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Director Ridley Scott’s triumphant Gladiator is an unparalleled combination of vivid action and extraordinary storytelling that earned five Oscars® including Best Picture. The Blu-ray presentation will include both the original theatrical version of the film as well as the extended version in 1080p High Definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Korean subtitles. The two-disc set also will feature over four hours of bonus material.
Stills from Gladiator (Click for larger image)
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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.
Great movie that got better in full HD.
For the film itself, Gladiator never loses its power. It is a dark and brooding saga that never quite made sense to me as a revenge tragedy until Ridley Scott explained it as a journey of a man who wants to go home, rather like Odysseus. Maximus has lost through murder his wife, his son, and his place in Roman society. He seeks vengeance--almost suicide by duel--to take him to the Afterlife where he can be reunited with the only two people he loves in this world. When Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) whispers to him "You're home" she understand the nature of Maximus' epic journey to rejoin his family.
One of the interesting supplements deals with May 1999, when Oliver Reed died unexpectedly, and how the filmmakers dealt with the gaps he left. In a word, brilliantly. Reed's performance was great, and sustained the dark nature of the film. Crowe reputedly is both a consummate professional and grating pain in the butt. So, for that matter, was Phoenix as Commodus, who showed us the wounded nature of the man who could take his own father's life from shame and emotional desertion, and then turn to incestuous love for his sister.
The battlefield scene in the first part of the movie defines the universe as cruel and merciless. That vision prepares us for the arenas at Zucchubar and Rome itself. Win or die: there are no middle grounds.
Do contact customer service first if you want to get the remastered version which is something I would have done had I known about the issue in advance but as far as this still being a great movie that looks and sounds even better in 1080p and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround with two versions of the film there is no doubt.