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Centurion reviews 2

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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:40 pm

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/reviews/review-centurion.php

Review: Centurion
Movie Review By Rob Hunter on August 27, 2010

Director Neil Marshall has had somewhat a hit or miss career so far even if he has only made four movies. Dog Soldiers made a mild splash with genre fans back in 2002, but his follow-up, The Descent, quickly became a horror classic thanks to some truly frightening and claustrophobic scares. Then came 2008′s festering pile of rehashed feces, Doomsday. So… good, great, abysmally bad. Where will his latest land?

It’s 117 AD and the Roman Empire is spreading across the globe like the bird flu. Families, villages, and nations are left quivering in their wake… everywhere except Northern Britain. There they face a fierce resistance from the Picts who fight using unfamiliar guerrilla tactics to hold the Romans at bay for two decades. Rome sends General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) on a mission to attack and wipe out the Picts with the mighty Ninth Legion under his command, but the plan falls apart when they’re quickly decimated in a well orchestrated ambush. Now a handful of survivors, including Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and in a desperate struggle to return home.

Centurion opens with Dias bound, shirtless, and running for his life across a frozen tundra, and that pretty much sets the stage for the rest of the movie as one big chase. We flashback two weeks to Dias’ post at Rome’s northernmost garrison. He’s already feeling philosophical about a life devoted only to combat. “This is a new kind of war,” he tells a fellow soldier “a war without honor, without end.” Cue the Pict assault! The fortress is defeated, Dias is captured, and soon he’s running half-naked in the snow.

Those looking for a historical take on the mystery of the Ninth Legion should enter with caution here because, and this is not a criticism, this is an action movie. Period. Thankfully it’s a kick ass action movie filled with heads and limbs lopped off, impaled torsos, sword fights, balls of fire, a bloody eye-gouging of an otherwise attractive lady, and more. This is seriously one bloody as hell movie, and the combat scenes are glorious in their brutality. Marshall knows how to shoot action, both large scale and small, and the combat scenes are well-choreographed mash-ups of metal and flesh. Adding to the overall effect is fantastically wet sound work that helps make the bloodletting even more of a joy to the senses.

As fantastic and brutal as the non-stop action is though Marshall unfortunately chose to go the digital blood route for much of it. CGI splashes paint the screen, but thanks to sharp and fast editing most of it blends in and avoids knocking the viewer out of the movie. Once in while though the effect is so egregious that you just may spit in disgust. One example being an early scene with Dias’ chest being sliced… it looks ridiculous enough that I’d suggest getting lost in Fassbender’s eyes during the scene instead of watching the sword tip.

The cast is solid all around, but they’re not really given much to do aside from hack, slash, and chatter. Fassbender and West are interesting actors, and both are very physical performers too which works to the film’s advantage here. As good as they are at the fisticuffs and sword-clanging though they’re both out-shined by a pair of gorgeous female warriors. Etain (Olga Kurylenko) is the mute tracker hellbent on an unknown revenge, and Aeron (Axelle Carolyn) is the Pict who can speak but prefers to get her point across with sharp weapons and a murderous intensity.

Brief breaks in the action allow time for slight attempts at characterization and back story. Narration from Dias hints at a subtle respect for the enemy that does a fairly good job of equalizing the playing field in the viewers’ minds. This isn’t a tale of good versus evil, but instead one of individuals caught up in clashes bigger than they are. An outside character is introduced in the form of a young woman ostracized by both sides of the conflict (and played by the wonderfully named Imogen Poots). She represents the closest thing to a “right side” there is in the film and along Dias’ journey. More time should have been spent with her for the effect to feel more natural, but the effort is appreciated.

Centurion accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and that’s entertain. Marshall has made his best looking film to date with help from some stunning Scottish landscapes serving as backdrop to the gritty and visceral action unfolding onscreen. The story is light, and attempts to strengthen it with narration from Dias and a minor love story late in the game aren’t completely successful. His character still isn’t as three dimensional as he should have been, but it’s enough for the task at hand which is to be the viewer’s envoy into a world of death, brutality, and honor. Just not always in that order…

Centurion is currently playing in limited theatrical release and is also available through VOD.

The Upside: Lots of really strong action, most of it bloody and brutal; even a mute Olga Kurylenko is a fine Olga Kurylenko; interesting balance between two sides in that neither are purely good or purely evil

The Downside: CGI blood is and always will be a negative; could use more back-story on Fassbender’s character; scene at the end meant to be dramatic but character’s stupidity deflates it

On the Side: In addition to playing an ass-kicking Pict warrior in the film, Axelle Carolyn is also engaged to Neil Marshall.

Grade: B
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:41 pm

http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20100826000958

‘Centurion’ a B-movie with a hint of history

2010-08-27 18:31

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

That‘s the plot of “Centurion,” an old-fashioned quest epic set in Roman Britain. Beautifully filmed, given a lyrical lilt by virtue of a poetic voice over narration and featuring the brutal, personal and graphic violence that is today’s cinematic style, it‘s a B-movie with a hint of history to it.
Michael Fassbender (left)stars in “Centurion” an old-fashioned quest epic set in ancient
Roman Britain. (Showbox)

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Roger Moore
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:44 pm

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/weekend/20100827_Romans_vs__the_Scottish_wood-people.html

Posted on Fri, Aug. 27, 2010

Romans vs. the Scottish wood-people

By Randy Myers

Contra Costa Times

Fireballs hurtle from hillsides and slam into soldiers' shields. Axes cleave heads. Starving men gorge themselves on deer innards. Gotta be a Neil Marshall film.

As he did with Doomsday, the writer-director of cult faves The Descent and Dog Soldiers detours from horror with Centurion, a taut, gory, and thoroughly entertaining Roman soldiers vs. Scottish wood-people action flick set in the second century.

Starring the perfectly chiseled hunk Michael Fassbender, Centurion showcases many of Marshall's strengths: sweeping scenery, razor-sharp editing, symbolism of modern events, homages to other filmmakers (directors Walter Hill and Akira Kurosawa here), and a lightning-paced narrative. It also highlights the Scottish filmmaker's major weaknesses - an inability to successfully reach a satisfying finale and an overuse of gore.

But this is one exciting and efficient tale - a hearty-ho of a guilty pleasure - about a Roman soldier named Quintus Dias (Fassbender of Hunger) and his unmerry band of seven Roman cohorts battling the vicious Picts in Scotland.

Even with its slips - Quintus escapes capture without us ever seeing how; General Virilus (Dominic West of The Wire) departs the story too quickly as a Roman who ends up on the bad side of a mute, vengeance-seeking tracker (Olga Kurylenko) - anyone with a predilection for hairy Roman soldiers, bloody battles, and the aforementioned mute, vengeance-seeking trackers (that would be me) will be more than satisfied. It's not Marshall's finest hour - the werewolf-in-the-woods flick Dog Soldiers made me bay with pleasure - but Centurion is far better than many Hollywood big-budget action flicks.

Centurion **1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Neil Marshall. With Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, and Olga Kurylenko. Distributed by Magnolia Pictures.

