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Centurion reviews 2

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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:55 pm

http://www.showmixx.com/?p=168

Posted by admin on August 27th, 2010

Centurions The 2010 Hit hollywood Movie of The Month

‘Centurion’ is a hard film to find (currently only airing at Ace Cinemas, Midland Gate in Perth) but it’s well worth the watch. The performance is fresh but gritty; the landscape made up of the beautifully trechorous Scottish Highland mountains and valleys and the action literally delived in spades to the audience.
Centurion’ is not just all blood and gore though. A smattering of humour is heard and there’s even a romantic promise to help the hero struggle onwards. The only short-coming in the film is the typical Americanisms which somehow manage to sneak their way into the script. I hate to say it but f’#$k was not a word until the 1600s and other curses heard probably didn’t exist then either.

The recent revival of the sword and sandal genre has given us a plethora of Hollywood films like Clash of The Titan and the forthcoming Prince of Persia. It’s about time us Brits had a go, and this film from Dog Soldiers director Neil Marshall may go on to spawn a series of home-grown epic movies.

Set in Roman occupied Britain, centurion Quintus (Michael Fassbender) is the sole survivor of a brutal invasion by the Scotland Pict rebel tribe. He joins the legendary ‘Ninth Legion’ brigade as they set out to avenge the Picts. However most of the legion is killed in a fierce battle, with the General Virilus (Dominic West) captured by the rebels. Quintus struggles to survive with a decreasing army of soldiers, and the race begins as they try to outrun the Picts and return home.

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

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

As the legion marches north, they encounter and save Dias, who has escaped. Etain betrays the legion to Gorlacon: the Romans walk into a trap and are annihilated. Dias, with six others, elude death and capture. They learn that Virilus has been taken prisoner and set out to rescue him. They find the Pictish settlement and sneak in at night, but fail to break the general’s chains. As they retreat, one of them kills Gorlacon’s young son. The next morning, after the dead boy is burned, the general is given a sword and made to duel with Etain, who kills him.The seven decide to return south via a long detour over the mountains, while Etain with a Pict detachment are sent on horseback to track and kill them, in revenge for the king’s son.

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West, David Morrissey

Director: Neil Marshall

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:58 pm

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/movies/centurion-is-more-than-hard-edged-action-movie-review-with-trailer

‘Centurion’ is more than hard-edged action: Movie review (with trailer)
Saturday, 28 August 2010 09:47

Afghanistan meets Caledonia in "Centurion," the new swords-and-sandals-slipping-in-guts action movie from writer/director Neil Marshall.

This Magnolia Pictures release gets off like an arrow, flying over snow-clad Highlands to a lone man, shirtless and hands bound, bleeding from the chest as he runs across a field of white.

In voiceover, the lonely long distance runner, Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), assures audience members just settling into their seats that this is neither the beginning nor the end of his story.

We are in the 2nd Century A.D., in the place more recently known as Scotland, and things have not been going well for Dias and his cohorts. This is a set-up that will be more familiar to viewers in the UK than to most Americans.

Just like modern soldiers, average Roman legionnaires were a polyglot bunch united by their limited prospects. They turned to jobs that let them travel to exotic lands on foot or in rickety boats, meet people of colorful cultures, and kill them.

With the occasional slip-up, the legions did that work well in Britain. But by repute, sometime around 117 A.D., the Ninth Legion marched north into Caledonia — and disappeared.

There is no hard evidence for this in the historical record, but there is also no definitive proof against it. All that's certain is that not long thereafter, the Emperor Hadrian traveled to Britain and decreed construction of a wall protecting the Romanized south from the "barbarian" north.

That leaves a lot of latitude for a writer-director dreaming up an action adventure and able to shoot in scenic Scottish forests, albeit on budget limited except for a vast investment in fog machines. With cinematography by Sam McCurdy, "Centurion" looks consistently beautiful, if eerie.

The same can be said for its best character, who certainly is not blank slate Dias. Instead, she's Etain, a tracker played by model-slash-actress Olga Kurylenko. Given what's ahead in "Centurion," that "slash" may be the best part of Kurylenko's background.

If you like split skulls, compete decapitations, arterial sprays, arrows in the eye and the occasional suddenly missing limb, "Centurion" is definitely for you. For the most part, Marshall makes the fight viscerally exciting, with brutality appropriate to the era. But at times, he simply enjoys viscera and brutality more than you will.

By the time Dias encounters Etain, he has already survived the slaughter of his frontier outpost and is being pursued by men in furs, accessorized with battle axes. They are Caledonians, members of the Celtic confederation known to the Romans as Picts, "painted people," from their blue war paint, woad.

In the nick of time, Dias is rescued by a Roman general and his men on reconnaissance, with Etain as their guide. Recognizing that they are not going to get much information from the surly Picts, they do the Roman thing and kill them.

And it's about this point where "Centurion" turns into a sequence of events borrowed not just from "Gladiator," but "The Last of the Mohicans," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and especially the recent revisionist "King Arthur."

fassbender082810_optThat is best remembered for blue-hued Keira Knightley as a warrior princess running around wearing only a leather harness, and unable to fill even that. Kurylenko is considerably more conservatively dressed, realistic to the era and climate, although unaware that woad was not so much makeup as an antiseptic and coagulant useful for people wearing leather while swinging steel.

In one of Marshall's best conceits, Etain cannot speak because her tongue was ripped out by the people who raped her, killed her parents and burned their village. That not only finesses the effect of Kurylenko's possible line readings, but it leaves open the question of who committed those atrocities.

The erstwhile Bond girl communicates successfully through a hard stare brought straight from the catwalk. She calls it "blue steel." Despite her thin build and lack of small talk, Kurylenko makes Etain convincing as a relentless pursuer and remorseless fighter.

While Kurylenko remains silent, when it comes to linguistics, "Centurion" actually outdoes "The Passion of the Christ." Sure, Mel Gibson had his people talking Aramaic. Neil Marshall's cast speaks Pictish — a lost language. (Pictish is responsible for Aber- and Lhan- names in Scotland, and is believed to be close to Breton, providing the rationale here.)

The general who rescues Dias, at least for the moment, is played by Dominic West of "The Wire" with boisterous high spirits. He's a man's man, a manly man, one who enjoys the company of other men, drinking, brawling and so on. Just in case you miss the point, his name is Virilus.

Learning of the frontier attack from Dias, Virilus consults with Governor Julius Agricola (Paul Freeman). They agree the war is unwinnable, but one quick victory will enable them to declare the Latin version of "mission accomplished" or "peace with honor" and quickly retire as wealthy men.

So Virilus takes the Ninth Legion north, and Dias goes along. He is part of a group that includes an old guy, a young guy, a sneaky guy, a cooking guy, a black guy, a stand-in for Muslim guy from the Caucasus. Names? Uh, Grizzly, Peach Fuzz, Pete, Cookie, Token, Mohammed?

