Tag: Kevin McKidd (Page 1 of 3)


Not every cool idea is necessarily a great idea, and that’s never more apparent than in director Guy Moshe’s genre mash-up, “Bunraku.” Set during a post-nuclear future where guns have been banned but swords, knives and pretty much anything else with a sharp edge is still fair game, the film takes place in a neon-drenched city controlled by a warrior named Nicola (Ron Perlman) and his gang of killers. When two drifters (Josh Hartnett and Japanese pop star Gackt) arrive in town with their own reasons for wanting to take down the tyrannical crime boss, they serendipitously cross paths at a local bar and decide to team up to increase their chances. But before they can get their shot at Nicola, the warriors must first face off against all nine of his elite assassins.

The first thing you’ll notice about “Bunraku” is that it has a very distinct visual style that falls somewhere between the graphic novel aesthetic of “Sin City” and a children’s pop-up book; not all that surprising considering the film’s title is a reference to a form of Japanese puppet theater. The action sequences are also fun to watch and benefit from the film’s unique look, but unfortunately, they never amount to more than a series of flashy distractions to hide the fact that there isn’t much of a story. And when Moshe does try to slow things down in order to develop his characters, he’s forced to rely on some dreadful dialogue that not even reliable actors like Woody Harrelson, Kevin McKidd and Demi Moore can improve. The best you could say about “Bunraku” is that it would make for an entertaining late night movie when nothing else is on TV, because this self-serving piece of fanboy drivel is not even close to being as good as it pretends to be.

“Rome” feature film coming soon?

In an interview with MovieWeb.com, Ray Stevenson (who played Titus Pullo on the HBO series) confirms that a feature-length script is in full development.

Is the Rome movie still moving ahead?

Ray Stevenson: Apparently so. It is no longer a smoke and mirrors rumor. The script is in full development. As you are probably aware, this is a pretty strange process. We could go into production in a year, or it could be as quick as six months. Who knows? It will happen. At least it is no longer a rumor. From what I have heard, they are nearing the end of script development. We shall see. We shall see.

The second half of the second season of “Rome” was quite rushed, so I’m sure there is plenty of story to cover. This is obviously great news for fans of the series and a good reason for neophytes to pick up the DVD sets to get caught up.

Rome: “About Your Father”


That’s it. That’s the last episode of “Rome.”

I’ve said before, with all the jumping ahead in time, that this season felt awfully rushed, but the final episode provided a fitting conclusion to most of the show’s storylines.

It starts with a great monologue by Mark Antony as the remainder of his navy rowed its way back to Alexandria.

All my life I’ve been fearful of defeat. But now that it has come it’s not near as terrible as I’d expected. The sun still shines, water still tastes good…glory is all well and good but life is enough, nay?

Then, in contrast, we get another monologue from Atia as she laments the news of Antony’s defeat:

[Octavian] wasn’t like that as a child. He was a good, honest boy. I don’t know what happened. I’m to blame, probably.


Antony’s meltdown in the palace is a brilliant piece of acting by James Purefoy. When Cleopatra pleads with him to come up with some military trick to win the war, Antony quips, “I’m a soldier, not a fucking magician.”

Then, he has a “GoodFellas” moment when one of his guests laughs as he gets knocked down. Antony shouts, “I’m a fucking clown?” before killing the weakling in a swordfight. (I had visions of Joe Pesci.) That moment is Antony’s “lampshade” moment. You know, that moment when a partygoer partakes a little too much and their night spins out of control. I’d like to applaud the hazy cinematography of the scene. It really adds depth to Antony’s frame of mind at the time.

He has another great line when Cleo’s slave comes to tell him of her death and to urge him to commit suicide: “Anything to cure this fucking hangover.” The suicide scene with Lucius was intense, and it was a nice gesture that Antony did not force Vorenus to follow him into death.

Then there’s the matter of Caesarion. Though there isn’t any real-world evidence of this, the show’s position is that he is the son of Titus Pullo. When Lucius offers to take Caesarion to his father, Cleopatra asks, “Is he a good man?” Lucius answers, “Define good.”

The negotiation scene between Cleo and Octavian was terrific, and I can see now why they wanted Simon Woods instead of Max Pirkis for the latter half of this season. Octavian was actually 33 when he invaded Alexandria, so casting Woods was a logical choice. Of course, Caesarion was 17 at the time, and the creators didn’t have any problem shaving seven years off of his age.

