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Rome: The Complete Series (2009)

Various , Various  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (453 customer reviews)

List Price: $79.96
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Box set, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, Dubbed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 11
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 1229 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (453 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0028RXXE8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

13 commentaries by cast and crew
Four featurettes examining the history of Rome and several of its more famous inhabitants
Three behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring the elaborate production
Two featurettes detailing the creation of pivotal scenes
An interactive historical guide and more

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Family dysfunction. Treachery. Betrayal. Coarse profanity. Brutal violence. Graphic (and sometimes brutal) sex. No, it's not The Sopranos, it's Rome, HBO's madly ambitious series that transfixed viewers with its lavishly mounted spectacle and human dramas of the historical figures and fictional characters. Set in 52 B.C., Rome charts the dramatic shifts in the balance of power between former friends Pompey Magnus (Kenneth Cranham), leader of the Senate, and Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds), whose imminent return after eight years to Rome after conquering the Gauls, has the ruling class up in arms. At the heart of Rome is the odd couple friendship between two soldiers who fortuitously become heroes of the people. Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) is married, honorable, and steadfast. Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) is an amoral rogue whose philosophy is best summed up, "I kill my enemies, take their gold, and enjoy their women." Among Rome's most compelling subplots is Lucius's strained relationship with his wife, Niobe (Indira Varma), who is surprised to see her husband alive (but not as surprised as he is to find her upon his homecoming with a newborn baby in her arms!). Any viewer befuddlement over Rome's intrigues and machinations, and determining who is hero and who is foe, disappears the minute Golden Globe-nominee Polly Walker appears as Atia, Caesar's formidable niece and a villainess for the ages. In the first episode alone, she offers her already married daughter as a bride to the recently widowed Pompey, and the viewer eagerly awaits to see what (or who) she'll do next.

Season 2 begins in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, and charts the power struggle to fill his sandals between "vulgar beast" Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and "clever boy" Octavian (Simon Woods), who is surprisingly named Caesar's sole heir. The series' most compelling relationship is between fellow soldiers and unlikely friends, the honorable Lucius Vorenus and Titus "Violence is the only trade I know" Pullo, who somewhat reverse roles when Vorenus is overcome with grief in the wake of his wife's suicide. Season 2 considerably ups the ante in the rivalry between Atia, who is Antony's mistress, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) with attempted poisonings and sickening torture. Another gripping subplot is Vorenus's estrangement from his children, who, at the climax of the season opener are presumed slaughtered, but whose true fate may be even more devastating to the father who cursed them.

Rome is a painstakingly mounted production that earned well-deserved Emmy nominations in such categories as costumes, set design, and art direction. In writing Rome's epitaph, we come to praise this series, not to bury it. Although two seasons was not enough to establish a Rome empire, it stands as one of HBO's crowning achievements. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Four hundred years after the founding of the Republic, Rome is the wealthiest city in the world, a cosmopolitan metropolis of one million people, epicenter of a sprawling empire. But now, the city's foundations are crumbling, eaten away by corruption and excess...And two soldiers unwittingly become entwined in historical events, their fates inexorably tied to the fate of Rome itself. The entire award-winning, critically-acclaimed series will be available as a gift set, just in time for the holiday season.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
362 of 389 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Rome' raises the bar for history-inspired TV shows December 10, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
THE SERIES

Rome wasn't built in one day, we all know that and its story can't be told over 2 seasons but this is probably the best we're going to have, audio-visually, for a long time to come. This is an interrupted, extremely ambitious and, eventually, unaffordable HBO project meant to illustrate the process though which an up and coming but flawed - expansionist, aristocrat driven, slave labor dependent - republic morphs into an equally or more so flawed, unsustainable empire. [Hmmm... lessons to learn? Anyone? Anyone?]

HBO and the producers of the show should be commended for doing everything in their power to stay as close as artistically possible to the historical record, whatever was available, of the period - and 'Rome' covers Cesar's climb to power and the period shortly thereafter, up to Octavian's triumph and transformation into 'Augustus' - the struggles, the intrigue, the atrocities - and how the events it triggered affected the aristocrats and the plebes, rich and poor, citizens, free men and slaves. The point of view and the storytelling shifts or swings between the history makers - Cesar, his family, Octavian, the aristocrats opposing Cesar - and two more or less ordinary Forrest Gump-like Roman soldiers who find themselves involved with almost everything historians wrote about those years and are also depicted during their more ordinary moments.

'Rome' is a feast to the eye, at least in the Blu-ray version that I'm watching. The colors are vibrant and the details on ornaments, wall graffiti, costumes, makeup are as accurate as they come. I would say almost the same about the sounds of Rome but we know so much less about the music of antiquity...
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165 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal! Best depiction of Rome ever! November 25, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
When I was younger, I used to love watching movies like Spartacus, not so much because they provided particularly great depictions of ancient Rome, but because they were the way anybody get any sense of the grandeur of the Roman empire. In fact, looking back, those films were often quite cheesy. Hollywood stopped making movies about ancient Rome for a long while, until Gladiator came out in 2000. As a movie, Gladiator was awesome and showed a vastly more realistic yet grander Rome than ever before seen in Hollywood. Yet, as history, the movie had its flaws (most notably that it distorted the historical record quite bit). However, I'd despaired that it would be the pinnacle of our ability to visualize Rome.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that HBO did an excellent job at recreating the ancient Roman empire in its miniseries Rome. At first, I was suspicious, worried that Rome would become twisted by HBO, the same creators of Sex and the City. Yet, the series is awesome. In terms of the production quality, it looks and feels like a big budget movie (indeed, the cost of the series eventually doomed it). The acting, visual effects, and soundtrack are exceptional (be sure to get Jeff Beal's soundtrack Rome: Music from the HBO Series).
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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sellar! November 13, 2009
Format:DVD
To paraphrase the United States recording industry mega hit, Superlatives are not enough.

