1st to Celebrate the Independent Mind
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Review by Ross Anthony

GREECE is a rather uneven piece. At times, the images are beautiful and plot lines quite intriguing. But, the film also suffers dry spots and lacks a commanding uniting thread.

Opening credits host a cutesy angel, somewhat unbecoming of such a big film. But quickly enough, filmmakers bring to the screen a submerged statue and crane it up to the surface. Shot from inside the sea and underneath, we watch the classical statue make its way into the sun. It's an absolutely beautifully surreal image.

The film discusses the sea-going prowess of Greeks. This segment drags until the cameras once again take to the air and hover around ruins. But some ruins just aren't very durable on IMAX time. Fortunately, the airborne cinematographers capture Santorini Island. The island is gorgeous and the IMAX screen is probably the best way to see it, save for flying there yourself. White walls, homesteads one atop the other, crowding the hillsides like families. Beautiful. A ring of land around an island. A volcano, a buried city. Could this be Atlantis? An intriguing question.

Excavations find pottery and paintings. "Piecing together the paintings is like making a new friend." One of the archelogists states. These findings bring to life mysteries held from the Bronze Age.

The Lava preserved the houses, but where are the people? Filmmakers take great pains to recreate the Volcano, perhaps in hopes of giving the film a bit of a major jolt. The sound of which is simply awesome, thunderous, but the imaging is only just okay. But at least it explains the anatomy of a volcanic eruption.

Interestingly enough, scientists were able to use samples found in an Icelandic glacier to date the year of the volcano -- 1642bc. That's pretty cool.

The shots of the Parthenon are also just okay. The ruin is full of machinery and ugly cranes. However, the computer imaging used to show what the Parthenon looked like in all its pre-ruin glory is, in fact, pretty glorious. The camera appears to float in through the columns to a huge statue of Athena that once stood there. Her helmet is magnificent. The addition of live-action (real people) into this shot top it off very nicely as another sweetly surreal image. I enjoyed it immensely.

Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame narrates nicely. Also, this would be a good film to inspire young people (or old) into the fields of archeology or anthropology. But for me, I expected more of the big beautiful stuff and just a bigger punch on the whole.

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  • Greece: Secrets of the Past. Copyright © 2006.
  • Directed by Greg MacGillivray.
  • Produced by Greg MacGillivray at MacGillivray Freeman.

Grade..........................B (2/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:13 PDT