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Movie Night: The Hunt For Red October

Back in 1990 I stepped into one of my local movie theaters to check out a new movie starring Sean Connery and a host of other favorite performers. It was an experience I didn’t expect and has been repeated frequently over the years. The viewing of the film, that is.

The Hunt For Red October came from the Tom Clancy book of the same name, published in 1984. The story is about a high level Russian submarine that may, or may not, be defecting and the high octane multi level chess game (my description) of the efforts to find her before the Russians can sink her.

The film clocks in at 2 hours 15 minutes. It is worth every second.

There’s a funny thing about me and this film. I enjoyed the first viewing so much I went back a few times to try and spot the technical details I enjoy in films. (I’m one of those geeks who love the extras on the DVDs – I love the behind the scenes stuff.) I finally gave up because inevitably I’d find myself walking out 2 hours later having totally gotten lost in the plot. It is that good.

The book, in case you are interested, is as good. If you are not experienced reading Tom Clancy consider this fair warning. He didn’t write small books, nor did he write simple plot lines. Brace yourself with an estimated page count of 387, I don’t recall how many characters or subplot lines. Consider the movie the condensed version. 🙂

Even after all these years, I have no idea how many viewings, I love this film. I must, I own two copies and I have both the paperback and the audio version of the book.

The cast is the cream of the crop. The production values are stellar. The story is compelling, and if you like edge of your seat adventure, this is the film you should see.

Have you seen, or read, The Hunt For Red October?

Movies · One of My Favorites

One of My Favorite Films: ‘Gladiator’

Rome, in one form or other, has been a part of my life for the better part of thirty years now. I consciously began my appreciation of Rome via the computer game Caesar III. That came about because of a version that arrived already loaded on a new computer. I still play it.

Later, in 2000, I finally got a chance to see a couple of films I’d heard about in actual theaters. While I enjoyed ‘Fantasia 2000’, it was ‘Gladiator’ that captured – and held – my attention.

Side Note

I need to step aside here for a moment to let you know that when something “captures my attention” it usually leads to an obsession that can last for years, involves lots (and lots) of research, and becomes a part of the fabric of my life in some way.

Now where were we? Oh, yes.

I’ve had a life-long fascination with the mechanics of creating film, theater, TV, and other forms of entertainment. It truly is an art form that can evolve to fit the need at the time. Ridley Scott makes amazing movies. The film is the result of years of experience tied with high tech graphics, top of the line performances, and a story that is both compelling and thought provoking. Not to mention a soundtrack that is one of Han Zimmer’s best.

The Story

In a nutshell, ‘Gladiator’ is the story of a Roman General, Maximus, who is at the top of his game. He is chosen by the current emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, to succeed him. Something Maximus doesn’t want and Marcus’ son Commodus, definitely does not want.

Commodus is so adamant that Maximus does not replace him, he murders his father and, when he takes the role of emperor and Maximus walks out on him instead of vowing loyalty, has Maximus’ family murdered and the general sent off into slavery.

What happens next is one of the best epic stories of the last 20 years. If you haven’t seen it,

You can find out more about the film by clicking here.

Rome was the first city to hold 1 million people. Ever.

To get a better idea of what Rome was and the impact it had on the world, check out this article from the Britannica: Click HERE

The idea of Rome, just like the idea of Greece, has been a part of most of our society and culture for millennia. These cultures have informed many of the choices and decisions made when we developed our own societies and cultures.

There is a lot of learn, absorb, integrate as we watch ‘Gladiator’. The film is one of those rare gems that allow us to glimpse a lost world and recall a time when things were very different, and very modern, to the world we live in.

At the end of the day, ‘Gladiator’ is a film that resonates on many levels and is worth taking the time to watch.