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Centurion DVD Reviews

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Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:52 pm

http://atemporarydistraction.com/2010/08/dvd-review-centurion/

Directed By Neil Marshall
Starring Michael Fassbender, David Morrissey, Olga Kurylenko and Dominic West

You might feel the sudden urge to take a shower and gargle mouthwash after watching Centurion. It’s a film that’s so filled with grime, gore and jetting sprays of crimson that by the time the credits roll you can practically taste the thick, copperish tang of blood in your mouth. Director Neil Marshall’s propensity towards filling his films with enough plasma to fund the entire Karo Syrup industry should come as no surprise to those who’ve seen his previous films (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday) though, and thankfully, the gore is the merely gooey window dressing for a crowd-pleasingly brutal, ferociously fun hack-em-up action flick.

In 117 AD, the Roman Empire’s attempted rule over the entirety of Britain is hampered only by the Picts – a fierce, savage group who have kept the Romans at bay with guerilla warfare. In an attempt to wipe them out for good, the fearless, elite 9th Legion are sent into Caledonia (Scotland, to us future folk) to unleash some Roman bloodlust. When the legion is ambushed and slaughtered, a small band of survivors stuck behind enemy lines must run and fight their way back to the safety of Roman territory with savage, merciless Pict warrior Etain (Olga Kurylenko) hot on their heels.

Those expecting a historically-accurate depiction of Roman history are watching the wrong movie; Marshall’s is a lean, driven action film above all else, while his characters’ anachronistic dialogue would more likely be heard at the local pub than ancient Rome. Which is oddly fitting as the cast exudes the amiable, laddish pub-house camaraderie that worked so damn well in Dog Soldiers. It certainly helps that Marshall has assembled such an impressive cast of truly great, charismatic character actors who can spin sparsely-scripted straw into character gold effortlessly.

Michael Fassbender is quickly becoming one of the most overwhelmingly talented actors of his generation, and while the material doesn’t afford him the opportunity to stretch his abilities, he makes for an incredibly natural, impressive action lead. The oft-overlooked and criminally underrated David Morrissey (State of Play), Marsall movie regular Liam Cunningham and the stellar Dominic West (The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty) all deliver an immensely welcome collective head-butt of gruff, manly charisma, while Noel Clarke is fine but struggles to bury his ‘Sarf Lahndan’ accent under an unconvincing refined imperial brogue. Olga Kurylenko is given perhaps the toughest task, playing an entirely mute character, but she handles it with gusto, managing to be fiercely expressive and intimidating even without dialogue.

It’s Olga’s Etain and her Pict clan that evoke Centurion’s more interesting elements amidst the crowd-rousing blood-letting; Marshall doesn’t take the easy out and make them nameless, faceless savages driven only by a lust for blood. Instead, the Picts are painted with perhaps as much motive and sympathy as the collective army of Rome – after all, they’re the natives who find their land invaded, forced to endure atrocities at the hands of imperialist soldiers. The comparisons to current world events are evident and Marshall smuggles in sly political subtext with impressive finesse.

Sadly, with such a focus on delivering a lean, exhilarating and relentless action/chase film, Marshall occasionally glosses over important chunks of plot (like Fassbender’s initial escape, which is quickly forgotten and unexplained) and character, which is entirely limited to a brief campfire bonding scene and hackneyed narration. Marshall and his effects team misguidedly toss in cartoonish CG blood during the gruesome battles, and while it’s more elegantly implemented than other movies (like the ironically-titled Blood: The Last Vampire – a film bathed in so much pixel plasma that it seems the last 5 minutes of Blade threw up on it), it’s still distracting and unnecessary. The intense desire to throw viewers right into the gory mayhem slightly backfires, too; the film is noticeably front-loaded with action, peaking in the opening act with the most involving, epic action set-pieces and losing steam in the last half hour, ending with a couple of small-scale punch-ups.

Centurion is rough around the edges and noticeably flawed, but while Marshall doesn’t aim with the precision of a Pict arrow, his ‘hurl an entire armory at the audience’s face’ approach is nonetheless a wildly effective one. A large-scale, blood-splattered dose of incredibly fun action carnage, it’s a film let down by an imbalanced pace and a complete lack of character development. But still, for those looking for a fun, fast action flick won’t be disappointed by the often dizzying rate at which Centurion tosses creative limb-chopping, skull-slicing entertainment their way.

On the DVD:

First up on the bonus features block is a lively commentary by Neil Marshall and a few members of the crew. Marshall’s an entertaining speaker, refreshingly honest and candid about the film’s failings, admitting that the voiceover (a last-minute addition not in the script) doesn’t work well and that he’d remove it given the chance now. It’s an engaging, informative track, and there’s not a quiet moment throughout, covering everything from early script changes, location choices, effects work to post-production edits.

Next up is a 30 minute ‘Making Of’ documentary split into four featurettes (with a ‘Play All’ option) that benefits wildly from having a great crew and a cast of fun actors who have little inclination to waste time giving EPK soundbites. Ditching the superficial pleasantries, the documentary skips right to the interesting meat and potatoes of the film-making process, looking at the staging of the flaming boulder scene, the mechanics of some of the numerous action scenes, the prosthetics and blood work. There’s also some wonderfully funny moments with the cast, like Dominic West providing commentary as Olga fights his stuntman while West lounges in a chair.

A batch of deleted scenes (with commentary), mostly snatched from the opening 15 minutes, features more of Paul Freeman’s Roman governor and seductive schemer Rachel Stirling as they initially plan to sent the 9th Legion into Caledonia. There’s also added scenes of Dominic West rallying the troops and later encountering the slaughtered bodies of Roman soldiers as they head into Caledonia, and a moment with the central group attempting to protect a pneumonia-ridden Leonidas (Dimitri Leonidas) from the elements. It’s not hard to see why it was all excised – while West is awesome and there are some welcome character beats, much of the scenes are redundant and would’ve slowed the opening pace drastically. Nonetheless, it’s all interesting to see and a welcome inclusion.

Rounding out the ample features are a gallery of production design photos, a fun, but short selection of outtakes (really only worth it for West clearly having a blast gurning his way through a death scene) and the film’s trailer. On the whole, it’s an impressively stacked disc well worth picking up.


Rating:
2.5/5
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:35 pm

http://the-book-thief.blogspot.com/2010/08/centurion-dvd-review.html

Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Centurion - DVD Review

In a FILMblog first I have returned to a film reviewed earlier this year. Has time been kind to Neil Marshall's Roman epic?

When I originally reviewed Centurion earlier this year (here!), my main problem above all else was the film’s overall lack of cohesion. Poor editing resulted in a somewhat unfinished movie; however I enjoyed it enough not to write it off completely.

I often proposed if the audience would perhaps benefit from being subjected to a DVD release of an extended cut to give the character’s more time to breathe on screen. This course of action may have elevated the feature from simply being ‘alright’ into something very cool and stylish.

Unfortunately Neil Marshall’s film, set around the legendary Roman Ninth Legion, wasn’t given the ‘director’s cut’ treatment and we’re still faced with the problems which brought the feature down in the first place.

More general movie goers could rightly argue a film like Centurion doesn’t need to be bogged down in the bothersome burdens of well rounded characters and a multi-layered plot. It’s also OK to simply be just an exercise in aggression similar to Zack Snyder’s 300. Which is a fair enough comment, but Centurion very much lacks the iconic graphic novel imagery and quotable geekery which will be forever associated with Snyder’s excellent film.

This is a genuine shame as the movie sports a genuinely fantastic cast, featuring some of the hardest working and most under-rated cinematic talent about at the moment. Michael Fassbender’s leading turn was merely a taste of what’s to come for the ever-versatile actor.

Dominic West’s performance still retained the substantial presence and rebellious charm which was often attributed to his starring role in TV’s The Wire. While the likes of Noel Clarke and David Morrissy added much needed depth and quality to the supporting cast – especially as Olga Kurylenko failed to inspire any kind of emotion as the film’s leading antagonist.

With Neil Marshall being an expert in the art of sheer brutality – previous films include The Descent and Dog Soldiers – he delivers plentiful with much more grit than what we have seen in similar features such as Ridley Scott’s award-winning, Gladiator.

