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#1
Old 08-11-2011, 01:26 PM
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Recent Roman movies: The Eagle and Centurion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eagle_(2011_film)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_(film)

I liked Gladiator, and wonder which of these is worth seeing. Both? What did you think of 'em?
#2
Old 08-11-2011, 01:33 PM
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We just watched The Eagle. It wasn't terrible, but I was bored, and I picked up my laptop halfway through and got distracted by other stuff.

However, I wasn't a huge fan of Gladiator either, although it was clearly a superior film to The Eagle.
#3
Old 08-11-2011, 02:10 PM
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Also from 2007, the Last Legion. All involve the 9th Legion in some way.

Haven't seen the Eagle yet, I'd say Centurion was a little better than the Last Legion. The latter was a bit more unrealistic. It does have John Hannah playing type, after Spartacus.

I remember Centurion being a little slow at times, in that artsy way. As far as the three, I understand that no, none are as good as Gladiator, but still decent.
#4
Old 08-11-2011, 08:30 PM
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I can't vouch for the film version of "The Eagle", but the book it's based on, "The Eagle of the Ninth" is excellent.

I'm a huge fan of Rosemary Sutcliff, the author.
#5
Old 08-11-2011, 08:59 PM
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Both were kind of mediocre films, although I would say The Eagle was slightly better than Centurion.
#6
Old 08-12-2011, 09:14 AM
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I've a friend who says that Centurion is slightly better than the Eagle, so I'm going to borrow it from him to verify.

All I really remember about the Eagle was that there were absolutely no women characters. There were a few in the background, but otherwise it was an all-bromance sausagefest. Only needed one conversation about snails and oysters to kick it over the top. Nice scenery, though.
#7
Old 08-12-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
All I really remember about the Eagle was that there were absolutely no women characters. There were a few in the background, but otherwise it was an all-bromance sausagefest. Only needed one conversation about snails and oysters to kick it over the top. Nice scenery, though.
Yeah, I noticed that, too. It was pretty much a gay romance. Not explicitly, though (and not that there's anything wrong with that).

Last edited by Spoke; 08-12-2011 at 09:19 AM.
#8
Old 08-12-2011, 09:50 AM
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I'm a bit meh about both the Eagle and the Centurion, but the Eagle is better IMO. For one, there is a very good scene during the opening half hour that actual show more or less realistic Testudo formation fighting, with a chariot thrown in to the mix. (Very well done, on par with the Gladiatior sequence. Also, there is a really intense tribal dance scene, which is quite gripping in a primal way Also, the director seems to be trying to get most of the fighting/costumes and such historically accurate.

Alas, both films could have been so much more if they dispensed with some of the more out-there mythos and, in Centurions case at least, was a bit less one-man army type deal.
#9
Old 08-12-2011, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Yeah, I noticed that, too. It was pretty much a gay romance. Not explicitly, though (and not that there's anything wrong with that).
Honestly... that's sort of what I look for in a Roman sandal movie. I just wasn't expecting that there wouldn't be any token females. I wonder how it escaped having some studio exec suggest they add in some (other) love-interest in girl-form?
#10
Old 08-12-2011, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for your feedback, everyone. Hrm. I may end up just seeing both of them (or all three of them, incl. The Lost Legion) anyway.
#11
Old 08-12-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
Honestly... that's sort of what I look for in a Roman sandal movie. I just wasn't expecting that there wouldn't be any token females. I wonder how it escaped having some studio exec suggest they add in some (other) love-interest in girl-form?
Throw us breeders a bone, is all I'm saying.
#12
Old 08-12-2011, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
Honestly... that's sort of what I look for in a Roman sandal movie. I just wasn't expecting that there wouldn't be any token females. I wonder how it escaped having some studio exec suggest they add in some (other) love-interest in girl-form?
There is love-interest in girl form in the book - mind you, Cottia is only just at the lower end of marriageable age by the customs of the time, and she spends all of the Eagle-quest safely at home looking after Marcus's tame wolf or getting dragged off to Aquae Sulis much against her will by her parents. Probably wouldn't have added much to the film.
#13
Old 08-12-2011, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
There is love-interest in girl form in the book - mind you, Cottia is only just at the lower end of marriageable age by the customs of the time, and she spends all of the Eagle-quest safely at home looking after Marcus's tame wolf or getting dragged off to Aquae Sulis much against her will by her parents. Probably wouldn't have added much to the film.
I don't think that's why they left her out. The filmmakers seem to have been making, very consciously, a gay romance. (Again, that is only implied, never spelled out. But it is strongly implied.)
#14
Old 08-14-2011, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abel29a View Post
For one, there is a very good scene during the opening half hour that actual show more or less realistic Testudo formation fighting, with a chariot thrown in to the mix. (Very well done, on par with the Gladiatior sequence. Also, there is a really intense tribal dance scene, which is quite gripping in a primal way Also, the director seems to be trying to get most of the fighting/costumes and such historically accurate.
I'd agree with these positive remarks about The Eagle. I liked The Eagle. It was an uncomplex action move, but it was a good action movie. I started a thread about The Eagle a while back. http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=599090

