In this movie from Ridley Scott, Russel Crowe plays Maximus Decimus Meridius, a successful Roman general who is loved by his troops and is chosen by Marcus Aurelius to become the new Caesar as Marcus believes his son Commodus is not fit for the job. When Commodus hears this, he gets furious and kills his father. When afterwards Maximus does not want to pledge loyalty towards Commodus but instead wants to retire from the army and return to his family in the country, Commodus accuses Maximus of killing his father and sentenses him to death.
Maximus escapes but when he returns home, he finds his wife and child killed by soldiers from Commodus. Completely in despair, Crowe starts wandering around and gets captured by slave traders who sell him to an organiser of gladiator games. Being very well-trained as a soldier, Maximus learns the tricks of the trade of the Gladiator games and really fast grows out to one of the most popular people in the Arena. His success reaches Rome and he gets invited to play at the Gladiator games in Rome where he again faces Commodus.
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is extremely good with a sharpness which is sometimes even too sharp as aliasing effects can be seen from time to time. The anamorphic view in 2.35:1 shows the movie in its original form with a very good contrast and good details even in the dark corners of the screen.
Next to Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 kpbs bitrate) we can also enjoy the film with DTS sound which is superb To make things even better, the 5.1 track has an extra rear center channel (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) and on the DTS ES track, we get a bitrate of 768 kpbs which gives it an even better dimension than the already great 5.1 track.
Gladiator is a 2-disc set filled with extras. On the first dvd, we get an audio commentary from Ridley Scott, the director of photography and the editor who all give some interesting background information.
The second disc is where most of the extras are to be found. 11 deleted scenes (with or without commentary), “Making of” documentary, Historical Background documentary (50 minutes), documentary on Hans Zimmer who composed the music for Gladiator, actors diary, storyboards, pictures, trailers and TV-spots. Almost everything is subtitled which is also a nice feature.
Gladiator was a box office hit, and also the DVD of the movie sells well. This is one of those DVD’s which you cannot go without if you’re thinking of making a collection.