Running time: 1 hour, 52 mins.

Parent's guide: R (strong bloody violence, grisly images, and profanity)

Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:45 pm

http://www.movieweb.com/movie/centurion/REqloWhFQGe7tz/REqloWhFQGe7tz


Centurion Poster

Centurion: Review By JamiPhilbrick

"An ambitious and epic film that mixes elements of "The Lord Of The Rings" with "300" and "Gladiator." Director Neil Marshall's visionary eye perfectly sets the tone for this blood and guts fest that features a powerhouse performance by Michael Fassbender." - JamiPhilbrick

On a whole I really admire the work of director Neil Marshall. He first busted on to the scene in 2006 with the low-budget horror film "The Descent" and then followed that up with the 2008 action movie "Doomsday." While his first movie scored with both audiences and critics alike, his second film was not as lucky and received some pretty harsh reviews. Recently that movie has achieved a bit of a cult status and I have to say that it was actually the ambitious filmmaking style of "Doomsday" that made me fall in love with Marshall as a director. Any director who would actually set out to make a film that is a hybrid of "Mad Max," "Escape From New York," "Excalibur," "The Warriors" and "The Omega Man" is alright in my book. Now the director has returned with a new film that could be considered a throwback to any of the classic mid-evil war and gladiator films of the past such as "300," "Gladiator" and "The Lord Of The Rings" series. Marshall masterfully orchestrates all of these different elements and the result is an exciting, wonderfully violent and original movie that lives up to all of the films that inspired it.

Besides drawing inspiration from classic movies of the past, Marshall has an ability to set a tone and a mood that is completely original and perfectly fits the film he is making. Everything he puts in front of the camera is specific and purposeful. Every movement, every motion, every bit of smoke and light has been beautifully managed to give the director just the right effect on screen. But it is the action in the battle scenes that is really remarkable here. It is so well choreographed and yet raw at the same time that you believe in every sword movement and kill because it looks so real. The time and painstaking detail that Marshall must have slaved over to direct those scenes is almost unthinkable. I would dare say that these scenes are even on par with classic battle sequences like in Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" or Peter Jackson's "The Lord Of The Ring" movies. While Marshall's clear vision for the movie is apparent in every camera movement, it is the strong performance of "Inglorious Basterds" breakout actor Michael Fassbender that carries the picture.

The movie begins in 117 A.D. as the Roman garrisons are struggling to contain the Picts, which are the Celtic inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands. By the orders of the Pict king, his troops are perfecting their warfare tactics by eliminating Roman outposts one by one. A Centurion named Quintus Dias (an excellent Michael Fassbender) is taken prisoner by the Pict soldiers and eventually escapes. Meanwhile, the Roman governor of Britannia dispatches the Ninth Legion to the frontlines under the leadership of General Titus Flavius (Dominic West) and a mute female Brigantine scout, Etain (Olga Kurylenko). The legion marches north and eventually encounters Dias after his escape. They soon realize that Etain has betrayed them when she leads them into a trap and all are killed with the exception of Dias and five others.

Flavius is taken prisoner and Dias and the others set out to rescue him. They are successful in making it to the Pict camp but are unable to save Flavius in time. The general orders Dias to take the remainder of his men to safety so their lives can be spared but they accidentally kill the son of the Pict leader, Gorlacon. With only Flavius left behind, Gorlacon orders him to fight Etain to the death, which she wins. The remaining soldiers venture to return home by traveling through a long detour in the mountains but Etain is hot on their trail with orders to kill in revenge for the death of the king's son. Now it is up to Dias to keep his men alive by surviving the tough terrain of the mountains and eluding the wrath of Etain in order to return home to their loved ones.

Visually the film is amazing and I really enjoyed it although it does run a little too long at points. While I think this film is not as good as Marshall's last, I do appreciate a director who is willing to take a big swing. That doesn't mean that he will always hit it out of the park but at least he is trying. The film is extremely ambitious and at points feels more like a made-for-TV movie than a theatrical release but that doesn't take away from the fun of the picture. Actor Michael Fassbender gives an exceptional leading performance and proves that he has what it takes to be a big screen movie star. The actor recently appeared in the comic book adapted film "Jonah Hex" as the villain and will soon appear in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming "X-Men: First Class" as a young Magneto, so the actor's star is certainly on the rise. Olga Kurylenko, who was seen last in "Quantum Of Solace" as a bond-girl is excellent as Etain and brings a certain mystique to her role. But it is Marshall's unique vision and understanding of this material that makes "Centurion" worth watching for any fan of the genre.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:46 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/movies/27centurion.html?src=me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENTURION

Opens on Friday nationwide.

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

WITH: Michael Fassbender (Quintus), Dominic West (Virilus), Olga Kurylenko (Etain), David Morrissey (Bothos), Noel Clarke (Macros), Riz Ahmed (Tarak), J J Feild (Thax), Liam Cunningham (Brick), Ulrich Thomsen (Gorlacon), Imogen Poots (Arianne) and Axelle Carolyn (Aeron).
A version of this review appeared in print on August 27, 2010, on page C10 of the New York edition.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:58 pm

http://www.reelsociety.com/wordpress/2010/08/27/centurion/

27Aug/100
Centurion

Review submitted by David Tredler

Film projects often come by pairs. When a producer or a director starts working on a movie, it is not that rare that another producer or director starts working on a feature sharing a similar subject. It often happens in Hollywood (Deep Impact and Armageddon), it happens in the indie world (Capote and Infamous), and sometimes it happens in Europe too.

Neil Marshall and Kevin Macdonald are two very different directors, but both directed a film about the mythical Ninth Legion of Rome last year. Macdonald’s film, entitled The Eagle, will be released in a few months, but Marshall’s Centurion has already invaded Europe, and is now upon North America. Well, when I say "invaded Europe", I exaggerate a bit, as the film wasn’t exactly a big success, and it is highly probable that The Eagle will find a bigger audience than Centurion when it is finally released.

The central character of Centurion is Quintus Dias, the only survivor of a Fort attack by Pict warriors. This is Britain, during the glorious days of Rome, when the world famous city was ruling the Mediterranean region and part of Europe. The Roman Legion is going north and north in Britain, facing the Pict people, full of fearless warriors ready to defy Rome. After surviving the attack, the centurion Quintus Dias crosses path with the Ninth Legion, reputed to be the most dangerous and feared Legion of soldiers Rome has in store. The Ninth chases the Pict enemies, before realizing – far too late – that it may be the other way around.

After tackling werewolves (Dog Soldiers), creepy cave creatures (The Descent) and futuristic cannibals (Doomsday), Neil Marshall leaves the horror and supernatural to focus on an epic adventure (some might even say action). It may be a strange change of genre, to go from the scares to the Roman Legions, but Marshall’s style is still very present, as deep down, Centurion is not such a distant cousin from Marshall’s other films. Essentially, this new film is, like the previous ones, a survival quest, a A "Run for your life!!!!" movie. Our centurion and a bunch of other soldiers quickly find themselves alone in the Britannic forests, with Pict warriors on their tails. Which is clearly the limit of Centurion, a rather pleasant adventure, but an adventure that does not really manage to go beyond a linear narration that is almost too predictable.