It was good to see Atia get back to her old self. That was a terrific diatribe she laid on Octavian’s wife before the triumph. Now that the series is over, it’s comforting to know that the bitch is definitely back.

Finally, there’s Titus and Lucius. Even with all its politicking and betrayal, the show is really about the friendship between these two men. It was sad to see Lucius go, but I’m glad he got his wish to see his children and that his eldest daughter decided to forgive him. Titus got his wish – a son – and appears to have finally found some happiness in his life.

And, speaking of Titus, how’s this for the last line of the series?

Listen, about your father…

All in all, the finale did an excellent job of providing fitting conclusions to virtually every major character, but in reality, the only good thing about “Rome” ending is that we’ll finally get to see the last nine episodes of “The Sopranos.”

R.I.P. “Rome.” We’re sad to see you go.

Rome: “No God Can Stop a Hungry Man”

Rome Lucius

Man, this show isn’t afraid to jump ahead in time! Apparently, “all these years” in Egypt has corrupted Mark Antony and it’s obvious that the spicy Cleopatra holds a lot of influence over him. After the dynamic duo multitasked by negotiating with a delegation from Rome while practicing their archery (on a slave, no less!), there was a great exchange between the Lucius and the representative from Rome:

Roman representative: Is he always like that?
Lucius: Like what?

Speaking of Lucius, he’s still in Egypt and is spending his nights having sex with scary bald prostitutes and dreaming about Niobe. He’s also charged with raising Caesarion, who is Titus’…er…Caesar’s son. Lucius certainly thinks it’s the former, because whenever the kid asks about his dad, Vorenus describes Titus.

It was a cold move for Octavian to send his sister and mother to Egypt and it was even colder that Antony sent them packing without even meeting with them. I was a little worried that their ship might sink on the trip home, but when Lucius said it wasn’t a bad idea for Posca and Jocasta to stow away, I figured killing Atia and Octavia wasn’t a part of the “delicate mission” that Antony gave him. Once back in Rome, Posca provided Octavian with justifcation for war (Antony’s will), so now everybody’s happy.

Titus had apparently been with Gaia for some time. The relationship felt rushed (as does the entire season), but the fight with POW Memio was still effective. You just knew that once Gaia confessed, the big fella was going to kill her. I thought Gaia was one of the more interesting (and more attractive) characters on the show, so I’m sad to see her go.

But I have to say that she had one of the best sendoffs ever. That final shot of her drifting in the water was simply gorgeous.

Rome: “A Necessary Fiction”

Rome Titus Pullo

Quite a bit happened this week, and you can really sense that the series is getting ready to wrap up.

Octavian is busy trying to clean up the morality of Rome, but is having difficulty keeping his own family in line. In reality, it’s his own fault since he tried to keep Antony and Atia apart and was oblivious to Agrippa’s affections for his sister. Regardless, his heavy-handedness resulted in Antony’s banishment to Egypt and Agrippa’s decision to break up with Octavia, but not before she could drop a pregnancy bomb on Agrippa’s head.

Meanwhile, Octavian has his own marriage lined up, and it started with a great exchange:

Octavian: Tell me, how would you like to be married to me?
Girl: I would like that very much if my husband does not object!


Maecenas was in the middle of everything this week and I was really hoping that Lucius would lay him out when they were questioning him about the missing gold.

Down on the Aventine, Titus’ world is turned upside down as Eirene dies from a miscarriage caused by Gaia’s treachery. Gaia is scary-hot, and it looks like she might work her way into Titus’ good graces. The only thing that could blow that deal is if the alchemist decides to tell someone about what Gaia bought from her. Kudos to Chiara Mastalli’s work in Eirene’s death scene – it was amazing. You could literally see the life leave her body.

Lucius’ discovery of his daughter’s betrayal leads to his decision to leave for Egypt with Antony. Titus was kind enough to take responsibility for his children and for the business, but it’s a lot to ask of the big man.

Mark Antony had a great line when Lucius asked to come with him: “You’ll not turn to drink, will you? You stoic types often do when disappointed in life.”

Memio’s makeshift alliance with the other captians runs into a brick wall on the Aventine. He underestimated Titus’ ferocity in the wake of his wife’s death. And did you see the way Gaia handled herself in the battle? She and Titus probably belong together. Even though she’s inherently evil and he’s inherently good, they both solve problems in the same way – with violence. Titus killed his competition when he murdered Eirene’s husband. Gaia did the same thing – only she did it intentionally.

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