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    GLADIATOR - SIGNATURE SELECTION (DreamWorks/Universal)

    THE GENERAL WHO BECAME A SLAVE. THE SLAVE WHO BECAME A GLADIATOR. THE GLADIATOR WHO DEFIED AN EMPIRE.



    In keeping with a Ridley Scott conversation I was having with a member of another site which I am senior disc reviewer for and which developed after my Black Hawk Down Superbit review in which I promised to watch his Gladiator this past weekend while he was supposed to go and watch Alien or Blade Runner as well as recognizing the fact that DreamWorks has just released an extended edition version of this title with added footage and even more behind the scenes extras, I thought this was as good a time as ever to review what I feel --- if from only an audio soundtrack standpoint alone --- is the definitive version of this film on DVD, the two disc Signature Selection and its DTS ES Discrete soundtrack. Around home theater enthusiast close-knit "circles," it is often said that THIS title should be the "christening" title for starting up a home theater system --- of course, there is some humor behind this, but the folks at the store in which I bought my gear when I first set my system up and the HT enthusiast folks I had along for the shopping that day all instructed me to purchase this Signature Selection version of Ridley Scott's Gladiator to be the very first disc I play back on my system because the DTS ES discrete track --- even without a back surround channel for the 6.1 experience --- was supposed to be wild. It sort of became a joke where now I recommend this disc as the "christening" home theater go-to title for anyone just getting into home theater and surround audio; at any rate, this soundtrack has endured the test of time, and even with multiple DTS title releases since its launch, it STILL remains demo quality and sticks heads and shoulders above other DTS titles available on the market. The DTS ES track still finds its way onto home theater magazines' lists of Top DVDs of All Time even all these years later in terms of audio experience.

    The film's tagline, highlighted at the beginning of the review, basically sums up the plot for what it is: a revenge tale set in the time when the "Caesars" ruled most of the uncivilized world; what always took me "out" of Gladiator's plot and story, and a conversation I have had endless times with history graduates from my college, is how I always wondered if this was the way these "characters" were really supposed to talk to one another back in those days depicted in the film; would they behave like this? Would we be hearing English being spoken.....or do we have to do some suspension of disbelief here like we did when Harrison Ford began forcing the Russian accent in K-19: The Widowmaker?

    The film opens with Scott giving us a bit of a "history" lesson as to where we are in the scheme of things, timeline wise, with regard to the plot; we are told, via post-credit rollings of words on the screen, that the world basically lived and died under the rules of these "Caesars" from Rome during this period --- Roman emperors who were feared and were supported by massive, physically overwhelming armies. We are introduced to one such army commanded by General Maximus (Russell Crowe) in an opening battle sequence which sounds downright spine tingling in DTS ES playback mode in which Crowe's Roman army is battling in an area of the world known then as "Germania" against hostile, brute rebels who do not think twice about lapping off a person's head in response to a question put to them. As these brute "Germanians" refuse to kneel before the power of the Roman Empire, Crowe's army stages an attack which leads them to victory once again. It is here that we are first introduced to Crowe's character's fighting abilities and it becomes a fascinating backdrop to the story as we watch him slice and fight and kill his way through many adversaries, leading us to believe he was one of Rome's "best" at the time. The Emperor watches on as Maximus and his troops celebrate the bloody battle in Germania which they have just won, and we already sense something is brewing between these two......

    Enter the Emperor's somewhat immoral, cocky son (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives at the end of the battle with his sister (the sexy Connie Nielsen) to congratulate his father on winning the fight with the Germanian rebels and to accept what he thinks will be his appointment as Emperor after his father.....but once the troops are back in their camp, the aging Emperor informs Phoenix that his powers will pass to Crowe (Maximus) once he dies, instantly enraging Phoenix with jealousy and anger and hence setting up our "father takes revenge" plot. Phoenix ends up smothering his father to death for choosing Maximus over him to be Emperor and he already hatches a plan to "get back" at Maximus for his father choosing him to lead the Roman people and to give the city back to the people to let them rule without an Emperor-like dictatorship. Phoenix has Crowe arrested, sent to be executed and has his wife and child murdered in revenge for this. Crowe ends up escaping his scheduled execution by overpowering the guards sent to kill him in the woods, but he cannot get to his family in time --- when he arrives at his home, his wife and child have already been executed and burned. In complete devastation, Crowe collapses and thus we enter the next stage of Scott's plot development.

    Maximus is picked up by "slave handlers" who pass through his village and capture him, and he instantly becomes the property of slave owner Oliver Reed, who profits from the death of these slaves in arena gladiator games. Now, at this point, we are not sure if Crowe's character has amnesia from the mental trauma he suffered or what, but it's clear he is not quite sure where he is or why he is there.....but one thing becomes clear. He instantly proves his fighting abilities as he and the other slaves in his company are forced into brutal, savage arena battles in which Crowe clearly overpowers just about every opponent he faces. Like he was worshipped by his men he commanded as a General, Maximus is now looked upon as the leader of these slaves due to his sheer strength and number of victories he leads the slaves through, battle after battle.

    Meanwhile, Phoenix has arrived back in Rome, thinking Maximus has been killed, and takes the title of Emperor after his father's death which he was responsible for. It is clear he is not ready for the task, evidenced by his lack of respect for the senate and the government who immediately give him tasks to take care of, one of which is a plague that is crippling part of the city. In "honor" of his father, the new Emperor schedules hundreds of days of gladiator matches in the famed Coliseum --- picking up on this opportunity, Reed informs Maximus (known to the other slaves and to Reed himself as "The Spaniard" unknowingly to them him being the famed General Maximus) that they are going to Rome so he and the men could fight in the Coliseum --- and that perhaps after "enough men have died," Crowe just might be able to win his freedom back.....but Reed informs him that the key to winning the games in the Coliseum is manipulating the crowd and winning them over. Crowe promises to "give them something they have never seen before."

    And indeed he does. The first "battle" he and the slaves enter into in the Coliseum (which is pretty much expertly rendered in CGI during many shots) is what is known as "The Battle of Carthage;" Crowe and the slaves are subjected to chariots and soldiers on horses shooting arrows at them from all sides, but because of Crowe's battlefield experience, he leads the men to victory over these "Carthage" soldiers in a bloody battle that ends unexpectedly for the Emperor and the crowd roaring around the Coliseum (this all sounds just SO awesome and properly placed in DTS ES mode, but I'll get to that). In the real "Battle of Carthage," which this was supposed to be a re-creation of, the "Barbarian Horde" (the slaves) were supposed to lose, so Phoenix is wondering why they have won in this recreation and wishes to meet this "Spaniard" who leads the slaves. This is a turning point in the film and includes a most memorable scene were Crowe unmasks himself and Phoenix is shocked that Maximus is still alive and standing here in the Coliseum with him --- while Maximus makes a promise to "have his vengeance in this life or the next" for what Phoenix has done to his wife and son; this is very similar to Roland Emmerich's The Patriot, in the scene when Gibson says to Jason Isaacs "Before this war is over I'm going to kill you....." as a threat for revenge for Isaacs killing two of his sons. Despite his shock and anger, the Emperor allows Crowe to live rather than killing him and making himself an enemy of the crowd, which is the last thing any Emperor wants to do.

    From there, the film concentrates on Phoenix's attempts at having Crowe killed without blatantly murdering him.....he pits Crowe against a master undefeated gladiator in a to-the-death match complete with roaring tigers in the arena and all --- but Crowe beats him, too, seeming completely unstoppable. Once Crowe has this master gladiator down on the ground, defeated, Phoenix wants him to finish the job and kill the gladiator, but Maximus defies the Emperor by throwing down his weapon and refusing to kill him. This enrages Phoenix even more, leading to the eventual one-on-one battle that must accompany each of these revenge stories. But before that happens, a subplot splinters from this storyline, which includes the Emperor's sister (Nielsen), Oliver Reed and one of the senators all in on a plan to help Maximus escape from the city so he can regain his troops to storm into Rome and take her away from the dictatorship, giving her back to the people --- as was the last wish of Phoenix's and Nielsen’s dying father. Crowe's plan is foiled, however, and he is caught before he can escape, forcing him into a hand to hand combat scene with Phoenix in the Coliseum in front of the mob; but, even purposely injured, Maximus is simply too good and too strong for Phoenix and the match doesn't last very long, as Phoenix pretty much has his ass handed to him in a matter of minutes and is eventually killed by Crowe......Crowe finally getting his revenge for his family being murdered. But this is not a happy ending --- Maximus himself dies because of a stab wound purposely delivered by Phoenix before the match to give him an upper hand, which doesn't work. Maximus "goes to see his family in the afterlife" in the film's conclusion, as just before he dies he instructs Nielsen and other Roman soldiers standing guard that Rome must be given back to the people as was her father's last wish.

