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Gladiator (2000)

What We Do In Life Echoes In Eternity.

Original Title : Gladiator
Director : Ridley Scott
Writer : David Franzoni
David Franzoni
John Logan
William Nicholson
Genre : Drama
Action
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : David Franzoni , Branko Lustig , Laurie MacDonald , Terry Needham , Walter F. Parkes , Daniel Wai Chiu , Douglas Wick , Ridley Scott
Music : Klaus Badelt
Lisa Gerrard
Hans Zimmer
Photography : John Mathieson
Distributor : Myndform [is]
MPAA Rating : Rated R for intense, graphic combat.
IMDB ID : 0172495
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poster for "Gladiator" by Ridley Scott (2000)
Gladiator (2000) - Ridley Scott
 

Starring

Russell Crowe General Maximus Decimus Meridus
Joaquin Phoenix Emperor Commodus
Connie Nielsen Lucilla
 

Plot

Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.
 

Comments

Today I saw a movie become more powerful . . . The movie is the story of Maximus (Crowe), a general who leads the Roman army to victory over Germania in the beginning of the movie. The dying emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, is watching this battle. The emperor's son, Commodus, then arrives with his sister Lucilla, and it is discovered that Commodus fully expects to be announced the new emperor of Rome in a few days. Aurelius, however, has other plans--he wants to make Maximus emperor, and requests that of the general, who wants nothing more than to go home to his family. I went into this movie having just watched Ben-Hur in my film studies class and having watched an episode of Xena only a couple of weeks earlier that featured the story of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. So you could say I was in the perfect mindset to watch a "sword-and-sandal" movie. I wasn't sure what to expect, having somehow avoided all the hype that accompanied this movie. But I was not disappointed. Gladiator features some wonderful cinematography by John Mathieson. The battle scenes are very graphic. (This movie is not for the squeamish, that's for sure.) There were some scenes in particular that really struck me, such as when Crowe appears to be floating over the ground very fast.The use of color and color tones added a great deal to the mood of the movie. Excellent. The script was being written and re-written as the filming was going on, yet it doesn't show that the actors had no idea how the movie was going to end when they began filming.The acting is terrific. Russell Crowe is wonderfully cast as Maximus. Many reviewers agree that he is now officially a star. Joaquin Phoenix also proves his mettle as the emotionally troubled Commodus, whose behavior and emotion toward his sister could give anyone the creeps. Connie Nielsen makes you believe that, as Lucilla, she really is torn between natural loyalty to her brother and doing what she knows is right. Oliver Reed, in his last performance, is memorable in his role of Proximo, the former gladiator who is the owner of Maximus and brings him to Rome.In short, the actors were brilliant in their roles, not over-acting, but giving subtle, strong performances. The script itself is very good.Although some elements are a little hard to believe--the fact that no one recognizes Maximus when he's a slave?--this film calls for a willing suspension of disbelief, which one would happily comply with.(It's really no fun to nitpick such a movie.) It's true that this movie does pretty much follow the Braveheart formula. However, this movie includes some elements, such as the cinematography and the incredibly graphic battle scenes (one reviewer likened it to Saving Private Ryan, "only better"), that are spectacular in itself. Overall, a great movie that I highly recommend.
 
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