Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” is an excitingly attractive action movie. Based back in the times of the Roman conquerors, Russell Crowe is on top form as he plays the roman army general, Maximus, who is then captured by Proximo (Oliver Reid) and taken in for slavery. He is then chosen to be a gladiator, and that is where his new forced career begins. A great film for all Thriller fans, with lots of sword fights, and bloody battles to keep your adrenaline pumping right the way through.
Back in Rome, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) is gradually becoming more and more powerful. However, there are still a few people who are able to undermine his dictatorship, including his own sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and Gracchus (Derek Jacobi).
Meanwhile, Maximus is making a name for himself in the arena. He easily takes out his opponents, using his years of military experience as a roman army general to his advantage. He later becomes known to the crown as “Spaniard” and eventually makes his way to the famous Colosseum in Rome to participate in 150 days of games. Unforgiving of the pain and suffering inflicted upon himself and his family, Maximus sees the games as a perfect opportunity for revenge, and to help get the right leaders in to power in Rome.
During the many fighting scenes in this part of the film, the film language is mostly similar. There is lots of lighting coming from the sky, and the main actors in the centre of the arena (Maximus, his opponent) and watching from reserved positions (Commodus, Lucilla, Proximo) and many added extras sat around the arena in the public seats cheering them on. The sound is mostly Diegetic, with many sound effects added in. In addition, the camera angles are very fast moving to keep up with the fight, using many close ups, mid shots and long shots, with a mixture of high-low angles.
The DVD extras that come with Gladiator are generally very good quality, and well packed in to the two extra discs that come with the film. Some of these extras include:
* Tale of the scribes: Story development
* Tools of war: Weapons
* Attire of realm: costume design
* Visual effects – Shadows and dust: Proximo
* Echoes in eternity: Release and impact
Tale of the scribes: Story development is my preferred extra, as it shows how what the film was based on, and goes in to great detail on most of the important stages in the film.
Overall, I think that Gladiator has been put together really well to create a fantastic blockbuster. I really like how they have created a roman atmosphere for the film in a modern day world. This film is perfect for most Russell Crowe fans, and people who enjoy films based on ancient history. I would also recommend the DVD with extras to all people who enjoy seeing how the film was made in detail, and to people who are interested to see what the people who were involved in the making of the film think of it.
For all you movie lovers, “Gladiator” is the ticket. Let the games begin!