Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge. Written by
Chris "Morphy" Terry
The blur effect that appears halfway through the war scene between Maximus' Army and the Germanic tribes was not originally intended. The scene was shot in the early evening, but continued too long, and the light was drastically diminished. In order to keep the continuity of the scene's lighting, and avoid shooting another day on the location, Director of Photography John Mathieson chose instead to shoot the scenes with a very low frame rate. To compensate for the loss of frames, the frames that were shot, were duplicated several times in post-production, and edited into the film in a way that made the switch look natural. See more »
When Commodus has Maximus taken away to be executed, no "official" reason is given to the guards taking him away, or to the army at large as an explanation for the change in command. And no "rumors" of why the general was killed is mentioned later by anybody. Even after they learn of his survival and former soldiers talk to Maximus in the Colosseum.
Therefore, Maximus would have been considered "murdered" as soon as the execution happened. Anyone who knew of his murder, short of the corrupt few who were chosen to kill Maximus, would have tried to learn why. And given how loyal the army was to Maximus, they would have taken control and removed Commodus from power almost immediately. See more »
Those giraffes you sold me, they won't mate. They just walk around, eating, and not mating. You sold me... queer giraffes. I want my money back.
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Both the Dreamworks & Universal logos are altered to appear gold in color so they match the opening theme of Maximus walking through a wheatfield. See more »
The movie is the story of Maximus (Crowe), a general who leads the Roman army to victory over Germania in the beginning of the movie. The dying emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, is watching this battle.
The emperor's son, Commodus, then arrives with his sister Lucilla, and it is discovered that Commodus fully expects to be announced the new emperor of Rome in a few days. Aurelius, however, has other plans--he wants to make Maximus emperor, and requests that of the general, who wants nothing more than to go home to his family.
I went into this movie having just watched Ben-Hur in my film studies class and having watched an episode of Xena only a couple of weeks earlier that featured the story of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. So you could say I was in the perfect mindset to watch a "sword-and-sandal" movie. I wasn't sure what to expect, having somehow avoided all the hype that accompanied this movie. But I was not disappointed.
Gladiator features some wonderful cinematography by John Mathieson. The battle scenes are very graphic. (This movie is not for the squeamish, that's for sure.) There were some scenes in particular that really struck me, such as when Crowe appears to be floating over the ground very fast. The use of color and color tones added a great deal to the mood of the movie. Excellent.
The script was being written and re-written as the filming was going on, yet it doesn't show that the actors had no idea how the movie was going to end when they began filming. The acting is terrific. Russell Crowe is wonderfully cast as Maximus. Many reviewers agree that he is now officially a star. Joaquin Phoenix also proves his mettle as the emotionally troubled Commodus, whose behavior and emotion toward his sister could give anyone the creeps. Connie Nielsen makes you believe that, as Lucilla, she really is torn between natural loyalty to her brother and doing what she knows is right. Oliver Reed, in his last performance, is memorable in his role of Proximo, the former gladiator who is the owner of Maximus and brings him to Rome. In short, the actors were brilliant in their roles, not over-acting, but giving subtle, strong performances.
The script itself is very good. Although some elements are a little hard to believe--the fact that no one recognizes Maximus when he's a slave?--this film calls for a willing suspension of disbelief, which one would happily comply with. (It's really no fun to nitpick such a movie.)
It's true that this movie does pretty much follow the Braveheart formula. However, this movie includes some elements, such as the cinematography and the incredibly graphic battle scenes (one reviewer likened it to Saving Private Ryan, "only better"), that are spectacular in itself. Overall, a great movie that I highly recommend.
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