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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome with hindsight.
I watched Rome when it first aired on the BBC in 2005 and thought it was amazing. It's been 5 years, now, and I saw it was fairly cheap on Amazon so got it for Christmas. It's only 3 days later and I've already seen most of the first series!

The thing that stands out this time around is just how good Rome was. The fall of the Roman Republic is quite possibly...
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by Amazon Customer

versus
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, average media
The Rome is great and I love every bit of it. I'm interested in ancient Rome history and have read quite a few books about it. In this film I don't notice anything that conflicts with my knowledge. The characters are well done and the actors fit in very well. So, the movie is 5+ stars.
I had Rome on DVD and purchased this BD set for better quality, and I didn't...
Published on 21 Feb 2012 by smk


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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome with hindsight., 28 Dec 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I watched Rome when it first aired on the BBC in 2005 and thought it was amazing. It's been 5 years, now, and I saw it was fairly cheap on Amazon so got it for Christmas. It's only 3 days later and I've already seen most of the first series!

The thing that stands out this time around is just how good Rome was. The fall of the Roman Republic is quite possibly the most tumultuous period in Political history so the writers were always onto a winner when writing a big-budget drama. Watching the drama and violence may seem over-the-top, but practically all the major events and murders depicted here happened. In fact, if anything, despite this being one of the most violent and perverse mainstream dramas broadcast, the writers have shied away from the darker and more indulgent aspects of ancient Rome -- Mark Anthony, for instance, had several gay (as well as countless heterosexual) affairs and used to attend wild parties dressed as a god, in a chariot pulled by lions! (Anthony here, played superbly by James Purefoy, is still outrageous by modern standards, but surely the reality would have been too much to stomach for the BBC).

Where the writers succeed, though, is meshing this story onto strong, utterly-compelling character-driven plotting set within a landscape so fantastically realised that practically every shot takes your breath away. The day-to-day dirty, violent, horny reality of life in ancient cities has surely never been more accurately and beautifully portrayed. The streets of Rome are alive before your eyes, and the characters whose lives you follow through them are equally captivating (the hilarious and brutal story of unlikely friends, Centurion Lucius Vorenus and legionarie Titus Pullo; the family drama of high-society Atia and her children Ovtavia and Octavian (the future emperor Augustus); the political and military careers, the lives and loves of Anthony and Caesar; and supporting plots concerning the plotting against Caesar, the working conditions of Rome, the pagan religions and sacrifices, not to mention the careers and demises of Cato, Cicero and Brutus). As I say, the writers already had writing gold before they even put fingers to keyboard, but the effort they have put in to covering so many of Rome's facets, to also create memorising and loveable characters, has to be lauded as one of the best written dramas of our age.

Rome does have its faults (some historical inaccuracies and -- largely due to the events covered in series one being so powerful -- the second season isn't quite as strong), but there is nothing else like it (if you have been put off watching this from seeing the Tudors, give it a go, I think you will be surprised by the difference). I think I enjoyed Rome more second time around. I guess because it has been and gone and nothing has come close to matching it for sheer extravagance, debauchery and spectacle. I can't wait to watch it on Blue-Ray )

If (as I) you are interested in reading more about Caesar and Rome after viewing this, I'd recommend Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic (which covers the same period as season one) and Caesar: The Life of a Colossus (which is a comprehensive biography of Caesar, and covers his early life and military career in Gaul as well as events after the Rubicon).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent production., 16 Oct 2014
The perfect gift for all historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This series almost defies belief with its masterful attention to cultural detail combined with a level of accuracy that is simply astonishing for popular series or movies. One could almost believe that someone laid hands on a time machine and took the whole crew back to 52 BC for filming. Clearly, no expense was spared in the making of this series, which has all the polish and flair of a big-budget movie, combined with an archaeologists critical eye for accuracy and detail.

For the look and feel of being there, this film is miles above "Augustus", "Nero", and "Empire", which have a too-clean low budget look to them, and while having the same grittiness as "Gladiator", there are no grossly over-enlarged computer generated buildings. Instead, the real closeness of the cement insulae (multi-story apartments) that real Romans lived in are marvelously depicted, complete with the kinds of graffiti that really existed. There is trash in the streets, there is no "segmentata" armour (incorrect for this period, chain mail only!), cleansing oil is used in the baths (no soap then!) and then scraped off, the jewelry looks like it was stolen right out of a museum, the list goes on and on...

