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Centurion Reviews 3

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:16 pm

http://horrornews.net/21660/film-review-centurion-2010/

19 Nov 2010

by Craig McGee

Film Reviews

Centurion
Film Review: Centurion (2010)
Browse: Home / Film Reviews / Film Review: Centurion (2010)

Posted: November 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

SYNOPSIS:

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

REVIEW:

Written & Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko

QUICK FIX:

Way back in good old 117 A.D., Roman Centurion Quintus Dias has done the unimaginable and survived a raid by the Picts on his frontier fort. See, the Romans are invading the Britains, and the Pict mountain folk don’t take very kindly to that kind of intrusion, so they use the shadows and mountainous terrain and anything else they can to their advantage – for those who don’t know their history, just think of them as full-sized Ewoks trying to protect Endor from the Empire.

Anyway, during his daring escape, Dias runs into the famed 9th Legion – the Delta Force of the Roman Army – who have orders to wipe every last Pict from the face of the earth with extreme prejudice, and leads them back to the front. When it turns out to be a little more of a battle than they bargained for, Dias must lead the rag-tag group of survivors back to Rome to regroup, the whole time being hunted down and picked off one by one like the Predator did to Dutch’s team back in South America.

RAMBLINGS:

Neil Marshall, you cheeky bastard, you did it again!! Four for four, a damned amazing record if I do say so my damned selves, thank you! These days, getting one out of three right for me seems to be pretty standard for most writer/directors, but every single thing this man has done has left me not only entertained beyond all shadows of any doubt, but long before the end credits roll I’m already clamoring for his next film. Yeah, I’m gonna gush on and on about Mr. Marshall for awhile and if you don’t like it, I got just two words for ya…

Back in 2002, in a time sadly long past when I had an easy, very well-paying office gig and had way more money than I knew what to do with, I was in Best Buy very religiously and without fail every single Tuesday on my lunch break. Why? New release DVD day, duh…what the hell do you do on your lunch break? And perusing the horror section, there it was staring up at me like the last lone desperate semi-pretty-after-downing-a-bottle-of-tequila barfly just before the lights come on at closing time, pleading at you with sad eyes to take her home before the lights actually DO come on – DOG SOLDIERS.

With a cast I didn’t recognize any names ‘cept for a couple, and a writer/director I had never heard of before, and with the sh*#&% treatment werewolf movies usually get, sure – I was a little more than skeptical. But then I saw it was made by Brits, and if there’s one thing their filmmakers know over there across the pond, its horror and comedy. I took a chance and forked over my not-so-hard-earned $8.99 and took it home. I was rocked and rolled and blown away – easily one of my top 25 favorite movies of all time, and it still gets watched at least monthly if not more around here.

Then came THE DESCENT in 2005 – one of my very first (fourth, actually, if memory serves to be exact) professional reviews for a real, honest to goodness horror website. Think I liked it? s$#!, that movie damn near made me claustrophobic, and I sure as all bloody hell am not going spelunking anytime soon, I can tell you. I called it way back then in my review that Marshall was the A-Numba-One Duke Of New York writer/director dude to watch out for in the future, and I think he’s more than lived up to his hero status in my eyes through the years.

Fast-forward to 2008, and Marshall performs a hat-trick by reeling me in again with DOOMSDAY, which was the perfect blend of sci-fi and action, and an extremely kickass throwback/tribute to both ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE ROAD WARRIOR, and it was written & directed with a fanboy’s love, and damned if I didn’t love it too – even made my Top Ten of 2008’s Best Of list that year.

Now here we are again, this time in 2010. When I heard that CENTURION was actually based on historical events and had nothing to do with either horror OR sci-fi, yeah…little worried; little unsure; little freaked out that maybe Neil was leaving me for good. When it never even made it to a theater near me within like 200 miles and then virtually disappeared after a few days, I had no doubts in my mind that someone’s fate had been sealed and Neal & I were breaking up for good.

But then something miraculous happened…the screener landed in my lap. Of all the wonderful reviewers we have working for this site, the first-ever Neil Marshall flick that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with wound up flying into my mailbox to review. So, yeah…had no choice but to watch it, right? Fate was tempting me, and I folded like a cheap suit.

But man, I can’t tell you how thankful I am that it happened to me though…CENTURION is not only a fantastic movie, but it’s everything to me that the big-budget Hollyweird flicks like BRAVEHEART, and especially 300, weren’t to me. It’s not epic on a grand scale like those two in terms of budget, effects, patented name brand big box office drawing movie stars, or anything like that. BUT, it is more than epic on a grand scale in terms of full-on balls-out action and adrenaline.

LAST WORDS:

One thing I really love about this flick is that neither side of the battle is really, truly portrayed as the good guys or the bad guys, and that’s just fine with me. Just like in professional hockey – you pick your team, stand by them, and sit back and enjoy the bloody ride. CENTURION is, of course, now available everywhere you look for purchase on DVD and dammit, you need this one in your collection. Horror movie? No. Over-the-top kickass action flick by a man and a fan who has more than done horror justice over the last decade? Absofuckinglutely!!! Neil, please forgive me for ever doubting you. I promise it will never happen again!!

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:20 pm

http://latestissue.blogspot.com/2010/11/bloody-good-time.html

Monday, November 22, 2010
A Bloody Good Time

The legend of the Roman Ninth Legion is an interesting one. Supposedly, the veteran legion of over three thousand men who were stationed in Roman-occupied England in the waning years of the Empire disappeared in the woods of Scotland. Though this may no longer be the preferred explanation of historians who believe that the Legion was actually transferred to the eastern fringes of Roman occupancy and destroyed there, either in Judea or Parthia, it's certainly enough of an idea to capture the imagination of filmmakers. Next year, I'll likely check out The Eagle, which is about that very idea (though I'll likely enjoy Jaime Bell's performance more than that of the film's "star", Channing Tatum). But that film likely will have little improvement on a film that reached limited release this year, Neil Marshall's Centurion. When the film was first released this past summer, I was first entranced by the cast, which included The Wire's Dominic West and Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko. When I discovered that Marshall was the director, I was hooked and determined to see the film at the earliest opportunity. Sadly, it's run in theaters was depressingly short, and my busy schedule meant I didn't get a chance to see it immediately. So it was only recently, when i re-discovered the film on DVD, that I finally got the opportunity to sit down and take it in. Would it be worth the wait?

Yeah, if I saw her chasing me, I'd run faster...
Centurion gets off to a quick start. In Roman-occupied Britain, the army is faring poorly against the Picts, Celtic warriors inhabiting the Scottish highlands. The Picts fight a guerrilla war that is foreign to the soldiers of the Roman military. They use sneak attacks and feints to defeat much larger foes, and the Romans have no plan or tactic against it. Under pressure from Rome, the governor sends the Ninth Legion north into Scotland under the command of Titus Flavius Virilus (West), their elite military army, to wipe out the Picts once and for all. That doesn't quite work out for them, as the Ninth is obliterated in an ambush that results in the capture of Titus and decimation of his soldiers in a battle bloodier than any you've seen in recent years. In the end, only seven soldiers are left, led by Centurion Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender). They decide to rescue Titus before returning home, all the while being hunted by the hunter and assassin Etain (Kurylenko), who has her own reasons for spilling Roman blood.

...Faster than him, anyway
While "Seven Centurions with Swords" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "Six Chicks with Picks", Centurion shares some similarities with Marshall's previous films. In seemingly all Marshall movies, a small group is cut off from all help and forced to fight the elements, each other and external forces in an attempt to get home, and Centurion is no different. Many of these men are damned to die never being able to see their homes or families again, as they are killed off one by one the closer they get to their homeland. Not all the soldiers are noble, either, and some downright villainous, and this thankfully leads to something of a mix of character types. But the thing it truly shares with it's predecessors is the blood flow. Marshall never shies from spilling blood, guts, or anything else in his battles, whether they be one-on-one or hundreds against hundreds. When someone, good or bad dies, you wince automatically, as the death is as brutal as you can expect from a Marshall film.

