank-you-mam style of cutting because it has little regard for how a cut can not only move things forward, but, in fact, disregards the fact that a cut is in and of itself - inherently dramatic. The cutting here has little drama - just noise and fury. One of the few directors who knows how to make this kind of cutting work is the extraordinary Paul Greengrass with his Bourne pictures, Bloody Sunday, United 93 and his latest thriller Green Zone. But with his pictures, they are designed from the get-go to be cut in this fashion and you can even tell that he knows exactly where his herky jerky shots are going and how they'll cut together. Alas, when the cutting style is employed in such a haphazard, all-over-the-place fashion as in Centurion, one fells that its makers are trying too hard - the , effect is visceral, but seldom works in service to the narrative.The photography, production design and performances are all fine, and Marshall's distinctive approach to onscreen violence remains as vivid and original as ever. Unfortunately, the cutting - aimed at the ADHD-challenged not only sucks the life out of everything that could have worked beautifully, but in fact, for all the whizbang slicing and dicing, the picture becomes exhausting and as such, is often borderline boring. This is the sort of cutting one expects to see in a J.J. Abrams or Christopher "One Idea" Nolan effort - filmmakers who are not really born filmakers and make movies anyway in spite of having no idea how to make them.In spite of all this, I remain a steadfast champion of Neil Marshall (hell, I'm probably one of the few people who genuinely likes Doomsday - a really fun ode to the George Miller Mad Max pictures) and I very much look forward to his next picture with considerable anticipation.I just hope it will be better than Centurion.The full schedule for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival can be found HERE

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