Summer Stupidity: GLADIATOR (Media Review!)
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Summer Stupidity: GLADIATOR (Media Review!)

Gladiator is a movie about exactly what you expect. None of it is accurate, but all of it is awesome. Our story follows Russell Crowe as the totally made up general Maximus, commanding in Germania, because he loves Rome as much as he loves his very much still alive wife and son. His best buddy is the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, an old and well-meaning but incredibly short-sighted father figure, who loves Rome as much as he ignores his son. He thinks that making Maximus the next emperor in order to restore the Roman Republic is such a good idea, that he is genuinely shocked when his inferiority complex-riddled son, Commodus, does not take this news very well. He is further surprised when Commodus proceeds to murder the hell out of him. Commodus remains hyper-unstable, but is also now the Emperor, wherein he lights and throwing games in the arena, scheming to abolish the Senate and banging his sister. This veritable disaster trio was effectively Imperial Rome in a nutshell. After winning the last battle against the Germanic hordes to secure eternal peace and prosperity for Rome, General Maximus finds himself on the receiving end of attempted murder by the usurping Emperor Commodus. He then rides halfway across continental Europe to find his family for real murdered, passes out and wakes up in North Africa as a slave. He’s bought by a former gladiator turned slaver, and stirs up the local gladiatorial scene, by being extremely good at killing people. This is punctuated by several interludes in Rome, where Commodus finds that the Senators like him just as much as his father did, which is to say not at all. So he and the supporting cast debate politics for a third of the run time, as I plugged my ears and looked the other way because why are they arguing about the Republic, they settled this two centuries ago? Stop shoving early Caesarian power struggles into my High Imperial death arena! *sigh* And speaking of, it’s only a matter of time before Maximus and his gang of gladiators get express ships to Rome in their quest to buy their freedom and/or murder the pants off of the Emperor. Watch as the protagonist keeps winning battles so handily that he’s invited to meet the Emperor himself and proceeds to talk smack right to his face. This infuriates Commodus, as he apparently equates his political ambitions with the performance of what is effectively one entertainer. Just stop giving Maximus fights. It’s not that hard! Maximus, not concerned whether he lives or dies, and determined to do everything in his power to ruin the Emperor’s day, makes plans for a coup, (which fail) and he’s thrown into the arena for one last fight against the Emperor himself. They trade one liners and a knife to the abdomen Commodus cheats some more, but our boy still manages to kill the tyrant in the end He decrees that Rome is to be remade a republic, moments before also hitting the deck. The third casualty of this fight is apparently historical realism, but don’t think about that for too too long, because just look at this ending shot. Gorgeous. The opening battle sequence is a very solid illustration of just how one-sided Roman conquest was. And even though the plot is a little all over the place, the setting is just killer from start to stop. Honestly, the best non-arena parts of this movie are all the scenes where the literal Emperor of Rome just keeps failing repeatedly at making one pesky gladiator die and proceeding to get absolutely infuriated about it. It is so immensely satisfying to watch. The costumes all look great, and the final fight scene is super cool because Commodus is dressed like a marble statue and I totally dig that. Overall I’d give this movie an 8 out of 10. Come for the patricide, stay for the sick-ass helmets

100 thoughts on “Summer Stupidity: GLADIATOR (Media Review!)

  1. "None of it is accurate."
    "This is effectively Imperial Rome in a nutshell."
    So…a huge part of the plot is accurate then? Also, even two centuries later, the Senate was plotting to increase their power and minimize the emperors. More than a few emperors found themselves at the wrong end of a Praetorian sword on orders of the Senate (or one guy in the Senate). Also, how is this similar to Caesar? I'm only being nit-picky because you emphasized this stuff so much. Gladiator has plenty of inaccuracies, but you focused on some odd ones…

  2. 0:49 He grabs the sword by the blade. Don't think something this dull was going to kill you very well buddy

  3. Fun fact the movie originally was supposed to have a scene with the gladiators doing product promos but that was cut as it seemed too unrealistic but turns out was TOTALLY realistic. 🙂

  4. Red, Blue, whoever is currently doing Classics Summarized,
    I will gladly send you my entire venetian mask collection if you just pleas summarize Candide. Attempted to read the simplified wiki through earlier and my eyes kept sliding off the words till I closed the page. PLEASE?

  5. Please do a Trope Talk for the Traumatic Past, Edgy, Suffering Character i.e Sasuke Uchiha, Prince Zuko, Lapis Lazuli types

  6. "This infuriates Commodus as he apparently ,equates his political ambitions with the performance of one entertainer"


  7. I HATED Gladiator because of the liberties it takes with history, though it's been many years since I watched it.

  8. I kinda look at Gladiator as a sort of Classical Roman History-flavored Popsicle.

    I mean, it tastes almost exactly like Roman history without any of the nutrition of real history… just some empty calories. Great on a hot day, a fine snack, but we don't want to mistake it for an actual Caesar salad. (I regret nothing, do you hear? NOTHING.)