And like Marshall when it comes to character development, I'm going to call an abrupt end to plot points for this review.

By now, the question that occurs to a viewer is: why is all this necessary? Other than ambitious creeps, what Roman thought this was a good idea? Why did they keep sending their men into hard terrain, populated by tough people who wanted to be left alone? Aside from creating new enemies, what did they accomplish?

Perhaps they came for the waters.

In that sense, "Centurion" can be watched as an artifact of late empire. Marshall makes his Romans the good guys, as ill-conceived as that may be. Based on what's happening on the ground, they are more like the brave but ignorant thugs. Mistakes are made. Disasters follow. Collateral damage happens. Cover-ups are necessary.

"Centurion" has opened in New York and Philadelphia, and is available via cable on demand. It will soon be in general release in New Jersey. The visuals make it worth seeing in a theater. But for all its hard-edged action, it is stirring in a different way.

"Centurion" will leave you chanting: Romanorum cedunt nunc! Romans out now!
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:59 pm

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2010/08/28/movie_stars/

2.5/4

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)
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:16 pm

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2012731255_mr27centurion.html?cmpid=2628

'Centurion': A handsome Roman war epic that lacks emotional impact

"Centurion," starring Michael Fassbender as a Roman soldier in northern Britain in 117 A.D., is almost charismatic enough to hold this visually dazzling epic together.

By John Hartl

Movie review 2.5 stars

'Centurion,' with Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko. Written and directed by Neil Marshall. 97 minutes. Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language. Varsity.

"This is a new kind of war. A war without honor, without end."

So claims a Roman soldier, Quintus Dias, who's spent two years battling the Picts, a determined guerrilla gang, in northern Britain in 117 A.D.

The central character in "Centurion," he could be referring to Vietnam or Afghanistan — which seems to be the point of director Neil Marshall's contemporary-sounding script. Also making that connection: the self-conscious use of obscenities and the casting of actors who are associated mostly with 21st-century roles.

Michael Fassbender, the charismatic, German-born actor who made a splash last year in "Inglourious Basterds" and "Fish Tank," plays the disillusioned hero, whose first-person account begins with the announcement that "this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story."

He thereby reinforces the notion that there is (to borrow the title of a recent Iraq documentary) no end in sight. Plunging half-naked through the snow, escaping from Pict warriors who can only be called demonic, he seems to be racing in circles. So does the movie, which eventually becomes one long, very bloody chase sequence.

It's up to Fassbender to hold the picture together and lend it a sense of direction. He succeeds as long as the picture focuses on Quintus' attempts to hang on to an idea of Roman fair play, even though it's contradicted by most of what he sees.

Marshall, who directed the Scottish werewolf movie "Dog Soldiers," uses Sam McCurdy's widescreen cinematography to dazzling effect, creating a world that's both lush and forbidding.

The intended emotional impact, however, is missing. Occasionally Marshall provides a back story to fill out a role, but too often that's how it comes off: as filler.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:21 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-persons/emmighty-movie-podcastem_b_697920.html

Centurion tends to focus on the resilience side of human existance, what with swords, hatchets, and various other implements of death being wielded hither and yon and a small clutch of battle-scarred soldiers trying to survive their onslaughts. Based on the historical myth of a legion of Roman warriors who vanished into the mists of northern Britain, never to return, Neil Marshall's violent imagining of their fate offers a propulsive adventure in which Michael Fassbender's dedicated centurion seeks to lead a small band of soldiers out of enemy territory while being hunted down by a relentless Pict tracker (played by Olga Kurylenko, whose inspirational physique would make anyone wish that surrender was an option). And if you remember Marshall from Dog Soldiers and The Descent, you know that once the narrative gets going, it'll be at least as relentless as the soldier's adversaries, and once things get violent, man, you'd better duck (and this isn't even in 3D!). A fitting way to commemorate the end of summer methinks.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:25 pm

http://vagary.tv/archives/3766

Film Review: Centurion
Posted by ChrisS On August - 28 - 2010

The Roman Empire is a fascinating subject that has been covered countless times in film, however one aspect of the empire that has been largely ignored is the expansion into and eventual downfall of the empire’s hold in Britain. In the last decade or so more films focusing on this aspect have come into play including 2004′s King Arthur, 2007′s The Last Legion and now director Neil Marshall’s Centurion. Unlike King Arthur and The Last Legion though, Centurion does not try and give a retelling of the King Arthur legend, instead it attempts to give a visceral account regarding the decimation of the fabled 9th Legion.

Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) survives a brutal attack by the Picts and makes his way to the legendary Ninth Legion, who then set out to eradicate the Picts once and for all. Unfortunately the Picts ambush the Ninth and decimate them, capturing their leader General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) and leaving a small band of legionnaires including Dias to escape back to Roman fortifications. Dias and his small band play a cat and mouse game with the pursuing Pict battalion led by Etain (Olga Kurylenko).

Marshall’s films all have one thing in common, that being he knows how to make realistic looking action scenes. Centurion is no different, featuring some excellent and explicitly gory action sequences depicted on film. Unfortunately Centurion doesn’t have much else going for it.

The acting is serviceable, although nothing to write home about. The action scenes despite having excellent craft behind them are devoid of any tension. In fact the whole film is devoid of any tension. The ending is really never in doubt aside and aside from one small side step over the last third of the film it stays on script for the typical chase film it is. Some of this would actually be passable if the film as a whole wasn’t mind numbingly boring. It is rare that a movie of this type had me completely disengaged but Centurion managed to actually make my eyelids heavy.

When Centurion is combined with Marshall’s last film, Doomsday, it indicates something of a downward slope for a director I once thought had immense upside. He still has the skills needed to create excellent films but he needs find his writing touch again and get back to the basics of telling a good solid tale with strong tense moments.

2 out of 5.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:25 pm

http://thereelplace.com/movie-review/158

Centurion
Movie Reviews | R | View Trailer | Aug 27, 2010

"A step above "King Arthur," "Centurion" fails to make the early A.D. years entertaining."
CENTURION_273_gal
- Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language.
- Who's going to like it: fans of Clive Owen's "King Arthur"
Considering how big-budgeted and expensive this Roman epic looks, I was surprised to learn that Centurion was only being given a limited theatrical release. After seeing it, I now know why - at its core, Centurion is nothing more than a gory B-movie.

The year is 117 A.D. and the Roman Empire is trying to make one last push near Germany to overtake the Pict army's defensive line. The movie follows Roman centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds) who recently escaped from a Pict prison camp and has reunited with a strong Roman legion.

