April 27, 2011

Why Gladiator is the best film ever made

So my buddy Eric will watch Apollo 13 anytime its on TV, and then after that he will put in the DVD and watch it again.

And why wouldn't you? It features Tom Hanks, the Cal Ripken Jr. of actors, Bill Paxton, who made the best tornado-themed movie ever and Kevin Bacon (for the ladies of course).

Throw in that Ron Howard, the most successful ginger ever, is the director and the fact that it is about the space program and it's a can't-miss.

However, I will digress that it's perhaps the greatest film ever. That goes to Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott.
Buy Gladiator on Blu-ray.

Now I probably talk a lot more about Star War, Star Trek and Indiana Jones but those are more like guilty nerd pleasures than actual "greatest films ever." They have plenty of fluff in them that make them more like dessert than the main course.

Gladiator, on the other hand, no matter how you break it down, is the best action flick. It's the best character flick. It's the best historical flick. It's good on so many levels, and anytime I see it on television, I'm definitely watching the whole thing. How can I tell that Gladiator is so good? Consider the following...

1. Every movie since it that has been made has the "walking through the wheat field as a woman sings" scene - Seriously, it's perhaps the most over-used movie cliche since 2000. Any movie thats even remotely historic or set anywhere near the time of the Romans (or medieval, or even space-age, people just aren't original anymore) has the walking through the wheat field scene. What's great too is that Scott completely improvised that. He was like "Oh wheat? Jerry put on those Roman gauntlets and walk around, I'm going to shoot your hand touching the wheat for like four minutes on film."

2. How many HBO series have been about Gladiators now? - Like 80? I mean come on HBO... just stick to boxing.

3. I still feel like Russell Crowe could kick anyones ass - Was this possible the best casting choice of all time? During the entire movie did ever you feel like "oh well, a guy like Russell couldn't actually do that." Nope. Crowe is the kind of guy that if you meet in the bar you avoid hitting on his girlfriend at all costs and actually ask him if he'd like to take your girlfriend home.

4. It came before the rush of epic movies - You can thank the Lord of the Rings for that, but Gladiator was kind of on the cutting edge of the "epic movie" in the late 90s, early 2000s. Now they're a dime a dozen. What is crazy too is how remarkable the CGI holds up even though its 11 years old (Watch Jurrassic park and the CGI dinosaurs look like Sega Genesis monsters), and the fact that the first battle scene in the movie wasn't CGI at all.

5.Joaquin Phoenix - He's legitimately crazy, but perhaps the best villain I've seen in a movie. He's so good in fact, you feel sorry for him for much of the movie. Just wonderfully acted and this was before he started to embark on his rapping career.

6. It's not an art house film - Screw those. Go back to France.

7. Ridley Scott is not James Cameron - Here's the thing, Ridley Scott is british, and he started out making music videos and I believe commercials meaning that he doesn't BS like other directors such as James Cameron. Cameron will go on and on and on about how artful his 80s action movies are and nobody gives a rats ass. What Cameron wont tell you is that his movies are woefully lacking in any sort of depth. Since studios give him 200 million dollars to make movies, they generally tend the be fairly entertaining because the guy can do anything he wants. Scott? He's a workman, he's put out great flicks like Alien and Blade Runner and when you listen to him, he's most interested in making it a movie thats great for the audience than about talking about how great he is.

8. It's about Rome - I wouldn't generally want to live in the past, but if I could live in Rome, I would sooo be in.

9. Perhaps the greatest main character death scene of all time - It barely beats out John Wayne getting shot in the "Sands of Iwo Jima" and Spock dying in "Star Trek 2."

10. 11 years later, nobody is debating whether or not it should have won Best Picture - Seriously go back and look at who wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It's an interesting look back at what our culture was thinking at that time and you'll usually respond with "Jesus, why the hell did they pick that movie?" but when you come across Gladiator, you're like "Yup, that sounds about right."

25 comments:

  1. WHOOOOOOO! I agree, greatest film ever. I watch it like very two weeks!

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    1. you are fucking crazy if you do that every 2 weeks unless you are exaggerating....

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    2. Every week here, my favorite movie of all time

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    3. at least thrice a week here

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  2. I recently came to the realization as well: Gladiator is the greatest movie ever made. Key word being MADE... the time money and effort to craft it, and the resulting product, is the height of moviemaking. The setting and story are as epic as it gets. No matter how you break it down, it's larger than life and flawlessly executed. It's well written. The music is amazing. The lead characters are undeniably great. The art direction and cinematography is unmatched. It's not art house, not out for laughs, not forcing anything. It's just great.