This is not bad cinema, but when watching it, you wonder what the director expects you to collect from his film. Probably just a nice epic that lacks ambition. Too bad, because it had a good setting and could have relied on the strong presence of quickly rising actor Michael Fassbender. Peter Macdonald’s The Eagle shouldn’t have much trouble making us forget about Centurion.

2 / 5 stars

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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:00 pm

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

Friday, August 27, 2010
Centurion

Centurion is a solid action movie bursting with kick-butt moments from beginning to end. There's no room to get bored because it's fast-paced with lots of great close contact kills (if you're into that sort of thing). It's so good, I saw it twice. Centurion is about a group of tough Roman soldiers being hunted by a relentless she-warrior (Olga Kurylenko) who's out for serious revenge. Neil Marshall directs this beautifully shot film with a well cast ensemble including Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Noel Clarke and Imogen Poots.

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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:02 pm

http://www.cinematical.com/2010/08/27/review-centurion/

Review: Centurion

by Cinematical staff Aug 27th 2010 // 1:50PM

By Scott Weinberg (reprint from 3/18/2010 -- SXSW Film Festival)

Imagine a flick like Braveheart, 300, Gladiator, or King Arthur, only those films have just been stripped of all those boring scenes about kings and princes, peasants and slaves, taxes and trades, and all that jazz. The result would be a movie that looks a lot like Neil Marshall's Centurion, a fast-paced, visually stunning, and action-heavy period piece that focuses on what matters most in a Saturday afternoon matinee: the good stuff. Boasting nary a subplot or an extraneous character to deal with, Centurion seems fully intent on delivering an old-school action adventure that tickles the eye without taxing the brain. And it succeeds on all counts.

It's the story of Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), a trusted officer in the Roman army. Following a brutal attack by the barbaric Picts (ancient Scots are what they are, I do believe), Quintus finds himself stuck deep inside an enemy village -- but not for long. Quintus' escape is aided by the last few survivors of the legendary Ninth Legion, and together the small band of soldiers must make their way to a friendly border. Not only do they have a long way to go, but they also have on their tails a tenacious group of Pict trackers, which is led by the ferociously unwavering Etain (Olga Kurylenko).

So that's it! A brief bit of monumental mayhem to kick-start the tale, just enough set-up to keep the main characters interesting, and a whole lot of escapes, chases, sword-fights, and flying arrows. (To those who may be unfamiliar with Marshall's previous films, I can warn you that Centurion is a rousingly gory affair. Those with an aversion to physical nastiness should look elsewhere.) Of course Centurion does slow down often enough to offer a few colorful character moments, but it never cuts away to a bunch of guys talking about the action from 500 miles away. This gives the flick a welcome sense of urgency; Marshall does a fine job of illustrating precisely how ruthless the "evil" Picts truly are. Even our hero and a captured Roman general (the always fun Dominic West) have no problem admitting that they're well outmatched and deep behind enemy lines.

Ever the genre fan, Marshall punctuates his action scenes with explosive geysers of blood, set against an ironically beautiful background, and with an impressive amount of attention paid to editing, timing, and orchestrating the action to its maximum effect. (There's a great sequence best described as "a chase up a mountain.") Aside from Fassbender and Liam Cunningham as a gruff veteran soldier, the five other survivors are a fairly interchangeable troop, but we're not exactly talking about a dramatic ensemble piece here; the Roman guys are suitably heroic, even if they're not exactly as colorful as a "dirty half dozen" might have been.

Michael Fassbender, however, does deliver an enjoyably effective lead hero. Not nearly as gruff and commanding as the heroes found in 300 or Gladiator, Fassbender's Quintus Dias is instead a quietly confident warrior. His butt-kicking abilities and leadership skills are undeniably evident, but his calm exterior is that of a soldier fighting to stay alive, and not one who craves an extra battle or two. Ms. Kurylenko is also quite entertaining as the inescapable tracker / warrior woman known as Etain. She has no dialogue whatsoever, but the actress has no problem conveying an insidious sense of menace. In fact, I'd say Etain is one of the coolest female movie villains we've seen in quite some time.

Whether or not Centurion is an improvement over Marshall's earlier flicks is up to the Marshall fans to decide for themselves, but I applaud the director who is willing (nay, intent!) on attacking a new sub-genre each time he touches a camera. He's like the Danny Boyle of Saturday Afternoon Matinees, and after seeing him tackle warring werewolves, claustrophobic carnage, post-apocalyptic anarchy, and now some old-school "swords and sandals" craziness, I (as always) look forward to what the filmmaker concocts next.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:09 pm

http://www.ant-network.com/centurion-film-with-a-touch-of-history/

CENTURION film with a touch of history
Free Talk | Chimera Ant | August 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

This is the plot of CENTURION movie, an epic quest to the old Roman province of Britain set. The soldier trapped behind enemy lines, history has been a favorite since Xenophon home monitoring of Greeks deep in hostile Persia Anabasis in 400 BC.

Beautifully filmed, given a lyrical cadence under a poetic voice narration and featuring the brutal personal violence and graphic, which is a cinematic style of today is a B-movie with a touch of history to it.

Michael Fassbender #Inglourious Basterds# Quintus Dias stars as a soldier we meet on the runway, through the snows of northern Great Britain. He’s bleeding. He is half naked. And the Picts, ferocious people who had not yet learned to distill Scotch whiskey, are after him.

Quintus Dias says that this has become “a new kind of war, a war without honor, without end.” Draw your own modern parallel here.

We flashback for Quintus ambushes are on the run, the fight Ninth Legion, led by a general two fists played by Dominic West of “300″. The Roman governor (Paul Freeman of -Raiders of the Lost Ark-) sends troops to -sow the earth with our dead-, and sure enough, only a handful of incompatible soldiers in an ambush survived. Quintus Dias must bring them to the border security.

Writer-director Neil Marshall (“Doomsday,” “The Descent”) cleverly anchored the film around Fassbender, who is a hero well. Marshall meets the supporting roles with strong British character players – David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham them. He contrasted against each other and surviving against the elements, and pushes troops to survive the wilds of northern Britain (the wilderness of Spain is substituted for it) with a fury.

A misstep in all this is the scout wood, played by Olga Kurylenko Bond beauty that all the hair and eye shadow and assembly which does not cover all the discomfort of riding and the brutal struggle of the first scenes. It develops in the part of ferocity – eventually. The equally lovely Imogen Poot seems like exile timber that can be friend or enemy soldiers fled.

