Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Great Generals - Hannibal|
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Studio: Kultur Release Date: 07/25/2006
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 05/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is really more about the Punic Wars than about Hannibal. He's not introduced until 20 minutes into the feature and he departs ten minutes before it ends. This is very war-focused. Thus, Hannibal's birth, his children, his male lover Antinous, and much more never come up.
This is one of those documentaries chock full of cheesy reenactments for which I don't care. I think Civil War recreationists would simply love it. There are battles, but no blood is spilled. Masters are shown observing rowing slaves but they use their whips in ways that wouldn't hurt a fly. When they describe Hannibal's voyage over the Alps, they don't show the actors in a snowy, mountainous area; they are still in a flat, verdant one. Don't get me wrong: I hated seeing an elephant get maimed in "Alexander," however, they show elephants here that just stand around and are not portrayed as war equipment whatsoever. I'm sure they paid a zoo a few buckets just to get the actors photographed with the pachyderms. Though the Carthaginians are portrayed by Middle Easterners and the Romans played by whites, the guy playing Hannibal, a Carthiginian, is played by a Caucasian. There was no brown-skinned man they could have selected for the role and added to his resume?
Though this documentary was released in the mid-1990s, it features many academics with huge, thick, 1980s eyeglasses. One of them has bad teeth. They try to get modern viewers to relate by comparing dynamics of the Punic War with dynamics in World War II.
This work taught me much more about the Punic Wars than I ever learned in school. It's just that it had a terrible cheesiness factor to it."
Save your money and read the Wikipedia article
Michael Huggins | Memphis, TN United States | 04/03/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewer nailed it when he said this movie is sunk by its cheesiness. Honestly, it looks like a kid got his dad to rent some costume armor, persuaded about 30 of his whitebread neighbors to dress up in it, and then had them stand around and try not to look at the camera or grin while they literally waved their swords at each other and jabbed their spears at the empty air. I'm not kidding; this is what you actually see on screen.
I'm a history buff, and in general, I can't get enough of films like this--that is, documentaries with strong historical interest. I viewed one on Pompeii not long ago, and of course no one expects Oscar-worthy performances or A-list actors--for that matter, I wouldn't care if they had actors in this at all. But if they are going to have them, I don't want a bunch of obvious Brits or Americans playing Romans and Carthaginians; I don't want the narrator telling me how Hannibal could be ferociously cruel while you see him smiling and giving his marching soldiers friendly pats on the back as they cross the "Alps"; I don't want the narrator talking about Hannibal's extraodinary physical courage and endurance while watching the actor writhe and wail following the battle that cost Hannibal the sight of one eye. I don't want graphics that are worse than what could have been done with PowerPoint or expert interviewees that are never even identified except by name--no "Professor of Ancient History, Oxford University" or anything else to indicate who they are--perhaps they were some of the producer's neighbors as well.
Really, the whole production is so embarrassingly, amateurishly bad that it's just offensive. I think the History Channel may have a DVD about Hannibal, and I don't know how good it is, but it's got to be better than this."