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    1. Wow I couldnt have said it better myself..

      It's the greatest movie ever made!

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  3. Agreed. I once watched this move 9 times in one weekend. This is a spectacular movie that has a true spirit of adventure, loss and love. It makes you long for more movies like it. Instead, today we have "Movie the Movie" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter".
    I could just cry.
    ..okay, okay I have cried....

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    1. Right?!
      I hate all these crappy, unoriginal movies the big movie producers are shoving down out throats! And all these freakin re-releases? Really?!!?
      Give us a good story with some actual characterization and dialogue that couldn't be written by a 12 year old.
      I want to watch a movie that has some meat on its bones! >:O

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  4. you sir, are totally right

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  5. LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH, It is the best movie I've ever seen for sure!

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  6. When I saw this movie for the first time I was really impressed. The film photography is astonishing...When the characters entered in Coliseum I felt like was my own experience...this is Ridley Scott!!!

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  7. I watched this movie for the first time when i was about 6-7. Now being 18 i have seen it over 15-20 times. I have it on dvd, bluray and even recorded on my sky plus box. I watch it from start to finish everytime. The whole film start to finish is finely tuned to such perfection. Hanz zimmer's master pieces really bring the atmosphere of the film to life and the opening scenes are some of the most amazing opening scenes i've seen. I am very keen on the romans and this film has enticed me over and over again to watch it. Trully a master piece. Perfect casting, perfect soundtracks and perfect story. Definately my number one action/historical movie of all time.

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    1. Hans Zimmer is a genius at epic movie writing. The batman trilogy, inception, gladiator to name but a few. Epic is the only word to describe it and the number of themes in the movie that are still relevant today is amazing. My mind is literally blown every time I finish watching it.

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    2. I agree with your words it's been a movie worth watching without getting off the table to get a drink of soda when you don't need it that much but still, I think the Roman Empire/Republic is an overrated era that has gained publicity due to cinema and most of its heroes behaved just like politicians in U.S. However crazy may it sound, I am almost addicted to this movie theme filled with heroism, courage and self-sacrifice; And by the way, I can do the same thing if I had the same incentives friends. If you ever see this, i would like to hear your opinion on that

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  8. "are you not entertained....?"

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  9. well i agreed........i have watched like more then thousands movies.....but never come to love a movie so much that i have watched it tens of times.......!its just never gets old......i wish i can watch this movie like i was watching it for the 1st time......BEST MOVIE EVER..........!

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  10. TOTALLY CORRECT. Best movie ever made.

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  11. This movie has a special place in my heart. I get chills every time Russell says the "Maximus Decimus Meridius" speech. Simply an astounding movie. I have seen a great number of great movies, but there is just something about Gladiator that puts it over the top as my all-time most favorite movie.

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  12. My favorite movie of all time. I come to tears at the end without fail. A masterpiece!

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  13. "It barely beats out John Wayne getting shot in the "Sands of Iwo Jima" and Spock dying in "Star Trek 2."

    You mean Spock dying in real life?

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  14. The greatest movie ever made. Period. Ridley Scott truly outdid himself with the most perfect blend of action, drama, romance; there aren't any words to describe the feelings this movie puts you through. It made you self-reflect on your own way of life and realizing how powerful living by a code was. Crowe became Maximus through and through and made you believe how important honor, self-sacrifice and courage are. Hans Zimmer and Lisa bestowed some sublime magic into the movie; that ending left me teared up every single time and those vocals coupled with the main heart-tugging theme just leaves you fading into another world. Everything was a "whisper" as Marcus Aurelius put it that just kissed you in the most epic and tantalizing way and just left you numb with awe and reverence. I'm so grateful this movie is there. It's my lifeline when everything else in life becomes too much to bear; this movie revivifies me and gives me Maximus' courage to fight again.

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  15. Gladiator-Greatest movie ever made! I thoroughly enjoyed it....each of the 6 trillion times I have watched it!

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  16. I love this movie as well. I also enjoy a couple other long 3 hour movies such as Troy, and Braveheart!! 😋

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  17. I love this movie as well. I also enjoy a couple other long 3 hour movies such as Troy, and Braveheart!! 😋

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