Not a zombie film, but from this shot you'd be forgiven to think so
The film, though similar in tone to Marshall's previous works, still manages to keep the tension high. Though the film is at it's heart a chase/action film, it doesn't feel samey and the audience doesn't feel like it's been sitting through the same sequence over and over. And any time Kurylenko is on the screen, that tension is tripled, as even playing a mute assassin she manages to convey with her mannerisms most of what you need to know to get the character, with what little else to know spoken of by others. Simply her presence is performance enough, and as a physical embodiment of revenge she's the real star of this film. Fassbender, before this best known as the Inglourious Basterds officer who couldn't count to three in German, is noble and strong as the film's lead. He comes across believably as a leader of men in dire circumstances, consumed with getting these soldiers home. Dominic West, best known (and amazing) as Det. Jimmy McNulty in the HBO series The Wire (The best show you've never seen, or in many cases ever heard of), has only a small role in this film but as a General who commands the respect of his men by leading them into the fight and will sacrifice anything for them, he works with his usual charismatic style. West is one of the best actors who hasn't made it big on the mainstream stage, and any chance you have to see him, you should take it.

They're not exactly "merry men"
It's a shame the film's secondary characters don't get as much presence as the film's stars. Far too often are characters confusable with one another, and it's not until after the scene is over that you realize who has died and who is still around, or which character committed a particularly dastardly deed. This isn't helped by the fact that most of these characters get precious little time for introspection, so we know very little about them before they are wiped from the slate of the film. The most recognizable of them creates his own problem, as while Noel Clarke is a talented actor, somehow a black Centurion seems a little too far-fetched to be believable. Marshall has stated that the film was never mean to be historically-accurate, but still. Are there any historians out there who can tell me whether this was at all feasible? Regardless, the handling of the film's cannon fodder could and should have had more time attributed to it. The best of them is actually Imogen Poots as Arianne, a Pict outcast that the survivors meet late in the film, with Liam Cunningham a close second as a veteran Roman soldier named Brick.

She just watched Quantum of Solace for the first time
The best thing about the film might be the moral ambiguity of it all. Though Dias is obviously an honorable man, and Etain more or less a monster (though justifiably so), the Romans are not necessarily the heroes of this tale. Though the Picts are shown as "tribal" and "barbaric" in their living styles as opposed to the "civilized" Romans, they almost certainly could be seen as the "good guys" from a different angle. After all, the Romans committed atrocities against the local British populace during their invasion and occupation in expanding their Empire. The Picts simply want to drive the Romans from their shores, to live free apart from the Empire. The legendary fate of the Ninth Legion is not so surprising when you consider the expansion of empires over the centuries, and their inevitable weaknesses from becoming stretched too thin. Getting back to the film, however, we still only have Dias to root for, and Etain to root against. That it could easily be the other way around is an interesting, and no doubt there's some who saw this movie thinking just that. In the end we're just hoping someone chops the head or arm of somebody else, to sate our apparent blood lust.

There's a LOT of blood in this film
It might not have been as good as Marshall's best film, The Descent, but Centurion was in my opinion well worth checking out. It's a shame when small imported films like this get overlooked for U.S. wide release, with Hollywood instead deciding to churn out their own story shortly afterward. I have no doubt that 2011's The Eagle will be nowhere close in quality to Centurion, despite it's assuredly larger budget and billions of camera filters to get the look "just right". It's a shame because Marshall is one of those directors who will never get any real attention from the mainstream until he makes some film about a far-east boy who finds the love of his life thanks to a corrupt quiz show (Sorry, Danny Boyle). But Marshall doesn't do that kind of film. He makes bleak, non-heroic action films in which the characters are often running away from danger instead of into the thick of it. And that's good enough for #7 on my Top 10 List. A little more character development would have gone a long way, but blood and guts and strong acting from all corners makes this not only one of this year's faves, but one of the year's more unappreciated flicks. It's not for everybody (Understatement of the year), but for those it appeals to, it is worth a watch.
Posted by Gianni at 12:34:00 PM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:11 pm

http://samuraifrog.blogspot.com/2010/11/film-week_24.html

CENTURION (2009)
Neil Marshall directed this movie about a Roman soldier (Michael Fassbender) stuck behind enemy lines, trying to lead a group of survivors back to Hadrian's Wall. It's like a pulp adventure--painted in broad strokes of life and death, very gory, with a group of likable characters in peril. Not quite the equal of the director's The Descent, but very, very entertaining. I especially dug David Morrissey and Liam Cunningham as two of the Roman soldiers, and Olga Kurylenko is surprisingly badass as the Brigantine tracker hunting them down. ***1/2 stars.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:45 pm

http://www.diegeticsound.com/2010/11/centurion-neil-marshall-proves-hes.html


Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Centurion: Neil Marshall proves he's Jackson Pollock with blood splatter
I sadly missed the Toronto After Dark Film Fest this year and a major lament concerning that was not seeing Centurion, Neil Marshall's latest flick. Compounding this, the movie skipped the theaters and went straight to DVD, wherein I loudly complained to anyone who would (or would not) listen. Then I saw Doomsday. After that can you really blame distributors for not having faith?

Centurion is set in the second century A.D. as the Romans are expanding their empire into a last bastion of resistance, the land of the Picts. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) survives an ambush by the Picts and reunites with a legion led by General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West). They swear revenge, get ambushed again and the general is taken prisoner. In case you aren't up on your Roman code that means the survivors have to go get him. This doesn't pan out so well, but does set the vicious Pict tracker Etain (Olga Kurlenko) on their trail. What remains of the legion then begins a chase-and-pursue quest to get home.

Besides the unfortunate voice over, Fassbender delivers a great performance. It's as if the man was made to play abused characters (or maybe my thought association with him and Hunger is still too strong) but from the opening sequence of him running shirtless through the snow the trials and tribulations don't let up. Dominic West is (fittingly) a mix of 300 gladiator and The Wire hard-nosed-but-one-of-the-boys authority figure. But it is Olga Kurlenko who steals the show. Though I cringed at first when we find our one female lead is a mute (her tongue was cut out by Romans), Kurlenko does a lot with Etain. And it has less to do with her Bond Girl beauty, which is masked under amazing costume design, but more to do with (at risk of sound like Tyra Banks) the use of her face and eyes to emote nothing short of pure hatred for the colonizing Romans.

There's no denying that Marshall is a Jackson Pollock with blood spray and Centurion delivers some great works of splatter. The fight scenes are reminiscent of Gladiator with the same blue steeped tone, but the plot is less Ridley Scott than it is The Odyssey - stretching, epic and riddled with secondary characters. While the subject matter has no horror it's still very much a Marshall film. There are clear elements of Dog Soldiers (the return to an almost all male military cast; Etain being cast as a she-wolf of sorts) and also the aforementioned Doomsday. But don't let the latter deter you from renting this. Marshall builds off the interesting experimentation with time period drama that we see in Doomsday, rather than Bentley vs punk street gang car chase.

Maybe it's because Centurion streeted around Remembrance Day, but I found many lines in the film resonated with current wars and political dramas. When Quintus remarks: "This a new kind of war, without armour, without end" it is hard for thoughts not to leap to current conflicts in the Middle East. The guerrilla enemy, Quintus' questioning of who and what he is fighting for and (spoiler) his ultimate lack of support from his country only add to this.

But politics aside, Centurion is a great way to cleanse your palette of Doomsday. Let's just hope the next dish Marshall serves is equally as appetizing.

Update: Would like to thank Centurion and Doomsday star Axelle Carolyn for the blog love, check her out on Twitter.
Posted by Kiva at 6:51 PM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:46 pm

http://thingthatdontsuck.blogspot.com/2010/11/centurion.html

Monday, November 29, 2010
Centurion

Like Rian Johnson, Neil Marshall is a director who I respond to primarily because he has apparently dedicated his career to making the types of movies I like to watch. Dog Soldiers is a scrappy little film, one of the few to use the Raimi/Jackson Splatterpunk tradition without simply aping it. The Descent is one of the best, smartest, most squirm enducing horror films of the previous decade. And Doomsday is Grindhouse for those raised on the films of John Carpenter and Walter Hill instead of the 42nd Street product. He simply has yet to make a film I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed.

So Given the festival buzz it got, I was somewhat surprised that I never got a chance to see Centurion in a theater. Not only that but The DVD release was so quiet that I didn’t even know the movie was out until I literally stumbled upon it at Borders as I was looking for something to use a ten dollar coupon on.

If I was surprised by Centurion’s handling before viewing it, I’m down right baffled now. Centurion is simply put, a blast, a good ole fashioned slice of B movie heaven. It delivers the requisite thrills and chills, with a keen and unique visual sensibility and an old fashioned sense of story. All while taking exquisite advantage of the severe beauty of the natural surroundings, getting its all out of its charismatic cast, and delivering some fantastically tense set pieces and some brutal action. As well as a few of the most roundly unexpected Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid references I’ve ever seen.

