A review by Mike Shea Movie Rating: ( * * * · · ) DVD Rating: ( * * · · · )
This is Stanley Kubricks first major studio picture, and it shows. Kirk Douglas plays Spartacus, the gladiator slave who starts a revolution that almost takes all of Rome. Overall the movie has the big studio feel with stars and starlets with special lighting, slightly out of focus close ups and sets that look like museum backdrops. Between the lines there is some really good stuff. The initial gladiator sequences are really top notch and pull no punches from the battles themselves to the rewards they reap for good fighting. The Roman political battles are also equally done, and show how even with an empire as big as Rome, you must have a strong and powerful commander to win a war. The DVD is not 16x9 enhanced, but does have a 5.1 dolby digital soundtrack though you probably cant tell. There are rumors of a collectors edition coming out with some more features, so you may want to just give it a rent. Overall, the movies outward appearance as a typical major Hollywood feature drag down the hard undercoating of a powerful epic.