Centurion is a B-picture, with a predictable story arc and predictable beats action. You just know they will have to jump from a cliff into a river at a given time. But it’s a darned entertaining output of a director who knows action, loves the story and does not share the fear of Hollywood period pieces that do not involve Greek gods. ***) By Roger Moore
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:25 pm

http://movieswithabe.com/2010/08/movie-with-abe-centurion.html

Friday, August 27, 2010
Movie with Abe: Centurion

Centurion
Directed by Neil Marshall
Released August 27, 2010

If you’ve seen one of the posters for “Centurion” and wondered if the clever comic book imagery meant that this was an extremely sleek, stylish, animated adventure that might break cinematic ground, think again. This brainless action blockbuster is as trite as they come, attempting to mimic “Gladiator” or the recent “Robin Hood” reboot (basically any Russell Crowe film not set in the present day) and failing miserably. And it’s not as if Michael Fassbender, who turned in masterful performances in “Inglourious Basterds” and “Fish Tank,” is no Russell Crowe. This is a film that flunks purely on its failure to offer anything in the way of either logic or intrigue.

This movie makes a mess of itself only moments after it gets started. After an admittedly energetic and exciting opening sequence, protagonist and centurion Quintus Dias, played by Fassbender, is seen running through a wintery field from his captors. His jagged and uneven escape route is very much indicative of the inanity and senselessness of the film. There’s also an unexplained obsession with gratuitous, entirely unnecessary violence. No body part is spared when it comes to gouging and horrendous, overdone displays of blood and gore are ever-present. What did people do in the olden days? From this film, it appears all they did was thought of gruesome ways of killing each other.

This is the kind of movie that has been made over and over so many times that it seems as if there’s nothing left to tell and nothing left to be discovered. This film follows the “300” model of thin plotting swapped out in favor of a meaningless excess of violence. It’s not merely the same poor interpretation of and representation of history, but also the same style of filmmaking, where stories and characters’ names pale in importance when compared with folklore and legend. A particularly pathetic villain in “Centurion” is Etain, whose horrific dye job is just as frightening as her ability to track the hapless centurions on the run from who knows what. A visit to a local witch is the obvious way to postpone inevitable conflict with this huntress, and therefore the centurions give in to their wildest imaginations in order to attempt to defeat their foes. If this explanation seems like it lacks clarity, that’s because the film is entirely devoid of intelligence. The plot in a nutshell is remarkably and even shockingly simplistic, yet 97 minutes of screen time are wasted trying to tell and make it as violent as (in)humanly possible.

F

Posted by Movies with Abe at 8/27/2010
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:25 pm

http://www.heebmagazine.com/centurion-is-reminiscient-of-that-time-the-jews-kicked-roman-ass/

Centurion is Reminiscent of That Time The Jews Kicked Roman Ass

Neil Marshall’s Centurion is the story of a band of Roman soldiers left behind enemy lines in Northern Britain (modern day Scotland) after guerilla nomads known as the Picts bring an entire legion to its knees. Led by a beefy Michael Fassbender as Centurion Quintus Dias, the film opens in 117 CE, approximately the time that the Ninth Legion disappeared from the record books, possibly at the hands of these early Scots. This nationalistic hypothesis hearkens back to an uprising that would happen only two decades later, one that got the Romans out of Britain and their asses whooped (briefly) by the Jews: The Bar Kochba Revolt.

The story goes like this: around 132 CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian decided to build a mosque, ahem… Temple to Apollo where the Hebrew temple twice stood. Without an Abe Foxman to chisel out a wordy op-ed in the Roman Post, Simon Bar Kochba came to power, kicking togas and taking names. His growing band of talmud scholars knocked an entire legion off the planet and took Jerusalem back for a brief period. Then Hadrian called in Sextus Julis Severus from Britain to send us packing, and now we all pass around blue boxes for JNF trying to put the pieces back together.

Rome was never able to take Britain. It was too far, too environmentally unstable and the natives proved tbe too good at cutting off soldiers’ heads – that’s why they get a movie and we don’t. No matter how exciting a Bar Kochba film could get, it is always going to end with the dispersion of the Jews and Rabbi Akiva’s face getting pulled off. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like a film a raving anti-Semite won an Oscar for making. What was his name?

Overall, Centurion preaches an anti-war message. By the end Quintus Dias’s fight for survival puts him at odds with both nations, a pawn stuck between conquerors and the unconquerable. He realizes he is in a losing battle on rough terrain, up against a people who have no fear of death and every reason to fight. We can draw obvious parallels to modern travails in foreign policy, but I would argue that, like any hawkish lefty might say, the film is not anti-war but anti “this war”. Heads are sliced open, bodies explode, eyeballs are poked through, arms flung in every direction; the ravages of war never looked so awesome.

There is a glory to battle, sometimes a thankless one. Much like the Bar Kochba rebellion, Quintus Dias and the men of Centurion enjoy the minor spoils of combat, staying alive just long enough to see the whole thing come apart. Even though in the end the Romans killed over half a million Jews during our uprising, the fact that they cared, and perhaps halted plans to finish the British conquest, is something we can tuck under our Diasporic pillows at night. Handing Rome its ass is a pleasure few peoples have known. As the film rolls out, we learn that Rome has more important things to concern itself with than a far off mountainous island infested with warriors. Little do audiences know they still have the Jews to worry about…

Centurion opens nationwide today.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:35 pm

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

Friday, 27 August 2010
Centurion

British writer-director Neil Marshall gave the B-class horror genre a touch of experimental class with his 8-minute debut, Combat (1999). His first full-length movie celebrated the werewolf in a nightmare for six soldiers lost in Scotland (Dog Soldiers (2002), and he won many awards for his very special-effects-ive subterranean nail-biter about real cave women, Descent (2005). Next in his black spotlight was a futuristic plague, Doomsday (2008).

He's obviously addicted to blood and violence, as his latest UK production reveals graphically. Centurion revels in the gory tale of seven 2nd-Century survivors from the Ninth Legion who must hack their way back to Roman lines through the mists, snow and moorland territory of Scotland's merciless Picts.

The long-unconquered natives had ambushed the Legion, and captured its general. He's given a Russell Crowe-ish smiling stylishness and a buffed chest by Dominic West (back from the States and 60 episodes of The Wire). His band of valiant legionnaires are led by centurion Quintus Dias, presented primly by the equally buffed Michael Fassbender (Hunger and Fish Tank). He and West had recently worked together on The Devil's Whore, a successful UK TV four-parter, giving the casting director an easy job.

As always in a band-of-brotherly plot, and appropriately for a real Roman legion, there's a rainbow of ethnic characters, including a black and Greek. Quintus was the son of a slave gladiator, articulates better than anyone else (in modern English), and is fluent in Pict. The young Pict witch who conveniently appears in the last 30 minutes to tend legionnaires' wounds also speaks the language of the Empire, which is convenient for making her a love interest for Quintus (Imogen Poots, fresh from 28 Days Later, essaying a somewhat Irish accent).

Gorlacon, the Pict leader (Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen), is also bilingual, and his fiercesome female double agent, Etain, is conveniently mute, so that Ukrainian Olga (Quantum of Solace) Kurylenko can concentrate on her Amazonian role as a nationalist tracker, archer, fast killer and woad-wearer.

