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OK, I had several advantages in watching Gladiatress...
- I had read the terrible reviews and had the lowest possible expectations, so I wasn't going to be disappointed.
- I watched it with a glass of good wine and in the company of two friends who had happy memories of their fun time as extras (and we even managed to catch glimpses of them) - I recognised every single location shot - all within a few miles of my home So, you have to weigh this when I say we all enjoyed it. We all laughed aloud lots of times.
It also looks great. Much higher production values than you'd expect for a movie of this type. Partly this is down having borrowed equipment and costumes from the multi zillion dollar Gladiator. But it is also a well-made movie in its own right (OK, it's not Once upon a Time in the West - but neither is it On The Buses).
And Sally Phillips is just scrummy. She can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. And, apparently, she is a very nice person too.
So... this is never going to be on anyone's Top Ten, but give it a chance. I think some of the negativity it's had is completely over the top. I hope it does get a theatrical release - I think it deserves that.
The girls of UK comedy TV show "Smack The Pony" take on the "Gladiator"
story- like an answer to the lads of "Spaced" doing "Shaun Of The Dead"
(except that "Gladiatress" was filmed at the same time, or possibly
even first?) It's a real shame that this film got overlooked, and
possibly even buried, in the shadow of "Shaun Of The Dead" as it's a
funny film in it's own right. There are a lot of parallels in the style
between the two films though. For a start, I was falling off my seat
with laughter in both films.
Like "Shaun..", a lot of the jokes wouldn't be funny if you had only ever seen them written down- a lot of the real comedy is in the delivery. For example the line "I don't even know where Rome is... s***..."- dull written down but laugh-out-loud when you hear Sally Phillips saying it. Also like "Shaun..", it's really vulgar in parts but never too much, and even though you don't expect to, by the end you're empathising with characters you thought at the beginning of the film you couldn't possibly like.
My only criticisms would be that the first ten minutes are a bit shaky- which might explain why this film has got some poor reviews, as it doesn't leave a good first impression. Also, Doon Mackichan is, surprisingly, a bit weak through some parts of the movie, which is a shame as Fiona Allen and Sally Phillips are on top form. Oh, and the tag-line "does my Gluteus Maximus look big in this?" isn't funny, and it under-sells the film. But these are all minor points, and don't really detract from the entertainment.
The reviewer who commented on the "odd feminism" in the film has, in my opinion, firmly grabbed the wrong end of his stick (or has problems listening to women as equals). If he was expecting a sexy women-in-leather soft porn, this film happily isn't that. It isn't a chick-flick either- you don't have to be one gender or the other to laugh at this film.
In a nutshell, if you liked "Shaun Of The Dead", and/or "Smack The Pony" on TV, this is worth hunting down a copy of. I eventually had to get a legitimate DVD copy from the Netherlands in order to see it- this film is too good to go unnoticed!
Not brilliant, but definitely worth watching. British humor at it's
almost best and a very feminine type of humor to, in the great
tradition of Absolutely Faboulous and Bridget Jones. Girl Power comedy.
I think it's wonderful that we have come that far that women can be
portrayed as pathetic and miserable but still sympathetic, as they are
in movies like Gladiatress and Bridget Jones Diaries. It's womens turn
to be allowed to be ridiculous - a domain which has been strictly male
dominated until recently.
Above all I like that the movie show how superior, in practically everything, except for farting, the Romans were. They were cleaner, ate better, behaved better and above all, they locked better. "What have the Romans ever given to us" - Life of Brian. British men don't get much credit in this one. The movies heretical mixture of past and present also makes it one of those few really good comedies that doesn't take itself too seriously without becoming just silly and boring.
This is a very funny movie. Just finished watching it and can only say
I was pleasantly surprised. It is full of little jokes, but unlike the
moronic "meet the Spartans", these jokes are clever. Typical English
wordplay and silly modern day parallels and plays on pretty much every
cultural stereotype. It seems like this movie is full of strong fun
roles for women and the guys just don't really count.
Italians speaka lika da pizzamanna.. its actually funny to see in a movie like this and Celtic warrior women looking for love in a very "special" way.
Considering the crap thats been coming out of Hollywood and labeled "comedy" its hard to imagine this one got overlooked.
The idiotic cover almost stopped me from watching the movie, because it
seemed to indicate this could be moronic rubbish like "Meet the
Spartans" again, but fortunately it's something completely different.
First, they really got their historical background right. The
explanation how the Romans could conquer Gallia and Britannia - not
simply by brute force, but let proxies fight their wars for them and
fight tribes separately which were enemies of each other - is given
better than in most serious movies about that period. Asking the
question "were some slaves actually satisfied with their primitive life
without any rights"? like Worthaboutapig is probably more realistic
than the heroic rebels of Spartacus movies, since Spartacus was the
exception not the rule when it comes to self-sacrifice, but it's all
quite politically incorrect to ask, I bet.
