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Evidently an ancient Roman word meaning n. Man-God with burly legs and a handsome jaw line. itl. Molto bello uomo. -EM



Thank you, lord, for Russell Crowe. It's been a long time since a real 100% man walked out off the celluloid and into your eyeballs. He's like Marlon Brando before the accidental swallowing of a VW beetle

Did you now back before Jerry Springer, or the WWF... and way back before late night American Gladiator they had a carnage sport where men (women and dwarfs actually too) really battled each other to the death to the sick glee thousands of sadistic spectators? They were called "professional fighters" aka gladiators.

But they didn't fight for some tacky heavy faux gold belt and the love of a mini-waisted double D implanted bimbo named Bobby-Jo, no. These lowly warriors fought for their lives (insert the da da dumm theme here please).

Well, our hero Maximus (Mr. Russell "Meow, mate" Crowe) is a great general and favored by the current Caesar, Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard "Camelot" Harris). He's also ill fated to become one of these poor devils, a gladiator.

See, Caesar's gelatinous spined son, Commodus (Joaquin "Didn't get the looks in the family —but I got the talent" Phoenix), is all bent into a full question mark when his father, whilst dying, proclaims Maximus is ten times the man he'd ever be...Well, to that affect. Therefore it is the Emperor's wish is Maximus rule Rome...not whimpy snivelling momma's boy Commodus.

Natch, Commodus immediately werewolfs on nobel Maximus and the story starts to evolve.

I think you see the turn of events coming. Revenge in the hands of a raving lunatic with a name two letters off from commode is pretty sh(&ty in any century let alone when tigers mauling beefcake was an "in" sport.

Gladiator's story is classic. Very Shakespeare with interwoven incestual threads, family conniving, a smidge of backstabbing, and of course those low treacherous hums a buzz through the marble walls. And in the middle of the mayhem, a hero. A rock of unswerving morals and virtues, this is Maximus. Sniff...snort.

Cinematically, I felt like I'd been thrown back into the epic era of film making. Why, it could have been Charlton "Chew" Heston up there or Richard " Just a wee drink for the road " Burton. Instead of one of Hollywood's best and hardest working actors- Crowe. Finally, a talented actor breaks through the mass of cute and trendy buttocks and emerges victorious.

Anywho, even with the fore mentioned stud (Crowe) , evil nemesis' and diabolical storylines, there is even more wonderfulness thrown in ...You get Oliver Reed as master of the gladiators Proximo! Enjoy.

Yes, the violence got a touch nauseating -but, I may just be being a girly-girl. The style of edit was unusual and interesting. The cinematography looked rich and golden. Get out and see it.

Snack recommendation: Tiger Tar Tar

Starring: Russell Crowe Joaquin Phoenix , Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi , Djimon Hounsou Tomas Arana and Tommy Flanagan.

Directed by Ridley Scott

More On That Who Is Known As, Russell



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