07/24/2014  
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu-ray Sep 16Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, and More Aug 19The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22Spartacus: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, Digital HD, DVD Sep 16Awkward: Season 3 on DVD Aug 5Worm on DVD Aug 12

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu...
'Bosom Buddies' Star Donna Dixon Resurfaces, Stunning a...
'Fargo' will return to FX next season Ñ but with new ca...
Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, an...
The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray A...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA



Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Year: 2011
Cast:
Director: various
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Rating: Not Rated for Stephen Lovatt, Jessica Grace Smith, Antonio Te Maioha, Jeffrey Thomas, Gareth Williams, Lucy Lawless, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Raicho Vasilev, John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah, Dustin Clare, Jaime Murray, Nick E Tarabay, Marisa Ramirez
Run Time: 05h:35m:00s
Genre(s): television, action

"The fights are particularly entertaining today." - Lucretia (Lucy Lawless)

SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
   

Spartacus: Gods of the Area serves as a prequel, a continuation and an introduction to the Spartacus series. Definitely, if you don't like sex and violence in your televsion, then do not watch this show which from the first scene contains copious amounts of both. Featuring a hyper-reality graphic novel style and well-written characters, the mini-series fills the gap between the original show and the upcoming 2013 second season.

Movie Grade: A-

DVD Grade: B+

The show Spartacus: Blood and Sand became one of the guilty pleasures of last year with its "ground-breaking" formula of edgy visual style, complex plots, gory violence and explicit sex. Soon after plans were made for a second season of Blood and Sand, the star Andy Whitfield was found to have cancer and the beginning of production was put off to allow for his recovery from treatment. To feed a ravenous fanbase, the producers took a proposed flashback sequence and expanded it out to a six-part mini-series as a prequel to the first series and featuring many of the same characters, including some that had died, or at least, appeared to die.

One of the pleasures of Blood and Sand was the bravura performance of John Hannah as Batiatus and he is the real star of this prequel as he is depicted as growing into his role as lanista (gladiator trainer and owner) escaping from the shadow of his father. His schemes are ambitious and when foiled, his revenge is inevitably ferocious as seen in Blood and Sand and recaptured here. His wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) is another shameless rave-up that burst all kinds of bounds of propriety, especially here when her partner in crime is the luscious Gaia played by Jaime Murray. The focus of the prequel is intended to be Gannicus, played by Dustin Clare, and he has his moments but his role inexplicably fades in and out of the latter episodes.

The overall story suffers somewhat from the expansion to a six-hour series from an idea that perhaps didn't work as a story arc in the previous series. There are some problems of logic in the character development and deconstruction, particularly Lucretia. The story is tied up a bit too neatly with a couple of developments that are too much of a stretch. I also did not particularly care for the character of Batiatus' father and I can't say it was the way he was written or acted by Jeffrey Thomas. Two other characters that are unique to this series are the antagonists of Batiatus, merchant Tullius (Stephen Lovatt) and lanista Vettius (Gareth Williams). I have to admit I did not particularly care for either of them as villains. They seemed forced and not fitting particularly well in the story line. That being said, just being the focus of Batiatus' energy gives them a dramatic momentum. On the positive side, a lot of these details just don't matter as the momentum of the story often quickly overwhelms inconsistencies. This series does contain some unnecessary sexual content that, in my opinion, is included less for adding to the story than to fill in some gaps. The plot was well planned for its beginning and ending, but flouders a bit in the middle.

On the positive side, some of the major characters in Blood and Sand get some intriguing depth added to their characters in this prequel with con man Ashur (Nick Tarabay), Crixus (Manu Bennett), Barca (Antonio Te Maioha) and Oenomaus (Peter Mensah) all receiving potent back stories told compellingly. This will only add to the next iteration of the series Spartacus: Vengeance, due on Starz early next year. The battle sequences in this series almost measure up to the action in the first series. There is an effort to add some new twists in the action and the graphic novel visuals heighten the intensity of the confrontations.

On a sad note, Andy Whitfield will not return as Spartacus as he lost his battle with cancer earlier this year and the role has been recast. It remains to be seen if his loss from the cast can be overcome.

Extras:
Extended Scenes
Alternate Endings
Content Too Risqué for Cable TV
Convention Panel
Arena Bloopers
On Set With Lucy Lawless
Post Production: The Final Execution
Weapons of Mass Disruption
Battle Royale: Anatomy of a Scene
10 Easy Steps to Dismemberment
Dressed to Kill
Enter the Arena: Production Design

Posted by: Jesse Shanks - October 20, 2011, 7:23 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: drama, action, historical




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

comedy, television, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, drama, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, music, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, box office, movies, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, horror, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze, dancing with the stars, abc, cheryl burke, botox, no eating disorder, no plastic surgery, simian flu, matt reeves, rick jaffa, amada silver, mark bomback, andy serkis, jason clark, keri russell, kodi smit-mcphee and gary oldman, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell. whoopi goldberg, elisabeth hasselbeck, emmy nominations, game of thrones, house of cards

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact