Lawrence of Arabia gets a six-hour mini-series

There are two kinds of films that Roland Emmerich specializes in: the city-smashing disaster epic, as seen in Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998), The Day after Tomorrow (2004) and 2012 (2009); and smaller, nuttier quasi-historical films like The Patriot (2000), 10,000 BC (2008) and Anonymous (2011).

So it is with a certain inevitable trepidation that I greet the news that Emmerich is producing a six-hour mini-series about T.E. Lawrence, the British soldier who is known to the world as “Lawrence of Arabia”.

Thankfully, the series does seem to have at least one serious biographer on its side, said person being Michael Korda, author of the 2010 book Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia. So maybe that will help rein in some of Emmerich’s crazier impulses.

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Review: The Patriot (dir. Roland Emmerich, 2000)

The Patriot pretends to be an historical epic, but it is, in truth, a B-grade revenge thriller. Despite the versatile, charismatic presence of Mel Gibson — who was paid a record $25 million to star in this film — there is no getting around the utterly formulaic script (by Saving Private Ryan’s Robert Rodat) and the stodgy direction (by Roland Emmerich, whose credits include more honestly junky films like Independence Day and Godzilla).

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Review: The Patriot (dir. Roland Emmerich, 2000)

THE PATRIOT pretends to be a noble historical epic, but it is, in truth, a B-grade revenge thriller. Despite the versatile, charismatic presence of Mel Gibson — who was paid a record $25 million to star in this film — there is no getting around the utterly formulaic script (by Saving Private Ryan’s Robert Rodat) and the stodgy direction (by Roland Emmerich, whose credits include more honestly junky fare like Independence Day and Godzilla).

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