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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and (sometimes) enlightening fantasy.
The perfect gift for all historical movie enthusiasts is the ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Ordinarily, I would be the first to pan a series that tried to do what the writers of Da Vinci's Demons have done. Usually such attempts are ham-fisted affairs with sub-standard scripts, acting and production values. I'm enjoying this...
Published 7 months ago by amazon customer

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 100% bollocks
Good fun though. Useful when you want to switch off and chill in front of the box. The girls are all pretty.
Published 7 months ago by sam


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and (sometimes) enlightening fantasy., 3 April 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all historical movie enthusiasts is the ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Ordinarily, I would be the first to pan a series that tried to do what the writers of Da Vinci's Demons have done. Usually such attempts are ham-fisted affairs with sub-standard scripts, acting and production values. I'm enjoying this series immensely, in spite of these misgivings. David Goyer has made some clever decisions to weave popular culture and the life and times of Leonardo into one enjoyable fantasy / adventure romp.

Are we getting an accurate portrayal of Leonardo's life? Of course not. Anyone who criticizes this series on these grounds is actually insulting one's intelligence, as this is obvious from the start when Leonardo builds a mechanical pigeon, capable of aerial stunts that would be a challenge for modern robotics. Has Goyer successfully captured the genius of a man who was and would still be considered an exceptional human being? I think so.

What about the mystery school mumbo jumbo that some critics have also jumped upon? Dan Brown should be thanked (or not) for popularizing controversial aspects of Christianity's early history. Whatever the merits of his views are, they are now for better or worse in popular focus. There is historical evidence that early Christianity was in conflict with other cults in the Roman Empire in the first century AD and Mithraism was one of them, so why not include this as a theme in this series when it makes the story more interesting and enhances the fact that Leonardo was a maverick and independent thinker?

I find no problem in watching this series together with The Borgia's about a interesting time in history cast through the modern myopic lens. I recommend this series to all who do not take modern media, history or themselves too seriously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class hokum, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The production qualities and CG effects of Starz` Spartacus but with toned down gore and a reason for existing other than to hack off limbs in slow-mo. A cast of excellent Brits makes this US production more tangibly European in feel and as such more relatable than other glossy American series. Blake Ritson delivers a star-making turn as Da Vinci`s mortal enemy and the Pope`s fixer, Riario while Tom Riley takes (no doubt) vast liberties as Da Vinci whilst maintaining strong likeability in a role that could have descended into farce in lesser hands. Some shonky (only now and again) computer graphics aside this is a handsome looking show and it is made all the more impressive when watching the special features as some sets were entirely virtual aside from the floors. The commentary with Goyer and co is also fun and informative and does serve to illustrate that much of the programme is pegged on documented events in Florence and Rome at the time and in Da Vinci`s life so not just a totally fabricated romp with pretty eye-candy. Very much looking forward to the second season.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars silly fun, 25 Jun 2013
This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Absolutely mental, silly escapist fun. if you enjoy sex, bad language, daft plots, exploding bats and bestiality plus FULL papal nudity then this is definitely for you. It's the most imaginative, reckless misuse of historical fact in ages. It's like Doctor Who with tits!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIBERTIES TAKEN, BUT IT ALL WORKS A TREAT, 11 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Looking as though whisked in from the present, Leonardo Da Vinci is depicted here as a man for all times - his enormous talents capable of enhancing any age. Keen to harness such skills are the mysterious Sons of Mithras, an ancient sect. They believe knowledge should be for all, never stifled. In contrast, the Vatican has a secret library, ruthlessly suppressing anything that might weaken its authority. More immediately, Leonardo is caught up in the power struggle between Florence and Rome, unhelped by secrets being passed on by a spy closer than he realizes....

Tom Riley clearly relishes his role as Leonardo, it played with shades of Indiana Jones, Batman and Doctor Who (in Tennant mode). Villains abound, but Blake Ritson's is the one mainly to hiss - softly spoken and truly vicious when needs be, which is often. (Opinion may be divided about his sunglasses and hat.)

Visually stunning, much is made of Leonardo's illustrations. Some sequences totally uplift - as with his observation of birds in flight - magical.

Eight episodes of almost an hour. Abundant throughout are humour, excitements and sex. (Gratuitous nudity? Again viewers will be divided, eyebrows likely to rise at certain early unclad appearances.) Surprises include the episode featuring Vlad the Impaler, arguably one of the most chilling portrayals ever.

Several commentaries - all of them helpful, later ones especially. Unexpectedly what seem some of the more outrageous incidents are based on fact - including slaughter in the cathedral at the season's start and the end. Leonardo was also tried in real life for sodomy. (How the matter was resolved in this version, ludicrous but hilarious invention.) Creator David S. Goyer concedes that events in this episode (no.5) could have been made clearer, his explanations clarifying points that had puzzled. "Making of" and "Behind the Scenes" bonuses are also worth a look. Absence of a Gag Reel may disappoint. (One senses that much could have been included.)

