Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Spartacus:  Gods of the Arena - 4 out of 5

Well, the Arena spectators are cleaning than 99%
of the fans at a Nascar event.
By Jupiter's Cock!  I'll never forget the first time I watched Spartacus: Blood and SandSwords spraying blood in epic arena battles, raunchy sex and sinful acts of treachery filled the screen and I fell in love with the show in its first moments as I watched what could only be described as an unholy union between Gladiator and 300...only with more blood and bare breasts!  After the first season soaked the sands of the arena with the blood on the unworthy, series star Andy Whitfield began a losing battle with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  In an effort to keep the series in the minds of its fans, a six-episode mini-series expanding on a flashback contained within the show went into production while everyone hoped for the best for Whitfield.  Sadly, the actor who put Kirk Douglas' performance of Spartacus to shame, didn't survive his battle and passed away in 2011.  However, he will live on as the Bringer of Rain, the Slayer of Death--SPARTACUS!!!

Rest in peace, sir!

Argh!!!  That bird somehow evolved into a man!
As a fan of Blood and Sand, I was excited to see this mini-series however, reviews from my brother-in-law didn't instill the most faith as he was greatly disappointed.  I tried to keep my hopes on an even plain as I started up the first disc and by the time the 2nd disc came to a close, I was overall impressed with the mini-series.  Gods of the Arena lacked the uber-violence of Blood and Sand and the emphasis on indiscriminate sex and blood was greatly limited as the emphasis was placed upon backstory.

Gallagher shows in Rome were rough...and just as unfunny as they were in the 80s.

Gannicus is too pretty to be a gladiator.
We learn more of the House of Batiatus and how they once held a great champion by the name of Gannicus.  We see their rise in the city of Capua and how they come to fall to the dirt we see them in at the beginning of Blood and Sand.  We see the arrival of Crixus and his journey from lowly slave to the man who would be the next champion of the Arena and rival of the almighty Spartacus and object of lustful desire for the matriarch of the House of Batiatus; Lucretia.  We watch as Oenomaus inherits the position of Doctore from none other than Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and through his sharp tongue and sharper whip beats respect into his men.  Ever wonder how Ashur got burned or how he injured his leg?  Wanna see how he learns to be an utterly ruthless snake of a human being?  Well, you get to see all this and more in Gods of the Arena and it all happens in just 6 episodes!!!

A bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away and a Doctore in ancient Rome?
Temuera Morrison is genetically bred to be a bad-ass.  Chuck Norris broke his
leg trying to roundhouse kick him once...and it was only a picture of Morrison.

The Moment of Impact:  The look a man gets when he
gets caught in his zipper.
The style that was set as the standard at the beginning is still here and with all the origins, backstory and history unfolding in these handful of episodes, it's no wonder that the gratuitous (but totally worth it) violence, blood and nudity had to be toned down.  While it was a disappointment that the elements that made Blood and Sand an non-stop thrill ride that can only be described as genetically synthesized adrenaline being pumped directly into your heart while bungee jumping out of a plane before cutting your line and not opening a parachute until 100 feet off the ground, the look back of the House of Batiatus grow in the developing city of Capua as the Arena is built only to see their crushing blow that brings them to the beginning of the series makes up for the lack of bodily fluids, no matter what form we see them exit the body.

This picture is so bad-ass it'll give you a nosebleed if you're not strong enough.

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