Centurion tells the story of the fabled Ninth Legion. The legendary group of Roman Soldiers who one day marched into Northern Britain and never marched the f&#! out.

Centurion follows the few survivors’ of the massacre as they’re hunted by a group of vengeful and f#%@#&! crazy Pict warriors across the merciless and harshly beautiful landscape of Northern Britain. The cast headed by the ever enjoyable Michael Fassbender, Dominic “McNulty” West, and a surprisingly feral Olga Kurylenko all of whom do credible and charismatic work.

Comparing it to Driven, which was a B movie whose delusions of grandeur ended up sucking all the life out of it, Centurion is a film that does nothing but relentlessly deliver the goods all while couching things in a natural moral grey area that gives the film a little bit of gristle for you to chew on.

The film’s not perfect, not since The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnaussus have I seen a film where the harsh digital stock disagrees so completely with the film’s overall aesthetic. Just as much of a problem are the conspicuous digital gore shots, even more baffling then usual given the film’s excellent practical effects. Coupled with the slack final fifteen minutes, which follow a terrific final showdown between pursuers and pursued, it’s enough to keep Centurion in the “Very Good” category rather then the “Instant Genre Classic” one.

But for action movie fans who prefer First Blood to Rambo II, Centurion is just what the doctor ordered in a slack year for good action films.
Posted by Bryce Wilson at 11:02 AM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:53 am

http://eclipsetwilightdvd.blogspot.com/2010/11/centurion-review.html

Centurion Review
| Posted in Centurion, Review | Posted on 3:30 AM

The Ninth Legion marches north through Britain with orders to take out the savage Pict forces. As the soldiers make their way behind enemy lines, they are ambushed by the very people they were sent to exterminate. After the ambush the few survivors of the legion must head further into enemy territory to escape being hunted by the enemy forces and rescue their General, captured by the Picts during the ambush.

Starring Michael Fassbender, who played Hicox in Inglorious Bastards and will star as Magneto in the upcoming X-Men: First Class. I believe he is an excellent upcoming actor. Olga Kurylenko, a Ukrainian actress who stared in Quantum of Solace as one of the famed Bond Girls, also has a starring role in Centurion. Kurylenko adds sex appeal to the slaughter, making murder look almost sexy.

Fassbender plays Quintus Dias, a centurion leading the Roman survivors through the British wilderness, who is left in charge after the capture of the Ninth Legion's general. Quintus must keep his men alive and rescue their general before making their way back to the Roman line. The small Roman band is being chased by a group of Picts, lead by the beautiful warrior woman Etain(pllayed by Kurylenko.) Etain has a deep childhood hatred for everything Roman and will stop at nothing to see the soldiers dead.

As I watched, I was drawn in by the action. The special effects were not great but everything had amazing realism. From the beautiful scenery of the sets to the amazing fight scenes, that definitely don't skip the blood and gore, I was captivated by the way it all came together to form an interesting and entertaining storyline.

The only negative aspect of this movie was the slight inaccuracy of the historical facts involving the leadership and politics in the year A.D. 117, but this is only a slight draw back to those who know more than average about Roman culture and is easily overlooked.

With a number of epic battles, that easily compare to Gladiator and 300, and an original story that keeps the viewer interested but more importantly entertained, Centurion is a must see film.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:38 am

http://www.roseysreview.com/2010/12/movie-review-centurion.html

Friday, December 3, 2010
MOVIE REVIEW: CENTURION
Labels: Movie Reviews
Staring:
Michael Fassbender...Centurion Quintus Dias
Andreas Wisniewski...Commander Gratus
Olga Kurylenko...Etain
Dave Legeno...Vortix
Axelle Carolyn...Aeron
Dominic West...General Titus Flavius Virilus
Noel Clarke...Macros
JJ Feild...Thax
Lee Ross...Septus
David Morrissey...Bothos
Ulrich Thomsen...Gorlacon
Paul Freeman...Governor Julius Agricola

Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Neil Marshall
Tagline: History is written in blood
Film Location: United Kingdom
Rated: R

Plot:
Britain, A.D. 117. Quintus Dias, the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the Earth and destroy their leader, Gorlacon.

Verdict:
Making a movie, with no real ending, could be hard. This is a movie about the Ninth Legion and its mysterious disappearance from the records around 108 A.D.. The most common pop culture version is they marched into modern day Scotland to destroy the Picts and never returned. I love mystery and I love ancient cultures but this movie was just okay.

Liked: The cinematography
Disliked: Showing the men pee all the time (point??)

Favorite Character: Etain (She kicked ass)
Least Favorite Character: Governor Julius Agricola

Script: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Plot: 5/10
Ending: 5/10
Over All Rating: 5/10 Roses- Take it or leave it

Best To Watch: Laying on the couch either sick or hungover
Recommended For: Those whom like action and violence

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:39 am

http://insidepulse.com/2010/12/03/the-smark-dvd-rant-for-centurion/

The SmarK DVD Rant for Centurion
by Scott Keith - December 3, 2010

Alternate title: Quintas Dias has a REALLY bad week.

I give this movie full props for effort and entertainment value, make no mistake. In the grand swords-and-sandals tradition of 300, Braveheart and Gladiator, Neil Marshall’s Centurion leaves it all on the screen. Unfortunately, it can’t quite live up to those lofty standards, but it’s a damn sight better than Robin Hood, at least.

The Film

So, about 2000 years ago, the Romans were marching across Europe trying to maintain their empire. Particularly, they went into what is now England and had a hell of a time with the people who were already living there, the Picts, who were of course not particularly keen on being subjugated. Centurion is one of those sorta-truthy “histori-tainment” type deals where we learn the secret fate of the ninth Roman Legion, three thousand men who went to the island looking for a fight and didn’t come back. Leading these bad-ass Romans is General Virilus (Dominic West), who is basically King Leonidas with better armor. Sadly, the awesome Virilus (he’s VIRIL!) isn’t the main character here, but rather lower-level Centurion Quintas Dias (son of a GLADIATOR!). Quintas has the misfortune of getting kidnapped and tortured by the Picts during a raid, thus requiring a rescue from Virilus and his legion. However, this only serves to rile up the almost-as-badass Pict king and his hordes of warpainted Celtic nutcases, and well, things don’t go very smoothly for the Romans as a result. Three words: Giant rolling fireballs. So now Quintas and a very small group of survivors has to rescue Virilus right back, and well, things don’t go very smoothly there, either. Pretty soon it’s Quintas and his ragtag group of Romans having to trudge through ancient England, in the damn winter, while being tracked by the medieval version of the Terminator. Look, let’s be honest here, this is a movie for people who thought that 300 was ridiculously upbeat and needed to tone down the optimism a bit. This is a dire movie more in the tradition of old school westerns where men were men who hung in until the end, outnumbered or not. So yeah, like 300, but I loved that movie too, so whatever.

That being said, this was a 90 minutes I really wanted to enjoy, and that’s worth something to me. Despite the budget constraints and slightly goofy logic employed at times (they can be tracked across the river by their scent, but they’re able to hide under a house’s floorboards with the Picts right above them?), there’s some cool stuff here. Heads explode, limbs are detached, the fight scenes are generally above the fast-cutting OCD nonsense that usually drags these things down (looking at YOU, Gladiator), and Michael Fassbender as Quintas is pretty convincing as a tired and yet bad-ass leader. Plus the script pulls very few punches in showing that both sides are kind of jerks, as the Picts are only defending their land, and most of the Romans are far from heroic. It kind of made me want to visit my local library and learn more about the Picts and their story. Or my local Wikipedia, whatever.

Yeah, it’s kind of violent and stupid, but I had a good time and could look past the flaws, like the needless twist ending and the thing with the wolves. You’ll know it when you see it. I just wish there had been more of Virilus in it. He was pretty awesome for a murdering Roman. Recommended for action fans!

Audio & Video

Given the dark, wintery subject matter, the transfer is understandably a bit murky at times. It also helps to disguise the low-budget set dressings, I think. The fake blood looked a bit too fake at times on high resolution DVD, but that’s part of the fun sometimes. The soundtrack is pretty rockin’, with all the grunts and arrows flying into the surrounds and some good rumble in the subwoofer when bad stuff is going down. Which was often. Not a really aggressive mix otherwise, but it got the job done.

