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Gladiator (2 Discs)
|List Price:||CDN$ 43.99|
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Gladiator (Two-Disc Collector's
A big-budget summer epic with money to burn and a scale worthy of its golden Hollywood predecessors, Ridley Scott's Gladiator is a rousing, grisly, action-packed epic that takes moviemaking back to the Roman Empire via computer-generated visual effects. While not as fluid as the computer work done for, say, Titanic, it's an impressive achievement that will leave you marveling at the glory that was Rome, when you're not marveling at the glory that is Russell Crowe. Starring as the heroic general Maximus, Crowe firmly cements his star status both in terms of screen presence and acting chops, carrying the film on his decidedly non-computer-generated shoulders as he goes from brave general to wounded fugitive to stoic slave to gladiator hero. Gladiator's plot is a whirlwind of faux-Shakespearean machinations of death, betrayal, power plays, and secret identities (with lots of faux-Shakespearean dialogue ladled on to keep the proceedings appropriately "classical"), but it's all briskly shot, edited, and paced with a contemporary sensibility. Even the action scenes, somewhat muted but graphic in terms of implied violence and liberal bloodletting, are shot with a veracity that brings to mind--believe it or not--Saving Private Ryan, even if everyone is wearing a toga. As Crowe's nemesis, the evil emperor Commodus, Joaquin Phoenix chews scenery with authority, whether he's damning Maximus's popularity with the Roman mobs or lusting after his sister Lucilla (beautiful but distant Connie Nielsen); Oliver Reed, in his last role, hits the perfect notes of camp and gravitas as the slave owner who rescues Maximus from death and turns him into a coliseum star. Director Scott's visual flair is abundantly in evidence, with breathtaking shots and beautiful (albeit digital) landscapes, but it's Crowe's star power that will keep you in thrall--he's a true gladiator, worthy of his legendary status. Hail the conquering hero! --Mark Englehart
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Top Customer Reviews
On September 1st, 2009, Paramount released Gladiator to blu ray for the first time. Along with Braveheart, it signaled the beginning of the studio's Sapphire line of blu rays, celebrating their top titles. What it turned out to be was a disaster, Gladiator was given a botched, dated master riddled with DNR and edge enhancement.
With screams of anger from the home theater community, Paramount heard the shouting, and officially instituted a replacement program on July 20th, 2010. The newly remastered version was a complete stunner, in total contrast to the earlier version. I delayed buying this disc because I was afraid that I would end up buying the old botched version.
How to tell the difference from the outside: After searching through many websites, especially The Digital Bits, the answer is the new version has YELLOW UPC label!
I delayed in buying this new version also because the price was usually near $30. Now, finally, the latest price is $12.99. So I took a chance, and the disc that I received has a Yellow UPC label! Happy! I am even more overjoyed when I found that the new video transfer was simply stunning.
Now my review begins:
Gladiator arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.35:1 encode. I have read reviews on the old transfer and was aware of all its deficiencies. But when I watched this new transfer, the picture is simply stunning. No more excessive DNR and edge enhancement. In its place is a beautiful, film-like effort. Image is razor sharp. There are lots of fine details, like the details of the intricate pattern worn by Joaquin Phoenix after he takes over Rome.Read more ›
Wrong. I just got the Gladiator BD and it's an old release, without exchange coupon or anything.
Seems to me that Amazon is trying to load all these crappy BDs off on to unsuspecting customers.
Do yourself a favour, don't buy Gladiator BD at Amazon. Buy local where you can check personally.
Of course, it is pure fiction as far as history is concerned, but who cares? The plot and characters weave together in an enthralling storyline, and even though I am a bit of a history buff, I really didn't care if Commodus didn't actually murder his father, nor did Marcus Aurelius have any intention of re-instating a Roman Republic, - Marcus Aurelius died in his bed and he did name Commodus as his successor - and Lusilla wasn't really the lovely woman portrayed by Connie Nielsen, but actually more realistically resembled Cruella Deville, from all accounts I've read.
(There might have been an interesting added dimension if, instead of praying to his little wooden idols, Maximus was a secret Christian, as were many thousands by 180 AD, including a small number in the Roman Legions. (In fact the first gentile convert was a Roman Centurion named Cornelius.) It would have added an extra tension, as he most certainly would have had to keep it a secret, plus his belief that he would see his beloved family in the "afterlife" would have been credible.)
Nonetheless, to me, it is one of those rare movies where all the pieces come together beautifully, and is thoroughly satisfying from start to finish - like "Braveheart" and "We Were Soldiers", two other movies that remain perennial favourites with me.
If I could, I would give it 10 stars.
I found it ironic - and a little self-referential - when a Roman senator declares that people will love you if you bring them death. This film thrives on slaughter, from start to finish, as it portrays the brutal side of the Roman Empire. Although the butchering is not as graphic as in some films, avoid this film if you can't stand violence. Children, too, should be steered clear of this one. Take the rating seriously.
Most recent customer reviews
Quite good. Very pleased that I did indeed receive the remastered version. Picture and sound quality are outstanding.Published 4 months ago by James Robinson
Great movie, but description says it will play in Europe, and on the DVD it does not include Europe. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Patricia
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