If you are into Ancient Roman stuff you'll probably like The Eagle.

Last edited by SecretaryofEvil; 08-14-2011 at 06:02 PM.
#15
Old 11-14-2014, 10:50 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions. Well, I've now seen both The Eagle and Centurion and liked the latter a bit better, although neither was as good as Gladiator. Michael Fassbender is a better actor and has a good deal more dramatic weight as a hero than Channing Tatum. I was struck, though, by the similarities between the movies:
SPOILER:

* A Roman soldier hero with a less-than-proud family past
* A native servant or helper with questionable loyalties
* An attack on a Roman frontier fort at night
* Noble Northern Savages who hate and torture Romans but love their kids
* The NNS chief's son is killed
* A lost Roman legion with a handful of survivors who are then killed off by the NNS
* A long chase across a beautiful landscape by relentless NNS pursuers
* Leaping from a cliff into a cold river in order to escape
* Making it to safety, more or less, at Hadrian's Wall


There may be others. Still, glad I saw 'em.
#16
Old 11-14-2014, 11:08 AM
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I liked the Eagle's battle sequence, but Centurion was a much better movie and Fassbender a better actor. As it is, I watched them back to back one boring weekend. If you watch Centurion first, it's almost like watching one complete story, I like to imagine Tatum's character as being the

SPOILER:

Son of the general in the Centurion

Last edited by AK84; 11-14-2014 at 11:11 AM.
#17
Old 11-14-2014, 11:22 AM
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Dangit, I never did end up borrowing Centurion. Maybe I'll just add it to my Amazon wish list...
#18
Old 11-14-2014, 01:02 PM
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I started watching The Centurion at one point, and I was thrown off by the Picts or whoever they were just sneaking into the Roman camp. Because I study Latin, I have read through multiple explanations of how a Roman camp was lain out, and you really don't just sneak into one. It's been a while, but I think the movie implied that they were not at full strength, but still I don't buy it. Maybe one or two snuck in, did some quiet mischief, and snuck out. But a small band?

They have to cross a steep-sloped trench where they are exposed to view the whole time just to get to the palisades which are ten feet tall and patrolled. Even if the patrols were light, because discipline was way off or something because the soldiers are demoralized by being in a movie they know damned well is actually about Vietnam, you still couldn't expect to remain undetected while you waltz through the camp wherever you please. Then they kidnap a Roman Soldier without alerting anybody, and carry his unwieldy limp body back over the ten foot palisades, down into the trench and back up the steep slope on the other side.

It would have been more realistic if they just shown one of them drink a magic potion, run straight over the top of the trench, through the palisades, grab the centurion, and run straight back out the other side, with surprised Romans flying through the air in every direction.
#19
Old 11-14-2014, 04:19 PM
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AK84, I like your theory!

Johnny Angel, they didn't "kidnap a Roman soldier without alerting anybody" in Centurion.
SPOILER:
They attacked and overran the garrison, and he was the sole survivor. All of his comrades were already dead, or moments away from being so, when they knocked him out.
#20
Old 11-14-2014, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
Honestly... that's sort of what I look for in a Roman sandal movie. I just wasn't expecting that there wouldn't be any token females.
You just made me think about a completely different movie...

"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"
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