Parallels can be seen between the Roman Empire's failure to subdue the Picts and modern Western empires' disasters in Vietnam or Afghanistan, and Marshall's gory screenplay includes a demonstration of ancient water-boarding. Ironically, though they triumph in the movie (forcing the Romans to retreat southwards, behind their under-construction Hadrian's Wall), the Picts lost out eventually. Their dead language is replaced by Gaelic (with subtitles in olde-styled fontes) and historians will nod merrily, noting that Latin is another defunct language.

This movie is a valiant effort, rendered watchable mainly by the sweeping, chilling photography of Scottish wildernesses by Sam McCurdy. Less appealing to gorefest lovers are the flying blood and body parts. Marshall and his SFX team seem to have employed a wild paint technique, presumably diminishing the air of reality intentionally to create a more cartoonish, less offensive representation of carnage.

Posted by barryg at 22:17
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:38 pm

http://www.shadowandact.com/?p=30162

Review – “Centurion” (Enough Pleasure To Feel Guilty About)
By Tambay, on August 27th, 2010

It opens in theaters today, in a limited release, so I’m reposting my earlier review of the film, which I caught a pre-theatrical screening of 3 weeks ago. Here ya go…

A Centurion was a commander of an army of 100 soldiers in ancient Rome – a title worn by Michael Fassbender as Quintus Dias, the only survivor of an attack on the Roman legionary fortress he commands, by the so-called “savage” Scottish Picts.

He’s captured and held prisoner, but is eventually rescued by the legion of General Titus Flavius Virilus (played well by Dominic West of The Wire fame), while on an ordered mission to seek out and exterminate the Picts, and their king, Gorlacon. However, all doesn’t go as planned when the legion is betrayed and nearly wiped out in a surprise attack by the Picts, leading to the capture of Virilus. Quintus Dias and six others survive the attack, and vow to rescue their captured general, instead of retreating to the safety of Roman jurisdiction.

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

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

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

Indeed Centurion is flowing with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:39 pm

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

‘Centurion’ Review
By Johnny Manf on August 27th, 2010 at 8:15 am
Posted in: Reviews

Centurion
Release Date – 8/27/2010 (limited)

It is AD 117 and Centurion Quintus Dias is stationed at a base for Roman soldiers. One night they are ambushed by the rival Picts who are inhabitants of the land they are currently trying to contain. Most Romans are killed but Dias is taken captive to be made an example of. He escapes and is recruited by the Ninth Legion, a deadly Roman brigade comprised of the best soldiers. The General is Titus Virilus and he takes a liking to Dias. They vow to run down the Picts that captured and tortured him. They enlist the services of a mute female tracker named Etain who leads them directly into a trap. The General is captured and now Centurion Dias must lead the remaining men to save him. This movie is pretty brutal. Blood and gore, swords and arrows. And a few fine performances by the lead actors makes this a surprisingly awesome tale of war.


Centurion

Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) plays Quintus Dias. He is a strong warrior but seems to get into trouble at every turn. Once his people are killed, the next group he attaches himself to also get ambushed and killed. The guy can’t catch a break. Well actually he can because he always seems to be one of the few survivors. Dominic West (300) plays General Virilus. I love this guy. I’ve seen him in other movies but ever since seeing him as Jimmy McNulty in The Wire, I have loved him as an actor. Once again he’s cocky, funny, and a joy to watch on screen. I’ll say it right now, Dominic West is the MAN! The final lead was Olga Kurylenko as Etain. She had no speaking lines which just added to her badassery. She was a warrior who didn’t take s$#! from any of the men. Sure, they all wanted a piece of her but don’t let her hotness fool you. She decapitates people in this movie! All three of the lead actors did a great job. Supporting characters were just there to be killed in some really violent ways.

Centurion

Writer/Director Neil Marshall has never really appealed to me before. I heard The Descent was good but I never saw it. Doomsday was a letdown, it tried to be The Running Man or Mad Max and didn’t live up to the hype. But here he went more realistic and less campy. No more demons in caves or futuristic biker gangs. This is more grounded in reality. The only real negative is period pieces like this have been done to death. Kings and Queens, Generals, Outcasts, Big sword fights, defending the castle. If you’ve seen Braveheart, Gladiator, or even Army of Darkness then you’ve seen different variations of this movie just with tailored scenes to fit a specific character. The slight differences are what made the movie enjoyable. Not to mention the serious amounts of blood and gorey deaths. That catered to my horror fan heart while satisfying my need for an epic war movie also. The summer is coming to a close but I would say this narrowly misses the Top 5 flicks I’ve seen within the last few months.

IMDB – 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes – 57%
Movie Wiseguys – 7.5/10
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:49 pm

http://www.tinymixtapes.com/film/centurion

3/5

Centurion
Dir. Neil Marshall

[Magnet Releasing; 2010]
by Anthony Cohan-Miccio

Styles: historical action
Others: The Descent, Doomsday

Links: Centurion - Magnet Releasing

After bringing us soldiers trapped with werewolves (Dog Soldiers) and spelunkers trapped with mutants (The Descent), Neil Marshall's decision to make a simple gladiator movie might seem like an aim for mainstream respectability. Sure, historians might quibble with his tale of Roman soldiers fighting an army of local tribesmen in Scotland, but it kinda sorta might have happened, right? Too bad this modicum of realism hinders one of Marshall's most prized resources: his imagination.

Centurion stars Michael Fassbender (former Inglorious Basterd, future Magneto) as the sole survivor of a Pict attack on the northwestern edge of the Roman Empire. A search party discovers him, but the Picts return to slaughter these guys as well, taking their proud-chested leader (Dominic West) hostage. A failed attempt to rescue General McNulty results in the death of a Pict kiddie — and now the Scottish warriors are really pissed.

This easy-to-grasp, "bludgeon or be bludgeoned" plot is perfect for Marshall's post-Sam Raimi sensibilities, and there's no shortage of screaming, maiming and dismembering. The cast does "soulful macho" to a T, with West in particular relishing his man's man role. But the film never subverts its familiar plot or achieves truly GIF-worthy mega-violence. Its most bravura creation, an Amazonian mute who double-crosses the Romans with sadistic relish, is identical to the Amazonian mute who rampaged through Marshall's last film, the apocalyptic fantasy Doomsday. While never as insipid as 300, a little of that film's grandeur might have raised the stakes. A gladiator epic, by hook or by crook, should at least be a little epic.

Most anyone who'd even consider seeing this movie will be entertained despite the obviousness. It's good to hear Marshall's planned World War II and Old West projects may be shelved so he can make Burst 3D, a Raimi production about a monster causing blizzard-bound victims to explode. This is one director who shouldn't be bound to plausibility.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:50 pm

http://www.hobotrashcan.com/2010/08/27/box-office-preview-august-27-2010/

Centurion

Director: Neil Marshall

Writers: Neil Marshall

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke

MPAA Rating: R

Synopsis: A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack.