Bonus Features

Tons of stuff for a low-key release like this! You get director commentary, deleted scenes, a featurette, outtakes, interviews, and photo galleries.

The Pulse

If, like me, you enjoyed Braveheart, 300, and all those other movies where one man decided not to take s$#! from a bunch of other well-armed men despite how much bad stuff happened to him as a result, you’ll be into this one as well. Recommended.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:40 am

http://thefilmbuffs.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion-2010.html

12.03.2010
Centurion (2010)
Centruwian...Why do they.... titter so?

Neil Marshall is one of those directors who, at least in my book, ratchets down a notch with each new film he releases. The more money he has at his disposal it seems, the less satisfying the final result. His first feature, Dog Soldiers (2002) ranks amongst my favourite B's of the last ten years. The Descent (2005) was an unbearably-claustrophobic horror that I quite enjoyed, in spite of my skittishness about the genre. I didn't like Doomsday (2008) as much as Joe did, but admired it for its innovative reworking of a tired genre, the apocalypse-actioner.

Centurian (2010) is a much bigger movie in every sense. It has real stars, a middling-budget (used here to good effect), a decent script (also penned by Marshall) with a good hook (Behind Enemy Lines meets The Warriors meets Gladiator) and some stunning cinematography. Centurion’s most notable feature however, strangely isn't any of these things. It is unbelievably violent.

The film is set in 117 in northern Britannia, at the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire. The local Picts (who look disturbingly similar to Klingons, by the way), utilizing a successful combination of ancient guerrilla warfare and shear viciousness, have held out against the advancing Romans for the better part of 20 years. One might say that the Romans are having trouble depicting England. Centurion centers on a group of seven Romans (led by Michael Fassbender), who are stranded behind enemy lines after their invading legion is slaughtered by the Picts. Their goal is to escape the marauding Rochesters who are hunting them all the while, and get back to Roman-held territory and safety in the south.

I'm going to give Marshall the benefit of the doubt here and suggest that Centurion is his attempt to deromanticize the violence associated with war - to expose the valorous and bloodless sword fights from films like Gladiator for what they really are: brutal acts of horrifying murder, moral or not. I've never counted the number of beheadings in a film before, but I lost track during Centurion. 30?... that might be low. The violence is so relentless, blood-soaked and grotesque that the film almost collapses in on itself. I think it was meant to be anti-war and anti-authority, but there's possibly a little too much curious fanboy/blood-lust delight laying just under the surface of Centurion to make it convincing. Perhaps a better read on the underlying point of the film is the concept that the West (proto-Westerner Romans in this case) can’t defeat the local populations of lands they invade without emerging as villains themselves. There are no “good” sides in Centurion. Both the Picts and Romans are savages bent on each other's destruction. The few decent and honourable people depicted in Centurion are themselves victims of the larger forces at play... politics and warfare have always gone hand in hand . So....some things never change?

Centurion is 10 times more violent than it had to be to make its point and even though it's only 97 minutes long, still drags in the final act. On a possible upside, it's got shitloads of nasty, crunchy, slicey battle scenes, if that happens to turn your crank. It's Rambo violent. You've been warned.

Sporgey.
Posted by La Sporgenza at 5:00 PM
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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:24 am

http://lanemcmullen.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/netflix-movie-centurion/

Netflix Movie: Centurion
December 5, 2010 lmcmullen

I think I have my thirst for bloody action movies quenched after watching Centurion. If you don’t like movies with epic battles with swords and spears then you will not like this one. Directed by Neil Marshall and starring Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko as the main characters, this movie wasn’t bad. I did feel like I wanted to take a shower after watching it as every character seemed like they are either covered in dirt or covered in blood. If you like Gladiator then you might like this one however it isn’t quite as dramatic, doesn’t have as good of acting, and is much bloodier. I would like to give this one 3 ½ stars but I am limited. I gave it 3/5 stars. To learn more about this movie, click here.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:51 am

http://www.filmdogsonline.com/2010/12/07/across-the-pond-double-feature-denmarks-valhalla-rising-and-the-uks-centurion/

Centurion

Centurion on the other hand is a much more “by the book” historical epic and by the “book” I mean Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. This is the first film I’ve seen by director Neil Marshall, and I’ve generally heard good things about his work, especially the horror film The Descent. Here he takes the tale of the Roman Ninth Legion’s massacre in Britain and tells it from the perspective of one of it’s bravest surviving soldiers, Quintus Dias, played by Inglourious Basterds‘ Michael Fassbender. Having recently seen the trailer for the Kevin Macdonald film The Eagle, starring Jamie Bell and Channing Tatum, which also deals with the aftermath of the Ninth’s disappearance, I have a feeling that this film will come out on top.

Quintus Dias is a Roman Centurion who finds himself captured by the tribes of Britain, or Picts as they call them, after his fort is attacked. Upon escape he joins up with the mighty Ninth legion which is headed north to wipe out the natives once and for all. Their commander General Titus Flavius Virilus played by the always great Dominic West, is a force of nature who will surely defeat them…Until they are betrayed by their mute and brutal Pict scout Etain (Quantum of Solace’s Olga Kurylenko). General Virilus is captured leaving only Quintus and a small band of likable supporting players to save him, if they don’t get hunted down by Etain first.

Olga Kurylenko as Etain.

Centurion is a film with a formula for success that involves many cliches of the genre, but they are never so in your face as to make you annoyed. For the most part it’s a fun Gladiator style romp that could have used a softer touch when the film tries to get emotional. One gets the feeling that love stories aren’t something Marshall is accustomed to dealing with. The editing and pacing could have flowed a little smoother as well, the story often felt like it was putting on the brakes in the beginning. I mentioned before that the Ninth is betrayed by the central villain Etain, which was laughable considering they never had any reason to trust her in the first place. Plot convenience often takes center stage here, but that’s ok because the action sequences are well done and sufficiently bloody. Plus, Marshall has a pretty good eye and takes full advantage of the wonderful locations. Overall, Centurion is a fun way for any fan of epic action to send a few hours.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:12 pm

http://artfullybedraggledfilmreviews.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/centurion/

Centurion

Title: Centurion
Year: 2010
Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Riz Ahmed, Noel Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Imogen Poots
MPAA Rating: R, sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language
Runtime: 97 min
Major Awards: -
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

Neil Marshall does a good job directing Centurion, this is a huge film that he directed with just a $12 million budget, and he gets the most out of every penny, delivering some pretty nifty action scenes in the B-movie sort of style his films always seem to have. Just watch his insanely good The Descent to get to know how good this guy can be. Other than the action, however, there’s not that much to love here, because the screenplay, also written by Mr. Marshall, isn’t really good at all, the dialogue feels kinda off and the characters aren’t developed as nicely as they could have been.

Go see Centurion if you like your battles bloody and well done and if you don’t care much at all about proper character development, because that’s pretty much exactly what you’ll be getting here. And if you consider that the lead actor is Michael Fassbender then you’ll probably be thinking that this could have been quite better.

Mr. Fassbender is a guy most definitely on the rise, he came on to the scene in 2006, when he played Stelios in 300, and then a couple years later is when I started taking notice of this guy after seeing his performance in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, one of the most harrowing performances I saw in all of the past decade. Last year he was in Inglorious Basterds and this year he made an appearance in the dreadful Jonah Hex. And the guy is set to have a very busy 2011, a year in which I reckon he’ll finish cementing his status as a star. He’ll first pop up in the new Jane Eyre adaptation alongisde Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench; then in April he’s set to appear in Haywire, Steven Soderbergh’s next film alongisde the likes of Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas; and then in June he’ll be leading an all-star cast in a sure blockbuster, appearing as the young Magneto in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class alongside James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones and a lot of other awesome people. And if you think that wasn’t enough he also has A Dangerous Method coming, that one being David Cronenberg’s next feature, starring alongisde Cronenberg’s usual collaborator Viggo Mortensen as well as Keira Knightley; not to mention the just-announced Shame which will reunite him with his Hunger director and see him next to my personal favorite, Carey Mulligan.

So yes, I’m a fan of Michael Fassbender. I haven’t had that much to judge him by, but Hunger alone makes me want to see what this guy does next, and just judging by the pedigree of the projects he’s signed on to for next year, I can tell that this guy is at least very smart when picking his projects, and that he likes to keep his plate busy, striking while the iron’s hot, wise move.

But back to Centurion, the film tells the story of a group of Roman soldiers who fight behind enemy lines in a beautiful Scottish landscape. So there’s a lot of running away from the enemies and doing their best to remain alive against the odds.

