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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 10:30:27 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78142
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
The score for this film is one of those ones that actually works better away from the film. It doesn't all quite work on screen, but it's an excellent listen otherwise. The main theme is superb.


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

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Much more better!

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Post #: 121
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 11/3/2008 10:59:07 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Still have to see 1492, and the pic you chose for it is beautiful. So beautiful it overshadowed the review. Ok not really. But it can't truly be worse than Hannibal, White Squall or G.I. Jane?

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 122
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 12/3/2008 1:47:45 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
Getting a little ahead of things, but ja, it's better than Hannibal.  In my book at least.  It's Scott's weakest film up until 1992, however bear in mind that doesn't mean the film is bad - it's anything but - it's just not as interesting or stimulating.  The image is one from the first voyage, where Scott used life-sized replicas of the Santa Maria, the Santa Clara, and the Pinta.  Imagine that shot, Ridley Scott style, with fiery orange skies and a low sun, in time to Vangelis' theme music.  The first time I saw it, my initial reaction was that 'this tops the opening of Howard's Way!'  Lovely cinematogrophy, I think I mentioned that already.  How to make something so familiar to us - the islands of the Caribbean - seem so very alien and new, was a feat worthy of note.


_____________________________

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(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 123
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 25/3/2008 11:27:19 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


A light can burn so very, very brightly, but if you place that light next to a floodlight, you're barely going to notice it. Such it is with many of Ridley Scott's films. There are some solid, excellent films in his canon, that are simply not remembered because of the astonishingly brilliant films he can produce on occasion. So, by comparison they often seem poor, when on their own merit, there is much to recommend them. White Squall is one such film. It details the true story of a group of young men in 1960 who take a year-long trip on a sailing boat under the captaincy of Jeff Bridges' Captain Shelton. As they argue, fight, and inevitably bond, the titular disaster strikes.

Taking a cross-section of early-90s up-and-coming stars, including a young Ryan Philippe in a stand-out role (it's a magnificent moment when he says goodbye to Frank), the film deals with the themes of friendship, teamwork, solidarity, trust, and loyalty. Under Scott Wolf's narrative voice, we are introduced to the crew who each have something of him in them, and in whom he feels he can find some friends. Much is made of the comparison not only between how the young men interact with each other, but also the distinct difference between how they interact with the captain, as opposed to their own fathers. Indeed, the father-son bond is explored across a few of the boys/men effectively. Chuck (Scott Wolf)'s father is disappointed that he wants to go down a different route, but is reluctantly supportive. Frank Beaumont's father is an overbearing monster who sends his son on the trip simply as something to do, and then blunders in as the ship makes port on one occasion, and (possibly inadvertently) separates him from the rest of the crew, denying his son any bonding with that crew.

There are those who say the ending is tonally at odds with the rest of the film, that it is unnecessary and 'tacked on'. Indeed, a courtroom scene after the emotion of the squall itself is certainly tonally anticlimactic, at first. Nevertheless, the scene itself is critical to justifying everything that has gone before, both emotionally and physically. The narration here works, as it is more than just a plot device, it is the journal by which we know of these events.

Summary

I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed this, as it has been about 8 or 9 years since I watched it last. Scott's trademark picturesque shots are here aplenty, and one can see he makes brilliant use of location shooting, such that when the squall hits, and the action must necessarily be shot in a tank-stage, it is not apparent at all. If this is a film that either you haven't heard of, or have never gotten round to seeing, then it's highly recommended. I'm not pretending for a moment that it comes to close to his best, but it's a worthy addition to the Scott canon, and a solid four star film.




_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

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Post #: 124
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 12:23:36 AM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
Hmmmm why was it saying that you were on my block list homer? Any ideas?

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 125
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 9:00:23 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
*In my best 'Bones' impression* I don't know what that means...

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Kadaj)
Post #: 126
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 9:26:40 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
No comments on White Squall?  No one seen it? 
I just watched G.I.Jane, but I'll leave a bit of space for people to reply about White Squall first...!
I go two weeks without watching any, then watch two in consecutive evenings - who'da thunk it!


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 127
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 10:04:14 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Sorry homey but the only thing I remember from White Sqaull is that it bored me to death.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 128
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 10:06:19 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Fair enough! You type very well for a dead man!
How long ago did you watch it? maybe you could give it another go! It surprised me how much I enjoyed it, as I remember thinking it was ok, but nothing, as they say, to write home about. And while it's certainly not even in throwing distance of his classics, it's a pretty entertaining couple of hours.