Lars’ take: It’s interesting to see Romans as the underdogs. Also, Neil Marshall also has a track record of a) being good at writing in a specific genre and b) picking really, really hot foreign chicks to be in his movies. Plus, it has McNulty (Dominic West).

Joel’s take: I think this film could be good and it probably is watchable and enjoyable, but it just all seems done before. Even with the slant of having the Romans be the underdogs, it still feels like a knockoff of films like Gladiator and 300.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:57 pm

http://www.centredaily.com/2010/08/27/2173338/centurion.html

Centurion'
By RANDY MYERS
- Contra Costa Times
August 27, 2010 3:07am EDT

Fireballs hurtle from hillsides and slam into soldiers' shields. Axes cleave heads. Starving men gorge themselves on deer innards. Gotta be a Neil Marshall film.

As he did with "Doomsday," the writer-director of cult faves "The Descent" and "Dog Soldiers" detours from horror with "Centurion," a taut, gory and thoroughly entertaining Roman soldiers vs. Scottish wood-people action flick set in the second century.

Starring the perfectly chiseled hunk Michael Fassbender, "Centurion" showcases many of Marshall's strengths: sweeping scenery, razor-sharp editing, symbolism of modern events, homages to other filmmakers (directors Walter Hill and Akira Kurosawa here) and a lightning-paced narrative. It also highlights the Scottish filmmaker's major weaknesses - an inability to successfully reach a satisfying finale and an overuse of excessive gore.

But this is one exciting and efficient tale - a hearty-ho of a guilty pleasure - about a Roman soldier named Quintus Dias (Fassbender of "Hunger") and his unmerry band of seven Roman cohorts battling the vicious Picts in Scotland.

Even with its slips - Quintus escapes capture without us ever seeing how; General Virilus (Dominic West of "The Wire") departs the story too quickly as a Roman who ends up on the bad side of a mute, vengeance-seeking tracker (Olga Kurylenko) - anyone with a predilection for hairy Roman soldiers, bloody battles and the aforementioned mute, vengeance-seeking trackers (that would be me) will be more than satisfied. It's not Marshall's finest hour - the werewolf-in-the-woods flick "Dog Soldiers" made me bay with pleasure - but "Centurion" is far better than many Hollywood big-budget action flicks.

CENTURION

Grade: B-minus

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

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko

Director: Neil Marshall

Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:00 pm

http://www.visotrailers.com/centurion-review/

Centurion – Review

Aug 27, 2010

VISO Rating: 61%
VISO Recommends: Maybe checking it out OnDemand… If you care about blood more than story.

Centurion makes it’s North American theatrical debut tonight (even though it has been OnDemand now for a while, which is how we saw it). Kind of a weird distribution strategy no? Expecting people to go to the theater to see a film that is already available everywhere else? Oh well, it probably won’t matter much because it’s sadly not really worth the price of admission anyway… despite all of the talented people behind the film.

Centurion, the new film written and directed by Neil Marshall (1), is set in Roman Britain, A.D. 117 and follows Quintus Dias and the survivors of a raid on Rome’s legendary Ninth Legion (2). He must lead his few fellow survivors back through enemy territory to safety… like The Warriors (3) but in ancient times. We had pretty high hopes for this flick because it’s written and directed by Marshall and stars the amazing Michael Fassbender (Hunger), who, if you haven’t heard, will play Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr in the upcoming Matt Vaughn X:Men First Class flick. The film also features Dominic West (McNulty from The Wire… awesome) and Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), who are all pretty good in this film… it’s just the film itself that isn’t.

As with most misses at the movies go, the problem here boils down to the story. It’s just not very well written, from the on the nose dialogue to the weighty voice-over that lacks any kind of gravitas (they needed Morgan Freeman). It actually reminded me of a Vietnam War film (or at least a Vietnam parable) but set in Roman Briton. It’s also laded with cliches, from the formulaic story to the awful dialogue exchanges and sorry Mr. Eco these hundred cliches did not move us… they made us cringe repeatedly. Our favourite moment, which we will call the Shredder (4), is when Dias (Fassbender) is crawling wounded and gets covered in the falling dead bodies. After the battle, his arms pops out of the pile and he and the few survivors must begin their task… first a rather pointless journey after the General Virilus (5) and then back through Pict territory for safety.

On the bright side, this movie is filled with gore, blood and guts as the Romans and Picts fight it out and Olga Kurylenko actually stands out as believably menacing (6). It’s also quite beautiful at times with the pale blues interrupted repeatedly by the horribly CGI’d yet stunningly coloured blood splatters. Yes, beautiful blood splatters. Basically, if you’re a fan of some bloody action and don’t mind watching a story you’ve seen before with dialogue that offends the ears then this one may be for you… It just wasn’t for us.

Direction 11/20

Writing 11/20

Delivery 11/20

Cast 16/20

Visuals 14/20
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:04 pm

http://blogs.indiewire.com/spout/archives/10-movies-sold-on-their-sex-scenes/

If You Like “The Expendables” You’ll Love “Centurion”

Unless you like “The Expendables” just for the superficial aspect of the casting—for which you can just like the idea of “The Expendables” rather than the film itself—or for the guns and explosions, you fans of Sylvester Stallone’s ensemble action hit, you who’ve made it the biggest movie of August and you who’ve also rated it very high on IMDb, should love the similarly simplistic plot, lack of character development and very graphic violence of Neil Marshall’s “Centurion,” which opens in theaters this weekend. There’s plenty of blood, impaling, decapitations, that sort of stuff, and you’ll barely notice that it’s an Iraq-occupation allegory. At least as much as you ignored any political subtext in “The Expendables.” Also, the romantic bits are almost as nonexistent as in that movie. Just a bunch of guys battling other guys. And one kick-ass tracker/warrior played awesomely by rising star Olga Kurylenko. I haven’t enjoyed a mute performance from an actress this much since Samantha Morton in “Sweet and Lowdown.”

I want to write more about this movie when I have more time, but action fans go see this. Then we’ll talk about it more. Here’s a red-band trailer:
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:27 pm

http://geeksofdoom.com/2010/08/27/new-movies-this-week-which-will-you-go-see-august-27-2010/

Centurion Romans versus Celts. I feel like I already know how this one is going to play out (hint: probably badly for the Celts). Eh, maybe not. I hear this one is taken from the reverse perspective, with the Roman outposts instead besieged by Celtic guerrillas. Key element in its favor: Michael Fassbender, who we last saw in as Lt. Hicox in Inglourious Basterds. (Limited) [R |Action |1 hr. 37 min. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko]
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:39 pm

http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/82010-movie-review-centurion-an-excellent-adventure.html

8/2010) Movie Review: Centurion: An Excellent Adventure!
DateAug 27, 2010

4 Stars Review By James R. Holland

Anyone Who Enjoyed the Movie “King Arthur” Will Like This One Too

This 97-minute, R-Rated Action/War/ History/Thriller appears to be set around the time of Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 movie “King Arthur” staring Clive Owen as “Arthur” and Winona Ryder look-alike Keira Knightly as “Guinevere.” That time period was 117 AD when Rome occupied Britain. In this film, the setting is Scotland and the major players are Roman Soldiers of the Legendary 9th Legion, which was ambushed and lost to history in the deep forests and misty valleys.