The DVD release however does sport a, pleasantly surprising, range of special features, such as more light-hearted outtakes and a 30 minute documentary on the making of the film – which once again shows the people working on this film cared about the movie they were making. Yet unfortunately through a mixture of technical difficulties and quite possibly budgetary constraints the movie they probably wanted to make failed to materialise.

The deleted scenes also gave a fading glimpse into a film which could have been more – albeit not much more – than merely a festival of brutal violence and gore.

It’s not a complete loss though, still contains well constructed, compelling action pieces and glossy camerawork which will come out beautifully in any Blu-Ray presentation of the film.

Final Thoughts
My revisit of Neil Marshall’s historical mishmash of Roman and Celtic brutality is still full of the bittersweet disappointment I felt when originally seeing it in the cinema. However, if character development and a general lack of cohesion isn’t something you are overly concerned it’s still very watchable. There’s probably a lot of DVDs which are much worse you could waste your money on. Unfortunately for Centurion – and despite its array of extras – there’s a great deal far better also.

Film: 3/5

Special Features: 4/5

See this if you liked...
Gladiator and 300

Centurion will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in all good stores on August 16th 2010.
Posted by Andrew Moore at 12:07
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by MissL on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:28 pm

hi just sore the movie for the fost time on line not bad i like it

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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:05 am

Yeah, it's pretty much downloadable everywhere right now. Also I found where you can watch it online, but it's in another language.

Even though I can download it, I still want to wait until I get paid, hopefully this weekend, so I can watch the film on TV a few time. Need to put my $$ into the film. And then I will be going to the theater to watch it at the end of the month.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:31 pm

http://www.geeks.co.uk/25031-centurion-neil-marshall-dvd

Centurion – Neil Marshall (DVD)
Gorefest which could have been so much more

When I originally reviewed Centurion earlier this year, my main problem above all else was the film’s overall lack of cohesion. Poor editing resulted in a somewhat unfinished film; however I enjoyed it enough not to write it off completely.

I often proposed if the audience were subjected to a DVD release of an extended cut to give the character’s more time to breathe on screen. This course of action may have elevated the feature from simply being ‘alright’ into something very cool and stylish.

Centurion 300x199 Centurion Neil Marshall (DVD)

Unfortunately Neil Marshall’s film, set around the legendary Roman Ninth Legion, wasn’t given the ‘director’s cut’ treatment and we’re still faced with the problems which brought the feature down in the first place.

More general movie goers could rightly argue a film like Centurion doesn’t need to be bogged down in the bothersome burdens of well rounded characters and a multi-layered plot. It’s also OK to simply be just an exercise in aggression similar to Zack Snyder’s 300. Which is a fair enough comment, but Centurion very much lacks the iconic graphic novel imagery and quotable geekery which will be forever associated with Snyder’s film.

This is a genuine shame as the film sports a genuinely fantastic cast, featuring some of the hardest working and most under-rated cinematic talent about at the moment. Michael Fassbender’s leading turn was merely a taste of what’s to come for the ever-versatile actor.

Dominic West’s performance still retained the substantial presence and rebellious charm which was often attributed to his starring role in TV’s The Wire. While the likes of Noel Clarke and David Morrissey added much needed depth and quality to the supporting cast – especially as Olga Kurylenko failed to inspire any kind of emotion as the film’s leading antagonist.

centurion poster 300x225 Centurion Neil Marshall (DVD)

With Neil Marshall being an expert in the art of sheer brutality – previous films include The Descent and Dog Soldiers – he delivers plentiful with much more grit than what we have seen in similar features such as Ridley Scott’s award-winning, Gladiator.

The DVD release however does sport a, pleasantly surprising, range of special features, such as more light-hearted outtakes and a 30 minute documentary on the making of the film – which once again shows the people working on this film cared about the movie they were making. Yet unfortunately through a mixture of technical difficulties and quite possibly budgetary constraints the movie they probably wanted to make failed to materialise.

The deleted scenes also give a fading glimpse into a film which could have been more – albeit not much more – than merely a festival of brutal violence and gore.

It’s not a complete loss though, still contains well constructed, compelling action pieces and glossy camerawork which will come out beautifully in any Blu-Ray presentation of the film.

My revisit of Neil Marshall’s historical mishmash of Roman and Celtic brutality is still full of the bittersweet disappointment I felt when originally seeing it in the cinema. However, if character development and a general lack of cohesion isn’t something you are overly concerned it’s still very watchable. There’s probably a lot of DVDs which are much worse you could spend your money on. Unfortunately for Centurion – and despite its array of special features – there’s a great deal far better also.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:02 pm

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


CENTURION Review

by James Dennis, August 14, 2010 11:14 AM
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Action, UK, Ireland, Australia & New Zealand

After the overblown homage of Doomsday, there's really only one question at stake here - has Neil Marshall got his genre movie mojo back? The not so simple answer is "sort of". Once the brightest star of British horror, with Dog Soldiers and The Descent under his blood-stained belt, Marshall understandably got delivered a significantly larger budget for Doomsday. Sadly, whilst not a total disaster, it failed to deliver on his early promise.

Thankfully with Centurion he's back to much tighter movie-making with a wonderfully beefy cast including Dominic West, Michael Fassbender, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke and Riz Ahmed (someone give this guy more juicy roles - he's awesome). So, no shortage of talent then.It's AD117 and the Roman Empire's conquest of Northern England has been scuppered by a ferocious tribe known as the Picts. Retreating at pace from his descimated outpost, Quintus Dias (Fassbender) joins forces with the 9th legion headed-up by the awesomely named Virilus (West). Together they head north on a mission to defeat the Picts once and for all. But one flaming, bloody ambush later, has Virilus captured and Quintus stuck behind enemy lines with only a small band of warriors left. To add insult to (graphic) injury they're being tracked by the once allied Pict warrior and all round she-villain Elain (Olga Kurylenko).

The premise is lean and it's executed with a brutal efficiency that's instantly reassuring. West and Fassbender here are forces to be reckoned with. West in particular is fabulously gruff and filled with bar-fighting, tough-talking bravado. Any spears thrown his way you feel are liable to be caught and used as toothpicks to dislodge rogue pieces of hog from the previous night's feast. The Brit director keeps the action coming at a frantic pace and the striking mountain and forest landscapes are beautifully shot.

This being a Neil Marshall film, all the soldiers talk like British army squaddies (or at least the cinematic representation of) and you can imagine these 'Roman' soldiers cropping up on the set of Dog Soldiers with barely an eyelid batted, witty, blokey banter spouting forth. Strangely though, it works. Centurion's agenda isn't about being a grandiose Gladiator clone, despite the inevitable comparisons and not so subtle nods to Scott's film - "I am a soldier of Rome, and I will not yield!". Rather it's a tight little action movie elevated by a great cast and snappy direction. The pace sags a little mid-way, but picks up again and it's all over before you know it.

Ultimately it's as much fun as Dog Soldiers, if not as gripping as The Descent. So not Marshall's best, but he's certainly left his Mad Max obsession far behind him with a swift blast of loud, meaty historical action. No more, and no less.

Centurion is out on UK Blu-ray and DVD on 16 August 2010 from Pathé Productions Ltd.
DVD Details
Special Features (Blu-ray and DVD): * Audio commentary with director Neil Marshall, cinematographer Sam McCurdy, production designer Simon Bowles and special make-up effects designer Paul Hyett * The Lost Legion Featurette * Getting Down and Dirty Featurette * Guts and Gore Featurette * Fireballs, Stunts & Mayhem Featurette * Deleted Scenes - with introduction from director Neil Marshall * Production Design Gallery * Outtakes
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:52 pm

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/reviews/blu-ray-review-centurion.php

Blu Ray Review: CENTURION

* August 15, 2010 9:03 pm
* Simon Gallagher

Anyone who knows a little bit about Roman history knows that the legend of the Ninth Legion stands as one of the most enduring legends from the period: a key indicator, as with any semi-known, magical sounding occurrence from history, is that there are a number of theories that pertain to the disappearance. The reality that it probably never actually disappeared, by the romantically held definitions anyway, is far less glamorous than the mythology, and movies and books like The Eagle of the Ninth and Ghost King haven’t let the trivial annoyance of factual accuracy get in the way of a good yarn.