When their legion puts their trust in a former Pict turned Roman tracker (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace), they are betrayed and nearly entirely wiped out in a Pict ambush. Quintus and a few other survivors are now stuck behind enemy lines, far from home and any other legions, being hunted by the most notorious and merciless Pict warrior.

Centurion has great potential, but fails to capture it. While the story could be absolutely riveting, the flat characters within it give you nothing to root for. Sadly, Kurylenko's villainous character is the only one with backstory - a backstory that is so tragically painted that you honestly sympathize with her and her motives over our supposed heroes.

Imagine the gritty realistic battle gore of Gladiator mixed with the over-the-top blood spattering effects of any modern horror movie. That is exactly how all of the battle sequences play off in Centurion. 300 did the exact same thing, but the movie was so highly stylized that the gore on that level worked harmoniously with what it was trying to do. In a movie with such a bland color palette, the cherry-red blood spraying throughout Centurion will constantly take you out of the movie.

Another element that removes you from getting into Centurion is the language used. Not only is the dialogue boring and uninteresting, but the script also uses profanity found in modern movies. It is hard to believe that the Roman soldiers of 117 A.D. were using the F-word in the same manner that it is used today.

But the biggest problem with Centurion lies within the editing - there is either too much or too little going on at any given time. During action sequences it quickly cuts back and forth to brief shots of fighting between various different characters. You can hardly tell whose fight you are watching, let alone keep track of who is winning each fight. This even happens during the main showdown at the end of the movie. Quintus' fight is the most important thing going on, yet we keep being brought back to watch others in their insignificant scuffles. And when action is absent, so is your mind. This movie would be nothing without its action.

Centurion feels like a bad "epic" from the '80s - like Excalibur - featuring the filming styles, violence and language of today. Although it wants to be more, Centurion never leaves the B-movie stage.

Photo credit: Magnet Releasing

2 out of 5 (2 out of 5)
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:26 pm

http://www.thehartfordguardian.com/?p=5726

Centurion Excites Legion of Roman-Era Battle Fans
Posted on 28 August 2010 by The Hartford Guardian

By Jonathan Smalls, Film Critic

Centurion is a frenetic work of historical fiction, expanding upon the popular myth of the IX Legion of Rome. The legend goes that the IX Legion marched into Britain to battle against the Britons, was destroyed, and so our story of civilization versus barbarians begins.

Neil Marshall takes credit as writer, and director, doing a good job of moving the characters through the plot of being behind enemy lines, and taking a roundabout route to safety. In the ninety – seven minute run time though few of them develop much substance.

All of the protagonists seem to carry one character trait throughout the story, and that leads to their ultimate demise. He gets kudos for representing the Roman army as a melting pot of racial and ethnic groups, but probably could have invested less time in the chase, and more time in character development.Despite this, he manages to work in some very powerful moments of manliness, and interesting lines like, “Being a legend will get you laid.”

His direction of the actors, and cinematography is good, perhaps better than his writing. He creates an appropriate tone in each scene, whether it be a desperate duel to the death, or an intimate gathering in a cave. All of the characters are very human, and organic, but sound direction atop incomplete writing makes this film only decent, not great. Marshall may consider focusing on one or the other in the future.

Michael Fassbender stars opposite Olga Kurylenko as centurion Quintus Dias versus Pictish Etain. Kurylenko portrays an interesting antagonist, only because her strength is the deep, blank stare like some sort of female Clive Owen. Seriously, check her out in Hitman, or Quantum of Solace. Her character as Etain plays to that strength, and is wisely cast a mute to eliminate dialogue.

Fassbender carries the weight of the movie with his character, and the other characters are only vehicles for Quintus Dias to seem wiser, graver, and manlier. Fassbender personifies these qualities well, but protagonists are only as good as their secondary characters. The supporting cast is talented enough, and realistic.

Once again the Roman legionnaires are hampered by underdevelopment. None of them ever get to be any thing but their one trait. They just get too much screen time, and not enough to work with. Despite this they try their best to wring blood from a stone, even if the end result is less than satisfactory. This single mindedness works well for the Pict tribesmen because that is all bad guys ever get to be in the best of cases.

Ulrich Thomsen as Gorlacon balances his character well, and then is able to get off the screen; if only other characters were so lucky. Centurion is a pleasant, viewing experience. It demonstrates the talent of a few less popular actors, and builds a few movie moments, although all of them are predictable.

Although it will never be considered the stuff that silver screen dreams are made of, it was made on a third of the budget of similar film like Gladiator, and is still fun to watch.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

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

http://www.redcarpetcrash.com/2010/08/28/review-centurion/

REVIEW: ‘Centurion’
28 Aug, 2010 Steve Norwood Featured,Film,Reviews

“It’s soldiers that do the fighting and soldiers that do the dying, and the gods never get their feet wet.”

The year is 117 AD, and the Roman Empire has gone about as far as it can go, it seems. You can’t fault the front-line soldiers for having salty tongues; they sound like dock workers, but have to deal with long, interminable campaigns, bitter cold, sickness, wolves and the constant threat of attack from the Picts, a savage race of warriors who hold the gorgeous, northern lands of Britain in their grip. How dangerous are these face-painting, feral tribesmen, you ask? A precious lesson is learned early on in “Centurion”, the new film from director Neil Marshall: never relieve yourself over the side of a fortress wall. I’ll leave it at that.

“Centurion” begins with a curious, stark image: a bloodied man, hands bound, runs across a snow-covered cliff. This is Quintus Dias (go-to British actor Michael Fassbender), the son of a gladiator who serves the empire in a garrison which is attacked at the outset of the film. Dias speaks the Picts’ language and is taken captive, though it seems unclear to what end. He escapes and makes his way across the wilderness only to meet up with General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West), who has been charged by the local Roman Governor to clear out the Picts using the men of the fabled Ninth Legion. Virilus takes Dias on as an aide, but no sooner does the Legion march into a particularly quiet forest region than they are laid waste by the Picts. Virilus is taken captive this time, and Dias is left to lead a small handful of soldiers on a rescue mission, and then return to safe territory. Unfortunately, their Pict pursuers are led by a relentless, mute warrior with an axe to grind.

Marshall has created a film with a very limited palette (blue, green, grey and silver, with touches of gold to act as firelight), but his colors are deeply saturated, adding an unfiltered depth to the natural scenery. He has also not shied away from the kind of concussive, splattering violence found in each of his films to date. The Picts and Romans are not stingy with their sword-strikes and body blows, just as the film is not hesitant to layer on gore when necessary.

While the film has moments of familiarity to both “Gladiator” (the early forest attack), “King Arthur” (the territorial savagery of the enemy force and rawness of the soldiers’ entertaining camaraderie) and even classics like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (you’ll know when you see it), “Centurion” is a solid, brutal and entertaining film that is well-acted and beautifully filmed. What more could you ask for? Which begs the question: why did Magnet Releasing decide to have the film’s premiere on VOD and other streaming avenues, then allow a limited, mostly un-promoted theatrical release, when this sort of film usually does well at the box office? It’s confounding that a film so entertaining doesn’t even get a chance to be seen widely in theaters.