    There are some other insignificant themes going on here which were rather irrelevant to the plot, one dealing with a disturbing incest-oriented "passion" Phoenix has for Nielsen as well as a romantic history Nielsen and Crowe once had years ago.....and also a subplot regarding Nielsen's son and "protecting him" from her savage brother.

    VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS:
    ANAMORPHIC 2:35:1 DUAL LAYER WIDESCREEN TRANSFER

    Aside from a bit of a (probably intentional) hazy, smoky opening title sequence, this was a sharp transfer from DreamWorks (in conjunction with Universal on this project); I detected no problems to really speak of and while I wouldn't necessarily call this "reference grade" video really, it sure does look good on a widescreen set as the CGI-rendered shots of ancient Rome come screaming to vivid life on this transfer and the gory reds of the blood spit from slit throats during the fight scenes are frighteningly real looking; it has been discussed before that there is indeed a choppy, "badly edited" look to certain parts of this film --- most notably during all the fight sequences, and it's there, no doubt. While distracting just a bit, I don't believe it took us too far out of the action onscreen and was probably a deliberate effect from Scott for the style he was going for with this motion picture. Those fight sequences do get "choppy" looking as if the editing was getting jagged and "sped-up" somewhat; it's hard to describe --- but it's there and is part of this film's "style" as I said. Otherwise, overall, a nice solid transfer from DreamWorks that I really have nothing to complain about. But it's really the audio you're sinking your teeth into on this two disc set (which I believe is now out of print due to the arrival of the (three disc, is it?) extended version which only includes a Dolby Digital track and really takes away from the experience of this film) so let's take a closer look at that....

    AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS:
    DTS ES 6.1, DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1, DOLBY SURROUND, SUBTITLED & CAPTIONED; "DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 AND DTS DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND ON THE SAME DISC FOR OPTIMAL AUDIO QUALITY"

    This is one of those instances where going back and forth between two soundtracks on the same disc --- Dolby Digital and DTS --- yields obvious and audible differences; as I said earlier in the review, this title is well-known for its DTS ES track in the home theater community, and watching this in Dolby 5.1 is simply not the same experience, DYNAMICS wise, as running the disc's DTS ES mix --- even IF you don't have the back surround channel to take advantage of the 6.1 decoding. Because the technology is backward compatible, that sixth channel's information is "collapsed" into your standard surrounds, and if you're sitting where we all know you should --- in that sweet spot directly between the surround channels (well, somewhere around there anyway) --- you'll experience a "phantom" ES experience from this soundtrack on a standard 5.1 setup.

    This is just one active mix, and like I said, if you have THIS Signature Selection version, don't even bother with the Dolby Digital track --- the DTS ES Discrete mix opens this whole soundstage up; listen in particular for the startling whipping of the arrows being fired in the first Germania fight sequence as they come from every channel around you ---- listen as fireballs explode against trees --- listen for the LOUD, blaringly real sounds of swords clashing against one another during arena battles from the center channel --- listen as during the Coliseum sequences, the crowd ROARS around you in the surrounds putting you right in the middle of these scenes.....clearly, a great deal of attention has been put into this audio mix and it remains one of demo quality even all these years after its initial release.

    During the "Battle of Carthage," listen for the arrows being fired at Crowe and his men as they hit the surrounds with a sheer, brute force that makes you feel as if YOU are being hit with arrows in your living room while the crowd roars in and out through the surround channels; it's really amazing audio work here. That's just ONE example of the many I can give from this DVD's DTS ES soundtrack; what I did notice was a bit of a slight lack of LFE during certain scenes which will require you to do some tweaking with your sub's levels if you want a better impact --- most notably this happened with the fireballs hitting the trees in the Germania sequence (where, if you raise your sub levels up a bit, you'll get some nice LFE rumbling and punch) as well as during the Battle of Carthage when the chariots hit the walls of the Coliseum --- which, with raised subwoofer levels, will produce room shaking moments of low frequency information. Also very memorable was the fight sequence with Crowe and that "master gladiator" Phoenix pits him against, as they fight and tigers are roaring around them --- this is EXPERTLY rendered in DTS ES, as the deep roars of the tigers go through your whole body if your system is up high enough, while the clashing and clanging of their swords and shields EXPLODE through the center channel in such a real fashion that it's almost as if this fight is taking place in front of you....literally. After sitting through two hours and thirty-five minutes of this audio experience, it will leave you breathless.

