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Gladiator [Remastered] [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Gladiator picked up five Academy Awards® and tells the story of Maximus Decimus (played by Russell Crowe), a Roman general who is betrayed by the corrupt prince Commodus. Captured and enslaved along the outer fringes of the Roman Empire, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor.
This format defining release is presented on two BD 50 dual-layer discs and includes 11 hours of extra content. The first disc will include both the theatrical and extended version of the film, audio commentary, deleted scenes and the Vision of Elysium: Topic Portal, a new U-Control feature that allows viewers to tag moments of interest throughout the film and create a "shopping list" of topics to learn about in the supplements on disc two. The second disc also includes Strength and Honour: Creating the World of Gladiator, the definitive documentary on the origin, product and impact of the film.
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 --This text refers to the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Now what you really want to know: how can you be sure you're getting the new edition, and not the shoddy first release? As of 9 September, NBC Universal UK have confirmed three things:
1. They have started shipping the new edition to retailers, but it's up to retailers as to when they sell it.
2. The new edition has a "Pocket-Blu" logo on the back, comprising the pocket BLU symbol and the words "pocket BLU"; this is the sole distinguishing mark. If it's there, you have the new edition; if not, the old.
3. The combined Robin Hood/Gladiator release includes the new edition of Gladiator.
From beginning to end, Scott's eye for detail produces a visual feats of the film makers art. Digital wizardry brings ancient Rome to life on a scale and grandeur never seen before and a West Sussex Forestry Commission plantation was reduced to ashes, having been bombed and burned in the re-creation of a major battle between Rome and Germanic barbarian hordes.
Over a long career, Ridley has often explored war, violence and mayhem in a graphic, brutal way in many of his films. Gladiator is no exception, with the camera often getting "up and personal" with the blood, guts and gore. The attention to detail paid by the film makers in re-creating the Colosseum's gladiatorial fights as authentically as possible is reason enough, if you need one, to see this film.
Hollywood has never let historical truths stand in the way of a good story, so although some inspiration for a few characters are drawn directly from historical fact, the plot details and Maximus himself are pure fiction.
On the whole, the film's cast give good solid performances, with some flashes of pure brilliance. Indeed, Russell Crow's portrayal of Maximus earnt him the best actor Academy Award in 2000.
So how good is Gladiator? Visually, this is a modern day epic with plenty of action, that will entertain time and again so is worth the effort adding to your film collection.
Ratio of the feature film:
Length of the Theatrical Cut: 155 min
Length of the Extended Cut: 171 min
Languages of the feature film:
DTS Master Audio 5.1: English
DTS 5.1: French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Dolby 2.0: 2 commentaries by the director Ridley Scott and some crew's members (1 commentary for each cut)
Subtitles for the feature film and the bonuses (Disc II):
French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Traditional Mandarin and English for the hard of hearings.
Extra subtitles only available on Disc II:
Japanese, Russian, Greek and Polish
This film on Blu Ray is nearly perfect, a good picture with an outstanding soundtrack. The soundtrack is perfect with a fantastic music. The picture has a natural but discrete noise.
Thanks to its excellent picture, we can see much more details about the battle, the fights, Rome and its magnificent buildings, monuments and of course the coliseum which looks very massive, imposing in this ancient and highly detailed city.
High Definition picture means details we are not supposed to see !!
- We can clearly during the first battle against the Prussians, 1 guy seen not fighting but smiling and walking in the wrong direction !! (9 min 44 sec), a funny take !!
- The stunt double of Russel Crowe falling from his horse during this same battle (10 min, 25 sec).
- The following day, Maximus goes to see his horse, a crew man wearing jeans standing in the background behind the horse can be seen hiding.Read more ›
Plot wise General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is loyal to Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) and his chosen successor, however the natural son of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ends the life of the sick Emperor upon hearing Meridius is to be the next Emperor and not himself.
Commodus asks for the loyalty of Meridius, but he refuses and suffers the fate of having his family killed by the new Emperor. Meridius escapes and returns to Spain to find his wife and son having been slain already, after he buries them he is captured by a roaming slave caravan and thrust into the world of being a Gladiator (hence the title) The rest of the film shows the struggle between the former General and the new Emperor ultimately concluding in a "Mano-a-mano" one on one hand to hand battle at the end.
Cast wise near enough top notch really, the gritty/macho role suits Crowe down to the ground, Joaquin Phoenix also make a cunning devious and sneaky young Emperor. We have the last film appearance of Oliver Reed as Antonius Proximothe Gladiator trainer/owner (who died during filming in Malta after a heavy drinking session - computer generated work was done to complete the production of his character ), Harris has a smaller role but played sincerely.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brings tears to my eyes at the end even after watching it a few times. Beautifully filmed. Russell Crowe is brilliant. Great story based (loosely I think) on historical truth. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Rose Sakura
An all time great it also has extra scenes previously deleted, great.Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer