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Gladiator 20th Anniversary Steelbook (UHD Blu-ray) review

Gladiator 20th Anniversary Steelbook (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: June 14, 2020, 10:35:41 AM »
https://i.imgur.com/FxOjCkm.jpg
Gladiator 20th Anniversary Steelbook (UHD Blu-ray) review


Studio: Paramount     
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Rating: R
Film: 5/5

Plot
Before his death, Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) designated General Maximus Meridas (Russell Crowe) as successor to the Roman throne. When his son, the deranged and insecure Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), hears of the plan, the son decides to secure his own right to the throne by ensuring his father dies in his arms and then dispatching the beloved general to the afterlife. Narrowly escaping death, Maximus rushes home to Spain to find his wife and son weren't so fortunate. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Maximus works his way back to Rome as a gladiator hell-bent on vengeance. 

My Thoughts
Gladiator has a interesting past when it comes to home video release. The DVD was amazing with its DTS-ES 6.1 soundtrack, which I used a demo for years for the “Unleash Hell” segment. When it finally arrived on Blu-ray, it was a mess as the debut title of Paramount’s Sapphire Series. The release was plagued with edge enhancement and lack of high-frequency detail. It was so bad that arrows would disappear in mid-air in the scene referenced above. Fortunately, a year later in 2010, Paramount remastered the disc and it pleased fans.

This the second release in 4K for the film, although other than the Steelbook packaging, it’s exactly the same as the release two years ago, which is a good thing since it’s hard to improve a nearly perfect disc. The film has many different looks from the gray coolness of the Bavarian forests, the dry landscapes of Spain, and the golden hues of Rome. All come across quite well and while the HDR effects are mild compared to many modern films. I watched the film in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision (using the Dolby Vision “trick” with a HD Fury device). Both looked excellent in both bright and low-light scenes.

The DTS:X audio track is just as impressive as it has always been. The overheads are used to good effect, especially during the opening battle and the gladiator sequences and takes an already impressive soundtrack and improves upon it.


Video 9. 5/10

Audio 9.5/10 (DTS:X)

Special Features:

Blu-ray:
·        Theatrical + Extended Version of the Film
·        Commentaries
·        Visions of Elysium: Topic Portal
·        Strength and Honor: Creating the World of Gladiator
·        Image and Design
·        Abandoned Sequences & Deleted Scenes
·        The Aurellian Archives
·        Blu-ray + Digital Copy




Conclusion
With 12 Academy Award nominations and five wins, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe, Gladiator is one of my favorite films of this century. The screenplay by David H. Franzoni is a conventional tale of revenge, but the phenomenal cast takes what could have been some cheesy dialog and gives it emotional depth and feeling. I’ve been adding more and more Steelbooks to my movie collection and I have to say that the image of Crowe in battle is very impressive and will look mighty fine in my rack. Recommended for fans.

 
Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels

ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Gladiator 20th Anniversary Steelbook (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 01:56:33 PM »
Great movie, and they did a fine job on the 4K disc. One of my favorites ( although I do not have the Steelbook ). 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Gladiator 20th Anniversary Steelbook (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 03:49:35 PM »
Great movie, and they did a fine job on the 4K disc. One of my favorites ( although I do not have the Steelbook ).
Unless you want the collectible case (which in a lot of cases go up in value, for whatever that's worth), then you're fine with the original 4K disc. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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