Fassbender and West make for a great pair on screen, though their time together is limited. West seems to be enjoying playing roles where his character is a bit of a blowhard, but still quite efficient given the task at hand. He’s fun to watch. Fassbender is simply a fascinating actor; in the last few years he has played a demonic Nazi (“Blood Creek”), IRA hunger strike leader Bobby Sands (“Hunger”), a puffed-up, too-articulate British Lieutenant and former film critic (“Inglourious Basterds”), and a poetic, tattooed madman (the otherwise miserable “Jonah Hex”). In “Centurion” he provides some welcome dramatic heft to the proceedings, while in more serious films he is a blistering presence, and someone to watch over the coming years. But Marshall has gathered a very strong cast overall, from the dangerously attractive Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”), to Liam Cunningham (who starred in Marshall’s debut “Dog Soldiers” and shares the intense core of “Hunger” with Fassbender).

When you boil it all down, the film is an extremely well-made, extended hunt, though the destinations, targets and numbers frequently shift (“We’re too tired to be afraid. We were three-thousand; now we’re three.”). And when the moment comes for a climactic battle, yes, someone says “I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of running!” But that’s okay. To be as blunt as a war-hammer to the skull, “Centurion” is very satisfying, indeed.

And after the dismal, cinematic thief that was Marshall’s “Doomsday”, this is great news.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:30 pm

http://www.moviereviewsandsales.com/movie_reviews/2010/08/centurion-12-r/

28Aug/100
Centurion / **1/2 (R)

"Centurion" (97 minutes; Rated R). A 97-minute chase through the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands -- the far reaches of the Roman Empire in 117 A.D. -- as a platoon of bedraggled Roman soldiers find themselves hunted behind enemy lines by savage Picts. It gets monotonous, but there's lots of pretty red gore to brighten things up. With Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. Directed by Neil Marshall ("Dog Soldiers," "The Descent"). Two and a half stars.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:32 pm

http://suzannec.vox.com/library/post/review-centurion.html?_c=feed-atom

Review: Centurion

* Aug 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

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 [...]
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:36 pm

http://www.libertasfilmmagazine.com/centurion-no-pax-romana-here/

Centurion: No Pax Romana Here

Aug 282010

By Joe Bendel. It is 117 A.D. and the Roman “conquest” of Britain has been a miserable, blood-soaked experience—for the Romans. Just ask Centurion Quintus Dias, whom we first meet running for his life from a very ticked-off war party of Picts in Neil Marshall’s Centurion, which opened this Friday in select theaters nationwide.

Posted to the most distant Roman outpost, Dias is miserable in Caledonian Britain (what is more or less Scotland today). Things only get worse when his fort is over-run by a Pict surprise attack. The sole survivor, Dias escapes his captors, making his way to what just became the newly Northern-most Roman outpost. Tired of taking a beating to his prestige back in Rome, the local governor commands General Virilus to hunt down the mysterious Pict leader Gorlacon with his vaunted Ninth Legion, to which Dias is now attached.

Virilus is not thrilled with his assignment, but he supposedly has the advantage of the services of Etain, a Pict tracker ostensibly civilized by the governor. Given the way her eyes smolder with hatred, following her into battle is probably a bad idea, but they do it anyway, with predictable results. Now Dias must lead the remnant of the Ninth as they try to rescue their revered General behind enemy lines.

Centurion is a fairly straight-forward historical hack & slash, with maybe a hint of the fantastical. At one point Dias and his men find refuge with Arianne, a woman shunned by the Picts as a purported witch—not that she really is one. She just seems to know a lot about healing herbs. Neil (The Descent) Marshall definitely has a knack for gritty battle scenes, and the clever symmetry of his opening and closing scenes perfectly suits the story of ancient (if misplaced) heroism. Unfortunately, the film lags a bit in-between, with too many scenes of rock-climbing and weary shuffling through the Caledonian forests.

Michael Fassbender is one of the few actors working in film today with potentially movie star-like screen presence. Yet in Centurion, the grizzled badness of Dominic West’s Virilus somewhat outshines him. Still, he has some credible chemistry with Imogen Poots as Arianne the witch. Unfortunately, Ulrich Thomsen is a bland villain as Gorlacon (probably because the film is too conscious of its alleged modern parallels), while as Etain, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko looks distractingly blue, almost like she walked out of Avatar. Oddly, the Centurion’s Romans are played by Brits, whereas the Britons are mostly played by Scandinavians, Slavs, and even the Belgian Axelle Carolyn.

Centurion’s craftsmanship is definitely above average for action films. Cinematographer Sam McCurdy’s dazzling vistas make the Caledonian mountains look like the Alps. It also boasts one of the cooler opening title sequences of the year. Still, its heavy-handed “occupiers” versus “insurgency” themes often sabotage the film’s momentum. Ultimately, it is an okay summer diversion, but it is effectively limited by its reluctance to definitively pick a side and stick with it.

Posted on August 28th, 2010 at 9:55am.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:37 pm

http://www.filmgirlforce.com/archives/716

Centurion

Filmgirl: Reel Artsy

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.

Now in theaters.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:38 pm

http://entil2001.com/blog5/?p=2507

Review #2030: Centurion (2010)

by Administrator on Aug.28, 2010, under Reviews

Guest Reviewer: Gregg Wright

If you’ve seen any of the trailers for “Centurion”, then you probably already have a good idea of whether you will like it or not. I am the type that, after seeing the first trailer, was immediately interested. I love R-rated sword-and-sandal epics, though I usually like them more when they include fantasy or sci-fi elements. This one was particularly interesting because of its director, Neil Marshall. He previous helmed the 2005 film “The Descent”, which I believe to be the best horror movie in at least the past decade.

“Centurion” initially appears to be a straight-up historical action thriller. The action itself is pretty satisfying. There is a noticeable amount of CG blood, but considering the $14 million budget, that’s very forgivable. The action scenes are well-choreographed and exciting. There’s a minor amount of shaky-cam and some fast editing here and there, but it’s shot pretty well overall. I was impressed. It’s getting rare to see such a well-made, R-rated action film these days. Nearly everything resorts to the kind of fast-editing and nauseating camera movement that I loathe.

