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Centurion reviews 2

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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:56 pm

http://ones2watch4.com/movies/reviews/review-in-100-words-centurion/

Review in 100 Words – Centurion

August 27, 2010 by Maura Reilly

If you haven’t seen anything Neil Marshall has directed before – good. Centurion is the best way to acquaint yourself with his work. Set in the 2nd Century, Michael Fassbender is a Roman soldier stationed in Britain at the end of the Roman occupation, fighting time and some seriously scary Picts, in particular their relentless tracker played by Olga Kurylenko, to rescue his general (Dominic West) from a horrible fate. The film was shot on location in snowy Scotland and looks fantastic. The script is exciting and romantic, the action is bloody and the cast is terrific. Think Expendables in togas.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:09 pm

http://www.7x7.com/arts/roman-holiday-empires-ninth-legion-meets-bloody-end-centurion

Roman Holiday: The Empire's Ninth Legion Meets a Bloody End in 'Centurion'

Dominic West picks a fight he can't win in 'Centurion.'

Inspired by the demise of the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion, a legendary unit founded by Julius Caesar and thought to have met a bitter end nearly two centuries later in what is now Scotland, Centurion is less grandiose than Zack Snyder’s 300 but every bit as brutal. If the sight of severed limbs leaves you squeamish, you’ve been warned.

Those seeking a history lesson would be foolish to consult the latest, bloodiest offering from director Neil Marshall, whose past credits include the crudely effective Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005), his claustrophobic venture into a subterranean abyss populated by flesh-hungry humanoids.

Centurion takes itself a bit more seriously than those – it’s based on a supposedly true story, after all – but Marshall, who also wrote the screenplay, is less a conventional humorist than one who revels in the absurdity of his goriest fantasies.

Here, the monsters are neither werewolves nor sun-starved cannibals but men and women mired in a thankless conflict, driven to savagery by either a lust for life or for vengeance. Marshall’s sympathies seem to lie with the Romans, whose gregarious leader Virilus, played by The Wire’s Dominic West, is less politician than populist hero, more dedicated to protecting his men than the Empire’s fading aura of invincibility.

Marshall’s Ninth Legion is outmaneuvered by the Picts, a confederation of Celtic warriors bent on stamping out the Roman threat. Quintus (Michael Fassbender), the steely son of a Roman gladiator, decries the natives’ guerrilla tactics as dishonorable, oblivious to the hypocrisy of the complaint, but no matter: When Virilus is slain by a Pict she-devil (Olga Kurylenko), it is Quintus, unfailingly noble to his last breath, who rallies his fellow Romans from behind enemy lines.

What follows is an unrelenting manhunt more reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto than Snyder’s swords-and-sandals cartoon, though Marshall wisely hits the brakes long enough to give his band of scurrying brothers richer, more complicated characterizations. Heroes, like Quintus, emerge, and so too do self-serving snakes, but we come to understand both, because at the end of the day they want the same thing – to escape with their lives.

Whether they deserve to is another story, and Marshall isn’t shy about sending heroes and villains alike to gruesome deaths. For some, that might be the only reason to see Centurion – the visceral thrill of violence, graphically observed.

But Marshall, as much a storyteller as a stager of geek shows, brings enough substance to the mayhem to give it power beyond a few lurid thrills. The movie, as grim as the war it depicts, affords us little reason to smile, but sufficient reason to care.
By Rossiter Drake on August 27, 2010 9:00 AM
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:11 pm

http://www.moviefilmreview.com/centurion.php

Centurion
Reviewer's Rating: This entry has a rating of 3/5

Posted on 26 August 2010 by DanMcNamara

Celador Films

Centurion is a British made film that was originally released in the UK and Greece in April. After being shown at several film festivals across the U.S., it is finally being released on a limited basis this Friday.

The story is based on the legend of the unexplained disappearance of the Ninth Legion of the Roman army. Neil Marshall (The Descent) wrote the story and is also the director of this savage film. The cast includes Michael Fassbender (Jonah Hex), Dominic West (Punisher: Warzone) and Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace).

The Roman Empire has taken control of almost all of Europe except for one area of stiff resistance. The Empire has decided to send out one of their top generals, Titus Virilus (West), along with his army to put an end to this stubborn opposition.

When Titus and his men are ambushed by the enemy, he is taken captive and almost all of his men lay dead except for a few. One of those men is Quintus Dias (Fassbender) and he, along with a few other survivors, set out to rescue Titus from his barbaric captors.

Quintus and his men have another big problem. They are being hunted by Etain (Kurylenko), the top scout and a fierce warrior from the group that refuses to submit to Roman rule, and she will not stop until she can deliver the heads of Quintus and his men to her king.

Neil Marshall has said that his film is not intended to be historically correct, it is suppose to be an action movie and it has plenty of that for sure. The battle scenes between the Romans and their enemies, an uncivilized group known as the Picts, are quite gruesome. Audience members with a low tolerance for graphic violence may want to cover their eyes when the bloodshed begins.

In an attempt to counteract, I think, the brutal violence throughout the film, Marshall throws in a small love story between Quintus and a Pict woman, Arianne (Imogen Poots, 28 Weeks Later), who has been exiled for being a suspected witch. Some people may find it a nice diversion from all of the fighting, but I found it to be out of place with the rest of the story and simply uninteresting.

Marshall does a fine job of creating tension during the movie. Everytime Quintus and his men think they have finally alluded Etain, she suddenly reappears with bloodthirsty vengeance in her eyes. After you learn why Etain has so much hatred in her for the Romans, it is not hard to understand why she will not rest until they are all dead.

It also makes it hard for the viewer to have much sympathy for the Romans after you hear of the inhuman things they have done to the Picts. You may hope that the Picts are able to get their pound of flesh. In war, horrible acts are usually done by both sides.

However, Quintus appears to be an honorable man and the performance by Michael Fassbender drives home that point. Fassbender is very genuine in his portrayal of a Roman soldier who is tired of war and really just wants to go home. Dominic West is strong and steady as a Roman general who values the lives of his men. Although Olga Kurylenko has no spoken lines, she wonderfully expresses her emotions with her mesmerizing eyes.

The cinematography by Sam McCurdy, who has worked on several of Neil Marshall’s other movies, is breathtaking. The sweeping aerial shots and wide angle views really captures the beauty of this supposed ancient land.

While Centurion may conjure up memories of Braveheart, it is not nearly as good as that classic, but it is still a pretty entertaining movie on its own.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:13 pm

http://popcorn.ditttos.com/movie_reviews/centurion

Centurion

Give writer-director Neil Marshall credit: When he dives into hardcore genre waters, which is basically every time he makes a movie, he does so with gusto. His Dog Soldiers bravely imagined a special ops squad ambushed by werewolves; The Descent gave us freakishly mutated bat-men; and Doomsday tried to simulcast every post-apocalyptic sci-fi action movie ever made at twice the volume. For Centurion, he turns his eyes on revisionist pulp-historical action movies like 300 and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, aiming to Marshallize them, which is to add more screaming and gore.

To this aim, he succeeds: Centurion is quite gory and fairly loud, though not so much so as Doomsday. The newer film may follow early-AD Roman Quintus (Michael Fassbender) sneaking a small group of soldiers through the enemy territory of the fearsome Picts and back to safe, sweet mega-Rome, but all of this careful eluding doesn’t much limit the amount of violent confrontation and manly bellowing. This is essentially a long chase without the patience for chases; enemies more or less appear at the movie’s convenience, as do loyalty-reversing double-crosses, at least one of which occurs so early on that it undermines any functional twisting of the plot.

That first betrayer is Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a Pict working for the Romans who almost immediately returns to her roots as an avenging wolf-woman (her family was destroyed by Roman invaders). Etain is regarded with such fear, and regards her enemies with such menace, that her actual utilization in the field of ass-kickery is, uncharacteristic for Marshall, somewhat muted. Nonetheless, Kurylenko has found her niche as the poor man’s Milla Jovovich, which I guess makes Marshall the poor man’s Luc Besson, an impresario of European junk food.