Genre director Neil Marshall, of Dog Soldiers, Doomsday and The Descent takes up the reigns on the latest film to fall for the romantic mythology, Centurion, but thanks to his seemingly blood-thirsty passion for grit and brutal, often stylised violence changes the tone somewhat. It looks incredibly good, but its just a shame that the films tips the balance towards style over substance way too much.

Follow the jump for the full review…

The biggest hurdle any historical movie ever has to overcome is its authenticity: somewhat inevitably the first question any such film will answer in the press junket will be to do with some kind of factual error that was viewed by the director as a creative decision, but by some commentators as a betrayal of history. Centurion dispenses with such problems by coming up with a brand new story, taking its reference point as the supposed disappearance of the Ninth Legion during their stay in Britain, and subsequent battles with the fearsome Picts. The script, in a similar move to Gladiator, focuses on one central figure to tell the wider story, though the quests of Maximus are actually quite a distance from those of Michael Fassbender’s Quintus Dias.

Inevitably, the film has suffered from accusations that it is merely a reductive excuse to show a historically bloody battle with as much gruesome grit and guts as possible- and at first, before viewing, I thought I might be being treated to the cinematic equivalent of the horrendous violence porn that is Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Okay, so there is a lot of shouting and limb-splitting going on, and the violence, typically of Marshall is occasionally over-stylised to the point of fetishism, but at least there is no betrayal of the film’s core values. There is no attempt to offer an exercise in historical accuracy: Marshall wants his audience to enjoy the story as a vehicle for thrills-he is after all a director who wallows gleefully in the genre waters- and what he has created does exactly what it says on the tin. And call me sadistic if you will, I actually enjoy Marshall’s particular extra-strength brand of violence.

Sadly, while it is easy to suspend your sense of historical fidelity for the 90 odd minutes, it is very difficult to accept the degree with which character development and back-story have been utterly foregone when you’re trying to root for someone on-screen. Even Fassbender’s Quintus isn’t adequately backed up, so it is difficult to understand the pain Fassbender wears in his eyes like indelibly impressed scars, despite the admiration his technique encourages. The film apparently revels in the fact that it never breaks the surface of any of the characters on show, which is a problem, but then at 94 minutes, and with a quite frenetic pace throughout, perhaps the director decided it would be a compromise too far to add in some establishing flash-backs or meaty conversation.

Fassbender is good as Quintus, offering a gritty stoicism that furnishes his ostensibly familiar action-movie archetype character well, but the lack of substance in his character robs him of some of the tools of the trade that would have made this film great. He does as best as he can with the material though, and can call upon the audience’s empathy to make up for their lack of knowledge about him. Had Marshall and Co concentrated on detail, especially in the characters, we might have been talking a four star plus review, which I would love to give the film on the strength of Director of Photography Sam McCurdy‘s stunning visual work alone. The outdoor scenes are just breathtaking, and he deserves high-praise indeed: I can’t help but think that I might not have awarded quite as high a rating were it not for his work.


Elsewhere, the cast encourages mixed reviews- Dominic West matches Fassbender for skill and it is believable that he would be as well-liked as the film suggests, though he too would have been served better by a meatier character. Liam Cunningham and David Morrissey play the everyman fighters well too, and definitely deserves be given more roles (anyone who hasn’t seen Morrissey alongside Tom Hardy in Cape Wrath should seek it out). But then there are those who let the good performances down: firstly, Olga Kurylenko- the ex-Bond girl is very good-looking as the Pict tracker who works as Quintus’ personal nemesis, but she is mute, and never really convinces that she is particularly happy with not being able to flesh her character out with words. She also suffers from Obligatory Syndrome- as the only main female character she is drawn as an over-compensation, which detracts from the idea of her as a lone-wolf huntress somewhat.

Next up is Noel Clarke who plays entirely too modern by half to fit in with the film- original OWF reviewer John Nugent offered the opinion that in his (and co-star Riz Ahmed‘s) inclusion the film “makes the common cinematic error of characterising ancient cultures as blanketly tolerant of all races”, but I prefer to think my lack of faith in his character was more down to his performance, which really grates. It is a huge shame, because Clarke is usually someone I highly value as an actor- crucially, he is always best when playing modern characters, and I think the role was simply not for him.

He isn’t helped by the script, which is occasionally very silly, and often forgets entirely which historical period it is supposed to be portraying.

What Marshall has created is a film well-versed in his already established filmic conventions- over the four films he is most noted for, he has created and espoused an aesthetic and tonal quality that is now almost immediately recognisable as his own. There might not be the most amount of brains on show, but the brawn definitely works, and it is infinitely possible to forgive the film of its substance problems and simply get caught up in the pace of it all. The limitations might be too much for some, but you get the feeling that Marshall is poking fun at generic conventions when his characters, particularly Quintus, verge on silliness and cliche, because the director has been known to do the very same in his other movies. But, there is something new here: Centurion accomplishes the one thing I never thought I’d say of a Marshall film- it offers a quite telling allegory for the destructive, ill-considered hunger of American (and formerly British) imperialism/invasion, pitching the Talliban-like Picts against an army that simply can’t handle their new guerilla methods or the fervour with which they are determined to protect their homes.

Overall, while visually very arresting, and hinged on strong, believable performances by Fassbender and West, Centurion suffers by comparison with Gladiator (the spectre it oddly can’t seem to shed) and the approach of style before substance, action over information means the characters largely remain little more than skin-deep. But for an actioner, which manages to channel the spirit of a good old-fashioned chase movie and balances it with an often stunning visual aesthetic, the film works well, defying the degree to which it was ignored in favour of Iron Man 2 when it first played in cinemas.

All-in-all, another good genre addition from Neil Marshall, and to celebrate, here’s my favourite bit of artwork from the film’s marketing run:

Quality

Pretty reasonable, though not as visually outstanding as I’d have liked. Sam McCurdy’s cinematography deserves sharp imagery, and the gritty tonal style obviously required a measure of grain to match the visual aesthetic with that tone, so it is good to note that there isn’t any noticeable DNR (my technical nemesis!) robbing everyone and everything of its definition and realisticness.

[Sadly no write-up on DVD Beaver just yet, so no Blu-ray pics to lust over in this review]

Extras

Quite a few good features, with a better than usual commentary track that is pleasantly technically minded, and two nice galleries of images. Shame there aren’t any Blu Ray exclusive features, but the amount of stuff already included is a nice touch.

* Audio commentary with Neill Marshall, production designer Simon Bowles, prosthetics designer Paul Hyett and director of photography Sam McCurdy
* The Lost Legion Featurette
* Getting Down and Dirty Featurette
* Guts and Gore Featurette
* Fireballs, Stunts & Mayhem Featurette
* Outtakes (6 mins)
* Deleted Scenes (with optional Intro by Marshall)
* Production design gallery
* Photo gallery
* Theatrical trailer

Centurion is available to buy on Blu Ray and DVD from Monday 16th August.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:29 pm

http://www.cine-vue.com/2010/08/dvd-releases-centurion.html

Monday, 16 August 2010
DVD Releases: 'Centurion'
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Centurion (15)
Neil Marshall
2010, UK
97 mins





Executive Editor Daniel Green straps on a pair of sandals and prepares for war with the DVD release of Brit director Neil Marshall’s grisly historical epic, Centurion.

In the aftermath of the announced abolition of the UK Film Council by the UK Coalition government, much has been made on how this will directly affect the country’s ability to firstly support its home ground talent, and secondly, the UK film industry’s capacity for competing with its European neighbours and Hollywood. Whilst many notable directors and performers have berated the decision, others have taken the opportunity to highlight the quango’s failings, speaking out against the Council’s bureaucracy, perceived biased towards “safe pictures” and their preference for backing multi-national efforts rather than true British productions.