    This Signature Selection (autographed by Ridley Scott on the front of the DVD's box) already boasted an eye popping roster of special features behind the making of this modern day epic, and so I don't really know what the point of that new extended version of this film is, being that it drops the DTS track and adds some additional footage (which may be interesting to some fans, as I hear the scene where they are feeding people to the lions that was cut out is explored in greater detail on this new version). Spread over two discs, these extra features included:

    -Insightful Film Commentary From Award-Winning Director Ridley Scott
    -Deleted Scenes, Complete With Director's Commentary
    -TREASURE CHEST: A Unique Montage of Additional Footage Cut to the Powerful Score
    -Interview With Award-Winning Composer Hans Zimmer on Scoring the Film
    -2 Extraordinary Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
    -One of a Kind Production Diary Written by Young Actor Spencer Treat Clark ("Lucius")
    -Special Slide Show Featuring Concept Art and Storyboards
    -Photo Gallery From Behind-the-Scenes of the Gladiator Set
    -Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots
    -In Depth Production Notes and Detailed Cast and Filmmaker Biographies

    Given ALL the materials on this two disc set and its downright awesome DTS track, I would have to say that attempting to track down (either online or used somewhere) this version of Ridley Scott's Gladiator --- that is, the Signature Selection --- is the best route for someone who does not yet own this on DVD and would like to; while I have not reviewed the new extended version that has just been released, I cannot see how it can best --- technically --- the solid anamorphic transfer or outrageous DTS track of the Signature Selection save for more massive amounts of supplements regarding what went into making this film.......and do we really need more of that?
    Last edited by Lexmark3200; 08-31-2005 at 03:18 PM.

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    [ Because the technology is backward compatible, that sixth channel's information is "collapsed" into your standard surrounds, and if you're sitting where we all know you should --- in that sweet spot directly between the surround channels (well, somewhere around there anyway) --- you'll experience a "phantom" ES experience from this soundtrack on a standard 5.1 setup.]

    Holy mackerel, Lex. Does this finally mean that you now understand what I was talking about for the past couple of years about the EX-ES phantom center back sound? Did you perform that test I suggested using the THX optimode test on the AOTC Star Wars disc?

    I am going by the original disc realease of this film. The DTS track is quite impressive as you state in your review versus the D.D. track and as such, simply, I agree with your findings. I'll take your word about the DTS bass. Kelsci.

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    "Holy mackerel, Lex. Does this finally mean that you now understand what I was talking about for the past couple of years about the EX-ES phantom center back sound?"

    Hey Kelsci,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the review and reply. I understood what you meant all this time about the phantom back center sound on EX and ES soundtracks, but due to multiple system setups, moving, etc, I wasnt always in an ideal position to experience that "phantom effect".......during Gladiator, it did in fact seem like that phantom effect from the 5.1 setup I'm running had been occuring via this soundtrack's DTS ES mix; it was almost as if NOT that much information was being lost in the two standard surrounds (the "lost" sixth channel ES information that is) know what I mean?

    "Did you perform that test I suggested using the THX optimode test on the AOTC Star Wars disc?"

    Didnt have a chance to yet; I'll probably do it tonight Kel.

    "I am going by the original disc realease of this film."

    Which is, I believe, this SIGNATURE SELECTION DVD, correct?

    "The DTS track is quite impressive as you state in your review versus the D.D. track and as such, simply, I agree with your findings."

    Absolutely. This one is clear. Just A/B between the Dolby and DTS tracks on this title and it's like watching and experiencing a totally different film; at least you heard the same that I was. Unfortunately, on some Columbia/Sony "Superbit" titles such as the original Spider-Man, or Bad Boys, I did not find the same results running their DTS mixes.....they didn't sound or appear to be "all that much hotter" than the original Dolby pressings.

    "I'll take your word about the DTS bass."

    When you get a chance, crank this one back up in your system as see if you're experiencing the same SLIGHT lack of LFE during certain scenes --- such as when the fireballs are hitting the trees in the beginning or when the chariots hit the wall in the arena.....these sequences, with a subwoofer kind of "leveled off" for balance purposes, need some more subwoofer power in order to deliver impactful effect.....however, I just left my sub alone and let the scenes run with the lack of LFE.

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Mr. Professional reviewer, did you know that any comparison between the DD and Dts soundtracks is apples and oranges? They come from different printmasters and cannot really be compared.

    The dolby digital soundtracks comes from the theatrical printmaster originally released in theaters. It is at 16/48khz resolution.

    The Dts soundtrack was created especially for this DVD from the original stems. It is at 24/48khz resolution at 754kbps. Any comparison between the two is futile, different sources.

