I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gladiator Survives the Test of Time

It survives better than a battle would with the evil Joaquin Phoenix that's for sure!.  It's too bad Joaquin didn't get a cameo of Russell Crowe on his I'm Still Here documentary, because if the two of them tangoed, well, if there's one thing Russell Crowe loves … "It's fightin!"

The Romans were some evil bastards, at least that's what history constantly tells us, but unfortunately, aside from some written texts here and there, we don't know HOW violent, only A) they loved a good crucifixion, and B) they realized the best way to take out a powerful but unsuspecting enemy was to stab them in the back.  I can't wait to see in a couple thousand years from now if our football stadiums are treated in the same manner we treat the Roman Coliseum.  

I watched Gladiator when it first came out in the movie theatres.  It was the year 2000 (cue Conan's Yeeeeeeeeeeeear two thoooooooooooousand) and times were different.  The movie was okay.  It had much hype and definitely tried its best forcing sorrow on the viewers by the big Joaquin Phoenix meany killing off Russell Crowe's family.  I always felt that was unnecessary, mostly because it would lead to latter scenes in the movie where Russell Crowe would flashback and see them again.  Ugh.  I understand it may be difficult to make Russell Crowe a character a viewer would feel sorry for, but this was too much.  In the year 2000, I only enjoyed this movie for the Gladiator scenes, and that was it.  Crowe was kind of annoying, "My name is Gladiator!" and Phoenix was annoying (though, we were SUPPOSED to hate him). 

The movie is different now, and for the better.  Russell Crowe isn't annoying any more.  Sure, he's not nearly the actor he is now as he was 10 years ago, but because of his decline, you don't see him as much and there's certainly no Master and Commanders out there.  Phoenix, well, Phoenix made himself cool by his fake documentary   He really wasn't ever bad, but his role as Emperor made me hate him so much, and that's what was supposed to happen, so now I appreciate his villainy in this one.  After all, wouldn't we all stab Russell Crowe in the back if we had the opportunity?           

I'm going to end with two observations from this movie.

1.  There's nothing like a good "Pissed the Pants" scene, which naturally there has to be when your subject matter is gladiators.  The downside is I was going to do a great list of great "Pissed the Pants" scene, but when you Google "Pissing in Pants", it's a bad idea.  Trust me on that one. 

2.  Spaniard really should’ve played the Professional Wrestling card and went with “Mr. X.”  This way, he could've explained to the Emperor that masking his identity was crucial for the success of his character, and would create more of a profit for gladiator fights.  I imagine they weren't free.  This way, not only could he have had more time to prepare for his Coup D'Etat, we could have seen more fightin! 

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