Colosseum: A Gladiators Story
Forget big-budget Hollywood fare like Gladiator. This heres the real
story about life as a gladiator.
This particular story follows Verus, a typical Roman family man who became
a slave, then a star. He was sold to a gladiator school and trained as a fighter,
only to prove himself in the ring and eventually win his freedom. His final
fight was the only one in the Colosseums history that was ever recorded
Colosseum uses state-of-the-art CGI and high production values in the tradition
of Walking With Dinosaurs and other great BBC documentaries. It doesnt
look as good as a big-budget Hollywood movie, but then its not a big-budget
Hollywood movie. These are made more to educate than entertain, and educate
We learn a great deal about what life as a gladiator/slave was probably like
back in the olden days, and they dont have to Hollywood-ize the story.
Youd probably be surprised to know that, despite what weve learned
in movies, very few gladiator battles ever actually resulted in the death of
In all honesty, this is not the best documentary to come from the BBC. But
in all fairness, its not the most interesting subject matter as far as
were concerned. To those who swoon over the whole ancient Rome thing,
it probably is the best documentary to come from the BBC. If its your
cup of tea, its well worth picking up.
In typical BBC documentary tradition, the DVD is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic
widescreen, with picture that looks better than a lot of higher profile DVDs.
The colors and detail are excellent, and although it looks a little soft, its
still very good overall. The audio is Dolby Digital Surround, and they do what
they can with it. The cheers of the crowd and the clanging of swords fill the
room surprisingly well from using only three speakers, but at times it does
sound a bit muffled.
Extras include a bonus documentary, Pompeii: The Last Day, which
focuses on the final day of the ancient city that was completely destroyed by
an angry volcano. It features the same high production values and CGI as Colosseum,
and we actually found it even more enjoyable than the prominent doc on the disc.
Other extras include some interviews with the filmmakers, a featurette on the
music, and some fact files.
Colosseum: A Gladiators Story, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
100 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital Surround
Written by Chris Ould
Produced and directed by Tilman Remme
Narrated by Michael Pennington
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