As for cultural immersion, this series once again raises the bar. The Romans were a different culture and their attitudes to life and death, propriety and impropriety, and their spiritual lives were very different than our own. This series takes on the challenge, and unashamedly depicts life as it must have been in those times. If there was no fig leaf, then there IS no fig leaf. (I should mention that the R rating is there for very good reasons). In this show, a dead person looks like a dead person (blue etc.), sex looks like sex, etc., so be prepared for no punches to be pulled.

The lives of the rich, the poor, and the slaves, and their relationships to each other and the gods are all shown honestly.

The story. Ah, the story. Nicely done. O.K., it's a soap opera, but I'm pretty sure that the Romans invented them (didn't they?)... The story is not overly convoluted and it does not have the annoying "point A" to "point B" direct line plot of sooo many Hollywood productions these days. There are two main plot lines. The first concerns two Roman soldiers and their life amongst the plebeians. The second follows the fortunes of Gaius Julius (the man who would be Caesar), along with his family and other such famous personages as Pompey, Cato, Cicero, Mark Antony, Brutus, etc. Of course, you KNOW that these two plot lines will frequently cross... The amazing thing is that it makes Caesar's rise to power seem like less than a sure thing. (And if THAT was a spoiler, you need to read a book. Seriously.)

Overall, this is the best series on Ancient Rome (or Ancient anything, for that matter) to come along in a while. Consider watching it followed by I, Claudius (also a BBC production) for maximum effect.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome Seasons 1 & 2, 4 April 2010
By 
M. Stanton (UK) - See all my reviews
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Fantastic ! Absolutley brilliant. Sex, violence, politics. This is what a period drama should aspire to be like !! Whilst historically accurate or not, the sets and story lines will leave you hooked and wanting more. And while James Purefoy gets all the best story lines, and admittedly girls, as the brutish Mark Antony - it's the sensational performance of Simon Woods, as the cold and calculating Octavian who steals the show. This box set is probably the best period drama ever made, and is essential viewing.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skin pores and designer stubble hairs..........., 3 Nov 2010
By 
Julie Cutler (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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......are how you judge the quality of a blu ray picture. This is a fantastic improvement on the original DVD release- so detailed: vibrant colours of the drapery, intense patches of Mediterranean light. Thankfully the only thing you can't smell is the drains.

As you can't quite see in the box illustration, the rerelease takes up a third of the space of the original (but delightfully whimsical)release in two boxes. Each series packs 5 disks into a box the thickness of a normal single blu ray. It's an amazing piece of engineering in itself. If you were hesitating about upgrading- DON'T. (Although let the title sequence pass by as the colours are rather gaudy in higher def)

Oh and the series is incredible (oh yeah, I did A level Latin many moons ago). It does capture the excesses, violence but sometimes the sheer delight of the Roman empire at this time. Historically it is umm well rather flaky at times... but it's in the spirit. (Hey if I can wince and smile at Book 6 of Virgil's Aeneid being quoted at least 25 years before it was published, the rest just passes me by) Or you can watch it for the sex and violence.

