Spartacus: Blood & Sand/Gods Of The Arena [DVD]
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Blood and Sand Betrayed by his country. Beaten into slavery. Reborn as a warrior. Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a graphic and visceral account of Rome s most famous gladiator. When he s separated from the love of his life, Spartacus is forced into the gruesome and bloodthirsty arena, where a grisly death is primetime entertainment. Spartacus must fight for survival, befriend his enemies and play politics in this new world of corruption, violence, sex and fame. He ll be seduced by power and tormented by vengeance. But his passion will give him the strength to prevail over every obstacle, in this modern and uninhibited tale of death, honour and endurance. Gods of the Arena The House of Batiatus is on the rise, basking in the glow of its infamous champion Gannicus, whose skill with a sword is matched only by his thirst for wine and women. These are the times a young Batiatus has been waiting for. Poised to overthrow his father and take control, he ll freely betray anyone to ensure his gladiators are in the highest demand. And he ll have his loyal and calculating wife Lucretia by his side for every underhanded scheme, drawing on the brazen talents of her seductive friend Gaia when it counts. Together, they will stop at nothing to deceive the masses, seize power, and bleed Capua dry in this audacious prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
A lot of people compare "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" to "Rome", however the 2 have nothing in common. "Spartacus" was never designed to even remotely resemble "Rome". While "Rome" is a drama about politics and conspiracies, "Spartacus" is one man's journey. The series is inspired by the story of the gladiator Spartacus, who led the gladiators rebellion and who died in their last stand in southern Italy. Although there are numerous facts about his deeds there is nothing about the man himself. Even the notion that he was from Thrace isn't a fact. The 2 inspiration points for the series are clearly "Gladiator", for the concept, a man fighting for something and using the crowd of the arena to achieve his goal, and "300" for the special effects. Although in the first 2 episodes it was more about fights and sex scenes, things changed in from the third becoming more focused on the character and toning down the violence and nudity. The show feels different from anything at the moment, and if it keeps improving it could easily become one of the best shows around. --Imdb
For me the pilot was something of a mix between the graphic violence of 300(it even includes somewhat similar battle sequences), the sex of 300, the idea of Gladiator and a bit of Rome. I almost stopped watching it and I'm glad I didn't do it. People would see the first episode and dismiss it as "gore and sex" time-wasting perversity. And they would be mistaken. The plot, filled with at first glance one-dimensional characters, is so varied, so deep, full of plot twists and unpredictable outcomes that you may find yourself glued to the screen.The sex is still there, the sexy images as well(muscular men and beautiful women), but the characters have gained so much depth and perspective, that you can't say someone is just white or black(with two exceptions). There are so many shades of gray in between, that most of the times even if you want to hate a character for plotting against the protagonist, you find yourself siding with him on another level. The protagonist is not a saint, the "bad guys" show they can love and cherish, and you see the other side of mighty Rome, the one not shown in "Rome". This show, even after the less than spectacular pilot, can be and for the moment is great and it's not the gore or sex that make it so. In 300, Rome and even Gladiator, to which Spartacus: Blood and Sand is usually compared, the main characters are free men and women, people who act on their generally free will(yes, even in Gladiator). This show is different. Spartacus: Blood and Sand displays the Roman world through the eyes of the downtrodden, the helpless and the people without rights - the enslaved, THE underdogs, who eventually tried to defy the might of Rome, who lost and lost in an epic and tragic way and in their fall still achieved greatness and immortality. Among the nudity, spilling blood and duel sequences, Spartacus: Blood and Sand shows the viewer why freedom is such a cherished thing, what happens when we lose it and why people throughout time have risen to regain it and died pursuing it or defending it. Some people mock the characters for being "one-dimensional" and demand more complexity. Others have voiced their contempt of the less than accurate representation of "the complex social system of Rome". Spartacus: Blood and Sand does not seek to represent the social system. For the people at the bottom of the ladder it was irrelevant whether Sulla was killing senators or Pompeus was gaining power. As for the one-dimensional characters, let me pound the obvious and say this - when you have to kill a friend at the command of your master, or be killed as well, there's no possibility for inner struggle or soul searching. You can't really disobey your master when humiliation, rape, torture and death lie just a whim away. It's early to say definitely whether Spartacus: Blood and Sand will be a great TV show. It certainly is for now and gets better and better. Unless the creators manage to screw up gigantically, which they have avoided so far, this child of Starz can become epic. --Imdb