The Centurion is Quintus Dias (well played by Michael Fassbender) who is the only survivor of a Pict raid and is taken prisoner by the enemy. He manages to escape and joins General Titus Flavius Vinlus who is convincingly played by Dominic West. The 9th Legion is ordered to seek out the wild tribes of Picts and destroy them once and for all so the Romans can all go back to sunny Italy. They are provided a secret weapon in the person of a mute, female Pict scout Etain played by Olga Kurylenko. She proves to be a double-agent and leads the Legion into a trap where all but seven of the legionnaires are killed and their leader taken prisoner.

The basic plot of the remainder of the motion picture is the seven survivors setting out to save their commander from his captors and then trying to escape back to their own Roman lines. It’s a thrilling chase with plenty of action and adventure for anyone. It seems like the Romans are constantly running up bare hills just above the snow line while the Picts are relentlessly tracking them on horseback.

The film has a strong, strong supporting cast. Blonde haired Imogen Poots plays a witch exiled by the Picts but also protected from being killed by them because she is cursed. Druzilla, what a wonderfully descriptive name, is played by Rachael Stirling. Axelle Carolyn is another deadly blonde female known as Aeron, a Pict hunter/tracker/archer. None of these deadly females are suitable for romancing and living to brag about it later. In fact they are more dangerous and savage than the most savage of the males in the film. And the males were as savage as could be imagined.

All of the survivors attempting to reach safety provide strong performances. This film is very well done. Both written and directed by Neil Marshall, the entire movie stays on plot and the audience will both feel the weariness of the flight, the biting cold, the fear of being caught by the pursuing savages ordered to return with their heads, and feel of the blood lust of the individual battles and skirmishes.

The make-up and costuming were important in this movie and it wasn’t for the purposes of making the females in the cast appear beautiful. It was to make them really scary looking. This is a very satisfying movie about a missing Roman Legion whose remains have only been located in recent times by historians and archaeologists. This particular story is of course, fiction, but the Roman Legions and Picts actually fought and died in the wilderness of Scotland just after the time of Jesus. This film ends just as Hadrian’s Wall and Antonine Walls were being constructed by the fleeing Romans. It’s an excellent adventure.

James R. Holland is a film editor, producer, and author--most recently of Adventure Photographer (A Bit of Boston Books/ 2009). He reviews movies exclusively for Basil & Spice. Visit James R. Holland's Writer's Page.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:46 pm

http://culture.pagannewswirecollective.com/2010/08/film-review-centurion/

There is a very interesting Pagan “anti-war” movie in Centurion, which opened today in an arts-house release in Manhattan. Set during the Roman occupation of northern Britain (what we call Scotland) in 117 CE, it intrigues as a Pagan All Quiet on the Western Front, or Platoon, or Saving Private Ryan; it should appeal to both Pagans who identify with Classical culture, as well as those who do so with Celtic (or in this case, Pictish). (Pagans who have mastered the Celtic languages may find it agreeable that the Picts’ lines are spoken in Scot Gaelic, sub-titled into English.) Fair warning, though- to sit through this movie is to endure an exceptional amount of graphically rendered, gory violence. It should be noted for two striking female characters: (1) a nigh-supernatural hunter/tracker, and a warrior-woman of Xena-like skill (if one knows Celtic mythology, one would compare her to Scathach), and (2) a Witch, a herbal healer, who lives outcast in the forest.

Warning: This way lie Spoilers-

Like the recent Valhalla Rising (which it superficially resembles), this is a Pagan movie (meaning, a movie self-consciously located within a Pagan time) that luxuriates in landscape shots. Whether fleeting over majestic, snowy clefts, or gliding through the hush of misty forest, Centurion’s camera adores Nature. Also like Valhalla Rising, the film is constantly finding new ways to mutilate the human body.

Centurion differs from Valhalla Rising in that it enjoys an intelligent script. The violence one can argue is necessary, for this is a movie that means severely to challenge any noble notions of war- save for the ferocious acts of gallantry that soldiers in the field will exhibit. We slowly become desensitized to the grotesque horror of people hacking one another to death- but a point of the film is the dehumanizing toll savage warfare will induce.

The treachery of the battlefield, as well as the heroism; the cynical reasons for which leaders will start wars which they will never fight personally; the bonding of soldiers in camp and battle; the wearying, stupefying effect of occupying a hostile foreign land, and the fierce determination of guerrilla freedom-fighters to push invaders from their territory- the exciting tale of warriors trapped behind dangerous enemy lines, trying to regain their comrades, and safety, and finally home: all are among the themes explored in this extremely literate, at times coarsely funny, at times poetic, script. (Best line: “That’s Hadrian’s big f#%@#&! plan- a wall!?”)

Centurion is timely, dealing as it does with enlisted men, thousands of miles from their home, trying to finish a brutal job imposed upon them by someone else’s idea of “empire”; as well as with a proud and angry indigenous people, defending their homeland with every covert, insurrectionary tactic that they can find. The killer of it all is the futility of it all by the end. “Rome has given up on this s$#!-hole of a country.”

“Then we fought for nothing.”

“The conquest of Britain is a lost cause- this is the graveyard of ambition.”

Two quick shots (so keep your eyes peeled) amused me. In one of the “life in the Roman military camp” sequences, a soldier is briefly seen juggling balls. Hey, I thought- a Juggler!

Then- this was cool- in the ambush scene in the woods, when the Picts trap the Romans- watch for a Pict who hurls a spear: with the Antlers of the Horned One upon his head.

For one brief moment- the Horned God was in the movie.

Pagan audiences will find interesting Etain, the Wolf-identified warrior-woman who tracks the Roman soldiers with Scathach-like prowess. (Quick- who can identify the Celtic Goddess/ Mythological figure Etain? Kudos to those who said, supernatural wife to King Midhir of the Faerey-Land.)

Also of Wiccan and Pagan interest is the Witch Arianne, who shelters and performs healing on the Romans. Accused by the Pict chieftain of Witchcraft, scarred, and exiled, Arianne harbors no good will towards her former tribes-people; fear of her “necromancy” gives her privacy, and alarm over her curses keep the Picts from entering her house. ”Witch” and “Roman” become the mutual pet-names of Arianne and the Sexy Lead Roman (Quintus), as in, “Has the Witch worked her Magick?” and, “It seems as if my life is in your hands once again, Witch.”

