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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Historical > War > Decline Of An Empire (2014/Lionsgate DVD)

Decline Of An Empire (2014/Lionsgate DVD)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C- Film: D

Decline of an Empire (also known as Katherine of Alexandria) marks the final film for the brilliant actor Peter O'Toole. Wondering why you haven't heard of this film? There's a reason. For one - the movie is a dreadful watch and two - he is in the movie for barely more screen time than a cameo.

The story is about a martyred saint, Katherine of Alexandria, who was brought up as a nomad and lived in the desert. She was only 11 when Emperor Maxentius saw her whilst out on patrol. Consumed by her beauty, impudence and uncanny talent for languages, he abducted the child and killed her family. The slaughter was witnessed by her young friend, Constantine, who would later become Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. He never lost hope of finding Katherine. As a young woman, Katherine refused to submit to Maxentius' offers of marriage and she continually denounced his brutal enforcement of pagan religion upon the masses.

Still obsessed with her beauty, Maxentius brought Katherine before 50 of Rome's finest scholars in an open court in Alexandria, where she eloquently demolished their arguments. When Constantine learned of Katherine's whereabouts and imprisonment at the hands of Maxentius, he led his army from York in a desperate bid to save her.

The dialogue in the film is probably its weakest asset along with costumes and a cinematic look that aims for Ridley Scott-esque heights but ends up feeling more like a re-enactment piece. In any event, the picture and sound are fine for this DVD release - presented in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Subtitles on the disc are in English and Spanish.

Extras include Behind The Scenes and a Trailer Gallery.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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