The acting is pretty strong, all around. I haven’t seen much of Michael Fassbender before now, but I really liked him in the lead role of Quintus Dias, perhaps the most admirable character in the movie. Olga Kurylenko, who Americans will recognize from her recent roles in “Quantum of Solace” and “Hitman”, is also well worth mentioning. I suppose you could argue that she’s too good-looking or frail to fit the part, but I found her convincing enough. I also enjoyed Imogen Poots role as the semi-love interest. Her scenes with Fassbender could have been boring and out-of-place, but they ended up being a welcome break from the madness. Other stand-outs include Dominic West and Liam Cunningham. West plays the beloved Centurion commander of the Ninth Legion, and Cunningham gets a fair amount of screen-time as one of the more sympathetic Roman characters.

As I mentioned before, the cinematography is remarkably good. The ever-present blue tint to everything gets a little annoying, but it probably aids in creating the frigid atmosphere. I liked all the sweeping views of the landscape, which worked quite well with, what I think, were some cool opening and closing credits. Ilhan Eshkeri’s epic orchestral score doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s effective and adds to the excitement. It sets the mood for the film really well in the opening credits scene with the primary theme. The first trailer for “Centurion” actually utilized music from the score, which is something I wish more movie trailers would do.

Despite my overall enjoyment of “Centurion” as a piece of action-driven entertainment, I did have some issues. As previously stated, “Centurion” initially appears to be a thriller/chase movie about seven men on the run from an unstoppable enemy. For most of the movie, that’s exactly what it is. But throughout the film there is a noticeable attempt at making the movie into more than just a thriller. We’re given periodic narration from Quntius Dias that gives us a bit of insight into his motivations and fears. A relationship begins to develop later in the movie between Quintus and a Pict woman played by Imogen Poots. I really enjoyed these scenes, but was left wishing they’d taken that story much further than they did.

The point is, there are two stories being told in “Centurion”. One is a manly action movie in the vein of “The 13th Warrior”, while the other is the story of Quintus Dias himself, and his personal journey. “Centurion” feels like it’s trying to be two different movies at the same time. It actually works out pretty well anyway, but I think it would have been a much stronger movie if they’d focused more on one story over the other. If they wanted it to simply be an action/chase movie, they should have fleshed out the seven survivors more so we care more about them and their fight for survival. If they’d wanted the movie to focus more on the journey of Quintus Dias, they should have developed his character more and done a lot more with the story. We do get a certain level of closure for Quintus, but by the end you’re still left wondering what point, if any, the movie is trying to make. Maybe if the movie had taken a slightly different approach, I wouldn’t even be asking that question.

“Centurion” is an entertaining thrill ride with plenty of R-rated violence and no shortage of badass characters. There are a lot of ways in which the movie could have been improved, but I still feel pretty good about it overall. If you’re a fan of the genre, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Rating: 8/10
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:44 pm

http://didijustwatchthat.com/2010/08/28/centurion/

Centurion
Posted on August 28, 2010 by JR Pennington

I love Neil Marshall. His movie Dog Soldiers, is about SAS soldiers fighting werewolves. If you can’t find the greatness in that, then I can’t help you. While that movie was kitschy and fun, Marshall made a name for himself when he wrote and directed the Descent, which, for my money, is one of the best horror movies ever made. Unfortunately, his follow up to that film was the terrible Doomsday.

He rebounds with his latest movie, Centurion. It’s a period film, set during the stalled Roman invasion of Britain. The Pict King Gorlacon is kicking their ass, and the men in charge, against all logic, decide to march the 9th Legion against the Picts and end this once and for all.

Of course if that happened, this wouldn’t be much of a movie. Michael Fassbender plays Roman Centurion Quintus Dias. His battalion was killed by the Pict army and he was taken hostage. The film opens with him escaping and running through the snow.

This movie makes a couple of parallels to modern warfare, comparing the Pict army to a terrorist army, using insurgence tactics and etc. Desperation and stupidity force a Roman senator to march the 9th Roman Legion, led by General Titus Virilus, played by Dominic West (Detective McNulty of the Wire). Leading them through the rough terrain, their key to victory in this campaign, is Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a all around bad ass whose tracking skills border on the supernatural.

Quintus is saved by the 9th Legion and joins their ranks. When the attack is foiled and nearly all of the 9th Legion is slaughtered, Quintus and several other survivors must navigate their way out of enemy territory while dogged by the forces of the Pict army.

This was a fast paced and action packed movie. The action was well filmed and the characters were all well developed. The story changed and switched gears a little too much for my tastes but it’s a small problem. I’d much rather the plot develop organically and the plot of Centurion zig-zagged the whole way, with characters literally changing the directions in which they were running at least three times.

Olga Kurylenko plays a mute so she doesn’t say anything in the film. Her character’s actions spoke more than enough for her. I’ve had it in my mind that she would be the perfect actress to play Wonder Woman and in seeing her kick ass in this movie, I think I can comfortably say that she would be the best choice. Michael Fassbender, who I don’t recall ever seeing in any role of significance before this, is excellent as the lead. He’s also playing Magneto in the new X-Men movie.

This movie also marks the first time I’ve heard Dominic West’s accent. It was kind of weird.

The movie isn’t perfect. It has all the flaws of every movie filled with action. The plot is fluffy and the character beats are washed over and nearly non-existent. I hate CG blood and was disappointed to see a big time practical effect guy like Marshall use so much of it in the film. After the first action sequence I thought it was going to be throughout the whole movie but thankfully it wasn’t.

It’s a beautiful film, with brilliant cinematography. Marshall wasn’t shy about using the cascading vistas and snow capped mountains in this movie. The acting was strong and the action well filmed and well choreographed. I loved the movie and don’t have any complaints.

28 out of 100.

Rating from 100-0 where 100 is the worst and 0 is the best.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:53 pm

http://thephoenix.com/Boston/movies/107210-centurion/

Review: Centurion
Veni, vidi, viscera: The Roman Empire gets Pict apart
By BRETT MICHEL | August 28, 2010
Centurionphoto of 'Centurion'
3.0 3.0 Stars

Those Romans in the second century sure were a surly bunch. And what pottymouths! If you didn't know any better, you'd have thought they invented the word "f&#!" and its many uses.

Centurion | Written and Directed by Neil Marshall | With Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke, David Morrissey, JJ Feild, Axelle Carolyn, and Imogen Poots | Magnolia Studios | 97 minutes

That's but one of the anachronistic pleasures of British director Neil Marshall's screenplay for this slimly budgeted epic involving a splinter group of Roman soldiers battling for their lives behind enemy lines in AD 117. Marshall's excessively violent tale is concerned with the Empire's "farthest, most untamed frontier" — which would be Northern Britain, colorfully described here as "the asshole of the world" (or, in Latin, "anus orbis terrarum").

This is an age when the Roman army was encountering fierce resistance from the Picts. These natives — who seem to have borrowed the Road Warrior wardrobes of Marshall's raging lunatics in his equally enjoyable 2008 B-movie, Doomsday (gotta stretch that budget somehow) — employ guerrilla tactics and exploit the unforgiving landscape to ruthless advantage, halting the Roman advance and producing a deadlock that's lasted for almost 20 years when the movie's bloody action kicks off.