Neil Marshall’s latest visceral offering, Centurion, will now go down in history as one of the final films to “benefit” from the organization’s funding, and arguably one of its most Brit-centric. Shot on location in the forests of Hampshire, Surrey and the Highlands and also at a number of the UK’s best studios including Ealing and Shepperton, Marshall’s cinematography perfectly encapsulates the snow covered forests and barren, wolf-invested plains of Iron Age Britain, at times grittily realist whilst at others appearing truly fantastical and unearthly. Credit should primarily go to Marshall for capturing such vistas so in contrast with the dark, dank scenes of both claustrophobic The Descent (2005) and the disappointing Doomsday (2008). However, the UK Film Council also deserves commendation for its “tax break” scheme, encouraging filmmakers to utilize some of the UK’s most iconic locations and facilities before those overseas.

Centurion follows the exploits of the legendary Ninth Legion, the finest fighting force in the entire Roman Empire, as they march northwards into Caledonia to defeat the native “Picts” and their guerrilla army. The legion is soon decimated by the cunning tactics of their barbarian foe, with only a handful of warriors remaining to rescue their abducted General Virilus (The Wire’s Dominic West). Marshall has enjoyed a growing reputation within the UK film industry and has been able to secure some of the best British acting talent available to takes up the roles of his surviving legionaries. Unwillingly lead by the always excellent Michael Fassbender (no stranger to UK audiences after his turns in Hunger [2008] and Fish Tank [2009]) as Quintus Dias, the motley crew also plays host to actor/director Noel Clarke, David Morrissey and Four Lions (2010) star Riz Ahmed.

Marshall himself has been quick to quash any talk of analogies between Centurion’s invading force vs. local populace narrative dynamic and the US/UK occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. However, it ultimately becomes near impossible to dismiss the Roman’s boisterous camaraderie and condescension towards their light-footed, near-fanatical Pict foes as anything other than socio-political commentary. Were it not for the higher production values and period setting, Centurion would at points almost perfectly mimic Marshall’s earlier werewolf-flic Dog Soldiers (2002). Here, Marshall also portrayed a tightly-nit, elite military force facing off against an unknown number of relentless, bloodthirsty pursuers.

That’s not to say that Marshall portrays his mysterious Picts as simply bestial killing-machines. The casting of Bond-girl Olga Kurylenko as the assassin/tracker Etain and Ulrich Thomsen (still best known for his phenomenal turn as Christian in Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen [1998]) as the Pict’s leader Gorlacon help to add a sense of context, and importantly humanity to the actions of the film’s main antagonists. There is an unfortunate, clumsy attempt by the director to tag on a Roman/Pict love sub-plot towards the end of the film, but Marshall more than makes up for this through his fantastic ability to capture the visceral, lighting-quick nature of brutal hand to hand combat, at times filling the screen with enough bodily fluid and scenes of dismemberment to satisfy even the hungriest gore-hound.

Centurion’s true strength lies in Marshall’s ability to play on both his, and UK film’s strengths. Performances are engaging and refreshingly comic throughout; the action sequences are short, tight and impactful (mercifully rejecting the overuse of CGI to swell numbers); and finally, it is realistic about the size and makeup of its target audience – the film was released to download in the UK via Xbox Live on 30th July 2010, over two weeks before its DVD release.

Daniel Green
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:34 pm

http://goodfilmguide.co.uk/centurion-dvd-review/



Set in the year 117; a time when the Roman empire encompassed the deserts of North Africa, and almost all of mainland Europe; Centurion endeavors to tell the story of what happen to Rome’s infamous Ninth Legion; who many believe went missing in Britain that same year.

It was the time when Roman rule over Britain was not certain, and the Roman Army was facing fierce resistance in Scotland, the likes of which they had never faced before; as the Scots (technically the Picts back then) were not only extremely passionate about holding onto their precious country, but brutal and experienced fighters that were willing to go to any lengths to secure victory; including using guerilla tactics, that had rarely (if ever) been used to wage war before then.

These new tactics, and the overall savagery of the Picts scared the Romans, who were at first stubborn and steadfast in their resolve to take the country, and lost many thousand men in their efforts to do so; among them were the famed Ninth Legion (whose disappearance many scholars believed happened in Scotland), and although their fate will never truly be known, Centurion is Neil Marshall’s (Doomsday) account of what may have happened.

It follows a Centurion (Roman solider) named Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender, Inglorious Basterds) who was taken prisoner by the Picts (after remaining the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman garrison he was defending) but manages to escape and link up with the Ninth Legion; who have been sent to defend the frontier.

The legion; which is led by an experienced General named Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West, The Wire), who is much loved by his men, and doesn’t want to see them put in harms way unnecessarily; is then led into the heart of Pict country by a Pictish scout named Etain (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace), where they ambushed, and almost entirely wiped out in the ensuing slaughter.

The survivors (which consist of Quintas, and a small band of regular soldiers) are then abundantly aware that they are stranded deep behind enemy lines, and certain to be butchered should they be spotted by the patrolling Picts, but decide to venture further into the heart of Scotland, in order to rescue their General, who was taken prisoner during the attack.

The rest of the film then consists of watching the soldiers attempt to save their beloved General from the camp of the Pictish King, and then; when they are inevitably spotted by the Scots; seeing how they attempt to navigate the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the Scottish mainland, as they try and head to the safety of the south; where they will have the security of the Roman Army to protect them.

So at its core, Centurion is a rather simple chase film; as the small group of men that survived the initial attack then attempt to run to safety, whilst avoiding the Pictish patrols, and staying free of the violent huntress that stalks their every move; a tried and tested concept that can prove to be either very thrilling or very dull.

And while Centurion isn’t a terrible movie, it sways more into the latter category; as the general concept of trying to escape some extremely violent and capable pursuers as you navigate through terrain that is both harsh and unfamiliar, is a solid one, but one that has been done many times over, and unfortunately Centurion seems to add little creativity or originality into the mix; settling for producing a fairly average, by-the-book, chase film that serves to create a rather monotone movie; as there are no ups, and no downs, just a fairly glum rambling through the Scottish countryside, with little point, and never any rest-bite or character moments used to break up the monotony of the long walk home.

And it’s the character moments (or rather the lack of) that really let Centurion down, because it has a cast that is more than capable of delivering on that front; Michael Fassbender is possibly the single best thing about the movie (depending on your preference for bloodlust; as the action can get pretty fierce), and showed with his performance in Inglorious Basterds that he can more than deliver well written dialogue, as can Dominic West, who excelled in such moments with his portrayal of Jimmy McNulty in HBO’s the Wire; but here neither man, or any of the supporting cast are given the chance to flesh out their characters, and as a result they don’t seem like fully developed people, and as such it’s very hard to care if they live or die.

However, just because the characters aren’t fully developed, and it’s hard to get behind them, that isn’t to say Centurion is a boring film, because what it lacks in dialogue and heart, it makes up for with a simple enough plot, and plenty of ferocious action that’s constantly growing in it’s barbarity, easy to follow, and often downright nasty; all positive things for most fans of fairly low-budget action movies.

And yet, despite having only a £10 million budget (which is a mere pittance compared with most major Hollywood blockbusters, as even the upcoming animated terminator picture is due to cost $70 million), Centurion’s production values actually appear quite high; and it looks more like a low-to-mid-budget, American made, action movie, rather than the usual overly budget conscious films produced by the British film industry; having some very solid looking effects, some decent battle sequences, and a number of shots that are decidedly Lord of the Rings-like (the long-shots showing the soldiers running across the landscape look like they were taken exactly from Peter Jackson’s playbook).

So while Centurion might not be the most original affair to ever come out of British filmmaking; utilizing a basic and simple chase formula to which it adds nothing original, and padding it with characters that aren’t fully developed, and that nobody cares about; it’s still a good watch, as it’s got a great cast, that perform just about as well as the script allows, some truly ruthless action, and a decent concept that attempts to explain a mystery that historians have failed to solve; making it a good effort overall, and a good example of a British action movie that makes for an easy way to while away a couple of hours.