What seems truly inventive in the writing is the focus on the lives of the poor, in the guise of the always-in-the-wrong-place, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo (two real soldiers who actually served under Julius Caesar and obviously stood out enough to be mentioned in his Gallic Wars- er the rest of their lives is fiction). Although they mix with the scary and powerful, they have to go back to eke a living among the dirt and corpses of the street. This is a refreshing improvement on I Claudius (which was Robert Graves' alternative slant on Suetonius' Lives of the 12 Caesars- (a sort of tabloid version of history), which leans towards the big cheeses of the Roman world (starting in the later years of Augustus' (aka Octavian) rule, after he'd brought peace and stability by being something of the last man standing). Delicious.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Feb 2010
Cannot believe I missed this first time around - Excellent.
The photography is spectacular and the acting is superb.
I can't recommend this boxset highly enough.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See Rome from a new perspective, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This series has everything - great characters, superb acting, wonderful sets. It's just a pity the BBC couldn't sustain the co-funding for more than these two wonderful series (hence time passes more quickly in series two). The series does a great job of painting a picture of Roman life lived by Roman values - values often opposed and in stark contrast to the Judo-Christian ideas most in the West live by today. Hence their attitudes to life, death and sex are completely different. These are alien people in a sense, who lived by a religion (we call myth) that was as alive as Hinduism and Judaism (who were also contemporary). I loved the parallels with India (the way women dress, the idols, the markets and bright colours). I went there in the past and never really considered Rome could have been like those bustling streets in temple towns (particularly in the south). However, this series really helps you see the Romans from a new perspective. That really is some achievement.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get better, 7 Oct 2007
By 
Mr. J. Virdi "jaspal_virdi" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Rome recounts the events surrounding the time of Julius Caesar's ascendency as emperor of the Roman Empire. This is not a retelling of historic events, but a look at the seedy underbelly that the historians missed. This, my friends, is unmissable drama. Both seasons of Rome will leave you wanting more. The story of Pullo and Vorenus is the highlight of this show, and the surrounding characters a brilliantly brought to life by a talented cast.

Simply fantastic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodness, this is a brilliant series, 28 Jun 2011
By 
Sean Parry (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
I don't have a TV licence and so therefore only get to hear about 'new' shows once others have watched them and shown enough interest for me to part with cash and buy on their recommendation. In the case of Rome, I'm so glad they did.

The series is a visual and cultural feast with strong acting and exciting and realistic set pieces. I won't discuss the series in detail, but it covers some 20 - 30 years or Romes history with the rise of Julius Caesar to the rise of the first emperor Augustus. I was surprised by the attention and accuracy of the series and nicely, the Blu Ray has an option to watch through the entire series with pop-ups on screen detailing historical view points and facts. Certainly gives the series more depth and credibility.

I will issue a word of caution, the series is very violent, filled with sex and strong language. It's not overly shocking as it's in keeping with the charachters and the accuracy of what the Romans were actually like. With such accuracy the series is true to the Roman world and that key aspect presents this series as not only being a great television show with tremendous entertainment value, but also a show that blends in a real level of detail to keep the brains switched on too.

This is quite literally the best TV series I've seen in years and will be replaying the entire series over again.

