Posted by on 22 February 2007 at 9:31 pm  Uncategorized
Feb 222007

I am presently watching Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus. It is painfully, unbearable slow. I’ve lost track of the number of scenes in which ten seconds is spent watching people walk into a room from a still camera. And oh, the montages! The slave army hard at work. The slave army in inclement weather. The slave army training for battle. The slave army marching through the mountains. The slave army marching through a field. The slave army enjoying wholesome fun.

Apparently, living the brutal and degraded existence of a gladiator-in-training is good for the soul. Although they go a bit wild in their initial revolt, after about two minutes of exhortation by Spartacus, all the gladiators become paragons of respectable virtue. The same is true of the other freed slaves. As a result, camp life is perfectly harmonious and productive.

Apart from a few good but anachronistic lines about slavery and freedom, the characters are utterly dull. Kirk Douglas, the supposed hero, is particularly awful. His acting is wooden, he’s far too old for the role, and his face is painfully ugly.

I think I have about another hour to watch. Ah well, at least my suffering will be over soon. At this point, I might just have to cheer for the scheming, decadent Romans. At least they’re interesting.

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