AP, filed on 11.21: “Skeletal remains of two guys — a rich man and a slave — have been discovered in Pompeii, officials at the archaeological park in Italy said Saturday. The two were attempting to escape death from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago

“Parts of the skulls and bones of the two men were found during excavation of the ruins from what was once an elegant villa with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea on the outskirts of the ancient Roman city destroyed by the volcano eruption in AD 79.”

Jett and I visited Pompeii 13 and 1/2 years ago, but the administrators in charge of the ruins blew us off, in a sense, by not exhibiting any bodies to speak of. The bodies were on tour, it turned out. They could’ve left a few behind to sate the appetites of people like ourselves, but nope.

Posted on 5.31.07: Hollywood Elsewhere visited the actual Pompeii ruins yesterday. I’m very glad I went — this is the best-preserved ancient Roman city anywhere, covered as it was and frozen in time by tons of ash that spewed out of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 AD. The problem is that I was too cheap to buy a map or go with a tour group, and by the end of our visit I’d come across only one lousy plaster-covered body.

The frescoes and the pottery and the precisely preserved apartments and villas are fascinating, but let’s be honest — if you come to Pompeii, you want to see how the citizens met their doom. You want freeze-frame death statues of people going “aaaah, this hurts!” And in this respect, Pompeii struck me as a faint ripoff. There should be bodies everywhere, in every house. Bodies of men, women, children, dogs, horses. Plus there were no chariots or carts. Or none that I came across.

On top of which the area just outside Pompeii’s ancient walls looks like a cross between Orlando Disney World and the border approach in Tijuana. Scores of ticky-tacky motels, gross souvenir shops, low-grade pizzerias and fruit stands. Jett found it disgraceful, saying that the commerce dishonors the dead.

Excerpt from HE’s review of Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, posted on 2.22.14: “I don’t have to tell you Pompeii is bad. Everybody knows Pompeii is bad. It’s ludicrous, and that’s because mythical popcorn movies have all devolved into the same mindless, effects-driven gruel that even the schlockmeisters of the past (Dino De Laurentiis, Sir Lew Grade, Carlo Ponti) would refuse to touch if they were time-machined forward.

Epic, escapist, large-scaled cinema has been engulfed and poisoned by the ComicCon virus (video-game and comic-book mythology, physics-defying fantasies), and submentals the world over are submitting to the historical visions of pulp-loving low-lifes like Zack Snyder (whose 300 I hated) and Steven DeKnight (the Spartacus series) and Pompeii‘s Paul W.S. Anderson (the poor man’s Snyder).

“Some of the ‘fans’ (i.e., the ones who watch this crap ironically) obviously know that the video-game vistas and blatantly fake-looking CG compositions are unfit to watch and that the cliched, braindead dialogue is unfit to listen to, and yet everyone is nodding out and munching away in the multiplexes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We all know things are bad — worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy.”