Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rome The Complete Second Season|
Actors: James Purefoy, Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Lindsay Duncan
Genres: Drama, Television
The year is 44 B.C. Julius Caesar has been assassinated and civil war threatens to destroy the Republic. In the void left by Caesar's demise, egos clash and numerous players jockey for position. The brutally ambitious Mark... more »
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It's TV - not University...
ScrabbleMaven | St. Kitts, Caribbean | 05/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought Rome Season 1 was excellent. Season 2 I didn't think was as enthralling, but when you come from 'excellent', the next place down is 'very, very good' and that's what this is.
Others have expounded on inaccuracies as to the history. As a student of history myself, I can understand the frustration. However, these things do not bother me generally as I watch series like these to escape. All I generally ask is that I be entertained. (NOTE: I admit that my 'laidbackness' did not extend to the massacred 'Troy' which was so very inaccurate in so many particulars and not even that entertaining).
So that entire paragraph above was meant to convey the following: Put aside your history books, forget the 'true' story and allow yourself to be immersed in the grandeur and sumptiousness that is this BBC/HBO production.
I believe that you will love many of the characters (notably Atia) - and love to hate others (notably Atia). You will be sad and happy and yes - horrified at times, but you will not say that you were not invested in some measure. Note that even those not as enamoured of the series as I, watched every episode AND took the time out to write reviews. That must tell you something. Rome is something to witness and talk about, whatever your view.
WARNING: If the DVD is the first time you are watching this, clear hours of your day. You will be captivated in one way or another and that smell wafting through your living room will be the forgotten pot on your stove.
I highly recommend this series and enthusiastically give it 5 stars (wish there were 6)."
The Incredible Series Exploring Lives in Ancient Rome Contin
M. Hart | USA | 05/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rome. Once the center of power for most of Europe, the coast of North Africa and portions of the Middle East for several centuries until its collapse in 476 C.E., continues to leave its mark on the modern world; but what of the people that lived there when Rome ceased being a Republic beginning in 48 B.C.E. to become, instead, the empire that ruled for over 5 centuries? Yes, we have studied their surviving writings, their surviving buildings & infrastructure, as well as their impact upon societies; but as individuals who lived their lives there from day to day, few have grasped what their lives may have been like. Yes, there have been various films, such as "Spartacus" (1960) and various films that focused more on Christian themes within the Roman Empire; but these films typically portray Romans negatively rather than focusing on the Romans themselves and their lives in the capital.
In 2005, a new television series aired on HBO with the simple name "Rome". It's second season continued in 2007. Unlike past negative portrayals of ancient Rome, this fictional series (based on factual events) focuses on the lives of various individuals, including Julius Caesar's former mistress Servilia (Lindsay Duncan); the power-hungry Atia (Polly Walker), who was related to Caesar; Atia's son Gaius Octavian (Max Pirkis as a teenager, Simon Woods as a young man); Octavian's friend & general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (Allen Leech), who falls in love with Octavian's sister Octavia (Kerry Condon); Mark Antony (James Purefoy), who is forced to marry Octavia to keep peace with Octavian; Servilia's son Marcus Junius Brutus (Tobias Menzies); Cleopatra (Lyndsey Marshal); Senator Marcus Tullius Cicero (David Bamber); and two Roman soldiers: Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). Lucius Veronus, still the tragic character wanted only to provide for his wife Niobe (Indira Varma), who died in the first season, and their children, who were enslaved. Having served in the military under Mark Antony and briefly as a senator, he is given control over Rome's commercial district, but eventually rejoins the army after being rejected by his children (after rescuing them from slavery) and follows Mark Antony to Egypt. Lucius Veronus often helps his less educated friend Titus Pullo, who has a huge temper and often uses physical aggression as a means to solve disputes. Servilia, after being spurned by Julius Caesar in the first season and encouraged her son Brutus to murder him, must instead mourn Brutus' eventual death. For, it was after Caesar's death, that Octavian is declared his son and heir, which he takes rather seriously to the chagrin of Mark Antony and Atia, his lover. Atia (highly fictionalized in the series), still the egocentric and wanton manipulator, becomes very attached to Mark Antony; but that relationship is not to last, which may fulfill a curse from her bitter enemy Servilia.