This isn’t the worst filmmaking position to hold, but it’s not a necessary one, either, as Besson already serves the poor man quite well in his own films. Some of Centurion is fun in that recyclable, grab bag way; Marshall is committed to his viscera and amped-up intensity (though it’s disappointing to see him continue to spritz chintzy-looking CGI blood over his slurries of entrails), and the showmanship from his previous movies remains. But Centurion, like Doomsday before it, ultimately seems more concerned with its excesses than its characters.

The Picts are depicted as fearsome, ruthless warriors, but they are, in the end, defending their land; the Romans just want to scramble home, but they are, in doing so, attempting to weasel out of the consequences of marauding across the landscape. Once Quintus must lead them, he’s a hero by default more than direct characterization. Basically, we’re watching a bunch of disagreeable folks scrap and scramble with increasing desperation.

This murky lack of heroism could create a fascinating moral ambiguity if developed with any nuance, but Marshall uses it primarily to make just about everyone in the movie really angry with each other. Actors as good as Fassbender, Dominic West, and David Morrissey have to grapple with a bunch of dialogue about honor, duty, fathers, soldiers. It’s supposed to sound impassioned, but without his usual fantastical trappings and underneath the surface bluster, Marshall’s work feels strangely clinical. Watching an over-the-top genre pastiche, your dominant reaction shouldn’t be to ask what everyone is getting so worked up about.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:16 pm

http://thatwasjunk.com/2010/08/31/centurion/

August 31, 2010
Centurion
Posted by jat59072
Others: Reviews

It’s funny to see such similar movies released in such a short amount of time, with Valhalla Rising, an art film disguised as a violent action movie, and Centurion, a violent action movie disguised as an art film. Whereas Valhalla Rising featured very little action or blood, it ended up focusing more on the mythology and symbolism of ancient Viking culture. Centurion, on the other hand, features some of the most graphic violence I’ve seen all year, but unfortunately has almost nothing original or insightful to say or present.

In a mixture, both in story and style, of The Warriors, Lord of the Rings and 300, Centurion follows a small group of Roman warriors who are caught over enemy lines after their army was decimated by their enemies, the Picts. Making their way across dozens of mountain ranges, frozen valleys, and other geographically stunning locations, they attempt to avoid the treacheries of the wilderness, each other, and a small band of Picts who are tracking them, led by the traitorous Etain, a mute warrior woman who’s responsible for the obliteration of their fellow soldiers. This all sounds exciting and interesting, but after spending an hour and a half in this world, most of which is spent from a helicopter, watching as these guys walk across snow-covered mountain ranges, it all feels pretty boring and pointless.

Aside from its ancient setting, the story here could be applied to any modern war movie, with the basic premise squeezed for every last generic scene possible. In one particularly laughable moment, we even get to see our heroes gathered around a campfire in a bland repeat of every “You know what I’m going to do when I get home?” scene that’s appeared in almost every war movie I’ve ever sat through, from Saving Private Ryan to Tropic Thunder. That, along with some pretty forgettable characters and a pretty confusing set up (for the first ten-fifteen minutes, I wasn’t sure who was a Roman and who was a Pict), there’s not much here substance-wise to grab onto.

However, where the story is lacking, the action here is pretty spectacular. It seems like this movie was made for the sole purpose of having modern violence and language, but combining it with a style of warfare that allows the characters to get in close with each other. Instead of bullets flying through the air, we have swords cutting through torsos, and axes tearing into heads, allowing for the filmmakers to get a lot bloodier and grittier with the gore. Unfortunately, these scenes are a little too few and far apart from each other, usually separated by a few scenes of walking or running, that when they arrive, it’s hard to be interested because you don’t care about what’s happening or who it’s happening to.

Without a compelling story, even the bloodiest battles and goriest deaths are meaningless. Sure, it’s cool to look at, and, don’t get me wrong, whenever there’s blood, there’s lots of it, but there’s nothing here worth revisiting. The reason movies like Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now will always be thought of favorably as great examples of the genre is due to their ability to pull audiences in with relatable characters and complex themes. Centurion feels more like a warmed over WWII movie, in a different time, with more violence. Perhaps there was no real attempt here to be anything but a simple gladiator story with some brutal violence, but that’s no excuse to give your audience the blandest story to wrap that brutal violence in. There’s nothing here that’s worth hating, really, but, unless you’re really hard up for some blood, there’s not much to recommend either.

6 out of 10.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:42 pm

http://www.themoviedownloads.net/watch-centurion-2010-online-free/

27
Aug/10
Watch Centurion (2010)
by admin under movie review, movie trailers

Centurion (2010) – To Fight And Win

For people who love to watch movies like Warrior 300, Centurion may be their favorite. Again, this movie features something back to ancient time while guns were not advanced. People had to fight with their own weapons and it is a movie which could attract ladies because there are strong men fighting without clothes.

Centurion is a movie from Britain and the director of this movie is Neil Marshall. The ill-fated Ninth Legion in this movie was trying to march to Caledonia to remove the Picts and their leader. But things were not going in a smooth way. Picts launched a sudden attach and nearly all people died in this attack. As a result, the survivors would need to try their best to complete the mission and save their own life as well.

Yes, this kind of movie would be bloody and if you do not want to see a lot of bloody scenes, you should never go to watch this movie or otherwise you may fate. And this movie is not bad indeed. The special effects of war scenes look real and there are plenty of shocking scenes during the fights. And performance of the cast was good. When survivors found that they were the left ones in this world, they could show the depression and they could also show their determination to survive and take revenge.

In order to portray the sad feeling of those characters, director tried to use different ways to run the camera. And this had given audiences a full view to know more about how those characters feel and how sad they were.

Of course, this movie would not just focus on killing and fighting. There would be explanation to background of attacks and you would know why the Picts could destroy their enemies in a short period of time.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the atmosphere of this movie is similar to that of Warrior 300, and so if you love that movie you would probably love this one. If you hated that movie you may not like this one as well. And if you did not watch Warrior, you could consider watching this one and see if you really like this type of movie.

And you would also love to watch this movie if you are interested in watching historical movies. Despite the fact that this movie is not talking about the real history, you could still know more about life of people centuries ago.

To conclude, Centurion is a worth watching movie if you do not mind watching bloody scenes. And for people who would like to look at the life of ancient warriors, this would be a good film. You could hardly see people fighting with bare hands nowadays but in that period of time, fighting with bare hand was normal and you could know the differences between army today and ancient fighters. You would easily find that those fighters are admirable because they were strong and they had the bravery.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:54 pm

http://flog.fbiradio.com/2010/08/27/big-screen-centurion-review/

Big Screen: Centurion Review
Posted August 27th by sam.c i

I did this review a few weeks ago. When I tried to record it the computer exploded and I got scared and left. The movie sucked, and I don’t think it is showing anywhere now. That said, I spent several minutes writing this review, and it demands to be read. An FBi FLOG Big Screen Exclusive Review!

I’m so sick of watching fight scenes edited by monkeys. This is how I think they put together the fight scenes in Neil Marshall’s new movie Centurion: Two guys take turns punching each other in the face, while a bunch of assistants throw HD cameras at them. Footage from the cameras is then edited together in cuts lasting no longer than .2 of a second, in such a way a to make it impossible to know who is who, where they are, and who is winning, all the while someone is bashing a timpani drum on the soundtrack to make it sound dramatic. I’m getting ahead of myself though.

