Episode 108: Gladiator (2000)

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.

Gladiator (2000)
Director
Ridley Scott
Stars
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris

Selected By
The Bit Players

4.4

Aired Monday, November 20, 2017

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.

Featuring "Now We Are Free" by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard

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Top 10 Films of 2016

2016 was another great year in movies. From the low-budget indie flicks that made major waves like Hell or High Water and Don’t Breathe to the massive super hero epics like Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, it was another year with a little something for everyone in the Bit Players. There were memorable songs, memorable characters, memorable moments all across the board. There were laughs, tears, frights, and action. It seems like every year gets better and better to be a movie fan as the ability to make a film reaches more and more creative fingertips, and 2016 was no exception. Bit Player favorites like Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers delivered more of the same greatness we’ve come to expect, but newcomers like Robert Eggers and the continually impressive Jeremy Saulnier firmly placed themselves on the “to watch” list with their 2016 entries. Read below to find out everything we loved about this year, including best films, acting performances, music, scenes, writing, cinematography, and more.

Aired Monday, February 27, 2017

2016 was another great year in movies. From the low-budget indie flicks that made major waves like Hell or High Water and Don't Breathe to the massive super hero epics like Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, it was another year with a little something for everyone in the Bit Players. There were memorable songs, memorable characters, memorable moments all across the board. There were laughs, tears, frights, and action. It seems like every year gets better and better to be a movie fan as the ability to make a film reaches more and more creative fingertips, and 2016 was no exception. Bit Player favorites like Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers delivered more of the same greatness we've come to expect, but newcomers like Robert Eggers and the continually impressive Jeremy Saulnier firmly placed themselves on the "to watch" list with their 2016 entries. Read below to find out everything we loved about this year, including best films, acting performances, music, scenes, writing, cinematography, and more.