Blu-ray of the Day: Rome – The Complete Collection

Cast: Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, James Purefoy, Kerry Condon.
Directors: Michael Apted, Allen Coulter, Alan Poul, Steve Shill, Timothy Van Patten, Alan Taylor, John Maybury.
Creators: Bruno Heller, William J MacDonald, John Milius.

Rome fell after its second season. HBO hoped this sumptuous, tumultuous Sopranos-with-togas saga would expand the reach of its empire but like Deadwood, it was undone by a $US100 million budget that, while worth every denarius on screen, couldn’t be sustained by the ratings. Despite being lavishly mounted and, in the words of writer/producer Bruno Heller, “larger than life but true to life”, Rome never quite shakes off its mixed heritage of Cecil B DeMille theatrics and Monty Python parodying. However, appreciation is vastly improved on Blu-ray, where the transfer, although variable, gives the extraordinary production design and costumes 1080p pop. Warner Bros Video has released both seasons  — the first of 12 episodes, the second of 10 – as a two-volume collection. Each volume has five discs and neither is available separately. The packaging isn’t as elaborate as either the colossus DVD box sets of the series or the US Blu-ray release (which houses the discs in an embossed, book-like case complete with graphics and a ribbon bookmark). However, the no-frills presentation is reflected in the price: full retail in NZ is $120 whereas in the US it’s $US140. Moreover, all of the substantial DVD extras have been retained. These not only lend historical context to the Machiavellian machinations but also highlight Rome’s painstaking authenticity. There’s also a Blu-ray exclusive, Interactive Bloodlines, which helps you to keep track of who’s who.

Series: 😀 😀 😀 😀
Image: 😀 😀 😀 😐
Extras: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😐

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One Response to “Blu-ray of the Day: Rome – The Complete Collection”

  1. An absolutely brilliant series and a classic must-buy in Bluray edition.

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