Amazons and Gladiators (2001)

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Released 13-Nov-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 89:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Zachary Weintraub
Studio
Distributor
Beyond Films Int
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Patrick Bergin
Jennifer Rubin
Richard Norton
Nichole M. Hiltz
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music Tim Jones


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
German
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Amazons and Gladiators is a weak pastiche of popular films and television programs. Xena Meets Gladiator would have been a more apt title.

    Written and directed by Zachary Weintraub, Amazons and Gladiators is a simple story of revenge. Set in 60AD, the Roman Empire is spreading across Europe and North Africa. General Marcus Crassius (Patrick Bergin) has grown very popular in Rome following a number of victories, including that over Spartacus. Due to this popularity, Caesar appoints him Governor of the far flung province of Panne. Enraged at his 'banishment', Crassius rules the province with an iron fist, raping and looting the locals at every opportunity.

    Enter a strong-willed little girl named Serena. Serena's parents are killed by Crassius, and Serena and her friend, Briana, are sold into slavery. We then jump ten years forward, and discover that Serena (Nichole Hiltz) and Briana (Melanie Gutteridge) have grown up to be gorgeous slave-dancers. However, Serena kills a Senator who attempts to get a little too cosy at a party, and she escapes with her friend, Briana, and a prisoner, Ione (Jennifer Rubin).

    Ione turns out to be an Amazon Warrior, and she takes the two young ladies to live with an Amazon tribe. Here we discover a small group of women all dressed like Xena, Warrior Princess, who follow a woman named Zenobia (Mary Tamm). Ione trains Serena and Briana in combat and sword play, and it's not long before Serena has joined the Sisterhood of Amazons, and her lust for revenge against Crassius bubbles to the surface. Along the way, the man-hating Serena reluctantly discovers love, through the big sword-wielding S.N.A.G, Lucius (Richard Norton).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is grainy, but good overall.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and shadow detail are acceptable, although a few scenes, such as the street scene at 34:30 are a little soft. The colour is good throughout, and there are accurate skin tones.

    There are no problems with MPEG or film-to-video artefacts. Tiny film artefacts are scattered throughout, but these small flecks are hardly noticeable.

    English, Dutch, and German subtitles are present, and the English ones were accurate on this single sided, single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality is acceptable, but I noticed audio sync problems throughout. There is some really bad ADR work here.

    The musical score is credited to Tim Jones, and while it is not a memorable score, it is a decent one. Quite atmospheric, it does its best to inject some drama and tension into the weak plot.

   The surround sound mix is a little front-heavy, but the rears are called upon for some ambience and for the score. The subwoofer also kicks in to provide some bass, and a bit of oomph to some of the gladiatorial thumps and blows.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are slim.

Menu

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, it is static and silent.

Trailers

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced, this does a good job of making the movie seem far more exciting than it is.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Amazons and Gladiators was released in R1 in 2001.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    The R4 is a clear winner.

Summary

   Cheaply made and poorly written, acted, and directed, Amazons and Gladiators has little to offer. Completely derivative and uninspiring, I am reminded of the advice once given to the Roman Emperor, Nero: "Kill your subjects Caesar, just don't bore them!"

    The video quality is good, but not great.

    The audio quality of the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is good, but limited in its surround presence.

    The extras are really not worth mentioning.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, November 24, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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