This is an exciting, intelligent, and well-done movie (set in a Pagan environment), with some very compelling points to make. There is an incredible amount of horrific violence- but the film’s intention is to decry warfare. Pagans who can handle screen violence, and who cannot locate this movie in a venue near them, may wish to check out Centurion on DVD.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:47 pm

http://www.nerdsociety.com/weekend-movie-roundup-exorcism-3d-edition/

Another movie released today is Neil Marshall’s Centurion. I’ve enjoyed several of his films including Dog Soldiers and Descent. Doomsday was trash but Centurion seems like it could be fun. It’s scoring with an okay 56% at Rotten Tomatoes. Centurion is about a group of Roman soldiers fighting behind enemy lines after they get decimated. Hollywood reporter liked the movie: “Unpretentious swords-and-sandals film crafts a tight survival drama out of Roman Empire lore.” while Killer Movie Reviews thought otherwise: “mixes a thoroughly honorable high-mindedness with frequent and jarring examples of torture porn”
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:49 pm

http://www.newsgage.com/your-weekend-at-the-movies-wondering-if-takers-will-be-as-good-as-taken-the-measure-the-l-magazine-new-york-citys-local-event-and-arts-culture-guide/

Centurion: Speaking of genre wallows, writer-director Neil Marshall certainly aims for the pulp-cult cheap seats with his energetic mish-mashes like The Descent and Doomsday, but that has yet to translate into much of an actual cult beyond, I assume, some enthusiastic nerds. Case in point: his 300ish knockoff rates distribution from the arthouse-sized Magnolia Pictures and not, say, Screen Gems (who are busy finally releasing Takers). Good for Magnolia for indulging in a little Eurotrash, but too bad Centurion is Marshall’s weakest movie yet, an intermittently entertaining but centerless tale of Roman warriors fighting their way back home through enemy territory (which they were previously trying to maraud). Marshall isn’t a bad action director, but Centurion feels, even more than the bonkers Doomsday, like the work of someone who likes crazy gore more than people. Also, Doomsday made good use of the poor man’s Kate Beckinsale, while Centurion makes middling use of not only the poor man’s Milla Jovovich, but the excellent Michael Fassbender. [The rich man's Tom Hardy? -Ed.] [Also as an aside can we talk for like a splitsecond about how the Olga Kurylenko character is basically Magua from probable greatest film of all time The Last of The Mohicans? -Ed. again]
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:12 pm

http://keeping-it-reel.com/2010/08/27/centurion-2010/

Centurion (2010) ***
August 27, 2010

by David J. Fowlie

written by: Neil Marshall
produced by: Christian Colson & Robert Jones

directed by: Neil Marshall

rated R (for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language)

97 min.

U.S. release dates: July 30, 2010 (VoD, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Marketplace and the PlayStation Network) August 27, 2010 (theatrical)

After seeing writer/director Neil Marshall’s last three films, I can attest without hesitation that I haven’t seen a Neil Marshall film that I didn’t like. 2008′s “Doomsday” was a raucous homage to several apocalyptic classics, 2006′s “The Descent”, a superb claustrophobic nightmare that earned Marshall the most recognition, and his feature debut, 2002′s “Dog Soldiers” was an unforgettable entry into the horror genre. All of these films are heavy on suspense and fast-action, displaying stunning visuals and just enough characterization to hook you in. The same signature elements converge in his latest release, ”Centurion”, an action thriller set during the Roman conquest of Europe during the 2nd century.

Marshall fashions an engaging fictional tale out of historical myth, covering a period of history that has received scarce documentation. We’re introduced to a bound and bloodied man, shirtless and barefoot, desperately running in a snowswept landscape. This is Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) a centurion in the Roman army, who has escaped enemy capture. He has evaded (for now) the barbaric Picts, descendants of Scotts, who are savagely defending their Northern Britain home from the grasp of the Roman Empire. His escape is short-lived though, as he finds himself back in the frenzied fray when he is sent to join General Titus (Dominic West) is ordered to trek back into Pict territory. Lead a Roman army, their mission is to find and kill Pict leader Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen), putting a stop to the decimation of Roman outposts in the area.

Their army marches into a Pict ambush, resulting in the slaughter of all but a few survivors that will eventually be known as the Ninth Legion. Dias and Titus are joined by Bothos (David Morrisey), Ubriculius (Liam Cunningham) and four other soldiers, becoming a band of brothers who fight for their lives in harsh environments. They are relentlessly pursued by a merciless group of Pict tracers, led by the mysterious Etain (Olga Kurylenko) a ferociously furious mute warrior bent on revenge. Traveling mostly on foot and navigating through challenging terrain, Dias has one goal: to keep these men alive and lead them back to safety.

“Centurion” is an ambitious film that is Marshall’s most expansive film yet in both its scope and atmosphere. There’s rarely a moment where you won’t see a character’s breath escape from their adrenalized or fatigued bodies amid the vast mountains, dense forests, and ice-cold streams. Longtime cinematographer, Sam McCurdy joins Marshall once again, slashing strokes of bludgeoning scarlet across blue and green hues. Not only is it a gorgeous film to take in, this is also Marshall’s most accessible film yet, giving fans of sword and sandal tales something to gnash at.

The overall storyline is unique in that it gives us a period in time seldom covered, but the main theme is one of survival. It’s a theme Marshall has employed in all his films in various genres, usually involving a group of people trying to stay alive in impossible situations, often making difficult decisions. I find myself inherently attracted to films where men and women are pushed to the limit and forced to take dramatic steps to stay alive. Marshall clearly enjoys this too and he also has an affinity for the group dynamic approach. Just like in his previous films, “Centurion” wastes no time thinning out this dynamic, leaving us with one exhausting character.

While the film could have been clearer in regards to who is who with a bit more characterization, it’s hard to complain Marshall’s strengths are so over-powering. His battlefield staging is impressive, especially when the Romans are ambushed by rolling fireballs that come barreling out of the craggy woods. What follows is a bloody-knuckled ballet of axes, swords and head-cracking. Marshall is less concerned about exploiting violence as he is determined to depict what an a to the head or a decapitation would really look like. His actors are assuredly put through a gauntlet of training and rigorous physical challenges.

Speaking of his actors, here is yet another Marshall film where the cast is excellently selected. As the central character and narrator, Fassbinder confidently embodies the leading man, bound for A-list actor status. Since catching my attention in “Inglorious Basterds”, he has clearly been the most charismatic presence in his films, regardless if those films are bad (“Jonah Hex”). You’ll never find a wussy woman in his films (Marshall even employs his wife to play a savage Pict) either and here Kurylenko as the savage she-wolf, pursuing her prey with every sweaty pore, is a formidable yet slightly tragic freak. Marshall lets us catch our breath when he introduces us to Arianne (Imogen Poots), an exiled Pict witch who aids our wounded soldiers. At first, she conveys a coldness but eventually Poots injects a needed safe haven for the harrowing situations these soldiers endure. It’s an overall successful gathering of actors, who have little time for melodrama.

“Centurion” is at its best when Marshall maintains the steady savagery that carries us into the gory finale. If you liked “Braveheart”, “Gladiator”, “300″ and “King Arthur”, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get on your horse and make your way to the theater for this one. Marshall doesn’t waste any time getting bogged down by any political or religious subplots, nor does he need to deal with taxation or tariffs, this is action and adventure reminiscent of those old Weekend Matinees. It’s Marshall’s devotion to the genres he commits which make him a filmmaker I will continue to watch.
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