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movies > gladiator


A very good film with some very good acting and direction but let down in two ways the first is the American accents with many of the actors which lets down as i feel a more European feel to the voices would of made it that much more of a film

The action has the same touch as seen in the great films the Patriot and Zulu all three set aside some of the glamour of so called action films to rebeal the truth about the era they potray and this case how brutal roman society was with its cruel sports and even the god like power given to its emperors who where often known for there evil whims

its second failing was the opening battle which used to much rapid camera movement sugguesting that much was cut from this section and also the lack of tatics from the Germanians for which that is down to not drawing out that aspect of the movie which is a shame but sometimes facts have to give way in a film for that which which makes a good film.

this is a film that everyone should have in there collection as it is a timeless classic that never bores over time and always offers something new eeach time it is watched

On the first disc of "Gladiator" you also find an audio commentary track featuring director Ridley Scott, director of photography John Mathison, and editor Pietro Scalia. The commentary track is indexed by topics, pretty much like the film itself is indexed by chapter stops. The commentary track is engaging and offers a wealth of information on the production of the film. In the best tradition of offering a "filmschool" of DVD, this commentary becomes a little dry and technical at times, but at the same time, the level of information and detail that is conveyed will be absolutely mesmerizing for fans of the movie. It explores many areas that are not obvious by simply observing the film, revealing thoughts, subtext, as well as technical issues that lead to certain creative decisions.

On the second disc of this 2-disc set, you will find a wealth of other supplements that once again show, how seriously Dreamworks takes the creation and presentation of bonus materials. Nothing on this disc is superficial or superfluous and all of it is closely tied into the production of the film, making sure viewers will have a much better understanding and deeper appreciation for the movie itself.

11 deleted scenes open the disc, with optional director's commentary. Sadly they are presented in standard widescreen and are not anamorphic, but still they are a collection of great snippets that could just as well have made it into the film. At the end you can see a collage of unused shots and sequences that have been assembled specially for this DVD. Running for 7 minutes, accompanied by music, this "Treasure Chest" is what the name suggests. A treasure trove of great shots in an atmospheric presentation.

The disc also features a 25-minute "Making Of" Documentary that is very well produced. Although using some footage and narration form the film itself for introductory purposes, this documentary offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage as well as candid on-set interviews with cast and crew. The documentary manages to convey quite some of the awe for this monumental production as well as for its innate logistic problems, and instead of taking away form the magic of the movie itself, it adds a new layer of appreciation.

Most interesting I found, "Gladiator Games," a 50-minute documentary that focuses on the real gladiatorial games in the Roman Empire. Being a Latin scholar myself, I have always been fascinated by the Roman culture and their lust for excessive violence. This documentary is thorough and shows the history behind what you see in the movie and will leave you speechless.

Another feature on the disc is a segment on Hans Zimmer, discussing how he composed the music for "Gladiator." It is a 20-minute featurette that offers a rare glimpse in how a composer approaches a film project of this scope to capture and revive the past in tones and notes.

"My Gladiator Journal" by actor Spencer Treat Clark is another great addition to the release. It is a text supplement written by the young actor while he was working on the set of "Gladiator." Through his eyes we manage to get a glimpse at the production of the film in a very unique way and although not as witty and outrageous as Jennifer Tilly's diary from the "Bride Of Chucky" production - found in excerpts on the Universal DVD - this is a very compelling and personal feature that makes quite an impression.

The disc also houses a huge image gallery of story boards and production design sketches, including story boards from a number of scenes that were never shot, as well as boards for some alternate endings. This gallery is complemented by a photo gallery of still images from the movie as well as behind-the-scenes photos from the set.

Running almost 3 hours, "Gladiator" gives you without a doubt, the shortest 3 hours you have experienced in your life. Even after its considerable running length I wanted more, and the film almost felt too short. This is a very rare commodity in a time where many epic films feel overly lengthy and poorly paced. Ridley Scott proves with "Gladiator" that Hollywood is still capable of producing classy entertainment on an epic scale and furthermore that there is interest in these sorts of monumental spectacles. With this DVD release, Dreamworks got everything right. A perfect movie, a perfect presentation and an assembly of the perfect supplements. Movies and DVDs just don't get any better than this!

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