Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rome Recreated

Rome: The Complete Series (HBO)
One of HBO’s most expensive and expansive series, Rome From the costumes to the sets — much of the series was shot at Rome’s famed Cinecittà Studios—the viewer is thrown into the middle of the republic, whether it’s a slum area, a meeting of the senate or Julius Caesar’s vast villa. These 22 hour-long episodes introduce us to characters that run the gamut from the highest master to the lowest slave, with a pair of soldiers are guides through the stories of love and hate, friendship and betrayal, that escapes soap opera levels thanks to the superb production values, mostly competent filmmaking (the first three episodes were helmed by veteran director Michael Apted) and a superb cast of mainly British and Irish actors like Lindsey Duncan, Polly Walker and Ciaran Hinds, who plays Caesar.

The Blu-Ray release includes 13 audio commentaries by cats and crew, which give an overview of the epic scale of the production, as do several featurettes. An interactive feature that resembles VH1’s pop-up videos shows pertinent historical information onscreen while you watch the episodes. Historical inaccuracies aside, Rome—like Showtime’s The Tudors—is a costume epic worth immersing oneself in. recreates the great Roman Empire in so lavish a fashion that it seems to have been made specifically for the Blu-Ray format.

originally posted on

No comments: