Sunday, December 1, 2019

#31: How do I start this list?

Boom! Fucking Gladiator! (2000) That's how.


So I needed a movie that was an I'm Not a Pretentious Movie Guy, but I Also Have Spent the Entirety of My Life Obsessing About Movies kinda movie. So yeah, Gladiator. Where do I even start with this one? Shall it be the absolute spectacular year for movies that was The Year 2000. (Spoiler there will be more movies on the list from this amazing year.) Shall it be Joaquin Phoenix's stellar performance as the fucking terrifying Commodus? A small look into the jaw dropping talent of the century's best actor (Lukewarm Takes!) Or shall it be until I was like 29 I cried at the end of this movie every time I watched it? Which is dozens. Seriously when Dijmon Hounsou buries The Spaniards' toy and says "I will see you again."


This shit is like my Steel Magnolias 

Let's talk about Russell Crowe. Crowe is so damn good in this. To borrow a phrase from Bill Simmons I think it might be his Apex Mountain. He's never been higher than this. Yes I see you in the back A Beautiful Mind  truthers. Shut up. The raw anger he holds throughout the entirety of the film is just perfect for him. It suits him better than this Commodus fit from the movies dramatic climax.


Fucking Baller

You remember that whole "Am I Not Merciful?" scene that Phoenix has? If aliens ever make first contact and I am charged with putting together a sizzle reel of earths greatest acting achievements to show them, It's just gonna be that scene on repeat for 25 minutes. Cue Lights, Lower Curtain. Welcome to Earth bitches.




The real testament to this movie isn't that it won 5 Oscars, (Nominated for 7 more) Or the 4 BAFTAs, or  even the 2 Globes. It didn't win any Saturn Awards, (Fuck You Saturn Awards) Its that for the last 20 years its been on TNT twice a day, every day, forever. Like go to TNT right now, I bet its either Law and Order SVU, Or its Gladiator. And I watch it, or part of it, every time. 

Quick story. My mom actually went with me to the theater to watch this when it came out. As I was only 13 and couldn't see it alone. If you knew my Mom, holy shit, this was like a big deal. My mom was Fire and Brimstone. She is still convinced I'm going to hell and reminds me often, So the fact that she was taking me to a Rated R Movie was about the coolest shit I could have asked her to do. She definitely took it in stride, even if she prayed for me after it was over, but I'll always remember this as the first time my mom endorsed me watching a kick ass, violent, beautiful movie. An adult movie. I hope she knows I appreciated it. 

Fucking great movie and number 31 on the list.




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