Centurion is about the ancient British war between the Romans ad the Picts. In this version, the Picts speak their own language, and the Romans speak English with East London accents. I’m not a historian, but I am going to infer from that that this is not a very historically accurate account. Bizarrely given that this film is funded in some part by the British taxpayer, the romans are the good guys, though I think the message might have been that there aren’t really any good guys in war. After threatening to tell an actual war story, the plot boils down to a bunch of romans on the run from some pict guys, and a fearsome mute Pict lady, played by Olga Kurylenko. I believe they described her as literally part wolf, though it thought she looked more part Russia’s next top model

There is a certain ineptness to this move. It felt like it had the guts ripped out of it in the editing room. Early on the main character is captured, then he is on the run with the audience clueless to how he escaped. Key plot points were unclear to me until someone spelled them out later in the movie. I have already mentioned my problems with the fight scenes, but the couple of battle scenes are just as bad. Marshall is far far more interested in showing people getting impaled by spears and having their jaws hacked off than he is in establishing geography and tactics. Its shot in using HD cameras with with the colour’s bleached out, which makes for an ugly looking film, even with the sometimes staggering highland scenery. There is no sense of structure or rhythm, and the film fells endlessly repetitive, even though its only about 90 minutes long. Its not all bad though, just most of it, in the lead is the fantastic Michael Fassbender, playing the indestructible Roman Quintas Dias. Fassbender played the German film expert in Inglourious Basterds, and then burned through Fishtank. In this film he has to run shirtless with his hands tied through some snow, gets buried under a humungus pile of corpses, many without jaws, and later eats half digested moss straight out of a mooses guts. He will be a big star and better things await him. Hopefully after watching this better things await me too.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:42 pm

http://demonsresume.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/centurion/

Centurion.

Here’s my review of Centurion, finally! Any fan of badass n’ bloody action movies needs to track this sucker down.

Here’s a question: Do you like movies about gladiators? Or: Are you ready for an end-of-summer action flick about angry guys swinging swords with each other? Are you like me, and you think Gladiator was just a little too serious and 300 wasn’t remotely serious enough? Centurion is the sweet spot. If you want to see a rough-and-tumble, unpretentious, sturdy, skillful, fun and efficient gladiator flick, you’re gonna want to seek out Neil Marshall’s newest.

Neil Marshall is a director who guys like me have been championing for a while now. He’s a British filmmaker who has absorbed all of the great genre movies, and is re-deploying all of those cinematic references into unsentimental and entertaining-as-hell movies that so far haven’t hit huge in the States. (I’m not sure how he’s been received in his native England, but clearly he has a steady career going, turning out a film every two or three years, which is a nice pace.) In Dog Soldiers, he did werewolves. In The Descent, he did cave horror. In Doomsday, he riffed on everything from The Road Warrior to Escape From New York and back. Now he’s doing period action.

Centurion is actually based on history, to a point. The super-badass Ninth Legion of the Roman Army was dispatched to eliminate the native Pict warriors from captured territory, and were apparently never heard from again. Taking this historical tidbit, Marshall extrapolates the story of Quintus Dias, played by the crazy-talented Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), who joins up with the Ninth after his own squadron is massacred by the Picts. (The Picts in this movie are primitive but expert at killing, kind of like the Na’vi from Avatar – only somewhat less blue.) The Ninth Legion is led by General Virilus, a fist-swinging guy’s guy played by Dominic West, best known to us Yanks as lovable lout Jimmy McNulty from The Wire. This is by far West’s coolest role post-McNulty, and I had a great time every moment he was on screen – as I’m sure he himself did.

That’s the essential appeal of Centurion – it’s a guy’s guy kind of movie. The action scenes are solid and plentiful, and the ball-busting banter is equally fun. It fits snugly into Marshall’s growing filmography as a superior genre filmmaker. If I had to pick at faults, I’d say that Marshall’s movies often fall back on the conventions established by his obvious influences. Centurion is one of those movies where the ensemble cast is gradually decimated, leaving only the main protagonist – Marshall is now four for four in that regard – and I wonder if the movie would have been more satisfying had that formula not been maintained.

Also, unlike his previous two movies, Centurion doesn’t leave much room for the ladies. The Descent was an all-female cast, refreshingly, and Doomsday had a lead performance by Rhona Mitra (much more fun to look at than pretty much any other action star you’re thinking of), but Centurion has just two significant female roles. One is Olga Kurylenko, from Hitman and Quantum Of Solace, as a mute Pict warrior and tracker. She’s a formidable opponent in this flick, to be sure, but compared to how charismatic Fassbender and West get to be, it’s a thankless role. Then there’s Imogen Poots, whose name is a sentence. She plays a conspicuously attractive hermit who Quintus hooks up with while on the run. The love story isn’t unwelcome, necessarily, but by the time it finally appears in the story, late in the movie, it feels somewhat shoehorned.

Those are relatively minor criticisms of a generally satisfying film from a genre director who will only continue to get better. You could argue that Neil Marshall leans pretty heavily on his influences, but then again so do Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and his countryman Edgar Wright. Not awful company to be in. Hopefully Marshall will start getting even a fraction of the press that those other guys do. He just plain makes the kind of movies I like, and I’ll be happy to keep watching whatever he does next. As for you, if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, start with Centurion. It’s a red-blooded action flick (literally) that demands and deserves credit for bothering to be one, at a time when so many others pull their punches. Centurion owns its R rating, and that’s a beautiful kind of ugly thing.

This entry was posted on August 31, 2010 at 11:25 pm
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:51 pm

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-8120-when-not-in-rome.html

Wednesday, Sep 01, 2010
When not in Rome
Director Neil Marshall—like members of his cast—loses his head in Centurion
By Anders Wright
Michael Fassbender, on the run

Neil Marshall is a director who’s always managed to do more with less, creating low-budget, high-octane, searing, bloody B-movies that, for a time, made him a highly sought-after director. He became a critical darling of sorts with The Descent, a dank, dark thriller that was set underground, and was given a much bigger budget and bigger stars for his next film, Doomsday, which, by all accounts, was a storytelling step backward for him. Marshall is back now with Centurion, a violent swords-and-sandals flick about the decimation of Rome’s legendary Ninth Legion. Sadly, it may be a case of two steps back.

Michael Fassbender is Centurion Quintus Dias, a seasoned soldier who’s spent years battling the Picts, the loose confederation of tribes who resisted the Roman advances in what we now know as Scotland. He knows his enemy’s language, which is the only thing that keeps him alive after his outpost is overrun. At the same time, the commander of the Ninth, General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West, best known as Jimmy McNulty on The Wire), is given marching orders by his superiors: Take down the impressively named Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen), the Pict ruler who’s united the tribes against the Romans. Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a Pict scout who’s seethingly hot, exceedingly violent and oddly mute, is sent along with the General, and it isn’t long before the legionnaires hook up with an escaped Quintus Dias and get slaughtered by the Picts and the few survivors find themselves running for their lives.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Marshall seems to use the same device in each film—a small band of protagonists trying to survive against overwhelming odds and a horrifying enemy. In Dog Soldiers, it was soldiers vs. werewolves. In The Descent, easily his best picture, it was attractive female spelunkers against weird-ass albino Morlock creatures. In Doomsday, it was soldiers and scientists against Mad Maxtype, plague-addled Scotsmen. And in his new film, it’s the Romans who are totally outnumbered and on the run.

On paper, Centurion is a terrific idea for a film. Any history buff will tell you that Rome’s Ninth Legion mysteriously disappeared from the history books while guarding the edge of the Empire shortly after BC passed into AD. And for the first time, really, Marshall puts one of his films into historical context, even if he makes the Picts look like a combination of The Village People and old school Klingons. Centurion earns its R rating, too, spilling gallons of blood, and will likely win any Best Decapitation of the Year awards simply by virtue of volume.

But unlike his previous films, Marshall’s unable to offer up characters that viewers can care about. Sure, he’s always had archetypes filling out his bands on the run. Here, however, you can almost see exactly what types they are. There’s the wily veteran. The weak, terrified young kid. The cook. Hell, there’s even a token black guy. From the moment they’re presented as the survivors of the massacre, you can almost immediately tell who’s going to be picked off by the end of the film. Now, to Marshall’s credit, he does his picking off with serious style. Spears go through mouths, arrows through eyes, and no one has a head that can’t be detached from its body.

