Tuesday, August 02, 2005

New Gladiator "Directors Cut" offers spirited Crowe Commentary

Entertainment News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "Crowe makes his debut as a DVD commentator, looking back at the globe-trotting production with his pal and director Ridley Scott. Their talk is spirited and informative, light on Roman history and heavy on location war stories. The men seem to be having a great time, especially when busting on co-star 'Joaq' Phoenix, a nervous Nellie during filming.

Crowe rides Scott about his late-in-the-game decision to have the hero Maximus killed off: 'It's cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. Great idea, mate! We could have been on 'Gladiator 10' by now.'

Scott points out some of the new footage, which adds 17 minutes to the film. 'People who have enjoyed this movie in its short form, they're going to like the hell out of this.'

The new-to-DVD extras sprawl across discs 2 and 3. Among the best is a new documentary that somehow manages not to drag over its three-hour running time. A must-see chapter is 'The Heat of the Battle,' about staging the warfare. It captures Scott making battlefield decisions: 'I need something really brutal. Chop his fucking head off.'

A 25-minute segment covers the curious tale of Oliver Reed, who died three weeks before the end of production. The visual effects team shows how their digital resurrection of the actor averted $26 million in reshoots.

This "extended edition" DVD will be available August 23.

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