Picture:

Not unlike the film itself, Centurion’s video quality is suitably strong, but not without it’s problems; colour representation is both strong and naturalistic, and served with excellent contrast levels that do a great job of showcasing the film’s mainly earthy tones, and the massive amount of deep red blood that gets spilled throughout (and can often appear overdone) and comes as a welcome change to the blue/grey hue that seems to cover the majority of the movie, accentuating the bitter cold of the Scottish terrain.

Fleshtones also appear fairly naturalistic and accurate, and the deep blacks look excellent for the most part (especially considering how a good deal of the film takes place in relative darkness), but despite it’s merits, and the general lack of transfer errors, it’s the consistent mid-level grain which somewhat hampers the disc’s picture quality; as it can often obscure some details which really should be present, and while the detail on the whole is still fairly high, and much more than passable, it’s definitely not the sharpest example that can be seen on a modern DVD.

Overall the picture quality is fairly solid; as it has no real issues to speak of, but suffers from a general lack of sparkle, and a good, but still less than stellar, level of detail; which is sure to be of a high enough standard to please its fans, and bodes very well for the Blu-ray release.

Audio:

More low key however is the film’s audio track (a Dolby Digital 5.1 track) which delivers perfectly crisp and clear dialogue throughout, but fails to utilize the rear channels for the majority of the picture, as they stay mostly silent in all but the battle scenes; scenes where they really come alive with clanging metal, screaming soldiers, and spattering blood, and sound loud and wide-ranging enough to satisfy fans of similarly budgeted action movies, but not precise enough to thrill more hardened audiophiles.

Bass levels are also suitable, but unlikely to really stun any listener, yet combine with the overall effects, and the well reproduced dialogue, to create an audio experience that may not wow too many listeners, but serves the film well enough, and does a good job of reproducing the sound so as to satisfy its fans.

Extras:

Possibly the strongest element of the disc however, is Centurion’s special features which consist of several outtakes; that are poorly cut together, but do contain a few laughs when watching the cast mess about, and falling over in the snow; several deleted scenes; which come with optional commentary by director Neil Marshall, and were rightfully cut, but still provide an interesting watch; and a making of featurette; that contains the usual behind the scenes footage, and interviews with majors players from the cast and crew, and discusses everything from the legend of the Ninth Legion and the development of the story, to the film’s gore, and plenty of historical facts that affected the film; making it a surprisingly interesting and informative watch.

There’s also an audio commentary (featuring Neil Marshall, and a couple of the film’s designers); which explains everything from how the title sequence came about, and where certain sequences were shot, to forced script edits (the reason for the lack of proper character development), things that they would have changed if they were releasing the film again, and things that hampered production (including nesting birds forcing production onto a Ministry of Defence own patch of land where sporadic gunfire could be heard from just over the ridge), and is an excellent and informative listen that’s extremely easy to listen to (because of how well the guys gel together), littered with fun facts and production stories, and proves for an entertaining commentary that should satisfy casual listeners just as easily as the movie’s die-hard fans.

Rounding off the collection is a photo gallery, theatrical trailer, and a production design gallery, that combine with the excellent commentary, interesting deleted scenes, and surprisingly engaging making of featurette (as well as the other features), to create a selection of bonus materials that are compelling, informative, well made, and do just about as good a job as they possible could to entertain and inform anyone who wishes to delve a little deeper into Centurion’s production.

The Bottom Line:

In the end, Centurion isn’t quite the British equivalent of Gladiator; lacking the budget, emotion, and character development of that film; but it was an ambitious effort from Neil Marshall, that actually manages to succeed on most counts; as whilst it may have its issues, and would have done a good deal better to engage with audiences had it had some more fully developed characters, it’s got the feel of a film that will be much more lasting than the majority of low-budget throwaway action movies that are released nowadays (it’s certainly miles better than Universal Soldier: Regeneration), relishes in the fact that it had a superb cast, some great effects, and plenty of hard-hitting gritty action.

The picture and audio quality on the DVD aren’t exactly reference quality; although they’re not too far off, and are not only perfectly serviceable, but suggest that the Blu-ray release should be nothing short of stunning; and when coupled with the disc’s fantastic selection of special features, make for a disc that does a great job of showcasing its material, and not only satisfying, but entertaining its fans.

Centurion is a low-budget action movie that’s driven not by its predictable plot, but its stellar cast, and shockingly brutal action; and while it’s true that you could doze off for half an hour and still know exactly what’s happening, it’s fast paced enough to stay interesting; and actually feels (not unlike the Roman soldiers in the film) like it’s a film that’s punching well above its weight, and easily managing to go the distance.

If you’re an action fan, crave plenty of blood and a whole lot of gore, and like a film that’s easy to get behind, doesn’t require too much thinking, and infuses an interesting historical legend with a stellar cast, some good direction, and plenty of life-threatening carnage, then you’re sure to get plenty out of Centurion; it may not have the fun factor of The Expendables, but it’s a great effort from Neil Marshall, and makes for a solid DVD purchase.

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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:12 am

http://www.heropress.net/2010/08/review-round-up-centurion-dog-bounty.html

Friday, 20 August 2010
Review Round-Up: Centurion, Dog The Bounty Hunter, Clash Of The Titans
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Centurion (2010): Heroic Roman soldier Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) finds himself lost behind Pictish enemy lines in the north of Britain and in charge of a handful of survivors of the legendary Ninth Legion.

The Legion was slaughtered after being led into a trap by traitorous, mute scout Etain (the striking Olga Kurylenko of Quantum Of Solace).

In trying to rescue their kidnapped General (Dominic West), the stragglers accidentally kill the son of Pict warlord Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen) who sends Etain and his men on a blood feud to hunt down and kill the Romans.

Written and directed by Neil Marshall (who also gave us such classics as Dog Soldiers and Doomsday) Centurion is a testosterone-fueled Boys Own adventure, a brutal game of cat-and-mouse through the snowy wilderness as the escapees (who count Doctor Who veterans Noel Clarke and David Morrissey among their number) are slowly worn down and forced to make a final stand.

Bloody, gruesome and foul-mouthed, there are definite similarities to Spartacus: Blood And Sand here - although bereft of the raunchiness - but the story lacks the intricacies and deviousness of that television show.

As a crowd-pleasing 90-minute diversion, Centurion is good stuff, with its plot twists and turns towards the end adding a degree of mischievousness to the otherwise straight-forward action-adventure.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:09 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/aug/22/mark-kermode-dvd-round-up-shirin-neshat

Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men is the latest in a long line of great Iranian movies

* Mark Kermode

o The Observer, Sunday 22 August 2010

From rollerskates to Romans, Neil Marshall's head-ripping adventure Centurion (2010, Pathé, 15) tells the mythical story of the ninth legion who marched into Scotland in 117AD and promptly disappeared into the mist. Led by Pict raid survivor Quintus Dias (the ever versatile Michael Fassbender) and gruff General Virilus (Dominic West), the legendary legion cross the border and are promptly ambushed by goth-haired barbarians who kidnap the general and rain fire down upon his hoards. Much chasing, shouting, battling and enthusiastic blood-letting ensue as the dwindling Romans attempt to get back home without having their heads cut off by glamorous warrior princes Etain (former Bond foil Olga Kurylenko). It's thunderous from start to finish, with every penny of the stripped-down budget making it on to the screen, often as either scenery or offal. "We've got cut throats, arm chops, decapitations, head slicings, arrows in necks, axes in necks, people being burned – a lot of gore," explains the special-effects guy, who is clearly worried about running out of blood ("we've only got about 25 litres left!"). As with so many wantonly violent movies, the atmosphere on set appears to have been one of jollity and bonhomie, even as the talented cast (David Morrissey, Noel Clarke et al) freeze their hairy arses off in glacial mountain streams. By strange coincidence, Kevin Macdonald is working on another ninth legion project; an adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth which will probably have more dialogue and fewer body parts. Watch this space.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm

http://www.metro.co.uk/film/reviews/838850-centurion-an-all-out-action-flick-set-in-the-daunting-scottish-highlands

Andrew Williams - 23rd August, 2010
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Centurion: Plenty of swordplay, but doesn't cut the mustard
DVD review: Centurion, Twentieth Century Fox, 15, £15.99.