As for the quality of the Blu Ray, simply stunning. The sound was crisp and the picture vivid and sharp. One of the best Blu Rays for video / audio quality.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome is where the heart is., 14 Nov 2009
When Jack Pullman was writing I Claudius for the Beeb back in the 70`s, the handle he grabbed onto for the characters was of a family of Uber Mafiosi.The rest was history, as they say. Although not as sharply written as the earlier "masterpiece", Rome follows along a similar path. Julius Caesar(Ciaran Hinds)finishing a successful war of annexation of Gaul for the Republic, has to return to Rome to face lifelong political enemies. To do so would mean dis-honour & perhaps, certain death. The solution is to march on Rome with his army, seize power & scatter his enemies. Against this basic backdrop, we follow the storylines of numerous characters as the saga develops. The glue holding the whole together are the destinies of 2 of Caesar`s legionaries, Lucius Vorenus(Kevin Mckidd) & Titus Pullo(Ray Stevenson)- 2 people who actually existed & were mentioned & commended by Caesar in his writings. The brooding, deep thinking Vorenus is torn between his loyalty to a commander he thinks will destroy Rome & his love for his family, & the shame of not having seen them for 10 years. Who does he put first? Titus Pullo is a complex man of violence, yearning for a quiet, family life, but uncertain of himself when it comes. Political rivals scheme & double cross, jockeying for position, pulling the rug from under eachother in a constant battle for influence & survival as fortunes sway to & fro. Caesar`s own family, is headed in his absence by his niece Atia(Polly Walker), as devious & murderous as the rest of her uncle`s rivals & then some. Her lover is Marc Antony(James Purefoy), Caesar`s right hand enforcer, a man of unquestioned family & personal loyalty, who will do what ever it takes to put his leader on top & maintain him there. To say that the ancient Romans were morally slack by modern standards is an understatement. The series is full of explicit nudity, graphic animal sacrifice & casual sex & violence, that will keep the pause button of all pervs remotes on over-time. It`s all utterly engrossing, as we are drawn into a conniving world of murder, corruption & gross moral decadence, where the ultimate prize is absolute power & failure is death. It`s history for the modern age, the like of which has`nt been seen in quite such a graphic, entertaining, colouful & honest way before. The script is sharp, zings the storyline along at a fair lick & does`nt pull any punches with what it shows & says. The Blu-ray visuals have a nice filmic quality, with a slight layer of grain, showing off the vibrant, gaudy colour schemes the Romans loved so much to perfection. Audio won`t disappoint either as speakers are given a good workout with ambient, pin sharp sound filling every channel. Extras are reasonably good, coming with the usual commentaries from the actors, producers & directors of the various episodes - some more lively & informative than others. There are also documentaries covering the life & times of the series characters, & of course, historical info on the world`s first great Superpower - Rome. This is a not to be missed series of epic events told on a human scale, told through the eyes of the rich & powerful, the ordinary man in the gutter, slaves & soldiers. Given life by a street smart script with balls, great acting & production values. Highly recommended.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Filth!, 30 Jan 2008
By 
Nolene-Patricia Dougan "Dougs" (Ravara, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Revenge, treacherous intrigues, incest, betrayals, bloody violence, corrupting power, and explicit sex all contribute to the glory of Rome.
Rome delights viewers by giving them a delicious taste of the villainous history of the Roman Empire, between 52 B.C. and 31 B.C.. We see the rise and bloody fall of Julius Caesar and also the political machinations that followed, between Mark Antony and Gaius Octavian Caesar (Augustus Caesar). The stories of these characters are well-known to most of us, with writers such as William Shakespeare and Robert Graves offering us detailed character portraits. However, this is where Rome strives and succeeds to be different. Rome throws out all of these noble, heroic, and clichéd images and starts afresh. Antony, for example, is portrayed as the ultimate lad, his thirst for excess and vice unrelenting, and he just loves a good barbarous battle. Whereas Octavian is an intelligent and often cruel political strategist, who prefers to sit in his tent as the battle commences. Yet, this rehashing of characters is not all that Rome has to offer, for its genius lies in other quarters.
Rome brings to life creatures that are only briefly mentioned by historians, such as Vorenus and Pollo, two soldiers whose exploits are at centre-stage of all the action. And, according to Rome, both men have a profound, if often accidental, influence on Roman history. Vorenus is unintentionally responsible for Julius Caesar's death, and Pollo is responsible for Cleopatra's claim on the Roman Empire. If there are any heroes in Rome, Vorenus and Pollo are the most likely candidates. Vorenus is an honourable soldier, whose dedication to doing the right thing often leads him to ruin and unhappiness. However, Pollo is an entirely different sort of creature. He is just such a lovable, "big-bear," who the viewer can easily forgive the odd, homicidal rampage. Both men are fiercely loyal to each other, even after an argument, and they save each other's lives on numerous occasions.
But Rome's "piece de resistance" is without a doubt the character of Atia of the Julii, played by Polly Walker. She is scheming, vengeful, cruel, and, at times, foul-mouthed; you cannot help but adore her. She perceives life to be a series of trivialities sent by the God's to vex her. Only when she realises that she has lost Antony and that her son has become a cold, callous opportunist, just like his mother, do we see a solemn side to Atia's nature.
Of course, some will argue that Rome takes considerable liberties with history, but what writer worth their salt would ever let history get in the way of a good story?
Rome informs us of the salacious and villainous exploits of Roman nobility, yet it does not forget the Plebs and the Foot Soldiers, who constitute the life-blood of any empire. This epic saga is tantamount to glorious filth, and you will love every violently lecherous minute of it.
In short, Rome is a sumptuous production that sports a superb cast and outstanding writers, and is, quite simply, sublime.
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Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007]
Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete [DVD] [2007] by Timothy van Patten (DVD - 2007)
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