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 129
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 26/3/2008 10:08:52 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I was 12, I should watch it again but have better things to do(like watching the Samuria Trilogy and Last Tango in Paris). I should watch it again. I would have thought The Duellists would have been boring at 12.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 130
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 12:41:21 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8788
Joined: 13/4/2006
A very good review of Thama and Louise Homer infact note perfect infact.
i totally agree as said before it's my 3rd favoruite out of Scotts films.
It ended the mirth that Ridley is only a viseral story tale who struggles with narrative.
As this is a great sprawing tale, skillfully put together, more importantly it's a very human film with wonderfully detail and performances.  Saradon and Davis strike up one of the great Screen pairings male or Female.  It's a timeless classic keep up the good work!   By the way i should also mention Geena Davis in the Fly, very good in that film too.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 131
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 2:42:36 PM   
shool


Posts: 10221
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
I've not seen White Squall Homer.

I'm sure I'll check it out at some point.


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Invisio Text for Spoilers
[ color=#F1F1F1 ] Spoiler text [ /color ] , remove spaces between square brackets

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(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 132
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 11:17:03 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


Perhaps Scott's most maligned film, I was truly pleasantly surprised by this. It's probably been the eleven years since this was released since I watched the film, and it's actually aged pretty well, for what it is. Let's get rid of the negative points from the offset; yes the political aspects of the film don't work as well as they might, serving rather transparently to get circumstances such that we can get on with the subject of the film. The film was one of Moore's last credible roles - and arguably one of her best - and coming after the even-more-maligned Striptease, the film was on an uphill struggle. Add the mediocre reception for Scott's previous (underrated) film, and we have the beginnings of a film that was doomed to fail from the start. The film isn't a Scott classic, but it's a perfectly respectable 'actioner' and is surprisingly entertaining.

Scott has continually been lauded for the strong female characters in his films. In White Squall there is one female, who has few lines, and many (Dutch exchange students) who simply appear so that the crew can have some 'down time'. Perhaps feeling guilty for this relatively shoddy treatment of female characters, Scott has the strongest female character since Thelma and Louise took a convertible on a cross country crime caper. Accusations that Jordan O'Neill (and thus, women) can only be as good as the men by 'becoming' male, are unfounded, and let me explain why. The biggest argument comes from the infamous head-shaving scene. Hair has long been associated with womanhood, and is a source of attraction, and thus strength, for women, historically. By divesting O'Neill of this, she is becoming less of a woman, and by default more of a man in her quest to equal men. I argue that while the significance of hair is great, here it is a simple matter of practicality and convenience. All men have shaved heads (see the famous opening sequence to Kubrick's underrated Vietnam classic Full Metal Jacket) - it retains unity, conformity, and is far simpler to manage! Similarly for O'Neill, by removing her hair she simply increases practicality. The other argument for O'Neill losing her womanhood is the extended training montage that follows the head shaving scene. In it, O'Neill performs rigorous exercise such as the iconic one-handed press-ups, and so forth. Here Moore's figure is of significance. To put it delicately, there is no hiding the fact that she is a woman, and this is stresses to such a degree that it becomes obvious it is intentional. Indeed, she is confronted by the Master Chief while showering, and doesn't flinch at his languorous look at her.

However, to dwell on that too much is to miss much of the entertainment. The classic 'fish-out-of-water' scenario is used as the outsider tries to fit in while retaining her own sense of individuality. There is a pleasantly diverting little exchange where the single black trainee makes some impact on the men by likening O'Neill's plight to that of African Americans some decades before. Sure, it's a little heavy-handed, but much of this film is. It's not subtle film-making; it's loud and obvious, but it's fun. It's also (trying not to sound like a broken record here) beautifully shot.

Summary

I'm not attempting to make out that this film is anything more than what it seems - a loud action movie with an obvious message and an obvious manner of putting it across: In an all-male environment, women aren't welcome. But, like typical Hollywood, there is understanding by the end of the film. It's predictability allows for a relaxing time as you're never bored enough to think 'goodness this is predictable'. I think that, like White Squall, this is due a reappraisal. As far as action films go, this is up there with the best. It's nowhere near the best Scott film, or even close (although it compares more favourably with Tony's oeuvre than Ridley's) but this is a three, maybe three and a half, star film.


