Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1

***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: Blood and Sand Season 1 - 5 out of 5

This ain't your grand daddy's Spartacus with Kirk Douglas speaking every line with such strain that it looks like his neck is going to pop open and Tony Curtis keeping his Bronx accent while playing a Roman. Now, I know that little tidbit may make it sound like I disliked the 1960's Stanley Kubrick classic but nothing could be further from the truth. While I enjoyed that film, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a balls out, no-holds-barred, punch in the face of blood, action, story and sex. The show is visceral on a primitive level and injected with such levels of testosterone and adrenaline that it's almost impossible to NOT hop out of your seat, throw your fist in the air and yell with victory over the achievements of the gladiators as their victims blood stains the sands of the arena.

But the uber-violence and gratuitous sex is not all the show is about as the intrigue and plot twists of the story only add to the crack-like addiction levels this show can create. Then you have the show's presentation with it's heavily-stylized look that conjures up images of Zach Snyder's job of bringing Frank Miller's masterpiece 300 to the screen. Unique editing, graphic novel style action and special effects make it nearly impossible to press your thumb on the stop button on your DVD remote and call it a night. Add that with amazing acting, I felt like I needed to go to rehab when the carnage faded and I hit the season finale--one of the best I've ever seen, by the way!

Andy Whitfield plays the slave-turned-hero, Spartacus and the show focuses on his rise to glory in the eyes of the unwashed masses and nobility in the arena and even in the eyes of the gods themselves. Surrounding Whitfield is a collection of actors who feel like they were born to play their parts in this show. John Hannah (The Mummy) really surprised me as he wasn't the bumbling comic relief I've seen him so many times before but was rather a sadistic, underhanded piece of slime--and he played it well! Add to the fact that Lucy Lawless, looking hotter than ever, plays Hannah's equally mischievous wife and you have a treat that only keeps getting sweeter! There are tons of great examples of amazing actors in this show but there is one more I have to mention by name: Manu Bennett plays Spartacus' rival Crixus and the dynamic that he shares, not only with Whitfield but the side story he has with Lawless, nearly made me O.D. on the level of epicness the show contains.

From start to finish, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is overflowing with badassery--that's not even a word, I had to make something up to describe this show.

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