Centurion Centurion: From the people who brought you Dog Soldiers and The Descent

Writer/director Neil Marshall likes a chase film. His previous work has included Dog Soldiers, about soldiers chased by werewolves, and The Descent, about potholers chased by subterranean beasties.

Now here’s Centurion, about a Roman Legion chased through the Scottish Highlands by the put-upon natives.

Michael Fassbender, notching up a leading action hero credit, is the main Roman.

Olga Kurylenko is his bow-wielding Pictish nemesis. It’s nice to see a British film trying to be entertaining rather than worthy, there are some impressive visual effects and Olga’s villainess, Etain, has a refreshingly idiosyncratic approach to her hair and make-up.

The cast, which also includes David Morrissey, does its best with what it’s got. Unfortunately, that isn’t much.

The initial set-up is slightly convoluted and there’s not much depth to the characters, making for a protracted chase scene with the occasional dunk in a river.

The repetitiveness makes it feel overlong, even at 90 minutes, and what should be a thrilling action epic fails to excite.

Extras: Commentaries, deleted scenes.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:23 pm

http://geeksyndicate.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/win-a-copy-of-centurion/

CENTURION
RELEASED ON BLU-RAY & DVD
16 AUGUST 2010
FIGHT OR DIE.
“Britain’s answer to Gladiator” – Nuts

A relentless, action-packed thriller in the tradition of Apocalypto, Last of the Mohicans and Deliverance, Centurion is the gripping story of a fight for survival set against a background of conquest and invasion. Written and directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), Centurion features compelling performances from an all-star cast including Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko and Noel Clarke, and is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 16 August 2010 from Pathé Productions Ltd.

AD 117. The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. However, 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 (Fassbender; Inglorious Basterds, Hunger), 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.

However, when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, and Virilus (West; 300, The Wire) taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines, evading remorseless Pict pursuers including warrior Etain (Kurylenko; Quantum of Solace, Hitman) over harsh terrain, as the band of soldiers race to rescue their General, and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

Produced by Academy Award® Winner Christian Colson (Slumdog Millionaire) and Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects), Centurion also features an exciting supporting cast including JJ Feild (Telstar), Liam Cunningham (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), Riz Ahmed (Shifty), David Morrissey (Nowhere Boy), Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later) and Dimitri Leonidas (Tormented). Packed with breath-taking twists and turns, brutal fight scenes and blood-spattered chases, Centurion is a beautifully shot and intense story of chaos and revenge. With special features including an audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes and outtakes, don’t miss the chance to see this unforgettable film on Blu-ray and DVD this summer.

-ends-

Centurion Blu-ray and DVD Details

Release date: 16 August 2010
Running time: 97 mins
CERT: 15
Price (Blu-ray) £24.99
Price (DVD): £15.99

Special Features (Blu-ray and DVD):

• Audio commentary with director Neil Marshall, cinematographer Sam McCurdy, production designer Simon Bowles and special make-up effects designer Paul Hyett

• The Lost Legion Featurette

• Getting Down and Dirty Featurette

• Guts and Gore Featurette

• Fireballs, Stunts & Mayhem Featurette

• Deleted Scenes – with introduction from director Neil Marshall

• Production Design Gallery

• Outtakes
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:30 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/dvd-centurion-15-2062992.html

DVD: Centurion (15)

(Rated 2/ 5 )

By Samuel Muston

Friday, 27 August 2010
The Independent Close

An accomplished director of horror films Neil Marshall may be, but his first foray into historical epics is somewhat flat. Despite being full of high-octane running, it never seems to go anywhere.

Dominic West and Michael Fassbender are energetic Romans leading troops against the barbarous Picts, only to find themselves stuck deep behind enemy lines without a cat-in-hell's chance of making it home to safety. Long on blood, gore and snarling, this film is rather short on discernible plot. A smattering of romance and the rather tremulous exploration of the psychology of war fails to conceal the fact that this film is simply an unfortunate ragbag of disjointed chase scenes.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:31 pm

http://www.shadowlocked.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=590:centurion-dvd-review-&catid=35:disc-reviews

Centurion DVD Review
Thursday, 26 August 2010 13:50 Chris Davies REVIEWS - DISC REVIEWS

A sword and sandals outing that should have merited a Caesar-like thumbs-up...

Neil Marshall's Centurion

From Neil Marshall, director of horror hits The Descent and Dog Soldiers, comes a chase thriller set during the Roman occupation of Britain. Centurion follows Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a Roman centurion who escapes from his Pict captors and finds the legendary Ninth Legion and their commander, Titus Virilus (Dominic West), on route to destroy the Pict army and their King. However, there is a traitor within their midst, leading the Ninth into a trap…

Inspired by the stories of the true Ninth Legion, one of Rome’s most successful legions who supposedly disappeared without a trace, Centurion indulges Marshall’s own theory that the legion was massacred, with only a few survivors who desperately try to make it back to their own lines while being pursued by the Picts. While catering to historical possibility, this plot device also serves the movie’s budget, focussing the action on a small group of soldiers and disposing with the costly scenes involving the entire Legion early in the film.

Considering Marshall’s history of violent British cinema he would seem to be the perfect choice of director, and with the combined talents of Hunger’s Michael Fassbender, The Wire’s Dominic West and a supporting cast that includes Olga Kurylenko, David Morrissey, Liam Cunningham and Noel Clarke, Centurion has the potential for greatness.

Off for a jog in Neil Marshall's 'Centurion'

It is a shame, then, that the movie disappoints. The cringe-worthy opening credits ruin otherwise impressive cinematography, salvaged only by an interesting introduction to our protagonist. The cast do what they can with an occasionally interesting but largely clichéd script that sees the soldiers talk in down and dirty terms more reminiscent of modern soldiers than the thoughtful eloquence of Gladiator. While this can at times be a nice change on audience expectations of historical dialogue, it often comes across as awkward.

Perhaps most strange is how the talented cast frequently felt wooden. Much of this derives from the speed with which the film is treated. Subtracting the action/chase sequences from the ninety-minute running time leaves little room for character development, and lines that should have been delivered with depth and time are rushed, losing all emotion and ultimately robbing most characters of sympathy and interest. Furthermore, the actions and decisions characters make are hurried over, moving the film along without much thought.

"Centurion feels more like a Western (complete with a Butch and Sundance homage) set in AD 117"

It is ironic, then, that the standout performance comes from Olga Kurylenko (famous to most audiences for her underdeveloped role in Quantum of Solace), who plays a mute Pict warrior. Her character’s past, and the emotion she projects through her eyes, far surpasses the clunking dialogue most other characters are forced to deliver, and she emerges from the movie with her talent intact.

The film is not without redeeming features. Heavily channelling the opening scenes of Gladiator, complete with a washed out, blue-grey colour pallet and winter forests, the film looks and feels superb. Complimented by excellent costumes and armour that belie the limited budget, I could happily have watched another hour, had it been spent on developing the characters and story. What most surprises is that, given the relentless and tough treatment of violence Marshall showed in The Descent, here the editing prevents the action from feeling as tough or gritty as you would expect. Most cuts are so quick we only see a flash of blood, and the action scenes are ultimately less exciting than the chase sequences. Indeed, Centurion feels more like a Western (complete with a Butch and Sundance homage) set in AD 117, and succeeds in creating an enjoyable hybrid of styles. However, the lack of thought that went into the plot and characters – even resorting to a clichéd and predictable ending featuring 28 Weeks Later star Imogen Poots – undercuts the movie’s promise. It is, nonetheless, a far superior film to the other historical adventure movie involving the Ninth Legion, The Last Legion, but it will be interesting to see how Kevin MacDonald’s adaptation of The Eagle of the Ninth compares.

Ultimately, Centurion is a film bursting with potential but let down by a poor script and characterisations. The cast do their best with what they are given and the room the direction leaves, but it is the excellent cinematography and look of the film that is its saving grace. Centurion is a disposable, often enjoyable thrill ride, but there is little here to remember or treasure.

