May '00 : Gladiator
Honor and Strength

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By Max Sin
Three Outta Four Stars!

Dreamworks is setting the stage to take over as the dominant film studio in Hollywood. In March they captured their first Best Picture Award withAmerican Beauty and now they are back withGladiator.This film is all about strength and honor. How to utilize your strength to obtain honor and how to utilize your honor in maintaing your strength. For Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, these two traits are what he forces upon his soldiers, his politic and above all, his enemies.



SYNOPSIS

Scene from Gladiator

When famed Roman General Maximus has won another glorious battle, it is only right that Rome award him a more grand award. All he really wants is to leave the battlefield and go home, but other players have different plans for the war hero. As the story plays out, he has to prove his metal if he is to ever make it home. Which proves to be much more difficult than he would have ever imagined.



THESPIANS

Russell Crowe – Crowe definitely makes his mark in this epic. Scene from Gladiator While physically he didn’t command the screen like Schwarzeneggar or Michael Clarke Duncan, he certainly played the role with solid acting and he fought well, with very viscous attentiveness to his enemies.

Djimon Hounsou – This young man’s star will be shining brighter as soon as we are allowed to see him play someone other than a warrior. In Amistad, he was fierce and in Gladiator, he his brutal. Djimon has a certain softness about his delivery that makes him likeable and interesting to watch. Being Crowe’s sidekick takes away from his star level, but he is formidable.

Joaquin Phoenix – “Mister, you are dealing with Toby N. Tucker.” That was his infamous line from U-Turn when he played a deranged boyfriend. I thought he was funny as hell. In Gladiator, he was excellent and provides a standout performance. Sly, cunning and equally as creepy, his character Commodus is wicked.



CRITIQUE

Scene from Gladiator

This film will definitely be remembered. Not that the story was amazing – it wasn’t. Or that the entire film leaves you breathless – it doesn’t. But you will remember it because it is an event of an enormous magnitude. Capturing Rome in its glory days and showing us how they did it before the days of boxing gloves and the WWF.

 

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