Sunday, March 23, 2008

Brad's All-Time Fave Films: #5

Gladiator (2000)

It's hard to make a strong argument about this being one of the deepest or most moving films of our time, but it is what it is and it is good at what it is. That it won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, I guess shouldn't go without mentioning, so I guess I'm not the only one that liked it.

Gladiator came out about a month before I graduated (indeed, I cut school with Mike Failor to see it the day it came out) and caught me at a time when I was still relishing the opportunity to finally see rated 'R' movies after my parents' "no R movies till you're 17" curfew was finally outgrown. The plot is not why I went, to say the least. And Gladiator delivered what I wanted in spades. Epic violence on a historical scale, with some awesome views into the Rome we learn about in European History class. Those stunning views of Rome have been even more enhanced upon by the HBO series Rome, but I digress.

I'm not going to sit here and say that Russell Crowe gave a memorable performance or it kept me thinking for days after I saw it, but that's not why I saw it. I know that there are plot holes and historical anachronisms, and that if they were trying to make it real, the characters would have spoken Latin and we could have read subtitles. But so what? At the end of the day, as with most movies I watch, I wanted to be entertained. In fact, Maximus didn't even need to ask "am I not entertained?" Indeed I still am, sir.