GLADIATOR 17th Anniversary

StorySmack Episode #13

Why are we celebrating the random 17th anniversary of GLADIATOR? Because we’re idiots and somehow got it in our head it was 25 years old (a “thank you” to Junkie Shane who pointed out that maybe we need to lay off the sauce for a bit …).

Nonetheless, this is a movie that holds up better than most. It’s a lovely, fragile, hard-as-nails movie. Full of anger and grace and humanity and morality. It’s an essential movie for anyone who likes fight movies, historical movies, love stories and even interpersonal dramas. If you’re looking for parody, this isn’t that, but otherwise, I think you’d really dig it.

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  1. petejew

    years later, the opening sequence inspired me to geek out in ways that still leave me kind of abashed. i wanted to and succeeded in making a mostly authentic suit of roman armor. unfortunately, the research involved made me an insufferable douche when it came to historical accuracy.

  2. Andrew

    You want a modern example of people making small weird movies before jumping into​ the big leagues? I don’t have​ any actors, but how about a director? One Rain Johnson. Makes Brick, then Looper (Bro. You have GOT to see Looper.), and his third film will be a little picture called Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

    Actually, I lied. Thinking of Star Wars reminds me: Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had both done awesome smaller films (Scrawl (which I saw at Spooky Empire(I think), but I guess still hasn’t had a wide release?) and Attack the Block respectively) before Disney came calling. Oscar Issac, the other hand, had been around for a while. Including playing Prince John in Robin Hood… The one staring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott. It all ties together man! Just like Looper (Bro. You have GOT to see Looper.),

    1. scottsigler

      Andrew: I loved BRICK, hated LOOPER. The former was tight storytelling full of tension and intrigue, layered over a classic noir setup in a very non-traditional noir setting.

      The latter was one of the most preposterous takes on time travel I’ve ever seen, and I hate time-travel flicks to begin with. The “real time changing of the past” made it impossible for me to enjoy the movie.

      Also, am I the only one who thinks Ray Liotta was originally intended as the elder assassin? Gordon-Levitt looked like a young Liotta and nothing like a young Willis.

  3. Terry

    This was the very first DVD I ever owned (I still have it) — while very historically inaccurate (Commodus wasn’t killed in the arena, even if he deserved it), I loved it.

    Russell Crowe acted his ass off in this one and Joaquin Pheonix chewed up his scenes as well. Awesome movie.

  4. Johan

    There is this Netflix series that tell the story of Commodus, that probably is more historically correct, Roman Empire: Reign of blood. It could perhaps be interesting to hear your take on the changes made in the movie to make it more interesting.

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