However, the dialogue is wretched, and for the first time, you feel as though Marshall skimped on story. He’s always been a writer-director with a terrific imagination, but Centurion feels like a great idea tacked together with formulas, clichés and literal great balls of fire.

Fassbender—a terrific up-and-comer—and West do their best with what they’re given, but anytime the film moves away from slicing and dicing, it loses steam, and when we’re in the thick of the violence, it’s so chaotic that it’s often impossible to figure out who, exactly, is slicing and dicing whom. It’s a toga party without booze, or a Roman orgy that’s violent but ultimately chaste. And that’s something no amount of decapitations or disembowlings can fix.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:11 pm

http://whatpeteswatching.blogspot.com/2010/09/film-round-up-for-september.html

Centurion (Dir: Neil Marshall). Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Riz Ahmed, JJ Felid, Dimitri Leonidas, Imogen Poots, Ulrich Thomsen. During a second-century battle with Pict tribesmen in Britain, only a handful of Roman soldiers survive a brutal ambush. Their subsequent attempt to rescue their imprisoned general (West) fails resoundingly. Not only can they not save him, the Pict leader's son is killed. The remaining Romans, led by newly appointed, tightly muscled leader Quinton Dais (Fassbender), must literally run for their lives from the Picts, who employ a vicious tracker (Kurylenko, a former Bond girl) to make bloody amends. More vaguely historical testosterone in the vein of 300 has writer/director Marshall keeping the pace brisk, the dialogue sharp, and the action invigorating. This is not for everyone—Marshall's artistic flair for violence might make Quentin Tarantino simultaneously cringe and applaud—but it's an exciting and entertaining distraction for adults hungering for an adrenalin rush. Also available on demand. [NR] ***
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:25 pm

http://movie-grinder.blogspot.com/2010/09/centurion-b.html

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Centurion (B)
8.27.2010


A soldier (Michael Fassbender) escapes imprisonment by The Picts tribe, and returns to his Ninth Legion only to have it betrayed by a mute tracker (Olga Kurylenko) working for the other side, then swiftly ambushed and slaughtered and their leader (Dominic West) taken hostage. The soldier then leads a mission to free him, and take bloody revenge.

Bloody is the operative word, here. Severed limbs, impalings, gougings, flaming arrows to the skull, and just general graphic carnage, all beautifully photographed against sweeping snowy mountain backdrops. A handful of the battle sequences -- especially Fassbender vs. Kurylenko -- do raise one's pulse. For a film whose sole ambition is raising one's pulse.. there ya go.
Posted by jridge at 5:29 PM
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:21 pm

http://www.martinezgazette.com/news/story/i1337/2010/09/02/rough-rugged-and-bloody-good

Rough, rugged and bloody good

MOVE REVIEW
By

Bryan Doherty
Staff Writer
September 2, 2010

With a slew of summer action movies that have been a bit lackluster on the whole, audiences haven’t had a lot of substance with their action this summer. Be prepared for something a bit different with Neil Marshall’s newest outing, Centurion. An ancient world action thriller that follows Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a Roman soldier in the frontier of Britain, and his companions as they struggle to get back across enemy lines into friendly territory after their legion is all but wiped out by a fierce attack from the native barbarians, the Picts.

At face value this plot seems skeletal, and in all honesty it is, but that doesn’t hurt the film at all. Instead it leaves room for group dynamics and space for Marshall to insert solid political and social commentary in between the thrills and blood spills of an ancient world chase film. Don’t fret action fans, this is no Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, a film that many believe bogged itself in politics and history. Not the case with Marshall, he keeps things tight, concise and brutal. And that’s brutal with a capital B. Centurion is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish. There are beheadings and blood aplenty in this action thriller.

I’m sure most of you are thinking, “that’s all well and good but is there a story in any of this ancient world bloody faire?” The answer is just enough to keep you invested. It is very much a film about soldiers and their struggles and their expendability in the eyes of those who run the empire. It is also, to its credit, one of the few films to paint Romans in an unflattering light. The Romans of Centurion are brutal, merciless and self-interested. They see the Picts as wild animals, though they are people who are doing nothing more than defending their home from the Roman invaders.

Another strength of the film is that the Picts are likable. Instead of making them big, dumb, hollering barbarians, (which is a popular move in Hollywood when dealing with barbarians), they are people standing in defiance of occupation and their distaste for the Romans is well placed. You’re empathetic to both sides, you’re rooting for the Roman soldiers to get back home, or maybe you aren’t.

The chase itself is taut paced as Quintus and his companion play a deadly game of cat and mouse through the breath taking Scottish countryside. The Picts are led by Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a fierce Pict huntress and warrior with a zealous thirst for Roman blood. There’s hardly any room to relax as no matter how hard Quintus and his fellows push, Etain and her hunters are at their heels. The tension of who makes it out quickly becomes the driving force of the film. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but thrilling nonetheless. There’s a good mix of personality types in the group as well; those you root for and those you wish to find on the wrong end of a Pict’s spear.

Each character is brought to life by their respective actors and solid characters make for good tension in a film like this. Fassbender is tough, yet empathetic as Quintus and proves he’s got some solid leading man chops. Dominic West plays ruthless General Titus with rugged ferocity and Olga Kurylenko brings a great animalistic fierceness and rage to a silent character. Etain is a mute; courtesy of the Roman’s cutting out her tongue. To her credit she brings a lot of raw emotion to the part even without the aid of words.

For what it is, Centurion is quality. It takes the sword and sandal genre out of its comfort zone and turns it into a rugged action thriller that gives the viewer plenty of bang, or in this case blade, for their buck. For less than a regular ticket stub you can enjoy guts and glory from the comfort of home since the film can be viewed via On Demand, Xbox Live, or the Playstation Network.



Rated: R

Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Rating: Rugged goodness!
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:28 pm

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2010/09/02/movie_stars/

Centurion You want a movie in which starving second-century Romans dine on the contents of a dead elk’s stomach to be equally ravenous. But this chase film written and directed by the atypically uninspired Neil Marshall (“The Descent’’) is a tame venture. Oh, there is blood and gore. The profanity is delightful. And the general atmosphere is grim. It just isn’t terribly rousing. With Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, and Dominic West (97 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

2.5/4
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:30 pm

http://www.playbackstl.com/movie-reviews/9822-centurion-magnet-releasing-r

Centurion (Magnet Releasing, R)

Written by Sarah Boslaugh Wednesday, 01 September 2010 17:10

Add it together and you’ve got something that’s fine for a midnight screening or a Saturday matinee (although it’s too violent for kids) but doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny.

There are some good things in Centurion, Neil Marshall’s popcorn movie take on the legend of the Ninth Roman Legion. Michael Fassbender with his shirt off is high on that list, as are the splendid views of the Scottish countryside provided courtesy of cinematographer Sam McCurdy. There’s also some cool face paint on the Picts and vast quantities of creative mayhem all around — Marshall seems to be trying to one-up George Romero in the unexpected-methods-of-dismemberment department.

Unfortunately, Centurion has more than enough flaws to balance matters out, beginning with a script (also by Marshall) that isn’t even trying. There’s no tension (kind of problematic in an action film) because the fix is clearly in from the start, and the whole 97 minutes feels like a series of set pieces loosely strung together. The characters are shamelessly stereotypical. The key role of a female warrior is played by a supermodel who looks like she might blow away in the wind. Add it together and you’ve got something that’s fine for a midnight screening or a Saturday matinee (although it’s too violent for kids) but doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny.

It’s A.D. 117 and the Roman Empire, not satisfied with controlling a large portion of the known world, seeks to expand its franchise North into Scotland. Not surprisingly, the Picts who live there are not interested in becoming Roman subjects. They’re also rather fierce guerilla warriors who give the better-equipped Romans more than they can handle. If this sounds like any conflicts currently taking place in the world, just remember that old dictum: historical movies are always about the time in which they are made, not the time in which the action is set.