    Aren't "professional" reviewers supposed to know this?

    You are also mis-using the word "hotter" which describes volume differences, not resolution differences.

    When you get a chance, crank this one back up in your system as see if you're experiencing the same SLIGHT lack of LFE during certain scenes --- such as when the fireballs are hitting the trees in the beginning or when the chariots hit the wall in the arena.....these sequences, with a subwoofer kind of "leveled off" for balance purposes, need some more subwoofer power in order to deliver impactful effect.....however, I just left my sub alone and let the scenes run with the lack of LFE.
    Did it ever occur to you that the director wanted the LFE just the way it is? Why are you second guessing the intent of the creators of the soundtrack? Did it ever occur to you that the impact in its present form is perfect just as it is? Did it ever occur to you that the majority of energy that is present in the soundtrack may be below the frequency that your sub can reproduce?
    Sir Terrence

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    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    "Holy mackerel, Lex. Does this finally mean that you now understand what I was talking about for the past couple of years about the EX-ES phantom center back sound?"

    Hey Kelsci,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the review and reply. I understood what you meant all this time about the phantom back center sound on EX and ES soundtracks, but due to multiple system setups, moving, etc, I wasnt always in an ideal position to experience that "phantom effect".......during Gladiator, it did in fact seem like that phantom effect from the 5.1 setup I'm running had been occuring via this soundtrack's DTS ES mix; it was almost as if NOT that much information was being lost in the two standard surrounds (the "lost" sixth channel ES information that is) know what I mean?

    "Did you perform that test I suggested using the THX optimode test on the AOTC Star Wars disc?"

    Didnt have a chance to yet; I'll probably do it tonight Kel.

    "I am going by the original disc realease of this film."

    Which is, I believe, this SIGNATURE SELECTION DVD, correct?

    "The DTS track is quite impressive as you state in your review versus the D.D. track and as such, simply, I agree with your findings."

    Absolutely. This one is clear. Just A/B between the Dolby and DTS tracks on this title and it's like watching and experiencing a totally different film; at least you heard the same that I was. Unfortunately, on some Columbia/Sony "Superbit" titles such as the original Spider-Man, or Bad Boys, I did not find the same results running their DTS mixes.....they didn't sound or appear to be "all that much hotter" than the original Dolby pressings.

    "I'll take your word about the DTS bass."

    When you get a chance, crank this one back up in your system as see if you're experiencing the same SLIGHT lack of LFE during certain scenes --- such as when the fireballs are hitting the trees in the beginning or when the chariots hit the wall in the arena.....these sequences, with a subwoofer kind of "leveled off" for balance purposes, need some more subwoofer power in order to deliver impactful effect.....however, I just left my sub alone and let the scenes run with the lack of LFE.
    Maybe those scenes were not suppose to be heavy on the LFE. You could watch many a flick and say that. Of course in a LFE guy so the more,the better.
    Look & Listen

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    "Of course in a LFE guy so the more,the better."

    And please explain this as I dont understand it. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Maybe those scenes were not suppose to be heavy on the LFE. You could watch many a flick and say that. Of course in a LFE guy so the more,the better.
    Yes Shok, but you need to understand one thing: as a reviewer it is your JOB just to POINT OUT that those discrepencies are there and exist-----now, I didnt prepare the mix personally for DreamWorks, I only REPORTED what I heard-----all Im saying is that in THOSE SCENES, the LFE seemed a bit weak where if you turn your sub levels up a bit above what you'd normally listen at, those scenes deliver the much-needed impact. All I was reporting is that there WAS a lack of LFE in those particular sequences, and of COURSE someone can say that about "many a flick"......I'm just pointing it out on Gladiator's DTS track, thats all: REPORTING that there is a distinct lack of bass during these sequences. Trust me, others I have discussed this title with agree about the staggering differences between the Dolby and DTS mixes on the same disc and the lack of LFE on this title.

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    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I trust you.
    Look & Listen

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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    I trust you.
    ....taken DIRECTLY from another site on which I posted this review and is a reply from a member after reading the review:

    "I used this disk last night to test out my 7.1 set-up. The DTS ES track on this is topshelf-----I MUST agree with our reviewer"

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    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    The film's tagline, highlighted at the beginning of the review, basically sums up the plot for what it is: a revenge tale set in the time when the "Caesars" ruled most of the uncivilized world; what always took me "out" of Gladiator's plot and story, and a conversation I have had endless times with history graduates from my college, is how I always wondered if this was the way these "characters" were really supposed to talk to one another back in those days depicted in the film; would they behave like this? Would we be hearing English being spoken.....or do we have to do some suspension of disbelief here like we did when Harrison Ford began forcing the Russian accent in K-19: The Widowmaker?
    You've got to be kidding...

