I have never liked Gladiator that much. And since people seem to adore it, I came to hate it a bit more every time someone said or wrote it was a great film.
It's not. The characters are bland and boring, the story is the same story as always, told a million times, and the historical ambientation sucks balls.
It's very simple, and at some points it bored me. Even the first time. Of course, Kingdom of Heaven is also boring, also bland and also badly ambientated, but at least in the director's cut the characters are given more depth, the ambientation is better and there's this mystical, magical backyard that I always enjoy, even if it's absurd and it's just shallow mysticism.
But Gladiator is incredibly overrated. Just because it has cool battles and nice pitfights doesn't mean it's a good film.
I'll rant about another one: Spartacus
. Yes, the new 300-like series.
The characters are BORING. And I don't use caps lightly. BORING. The plot, erratic; the "conspiracies", absurd; the ambientation, terrible; the narrative... well, it's not flowing naturally. Either we're five episodes at the same place, or tens of things happen at the same time. Even the battles are lame and ridiculous. This guys are going to battle without any kind of armour or even leather protection, just for the sake of showing off abds and biceps and look cool? And they are slashing through chainmail and plate armour? No shit these gladiators are defeating the Romans being only 50, theuy're damn Supermen!
You can tell they are making up conflict just to leave it there in case they do another season, they're making it all along the way. The characters are so boring and bland that I don't give a damn of what happens to them. Half a season looking for some guy's girl and the main plot frozen only to realise I never knew she was taken in the first place, and that I really didn't care.
Which brings me to another thing: popular rating in series and movies. In my country we use this magnificent Argentinian website called Cuevana.com to see streaming movies without time limit in original sound (usually, English). There, people can rate the episodes and the films.
Some people have good criteria. Most of them don't. Besides rating low a movie just because the pluig-in didn't work (it wasn't the movie's fault in the first place), they just go and rate everything five stars. The most lousy film, the worst episode, five stars. Spartacus has a good rating because many people don't care about anything, they go for the gore, swallow everything they are given even if it's the most absurd, shallow and cliché show ever, and rate it five stars.
It doesn't say much of "the people" in general.
For example: people are eager for new truths and revelations. When they watch a documentary about conspiracies and hidden stuff, they go bananas and start feeling like they belong to an elite of people who know (now) how the world really works, and morover, they have someone to blame for all troubles in the world.
Let's check this famous documentary, Zeitgeist:http://www.cuevana.tv/#!/peliculas/3124/zeitgeist-moving-forward
It's all bullshit, from the first word to the last. Half truths, well chosen words and complete shameless lies. And still, some people will defend it to the death because it's what makes them feel special, and since they don't have much criteria, they trust the data and the facts explained in the video are true. they don't know about economy, they never met anyone with power or fortune. They don't know how the world works. I don't know either, but neither do these guys who "run the big scheme and try to enslave us all".
I, for one, love conspiracies, I love them. But I know most conspiracies don't work because people usually talk too much and make too many mistakes. I like that, it's how I know the US government is not hiding aliens in the Area 51. Governments are not made of unbreakable, godly-willed people who would die for the cause, it's made of people like all of us. People who like to impress the friends and who tell many things to couples and parents. So many Wikileaks cables and leaks, and damn, still nothing on secret 11-S inside job evidences, or alien-related stuff...
I'm not saying it can't be. But it is highly, highly unlikely.
Sorry, that's considerably longer than I planned, but it's written now, so I'll leave it as it is. Back to historical films:
There's even another thing from historical films that drives me mad.
TROUSERS. TROUSERS EVERYWHERE.
Gauls used trousers; hosemen used trousers, and not always, but then they started to use culottes, until the XVIIth Century. But in Hollywood, everyone wears goddamn trousers.