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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Rome -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'll answer the question before it appears later in this thread.

    "No."

    I did not view all 1,320 minutes -- two seasons of HBO's brilliant, episodic Rome to check for quality.

    I've been waiting over two years for Rome to arrive on Blu-ray. Back in 2007, I purchased both seasons on standard definition after happening upon occasional episodes in broadcast. The standard definition version did not live up to what I had seen in this hundred million dollars production as aired, and decided not to view it.

    I sold the SD boxed sets and waited.

    Today, Rome arrived at my door in Blu-ray. I'm not a packaging fanatic. Generally, I prefer plain vanilla Blu-ray plastic. But upon unwrapping, I discovered what most acknowledge. HBO is all about quality. Their products do not suffer poor packaging. Rome is a slipcased book, with each of the ten discs safely ensconced in a very solid, heavy page. The feel and texture of the packaging brings to mind luxuriously bound tomes of an era of handmade books. Each disc yields gracefully and easily from its page, but is in no danger of falling out on its own. Those who may fear damaging the discs during extraction should keep in mind the protective coating on all Blu-rays.

    I love the packaging.

    As to the 1,320 minutes -- I can only relate to the first hour as the initial episode introduces what will lay ahead.

    Photographed in Super 35, and from there taken to 1080p/24, Rome spreads across one's screen with the beauty, horror and destruction that came with the era.

    Magnificently photographed, with superb special effects that do not betray their broadcast origins, Rome is as it should be, with rich deep, and subtle blacks, brilliant colors, wonderful shadow detail, and a sharpness and perfection that avoids digital pitfalls, and looks as if 35mm film is being projected.

    This is exactly what I expected of HBO, which delivers with perfection.

    While neither for children nor those offended by extreme violence and nudity, HBO's Rome will delight those who seek a rich, literate, gorgeously mounted entertainment experience brought to Blu-ray.

    With The Sopranos most assuredly on the way, we can set our sights and hopes on Deadwood.

    For now, I'm pleased to report that HBO's Rome is Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Well-Known Member

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    Nice review! I second the vote for Deadwood, which is one of the greatest and most disturbing Westerns ever made. It's more like a really, really long movie to me, and not much like a tv show they way you normally think of it.
     
  3. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Well-Known Member

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    Definitely want to pick up Rome eventually, but it will be quite awhile as I will wait for an eventual drop in price....probably will be a long wait too, but I don't mind.
    As for Deadwood eventually coming on blu.........count me in. I absolutely loved this on DVD....on Blu-ray, this series would be spectacular and an absolute must have.
     
  4. Yumbo

    Yumbo Well-Known Member

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    Price drop waiting...
     
  5. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    Like with Band of Brothers and Deadwood, I have not seen a single episode before I bought in. I'll wait until the price comes down and then buy the series. It looks pretty good.
     
  6. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Best Buy has the BD for $84 this week, plus the 10% coupons are out (good 11/20-24), so I'll be picking it up. It's an excellent show, but Deadwood is still the M-F---ing best.
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    The first season of Rome is possibly the single best season of TV I've ever seen. (The second season has issues, but it's still superior stuff.)
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Well-Known Member

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    RAH, wait til you get to later scenes. without saying 2much, this series pretty much rivals Gladiator (the film) w/respect to Roman history/culture =).

    i, too, received this today =). great packaging i agree. i luv the smell of it lolz =). lossless audio is awesome. i'm a huge audio nut, much more so than i am picture quality (though that matters too).
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    Although it does take liberties, Rome is far more concerned with real Roman history than Gladiator was.
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    While I quite enjoy Gladiator, I must concur with this sentiment. Whenever any of my students ask me for movie recommendations about the Roman Empire, I point them to this TV series as a first step. Excellent series and I will certainly pick up the BD set (while keeping my SD set for classroom use).
     
  11. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

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    I have never seen an episode of this show before (no HBO) so I rented the first disc from NF last week and watched the first 2 episodes over the weekend. Yes, I'm immediately hooked. Very good so far and I can't wait for further discs to come this week and next.
    But, I have to say that PQ and AQ are not up to usual HBO standards. After Band of Brothers, John Adams and Generation Kill, Rome is the weakest of the bunch on a technical level. If I compare it to John Adams (mostly because it's the freshest in my mind), Rome is certainly less "film-like" as I detect a little more waxiness in facial close-ups and less detail overall. In addition, I thought John Adams blu-ray sounded fantastic from beginning to end. So far, I haven't been enveloped by the sound from Rome.
    Now I'm only 2 episodes in so perhaps the quality will pick up as the season goes along. Also, I would expect season 2 to be technically better as well.
     
  12. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    I picked this up at Best Buy yesterday. They have been having their 50% off HBO show sale. (I know it has been just as cheap it not a bit lower in price on AMAZON recently) However I have to have the packaging in MINT condition.

    The packaging for this and DEADWOOD on blu is really top notch.

    I have never seen ROME and not sure when I will start watching the show but it is sad the budget was so high the show wasn't produced for further seasons as originally planned based on the original storyline structure.

    I read on WIKI (so not sure how reliable) that the HBO / BBC co production for the first season budget was that BBC gave approx 110 million dollars and HBO provided 85 million!
     
  13. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    Is there just the two seasons? I see Amazon has it for $64 and says "complete series". Anyone know if this is the entire series or if there is more to come?
     
  14. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    So Far ROME Complete Series set is all that there is.

    There was rumors that the creators/producers were trying to get a film off the ground but HBO would have no involvement in that release if and when it happens.

    So even if they do get to make some sort of film etc they wouldn't be able to add it to another HBO series set so to speak.
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    The second season was not nearly as good as the first, so I felt better about there not being a 3rd season after watching the 2nd. (Still, it was better than most of what else passes for TV these days.) A movie could be cool, but I haven't heard anything about that project in months.
     
  16. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    Cool, I ordered it up. Looking forward to watching this. The trailers looked great and I love the genre.
     
  17. ahilal

    ahilal Guest

    Yeah it was just two seasons and when the show ended, Rome was entering one of their longest periods of peace ever (under Augustus) so I don't think there are any plans to go further - what material would they use?

    I really enjoyed this show. It's incredibly gritty at times, and I have no idea how accurate it is, but it's always entertaining.
     
  18. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading that the show was too expensive for the ratings, while good, the show was getting. There is still some talk and plans to do a feature film and continue the story.
     
  19. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    FYI: This is one of those occasions where the package was available in Europe for some time already. It's currently £30 on Amazon/UK. Even including shipping costs to the US, this may be less expensive than your local offer. I have it since July. And it being Warner/HBO, it's not region-locked (extras may be PAL, I don't remember exactly).

    (I haven't actually played it on my US-player to try it, but I just checked a few minutes ago and indeed there's no "region-B" symbol on the box.)


    Cees
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Andy, the show is loosely based on history, at best. :) Definitely gritty and entertaining, though!
     

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