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to shool)
Post #: 133
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 11:27:50 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
And homey, I'm sorry, but this film was shite. But it is beautifully shot.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 134
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 11:31:02 PM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
I hate to admit it, but these are two of the four Scott films that I have not seen yet, so I can't offer comment on them yet.  I'll have a mooch around the shops next time I'm in town with some cash to spare, but it might not be for a while 

_____________________________

Medals don't help me sleep at night...

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 135
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 27/3/2008 11:33:42 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: swordsandsandals
I'm just waiting for Gladiator


Your wait is nearly over, swords...

And Dev, no need to apologise! It certainly doesn't stand up as a comparative film to Scott's classics. I try to write positive reviews - as is known, I enjoy the full gamut of films - and I saw this in a positive light in comparison to other actioners, not to other Scott films. I really didn't enjoy 1492, hence the less-than-positive review, but I was entertained by this. "Are you not entertained?" Well, yes, I was. It wasn't deep, but it was fun.
And yes, it did look beautiful!

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to swordsandsandals)
Post #: 136
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 28/3/2008 9:40:40 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
The one many have been waiting for...



**contains spoilers - but, come on, who hasn't seen this?!**

I still remember the posters being up at the local cinema with the various (over)quoted lines - "On my signal, unleash hell", or "What we do in life, echoes in eternity", and the lines still send a shiver down my spine. Gladiator is, simply put, one of the finest epics created. It is both vicious and beautiful; dirty and sublime. One of the taglines most neatly sums up the film: The general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, the gladiator who defied an emperor. The simplistic story is shot through with the more complex political movements of Rome at the time, however historically inaccurate they may be. Here is a film not concerned with point-scoring with the historians, but with those craving cinematic excellence; the latter are not disappointed.

After a trio of less-than-brilliantly-received films, people would be forgiven that Scott's star, as they say, had faded. the director of Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma & Louise, had apparently gone to seed. With Gladiator he not only resurrected his own career, but also the missing, presumed dead swords and sandals genre. (As a side note, it is interesting that Spartacus, with which this shares many parallels, is directed by my favourite director, Kubrick.) It also paired Scott with actor Russell Crowe, with whom he has made two more films (one questionable, although I have yet to see it, and one brilliant) with Nottingham in pre-production. This first pairing is, thus far, the best I have seen, and Crowe is rightly the big draw for this film. An action-centric role, this could easily have been portrayed by an actor of the Schwarzenegger variety. What Crowe brings to the role, other than an impressive physique (remember, he had piled on the pounds for his previous film The Insider and trimmed down for Gladiator) is a quality of acting that allows pathos to permeate the film. The sequence where he rides to unsuccessfully beat the troops sent to murder his wife and child is a masterpiece in tragic inevitability. He is wounded, tired, and desperate. As the troops devastatingly trample his son, we are at least spared the visual impact of what happened, seeing it all through Maximus' eyes as he kisses his dead wife's charred foot as she hangs next his son. The memory of this scene will return twice at significant emotional points in the film. When Maximus first fights in the Colosseum and is asked by Commodus to remove his helmet, he first turns his back, and then when the demand is repeated, even through the helmet you can see the conflict and expectancy going through Maximus' eyes. The moment when he turns, his face revealed, and glares at the emperor, is pure cinematic gold. "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." The final memory of the murder scene is in the final gladiatorial stand-off between Maximus and the emperor, when as an emotional bait, Commodus tells Maximus coldly that, "they tell me your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife... moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again and again... and again." To Maximus' credit, he doesn't rise to the bait, and simply defies the emperor once more, leaving the colosseum to the chants to his name.

Which brings me to one of the finest aspects of Gladiator. Hans Zimmer's score. It's one of the best bits of the Pirates trilogy (even if, or perhaps because, it sounds a lot like the Gladiator music.) Zimmer can be samey, but in Gladiator he wrote his masterpiece. Every theme works perfectly, surrounding the narrative, lifting it, caressing it, becoming a character in its own right. In one particular scene as Maximus leaves the gladiatorial ring, the music is in perfect harmony with the chanting of the crowds, as they shout 'Maximus! Maximus! Maximus!'. It's a perfect blending of music and action.