That landscape I mention is another reason for this being such a bearable film even though the characters are so one-dimensional, or in some cases pretty much non-dimensional. The Scottish highlands portrayed here are beautifully shot, the color scheme looking lovely against our tale of people running behind those shades of gray and blue, and then that lovely contrasting shade red when there’s blood involved. And when there is blood involved, it’s involved by the gallons, splattering out of the unfortunate chopped-up victims like crazy, looking cartoonish at times, but in the most awesome of ways.

I didn’t really know what to make of Centurion, I loved it when they got into the fighting scenes, and I loved how the scenery looked as they were running from the Picts that were chasing them, all shown in some pretty rad long shots. But I just couldn’t fathom how little we got to know our characters. The structure of the narrative is quite pleasing, but the dialogue just leaves too much to be desired, there’s a lot of expletives being thrown by the soldiers but there’s not much else, these guys being reduced many times to not much more than the bodies we’re seeing running along that beautiful scenery or being killed in really nifty ways. And when you have Mr. Fassbender and Dominic West, who’s from The Wire which means he can do no wrong, you just get a feeling that this could have been much more.

Grade: B-

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:21 am

http://bestnewreleasemovies.com/content/centurion-movie-download-treat-fantasy-lovers

Centurion Movie Download is a Treat for Fantasy Lovers
Submitted by admin on Sat, 12/11/2010 - 12:29

Not many films have been made in settings as used for this film. Set in A.D 117 in Britain, the film is a virtual treat for all those who are interested in that phase of history. The film has been written and directed by Neil Marshall and stars Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko. The film talks about the bravery of a group of Roman soldiers who are fighting for their lives across the enemy lines.

This was the time when Roman Empire was at its peak and stretched from Egypt to Spain and it was visible as far as Black Sea. But it was in the northern region of Britain that Roman forces had to face the savage tribe of Picts who were trained in guerrilla warfare. When the Picts almost wiped out the Roman forces, one of the survivors of their attack, Quintus, gets assistance and gets orders to annihilate the Picts from the face of the earth. Centurion movie download is now available on many websites on the internet which is good news for all those who like to watch period films.

But as fate would have it, Quintus is ambushed by Picts again, and the film beautifully shows the valiant struggle of his small platoon against the marauding Picts. It is really a brave and tough journey from the rough terrains of northern Britain to the safety of the Roman Empire.

Though the film is full of amazing fight scenes and some thrilling horse racing, the audiences find it hard to decide on which side they really are. However, despite this shortcoming, the film is a feast for eyes of all those who like fantast and action. Also for those interested in period films, the film is a super bonanza. Centurion movie download is enough to thrill you to pieces

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:22 am

http://ryancolucci.blogspot.com/2010/12/movie-review-centurion.html

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Movie Review: Centurion
Centurion is a title that passed out of theaters very quickly, but I'm always interested in movies about Roman warfare. I can't explain that, it just is. And I've been on a Michael Fassbender marathon lately. Hunger, 300, Inglourious Basterds... and I just added Jonah Hex and Blood Creek to my queue. Neither of which I think will be good, but I'm excited to check his performances out. He blew me away in Hunger and it has been all Fassbender since.

In Centurion he plays a Roman soldier who basically goes through hell at the hand of the Picts. He was good, but to be honest it was Dominic West who really shone in this one as the Roman general who is one with his men. Built for battle and nothing else.

This film actually has the same problems as the other Neil Marshall films I've seen (all of them) - a cool premise, but a murky plot with even murkier lighting making it hard to decipher what's going on and the occasionally awesome sequence. Thankfully, most of this film takes place during the daylight. And the cast of this film is better than the others.

I guess my biggest problem with the film is that, although West and Fassbender are awesome, it is hard to root for Roman soldiers. They are way out of Rome, invading the homes and land of the Picts. They try to dehumanize the Picts, by dressing them up like savages and having them speak in a foreign tongue... but Olga Kurylenko's hunter character (she would be so awesome if she never spoke like in this film) was raped and had her tongue cut out by the Romans, right after her parents were raped and killed. And the only child in the film is a Pict child, who is killed by the Romans. None of this is actually a 'problem', it is probably more like real-life. Both sides of a battle have their heroes, and their reasons. But here the Picts are depicted as the villains, unlike a film such as Battle of Algiers where both sides are portrayed evenly.
Posted by Ryan Colucci

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:29 pm

http://discordicadventuresoffnord.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion-2010.html

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Centurion ((2010))

In 2nd-century Britain, Roman fighter Quintas Dias (Michael Fassbender) is the lone survivor of a Pictish attack on a Roman frontier post. Eager for revenge, he joins the Ninth Legion -- under General Virilus (Dominic West) -- and journeys north on a mission to destroy the Picts. Writer-director Neil Marshall's rousing sword-and-sandals adventure also stars Olga Kurylenko as the beautiful Pict warrior Etain.

Neil Marshall delivers yet another blood soaked action adventure film. This time, a band of Romans are on the run from some kill crazy Picts. There's plenty of blood, sweat and tears. I can't sing the film's praises, as it's honestly not anything particularly amazing. But it was exactly what I wanted it to be, and for what it was, it was quite good. A great cast of grizzled Brits play the Romans, and both the lovely Olga Kurylenko and wind worn Ulrich Thomsen make for scary Picts. Worth a watch if you want a sword swinging, gut ripping action film.

Come on.... what do we all watch a movie of this type for anyway??? It appeared to me to be a very accurate depiction of life as I have read it to be in the late Roman occupation of the British Isles. It was certainly full of action, bloody battle scenes and other beautiful cinematography. I hope the last line of the story rings true and that it is turned into a serial along the lines of "Blood and Sand".

****/*****

4/5 Stars
Posted by Fnord at 9:01 AM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:37 pm

http://reviewsandrevues.blogspot.com/2010/12/movies-recommended-or-seen-lately-les_6848.html

mercredi 15 décembre 2010
Movies recommended or seen lately... les films a voir #123: Centurion
Genre: Action/historical/historique

Annee/Year: 2010

Format: Blu Ray

Centurion. An action packed movie from British director/writer Neil Marshall (who brought us The Descent and Doomsday). Centurion retells the tale of the 9th legion of the Roman Empire. The legend of the 9th stems from the fact that it mostly disappeared without a trace. After that poitn Adrian put up a wall to protect the mighty empire from the Picts occupying the northern british isle's territory. The story itself is quite simple, the 9th legion and 10th legion get wiped out by the Picts and the few roman survivors try to save their captured general. That plan fails and the rest of the movie is one long scene of pursuit in the harsh conditions of what is now England.

A solid movie with good acting. Main roles played by Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Axelle Carolyn. Many action and battle scenes, very gory but well done. One memorable scene when the Roman legion gets ambushed by the picts. Beautifully rendered and action packed. A very entertaining movie that takes itself very seriously but without much of a soul. A bit like Marshall's other movies.

Centurion est un film du directeur Anglais Neil Marshall (The descent et Doomsday). C'est un film d'action mis en scène dans la période de 117AD pendant la bataille des Romains pour conquérir l'Angleterre. Plus spécifiquement on raconte ici l'histoire de la 9e légion qui disparut mystérieusement lors de cette invasion. On voit la 9e et 10e légion se faire massacrer par les Pictes et surtout lors d'une scène mémorable ou les Pictes tendent une embuscade aux Romains. Le reste du film est une longue poursuite dans la campagne anglaise. Un film d'action très divertissant certes; mais qui demeure très sérieux et qui manque d'âme.

Great quotes:

Centurion Quintus Dias: In the chaos of battle, when the ground beneath your feet is a slurry of blood, puke, piss and the entrails of friends and enemies alike, it's easy to turn to the gods for salvation. But it's soldiers who do the fighting, and soldiers who do the dieing, and the gods, never get their feet wet.
...
Soldier: He's a ruthless, reckless bastard. And I'd die for him without hesitation.
...
Bothos: Quintus, what's she doing?
Brick: She's a Pict and a woman - two good reasons not to trust her.
...
Roman leader: no matter what comes out of the mist you will hold the line. Hold the ine!

Link: http://www.centurionmovie.com/

Rating perso: 7.0/10
Publié par Sylvain Gagnon à l'adresse 15:51

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:17 pm

http://fliederonfilm.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Centurion

The time is 117 A.D. and Rome is continuing their invasions in Europe. But they have a ruthless new enemy called the Picts who are keeping them at bay. A group of Roman soldiers get the order that they are to defeat the Picts using any means necessary. A Braveheart-large-scale-type battle ensues. And that's just the beginning.

