ep 108 | Gladiator (2000) November 20, 2017 Director
Ridley Scott Stars
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris
The guys head back in time to the glorious Roman-Aussie empire to do battle alongside Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's 2000 film, Gladiator. The film follows a general who became a slave, a slave who became a gladiator, a gladiator who probably never told a joke in his life, Maximus Decimus Meridius as he attempts to thwart the purely evil Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and lay the smackdown on CGI tigers alongside tag team partner Juba (Djimon Hounsou). Though the film is largely gratuitous action, it took home Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and the Bit Players try to reconcile how the film holds up with the incredibly high praise it received at the time, thinking about how it would be received were it released today. After all, the only things keeping this movie from feeling a lot like 300 are dynamic Richard Harris and Oliver Reed performances. The discussion on Gladiator becomes a bit of a reckoning as it slowly dawns on the group that this movie, though totally badass, just might not be that good.
The guys embark on an epic journey, perhaps the most epic journey in the history of cinema, with Peter Jackson'sThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The imaginings of J.R.R. Tolkien were brought to life for a whole new generation of fans (the Bit Players included) in 2001, and the films still stand the test of time. Perhaps it's the nature of the storytelling on display here, with Middle Earth as the setting for the ultimate tale of good and evil. The guys also prep themselves for a journey of this magnitude by picking their road trip essential items and their preference for the leader of their own Fellowship.