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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Gladiator (1992)
Gladiator (1992)
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Not to be confused with this year's Russell Crowe film, this is actually a 1992 boxing movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film starts off a little slowly, then gradually builds energy and intensity and matches it with some good performances. The film stars James Marshall (who?) as a young man who finds himself alone in an inner city school where some of the other students aren't too friendly.

In an attempt to get his father out of gambling debts, he starts boxing at the local underground fights, where a promoter (Brian Dennehy) keeps pulling him into the ring, even after he doesn't like what he sees with the ring's unfair and illegal ways.

Much of the tale involves elements that we've seen before in sports films, but I think that (somewhat like "Rudy"), the performances and screenplay sell the situations and makes them, if not slightly fresher, at least more believable than usual. Performances from Marshall and an early performance from Gooding, Jr are both quite engaging and entertaining. "Gladiator" starts off slowly, but the final product as a whole was better than I'd expected.


The DVD

VIDEO: Tristar does the best they can with the film, but still some faults are apparent with the picture quality. There is some slight grain visible now and then, and light shimmering once or twice in the picture. Makrs on the print used can be seen briefly now and then, but this is a pretty limited problem. At 9 years of age, the main problem is the fact that the picture is begining to show slight signs of age.

Otherwise, the picture isn't that bad in other elements. Sharpness and detail aren't too bad, and often are pleasing. Clarity is slightly lacking in the film's darker scenes, which sometimes seem mildly murky. Colors aren't very bold in the film, and often the sets and situations call for an intentionally subdued color palette. Not the most visually enjoyable movie, but it gets a generally fine presentation here, with only a few minor bumps.

SOUND: The Dolby Surround audio isn't too bad; it's not particularly active for the most part, but it does come alive with crowd noise during some of the sequences in the boxing ring. The other main contender in the audio arena for the film is the music, which is some rap music and occasional addiitonal score from composer Brad Fidel("Terminator 2"). Dialogue is easily heard, although not always completely clear.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds..

EXTRAS:: Trailers for "Jerry Maguire", "As Good as It Gets" and "Boyz in the Hood" and talent files.

Final Thoughts: The DVD does have some issues, but the film is still entertaining enough for fans of sports films that it's recommended.

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