With frequent sexual intrigue and nudity, "Rome" is a series that will never be seen on network television; but it did find a very good home on HBO. With its very interesting portrayal of life in ancient Rome from many perspectives, wonderful dialog, brilliant acting, beautiful cinematography and engaging characters, I rate "Rome-The Complete Second Season" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it.
When an empire falls
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the second, and final, season of HBO's lavishly produced Rome begins, saying that things aren't good is saying it quite lightly. Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) is dead, Mark Antony (James Purefoy) prepares to go to war with Brutus (Tobias Menzies), and Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) mourns his dead wife (Indira Varma) as the fate of his children hang in the balance. Later on, alliances are broken, re-forged, and broken again, as the series propels itself through a breakneck pace throughout these ten episodes that find Vorenus and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) in new business situations, Atia (Polly Walker) and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) schemeing against each other to new heights, Octavian (played by Max Pirkis in his young days, and later by Simon Woods) rising to power and seemingly defying everyone, and concluding in the blood stained sand of Egypt as Antony and Cleopatra (Lyndsay Marshall) make a stand against Octavian, and Vorenus helps Pullo unite him with the child he never knew he had. What makes Rome so good are the performances from everyone involved. Not only are McKidd and Stevenson perfect together, but James Purefoy steals the entire show with his swaggery and arrogant performance as the womanizing, battle hungry, and life loving Mark Antony. The production values, which have always been a standout of the series, are still lavishly re-created, and the violence is still incredibly graphic and blood curdling at spots. All in all, while the usual twelve episodes would have been more than welcome instead of ten, the final season of Rome is a brilliantly realized vision of the rise and fall of the powerful empire, and the performances from all involved are worth the price of admission alone. If you missed this underrated series when it originally ran on HBO, now has never been a better time to take a trip to Rome."
Adam | 05/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, I have to confess that I don't own nor do I currently intend to purchase the DVD set for either season of Rome. I have, however, been a loyal viewer of Rome ever since it's debut up until the recent series finale. It's rare that I'll religiously watch a drama such as this while it's on TV, as I usually prefer to wait for the release of the DVDs so I can watch an entire season in a short period of time - the fact that I made an exception for Rome is a tribute to this excellent HBO series.
Season II (naturally) begins where Season 1 left off - Caesar is dead and Octavian (Caesar's nephew), Mark Antony, and Brutus (who is allied with the majority of the Senate) become embroiled in a struggle for power. Like Season I, the story is told primarily from the perspective of two Roman soldiers - Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, and like Season I these two characters are the real stars of the show. Both are great characters, and the way they are utilized by Rome's creators to bridge the gap between ruling class and commoner is simply brilliant. In Season II, the paths of Vorenus and Pullo diverge from those of Octavian and Mark Antony from time to time, but they cross just often enough to pull everything together into a cohesive and well told story. I won't go into any more detail as to the adventures these two undergo in Season II as that would spoil the enjoyment, but suffice to say if you thought they were great characters in Season I you won't be disappointed.
Sure, Rome is a bit sensationalized and has lots of sex and violence, but it offers much more than that. It has a complex storyline rife with political struggles, betrayal, family disputes, war, and yes, sex and violence. It's also visually stunning (it's little wonder the show was so expensive to produce), and it's packed with excellent, memorable characters. Do not be led to believe that the prevalence of sex and violence makes this a brainless, plotless, predictable action flick, because it is much more than that - it's truly a great and well-told story. Sure it's a little over-dramatized at times and it isn't perfectly historically accurate, but at the end of the day this is dramatic television meant to succeed commercially with an American audience, so this is to be expected.
I'll admit I was disappointed to learn that Season 2 would wrap up the highly enjoyable Rome series. I'll miss it. On the other hand, Rome tells a great story and it tells it well, and it then it ends - and that can be a good thing. Too many good television series continue to run long past the point where the story has been told and simply fade into mediocrity (cough Sopranos cough). At least Rome isn't doing that. But the fact that I won't be able to watch any new episodes of Rome makes me envy those of you who are new to this excellent series that much more.
In short - if you enjoyed Season I, the Series is definitely worth continuing. If you haven't seen Season I but enjoy good drama and aren't offended by a little sex and violence, Rome is one of a very small number of television series I'd call an absolute "must see". The DVDs are a bit pricey, but they are in my opinion worth purchasing for those who didn't catch the Series on HBO."