While Crowe is on top form here, and fully deserving of his Academy Award, Joaquin Phoenix deserves a mention as well. When I first watched Gladiator I really did not like Phoenix. I found his acting petulant, annoying, childish. Only on the fifth or sixth viewing (I've seen it many, many times) did I suddenly realise that it's not Phoenix that is those things, but the character, and I realised how good an actor he was. I physically dislike the character, and so it should be. His whining is childish - "But none of my virtues were on your list" - and it serves to contrast him with Maximus. Oliver Reed, in his final role, is clearly having fun with his role as Proximo, the gladiator trainer. "You sold me queer giraffes." Richard Harris lends the film some old school class as Marcus Aurelius, the emperor who has forgotten why Rome is fighting. Djimon Hounsou is also particularly notable as Juba, who delivers the final line 'Not yet, not yet' with a smile on his face.

From the first battle scene, we know this is going to be something special. Here Scott's camerawork and visuals perfectly complement the story. The quieter scenes after the battle serve to further accentuate the viciousness of the gladiatorial battles, and the relative civility of Rome (physically, if not politically) contrasts with the 'provinces' and their brutality. This is a film of contrasts; not just those previously mentioned, but the colour palettes - the blues of Germania, and the yellows of Rome - the emotions, the characters. Every aspect comes together to form one of Scott's finest films, and indeed one of the greatest films of the last millennium*. It is arguable whether Scott has bettered this film since, but while he was robbed of the directorial Academy Award, he should be proud of what he achieved. One of the greatest swords and sandals epics ever made.


(* [pedant] Gladiator was released in 2000, which against popular opinion was actually the final year of the last millennium. Just because everybody celebrated a year early, doesn't make it true. This millennium actually started in Jan 1st, 2001.[/pedant] )


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 137
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 28/3/2008 12:05:13 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8788
Joined: 13/4/2006
G.I Janes isn't that bad, Demi Moores best ever performance anyone?

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 138
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 28/3/2008 1:23:31 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
After directing a film that represents pure boredom and another that represents pure shiteness, suddenly Ridley Scott comes back with a great film. It is not very complex in plot, yes, and at the end it is just a revenge drama based in roman times, it is quite inaccurate(but nowhere as annoyingly so as in 300 or Braveheart), and the Rome looks like New York(the best Rome has to belong to Spartacus). But what a film it is. Engaging, touching, wonderfully scored, it was epic revenge drama. Scott's best film of the decade.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 139
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 28/3/2008 2:22:19 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

After directing a film that represents pure boredom

Disagree!
quote:

and another that represents pure shiteness

Disagree!
quote:

suddenly Ridley Scott comes back with a great film.It is not very complex in plot, yes, and at the end it is just a revenge drama based in roman times, it is quite inaccurate(but nowhere as annoyingly so as in 300 or Braveheart), and the Rome looks like New York(the best Rome has to belong to Spartacus).
But what a film it is. Engaging, touching, wonderfully scored, it was epic revenge drama.

Agree! Especially the bit about Spartacus!
quote:

Scott's best film of the decade.

Agree! Assuming you mean the decade 1991-2000. If you mean 2000-present, then I disagree.


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 140
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/3/2008 9:55:30 AM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8788
Joined: 13/4/2006
Yes as epics go Gladetors one of the best  A what fine last ever performance by Oilver Reed!  I remember seeing it in the cinema and it was quite an experience.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 141
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/3/2008 11:00:36 AM   
Chris66


Posts: 1591
Joined: 14/8/2007
From: Brighton, UK
I would say Gladiator is my 3rd favourite Scott film after Blade Runner and then Alien which is my favourite.

< Message edited by Chris66 -- 29/3/2008 11:01:24 AM >


_____________________________

"We just wanted to say we're a big fan of your work. When it comes to killing Nazis... I think you show great talent. And I pride myself on having an eye for that kind of talent. Your status as a Nazi killer is... still amateur. We all come here to see if you wanna go pro... '"







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Post #: 142
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 31/3/2008 1:37:50 AM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

The one many have been waiting for...



**contains spoilers - but, come on, who hasn't seen this?!**

I still remember the posters being up at the local cinema with the various (over)quoted lines - "On my signal, unleash hell", or "What we do in life, echoes in eternity", and the lines still send a shiver down my spine. Gladiator is, simply put, one of the finest epics created. It is both vicious and beautiful; dirty and sublime. One of the taglines most neatly sums up the film: The general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, the gladiator who defied an emperor. The simplistic story is shot through with the more complex political movements of Rome at the time, however historically inaccurate they may be. Here is a film not concerned with point-scoring with the historians, but with those craving cinematic excellence; the latter are not disappointed.

