Sunday, 25 November 2007
Bush must go!
No, not that Bush. The other one!
Waiting for the third season DVD of Battlestar Galactica to drop in price, I'm filling in with Rome, the plush HBO double season box set telling the epic story of Julius Caesar's rise to power.
Boy! There's a lot of pre-Christian debauchery we only saw alluded to in I, Claudius, including lashings of lashings, pervy sex (you know, with the woman on top) and gore galore.
It's educational, as well. Did you know that the Brazilian wax was invented in ancient Rome? Funny (or furry), as even into the 1970s women sported magnificent unshorn thatches you could knit into a sweater until the men's mags gave us something else to be neurotic about. But in Rome the women have the sweetest little zebra-stripe landing-strips of fuzz. We know this from the mandatory full-frontal bonkathon in every episode.
Guy-talk transcends time: Roman geezers discuss women and we learn that in those days skinny = unattractive. Yet here are the women all looking like supermodels in their size zero frames. I reckon the vomitorium got a good work-out for this series. It's not even as if the lads could pop out for a quick one with big healthy women as the brothel workers (ooh, doggy style) all look like they moonlight for Pan's People.
Fat birds with big bushes. Heaven forfend! Even the famously sophisticated HBO audiences may not be quite ready for that.
Kenneth Cranham gives it some class as Pompey Magnus much as Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirren did in Bob Guccione's Caligula, starring a pop-eyed Malcolm McDowell. The 1970s audiences were pop-eyed, too, what with all the porny bits Bobby spliced into the movie when the talent wasn't looking. However, a deft cut spares Cranham the indignity of grunting over the teenage Octavia, foisted on him by her evil mother who is, aiming high but falling short thus far, not a patch on Sian Phillips's Livia.
Brutus is played as an upper class twit from the nobility who is destined to land the first regicidal blow in the defence of his class, while all the other characters are merging into mush at the moment.
I'm waiting to see if Mark Anthony's funeral speech is sullied for me by Splintered Sunrise's audacious despoilage and whether I shall be seeing in my mind's eye the chief antagonists of Reespect and Respect Renewal.