Roman history, while always fascinating, has always seemed cool and static in North America. HBO, in "Rome", has breathed life into well documented time period. Those who not historically minded, will merely see this as a very well produced HBO drama. Being hstorically minded, I am thrilled that this period of history can see life.

In two seasons, viewers across North America thrilled to the power struggles within the Roman senate played out in venues from Gaul to Rome. Caesar and his men, in battle and out, realized that the power of plebian popularity. The death of Pompeys' wife, Julia, leads to a struggle for wifery, and eventually his death. The power play between Mark Anthony, Casesar, Vorenus, Pompey, Cato, and Brutus is fascinating. Social standing is valued, to the extent of sacrificing personal happiness. Integrity is merely the price of success. Ambition is the currency of Senate success.

The episodes included in the set are:

Stolen Eagle
How Titus Pullo brought down the republic
An Owl in A Thornbush
The Ram Has Touched the Wall
Egeria
Pharsalus
Utica Triumph
The Spoils
Kallends of February
Passover
Son of Hades
These Being the Words
Tortoise and the Hare
Heroes
Phillipi
Death Mask
Necessary Fiction
No God Can Stop A Hungry Man
About Your Father

Dramatically speaking, this is a stellar production with outstanding performances. In reading about Rome, I was fascinated that full size sets were constructed for the series accurate to the period. Full scale models of actual artifacts were used in the production, and that is ambitious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story...interesting characters
This was an interesting take on the venerable tale of Julius Caesar told from the interesting vantage points of two soldiers. I was sad when it was over... Read more
Published 9 days ago by James A. Trinka
4.0 out of 5 stars Only a defct
There is no Latin soundtrack, and just a couple of things that a non American feels a little too much (as the kid saying "are we there yet").
But its a very nice work.
Published 1 month ago by Alberto Lupi
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Events in Television History
The only reason this series lasted only two seasons was its cost, because it's quite
spectacular. Read more
Published 1 month ago by New Yorker
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, the complete series
I have been looking for this to come back to homebox and it never will. Now I have it in my home and can watch it over and over.
Published 1 month ago by Toni Madore
5.0 out of 5 stars best hbo show ever
this was the best HBO show ever. wish they had continued the series and not cancelled it. there was big talk of a movie but as far as i have read it has been cancelled. Read more
Published 1 month ago by keptinkirk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy
I loved while it was on tv and now I can watch it whenever I want. I love it! (Enjoy the acting!
Published 1 month ago by A. SHARON CARNATZ
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't get any better than HBO's ROME!
I love period movies and series set in different times that have a historical relevance and this series is absolutely the best I have ever seen! Read more
Published 1 month ago by kathleen cupples
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Series
Awesome series...Just wish HBO would have made it into more than 2 seasons... Would definitely recommend. I was sorry to see it end.
Published 1 month ago by Becki Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great view of History
Fantastic recreated. Wonderfully done series on a world history fact. Wish they would do more about Rome. A. A. Botto
Published 1 month ago by Antony A. Botto
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series
Bought as gift for my boyfriend and he loves it. I have actually watched with him and have really enjoyed it as well.
Published 1 month ago by Dawn L. Price
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Subtitles in Latin
But I was really disappointed when I saw that there aren't Latin subtitles.
Jul 19, 2010 by Frederic Laudenklos |  See all 3 posts
The Most Horrible Packaged Movie Set EVER!!! Worse than BSG Complete...
I agree with Watcher. The packaging concept for Rome [Blu-ray] is terrible. Not only are the discs difficult to remove, the booklet flap that secures the disc, is paper. This flap probably won't hold up over time.
Dec 26, 2009 by Albatross |  See all 6 posts
blu ray package missing disc 2!!
Just found the SAME thing in mine. Wife is PISSED...
Jan 4, 2010 by Michael E. Chester II |  See all 3 posts
Rome's Release to Blu-ray
This is what highdefdigest says, and I believe them over anyone:

"The 10-disc box set will present the series in 1080p/VC-1 (1.78:1) video, an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, and supplements will include an audio commentary, a featurette, and a photo gallery."
Aug 10, 2009 by Watcher |  See all 9 posts
New Release Complete Series DVD & Blu-ray Case Will Not Be As Great As...
I agree partly, but the old box is also a little cumbersome. You have to open the box, and then take out the DVD sleeves, then fold the whole thing out to find the episode you want to watch. I really like the new set, you can quickly flip to the episode and take it out.
Dec 23, 2009 by Anthony |  See all 2 posts
Bonus Features in "Complete Series" vs the two Seasons Be the first to reply
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