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Yes Shok, but you need to understand one thing: as a reviewer it is your JOB just to POINT OUT that those discrepencies are there and exist-

    How do you know this is a discrepensy? Where you there, did you prepare the mix?



    ----now, I didnt prepare the mix personally for DreamWorks, I only REPORTED what I heard
    Yes but you have to have a reference in order to say it is weak. What are you using as a reference, the printmaster???

    -----all Im saying is that in THOSE SCENES, the LFE seemed a bit weak where if you turn your sub levels up a bit above what you'd normally listen at, those scenes deliver the much-needed impact.
    As a reviewer, you should know that all movies LFE is not the same. So you cannot compare the level of X movie to Y movie.



    All I was reporting is that there WAS a lack of LFE in those particular sequences, and of COURSE someone can say that about "many a flick"......I'm just pointing it out on Gladiator's DTS track, thats all: REPORTING that there is a distinct lack of bass during these sequences.
    Once again I ask, how do you know there is a lack without a reference to compare to? How do you know that the LFE levels(and bass for that matter) is not at the intended levels the creator wanted? Ridley Scott approved it, why are you second guessing him?


    Trust me, others I have discussed this title with agree about the staggering differences between the Dolby and DTS mixes on the same disc and the lack of LFE on this title.
    Others. Oh gawd another vagarity. Staggering differences, heck they were made with two differenct masters, of course they are different!!! Lack of LFE??? Wow!
    Sir Terrence

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    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    "Of course in a LFE guy so the more,the better."

    And please explain this as I dont understand it. Thank you.
    I'm,I'm,I'm, not in. My bad but thats what happens when i'm typing at work inbetween jobs.
    In other words,i lean towards bass more then treble.
    Look & Listen

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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    I'm,I'm,I'm, not in. My bad but thats what happens when i'm typing at work inbetween jobs.
    In other words,i lean towards bass more then treble.
    Gotcha; no problems. And remember what I said: I have had this discussion regarding THIS particular title with just so many other enthusiasts, folks on my editorial team and other testers who said the same thing upon FIRST playing this soundtrack back without any tweaking to their sub's levels: there SEEMS to be a shallowness of LFE in the scenes I specifically highlighted-----you'll see other online reviewers say the same thing if you do a search. That lack of LFE is THERE and present --- I was trying to point that out just for YOUR information before purchasing this title if you havent already done so.

    Thank you Shok!

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I have had this discussion regarding THIS particular title with just so many other enthusiasts, folks on my editorial team and other testers who said the same thing upon FIRST playing this soundtrack back without any tweaking to their sub's levels
    Can anyone see a pattern of lies and vagarities here?
    Sir Terrence

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    Right.......right Shok and Kelsci.....I am lying to you when I tell you that I found a lack of LFE during these particular scenes......right.....I am purposely lying to you; and can one of you guys please tell me what a "valgarity" is or whatever that word he is using? I don't quite get it.

    But remember: I am lying to you when I tell you the chariots hitting the wall or the fireballs hitting the trees seem to have a tad bit of a "shallow" impact upon first scrutinizing the track----he's right. That's a lie. LMFAO.

    And this subject has been discussed amongst others whether it sounds "believable" or not----upon first listening to this track, you can sense a lack of LFE in these places ---- and that's JUST an observation, not a lie or a counter stance to the engineer who designed the mix. Just an observation. I will pull some other examples of simple "observations" regarding this mix from other online reviewers to cement my belief that when I hand in DVD "roundup" pieces for Home Theater and DVD ETC magazines, they do not REQUIRE me to go into the printmaster being used and so forth; they require me to provide them with a right-to-the-point assesment of what the track sounded like, and that's what I give them. Read the issue before the last issue that was released of Home Theater, which deals with "Building The Ultimate DVD Collection"----I was personally involved in that input and you will see absolutely NO mentioning anywhere of comparing printmasters or which masters were used or any such rhetoric-----the "roundups" are simple and to the point: i.e. "This Dolby Digital mix is alive, active and aggressive" etc.

    But REMEMBER guys: I am lying to you; yeah, okay, right. LMFAORH.

