Thursday Movie Picks: The Ancient World

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies set in the ancient world. To be honest, I hate most movies that fall into this theme. I have no idea why, I have nothing against the theme itself. I just feel like this is a pretty easy one to fuck up. Here are a few that I enjoy

1) Troy

I swear I don't like this movie just because Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom are super hot....okay, that's most of it. 

2) 300

This one I actually do like, it was different and those slow motion shots were great.

3) Hercules

I was tempted to use the Rock version just for the line "fucking centaurs" but I legitimately love this cartoon. The Muses' for life. 

15 comments:

  1. I imagine Troy will be popping up quite a bit today. It wasn't a perfect film but I enjoyed it, Eric Bana took the acting honors there.

    300 was fun at the time before the preponderance of CGI descended on film so it stood out as unusual, haven't watched it in ages though.

    I doubt that I've ever sat down and watched Hercules from beginning to end but have probably seen the whole thing from seeing bits and pieces when my nieces and nephews were watching. It was cute but nothing I'd look at on purpose.

    I feel the complete opposite way that you do about films set in this period. LOVE them!! But to me it means big budget, richly appointed Biblical epics from the 50's with a cast of thousands. Now since I've used the apex of those sort of films DeMille's The Ten Commandments I had to poke around for a few others. Here's what I came up with.

    Quo Vadis? (1951)-Huge, impressive epic of Nero’s (Peter Ustinov) reign and his persecution of the Christians. Against the broader scale of the story (with amazing sets and a literal cast of thousands) is the tale of Roman general Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) who falls in love with the Christian Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and slowly adopts her religion, a very dangerous decision for the time. Vast in scope with pageantry and a human feel that can’t be replicated by CGI that thanks to the direction and performances, Leo Genn is particularly fine as Marcus’s Uncle Petronius, remains more accessible than many similar films of the period.

    Land of the Pharaohs (1955)-Hooty nonsense about the building of the Great Pyramid in ancient Egypt. Packed with quality British actors, including Jack Hawkins, James Robertson Justice and Sydney Chaplin, extravagantly playing to the back row and best of all (well most campily of all anyway) a young and very beautiful Joan Collins vamping it up as the pharaoh’s wife Nellifer. To say she’s good would be a stretch but she sure is entertaining. The usually excellent Howard Hawks doesn’t seem to have a handle on the pace of the story so despite the florid ridiculousness of the picture it occasionally drags.

    Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)-Fictional sequel to The Robe picks up where that film ended. The movie follows two stories: faithful Demetrius (Victor Mature) the soldier converted to Christianity in the first picture is pressed into being a gladiator and catches the eye of the salacious Messalina (Susan Hayward) wife of Emperor Caligula’s uncle which causes a crisis of conscience. Meanwhile the mad Caligula pursues Jesus’s robe believing it to have magical powers. Star-studded if improbably cast (i.e. Ernest Borgnine as a Roman centurion) with future stars Anne Bancroft and Julie Newmar appearing briefly. Nicely produced if a bit overblown.

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    1. Yep. Haven't seen or heard of any of these lol. My lack of classic film watching is so pathetic.

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  2. 300 was pretty good. Didn't love Hercules but the Muses made the movie a lot more likable. Troy was all right but I haven't watched it since its release.

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  3. I was mostly into Bana during Troy :P

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    1. Bana looked good, teenage me loved to perv on Orlando Bloom, then he ended up being such a wuss and Brad Pitt was so much hotter.

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  4. 300 is cool. Troy has its moments but it's just meh for the most part for me.

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    1. Troy gets extra points for all the eye candy.

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  5. Troy is quite good and you made me stare at Brad Pitt here for. While:) 300 is another good film which was quite interesting with the styling of the film. I have not seen the animated Her uses but I did see the 1950's version with Steve Reeves...it's so bad it's awesome!

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    1. I used to watch the Hercules TV show when I was a kid too. I've always enjoyed the watered down versions of his story.

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  6. I really hated 300 but it looks like I'm the only one. I quite liked Troy. I didn't only enjoy Brad and Orlando, I swear. And Hercules has always been one of my favourites, love the Muses and Meg.

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    1. lol I feel that way about Troy too sometimes. "No, I swear I didn't just perv the whole time!"

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  7. Well.. I was not the only one to remember Brad's... acting....skills in Troy. :D

    Hercules.. have I seen it? I think I might.. but I don't remember. That is weird.

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  8. Well.. I was not the only one to remember Brad's... acting....skills in Troy. :D

    Hercules.. have I seen it? I think I might.. but I don't remember. That is weird.

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    1. Hercules is one of my favorite Disney movies, yet it always seems to end up on "worst" lists. lol

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