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Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Actors: Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken, Valeria Golino, Chris Noth
Director: Uli Edel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Military & War
PG-13     2004     2hr 58min

Fierce general. Skilled orator. Savvy politician. This is Julius Caesar, one of the world?s greatest leaders and ruler of the Roman Empire. His ascent to power is filled with sacrifice, murder and betrayal. With the b...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken, Valeria Golino, Chris Noth
Director: Uli Edel
Creators: Gianfranco Pierantoni, Giuseppe Pedersoli, Guido De Angelis, John G. Phelan, Jonas Bauer, Craig Warner, Peter Pruce
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Good Times Video
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 10/26/2004
Original Release Date: 06/29/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 06/29/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 58min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 12
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres..."
Matthew S. Schweitzer | Columbus, OH United States | 11/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This TNT production on the life of Julius Caesar is a well made attempt to historically portray the life of one of history's greatest leaders. Starring Jeremy Sisto, it follows the life of the future Dictator of Rome from his relative obscurity to his death at the hands of his peers on the Senate floor on the Ides of March in 44BC.

The story covers the highlights of Caesar's life including his exile during the rule of the cruel dictator Sulla, his patronage under the capable General Pompey, his brutal but victorious campaigns against Vercingetorix and the Gauls, and his love affair with the beautiful and scheming Egytian queen Cleopatra. Caesar's great ambition ultimately lead to his own murder by members of the Roman Senate who fear his ascendency, but ironically bring about the rise of the Empire.

There are many political complexities that are touched upon in this film that give a good idea of the kinds of power plays that lead to Caesear's rise and fall, many of them including betrayal and murder. The film depicts the Gallic Wars in good detail and gives an understanding of the turmoil that faced the Roman Republic in its last years before the rise of the Empire. Caesar is portrayed as a intelligent human figure who is struck down by tragedy and overcome with amibition which ultimately leads to his own death. The irony of Caesar's murder is that it was ostensibly to preserve the Republic, but rather hastened the foundation of the Empire. While not a great movie, it is entertaining and provides a good introduction to Roman history as well.

A movie worth watching!
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 01/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Julius Caesar: His Time Has Come, brings to the screen the rise to power of one of the most well known historical figures.
It is a rather long movie, approximately 3 hours, but that is to be expected considering who the movie is about.

Overall, the acting is above average, with the highlights being Christopher Walken and Chris Noth portraying a Roman Senator and the Roman General Pompeii respectively.
The siege of Alesia and the subsequent battle were also very good as was the portrayal of the Gauls.

On the negative side and as other reviewers have also pointed out, the lead actor, Jeremy Sisto, was not really the best choice for Caesar, as was the case with Marc Anthony who was also a poor choice.
In addition, there are historic discrepancies such as the in case of the Gaul chieftain Vercingentorix who was reportedly strangled, and not stabbed as the movie would have it.
Furthermore, Julius Caesar is to have perished on the Senate steps, not while sitting inside the Senate.

Nevertheless, the setting, the dialogues and the costumes are all wonderful!

In a nutshell, though not a masterpiece, Julius Caesar: His Time Has Come will surely provide for an evening's entertainment. It is a movie definitely worth watching, especially for those with a soft spot for History and all things Roman.
Teaching Julius Caesar in ELA II
Melanie Bourne | Beaumont, TX USA | 03/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was pleasantly pleased with the angle from which this film was crafted. Although the play "Julius Caesar" does not cover the historical content covered in the film, it can sometimes be considered "boring" to tenth grade students. This action-packed, contraversial view of Caesar's life was just what I needed in my classroom in order to keep the teenage mind interested. I had the students answer questions regarding the films content as they watched, and they actually enjoyed it...more so than just reading the play or viewing one of the films offered by the school library."
Not so mighty Caesar
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 06/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Recently I saw Jeremy Sisto in a film in the cinema, and as my movie-going friend and I were dissecting the film afterward, we both were impressed with Sisto's performance, and tried to recall what we'd seen him in before. I remembered this production of Julius Caesar, but only after a while - Sisto's role in the other film (a light drama with a comedic edge) is very different from the epic, super-serious Julius Caesar.

This production is a good one for a straight-to-television production. It is a four-hour miniseries (the television nomenclature equivalent for `epic'). It plays a bit loose with the historic progression, but keeps many of the broad strokes intact - Rome's trouble under Sulla, Caesar's early difficulties becoming established, his military alliance and familial partnership with Pompey, destined to falter; the conquest of Gaul and the march back to Rome, the fiery oratory of Cato, and the climactic death in the Senate.

Caesar is a complex character, one who defies encapsulation in so short a span as four hours. Given that Caesar was surrounded by many equally intriguing characters, it is little wonder that productions about Caesar often fall victim to a particular interpretation. Sisto's performance, and Edel's direction, makes Caesar in some ways a walking statue - and this is not a necessarily inappropriate style. Caesar was very conscious of appearances and public perceptions, and took great pains to always appear in a certain fashion that would enhance his power and reputation. Sisto's Caesar does show such some emotional range, but this is often mitigated by `events of state'.

Richard Harris, in one of his final performances as Sulla, puts in a much more dynamic performance, however brief; some may recall Harris as the wise emperor Marcus Aurelius in `Gladiator' a few years prior to this production, a very different role indeed from the ambitious, capricious and over-emotional Sulla. Christopher Walken as Cato also turns in an almost over-the-top performance (Cato and Cicero seem to be a combined character here, in some respects). Christopher Noth plays Pompey, but does so at extremes - he is either flat and ineffective, or overly emotional and ineffective. Noth has done good work elsewhere, but this is not one of his better pieces.

The female characters in this production are largely marginalized; even the famous Cleopatra/Caesar affair in minimized. While the role of Cleopatra is often overplayed in the Caesar story, it does have a decided role. Also, the role of Augustus is completely missing.

Filming was done in Malta and in Bulgaria, which brought in lots of locals into the production. A replica of the Roman Forum was constructed, which is an impressive piece of scenery. Also, the Gaul encampment, where Caesar overcomes Celtic warriors, is well constructed and visually powerful. German actor Heino Ferch plays the role of the Celtic leader with aplomb. In scenes where he appears, he steals the show so completely that no Caesar could resist.

It is interesting that the television series, `Rome', is currently enjoying a major success with essentially the same time period. This could have been a great epic / mini-series; instead, it is passing fair. Costumes are great, sets and location good. The story line is interesting, even if out of sync with actual history. The performances are spotty but occasionally effective. The writing takes the story along, but almost as if it were a rendering about Rome and Caesar than a piece for actors to perform in.

Those who like the `sword and sandals' kind of film will find this interesting. Others may find it tolerable. Those who are easily irritated at historical inaccuracies of detail may well find this film infuriating, as lots of bits are rearranged for dramatic effect. Even so, it is an epic that might be worth a rainy day or night's viewing.

There are no real DVD extras to speak of, at least not on the copy I have.