'Centurion' is kind of an art house version of ‘300’. So don’t look for any cheesy guilty-pleasure lines like Gerard Butler’s, ‘Tonight we dine in Hell!’. This one is darker and much less mainstream. It does feature two ‘300’ alumni though: Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. But mainly it’s an unrecognizable cast, and that added to its realism. But be forewarned, it's dark, bloody, and brutally violent.

Truthfully, the film is a bit confusing the first time you see it. But ultimately I found it very entertaining. It’s no Braveheart, but it’s much better than ‘300’, and even though it just ended I’d actually like to see it again right now to pick up what I missed the first time. So that says a lot.

Grade: B+

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:55 pm

http://www.hollywood.com/news/Under_the_Radar_Centurion/7743149

Under the Radar: 'Centurion'

By Brian Salisbury , Special to Hollywood.com | Thursday, December 16, 2010

If you're anything like me, first of all, please accept my sincere condolences -- but it means that you also love epic period films with boatloads of swordplay. Not to generalize too terribly, but it seems as though films like Gladiator, Braveheart, and Return of the King have a powerful male-centric appeal. Perhaps it has something to do with innate, primal tendencies within our gender, but, at least as far as I'm concerned, there are few things better than watching a legendary alpha male slash, cut and maim enemies with bloody abandon. But the problem we run into is that for every Braveheart or Gladiator, films that are as artistically adept as they are savage and entertaining, there are a slew of imitators that count themselves lucky if they are even half as competent in either aspect. It is for that reason that many of the lesser releases go entirely unnoticed even if they did receive a major, albeit limited, release in theaters.

CenturionThis verbose segue leads me to the subject of this week's Under the Radar column: Centurion. The film, which was released on limited screens in August 2010 and has just been added to Netflix's Watch Instantly section, is based on the "true" story of the 9th Roman legion that was stationed in the northernmost reaches of the leviathan Roman Empire. This area, modern-day Britain, was one of the most volatile and besieged tentacles of the empire, and chief among Rome's problems in the region was the Pict tribe. These champions of war would attack during the night and employ guerrilla tactics to cause colossal headaches for the garrisoned soldiers. This film focuses on a particularly nasty ambush upon the 9th Legion by the Picts that leaves them all but annihilated. The few who manage to survive struggle to make it back to friendlier ground.

I saw this film at the SXSW film festival back in March, and it was one of the biggest surprises of the fest for me. The film is directed by horror auteur Neil Marshall, whose films have consistently failed to connect with me. I harbored no love for Dog Soldiers, thought the ending of The Descent was laughable, and could not get into Doomsday no matter how hard I tried. This is no slight against Marshall, but rather fuel for my eventual shock at how much I enjoyed Centurion. It's not every day that a horror director tackles a period war film -- but I sincerely hope it becomes a trend.

The film stars Michael Fassbender as Quintus Dias, who not only suffers the film's pivotal ambush, but early on is taken prisoner by the Picts and tortured. You may recognize Fassbender from his exceptional performance as British lieutenant Archie Hicox from Inglourious Basterds. I loved Fassbender in that film and have since sought out his other work (I highly recommend Blood Creek). In Centurion, he is poised and cool under pressure but not afraid to spill blood with fury. As a movie star, he always seems to exude an old-world presence that adds a bit of class and grandeur to the proceedings, which works to Centurion's advantage.

CenturionThe film also stars Dominic West, who, as much as I loved him for all the wrong reasons in Punisher: War Zone, is shockingly strong in this film, proving that he is in fact a real actor with his rough-around-the-edges but admirably honorable Titus Virilus. Rounding out the cast is Olga Kurylenko as Pict warrior woman Etain; fiercely strong female characters are a trademark of Marshall's career. She is as intimidating in Centurion as she is stunning, even under mountains of makeup.

I could go on and on about the beautiful cinematography and gorgeous production design of Centurion. I could lavish praise upon it for the compelling story of soldiers doing everything they can to make it home from hostile territory, which reminds me of another of my favorite films: The Warriors. But what really sets Centurion head-and-shoulders above the rest is its tenacity for, well, severing heads from shoulders. This thing is six different kinds of bloody and, should your stomach be fortified enough, makes for a raucously amusing experience. It may seem exploitative, but in actuality, Marshall draws from the well of his horror experience to lend a purpose to the gore. Every blow from every sword is felt with such grisly force as to emphasize the brutality and shocking truth of warfare, a message that transcends time and applies to any choice of weaponry. All in all, this is a fantastic film that deserves far more attention than it got upon initial release. If your curiosity has been piqued, take a stab at Centurion on Netflix.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:04 pm

http://altass.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion.html

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Centurion
Release Date: July 30th, 2010

Genre: Action / Adventure / Drama

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko

Synopsis: A Roman Centurion leads a small band of soldiers that has survived a brutal attack behind enemy lines in an effort to rescue their captured General and return to safety.

AltAss Ratings (On a scale of 1 to 5 asses)

Plot:

A nice little tale that is mostly entertaining. Once or twice it may have lulled too much between the action.

Writing / Production:

Carried mostly by action packed fight scenes but the dialogue and drama wasn't nearly as horribly scripted as expected.

Acting:

Michael Fassbender struggled to match the screen presence of Dominic West and Olga Kurylenko who were both pretty good in their respective roles. Unfortunately since Fassbender was selected to play the title role his inability to bring the goods hurts the picture.

Originality:

I liked the storyline but it is definitely a movie very much in the spirit of "Gladiator" and "300" etc..

Overall:

Surprisingly decent and entertaining enough to warrant a look by audiences that like this kind of film. There is a lot of graphic violence and blood that some audiences will want to avoid and others won't want to miss.

What did you think? Leave a comment below to tell us how you'd rate this film!
Posted by The Evaluator at 5:09 PM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:26 pm

http://www.7dollarpopcorn.com/2010/12/sothat-was-centurion.html

Friday, December 17, 2010
So...that was Centurion
I'm going to preface this by telling you that I like Neil Marshall's movies. Dog Soldiers? Awesome. The Descent? Amazing. Doomsday? So much fun. So, going into the movie, good or not, I expected to like it.

It's also worth noting that I have more than a fleeting interest in Roman history. The Romans were, in a word, fascinating. Their history is littered with names and events that are recognizable to grade school kids; the wares with Carthage and Hannibal coming over the Alps, the rise of Julius Caesar and his assassination.Their history is full of heroes and villains that you wouldn't need to make anything up to keep an audience enthralled for a couple of hours.

Centurion is an almost entirely made up story. Things in the movie that are true: Titus Flavius Virilus actually existed and the 9th Legion was an actual legion that kind of sort of disappeared around 117 AD. Things in the movie that are made up: Pretty much everything else.

The movie starts in a Roman outpost. The outpost is attacked one night by Rome's enemy in what is today called Scotland, the Picts. The attacking Picts utterly annihilate the Roman troops in the outpost. One man, who happens to speak Pictish is taken prisoner. This man is Quintus Dias, the titular centurion.

The Roman response is to send in the 9th Legion. This is essentially the second century version of Shock and Awe. The assumption is that if they send in a full legion, the Picts will be put down forever.

Meanwhile, the Picts torture Quintus, hoping to get some idea of Rome's plans. Quintas, however, manages to escape his prison. He is found in the woods by the 9th Legion, which he promptly becomes a part of. After a brief stop, the 9th marches on only to be ambushed and decimated in the woods. And when I say decimated, I mean it. A legion could have 1000 soldiers in it! At the end of the battle, there are only 6 survivors among the soldier and the general of the legion, who has been taken prisoner by the Picts.

Quintus takes command of the 'legion' and leads them to try to rescue their general. However, in the process, they kill the Pictish king's son. This, naturally does not please the Pictish king. He sets their tracker, Etain, to hunt the soldiers down and kill them.

Now, I haven't mentioned Etain yet. So, let me tell you about her. Actually, wait a minute. Before I tell you about her, let's use an idea that I had almost two months ago. Consider this a warning:

Get it? Spoiler alert!

Etain is the tracker that the 9th Legion was given to lead them to the Picts to defeat them. However, she betrayed the Romans and led them into the ambush. She is the ultimate hunter and she HATES the Romans. See, when she was younger, the Romans attacked her village. They murdered her father, they raped her mother and they made her watch. Then, they raped her. Finally, they cut out her tongue. So, her hatred is understandable. It, however, does not change that she is the villain in this story.