After a trio of less-than-brilliantly-received films, people would be forgiven that Scott's star, as they say, had faded. the director of Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma & Louise, had apparently gone to seed. With Gladiator he not only resurrected his own career, but also the missing, presumed dead swords and sandals genre. (As a side note, it is interesting that Spartacus, with which this shares many parallels, is directed by my favourite director, Kubrick.) It also paired Scott with actor Russell Crowe, with whom he has made two more films (one questionable, although I have yet to see it, and one brilliant) with Nottingham in pre-production. This first pairing is, thus far, the best I have seen, and Crowe is rightly the big draw for this film. An action-centric role, this could easily have been portrayed by an actor of the Schwarzenegger variety. What Crowe brings to the role, other than an impressive physique (remember, he had piled on the pounds for his previous film The Insider and trimmed down for Gladiator) is a quality of acting that allows pathos to permeate the film. The sequence where he rides to unsuccessfully beat the troops sent to murder his wife and child is a masterpiece in tragic inevitability. He is wounded, tired, and desperate. As the troops devastatingly trample his son, we are at least spared the visual impact of what happened, seeing it all through Maximus' eyes as he kisses his dead wife's charred foot as she hangs next his son. The memory of this scene will return twice at significant emotional points in the film. When Maximus first fights in the Colosseum and is asked by Commodus to remove his helmet, he first turns his back, and then when the demand is repeated, even through the helmet you can see the conflict and expectancy going through Maximus' eyes. The moment when he turns, his face revealed, and glares at the emperor, is pure cinematic gold. "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." The final memory of the murder scene is in the final gladiatorial stand-off between Maximus and the emperor, when as an emotional bait, Commodus tells Maximus coldly that, "they tell me your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife... moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again and again... and again." To Maximus' credit, he doesn't rise to the bait, and simply defies the emperor once more, leaving the colosseum to the chants to his name.

Which brings me to one of the finest aspects of Gladiator. Hans Zimmer's score. It's one of the best bits of the Pirates trilogy (even if, or perhaps because, it sounds a lot like the Gladiator music.) Zimmer can be samey, but in Gladiator he wrote his masterpiece. Every theme works perfectly, surrounding the narrative, lifting it, caressing it, becoming a character in its own right. In one particular scene as Maximus leaves the gladiatorial ring, the music is in perfect harmony with the chanting of the crowds, as they shout 'Maximus! Maximus! Maximus!'. It's a perfect blending of music and action.

While Crowe is on top form here, and fully deserving of his Academy Award, Joaquin Phoenix deserves a mention as well. When I first watched Gladiator I really did not like Phoenix. I found his acting petulant, annoying, childish. Only on the fifth or sixth viewing (I've seen it many, many times) did I suddenly realise that it's not Phoenix that is those things, but the character, and I realised how good an actor he was. I physically dislike the character, and so it should be. His whining is childish - "But none of my virtues were on your list" - and it serves to contrast him with Maximus. Oliver Reed, in his final role, is clearly having fun with his role as Proximo, the gladiator trainer. "You sold me queer giraffes." Richard Harris lends the film some old school class as Marcus Aurelius, the emperor who has forgotten why Rome is fighting. Djimon Hounsou is also particularly notable as Juba, who delivers the final line 'Not yet, not yet' with a smile on his face.

From the first battle scene, we know this is going to be something special. Here Scott's camerawork and visuals perfectly complement the story. The quieter scenes after the battle serve to further accentuate the viciousness of the gladiatorial battles, and the relative civility of Rome (physically, if not politically) contrasts with the 'provinces' and their brutality. This is a film of contrasts; not just those previously mentioned, but the colour palettes - the blues of Germania, and the yellows of Rome - the emotions, the characters. Every aspect comes together to form one of Scott's finest films, and indeed one of the greatest films of the last millennium*. It is arguable whether Scott has bettered this film since, but while he was robbed of the directorial Academy Award, he should be proud of what he achieved. One of the greatest swords and sandals epics ever made.


(* [pedant] Gladiator was released in 2000, which against popular opinion was actually the final year of the last millennium. Just because everybody celebrated a year early, doesn't make it true. This millennium actually started in Jan 1st, 2001.[/pedant] )



Damn right! although I'd just leave out the swords and sandals bit, and have one of the greatest films ever.

