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Gladiator (BD) (Steelbook)
A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back, and g ain the freedom of his people, in this epic historical drama from direc tor Ridley Scott. In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into cha os. Maximus (Russell C rowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus ' devious son Commodus (Joaquin P hoenix) ascends to the throne, Maximus is set to be executed. He escapes , but is captured by slave traders. Renamed Spaniard and forced to becom e a gladiator, Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the a musement of pay ing audiences. His battle skills serve him well, and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Colosseum . De termined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedo m and laid waste to his family, Maximus believes that he can use his fam e and skill in the ring to avenge the loss of his family and former glor y. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule, Com modus decides to p ut his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also featu res Derek Jacobi, Connie Niel sen, Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver Reed, who died of a heart attack midway through production.]]>
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1.) Why was this mediocre film so widely acclaimed? Perhaps it was the spectacle of Coliseum violence, violence that is one step beyond the spectacle of NFL football; violence people in American society are hankering for. Hankering for because as Americans fail to see the larger problems of society go unresolved, they long to see resolution achieved in other venues - games, contests -; resolution that allows them to imagine the violent, painful and bloody end of their enemies (for example, a liberal imaging the death of a conservative, and visa versa). The success of this film is an evil portent for where our culture may be headed.
2.) Everyone should be troubled that while Hollywood finds it almost impossible to cast in the mold of a hero anyone with Christian faith, Russell Crowe in this role is depicted as a man of worth because of his faith in the gods worshipped in Rome. His strong faith in these gods is depicted as a stabilizing and grounding influence in his life, over and against his semi-crazed Emperor-antagonist. Faith also allows Crowe's character to endure the cruel treatment of his family and to hope and believe he will be rejoined in an afterlife with lost loved ones. In light of who the Roman gods actually were, was Crowe's character's faith reasonable, or worthy of admiration? By what mechanism do the gods of Rome provide justice in an afterlife? For example, Crowe's character is sure his loved ones will go to a heavenly afterlife, partly because they were a target of evil, but the movie begins with Crowe butchering thousands of Germanic tribesmen - presumably with families themselves - which Crowe's character, and Rome, is invading as imperialist conquerors. Why is not Crowe's character "evil" for a lifetime of butchery as a Roman general? If Hollywood is going to cast out Christian heroes (Ben-Hur) and credibly substitute with Roman conquerors? Does no one find this incredible?
It seems the only definitive way to tell if you have the new version is to look at the innermost rings on the underside of Disc One itself. Hold it up to the light, and at the end of a string of letters and numbers, you should see "B1R2". If you have anything else (i.e. B1R1), you have the original version and NOT the remastered one!
If so, exchange it promptly.