  16. #16
    JSE
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    [QUOTE=Lexmark3200] and can one of you guys please tell me what a "valgarity" is or whatever that word he is using? I don't quite get it. [QUOTE]

    Main Entry: va·ga·ry
    Pronunciation: 'vA-g&-rE; v&-'ger-E, -'gar-, vA-; also 'va-g&-rE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
    Etymology: probably from Latin vagari to wander, from vagus wandering
    : an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion


    JSE

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=JSE][QUOTE=Lexmark3200] and can one of you guys please tell me what a "valgarity" is or whatever that word he is using? I don't quite get it.

    Main Entry: va·ga·ry
    Pronunciation: 'vA-g&-rE; v&-'ger-E, -'gar-, vA-; also 'va-g&-rE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
    Etymology: probably from Latin vagari to wander, from vagus wandering
    : an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion


    JSE
    LMFAO....I just love how those words were thrown together for shock effect.....LMFAO....

  18. #18
    JSE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    LMFAO....I just love how those words were thrown together for shock effect.....LMFAO....
    Huh? What?

  19. #19
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Now what did i do? You found a lack of LFE,fine. All i'm saying is maybe thats how they wanted it.
    Look & Listen

  20. #20
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Now what did i do? You found a lack of LFE,fine. All i'm saying is maybe thats how they wanted it.
    That IS how they wanted it, or the soundtrack wouldn't have left the studio. The silly little printer is trying to second guess the director and the re-recording mixers instead of just reviewing the movie. With no reference to stand against the soundtrack, how can you say it lacks anything. Now maybe the silly little old printer desires more LFE, but he didn't mix the movie. He doesn't even have a film, or filmsound background.

    If you visit any of the other websites forums, nobody is saying this soundtrack LFE sounds weak. So just who are the "others" that say it is. He states he has a editorial staff, from what magazine? He mentions Hometheater magazine, but there is absolutely no place you can find his name. Lies, vagarities, fantasy, that is what he is currently thriving on. He certainly isn't fooling anyone here.

    A professional reviewer reviews the movie, not tells the sound engineer how much LFE to put in the mix.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    No, no Shok----I was not aiming that comment at YOU-----I was saying that because it had been suggested that I am LYING about all this, thats what it MUST be, that I am LYING about it all.....it had nothing to do with you, sir.....my apologies for making you believe that. Just being a bit sarcastic by saying "yup.....thats what it must be! I am lying about the lack of LFE I experienced!"

    It's all good, Shok. You did no wrong sir. Enjoy your afternoon!
    And Shok,

    One other thing......this MAY have been how the engineers wanted it, BUT I AM STATING AND OBSERVING----and dont let anyone tell you otherwise regarding HOW an OBSERVATION of an audio scheme on a disc should be handled----that there was a definite lack of low end during these sequences which was corrected upon tweaking the sub; upon FIRST listening to these sequences, there was little bass there-----THATS ALL I WAS DOING WAS POINTING THAT OUT and believe me, this HAS been confirmed by different reviewers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Now what did i do? You found a lack of LFE,fine. All i'm saying is maybe thats how they wanted it.
    No, no Shok----I was not aiming that comment at YOU-----I was saying that because it had been suggested that I am LYING about all this, thats what it MUST be, that I am LYING about it all.....it had nothing to do with you, sir.....my apologies for making you believe that. Just being a bit sarcastic by saying "yup.....thats what it must be! I am lying about the lack of LFE I experienced!"

    It's all good, Shok. You did no wrong sir. Enjoy your afternoon!

  23. #23
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    . Just an observation. I will pull some other examples of simple "observations" regarding this mix from other online reviewers to cement my belief that when I hand in DVD "roundup" pieces for Home Theater and DVD ETC magazines, they do not REQUIRE me to go into the printmaster being used and so forth; they require me to provide them with a right-to-the-point assesment of what the track sounded like, and that's what I give them. Read the issue before the last issue that was released of Home Theater, which deals with "Building The Ultimate DVD Collection"----I was personally involved in that input and you will see absolutely NO mentioning anywhere of comparing printmasters or which masters were used or any such rhetoric-----the "roundups" are simple and to the point: i.e. "This Dolby Digital mix is alive, active and aggressive" etc.