That picture you use just showcases the excellent cinematography of the film, in an almost black and white, it is a magnificent scene and beautifully shot. Like the rest of the film, which is masterfully shot. Its a fantastic score, and a truly great ending, and builds up to a fantastic climax, as opposed to a fizzle.  Your review is brilliant, and completely true.

It's better than blade runner.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rawlinson

Swords is right about everything.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

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Post #: 143
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 31/3/2008 9:56:35 AM   
shool


Posts: 10221
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
I thought G.I Jane was fine. It was entertaining and managed to succeed in what it set out to achieve.

Gladiator is an outstanding classic and is one of my favourites. A great review homer.


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Post #: 144
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 31/3/2008 12:28:37 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8788
Joined: 13/4/2006
Yes agreed, I'd probely place it fouth in my list of Ridleys Films, although I have a soft spot for Matchstick Men of which I can't wait for Homers review.

(in reply to shool)
Post #: 145
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/4/2008 3:01:41 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
Totally amazing film; one with a special place in my heart - it helped me to break through depression! - and remains the film for which I went to the cinema to watch the most times (11 viewings).  It somehow managed to capture the scale and grandeur of Rome, whist simultaneously revealing the turgid darkness lying just beneath the surface, as well as pointing out the brutal nature of living in that era.  I totally agree with your review Homer, except for the Zimmer part - I rate his score for this film as one of his best, definitely; however several bars and minor background melodies cropped up in his previous scores, most notably his 'Strength and Honor' theme which appeared, albeit more plaintively, in The Thin Red Line.

Hugely enjoyable film overall, which manages to pull at ones emotions exactly to where the story needs the audience to be, played out by a quite frankly amazing cast.  On top of Crowe, Phoenix, Honsou, Reed and Harris, Connie Nielsen's Lucilla deserves a shout out, providing an all-important pillar of strength for the film, specifically as the emotional counter to Commodus in the more political scenes, as well as reliably strong support from Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel, David Schofield.  Spencer Treat Clark proved that there were great child actors of the time not named Osment.

There are so many praises I could lay on this film (ignoring the historical inaccuracies) that I could babble on for hours, so I'll just leave it with the opinion that Gladiator is - by far - the greatest of all the latter day 'blood and thunder' epics.  The extended edition is a worthy entry to the canon too, although the added scenes do little to flesh out the characters and story beyond what is in the original cut, they still match in perfectly with equally strong performances and Scott's stylish cinematography.

PS - No need to pedant - it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who refused to celebrate the Millennium a year early - ergo, this is Scott's best film of the Nineties.


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Post #: 146
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/4/2008 8:53:22 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: dracovir

I totally agree with your review Homer, except for the Zimmer part - I rate his score for this film as one of his best, definitely; however several bars and minor background melodies cropped up in his previous scores, most notably his 'Strength and Honor' theme which appeared, albeit more plaintively, in The Thin Red Line.


quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq
Zimmer can be samey, but in Gladiator he wrote his masterpiece.


Aye, that was what that comment was - Pirates was very, very similar too. Nice to know it had such a positive effect on you!

[A fellow pedant! We must band together else the world will be lost in grammatical, typographical , and chronological inaccuracies! ]


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Post #: 147
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/4/2008 12:09:16 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

quote:

After directing a film that represents pure boredom

Disagree!
quote:

and another that represents pure shiteness

Disagree!
quote:

suddenly Ridley Scott comes back with a great film.It is not very complex in plot, yes, and at the end it is just a revenge drama based in roman times, it is quite inaccurate(but nowhere as annoyingly so as in 300 or Braveheart), and the Rome looks like New York(the best Rome has to belong to Spartacus).
But what a film it is. Engaging, touching, wonderfully scored, it was epic revenge drama.

Agree! Especially the bit about Spartacus!
quote:

Scott's best film of the decade.

Agree! Assuming you mean the decade 1991-2000. If you mean 2000-present, then I disagree.



Both, but I haven't seen American Gangster and Kingdom of Heaven DC.

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ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 148
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/4/2008 10:23:09 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20120
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I'd agree that it is his best film in the 90s and in the 00s, if it weren't for that DC of Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, I'm thinking that, even tho I reviewed it towards the end of last year in the mini-review thread, I'll re-review it here anyway, just because I love it so much, rather than just cut and paste.



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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

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Post #: 149
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/4/2008 11:37:14 PM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
I still don't really feel enthusiastic about watching Kingdom of Heaven DC, the TC was just really dull, and it just paled in comparisons to other epics.......like Troy .

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 150
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