I have been waiting for the return of Spartacus: Blood and Sand for quite some time now. Unfortunately, Andy's cancer delayed this for a long time, so Starz gave us Gods of the Arena in stead. All I can say is well done! We are introduced into the same society and atmosphere we were presented in Blood and Sand, but a few years before Spartacus's arrival. Most of the cast from the previous show is back, and the producers did a good job with making them look a bit younger. I will not give out the names, to avoid spoilers, but rest assured, you will not be disappointed by the number of familiar faces. And, most importantly, everything that we've seen in Blood and Sand is here! All the gore, sex, and ruthlessness is back, and boy, I've missed it. Seeing the first episode of the new series, I had a sense of seriousness and ambition throughout the show. There is enough action to keep you entertained, but there are also plenty of sensual scenes and political schemes as well. The cast did a good job, as always, and I did not have the feeling that the actors lost interest since the first season, a thing that happens with lots of shows nowadays. Also, the special effects have gotten a little better, the filming is great too. So, as a bottom line, Starz and it's Spartacus is back, just as strong as the old series, even if Spartacus himself is missing, for now. If you loved the previous show, you will love this too, no doubt, and if you didn't, well, you will start loving it now! --Imdb
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Top Customer Reviews
Those of a squeamish bent need not apply-the claret flows freely throughout. Nay,it gushes,it spurts! Shot in the style of "300",the action is brutal,thrilling and completely OTT-if gladiators had really been slaughtered at this rate the whole business wouldn't have lasted very long. But hey,we're not here for a history lesson.
Dustin Clare as Gannicus("Gods")and the late,lamented Andy Whitfield as Spartacus make charismatic heroes-you'll cheer their their triumphs in the arena,shed a tear for their lost loves and generally root for them both to escape their lives of bondage.
John Hannah plays Batiatus,owner of the gladiator school,who is basically ambition on legs and wants to raise his establishment 'above the gods themselves!' Hannah is here licensed to be totally outrageous and is clearly having the time of his life,especially when he's romping with Lucy Lawless and Jaime Murray(who's very stuff indeed).
Ms.Lawless,playing his wife Lucretia,is of course gorgeous and gives a nicely layered performance as a woman who can be ruthless and selfish but is genuinely devoted to her social-climbing husband.
They all thrive on scripts that are sharp,muscular(ahem),and gloriously sweary.
So there it is-in case I forgot to mention it,these shows are awesome.If you like this sort of stuff,you'll love them.For those about to buy,I salute you!
But there was so much to recommend this series. There was an authenticness about it from the earthy acting to the superb writing. I mean the dialogue really transported you to another time and place. I was put in mind of the I Claudius series decades ago with Derek Jacobi.
The one aspect which I was disappointed with - and it is the only reason I've not given 5 stars - was the CGI. I think viewers can spot CGI a mile off at this stage - but this was particularly bad. It was so bad my poor dead blind grandma could have spotted it. And that distracted hugely from the great efforts which the writers and actors put in to bring us such a unique perspective on this great tale.
Gods of the Arena contains many graphic scenes in the arena and of a sexual nature. I would not describe them as "tasteful" but for sure they fit in perfectly with the "graphic novel" spirit of the whole project.
Blood and Sand focus on Spartacus, which I found a bit detrimental to the choral nature of the story. However, it must be said that the late Andy Whitfield was an excellent actor, not only capable of delivering on a physical way but also on the emotional. He was truly belivable playing the husband deeply in love with his wife, the friend who could not forgive himself for what he did to his only gladiator friend, Varro, and the hero who slowly grew some sort of "social conscience".
Indeed, the best part of the show is the deep undercurrent of feelings and quest for human dignity, beyond the graphic display of sex and violence. Most enjoyable, but in little doses.
Not dissapointed at all, quite surprised by the amount of flesh that is on display, and how they can film the arena scenes with so many graphics.. a bit too much at times.
I'd like to see Spartacus with some of the idiots on TNA Wrestling.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
love the series and would love more of the same arrived on time a really great boxsetPublished 2 months ago by M. F. Bradshaw
Mostly good but the first disc wouldn't play on dvd player but does on computer, might be just old player.Published 19 months ago by Max2150
This shouldn't be any good. It's crude and at times feels cheap. But it is more fun than it has any right to be. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Markhamaniser