Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Battles BC The Complete Season One|
Actor: Ted Marcoux
Director: David Padrusch
Genres: Television, Documentary
Prepare for a riveting portrayal of some of the most exciting battles of ancient history as well as the tales of betrayal, lust, conquest and brutality that often accompanied them. Battles BC, the exciting series from HIST... more »
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Worst recreations of ancient battles I have ever seen!
Der Oberst | 09/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The attempt to make the recreations appear like the movie "300" was idiotic at best (the 300 was about as accurate in portraying the battle of Thermopylae as Zena the warrior Princess was an accurate portrayal of ancient times). None of the recreations for these episodes had much character (they all seemed strangely alike) and most were ridiculously inaccurate. For example, why didn't the Romans have the scutum shields in the Caesar episode; why was Caesar portrayed so young; why did Hannibal have to look so much like the Scorpion King that he even lacked adequate clothing while crossing the alps: why did every commander in the series need to behave like Conan the barbarian; why didn't the Romans actually fight like Romans; and what's with the fights with two swords (one in each hand) as the soldiers pirouette about looking more like ballet dancers than the way these ancient armies actually fought.
Please History Channel, stop trying to recreate ancient military history based upon hideously inaccurate films such as The 300!"
Andariel Halo | Phenomynouss@hotmail etc is my e-mail | 10/09/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"No. No. HELL no.
The "History" Channel botches again, not in terms of style, for many people DO like "300", but "300" had the benefit of being an entertainment motion picture, purely fictional, based on real life events.
The "History" Channel basically takes the style of "300", and bastardizes history in these "documentaries" that are a huge phasing down of historical authenticity and magnificence compared to earlier series', and a huge phasing up of "BUY THIS! IT LOOKS LIKE A MOVIE YOU LIKE!"
Perhaps trying to upsell it's GORE! it's worth mentioning that its level of gore comes nowhere close even to that of "300". Splatters of blood appear on screen in a blatantly phony way, as though it was splashed ONTO the screen outside of the program itself. The battles are also nowhere near the level of appeal or excitement of "300".
History is horribly bastardized, perhaps no worse than in the episode on "Cannae":
- To start with, Hannibal Barca becomes BALD and BEARDLESS and with TWO EYES (which if you've seen ANY depiction of Hannibal EVER, as well as ancient busts, he was bearded, had hair, and lost one of his eyes BEFORE the Battle of Cannae). He actually looks to be intentionally ripping off Dhalsim (or as some people called him, "Xerxes") in Street Fighter II--- I mean, "300", with his being hairless all over except for his thick eyebrows, with a vaguely middle-eastern/Indian look to him, rather than the Semitic North African Hannibal truly was.
Worst of all is how Hannibal goes into battle: wearing only shorts and a brown cape, with his mouth as wide open as possible, as if saying "THROW A SPEAR IN HERE!"
In fact, battle scenes involving Hannibal could never be distinguished as anything specific---it could be Greeks fighting Barbarians, it could be late-Roman Barbarians fighting Huns, it could be Persians fighting Egyptians, it could be Knights Templar fighting the British Redcoats. Roman arms is in no way representative of Roman armor at any point in history except maybe the Roman Kingdom---all the Romans wear IDENTICAL breastplates, crest-less helmets, and generic round shields. For all intents and purposes, they look like Greek Hoplites. And Hannibal is bald and half-naked, a mishy-moo of "300"'s Spartans and Xerxes.
Worse still, the history is horribly battered in powerfully awful mispronounciation, distortion of events that seem less intentional and more "we didn't do the research/just didn't care").
Examples from Cannae include: Someone pronounces Cannae (accepted as "Can-Eye") as "Cay-nay". The announcer seriously says "Calvary". CALVARY IS THE PLACE JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED! "CAVALRY" IS HORSE-MOUNTED SOLDIERS!
As well, the depiction of the Battle of Cannae says that the Roman formations were so tight, soldiers could not raise their arms up to fight. What does the video show us? BIG. OPEN. SPACES. BIIIIIG. OPEEEEN. SPACEEEEES! Sure, it eventually starts to close in, but not only is it NOT from the sheer amount of Romans rushing forward, but from the Carthaginians rushing in, but there was STILL enough space for them to fight just fine!
Someone in the program also stupidly states that the Romans BANNED the word "Peace" after the battle of Cannae. I think that's largely a case of "speed-read through Wikipedia" type research, or just completely made up. I've studied this battle very intensely. I have heard of mothers using Hannibal Barca as a boogeyman to scare their children. I have heard of Romans fearing for their lives after Cannae, thinking he would sack the city, despite its garrison. I have heard of a great many things occurring after the battle. I have NEVER heard of them BANNING A GENERIC WORD. It would probably make sense if they said "Banned any mention of making peace with Carthage in public", but banning THE WORD ITSELF is something that sounds simply too ridiculous to be true.
And here's a big question I have for one of the speakers in the video: Exactly WHAT Roman army are you referring to when you say a Roman army could only move forward and back, and could not turn to its sides?
Because considering they even took the time to say Hannibal's AFRICAN PHALANX attacked them from their sides, I think they mixed up their Wikipedia printouts in thinking that the Roman Maniple was stiff and unwieldy (it wasn't) and the Phalanx was loose and flexible (it wasn't)---it's the MANIPLE that is flexible, and the PHALANX that is stiff!
Virtually any and every Roman army in the Republic/Empire can and was capable of turning on command in ANY direction, ESPECIALLY in cases of emergency! The Romans DID turn to their sides at Cannae, to fight in all directions! If they didn't, then Hannibal wouldn't have even needed to commit his cavalry in the rear: his forces from the flanks would simply seal shut the back end of the Roman army!
This isn't just a huge slap in the face of history and documentaries---there are plenty of other things that do that---this is something that is bad and wrong, and hate-inspiring, for two reasons: one subjective, one objective:
Subjective: It "300"izes history, ignoring a great many historical facts for the sake of who knows what, because the changes contribute nothing special to the storyline (as in, why did we need to see a Hannibal Barca who looks like Arnold Vooslo in "The Mummy"?), and only serve to make historians bang their heads on a wall in frustration, and make its target audience mock the program for ripping off "300"
Which segues into the Objective reason: It's a cheap ripoff of "300". Fans and haters alike will know it right away. It shamelessly rips off "300", like it did with "Last Stand of the 300", and it wouldn't even be the sort of ripoff that fans of "300" would enjoy! It's bogged down by loads of "boring documentary information stuff", and with a very strong lack of gore or coherent battle scenes. No one fights in any sort of formation, or even in a shooting style that the viewer can follow."
C. Noah | Louisville, KY USA | 08/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This show has good graphics, but is a little too violent for educational purposes. Furthermore, it is not completely historically correct. For example, the appearances of many of those featured were incorrect. Hannibal was not some gargantuan bald muscle-head. Still, it does have great entertainment value and decent commentary from experts. I like it, but just wish that they had paid more attention to details and historical accuracy. One last comment, the narrator kept using the word 'calvary' instead of 'cavalry' to describe the horse riding units of the armies depicted. That, to me, is inexcusable..."
A Waste of time
Larry Shank | 08/08/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is the History Channel at its worst.
It's a great idea to provide a graphically interesting view of great ancient battles.
But these are tarted up videos for the gameing crowd.
The presentations of Hannibal and Caesar are especially offensive.
This is for those who think that 300 was an accurate presentation of that moment in history.
The commentaries are ok but not very informed and sometimes just downright wrong.
This could have been a great learning tool but instead is a monumental waste of time"