Anyway, Marshall once again treats us to the story of a small band of survivors trying to make their way through hostile territory to safety. They include, besides Fassbender’s character Quintus Dias, Macros (Noel Clarke), Brick (Liam Cunningham), Tarak (Riz Ahmed), Bothos (David Morrisey) and Thax (J.J. Feild). Each has a dominant characteristic, which makes them easy to tell apart: Macros is an African, Thax is a joker, and so on. The Picts are a pretty undifferentiated lot in their furs and blue face paint, except for the mute tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko, who really is a supermodel as well as a Bond girl) and beautiful social outcast Arianne (Imogen Poots).

There’s plenty of action, that’s for sure — for those of you keeping score, prosthetic designer Paul Hyett says the crew went through about 175 liters of fake blood over the course of the film. It all feels kind of flat and perfunctory, though, and if you know the rules of screenplay writing you can easily guess how it’s going to come out. That would be OK for a summer movie, except that Marshall sets up premises and then blatantly deviates from them in order to get to a predetermined conclusion. Plus, for the story to work you have to side with the invading Romans instead of asking why they don’t just go back to where they came from. Of course that’s not how empires are built, but a film that casts the imperialist aggressors as heroes is a hard sell — it’s sort of like making a film about heroic Nazis and expecting it to play in Poland.

In Marshall’s defense, the idea is that you will root for the endangered band of brothers and not consider the larger scheme of things, and he does make the Roman brass so despicable that the soldiers look heroic by comparison. But on the whole, I’d say he should go back to werewolves and leave the historical epics in peace. | Sarah Boslaugh
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:32 pm

http://crabhoward.blogspot.com/2010/09/empire-strides-back.html

Thursday, 2 September 2010
The Empire Strides Back
DVD Review: CENTURION
15 – 93mins – 2010
Written by: Neil Marshall
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Ulrich Thomsen, Noel Clarke, David Morrissey, JJ Field, Liam Cunningham, Riz Ahmed, Imogen Poots, Ryan Atkinson
______________________________

Following the stellar double whammy of Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005) – not to mention a near messianic level of admiration from Total Film magazine – it is a surprise to me that writer and director Neil Marshall’s subsequent releases (2008’s Doomsday and this year's Centurion) have been released to little fanfare. Indeed, Centurion’s cinema release must have been so limited it totally passed me by!

Sticking with his trusted blueprint of pitting an ever-diminishing band of heroes against a much larger and seemingly unconquerable enemy, Marshall here swaps the supernatural for the quasi-historical – although we’re still very much in his comfort zone of Scotland (Marshall’s beloved homeland and locale for all his previous films), even if it is known as Caledonia back in 117 AD.

Turning the tables on our expectations and favouring the invaders of the sword-slashing, armour-donning Roman Empire over the native, spear-throwing, warpaint-wearing Celtic Picts, Marshall mines the ambiguous legend of the ill-fated Ninth Legion (which was the film’s working title) for gritty, battle-heavy action/thriller gold.

According to historians (and lazy researcher’s best friend, Wikipedia), the 4,000 strong Roman legion marched into Scotland and just disappeared, never to be heard from again... Marshall creatively surmises that the military failure was wiped from the history books to keep the Roman governor of Britannia's record untainted, after a Pict sect lead by a mute, vengance-fuelled warrior (Olga Quantum of Solace Kurylenko) slayed the invading army for murdering their chief's (Ulrich The World Is Not Enough Thomsen) young son (Ryan Atkinson). Lovely chaps.

Yet here we are, siding with the pillaging Roman's, whose motley crew of seven Everyman survivors – lead by centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Hunger Fassbender) – first march north to rescue their captured commander (Dominic 300 West) from the Pict settlement, then head south (via the west, naturally: tactics, people!) to the supposed safety of their fortified garrison. It's a simple plot unburdened by too much character detail.

What Centurion does offer a lot of, however, is walking. Even when the two forces aren't walking towards one another, they're chasing after one another, weapons in hand and revenge in their eyes. And when the chase is up, they're fighting one another. Relentlessly. You see, Centurion also offers a grandiose amount of fighting, and Marshall doesn't skimp on the more spectacularly savage money shots. Many a head is separated from body, eye gouged out and limb hacked off – and we see every bloody strike and slash.

Away from the blistering action, the film’s washed out blue-grey palette, coupled with its misty woodland-shrouded landscapes and swooping aerial views of the Scottish Highlands, lend Centurion an epic and atmospheric quality similar to the obviously comparable Gladiator (2000). Although Neil Marshall's brisk and slimline 93 minute sprint will not remain as iconic as Ridley Scott's drawn out marathon, Centurion does deliver exactly what you would expect from a genre piece carrying the tagline "Fight or Die".

CR@B Verdict: Grisly, grimy and with gallons of gore, Centurion may not be perfect but what it lacks in brains it more than makes up for in brawn: Neil Marshall’s latest is a straight-up slice of hardcore popcorn entertainment.

3/5
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:33 pm

http://mrleecurtis.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/centurion-review/


September 2, 2010 / mrleecurtis
Centurion Review

What have the Romans ever done for us?

The UK Film Council (UKFC) was set up by the Labour government in 2000 to promote the UK’s film industry. Famed producer David Puttnam regarded it as “a layer of strategic glue that’s helped bind the many parts of our disparate industry together”. The majority of its funding was through The National Lottery and among hundreds of releases was Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006) and Shane Meadows phenomenal This Is England (2006). In July, this year, it was sadly announced that the UKFC would be abolished. Unfortunately this may have a large effect on the quality and amount of UK films being produced.

Centurion, according to the Internet Movie Database, was written, directed and edited by Neil Marshall. This seems a lot for one man to embark upon, but it is in fact the fifth time he has taken such control over his films. His films include Doomsday (2008), The Descent (2005) and Dog Soldiers (2002) and what links them all is violence.

Centurion is no different. The violence in Centurion is often over the top, but it is however, not mindless. Marshall manages to find countless ways to dismember, disembowel and decapitate characters. This extreme violence lends itself to innovative cinematography and top class editing. With all this action and extreme violence it’s really not surprising that Marshall has overlooked the script.

After a surviving a Pict raid on a Roman fort Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) joins forces with the Ninth Legion to conquer northern England. After a devastating attack by the Pict a small pocket of soldiers attempt to rescue their lost leader General Virilus (Dominic West).

This may seem quite encouraging, but what lies beneath is a simple “cat and mouse” plotline. After the crippling loss of most of the Ninth Legion they feel the wrath of superhuman tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko) who seeks revenge for the abuse she suffered at the hands of Roman Centurions. Kurylenko’s performance is by far the best part of this rather disappointing film. Marshall described her character as “revenge incarnate. Her family were butchered by the Romans, she had her tongue cut out by the Romans, she’s had a hell of a time and she’s out for Roman blood [...] She sees very well and hears very well: she is an animal!” He couldn’t be more right.

Centurion is not quite good enough for the last hoorah that the UK Film Council deserves so hopefully a more appropriate film will be released to fulfil this task before the UKFC is abolished. Centurion is an entertaining 97 minutes in terms of action, but don’t expect anything more; 5/10.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:58 pm

http://woman.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2851

Centurion: An Epic Chase Adventure
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 Posted in Entertainment - Movies
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Movie Review: Centurion

It’s AD 117, and the Roman Empire stretches far across multiple continents. However, there is a group of skilled savage warriors called Picts in northern Britain who have been holding steadfast, unwilling to succumb to advancing Roman soldiers. Their latest massacre, a brutal gory ambush, left a lone survivor, Quintus Dias (the fabulous Michael Fassbender, who you may have previously drooled over when he was a shirtless soldier in 300). He is taken captive and tortured, eventually he escapes, only to escape and find himself willingly going back at the scene of his incarceration with the infamous Ninth Legion, led by General Virilus (The Wire’s Dominic West). In order to not give too much away, let’s just say Quintus is not the luckiest Roman soldier in the Empire, but he certainly is a fighter.

In essence, Centurion is an epic chase film. Quintus goes onto lead a crew of Roman soldiers who are being stalked by a fierce female huntress who has wolf-like tracking instincts (beautiful Bond former girl Olga Kurylenko). There’s stunning landscape scenery, bloody slaughter scenes, and even an unnecessary romance. All in all, Neil Marshall (who wrote and directed The Decent, one of the best horrors of late) did a good job at creating an engaging world with characters you could cheer (and sometimes boo) for.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:01 pm

http://palimpsest.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=4436

Centurion
Neil Marshall is a director who seems desperate to hold on to his cult. In his quest to become…I don’t know…the next John Carpenter(?) he has a tendency to slide back two steps for every three he’s gained, and as an intermittent fan of Marshall’s (at this point, I don’t think anyone is more than an intermittent fan, but then again we’re only four films in – the day is young) I’m becoming a bit frustrated. Marshall refuses to take off -- in that he's not using them as a springboard -- completely from his past successes, but, still, at least he is taking off -- in the sense that he's leaving them in his rearview -- from his past failures.
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It all began with 2002’s Dog Soldiers, Marshall’s on-the-cheap werewolves vs. the Army film, which was considered good enough by some to get this whole cult business going. I wasn’t on board, myself, though at this point I don’t remember the movie well enough to offer up any kind of strong objections (the fact that Dog Soldiers has almost completely fled my memory might be considered damning enough, if I wasn’t the one saying it, because my memory’s shot). But next up, Marshall offered the world The Descent, a highly effective, at times even torturous, in the good sense, horror film about caves, female spelunkers, and blind, shrieking, underground monsters. It’s an excellent film, about which I won’t say too much at this time – for now it’s enough to note that the Marshall cult was ready to get this show on the road, and that Marshall seemed perfectly willing to lay his cinematic influences bare, in The Descent quoting liberally from, for instance, Kubrick’s The Shining, among others. This was all fine by us, until Doomsday, Marshall’s next film, came along, and struck the world as basically Escape from New York and The Road Warrior, but bad. Not terrible, and in fact, for my money, sort of fun, but about as empty as such fun can be. Doomsday’s debt to The Road Warrior is especially immense, to the point where you can’t say, as you could with The Descent, that Marshall was quoting his influences – this was plagiarism.
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Needless to say, the Marshall cult began to lose a lot of its verve and enthusiasm at around this point. When the object of a cult begins, with only his third film, to flaunt his lack of creativity and show signs that he is not, in fact, in the filmmaking business, but rather the recycling business, the acolytes tend to start standing around, scratching their necks and kicking the dirt, filled with a dread that this may not have been such a hot idea after all. Such doubts tend to be fleeting, however, and why shouldn’t they be? At worst, Doomsday and The Descent cancel each other out (Dog Soldiers counting as sort of an introduction, an announcement of potential, more than anything else), and there’s no reason to not hold out hope for Marshall’s next film. Maybe if he could come up with a movie title that began with a letter other than D, he’d really be on to something.
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Which brings us to Centurion (that’s a C! Which is only one letter back from D, but that’s okay, you don’t have to be a world-beater every time). And we’re left with what? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s better than Doomsday, not least because, as far as I can tell, it’s a whole hell of a lot less derivative. The story, briefly, is about Quintos Dias (an excellent Michael Fassbender), a former gladiator and now Roman soldier, who is stationed in Britain, which he and all the other Romans are trying to conquer. (Let's get this out of the way: if you go to Centurion expecting or hoping to see parallels with current events, you will find them. However, you might have a more difficult time trying to make the film conform to whatever your own politics might happen to be. And I'm cool with that.) Dias's initial platoon, or whatever, gets massacred by the dreaded Picts, and Dias, because he can speak their language, is taken captive. He escapes, however, and is taken in by the Roman ninth infantry, led by General Virilus (Dominic West). Except they're also massacred, due to the double-dealings of a Pict tracker and double agent named Etain (Olga Kurylenko, whose make-up and costume as Etain causes her to bear more than a passing resemblence to Lee-Anne Liebenberg as Viper in Marshall's Doomsday; it's probably worth mentioning that Liebenberg was the most striking feature of that entire film), a now-tongueless victim of past Roman misdeeds whose head is filled with thoughts of vengeance. So Virilus is taken prisoner, and it turns out seven of his infantry survived the massacre, including Dias, and soon a rescue mission is under way, which goes badly, and soon we're in escape mode. It's all very effective and thrilling. .

It’s also very lean. One thing about all of Marshall’s non-Doomsday films is that they tell very simple stories, with Marshall focusing his energy on craft, mood, tension, and all that other stuff. Doomsday was too busy by half, and to give you an idea of how far on the other end of the scale Centurion can be located, consider that it’s a story about ancient Rome, honor, combat, betrayal (and I guess also identity, if you want to be one of those people), yet it clocks in at 97 minutes, with credits. When was the last time that happened? Such films tend to have a minimum run-time of two and half hours. But Marshall gets all the same stuff in there as his swollen brethren do, and he doesn’t really short-change anything. What isn’t needed is gone. If, in short fiction, it’s vital that you don’t waste words, in filmmaking it’s often equally vital that you don’t waste seconds, and Marshall doesn’t.
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What Marshall also doesn't do, however, is good blood. And let's be honest: this is a blood movie. Like Braveheart and 300 before it, Centurion is a grand, blood-and-thunder, skull-crushing decapitation festival. It tells an interesting story, has swell acting, and all that, but its primary reason for being is to drench everyone in viscera. I don't know about you, but that's plenty okay with me -- the problem is that practical gore effects, of the kind used in Braveheart, seem to be going to the way of stop-motion animation, at least for now, and in Centurion what you see a lot of are swords and such arcing down into the unfortunate torso or head of a doomed Roman or Pict, and then a smear of what appeared to me to be MS Paint, red, on the spray-paint option. This is fairly distracting, and unnecessary, and all around a bad choice.
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But it's not ruinous. It's just a very strange blunder, one that, to me, kept 300 from ever achieving a level beyond "curiosity" (although that movie has a number of other issues) but here just keeps Centurion from being a slam-dunk, albeit one of modest ambitions. The film still represents Marshall back on solid ground, though; closer to the heights he reached with The Descent (pun!), still scrambling a bit to fully get back there, but comfortable at least with the fact that Doomsday is, for now, behind him.

3 1/2-5
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:12 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/centurion,1163029/critic-review.html#reviewNum1

Critic Rating: 1/5

A poor excuse for violence
By Ann Hornaday
Friday, September 3, 2010

The terrific Irish actor Michael Fassbender delivered an electrifying breakthrough performance as IRA activist Bobby Sands in the 2008 movie "Hunger," but he's probably more familiar to people who saw his debut in "300," that pulpily delicious celebration of manflesh and ancient Greek history. A supernaturally pumped-up, square-jawed Fassbender returns to those roots in "Centurion," which finds him playing yet another soldier, this time a Roman, fighting Pict tribesmen in 2nd-century Britain.

Like "300" and "Braveheart" before that, "Centurion" uses its historical context as little more than speculative scaffolding on which to hang its true mission: to efficiently cram as much gnashing, gashing and arterial bloodletting as possible into an hour and a half. Written and directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), "Centurion" bears the high-contrast, de-saturated tones that so many filmmakers are using these days to depict ancient times, the better to make its rivers of red blood run even more visibly.