And the action keeps on kicking, hacking, slashing, burning, and — especially — spurting for a fast-paced 97 minutes. It's all set in motion when Rome orders General Titus Virilus (Dominic West, previously seen brandishing a sword in 300) to end the stalemate "by any means necessary." That would include hiring the mute, feral tracker named Etain (Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko), a duplicitous, deadly, beautiful Pict whose tongue was trimmed by the Romans some years earlier. Probably not the best person to aid in this last-ditch effort, but at least she won't talk back. Instead, she'll silence many Romans herself with her precision throat slashing. Then she'll rejoin the pesky Picts, whose leader, Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen), gets really pissed when his young son (Ryan Atkinson) is caught in the crossfire.

Yes, this is a revenge picture, and an extremely peculiar one. Are we to root for the persecuted Picts, who have a lot to get even for? Or with the centurion of the title, Quintus Dias (Inglourious Basterds' Michael Fassbender, also a veteran of 300), who takes over as leader of what's left of the Ninth Legion when the division is decimated in a fiery Pict trap? Quintus must also rescue Titus, who was captured in that disaster and has been taken to the Picts' fortified forest encampment to be tortured.

And oh, what torture! As Marshall showed in his Night of the Living Dead–inspired werewolf romp, Dog Soldiers, and his spelunker's nightmare, The Descent, he has not only a knack for stretching dollars but also a gleeful talent for gore. It makes sense that he's married to special-make-up-effects artist/actress Axelle Carolyn, who appears here as a gorgeous Pict archer.

Who to root for? In the end, that ambivalence is part of the fun. Even if the film is more concerned with action than with historical fact (love those Romans' colorful . . . English?), you still surrender to Marshall's gleeful orgy of violence, which is let down by only a half-hearted stab at romance. Still, it should come as little surprise that the centurion's love interest (Imogen Poots) is, well, a witch.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:55 pm

http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews38_35/page32.cfm

Rugged Centurion a boldly brutal Roman epic

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

Centurion
Opening August 27

Stationed at a remote outpost in the furthest regions of the Roman Empire, Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) has been captured by the Picts and taken to their encampment hidden atop a desolate mountain range. But before they can hunt him for their sport, he escapes, setting out on foot across the snow, hoping to be reunited with his countrymen.

As luck would have it, he ends up being rescued by the army of General Titus Virilus (Dominic West), a great soldier and tactician charged with discovering the Pict camp and wiping them out. But the group is betrayed as their mute guide Etain (Olga Kurylenko) leads them into an ambush which decimates their numbers.

With Titus captured, Quintus leads the survivors on a daring rescue of their General. Things do not go as planned, and the Pict commander's young son is killed during the raid. Now the small group must somehow make their way to the nearest Roman fort with Etain and a company of vicious fighters dogging their every move, with bloodthirsty vengeance the only thing on any of their minds.

Set during the 2nd-century Roman conquest of Britain, Neil Marshall's Centurion is a bold, aggressive pursuit thriller that sets the pulse racing during the first few frames and then somehow manages to keep it there for the remainder of its 97-minute running time. Not so much a story with heroes and villains as one about survival against the most perilous of odds, this vibrant and alive action epic is a total kick in the pants that's a heck of a lot more fun than it probably should be.

Why "should be"? Nothing really happens. The whole movie is essentially about Quintus running through the forest - sometimes alone, sometimes with a ragtag group of fellow soldiers, but running through the forest all the same. In many ways, it is the medieval second cousin to the Charles Bronson/Lee Marvin action flick Death Hunt from 1981. It's a series of escapes, near misses, and close encounters, and the ultimate destination is born more from a primal necessity to stay alive than anything else.

Additionally, I wasn't kidding when I said there weren't any heroes or villains. While Etain and her fellow Picts are certainly the aggressors, they're trying to protect their homeland from invaders, many of whom have done unspeakable evils against their friends and family, so it's easy to understand their hatred. At the same time, Quintus and the other Romans are just trying to stay alive while also sticking to a code of honor that tells them to leave no good man behind. Everything here is a shade of gray, and while I found it easy to root for the prey, I found the hunters to be almost as worthy of my affections as those they were methodically stalking.

I would imagine this will create an unusual dilemma for some members of the audience. We tend to like things simple - the bad guys to be all bad and the good guys to be virtuous figures of almighty justice. But that isn't Marshall's goal, and if it turns off viewers then so be it. This director is consumed with forcing his audience to relate to both sides of the equation so that when the killing begins, the question of whom to root for isn't crystal clear.

There is a caveat to all this: Whether intended or not, Fassbender is just so great as Quintus at a certain point he ends up taking the movie over, and while Etain (sinisterly yet seductively portrayed by Kurylenko) can't help but fascinate, my allegiance slipped the Centurion's way all the same. There is something about his emotional journey that makes him not so much a heroic figure, but one I just wanted to find something akin to happiness. After all he goes through, after all he puts on the line while many others (with two big exceptions) just continue to look out for themselves, after those he has sworn allegiance to threaten to betray him, Quintus retains both his dignity and his honor - and if those aren't qualities worthy of respect, then I'm not sure what else would be.

Marshall totally redeems himself for the mediocre misfire that was Doomsday, and while Centurion does not quite rise to the beautifully realized magnificence of his underground horror masterwork The Descent, that still doesn't make this ruggedly brutal B-movie any less impressive. The violence has bite and punch, and the action sequences are arguably better than anything higher-priced Hollywood productions have shown us this entire summer. For genre fans, this is the type of film worth fawning over, and while I imagine its stay in the multiplex will sadly be short-lived, the potentially massive cult following it will generate on DVD and Blu-ray will be something else entirely.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:59 pm

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Centurion

Little is known about what happened to the Ninth Legion, a band of Roman soldiers who invaded Britain in the mid first century. It's one of those mysteries that may never be solved. British director Neil Marshall takes a stab at one possible scenario.

I have a medium sized soft spot for writer/director Neil Marshall; he made my favourite Scottish werewolf film, Dog Soldiers; and made me vow never to go spelunking with a bunch of chicks after watching Descent.

Centurion is set in the early second century AD. The Roman Empire is stretching its legs and likes the look of the Scottish Highlands which is currently occupied by the Picts: a barbaric race of wicked fighters with a penchant for eyeliner and a leader named Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen - Hitman) who could do very well as a Sting impersonator should his career as Chief turn sour.

Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender - Inglourious Basterds) narrowly escapes an attack from the Picts that wiped out his whole garrison. He makes his way through an unforgiving landscape and meets up with Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West - The Wire) Commander of the Ninth Legion. The Ninth have welcomed a mute Pict woman, Etain (Olga Kuylenko - Hitman) as a guide through the rough terrain.