    But REMEMBER guys: I am lying to you; yeah, okay, right. LMFAORH.
    Oh, lot's of reviewers agree with the little printer that could. Well DVD review doesn't

    http://www.dvdreview.com/reviews/DVD/1482.shtml

    Cliff Stephenson from DVD file says this;

    "Encoded with both Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX and a discrete DTS ES 6.1 soundtracks, the audio is as glorious as the video. All channels, including the .1 LFE, are used to maximum effect with a heavy barrage of directional effects that totally drops you in the middle of the action. Dialog is well recorded and represented here with no distortion or masking from the thick effects. The front soundstage images wide, reaching around to effectively merge with the aggressive split surrounds. The center back channel is perfectly incorporated and exemplary of what EX and ES soundtracks can accomplish. The cheers of the crowd and the sounds of battle hit from all sides to create a totally convincing environment.



    Comparisons between the Dolby and DTS tracks are interesting. To my measurement, the DTS track actually plays about 3db louder than the Dolby track. At first listen, that might seem to give the DTS an unfair advantage. Once the levels were matched though, DTS still provided a more pleasing sound experience with improved imaging, better bass definition and a more refined, realistic tone. As Russell Crowe's character escapes from execution early in the film, the gentle sound of a guitar is heard. Listening to the Dolby, the plucks of the strings seemed to alternate between the front center and just in between the center and back surround. There was a slight ping-ponging going on, with both locations easily identifiable. Listening to the very same moment in DTS imaged much more impressively, with the guitar strumming seeming to 'float' in the center of the room, emanating from where there are no speakers.

    The recreation of the Battle of Carthage in chapter 15 provides excellent examples of improvements in tone and bass reproduction. As chariots in the scene begin crashing in the heat of battle, bass on the DTS appeared a bit tighter and more controlled while the Dolby gave a bit more thud. As these actions go on, thunderous cheers from the crowd differ in each version with the Dolby sounding a bit harsher to the ear. I have no doubt recommending the Dolby as an excellent soundtrack, but the DTS, when experienced, is absolutely sublime. "

    No mention of a lack of LFE in any scene

    Now the digitalbits;

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviews/gladiator.html

    The movie page review

    http://www.movie-page.com/dvd/reviews/gladiator.htm

    So I have presented four DVD reviews from some of the most popular online DVD websites, not one mention of a lack of LFE.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that if you are going to use terms like weak and hot, you have to prove that by using a example or reference. If you cannot prove it, most editors will not publish it because they know that there are people just like me who have the means to test it. Nobody wants to publish misinformation, and if they published anything about Gladiator using the words "weak" to describe ANY portion of that soundtrack, the would be doing just that. More Lexmark Lies.
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  24. #24
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    And Shok,

    One other thing......this MAY have been how the engineers wanted it, BUT I AM STATING AND OBSERVING----and dont let anyone tell you otherwise regarding HOW an OBSERVATION of an audio scheme on a disc should be handled----that there was a definite lack of low end during these sequences which was corrected upon tweaking the sub; upon FIRST listening to these sequences, there was little bass there-----THATS ALL I WAS DOING WAS POINTING THAT OUT and believe me, this HAS been confirmed by different reviewers.
    Where is your proof that it is lacking? Do you have a spectral analysis chart to demonstrate your beliefs?
    Sir Terrence

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    More attempts by The Terrible Idiot to do nothing else with his time but attempt to convince others that I did not hear what I indeed heard; remember people: I do not NEED proof, fact, or otherwise to make observations about a soundtrack's characteristics when just going in for a listen and analysis-----it is PERFECTLY fine to call something "short on LFE" or "possesses tons of treble here...." without having scientific measurements to back it up-----we do it ALL THE TIME at Home Theater and DVD ETC during these "Best of" DVD voting lists, in which we write down characteristics we are experiencing when watching these DVDs and pass those along to Maureen------THEY dont ask us for "technical prowess" when reviewing these discs, so regardless of what I am being attacked, ridiculed and accused of in here it simply DOES NOT MATTER: the bottom line is that there IS a DISTINCT lack of LFE in these scenes, whether INTENTIONAL OR NOT, and THAT is what I was pointing out. Scientific backup for that? Yeah, right, okay.

    Remember Shok: these are fruitless attempts to prove something that simply does not need proving; there is a lack of LFE thump in THOSE particular sequences when you play this DTS ES track back; play these certain scenes back through YOUR system with the subwoofer set where it would NORMALLY be calibrated and tell me what you find. If you would like, I will give you the exact chapter stops and times to run them.

    .....and the BEST part about it all is that this moron actually THINKS I am lying about something here.....when it has nothing at all to do with lies.....yes, right, Shok----I am lying to you and Kesci about what I heard.....that's correct.....LMFAO....LMFAO......that's the BEST part of it all.......

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