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You Can’t Go Rome Again

January 23, 2010

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I still miss HBO’s wonderful series ROME, and my weekly dose of Titus Pullo, Lucius Vorenus, Octavian, Antony, Atia, and the rest of that wacky gang.

So much so that last night I watched the debut of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND on Starz.

Learn from my mistake, boys and girls. Don’t go where I went.

Starz is not HBO, and this SPARTACUS is not ROME. Hell, it is not even SPARTACUS. Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Laurence Olivier are nowhere in sight. The writing and acting here are pretty much on a par with the historical accuracy. The visual style, especially in the action scenes, attempts to borrow from 300… but the slow-mo slaughter gets old really fast, and the giant gouts of blood being splashed around at every opportunity soon become silly, and began to remind me of nothing so much as the Black Knight sequence in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. There’s one scene near the end where a gladiator who has had both legs cut off is trying to drag himself away across the sand, and I was half expecting him to pop up, proclaim it just a flesh wound, and try to continue the fight.

I am going to have to watch all of I, CLAUDIUS again to get the taste out of my mouth. Pfui.

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