Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cradle of Rome new Arcade Game at USA Today Arcade Zone

This game from USA Today's Arcade zone does involve the Rome and the ancient world but I would recommend getting "Caesar IV" for more complex game play and much better graphics for the same price.

"Build the heart of Ancient Rome and become its Emperor! Coliseum can become a good training school for your brave gladiators! And the Temple of all the Roman Gods will bring you luck! The fabulous Caesar’s land opens its gates in front of you.

Imagine being given the chance to build Ancient Rome, the most legendary city of all time! One of the powerful capitals that have ever existed wants you to become its Emperor! You start at the beginning… First a village appears… Then you buy a fountain and a tavern… Will you choose the water mill or the blacksmith next? As you play more and earn enough money and supplies to buy larger buildings, watch your city grow into a vast and magnificent center of life, the heart of the antiquity! You'll be able to reconstruct masterpieces of Roman architecture, build the Coliseum to train gladiators, and even rebuild the Pantheon, the Temple of all the Rman Gods to bring you even greater luck! As you play and conquer addictive and intuitively designed puzzles and your city grows, the citizens who populate your city will proclaim you Emperor as a Head Priest considers a worthy tribute! The fabulous lands of Caesar open their gates in front of you in our new puzzle game: Cradle of Rome!

Caligula Imperial Edition an Imperial Disappointment

For a number of years I have heard about the squabble over the lack of an X-rating for "Caligula" a movie based on a script by Gore Vidal. With such luminary actors as Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, Helen Mirren, and John Gielgud, I couldn't imagine it could be anywhere close to a modern rating of "X". When the Imperial Edition was released I couldn't help but see for myself so I pre-ordered it on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I watched the unrated edition first and was revolted by the inclusion of gratuitous sex scenes that had no purpose at all to advance the plot. The wardrobe department must have scrounged costumes from some old follies show and Vidal must not have spent much time reviewing historical accounts of the period either since there actually was a time when Caligula first ascended the thrown that he was reasonable to an extent and was generally liked by the Roman mob. I also think a contextual background would have helped viewers to understand why Caligula spun out of control when given the chance to be the most powerful man on earth. Of course I was particularly irritated by the opening statement about "Pagan Rome" inferring that the events would not have happened if Rome had been Christian at the time. Oh, please!!! The brutality of Christian Rome could match that of Pagan Rome blow for blow!

I did enjoy reading about the background of the making of this "epic":

"Caligula is the stuff, or rather the spunk, of legend. The 1979 epic T&A-fest is based on real-life legend: the rapid ascendancy and downfall of Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (“Little Boots” for short). Caligula is also a Hollywood legend, revered and ridiculed from the moment of its cinematic conception. The film’s production history is difficult to piece together, but goes something like this:

Gore Vidal wrote a screenplay. Unable to secure adequate funding, he appealed to Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. Fiduciary aid was provided on one condition—that Caligula take the orgy to the next level. Vidal accepted Emperor Guccione’s demands. Italian director Tinto Brass, of Salon Kitty (1976) fame, signed on. Danilo Donati, a favorite of Fellini’s, was hired to construct ostentatious sets and render trompe l’oeil backgrounds. An all-star cast was assembled. Debaucheries were orchestrated and shot. Chaos soon descended. Guccione championed the inclusion of several minutes of hard-core pornography. Vidal and Brass both renounced the film, at different times and for different reasons. Malcolm McDowell has described his experience of Caligula as rape-like. Helen Mirren has more positively invoked an acid trip."-