As traitors do, Etain leads the legion straight into an ambush where Virilus is captured by the Pict. Those still alive vow to rescue him.

Dias is joined by fellow soldiers Brick (Liam Cunningham - Harry Brown), Macros (Noel Clarke - Doctor Who), Leonidas (Dimitri Leonidas - Tormented), Tarak (Riz Ahmed - Four Lions), Thax (JJ Field - Northanger Abbey) and Bothos (David Morrissey - Nowhere Boy), as they make their way north in an effort to escape their hunters.

It becomes a game of cat and mouse as the Romans are tracked by the Pict led by Etain and her supernatural-like tracking skills.

I kept wondering throughout this movie if there was ever an alternate title, something along the line of 'Blokes, Blood and Barbarians' because in those three words, the film is pretty well summed up. The cast is ninety-seven percent male; there is an abundance of blood with all the severed heads and hacked limbs; and the Pict warriors make for very interesting opponents. If only the Romans had an 'Unfollow' button...

Fassbender is good as Dias and kudos must go to his dialect coach. I did enjoy it even though the story has been told before. Many times. Why Etain was made a mute is unknown, perhaps Marhsall just couldn't give her any good lines? I don't know.

If you're looking for an action/war movie with lots of stabby stabs and bloody blood then Centurion is for you. That being said, it is also a fascinating look into the conditions that soldiers have to fight in, both in the past and the present.

Things I learnt: don't go towards the Arctic Circle if you've only got a blankey and a few animal hides for warmth; not enough people paint their faces these days; if someone can't physically tell you they aren't a traitor, they probably are a traitor.

Entertaining.

Seven out of Ten.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:08 pm

http://speakingsubjectively.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/film-review-centurion/

Film Review: Centurion
August 28, 2010 Chris Scott

The Roman Empire is a fascinating subject that has been covered countless times in film, however one aspect of the empire that has been largely ignored is the expansion into and eventual downfall of the empire’s hold in Britain. In the last decade or so more films focusing on this aspect have come into play including 2004′s King Arthur, 2007′s The Last Legion and now director Neil Marshall’s Centurion. Unlike King Arthur and The Last Legion though, Centurion does not try and give a retelling of the King Arthur legend, instead it attempts to give a visceral account regarding the decimation of the fabled 9th Legion.

Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) survives a brutal attack by the Picts and makes his way to the legendary Ninth Legion, who then set out to eradicate the Picts once and for all. Unfortunately the Picts ambush the Ninth and decimate them, capturing their leader General Titus Virilus (Dominic West) and leaving a small band of legionnaires including Dias to escape back to Roman fortifications. Dias and his small band play a cat and mouse game with the pursuing Pict battalion led by Etain (Olga Kurylenko).

Marshall’s films all have one thing in common, that being he knows how to make realistic looking action scenes. Centurion is no different, featuring some excellent and explicitly gory action sequences depicted on film. Unfortunately Centurion doesn’t have much else going for it.

The acting is serviceable, although nothing to write home about. The action scenes despite having excellent craft behind them are devoid of any tension. In fact the whole film is devoid of any tension. The ending is really never in doubt aside and aside from one small side step over the last third of the film it stays on script for the typical chase film it is. Some of this would actually be passable if the film as a whole wasn’t mind numbingly boring. It is rare that a movie of this type had me completely disengaged but Centurion managed to actually make my eyelids heavy.

When Centurion is combined with Marshall’s last film, Doomsday, it indicates something of a downward slope for a director I once thought had immense upside. He still has the skills needed to create excellent films but he needs find his writing touch again and get back to the basics of telling a good solid tale with strong tense moments.

2 out of 5.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:14 pm

http://rightgrit.blogspot.com/2010/08/movies-gotta-know-what-it-is.html

Much better, though still kind of weak is Centurion.
Like Valhalla Rising, it's another Barbarian Movie, but this one actually tries to be nothing much more than a B action movie.
Centurion is a mostly solid movie about Roman soldiers encountering strong resistance from the Picts in ancient Britain.
It may not be a strong movie, but at least it delivers the basic genre expectations that Valhalla Rising and even Robin Hood refused to do.
The flaw in the movie is the difficulty in who to identify with, which was also a problem with director Neil Marshal's most beloved movie The Descent.
Not only do the characters all look and act alike, but our heroes are sadistic pigs. Yet, they drive the story and I couldn't help but feel that the villainous Picts were the real good guys, but they remain aloof and barbaric in their depiction.
It's not until the ending of the movie does Centurion reveals itself to be yet another retread of the "Dances with Blue People" formula.
Again, to prove my point: Centurion works when it knows what it is, but the ending reveals that it didn't have the most perfectly honed script.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:19 pm

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

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Review: Centurion

With films like Dog Soldiers and The Descent under his belt, British writer and director Neil Marshall now has the clout to broaden his horizons and show the world and a mainstream audience just how much talent is at his disposal. His previous forays into horror have showcased a director with a certain penchant for hardcore character development, followed by a brutal showdown with enemy forces that may or may not be supernatural in nature and do not leave many survivors. With Centurion, he has stuck to his tried formula … but expanded it and broadened it out to encompass a stage that is less domestic and uses entire countries as the playground. Here, his monsters are human … but no less depraved than those he has put on display before.

Our Centurion is Quintus Dias, a Roman soldier who is the sole survivor of a bloody raid that saw his company decimated by the Picts … a savage and mysterious clan who refuse to fold into the Roman Empire and are employing guerrilla tactics that are preventing them from securing Britain. His next mission is to join ranks with the Ninth Legion and wipe out the Picts once and for all. But when an ambush ensues and an even bigger slaughter takes place, he now leads a cabal of survivors across unforgiving terrain and set-backs to reach his homeland again. And their presence his known by the Picts, who relentlessly hunt them.

It should go without saying that for those of you expecting another cult film likeThe Descent, that is not what is on offer here. I for one applaud the decision of the Director to take the story into uncharted territory and see what the audience makes of it. And the result? Surprises at every turn. I will admit to not being prepared for how well things ultimately came together. Above all, it is refreshing to take a break from the mire that Hollywood sometimes is. This is a British/Scottish cast and world, full of breath-taking scenery and a gritty style of film-making that only comes from doing the hard yards away from celluloid’s capital. The scenes of battle and carnage are still there for horror fans, and they are done so with realistic expertise. An audience member will feel totally ensconced in the cold, harsh reality of the Roman frontier. I have a feeling that Neil Marshall was schooling himself on set (much like Tarantino did with Kill Bill), to be an action director. But he still keeps the human element alive and true. The performance by the mute and beautiful hunter Etain (Olga Kurylenko) is worthy of distinction.