Ultimately, Centurion is a chase movie. Quintus must try to lead his remaining troops home with Etain and the Picts trying to kill them. It's bloody, gory and very over the top. That's okay though. That's what you expect from a Neil Marshall film. If you pick this up off the shelf expecting an accurate historical drama, you'd be sadly mistaken.

There are problems with this movie. The characters are all paper thin. You understand Etain's motivations, but most of the characters just aren't very fleshed out. In fact, characters like Vortix and Aeron are not just undeveloped, but barely used. The actors themselves do a fine job with what little character they've been given to work with. Dominic West, Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko are all fantastic in their roles and 28 Weeks Later's Imogen Poots was a nice addition to the cast.

Yes, it's a weak plot and has weaker characters, but that's not what you watch Neil Marshall's movies for. Frankly, it's a fun movie. It's entertaining. That has to count for something. Objectively, I would say it's not a very good movie, but subjectively it's pretty cool. I know I'll want to sit down and watch it again. Not to look for things I missed, or to look at it any differently, but to be entertained and enjoy watching a fun movie.



PS: If you're interested in learning more about Roman history, and you like podcasts, I cannot recommend The History of Rome podcast enough. Mike Duncan does an amazing job of putting together an excellent show each week.
Posted by smacdonn at 11:04 AM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:59 pm

http://unobtainium13.com/2010/12/11/quickie-review-centurion-dir-by-neil-marshall/

Quickie Review: Centurion (dir. by Neil Marshall)
Posted: December 11, 2010 by Arleigh in Gaming, Game Review

I’ll outright say and admit that one of my favorite filmmakers has to be British-filmmaker Neil Marshall who burst into the scene almost a decade ago with his genre mash-up werewolf film, Dog Soldiers. Since then he has come out with a film every couple years which follows what’s becoming a trademark style of his.He would take a well-worn and used genre and mash it together with a few others to create a film that’s wholly his own. He did this with his follow-up films in The Descent and Doomsday. Now it’s 2010 and we have his latest film and it follows his usual style. Centurion is an adventure, chase and men on a mission film that doesn’t reinvent the genres it’s smashing together but instead embraces their traditions and creates a rip-roaring yarn which moves at a frenetic pace with characters who grow and expose their motivations as the film progresses to it’s bittersweet finale.

Neil Marshall will always be known to fanboys and the action crowd even if the elites of the film industry continues to dismiss the man as nothing more than competent filmmaker. In Centurion he shows that he could work within a traditional sword and sandal story and still show his signature style. We have it’s main character of Roman centurion Quintus Dias (played with a subdued and introspective seriousness by Michael Fassbender) who gets captured by the Picts of Britain during Rome’s occupation of the island. Unlike most Romans captured by the guerilla-warfare conducting Picts, Quintus has learned to speak Pict thus has become a valuable capture. But his loyalty to his Empire and its people dashes the hopes of the Picts ever learning anything from Quintus and decides to play some sport with him as the hunted prey.

It’s during the hunt for Quintus by a band of Pict warriors that he stumbles upon the Roman Ninth Legion led by General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West). Once freed from his captors and hunters, Quintus is more than happy to rejoin his fellow Roman centurions in their hunt to once and for all destroy Pict leader Gorlacon (Urlich Thomsen) and his Pict army. To aid them in their search for this enemy army is the mute Brigantes scout, Etain (played with silent fury by Olga Kurylenko), who knows the lands where the Picts hide and do their hit-and-run raids.

It’s once the whole Ninth Legion has been led into the thick forests by Etain that the trap was sprung with Etain herself the catalyst for what amounts to as the massacre of the Legion. It’s this event which Marshall in his own way tries to explain one of history’s mysteries: The mysterious fate of the Roman Ninth Legion. Historians have never agreed as to why the Legion disappeared from Roman and historical records and Marshall’s film is one theory.

The rest of the film has the handful of the Legion who has survived trying, at first, to free their general from Pict captivity and when that mission fails with deadly results the remaining men who has chosen to follow Quintus try to make a run back to Roman lines. On their heels like a she-wolf leading a pack of wolves is Etain whose thirst for vengeance for what the Romans did to her (raped her as a young child and cut out her tongue in addition to wiping out her family and tribe) pushes her to get these Romans with near-supernatural drive. It’s rare to find a film where the main villain is a woman, but one whose abilities surpasses that of the men she’s hunting and whose motivations make her more than a tad sympathetic to her cause.

Centurion does action well with sequences involving a jump off of a steep cliff and into the river below to last stand inside an abandoned Roman fort. Marshall knows how to stage and shoot these scenes so we never lose sight of where the participants are. Most filmmakers nowadays try to hide their inability to choreography action sequences by using quick cut editing, hand-held camera jittery viewpoints and, at times, just shooting it from a distance. Neil Marshall doesn’t do anyone of these gimmicks and tricks which just shows that while his hybrid style in terms of storytelling might be new and refreshing he still embraces the traditional ways if it serves his films properly.

The acting in this film was quite good from not just its leads in Fassbender and Kurylenko but from everyone. This film’s ensemble cast includes veteran British actors just as Liam Cunningham, Paul Freeman and David Morrissey. Other supporting players such as Imogen Poots, Urlich Thomsen and Dominic West do a great job in the limited roles they’re given. The fact that Kurylenko utters not one word in her scenes yet commands each and everyone she’s in shows just how well Marshall can direct not just action pieces but how to direct his actors in doing their jobs.

This film doesn’t do anything to reinvent the action genre that is it’s foundation, but what it does is show that action films sometimes could be just as good when it’s filmmaker leans on practices from traditions past. Outside of the CGI-blood used to show the brutality of the fights and deaths this film is quite lacking in the CG department. Shot on location in the highlands of Scotland and studios near and around London, Centurion is quite a throwback to the sword and sandal films which dominated the film industry during the late 50′s and most of the 60′s. Marshall’s latest will not win any mainstream awards, but the genre crowd will definitely embrace it as something that will entertain and thus welcome it with cult status.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:53 pm

http://musicalwhorehouse.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion-2010.html

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Centurion (2010)
Centurion (2010)

Directed by: Neil Marshall
Screenplay by: Neil Marshall

Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | Thriller | War
Running Time: 97 Minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Viewed: Owned Blu-ray

Fight or die.

Comments: Centurion is a pretty decent movie; it's beautifully shot (thanks to director Neil Marshall of The Descent fame), it's reasonably well acted, and there's some great violent battle scenes. But the story's a bit uneven, and I found it incredibly hard to really root for anyone. Both sides (the Romans and the Picts) can both be assholes and sympathetic, so beyond Michael Fassbender there's really not a clear likeable person or group. But I did enjoy Centurion and it's certainly worth a watch if you're into this type of film. Just not the $20 I spent on it.
Slurred by Greg at 10:20 AM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:22 am

http://plantyourfeetstandsquare.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion.html

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
CENTURION
Dir. Neil Marshall 2010 UK

"He's a ruthless, reckless bastard. And I'd die for him without hesitation."

I feel like Neil Marshall and I would be good friends. I'm basing this solely on the subject matter of his films, which clearly demonstrate that he and I are on the same wavelength. The premises of his four films to date are as follows: A team of English soldiers battle werewolves in the Scottish Highlands (2002's Dog Soldiers); a group of women realize they're not alone after they become trapped underground while cave diving (2005's The Descent); a female Snake Plisskin must fight her way out of a post-apocalyptic Scotland (2008's Doomsday); the survivors of Rome's legendary Ninth Legion must fight their way back from behind enemy lines in the cold frontiers of 2nd-century Scotland (2010's Centurion).

In addition to having a clear obsession with people trying to escape the apparently savage hellhole that is past, present and future Scotland, Neil Marshall's films are a pretty neat blend of action and horror elements from the past few decades, and I'm willing to forgive his two not so great movies (Dog Soldiers tries to be the Evil Dead with werewolves but it's not funny or scary enough, and Doomsday goes for a 28 Days Later meets The Road Warrior vibe, but ends up being way too derivative) since he made one of the scariest f#%@#&! horror movies I've ever seen (holy s$#!, watch The Descent). While Centurion is nowhere near as accomplished as The Descent, it's definitely a head above the other two and worth your while if you're looking for a lean, bloody historical flick.