Wielding axes, spears, swords and their own unbreakable fists, the ruthless Romans engage the equally savage Picts in skirmishes that routinely end in beheadings, disarmings and random acts of running-through. The proceedings would be utterly without interest were it not for the stellar cast Marshall has enlisted, which in addition to Fassbender features David Morrissey and Dominic West. Onetime Bond girl Olga Kurylenko plays a smoky-eyed Pict tracker who smolders wordlessly as she pursues the small band of Romans led by Fassbender's redoubtable fighter; Imogen Poots plays an unlikely love interest, a witch whose tribal identity doesn't stop her from succumbing to his irresistible integrity, bravery and charm.

Ritualistic and reductive, "Centurion" wraps itself in talk of duty and honor, but really it's just another cinematic death-trip. Fans of big-screen video games might dig it, but for the rest of us -- even Fassbender's most devoted fans -- it's the Picts.

Contains sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and profanity.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:36 pm

http://www.emorywheel.com/detail.php?n=28583

‘Centurion’ Delivers Thrills, Skims on Plotting
By Jareen Imam Posted: 09/02/2010

The battle of Roman conquest hits the big screen with riveting action scenes and jaw dropping landscapes in “Centurion,” directed by Neil Marshall (“Doomsday”). Germanic guerilla fighters come head to head with Roman soldiers in this high impact war movie, but all the sword-wielding glitz may be as deep as this period piece gets.

Set during a time when the Roman Empire stretched from Egypt to Spain, the film
opens with the Roman army treading into the outskirts of northern Britain in an attempt to complete their empirical domination.

However, they find resistance in a group of deadly, guerilla warriors called Picts. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender, “Inglorious Basterds”) is the sole survivor of a Pict massacre, treads back into the war zone with Roman General Virilus (Dominic West, “From Time to Time”) only to be ambushed by the Picts in the unfamiliar wilderness.

With a captured general and a decimated legion, Quintus must fight to save his general and the few remaining Roman soldiers that are deep inside enemy lines.

The film thrives off the survival of a splinter group of Roman soldiers who try desperately to make their way back home.

Cloaked behind fantastic scenery and beautiful camerawork the film is visually breathtaking when it comes to the landscape.

The movie’s high impact action is concentrated in its violent fight scenes, which are definitely adrenalin-packed. The film does a great job portraying brutal action with its spraying blood and rolling heads.

Despite the action scenes, the movie never really reaches its full dramatic potential. From the beginning, the movie’s twists are easily decipherable, and as far as story development goes, the plot is as dry and predictable as the characters themselves.

One of the major characters in the movie, Etain — a blood-thirsty Pict warrior played by Olga Kurylenko — is as shallow as the film’s minor characters. Etain’s tragic past is an interesting lead-in to her character, but unfortunately the film portrays her as a crazed female hunter pent on seeking vengeance, which is just too predictable.

Much like Etain, there are instances in “Centurion” where characters seem to come alive with a glimmer of personality, but those moments never manifest into anything remotely substantial.

Quintus Dias, the lead character in the film, is also tremendously dull, which is a big problem since the plot rests heavily on his character. He offers a voice-over narration throughout the film, which was probably intended to help explain his perspective of the Picts to film-viewers, but instead, the voice-overs are simply distracting. In the end, it is easy for viewers to assume that Quintus Dias is nothing more than a textbook solider because of the way the film portrays him.

These superficial characterizations are ultimately the downfall of “Centurion.” While the story is packaged as a dramatic fight for survival, the film’s relentless fight scenes prohibit the viewer from maintaining any form of emotional attachment with the characters.

The moviegoer is plugged into a world where blood and gore take precedent over character development. Without interesting characters, viewers are left with fight scene after fight scene, watching as an endless line of massacred characters.

Although the dialogue and plot development lack intricacy, the few lines offered by the characters provide humor, which is a welcomed relief from the heavily chaotic war.

Some unexpected moments of comedic relief definitely generate some chuckles, like when Quintus Dias is accidentally caught peeing into the river where the banished witch, Arianne (Imogen Poots, “Solitary Man”), fishes for her breakfast.

Ultimately, the movie’s fight scenes and cinematography are entertaining, and the overall plot is clear and easy to understand, even in the bloodiest of moments .

What “Centurion” lacks in words, it makes up for with its hellishly cut-throat fight scenes. With impaled bodies and gushing blood, it might be a little easy to lose track of the living, but it surely will be a guessing game you’ll want to stick around for till the end.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:38 pm

http://www.rantrave.com/Rant/Film-Review-Centurion.aspx

Rant Film Review: Centurion

Written by
Ian Forbes
San Diego, CA
Do you like gladiator movies? Well, this isn't one of them but I just felt like lightening the mood before I talk about how disappointed I was upon exiting a screening of "Centurion". The film comes from writer/director Neil Marshall whose previous films were "The Descent", "Dog Soldiers" and "Doomsday". Each have a particular charm, involve a decent amount of violence, and start with the letter 'D'. And to no surprise, he hasn't changed up his formula of pitting a horde of barbarians/creatures against a small, desperate cadre.

This time around, it's a handful of Roman soldiers trying to escape the Picts (Celtic tribes who banded together to keep Britain (specifically Scotland) free of foreign rule). There are countless hacks and slashes along the way, cutting deep into flesh, if not removing heads entirely. Clearly, Marshall wants to keep the fake blood industry from going under. The key difference (other than time period and setting) between this and his other films is that the title starts with an entirely different letter of the alphabet and perhaps Marshall derives his power from 'D' like Samson did from his hair; because "Centurion" simply doesn't work.

The basic premise of the film allows for two directions: non-stop brutality and action, or an insightful exploration of the hardships incurred by the fleeing Roman soldiers (maybe with some decent fights along the way). Marshall tries for both, and in the process, fails to hit either mark.

He had a good cast, which included Michael Fassbender and Dominic West as two of the Romans. Each do what they can but are hamstrung by a lackluster script which never allows the audience to fully invest in the characters. Sure, it's clear that they're running for their lives but at no point do we care who gets killed, or when, or why. Even the action could have been shot so much better, as most scenes are confusing and leave us wondering exactly who is getting skewered; in the big epic battle, the rhythm and edit of swords slicing into people was so constant and repetitive I thought there was a dance remix going on.

Perhaps the only bit of film that could be classified as interesting is Olga Kurylenko in the role of a tracker/skilled killer. She rides around on horseback, wielding a spear and lacks the ability to speak thanks to the loss of her tongue to a Roman blade. This may sound a bit corny, and it is, but what I loved was the stirred memory of the Cyclops from "Krull" (a very bad fantasy film I watched too many times as a kid). So whenever Kurylenko goes riding around, I got to chuckle to myself, sadly sparking the most neurons in my brain as the film otherwise lumbered along to its inconsequential ending.

I will give Marshall credit for utilizing the Scottish landscape well, capturing some very beautiful areas. Also, the folks behind the opening titles made more believable 3D (in a 2D film) than I saw in all of "The Last Airbender". However, that's not nearly enough to base a recommendation for the film on and I can only manage a 2 out of 5 for "Centurion". If you've liked any of Marshall's previous work, you're far better off re-watching one of them than spending the cash to catch this in theaters.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:38 pm

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100903/ENTERTAINMENT/709039948

Published Friday September 3, 2010
Review: 'Centurion' budget funded gore

By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Remember “300,” that sword-and-sandal gorefest in which Gerard Butler and his homoerotic Spartan warriors took on invading Persians in ancient Greece? Its hallmark was striking visuals and spurting blood, though they were obviously fake.

Substitute invading Romans in northern England, take away the homoeroticism and most of the visual distinction, keep the extreme gore and shift your sympathies to the invaders instead of the defenders.

There, you have “Centurion.”

In other words, you don’t have much beyond the gore and the landscape.

“Centurion” spends a small fortune on grisly visual effects. Bash a head against a tree, and it spurts a sort of reddish brown mud through the air in gooey globs. Sever a limb, and webs of bright red blood waft through the ever-misty air before they pretty up a drab landscape with little splashes of color.