3 stars
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:49 pm

http://www.emotionallyfourteen.com/2010/08/dvd-reviews_28.html

Saturday, 28 August 2010
DVD Reviews
Centurion
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West
Director: Neil Marshall
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Available Now - £15.99 (DVD) & £28.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

In 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 (one of the guys from 300), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' (one of the guys from 300) 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 (The bird from the last Bond movie. Not Gemma Arterton. The other one.), the band of soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

It’s always nice when historical fiction meets OTT violence and blood, but there’s something about Centurion that never really gets off of the ground. Maybe it’s that all of the characters are paper thin, making it impossible to give a monkey’s hypothalamus when they die. Maybe it’s that the political and social machinations surrounding it are mere cobwebs covering the fact this is a rather obvious re-make of The Warriors.

The action scenes are pretty solid, but despite having at least two cast members in common, this is no 300. It’s okay, it’ll entertain you enough, but you can wait for this to come on TV.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence: Pretty much non-stop gore, stabbering, fighting and death.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: A fair amount.
Summary: A decidedly average historical hack n’ slash. The action scenes and deaths are good, but everything else is mediocre. 5/10
Second Opinion - "An enjoyable action film with lots of gore and swearing to keep the majority of the Emotionally Fourteen happy, and whilst the plot may not be the most original, Marshall has stuck to what he does best, and delivered a thoroughly entertaining film filled with gory action and great one-liners. Watch it if you are an action fan or a big fan of Neil Marshall’s previous films, just don’t expect it to be vastly different from anything else he has done before. - 8/10 - Blake Harmer
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:14 pm

http://mrpfilanddvdblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/dvd-centurion-dir-neil-marshall-2010.html

Sunday, 29 August 2010
DVD: Centurion (dir: Neil Marshall, 2010)
What are you waiting for - an order? Get stuck in there!"

Centurion is a good, solid film, effectively directed by Neil Marshall who gives his now-familiar group-under-siege scenario a robust new setting. It is unapologetically violent and bloody, creating a real sense of danger and desperation throughout. The bleak, wintry Scottish Highlands provide a terrific visceral backdrop to the action, well served by the Lord Of The Rings-style swooping wide landscape shots which give the film a suitably epic and timeless feel. Ilan Eshkeri delivers an excellent score, matching the different tonal shifts extremely well. The cast certainly suffered on location which is evident on screen, and Michael Fassbender and Dominic West prove to be superb leads, backed up by a very strong (mostly British) cast. The key characters are interesting to watch and follow, and the film packs in a lot of different situations which gives it real energy and momentum. Whilst the film offers little that is new, Centurion definitely delivers on plot, characters and action.
Posted by Mr. P at 19:29
Labels: Centurion, DVD
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:23 pm

http://weetiger3.livejournal.com/16711.html

Centurion: Bloody Good Saturday Matinee!
location: Boston
mood: chipper chipper

I've seen it at last! "Centurion" has come to the booming metropolis that is Boston and is playing on exactly one screen (which is actually across the river in Cambridge.) At least it's at the very cool eco-friendly, intellectually superior theater that gets all of the foreign and art-house flicks; the one frequented by adults who know how to behave at the cinema and without the sticky floors. Bonus! Yesterday afternoon, I made the pilgrimage. (Sorry Idris, you'll have to wait until next week.)

As has already been documented on this blog, I've been looking forward to Centurion for quite some time and for a quite a few reasons. First, I've been a fan of Neil Marshall's since 2002's "Dog Soldiers", not to mention I'm a huge fan of Michael Fassbender. I'm not going into a blow by blow or a typical review, but in mentioning Marshall's first feature film I believe I've found a good jumping-off point.

I've mentioned Dog Soldiers before, in reference to where I first noticed Kevin McKidd. The film is a fresh take on the werewolf mythos that actually has a lot in common with Centurion. Both films are about the struggle of the underdog trapped behind enemy lines. In both cases, the "underdog" consists of the remains of what started out as a superior fighting force: in Dog Soldiers, a squad of highly trained British Army soldiers on tactical maneuvers in Scotland; in Centurion, an elite Legion of highly trained Roman soldiers, members of the occupying army in what would later become Scotland.

In both cases, we're meant to root for the outnumbered few far from home whose only goal has become getting back to it, despite the fact that this cunning and resourceful handful was part of a larger force that was initially trying to wipe out the natives; (Even though in Dog Soldiers the natives were monstrous wolf-human hybrids and in Centurion they only painted their faces blue- they both were there first. Speaking of blue faces...I'm thinking this is where William Wallace got the idea. Or was it from Antoine Fuqua's "Woads"*?) much the same way that we're meant to root for the Cowboys vs the Indians in most American Westerns.

Centurion, just as Dog Soldiers was, is filled with Marshall's trademark blood and gore plus the added bonus of the sounds of axe or sword crunching bone and spear piercing flesh. We also get the similar washed out color palette that makes everything seem that much more bleak and desolate and yet at the same time starkly beautiful, whether it's the snow-capped Highlands or a Caledonian forest. (Actually the forests in the earlier film were in Luxembourg. I'm glad Marshall has graduated to using actual locations. Parts of The Descent and most of Doomsday were filmed in Scotland as well.)

Both films feature the great Liam Cunningham, (who also starred opposite Michael Fassbender in the exquisitely painful "Hunger", as Fr. Moran) although unlike in Dog Soldiers, where his Capt. Ryan was a complete prick, he plays a veteran soldier with a sense of humor and capable of compassion, called 'Brick.'

In fact there are darker takes on quite a few characters that first appeared in Dog Soldiers. "Spoonie" is replaced by Thax, Emma Cleasby's Megan is replaced by Imogen Poots' Arianne.

(Thax, Macros, Brick)

...wait...or is she replaced by Olga Kurylenko's Etain? Elements of Megan's story have been expanded and then divided up between these two characters. Having said that, I must point out that Etain is quite possibly the toughest, most ruthless female antagonist on film. If you throw in the fact that she does it all without saying a word, she wins hands down.

(Looks can be deceiving. There is nothing tender about what is going on here.)

Sean Pertwee's Sgt Wells in Dog Soldiers is supplanted by Dominic West's General Virilus. Both characters are "boysy" men's men who command respect and inspire loyalty by being "of" their troops, not above them. Virilus is Wells on steroids.

I would have liked to have seen more of Dominic West's General, but that's purely selfish. This wasn't his story. West did what was needed, which was to create a leader that the audience could believe would galvanize a small handful of soldiers into taking action on his behalf and set the plot in motion. Not only did he accomplish that (and look good doing it, even covered in blood and filth) in his few minutes onscreen, but his 'presence' permeated the rest of the film.

(Virilus-NOT moshing)

Which brings me to Michael Fassbender's Quintus Dias. It is easy enough to compare this character to the luscious Kevin McKidd's Cooper. Both characters exhibit resourcefulness and intelligence beyond their scripted stations. (Cooper is by rank a Private. Kept on the lowest rung of the ladder by his refusal to be blindly cruel for what he perceives to be the sake of it. Quintus is the son of a freed slave turned gladiator, but displays respect for his enemy by learning their language.) Both gain the trust of a local beauty, a loner either by choice or circumstance, who provides aid and comfort. Both characters are also the heart and soul of their respective films. If we don't believe in either Cooper or Dias, we don't believe in the road each man travels or care about the final result.

Again, Fassy's character is a souped up version of his earlier counterpart. Physically, he takes much more of a beating than McKidd ever did, even in the latter's climactic final fight scene.

(Fassbender didn't look this buff in 300! Gaaaah!)

This film may not tax Fassbender's acting muscles as much as it did his physical ones, but it may up his visibility quotient, which I am of two minds about. On the one hand, I've seen what happens when the rest of the world gets a hold of an actor I've long admired but is considered to be a "hidden gem" and frankly, I don't like to share my toys. On the other hand, there is a part of me that DOES want everyone to know what I've known all along. Fassbender deserves to have a place at the A-List table, as long as we're talking about the A-List that gets offered the best and juiciest scripts, working with the most talented directors and actors. (He can stay off of that "other" A-List. I personally don't give a damn if he EVER meets Lindsey Lohan.)