  9. Last time I was this early but also late, I ended up mixing early caesarian power struggles into my highly imperial death arena

  10. I'd love to see you guys review "The Crucible" with Winona Ryder. Historical fiction and literary tropes in one film!

  11. They missed a huge chance not shaking history up a little more and making Derek Jacobi play Emperor Claudius in this movie.

  12. Before Crowe got grossly fat and Phoenix became the Joker. Wish it was 2000 again and we could have a redo from there.

  13. Having a bunch of people who think it's a great idea to bring back the Republic centuries into the empire is such an amusing intrusion of modern values into historical storytelling. That ship had sailed a looooooong time hence.


    -aaaand yes I will read the Journey to the west myself still looking for the books tho

  15. Am I the only one who thinks this movie is overrated?

    I loved the soundtrack but the story was so damn predictable, and most of the characters were caricatures of stereotypes.

  16. What the Emperor wants to bang his sister? Dang son. oh, He also wants to make his horse the senator too. Gods dammit we have another defective model somebody call in a Flavian and add a sprinkling of Pax Romana.

  17. Me finding out Blue made a Gladiator review: Finally they did that, hopefully it will be goo-

  18. I can't let you get away from this without mentioning the soundtrack. Lisa Gerrard's voice is an awesome part of this movie's music.

  19. No mention of how absolutely awful the filming of the action sequences was? 90% of the time you can't tell what the frack is happening because of the constant jump cuts and shaky cam.

  20. Gladiator is pretty much like Amadeus. Aesthetically beautiful, wonderful music, zero imparciality. Both Commodus and Sallieri deserve more than this.

  21. Maximus at the death bed: "I have one wish. Make Rome great…..I mean republic again!"
    Romans: "Of course. No more fighting, no more killing. The rule of the people it is!"
    Maximus: "I am happy to hear that…."

    15 seconds later:


  22. Too short. All of the videos that have been posted for almost two months are less than 3 minutes long. I think we would all prefer to wait longer between videos rather than get frequent 3 minute video uploads

  23. Gladiator actually did get a few things correct. Commodus actually did fight in the Colosseum in rigged fights, claimed to be the son of Heracles, and there was a rumor/fable his sister tried to have him assassinated with the help of a gladiator she was supposedly banging. Take all that and throw in the anachronistic Empire vs Republic bit (which is the most nominally-educated people will know about Rome) and you get Gladiator.

  24. Could you do history of Indus please? I love your videos by the way. It’s really helping me in World History!! 💖❤️

  25. Reason 1 and 2 this is my favourite YouTube channel
    1. "Stop shoving early Ceaserian power struggles into my High Imperial death arena!!"
    2. "Come for the patricide, stay for the sick-ass helmets."

  26. I just discovered this channel like a day ago and I fell in love. Keep up the good work. Blue keep being lovable and Red keep singing to us it’s beautiful. ☯️

  27. I was so confused at the title ‘summer stupidity’, because I forgot that Americans still have their summer vacation 🙁

  28. ‘Gladiator’ is one of those films that I often don’t think about putting on, but, whenever I stumble across it on TV, I have to watch it to the end.

    It’s got an incredible ensemble cast, like “sword and sandals” epics of yore: Oliver Reed is particularly fantastic, and it’s a shame he died during the filming.
    It’s also got a phenomenal, evocative score/soundtrack, that just caps the whole thing off beautifully.

  29. first five seconds is all your really need to hear, none of it's accurate, but all of it's awesome, like one of ym favorite movies braveheart hides behind the couch

  30. I sometimes enjoy your quippy stark ass endings but wonder if you shouldn't have sung Fields of Gold at the end…or employed Red to do so; although I know how tough it is for your animated avatar peeps to share screen time. I give this review a 9.75 out of 10.😉

  31. Gladiator is pretty indicative of Ridley Scott's historical films: they are absolute shite for accuracy in actual historical events, but amazing in portraying the culture, lifestyle, and all of the otherwise "background" elements of the time period.

  32. I'm part of a gladiatorial reenactment group of a roman museum and this film is just the worst for us. Yes it's entertaining but also nothing is historically accurate and it really shaped peoples ideas about gladiatorial combat (which actually was highly regulated duell between two professionally trained fighters with standardised equipment). It's incredible how many times we get asked questions that lead back to the tropes in this film.

  33. it was amazing reading up on the historical Commodus and finding out that, if anything, the Gladiator version toned him down to 1/100th of his actual antics and personality

  34. Would have been better as a sword and sorcery type fantasy or alternate history (seriously why aren't more movies alternate history movies especially if they are going to run roughshod over history?) then as a supposedly historical fiction.

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