But the makers of this movie failed to spend any money on the writing. British director Neil Marshall’s screenplay overflows with overblown, noble-sounding claptrap like this from a Roman general:

“My bones ache for Rome. This place is the graveyard of ambition.”

Or this from our hero:

“These men are the best I’ve ever seen. Am I worthy to lead them?”

Or this to describe a mute villainess (Olga Kurylenko) consumed by her hate for the invaders and by a need for too much black eyeliner:

“Her soul is an empty vessel. Only Roman blood can fill it.”

It’s all too ridiculous to be taken half as seriously as it takes itself.

Set in 117 A.D., the movie begins at the end of a 20-year stalemate between the Romans and the local Pict tribesmen. The Picts fight a guerrilla war (as in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam, get it?) to humble their mighty foes.

Rome decides the stalemate must end. The Ninth Garrison hires the she-devil as a tracker of Picts, and she leads them into a trap in one of the movie’s best-staged battle scenes. Giant fireballs smash through a forest toward soldiers standing like bowling pins, and then a general slaughter ensues.

A few ragtag survivors, now far behind enemy lines, band together to try to reach safety. The bulk of the movie is a chase, with the she-devil tracker pursuing like Joe LaForce in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and the hunted leaping off cliffs as they’re picked off one by one.

Imogen Poots isn’t too bad as a pretty recluse accused of being a witch. She becomes a predictable, last-minute love interest.

Michael Fassbender and Dominic West are the only male characters developed enough to tell them apart from the rest. They’re decent actors lost in a maelstrom of wretched excess and testosterone overload.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:40 pm

http://clatl.com/screengrab/archives/2010/09/03/film-clips-this-weekends-movie-openings-and-more

CENTURION 3 stars (R) In Great Britain circa 117 A.D., invading Roman soldiers (including Dominic West and Michael Fassbender) face devastating guerrilla tactics from the native Picts. Neil Marshall, director of The Descent and Doomsday, makes the most of gritty period detail, startling violence and a Fassbender’s commanding performance, but Centurion’s apparent terror of strong women (who turn out to be the most memorable villains) overshadow its political metaphors for Vietnam and any country that ever invaded Afghanistan. — Holman
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:51 pm

http://wehatehollywood.com/?p=1678

Centurion
Posted by paul On September - 3 - 2010

CenturionWritten and directed by Neil Marshall
Starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, JJ Field, Liam Cunningham, Imogen Poots
Rated R for violence and profanity
Debuted on HDNet and is available in limited release
Rating - 2 bullet holes

Neil Marshall is no stranger to gore. His first film, 2002’s Dog Soldiers, was a take on the werewolf genre that was actually pretty effective for a low budget film. 2005 put him on the map with The Descent, easily one of the best horror movies of the past 20 years. He followed that up with 2008’s deliriously bloodied John Carpenter homage Doomsday. Now he has rolled out Centurion, a blood-soaked Gladiator-ish epic featuring lots of swords, Romans, wolves, and his interpretation of what happened to the Ninth Legion.

The time is 117 A.D. Rome is invading Britain and pushing northward. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender - last seen in Inglourious Basterds), a centurion in the Roman army, is one of the few survivors of an attack at his garrison in Scottish Highland by Picts, a confederation of Celtic tribes who are fighting to push Rome out of their country. He is taken prisoner, escapes, and meets up with the Ninth Legion led by General Titus Virilus (Dominic West of “The Wire”). Virilus is beloved by his men, not a common characteristic of a Roman general. When the Ninth Legion is the victim of a particularly savage ambush by Picts, a large majority of their force is killed and General Virilus is taken hostage. Dias and six other men set out to rescue him. Saving General Virilus if you will.

After that rescue attempt, the remaining men flee for their lives while being pursued by a band of Picts led by the tenacious Etain (Olga Kurylenko) who is mute and appears to have the soul of a rabid wolf. All she lives for is spilling Roman blood. In fact, 90% of Centurion is a chase movie. And, on that level, it is pretty entertaining to watch these men sprint across beautiful landscapes (great helicopter cinematography from Sam McCurdy) while dodging the Picts, cliffs, and animals.

What bothers me about Centurion is that there is really nothing new here. We’ve seen similar sword violence in Braveheart, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and countless other blood-soaked films. We’ve seen similar pursuits in better films such as Apocalypto. One element I do admire that is different here is who the protagonists are. Here is the gigantic land-swallowing empire of Rome whose occupation force are the protagonists, and the home team are the villains. I like how Dias begins to realize the folly of what his homeland is doing. Marshall seems to be making some obvious correlations to the occupation of Iraq by America and his home country of England.

We also don’t get a real sense of these characters. For a movie of this style to be truly effective, you need to feel a strong camaraderie between the protagonists. It just isn’t here.

Another big gripe is the use of CGI blood. I refuse to budge on this point about modern cinema. If you can’t do CGI blood and make it look real, then stick to squibs. CGI blood is killing action movies. It works in something like 300 because that film was stylized and over the top intentionally. But with something like Centurion, all the effects do is take me out of the moment and piss me off.

So, Centurion might be a decent rental. Aside from the ridiculous blood effects, there is some serious carnage going on here that will give you action seekers a smile.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:52 pm

http://whatwouldtotowatch.com/2010/09/03/centurion-movie-review-toto/


‘Centurion’ – Swords, sandals and sutures

September 3, 2010

Centurion Michael Fassbender

Director Neil Marshall must have watched movies like “Gladiator” and thought, I’d love to make an epic like that.

And, of course, bring all the blood and entrails he splashed across the scene in his signature hit, “The Descent.”

“Centurion,” playing in theaters nationwide as well as via Video on Demand services, is like Roman history written with red ink.

The film doesn’t feature battle sequences – they’re like Anatomy & Physiology courses for the laymen.

In between, Marshall tells a crisply efficient story but gets bogged down in a saga without a moral compass.

Michael Fassbender stars as Quintus Dias, a Roman soldier fleeing from the guerilla armies he’s meant to eradicate. Seems the Roman Empire of the era just wasn’t big enough, so it’s spent the last 20 years trying to wipe out a hearty band known as the Picts.

But those Picts know how to draw the enemy out and beat them soundly time and again, one reason why Quintus is seen in full retreat as the movie opens. He eventually teams up with a Roman regiment lead by a fiery general (Dominic West).

The Romans get their clocks cleaned during one well staged ambush, leaving Quintus and a few other stragglers alive and the general in the enemy’s hands. So Quintus leads a rescue mission to save the general, but he’ll have to maneuver behind enemy lines to do so.

“Centurion” offers a bloody good fight scene every 15 or so minutes, shrewdly coordinated battles that don’t rely on quick camera cuts or other annoying tics. That’s great, but it’s really just to show us the limbs being lopped off by those sharp axe blades. This might be the bloodiest Roman epic ever told, and while it can lead to some visceral stirring sequences the overall impact soon grows tired.

There are shades of political commentary if you go searching for them, what with talk of endless wars and an imperial nation going where it doesn’t belong. But given the spirit of the enterprise it’s hard to see Marshall as having an axe to grind. He’d rather plunge said axe into a soldier’s head and zoom in for a close up.

“Centurion” is ultimately an anti war film, a look at the folly of armed conflict. That message comes out in a drip, drip drip approach that coalesces during the film’s waning moments.

The story unfolds in variations of gun-metal gray, the preferred palette for medieval fare, and some sweeping camera moves imply an epic is being told. But the dialogue is both banal and blistering – blame HBO’s “Deadwood” for spiking genre fare with thoroughly modern cuss words.

Fassbender is a mesmerizing actor, and he needs to be since his role here is hardly an actor’s paradise. Marshall had much better luck giving us heroines to cheer on in “The Descent.” Here, the collective bravery of Quintus’ men is the main character.

“Centurion” is muscular and unrelenting, a film that thinks character development is for sissies and would rather get on to the next series of mutilations.

(Photo: Michael Fassbender plays a Roman soldier on the run in “Centurion.”)
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