Based around the legends of the Ninth Legion, Centurion is set in 117 AD, at a time when the Roman Empire was fighting to expand its northernmost frontier and conquer the island that is now England and Scotland. Their major roadblock comes in the form of the Picts, a vicious warrior tribe that slaughters an entire Roman garrison at the start of the film. The sole survivor, Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), escapes to the south where he is conscripted back into the Ninth Legion, led by General Virilus (Dominic West), and sent on a mission to subjugate the Picts for good.

Despite lacking the epic cinematic sweep of Ridley Scott's Gladiator or the immersive authenticity of HBO's Rome, Centurion does alright by its historically spotty source material, despite indulging in a few modern cliches (the surprisingly PC core group of soldiers includes a Greek, an Indian and the always ubiquitous Moor). The use of my great pet peeve, CG blood, is balanced out by the relentless, unflinching violence and some of the coolest kills I've seen in a film in a good long while. Marshall brings a slight edgy grindhouse style to the action, but mostly plays it straight and allows you to follow in the footsteps of hard men, for whom murder and survival was way of life as well as a punch-clock day job. Nice little touches, from two soldiers casually flipping a coin to decide who executes a prisoner, to the men eating warm, partially digested food from the belly of a deer, demonstrate the brutal camradarie and attitude men of the era would have had in ways that are inventive and entertaining to watch.

The supporting cast is filled with a few regulars of modern British B-movies, but the film shines a bit brighter than the rest thanks to the two leads. Michael Fassbender, who you may remember from his brilliant turn as Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglorious Basterds, plays it fairly straight here as Quintus, the son of a gladiator who blends an early education of pit fighting with the merciless discipline of the Roman army. Quintus barely has two dimensions on the page, but Fassbender fills him with a sense of humble dignity and some viciously blunt humor that comes when you least expect it. Equally enjoyable is Dominic West, who pretty much plays Virilus as a 2nd century version of McNulty from The Wire; irreverent, loyal to his men and almost psychotically dedicated to the task set before him. The two roles are similar enough for me to think that West is the kind of guy who just plays himself, but when he's that damn charming, I can't really bring myself to mind.

A surprising standout was Olga Kurylenko (the most recent in a long line of bland Bond girl) as a vicious Pict tracker/warrior named Etain, who serves as a hotter, bloodier Joe LeFors to the Roman soldiers Butch and Sundance, relentlessly hunting them across the landscape like a Terminator in blue face paint.

The film doesn't contain too many surprises, taking some fairly predictable, but always enjoyable twists. It does, however, contain some of the most heinous, unnecessary first-person narration this side of Dexter. Voiceover can be used well, but I think Neil Marshall should have taken Robert McKee to heart.

At this point in his career, I'm willing to call Marshall at two for four, which isn't bad, but given the craftsmenship he's shown himself to be capable of and given some of the pretty wild ideas he's apparently sitting on, I hope that he can find his footing and start giving us something, if not better, then at least consistent.
Posted by Steve at 3:56 PM

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:22 am

http://www.soundonsight.org/10-overlooked-films-of-2010/

10 Overlooked Films of 2010

Posted by Josh Youngerman on Dec 21st, 2010

If there is anything that I love doing as a film buff, it is recommending overlooked films. Films that, for whatever reason, did not get a fair shot in theatres but are worth seeking out. They may not have played at a lot of places or their runs might have been cut short due to financial reasons. Whatever the reason is, these are those little buried gems that you want to promote to all your friends. These ten films, in no particular order, are films that you will not be seeing on most year end lists, with the exception of one film. However they are all deserve a chance, if not in the theatres, than on DVD.


Centurion

Directed by Neill Marshall

Neill Marshall’s Centurion is a brilliant film, one that successfully combines bloody good action with characters that we actually care about. I am not sure why critics had such “meh” reaction to it. To be fair, the film did get good reviews but very few rave reviews. The film went without notice at the box office although it is now out on DVD and I expect to find a cult following here. Not only is the action great but the film is actually smart with a very powerful allegory to the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. The last twenty minutes are devastating and in it’s own way, it is a very powerful anti-war film. The film also gets great performances from Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, and Olga Kurylenko, who doesn’t utter a word of dialogue yet provides unusual depth and power to her silent assassin.

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Re: Centurion Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:59 am

http://criticafterdark.blogspot.com/2010/12/centurion-neil-marshall.html

Centurion (Neil Marshall)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 ·
Labels: Action, Period, Roman Empire

The Lone Centurion--I know, wrong historical drama, but much more entertaining

Sword and slaughter

A world power marches into the mountainous territory of a half-civilized people and quickly finds itself immersed in a quagmire of fierce fighting, guerrilla tactics, terror attacks (at one point a convoy is stopped, and flaming roadside devices are deployed).

The world power is not the United States but the Rome Empire; the territory is not Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan but Scotland. It is the time of Hadrian, and he is struggling to deal with the threat of the Picts, Celtish warriors who paint their faces a bright blue and who like to wield the throwing axe--an impressive weapon that can severe a limb or split open a skull, or with an additional swing fling itself as far as twenty feet to bury its bladed head in someone's chest.

Unorthodox tactics to the Roman legionnaire, whose preferred weapon was the short sword (perfect for quick, precise work, not so suited to berserker fighting). There are ample examples of both styles of combat in Neil Marshall's Centurion, his historical action thriller just released last month on DVD, and it would be wonderful to report that he makes full use of the contrast, but no--there are some intricately choreographed fight sequences, rendered halfway (but only halfway) intelligible by the somewhat frenetic editing (Marshall is no Paul Greengrass, thankfully, but neither is he a Philip Noyce, alas).

The film is basically a long chase--a group of decimated Romans tries to rejoin the rest of the Roman army while a band of bloodthirsty Picts hunt them down. Too often the hunted back themselves into absurd situations (they adopt the strategy of not taking the obvious Southward route, only to find that the Picts are perfectly capable of tracking them down anyway; when trapped they resort to the Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid style of last-minute escape: leaping off a high cliff into a roaring river (doesn't it ever occur to anyone that the water might be shallow?)). There's some inconsistency too: the Picts hunt hard and fast, and sometimes they feel as if they're supernaturally prescient in tracking down their Roman prey, sometimes they seem to slack off and disappear for long periods of time (it depends, you feel, on the needs of the script or the whim of the director, when it shouldn't--you should be too busy worrying about their chances for survival).

The finale is satisfyingly intricate--an abandoned Roman fort acts as setting for three different duels, happening at two different levels. The whole is too dependent, however, on precise editing to keep the fight sequences distinct and comprehensible (Marshall doesn't deliver, alas). Not bad, but not quite first class, either.

The movie does dwell on more realpolitik than is usual for action movies. The survivors are led by a centurion named Dias (Michael Fassbender) and he's not your usual gung-ho, do-or-die military officer--though he does decide to run for miles and miles and risk the lives of four or five surviving soldiers to save a Roman general. Dias has his thoughtful side, as when he says "It's easy to turn to the gods for salvation...but it's soldiers who do the fighting, and soldiers who do the dying, and the gods never get their feet wet." He confronts Etain (Olga Kurylenko), a mighty Pictish warrior-woman who wields a spear that might have come out of Liu Chia-liang's Legendary Weapons of China--Etain is a fearsome opponent and a relentless, bloodthirsty killer, but she has reasons: her family was massacred when she was a child and she herself raped, her tongue cut out to ensure her silence.

The good guys have their doubts, the bad guys their motivation; the grounds for opposition shift ever so slightly this way and that. When Dias meets Arianne (Imogen Poot, a much more gorgeous-looking actress than the name might suggest)--exile, healer, reputed sorceress--he finds plenty of reason to at least settle down, if not change allegiance; when he finally accomplishes his mission--when he in effect reaches safe haven--his very presence as survivor of a Pictish massacre is a potential embarrassment to the Roman military. Marshall does a swell job of muddying up simplistic action-movie waters (he did an equally fine job of injecting feminist subtext into his underseen horror thriller The Descent), it's a pity he didn't do more with this, substantiate the characters rather than the choreography, concentrate on the machinations rather than the manslaughter (you saw this unexploited potential in The Descent as well).

The movie is on the verge of being so good it's painful to see how close it managed to get before missing the mark altogether; you want to handcuff Marshall down in front of a desktop and threaten to withhold the key till he comes up with a really good, really thought-through script--concept pushed as far as it can go--this time around. One waits, with some interest, for his next work.

First published in Businessworld, 12.09.10

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