It doesn’t really take a blockbuster movie to make the days of the ancient Romans and Greeks seem awesome. There were so many wars going, gladiatorial battles, and gods coming down and knocking up mortal women that it seems like every day was an adventure on a grand scale. Of course movies and television shows aren’t satisfied with this level of greatness, and put in as much action, sex, and more action that they can. That’s what makes these eras perfect for movies.
This is the latest show based in ancient Rome. Spartacus is the most famous of the gladiators to fight in the Colosseum. This show has an extreme amount of blood and violence, and pretty much any time that there isn’t somebody being decapitated there is some crazy sex going on. The only drawback is the male nudity. I’m sure some people like me, and there was a lot of nudity going on during that time period, I’m just not a huge fan of dongs flapping in the wind.
Rome was a great show on HBO. It followed ancient Rome as historical events turned Rome into an Empire. This show did a great job of weaving actual historical events and notable figures through the eyes of two common soldiers. Ray Stevenson plays Titus Pullo, one of those common soldiers and also a complete bad ass.
Ben-Hur is a classic. It might be ridiculously long, but that’s just because it covers so much. Charlton Heston plays a Jewish prince who gets the shaft from his childhood friend Mesalla, and becomes a slave. He works his way up and becomes loved by the Romans, participates in the most bad ass chariot race that has ever happened, and hangs out with Jesus a little bit. While this is an older movie, it is just as powerful, if not more so, than any other movie on this list.
Brad Pitt is awesome in Troy as Achilles. Basically all 6 hours of Troy are great to watch because it really is seeing ancient legends come to life. We get to see a demigod tear through mortal men until a lucky shot brings him down, we see how insanely hot Helen of Troy is, and we see what a pussy Paris was. For those of you who don’t know your Greek history, Paris is the guy who stole Helen away from Menelaus and started the war. Eric Bana plays Prince Hector, Paris’ older brother, and possibly the coolest guy in the movie who dies for his brother. I hate you Paris.
Russell Crowe made a name for himself in Gladiator. That doesn’t mean that people didn’t know who Russell Crowe was before Gladiator, but he was a household name after. Gladiator was an extremely well done movie chronicling the fall of a Roman soldier into the arena as a Gladiator, and how his fighting prowess made him the most influential man alive. The fight scenes are brutal and extremely well done, and let’s be honest, that’s what most of us care about. The entire story is an inspiring one though, as a man loses everything, his power, his family,and his country, only to rise up higher than ever before.