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Live in Chicago? Capone has details on an early screening of CENTURION, with writer-director Neil Marshall Q&A!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Nearly a year ago, I first saw an awesomely violent exercise depicting a period in the Roman Empire, when British guerrillas dared to fight back in some of the bloodiest and most savage fighting of the period. Writer-director Neil Marshall (DOG SOLDIERS, DOOMSDAY, and THE DESCENT, still one of the scariest movies of all time, in my estimation) presents CENTURION, a fucking bad-ass piece of sword-and-sandal filmmaking, starring Michael Fassbender (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; HUNGER; 300), Dominic West ("The Wire"; 300), and Olga Kurylenko (QUANTUM OF SOLACE; HITMAN). And I have a whole bunch of tickets to the Chicago screening of CENTURION, with director Neil Marshall in attendance for a post-screening Q&A, on Thursday, August 19 at 7:00 at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). Although open to the public, the screening is technically part of the Chicago Comic Con (sometimes known as Wizard World), which begins that same day at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. On Friday, August 20, I'll be moderating two film-related panels during the afternoon--one for CENTURION (beginning at 1:00pm, with Marshall on hand for that as well), and the other for DEVIL, an M. Night Shyamalan story to be distributed by Universal, about a group of people trapped in an elevator who realize that the devil is among them. Brothers Drew and John Erick Dowdle, who directed the film, as well as the movie QUARANTINE, will meet be on hand for the 2:00pm panel. That evening, director Alexandre O. Philippe and producer Robert Muratore of THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS will be on hand to talk about their film, which has been getting a bit of notice for its creative approach to looking at how fans have reacted to the famous film franchise over the past three decades-plus. I saw the film at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and it's pretty great and thought-provoking. Wizard World Comic Con is hosting the Midwest premiere of the film on at 8:30 p.m., at the convention center. As for the CENTURION screening in downtown Chicago with Neil Marshall Q&A, since there's only a few days until the screening, I'm making this easy. Here's how to win a pass for you and one guest: Send me an email at (please note the new email address) with the subject line "WRITTEN IN BLOOD!" In the body of the email, I need your Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (guests' names are not required), and the answer to the following question (read carefully): "What is your favorite sword and sandal movie?" Keep your responses BRIEF--limit your answers to 75 words or less (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). Please keep in mind that this is not an exclusive AICN event, and it is overbooked to make sure there is a full house for our guest. If you cannot arrive at this screening early, please do not enter. If there's even the slightest chance you'll have to back out of attending if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. Anyone not showing up without informing me ahead of time so I can fill their seats is no longer eligible for future screening contests. Good luck, everyone!
-- Capone Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    This flick was released in UK on DVD/Bluray today

    by jackalcack

    Is it just me or is Dominic West fucking shoit in everything he's ever been in outside of The Wire. I loved him as McNulty but his performances in 300, Hannibal Rising and Punisher Warzone were embarrassingly bad.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Seen it. Sucks Big Time

    by Woodrow_Wilson_Smith

    Pathetic movie. Nothing really happens except for a long chase "behind enemy lines"<p> Reminds me of the King Arthur movie with Clive Owen - only not as good. I'd never watch it again, even the fight scenes are boring. One brief boring large battle at the beginning where the legion is ambushed, otherwise you wouldn't even know any Roman's were in the movie. <p> Avoid if possible.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Ignore the above poster

    by palimpsest

    It's a chase movie, yep. This is a good thing. Fast and bloody and Marshall has the sense and taste to acknowledge Xenophon and Walter Hill in the closing credits. And it's chock-full of Romans. It's not as good as APOCALYPTO, and character development is sacrificed for pace, but this is solid sturdy red-raw fun.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    CGI Blood

    by khaos751

    It pulled me right out of that poor movie experience. Thanks, bad graphics!

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by Tandemar


  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Agree with the above. it's shite

    by therootstheroots

    downloaded it. loved the descent, hated doomsday. this is in doomsday terrority. it's just rather clunky and shit. you loose interest if you have a brain. so annoying money gets wasted to make crap like this. doesn't anyone ever raise a concern whilst making thism that ot is rather piss poor.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Plus you're right. D. West can't seem to act outside the wire

    by therootstheroots


  • Aug. 16, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    quite good

    by Dark_Equalizer

    I liked it, but im easy to please. If you liked Doomsday, you'll prob like this. It's isnt as good as Decent or Dog Soliders but I think alot of people would still get a kick

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Already saw it.

    by Holeman

    Very bloody, very enjoyable, but I'm fucking tired of 9th Legion stories. It's been done to death. No pun intended. I thought the ending was shit though. So pat happy and it's not like the Picts aren't going to noticed the motherfucker living there. I was also seriously disturbed that even with her tongue cut out, no bath for two weeks and covered in mud I still would fuck the everloving shit out of Olga Kurylenko.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Enjoyable hokum

    by DirkD13"

    Nowhere near as good as his first two films, but much better than Doomsday.<p>Marshall really isn't a great action director, but he is great at suspense and terror. Centurion has fairly average action, it's not shaky-cam or post-action by any means, but it's very wide-shot, close-up, close-up, close-up, wide-shot. Fassbender is badass though, if Craig doesn't get to return as Bond, then Fassbender all the fucking way mate.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by horvak

    Jesus, it's not a bad flick at all, I thought it was cool!!

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Fassbender would make an awesome Bond

    by palimpsest

    It'd be like having Ralph Fiennes' badass younger brother as Bond. Much better than the one in that FLASH FORWARD thing on the telly.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    khaos751, gah, I hate CG blood

    by MattmanReturns

    Whatever happened to squibs? They're a lot easier and they look awesome.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    I saw this On Demand 2 weeks ago.

    by Mr Soze

    It was good until they met up with the exiled witch lady in the forest. We need good Roman, Greek, or Hellenstic movies. I think Xenophone's March of the 10,000 could be amazing.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Its been on demoid forever..

    by daniel_larussos_gonna_fight

    Who wants to see a shitty movie in a shitty theatre?

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Capone, ComicCon says you'll be handing out passes on Fri?

    by JuicyFruit

    I have a 4-day pass (Thur-Sun) for the comic con so since I can't make this screening, can we still get passes from you on Friday at the Q&A? And the programming say the Lucas screening is exclusive? If we have passes to the convention, does that get us in?

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Return to form for Marshall...

    by quantize

    it's not nearly as inventive as The Descent, but it's extremely solid fun..nowhere near the mess of styles Doomsday was

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Solid movie but nothing spectacular

    by D.Vader

    Nothing really special about it, but its a fun flick with a villain you can't wait to see die. I thought Dominic West did a fine job with what he had.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    CG blood was very obvious in the opening fights

    by D.Vader

    But by the end, I had either gotten used to it or they had gotten better at using it. The opening its very noticable bc CGI blood looks very off when its supposed to be nightime. The lighting on the blood is always wrong.

  • Aug. 16, 2010, 11:20 p.m. CST




  • Aug. 17, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    cough - torrent - cough

    by John_McClanes_Vest

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 1:19 a.m. CST


    by BandysTract

    I saw Capone rise from his Levi's lawn chair, arms raised to the heavens. Black storm clouds rolled forth and lightning smote the inflatable screen. From the ashes he led us forth, trapping us in a second location that was full of hipsters that smelled of onion.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Watched last night

    by Pigdog

    Thought it was a good film. The pace did drop off near the end though.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 2:41 a.m. CST

    It is GREAT.

    by blackwood

    People are very stupid. CENTURION is great. Quick and precise. Trails off a bit, but I love how it's bookended. I feel like Neil Marshall is, in his way, like the new Carpenter -- not trying to BE Carpenter, necessarily (although, DOOMSDAY, boo), but an A-level B-film maker. If I were in the area I would go to this screening.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Great Movie, Fuckin A

    by masteryoda007

    Excellent movie, just watched it on Sunday evening. Fassbender is just fucking bad ass in this movie and nobody does the gore like Marshall.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Thing is Valhalla Rising makes this rather redundant.

    by Cameron1

    I mean they are very different movies in terms of style and intent but the epic savagery both indulge in feels rote and just there "to be cool" in Centurion whereas with Valhalla Rising all the brutality is both awe inspiring and informs the characters as well.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Terrible film

    by filmcoyote

    And this coming from someone who didn't even hate the mess that was Doomsday. Don't waste your time Chicago.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 8:18 a.m. CST

    So much stabbing.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Twas a glorious film.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Saw this advertised on HDNET

    by skycrapper

    So I guess I can just DVR it in a couple weeks.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST

    I thought this was better than Valhalla Rising (a lost opportuni

    by workshed

    ...there was way too much gazing into the distance and emphasis on the landscape - a curse for all directors is to make the location 'the star' and not the characters, which were incredibly weak despite the stellar cast. It's only OK to do this when the cast are strong and the story has weight e.g.'Aguirre, Wrath of God'. NWF is a smashing director, as the Pusher Trilogy attests, but this was a turkey which I will forgive solely on the back of coming off the 'Bronson' shoot to knock it out in double-quick time (a bit more script development might have elevated it to being a classic because it's obvious Mads was well prepared). 'Centurion' which I saw two nights ago is a much more cohesive affair. It's not trying to be Herzog-esque. It's just a gritty adventure film with the thing that's missing from VR - a heart. Centurion is a 6/10, VR 3/10.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    i'm about to watch this now ...I'll be back with my thoughts ..

    by JackGraham

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    2 hrs later .....

    by JackGraham

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 12:40 p.m. CST

    2 hrs 25 sec later

    by JackGraham

    ok, i;ve just watched centurion and its average, the complaints about CGI blood are warranted, it's very obvious from the opening scenes that it's CGI bcos the blood is too bright. it becomes a bit repetitive, i was playing the "lets spot the CGI blood" game throughout. there was a lack of tension, excitment and general fun. it was all a bit dull and forgettable, not very grand in scale or ambition. some decent fight scenes, particularly the final battle between the remaining romans and the picts when the romans decide they have had enough of running. overall tho its a 2 star movie, or 3 if im being generous, but im not, so its a 2.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I loved Dog Soldiers, Descent, and Doomsday

    by lv_426

    So hopefully Centurion will kick my ass as well.<P>Whether it does or not though, I have to admit that I hope Neil Marshall decides to do Dog Soldiers 2 next. Give him a bigger budget (not too big though, as we'd loose some of that low budget charm) to work with and it could be aces.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Here's why this movie totally sucks.

    by Filmrage

    The director doesn't seem to know what kind of movie he is making. On the one hand he goes for gritty realism and on the other hand he panders to mid teen wankfodder. As with the crap 'King Arthur', the movie has not one but two skinny, sultry supermodel types who seem to know martial arts and can kick the shit out of huge, burly, brick shithouse, battle hardened Roman army vets. Either you are going for gritty realism or you are going for fantasy. You can't do both. Anyone remotely adult will be pissed off that you are expecting them to get excited about fantasy versions of Roman conflict. Speaking of which. When the collum of the 9th legion are attacked while strung out in a long thin formation(ala Armenius's betrayal in the Teutenburg forest or Buddicas ass whooping of Paulinus's legion on Wattling road) the Romans, instead of forming lines two or three thick gather in little squars one man thick and about ten men to a square. Directors don't even bother doing any research on Roman millitary proceedures other than what the uniforms looked like. Then later in the movie about seven of the surviving brick shithouses are on the run and being persued by about the same number of Picts of which 'two' of them are skinny women. They reach some extremely steep highground and the pics dismount (not that picts used cav that much but that's one of many other issues) then with the few male Picts and the two skinny women scrambling up the 45degree slope the Romans with the high ground piss themselves and instead of dropping rocks on them and piling in and hacking them to pieces instead pull a Butch & Sundance and leap into a ravine with a river at the bottom. The director has gotten it into his head that the audience will have so accepted that they are n the run for their lives that he doesn't notice how ridiculous it is that six or seven intenstine ripping, eye gouging, spine snapping lifers of the 9th Legion would shit themselves at the sight of the same number of scraggly Picts, two of which are 90lb women. Then later after getting sepparated two other hard cases are being run down by five or so wolves. Both are heavily armed but again it is a chase movie so the focus is on them running for their lives so the director forgot to make sure they had an actual reason to run. Ok if five Lions were attacking then i would understand cause it's hard enough to fend of jaws when you got four sets of claws each ripping at you from five of the beasts but as ferocious as wolves are two practiced guys with swords would stand a pretty good chance as wolves can't do damage with their claws. I think even one guy with good swordsmanship might be able to handle five wolves. I saw a badger do it once in a North Korean animal fight video (maybe i was a Wolverine or something). This movie truly sucks and I am sick of directors inventing things about Romans and other ancient people's when historical record shows enough that we can depict them realistically and still be interesting. It's just frikkin lazy.

  • Aug. 17, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Just looked it up on HD net

    by Detective_Fingerling

    It premieres on Wednesday, August 25th at 9 pm eastern/6pm pacific. Is there a better way to search upcoming HDnet movies? All I seem to be able to get is a day in advance.

  • Aug. 18, 2010, 8:18 a.m. CST


    by windomearle39

    I totally agree - Dog Soldiers is awesome and a sequel if done correctly could be very welcome.