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Spartacus- The acclaimed Oscar picture by legendary director Stanley Kubrick. I love most Kubrick from his early outing the noir heist classic The Killing to his fetish outing Eyes Wide Shut and I wanted to love this sword and sandal opus about the slave uprising in Italy. Although it is a lovely movie with tons of amazing landscapes, interesting training camp scenes and massive pitched battles, the whole enterprise is hamstrung by an annoying and intrusive score. The score really cloys when Jean Simmons and Kirk Douglas lock eyes or interact or canoodle. Is this a terrible movie, no of course not, but for me this classic was something I only want to see once, I think I would even pass on seeing it in a theater. Maybe too much of the plot has been given away over time, or maybe I have seen too many sword and sandal epics recently. I admit it was funny hearing Tony Curtis' pronounced Brooklyn accent in such a setting, but overall this pompous endeavor had me zoning out during it's 3 hour plus running time. B-
Rome - this HBO series ran for 2 seasons. A mixture of debauchery, violence and political maneuvering mixed with a solider buddy cop love affair, I loved this series the first and second time I watched it. I know it is not perfect and maybe a bit over the top with the violence. I also admit I was deliciously distracted by the All Roads lead to Rome feature , a pop-up video device that underscored almost every minute of the series giving background and factoids on the key-players, their gods and the historical circumstances. Worth checking out or Netflixing.
Here is the trailer for a movie that seems to have been forgotten but is worth checking out.