Controversial? Yes. Certain critics will no doubt enjoy the opportunity to sneer. For most, however, the series will prove gloriously entertaining. Nonetheless, there are serious aspects - one aim to expose the hypocrisy endemic in high places. Portrayed here (again) is a Papacy preoccupied with material concerns, a very far cry from all that Jesus preached.

The series could have been an embarrassing misfire, but talents have combined to produce a winner.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Work of genius, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
If only all tv could be made to this standard. Great story, lots of history (look it up, the majority of it is true), great writing, great costumes, great production and great actors. Did I like it? Just a little bit.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 100% bollocks, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Good fun though. Useful when you want to switch off and chill in front of the box. The girls are all pretty.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Series, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Can't get enough of this series. Overwhelming good to the point that I stayed up till the early hours of the morning watching the last 4 episodes. Not good on a school night but worth it. Even more so for the dashingly handsome Leo, who had me awake the rest of the night!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment on many levels!, 11 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
A very free interpretation of Da Vinci's life, but most entertaining, well cast and shot in beautiful, convincing surroundings. If like me you liked the Borgias, this is for you.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best story wins, 26 Oct 2013
This review is from: Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
My favourite television this year was, by a million miles, Game of Thrones. But my second favourite came as a surprise. It wasn't any of those I expected it to be - The Walking Dead, True Blood, Grimm, or even Dexter. It was the debut series of a show I'd heard nothing about, and started watching on a whim because the trailer tantalised me.

It was Da Vinci's Demons.

It's very hard to articulate exactly how much I love this series and why in an intelligent way without dissolving into an incomprehensible, fangirling puddle of ooze. It is a fantasy, a mystery, an adventure, a romance, a drama and a comedy all in one. It's also just pure, energetic, aesthetically beautiful joy from start to finish, and underneath the sleek, glossy production values beats a heart of pure gold - it looks good, yes, but it also has the emotion, tightly written plot, charismatic cast and incredible score to back it up.

Occasionally lapsing into slow-mo shots and exquisite animation sequences that look like a graphic novel sprung to life, da Vinci's Demons is what HD was created for. It is set in a heart-achingly beautiful, apparently perpetually sunset-streaked CGI rendered Florence, with all of the sumptuous set pieces and dark historical drama of The Borgias except with all the boring bits cut out and a big sense of fun thrown in. The music deserves awards - the most memorable pieces of the entire swelling score are the main theme, reversioned and reprised on different instruments throughout, and Lucrezia's lullaby theme. Tom Riley plays the twitching, sharp-minded, manipulative yet soft-hearted Maestro himself, and what a mesmerisingly emotional yet always good-humoured performance he gives. Special mentions must also go to the actors who play his friends - the gentle, innocent apprentice Nico (Eros Vlahos), so trusting of his Maestro he is even willing to be strapped to a giant pair of experimental wings and let loose into the sky like a comical Kite; Zoroaster (Greg Chillin), a long-suffering lascivious ne'er-do-weller with his chest invariably on display, whose job it is to keep Leo grounded; and Vanessa (Hera Hilmar), a free spirit beauty who Da Vinci 'liberated' from a convent to show her a better life. These four have such chemistry together, particularly the three chaps, that it's difficult not to smile when they share a scene, and downright hard not to crack up at some of the amazingly snappy dialogue: 'I'm a genius,' declares a smug Zoro, after a plot to get Leo out of jail has gone well. 'You still smell like bat s***' replies Vanessa.

I would also be remiss not to mention the darkly smouldering Count Riario (Blake Ritson), the Pope's illegitimate son and definitely not da Vinci's biggest fan. He's an amusing, tightly-wound antagonist - softly spoken, polite, intelligent, and just as much of a cruel, sadistic brute as Joffrey Baratheon; he merely hides it better. It's a lot of fun to watch Riario be thwarted by da Vinci over and over as the series progresses, as you see his foothold on sanity slipping just a teeny bit more each time.

The first series is barely a taste of the delicious banquet creator Davis S Goyer has yet to offer us, as in series 2 Da Vinci and his pals will leave Florence and head out on adventures. This series has so much potential and the possibilities are endless, and after drooling over the eye-popping trailer for the next series I seriously doubt this show will lose its place as my 2nd favourite anytime soon!

The only people I can imagine not enjoying Da Vinci's Demons are the same joyless, soulless types who watch Disney movies and then gripe because Pocahontas wasn't a teenager when she met John Smith etc. To them I simply say - if you want facts there's a history channel, perhaps try that instead of a fantasy series!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 10 May 2014
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I love this series. There's nothing else like it on television. I've always rated Alexander Siddig ever since DS9 and he's brilliant as the mysterious Turk. A strange blend of mysticism and Renaissance politics.
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