This is one of the funniest movies I've watched in the last couple of years. It's dominated by three women who fight against all odds ("I must warn you, I'm a Celtic warrior princess. I can kill a man in 17 different ways. 18, if you include cooking") which is of course unusual in the genre but works extremely well since their characters are so extremely different. Hide the DVD from your girlfriend, though, it may give her ideas...
Great British Humour. Under rated to the Maximus.
I think this movie is hilarious. If you're well versed in History or the Roman Empire, you will get a good laugh out of this.
Gladiatress starts of as a typical British comedy, of the likes I haven't seen since Monty Python.
It's set in Britain, around the fall of the Gaul's and Caesars' interest in Britain grows. As he investigates further, he hears warrior princesses run Britain. He has to see this!! So, the story focuses on a little British tribe with pathetic men and Warrior women as leaders. Great show for you women out there. The story centers around 3 sisters, "Dwyfuc" the princess warrior of the tribe, "Worthaboutapig" who's worth about a pig, not less than a pig!! And "Smirgut the Fierce" who's loosing her fierceness because of childbirth.
When the Romans kidnap "Dwyfuc", her sister "Worthaboutapig" gets chosen to get her back. When "Smirgut the Fierce" helps her, there adventures land all 3 sisters in the gladiator ring facing "Schlaffwaffe The Goth". From there the plot just thickens!!
It's funny how people apparently either hate or love this movie. Every
user comment either gives it a "1" rating or above a "7" - it's a good
thing we have the average, then, which in this case for once is
actually very accurate: this movie is worth about a "4".
It has funny elements, though not many for a movie that's supposed to be a comedy. The portrayal of Celtic-Britannic culture (incl. some Picts) is entertaining and even a little educational, and the movie's main strength lies in its realistic portrayal of what would happen to someone who tried to rescue a family member from being kidnapped by the Romans: she becomes a slave herself.
The funniest thing about the movie is probably the way we have Worthaboutapig crossing the English channel and then instantly thinking that the Roman colony she finds there ("Boulogne" = Paris) is actually Rome itself. For some ignorant clan member who's never been to the continent before, and certainly never seen the capital of a major civilization (to say nothing of a map), that's actually extremely realistic. And the anachronistic line "When in Rome...!" just has that extra little punch, when we know that she isn't actually in Rome after all.
There are a bunch of details to like in this movie - the production values, for instance, and that terrifically nonchalant German gladiator, Schlaffwaffe -, but it's just not funny enough, overall. It's too understated, has very few scenes approaching the memorable, and just strikes me as too self-indulgent. Fart and crotch jokes abound, which are tasteless and unfunny. The characters are cardboards. As a whole the movie is a disappointment, but at least it marginally holds your interest throughout. That, at least, is something.
This Little piece of humour history will have you rolling about the
floor laughing your head off - oops - perhaps not quite the right
choice of words but.....
If you want something original that isn't the same old tired plot line, with fresh actors and actresses who deliver their lines with sheer delight - then this is for you - Be different - take a chance - you wont regret it!!!
I think that so many of the new films are all taking the "safe" way forward, and I cant blame them, but taking a real risk on a totally different idea shows conviction and courage - and I feel that the whole team that worked on this deserve credit as I'm sure you will too!!!! Regards Dave
British humour - if you don't get British humour your face will be
like, 'huh?' all the way through. Test: "Dyslexic man walks into a
bra," subtract 4 if you went, 'huh?'.
Excellent production values with just a few odd scene shifts, nice score and the jokes are maintained through to the end. Good characterisation and plot that makes you care about this mad alternate Roman world. This is what happens when a good group of actors are pooled together and told, 'It's a pantomime - go for it.'
There are some great pastiche characters; the Picts are perfect and I loved the queen, 'Excellent war, well done, carry on.'
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At this this film was TRYING to be funny! OK, OK so it isn't a
masterpiece of comedic cinematography...but, as an archaeologist, there
were some rather chucklicious moments! The warrior-sister's moral
conundrum (how can she go back to slaughtering people and chopping off
their heads after she's had children?!) was brilliant...especially with
the advice from the Pictish couple (complete with tattoos and severed
heads around their necks!).
The film actually surpassed the great, lumbering fiasco Gladiator and Troy in its accuracy of the costume, settlements, etc. Heck, they even got the British Iron Age Tribal names right! It helped that most of the Celtic scenes were filmed at Butser Ancient Farm. The only really serious faux pas in that arena were the Roman legionaries' equipment...jeeez, if they really borrowed props from Gladiator, you would have thought they could have scored a few accurate suits of armour! That said, I thought the depiction of the smarmy, effeminate Romans was excellent! You could almost HEAR Eddie Izzard lilting "Helloooo.....we are the Romans! Yes, we are!" Bottom line...don't go into this film expecting to laugh your arse off...but it is worthy of a few grins and snickers.
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