Centurion has all of the elements that a good Saturday afternoon at the movies should have: lots of action, compelling drama with a hero worth believing in, spectacular visuals, rousing score, and an attractive cast. If it fails to find an audience in theaters, and frankly, that seems likely since it's barely being released, I predict it will find the same kind of loyal cult following on dvd and later on cable television, as Dog Soldiers has done. It is, IMHO, an interesting take on the possible fate of the "lost" 9th Legion (and it managed to beat Kevin MacDonald's "The Eagle"** to the punch. We'll have to wait until 2011 before we find out which one seems more plausible.)

*from his "King Arthur"
**still hate that name change.
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:51 pm

http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/film-cinema/death-and-deceit-in-roman-britain-2324701.html

DEath and deceit in Roman Britain

By Mark Evans

Saturday September 04 2010

Centurion historical action; Starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Liam Cunningham

>BY MARK EVANS

A word to the wise. If you ever travel back in time to Roman Britain, don't go for a pee. Anyone who takes a tinkle here usually gets a blade thrust between their legs, which really isn't a good way to go.

If you're expecting Gladiator meets Braveheart here, you're on the right track. If you're expecting the excellence of both, you're as lost as the forgotten Roman legion of this mini epic.

Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) is our Roman hero, desperately trying to make it back to the English lines after his legion is decimated by some mega-violent Picts in the highlands of Scotland.

You see they've been betrayed by the mysterious Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a Pict working for the Romans who had promised to help them conquer her old lands from the bloodthirsty King Gorlacon.

But she leads the thousands of legionnaires into a deadly ambush and soon only a small band of troops are left under Quintus's command as their general (played by The Wire's Dominic West) is taken captive.

When a bid to rescue him goes wrong, and the king's son is murdered by one of the treacherous Roman survivors, the band of brothers face a deadly race against time to get back behind the new Hadrian's Wall and safety.

Our own Liam Cunningham gets a high profile here as the likeable veteran soldier Brick, while the fact that so few survivors are left gives us time to get to know them. The only difficulty here is that it's hard to root for an invading force out to steal the Picts' lands.

Not the same budget or effects of Gladiator, but if you don't expect too much Centurion is not a bad bet, especially if you like a Braveheart-style body and gore count.

DVD EXTRAS: Plenty of deleted scenes; an in-depth making-of special; some humorous out-takes and a theatrical trailer.

- Mark Evans
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:22 am

http://www.timesonline.com/bct_news/news_details/article/1373/2010/november/01/giving-thanks-for-november-dvd-offerings.html

CENTURION (Magnolia; $26.99, DVD; $29.99, Blu-ray Disc; Nov. 2; B+): Two-fisted British filmmaker Neil Marshall, whose credits include “Dog Soldiers,” “The Descent” and “Doomsday,” directed this brutal import that revolves around the war between Roman soldiers and lethal tribesmen. The classically trained Roman forces find they are no match for the guerrilla tactics of their resourceful enemy. The few foreign soldiers who survive a major battle must run for their lives after the son of the rival leader is murdered. The cast includes Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”), Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”), and Dominic West (HBO’s “The Wire”). Marshall packs an incredible amount of intense action into the film. (97 minutes) Sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images, language. (R)
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:58 am

http://the-movie-perspective.blogspot.com/2010/10/centurion-2010.html

Oct 30, 2010
Centurion, 2010

Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Andreas Wisniewski

Stage: home theatre, HD Smile
Centurion in short: A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack.

Preps: Got it from a friend and a recommendation. Has slept in my system for quite a while.

Reality: You are dragged right in the centre of roman world. Fighting, battle, adventurous race to your homeland while being chased by nasty savages. Or are you the savage one? Cannot tell. Cannot diferentiate one battle from another. One thing is for sure - the area where they hold battles seems for real. Also the clothing, the way they interact with each other. The way problems are being sold, judgements fulfilled - the price of one life is so low, you get the feeling that life itself is worthless. And the old proverb from ancients - to die with honour means to die for the cause, even if it costs you your dear life and the life of the ones you love.

The main characters are travelling through rough country, fishing for opportunities to escape revenge-oriented group of savages, chasing them in order to kill them. The differentiation between different battles is almost impossible - the chase happens extremely fast and many lives are taken alongside. I enjoyed the photography and the chosen scenery - the scenario however is poor and maybe the reason behind this is more historical than the fact that the script writer wouldn't have his imagination to write something. All the other things are put aside - only the mere survival and the instinct to kill are set upfront. And nothing else. From the beginning until its ending. No love, no feelings, no other music than battle. Hence the focus stays where the director wanted it to be.

My personal rating: 6,0 (a better combat movie in this period - in my opinion too bloody and I want my focus to run sometimes somewhere else. Nevertheless - a good piece and a genuine feeling you would never want to live in those times).

Centurion on IMDB
Posted by MajaTerzic at 9:32 AM
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:40 am

http://journalstar.com/entertainment/movies/article_51863408-e5d4-11df-a2ee-001cc4c002e0.html

"Centurion" (R): A great cast and an inclination toward the bloody ridiculous make the hokey "Centurion" worth a watch.

Director Neil Marshall has followed up a hit and a flop ("The Descent" and "Doomsday") with a period piece battle epic. Michael Fassbender plays Quintus Dias, a Roman soldier defending the Empire against a Northern England tribe. After his Ninth Legion is betrayed, Quintus and a handful of survivors must hoof it back to a Roman outpost, their enemies hot on their tracks.

Marshall's film plays like a shaggy, straight-to-DVD "Gladiator." And yet I prefer the frothy B-movie-ness of "Centurion" to a Ridley Scott-led gloom-fest like "Robin Hood." You get all the severed limbs and bloodspit, but you don't have to listen to Russell Crowe give long speeches. Grade: B
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:43 am

http://www.coolorama.com/uncategorized/dvd-tuesday-110210-toys-that-will-make-you-cry/

Centurion

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 the face of the guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy: the savage and terrifying Picts. Quintus Dias (Fassbinder), 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. Enduring the harsh terrain and evading their remorseless Pict pursuers led by the revenge hungry Pict Warrior Etain, the band of soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko
Directed by Neil Marshall (Doomsday, The Descent)

Now, if you want a movie that won’t make you cry (unless you have issues) and want something entertaining with some action, then check this title out, especially if your a fan of Marshall’s past films. It comes packing with the usual extras as well as a HDNet feature.

Available: Blu-Ray/Digital Copy Combo, DVD
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:34 pm

http://screenrant.com/dvd-bluray-new-releases-november-2-2010-mikee-85997/

Centurion DVD Blu-ray box art

Centurion – A truly underrated movie, Centurion was an enjoyable low-budget action film. It’s a shame the movie only made $6 million worldwide on a $12 million budget, but it’s been a strange road for Neil Marshall’s latest film, which was also released On Demand and saw nearly all of its box office over international waters.

As usual, the DVD/Blu-ray release gives the world a second chance to see a worthy movie. We gave it a solid 3 out of 5 stars, but it plays stronger than that. If you like violence, gore and intensity, Centurion will deliver it all. Michael Fassbender continues to show his strength as an actor, but Olga Kurylenko shines as the mute femme fatale hunting down the movie’s squad of “heroes.”

Magnolia isn’t releasing the most in-depth home video of all time, but there is plenty to go around. Marshall fans will get a nice glimpse into the production of his gory action.

* Making of Centurion
* Deleted scenes
* Outtakes
* Interviews
* Behind the scenes
* Photo gallery
* HDNet: A Look at Centurion
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Re: Centurion DVD Reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:36 pm

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/zap-dvd-review-centurion,0,3984502.story

'Centurion'
Michael Fassbender
Jay Bobbin Zap2It

It's back to "Gladiator" territory as this adventure from writer-director Neil Marshall ("The Descent") focuses on Roman warriors who must fend for themselves when their leader is captured by enemy troops.

They ultimately decide on what could turn out to be a suicide mission, as they mount a rescue strategy meant to end in a desperate race to get back to their home turf. Stars include Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko ( "Quantum of Solace"). DVD extras: two "making-of" documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes; interviews with cast and crew; behind-the-scenes footage; photo gallery. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray)

Buy 'Centurion' on DVD.
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