There are a couple of set-backs, most notable a romance that never quite takes off. But we get the feeling it was probably the studios suggesting such changes to encompass a broader audience. With a much larger budget in tow, sometimes creators have to make some sacrifices to get their vision across. There will be a few nay-sayers whose knee jerk reaction is to quickly compare it to Dog Soldiers and The Descent in a negative light, but over time this film will join the pantheon as a minor classic of the already impressive resume of Neil Marshall.

Posted by Matthew Tait at 3:47 AM
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:04 pm

http://filmfes.hostzi.com/review-centurion-%C2%AB-entertainment-world-film-festival/

Centurion - "Fight or Die"
Film released the other week there. Ment to see it at cinema but missed it, so caught it on Blu-Ray on release;

"AD 117. The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. But in northern Britain, the relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in face of guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy; the savage and terrifying Picts. Qunitus Dias, sole survivor of a Pict raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the earth and destroy their leader Gorlacon.

But when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, and Virilus taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines (Scotland). Enduring the harsh terrain and evading their remorseless pursuers led by revenge-hungry Warrior Etain (a woman), the band of Soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier!"



I like anything historic and particularly medieval wars. Anything to do with Scotland's history also fascinates me.

I initially thought that the the battle and ambush would be longer, obviously not 300/Troy length, but longer. Instead, I have to admit I was rather dissapointed with the ease in which the Ninth Legion was depicted to have been slaughtered.

It was the main reason for buying the film, but suprisingly the rest did actually keep me entertained.

Anyway the story, as expected, is based around the small band of romans escape, but you do get to see the Pict side of the conflict and perception of their way of life.

Although, again, I wasn't too convinced on the historical presentation of their dress, particularly battle, and other 'things' but again I digress. My problem is I tend to pick holes left right and centre in 'historic' films, so I try to switch that bit of my head off and just enjoy.

To say I was saddened at what I felt was lack of full length battle (citation) was soon superceded by the blood thirsty and almost humorous style of the movie, the unbothered blase attitude of the perpetrators on both sides.

Still, there were a couple of impressive decapitations, and a few other novel killings including a double-impaling with spear!

I won't spoil the ending, as whats the point in that, but it gets very close towards the end. Success or not.

Only a smidge of a romantic angle, certainly no kissing etc, so that was good too.

No nonsense, slick, visceral action with strong performances (for the most part) and a solid visual style.

I would give this film 4/5, perhaps slightly molested from my interests... not the greatest war film I have, but most certainly a good watch and very pretty in HD.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:16 pm

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

Friday, August 27, 2010
Centurion
IMDB

Centurion is a movie about escape of a few ROMAN soldiers (hero being one of them) from a deadly tribe, THE PICTS, especially when almost all the things go against them.. A march onto the PICTS itself turns into a sacrilege of their lives.. The movie has been shot in gorgeous mountains and icy terrain most of the times and that partly made this movie a visual treat.
The hero, a mere soldier, is deft to a certain degree and a bright one too.. But his pack is being chased by a sexy young girl (Olga Kurylenko) who is brighter and an even better tracker .. Later I found that an even better girl was waiting for the hero .. hehee.. who saves his ass too..
Remember they say that there is a woman behind every successful man .. there is a mild twist in the end watch it out..

Not a great one but a good watch with some of the scenes reminiscent of Gladiator and Defiance..

6/10
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:07 pm

http://www.letsgoseeamovie.com/2010/08/29/centurion/

Centurion

Historical fiction, blood, warriors oh and a love story stuck in there too, Neil Marshall does it all. It’s not quite an epic like Braveheart or 300 or Gladiator but it definitely entertaining. There’s good and evil on both sides of the war so it was hard to pick a side. Michael Fassbender was great and Olga Kurylenko, who doesn’t say a word, scared the hell out of me. If this is your things check it out but i’d wait for cable.
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Re: Centurion reviews 2

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:26 pm

http://www.filmtwats.com/reviews/review-centurion/

Aug 292010

Centurion tells the tale of the missing ‘Ninth Legion’, the elite Ninth Legion were presumably slaughtered during Roman occupied Britain, Neil Marshal’s fictional Centurion threads an action based thriller into the fabric of history and tries its very best to fill in those gaps.

Neil Marshall knows how to film scenery, during the intro of Centurion we are treated to some awesome aerial photography in a similar vein to The Descent, backed up with a beautiful score from Ilan Eshkeri (which kinda had a similar tempo to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon…. But maybe that’s just me?) Anyway, the flick basically follows centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) leader of a small band of survivors from the Ninth Legion. They’re hopelessly stuck far behind enemy lines in Pict territory and are continuously hunted down by a group of fierce Picts and there tracker Etain (Olga Kurylenko). As I was saying before, Centurion looks great! Filmed on what I would presume is a shoe size budget, as with all epics these days Centurion has been treated to a bleach coloured bypass and depending on your point of view – it’s either an artistic bonus or a pain in the arse… Personally, for a film like Centurion… I think it works. I think it probably helps disguise any rough edges that it may have otherwise displayed.

In fact two colours seem to stand out, the Pict’s blue tribal markings displayed on their bodies and the red guts ‘n’ gore…. and my, doesn’t this film have a ton of it! Centurion pulls no punches during depictions of graphic violence, heads are decapitated, arms and limbs are cut off and eyes are gouged. In fact the violence almost boarders on the verge of an ‘Itchy and Scratchy’ cartoon, but if you’re deranged like me… you’ll f#%@#&! love it! Michael Fassbender continues his escalation up the Hollywood hierarchy and he impress’s as the noble Quintus Dias. Fassbender shows vulnerability in his character as he is given what feels like an impossible task – charged with getting the surviving members of the ninth legion back behind Hadrian’s Wall and into Roman territory. Dominic ‘McNulty’ West is reliable as Titus Flavius Virilus, it’s just a shame West isn’t given more screen time with his roles, especially after his fantastic portrayal in ‘The Wire’.

Then there is the beautiful Olga Kurylenko as ‘Pict’ tracker/hunter Etain, she’s the face of our villains in this flick and she does a good job of making us/audience feel sorry for her because of her tormented past and yet at the same time, we want this traitorous bitch to die. Other than our three main leads though, the rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, they’re just kind of there for cannon fodders sake. Neil Marshall might not have attained the lofty heights of The Descent (The Descent in my opinion is one of the best made horror films of the last decade), but Centurion is an awesome well made little picture that’s just a little rough around the edges. The film looks beautiful, has great actors and has a great score to boot. Unfortunately though, a few missing character beats, a predictable plot and a slightly rushed ending stop Centurion from reaching the upper echelons of awesomeness.

Centurion is a well made little fpicture and whether you’re a fan of this genre or not – you should definitely give it a try! Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, it’ll be rude not to.

***½ (3½ out of 5)
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