DVD - 2005
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Mini-series about Octavius and Marc Anthony's struggle to control ancient Rome following Julius Caesar's assassination.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc., [2005]
Edition: Widescreen.
ISBN: 9780788861512
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 257 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Oct 30, 2013

An epic four hours 2005 television series set in Rome around 44 B.C., just after the assassination of Julius Caesar. Octavius, aged 17, who was named heir by Caesar, is challenged by Marc Anthony. A civil war ensues, ending in a showdown between Octavius and Marc Anthony.

One has to wonder whether Octavius who later became the first Roman Emperor as Augustus. ever fought in the battlefield as depicted in this long miniseries. It is known that even Roman commanders only directed troops. A Caesar fighting along side soldiers is difficult to believe. Octavius was quite similar to Fidel Castro who always manipulated others be it, Che Guevara or Camilo Cienfuegos or whoever to fight for him. The showdown with Mark Anthony, who seems to have been a real trip, bored me out of my skull, was hard to believe, and appeared as if directed by a high school boy director.

Octavius’s closeness with Agrippa was legendary this was probably the first gay love affair. They were loyal to each other for several years, until he met Livia, well you know how men are.

The writers tried to amazed us with statements such as that of Fulvia, Mark Anthony’s wife, “I always leave before the orgy starts.” Only God knowns whether this noble, proper Roman matron who had the horrible fate of having to deal with Cleopatra ever said that.

Mr. Santiago Cabrera is not well cast as Octavius since he does not have any sort of Roman Patrician air about him; and looks exactly like what he is, a Cuban peasant. Cabrera’s acting is also flat and boring and only inspired me to go into the kitchen and make coffee. Jonathan Cake’s performance as Tyrannus is fake and not convincing.

I can’t recommend this film, it’s long ,boring, and left me wondering about the veracity of the historical facts depicted here.
The film correctly focuses on the painful lives of slaves, and gladiators in imperial Rome. It also gives us a real vision into Roman politics which reminded me of the politics of another country I know.


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