Rome DVD in the mail

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We received this in the mail last week or so.
It promised to be the first episode of the new TV series “Rome”.
I thought it was a very innovative marketing move, actually giving away the first episode to suck people into watching the show.
It also seemed to show foresight in that it would forestall the downloading of Rome via BitTorrent, since people already had it.
It was co-sponsored by Rogers, since Rome is only available on pay TV.

So when we actually watched the DVD we were quite a bit disappointed.
At first there was a simple disclaimer about copying..

This is pretty normal, if annoying and silly (its effectiveness is pretty much nil).
But then something showed up.
It’s not easy to see in outdoor shots..

But when the scene gets darker, the distinctive watermark makes itself obvious.


It’s terrible.
Makes the DVD pretty much unwatchable.
It certainly lowered my opinion of the marketing people behind it.

Thank goodness for

entertainment, the Net.

About rae

I'm a long-time Mac and iOS developer. I'm also a big fan of Ruby on Rails and relational databases. I tend to work remotely, in my basement with occasional trips to the office. I'm also a big videophile, both TV and film, and can't wait for a good, inexpensive home 4k solution.

8 comments on “Rome DVD in the mail

  1. Jeff K

    I tend to think of swine as a synonym for marketer, but anyway. Oh ya, I eventually got around to watching (most) of “Steamboy”, which you disemboweled at and, I don’t know how to put this tactfully, but my hunch was right. Both you and Craig lean heavily to the left in your reviews of movies. This can also be seen in the natural tendency of young people to make left-wing comments on it i.e. the tendency of reviewers on IMDB to put down the script. The script covers Machiavelianism in places, and the place of the right & left wing in business and science and even deals with the place of the university in applied science.
    Anyway, in a world where hurricanes flatten churches and those photos are censored right out of the news, and where families by the thousands are flooded out of their homes, crying in the streets losing their faith (in government) and their religion and the news outlets announce it as “Rita delivers pinch instead of punch”, this movie gets a 10 star rating: Highly injurious to your faith — see at own risk.

    Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The funny thing is that unless you’ve read a couple of books with the potential to injure someone’s “faith” the first 40 minutes of the movie will go completely over the viewer’s head.. no risk there. Just don’t see the movie then.

    Oh yeah, and to my point, I laugh when I see movies about Rome’s ‘secrets’ acted out with christian ethics. Its just not possible to film it the way it is documented to have been in history books. ..and the stupid thing is that *everyone* knows that Rome as a state was not a christian one. Boggles the mind, really. From what I hear “Rome” the series tries to throw a bit of that off … but I doubt it. Good ole right wing/left wing again.

    Hey, I’m just a centrist movie reviewer… Probably one of a kind.

  2. Jeff K

    It’s a grid with a big circle. The circle covers his entire left ear (on the right), and then crosses over his clothes.

  3. rae Post author

    Actually, it’s a giant “HBO” logo. Click on the pictures to see full-sized versions that make it a bit more clear. It becomes painfully obvious when the scenes are moving, of course.

  4. rae Post author

    Jeff: there’s no “right” or “left” about it. The characters were simply not very interesting.

    As for Rome, oh ya, they’re definitely going non-Christian. Indeed, how people worshipped their gods, both lower class and upper, is an important part of the movie. I’m not sure if it’s very believable that the “most sympathetic” character — a member of the 13th Legion who quits when Julius Caesar goes against the guys beliefs — was true to his wife while he was away at war for 8 years though.

  5. Jeff K

    I accept that perhaps its not true, but here are my findings on Steamboy:
    1. The grandfather was a prototypical sabatoeur/communist (and he was an artist)
    quote: “He sold out to capitalists” (about father)
    2. The spoiled little rich girl behaves in a somewhat ignorant way, but
    also says things like “What’s wrong with that [selling arms]?”
    3. The general or whomever, takes a *deep* breath after he says the Steams were not admited to their technical schools and the other guy says “They are self-taught”
    4. The only reference to God in the movie is just as the main battle begins
    5. The salesman of the foundation was a slime.

    So the statement “the characters were simply not very interesting”, tends to be true if one is not interested in analysing the dark side/errors in the characters viewpoints.

    You did notice that Scarlett is selfish & vain and is part of the O’hara foundation selling arms to both sides in the American Civil war, as in Gone with the Wind?

    Oh never mind.

    “Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae” grumble grumble…

  6. Marcem nil terret

    I feel that the HBO DVD “Rome” series remains one of the best production series ever made . It merits its numerous awards. Somebody mentioned that there were water marks and darkness? Well I never noticed water marks and if there were any, who cares? The dark scenes were dark for a purpose, not by accident. In any event , I think Rome should be mandatory viewing for any serious student, young or old , who wishes to enrich his/her understanding of the tenor of the Julii period. Clearly, not all the historical details could be rendered on a 6 dvd production, but HBO Rome is still a serious piece of work with strict attention to scene detail. ***** 5 stars from me.

  7. rae Post author

    The watermarks were only on the free DVD that was mailed out to everyone in my neighbourhood (and I assume all across Toronto at least).

    I have to say that I’m very happy I managed to find HR versions of all 12 episodes. No crappy 640×480 NTSC quality for me!

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