Rome:Power & Glory

Rome:Power & Glory (1998)
Extras: Timeline, Virtual Reconstructions, Twelve Caesars Biographies, Web Link

Documentaries are always a mixed bag. Unless the specialize extremely on a narrow field, they are typically worthless because they just don’t manage to convey the wealth of information they try to cover. A documentary of the subject of the Roman Empire initially feels that way too, as the lengthy period and the number of important events make it almost impossible to encapsulated them in a short presentation window. Fortunately the makers of “Rome: Power & Glory” were aware of this problem and turned their efforts into a 300 minutes documentary on the subject. The result is intriguing, informative and entertaining at the same time. Narrated by Peter Coyote, the documentary is filled with computer generated reconstructions and detailed explanations of the society, the political structure and the scientific achievements of the era.

“Rome: Power & Glory” is the first DVD release from Questar, an independent publisher, but it is immediately noticeable that they know quite well what they’re doing. The DVD is not only very well produced, it also offers some exciting interactive bonus materials that perfectly complement the film itself. The fullframe image quality is very good without nicks or blemishes in the print. Colors are strong and well reproduced with deep blacks. The compression is flawless and without distracting artifacts. The DVD features a Dolby Stereo audio track that is also well produced and always clear and understandable.

A Timeline, Historical Reconstructions and the biographies of the twelve Caesar’s that ruled Rome is also included on this disc, making it a very satisfying package. The documentary itself is of outstanding quality and manages in vivid pictures to bring the past life, while offering extremely informative details to build a foundation of knowledge for the viewer. Once viewed, you will understand why the Roman Empire was one of the greatest achievements in mankind’s history as well as why and how it fell. This 2-disc DVD is highly recommended!