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Non-Review Review: The Good Doctor

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

Much like its protagonist, there’s something not quite right about The Good Doctor. It’s undoubtedly fascinating, as a young doctor makes a series of questionable moral decisions that lead to a variety of uncomfortable situations, but there’s no real internal life to the movie. You can see what is happening, and you realise the consequences, but the script and Orlando Bloom’s headlining performance never allow you to immerse yourself in the title character. You know what Dr. Martin Ploeck is doing, and perhaps you can intuit a reason, but he never seems tangible. That is perhaps the most significant flaw with the movie. Then, of course, there’s also the third act.

Window of opportunity...

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Non-Review Review: Gladiator

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

– Maximus sums up the plot in case you were sleeping for the first hour and a half

The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story!

– Commodus also reiterates the plot in case you weren’t paying attention

I think a lot of the appeal of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator rested on the fact we hadn’t seen a film quite like this in over a generation. In the years since we’ve witnessed a rejuvenated genre, with historical epics becoming more and more common. It’s easy to forget the impact of the Ridley Scott’s swords-and-sandals epic in the wake of films like King Arthur, Robin Hood or even Kingdom of Heaven – let alone 300 or shows like Spartacus: Blood & Sand. And yet, even after all these big all-action historical endeavours, there’s still something special about Gladiator.

It's the eye of the tiger...

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