Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

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Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:46 pm

Did anyone catch this show on Starz? I almost gave up on it because the pilot was really bad and made the show look like a dumb 300 ripoff that just pulled the sex appeal card to get viewers. For whatever reason I decided to keep watching and man, I'm glad I did. The action is really well done, though very bloody. They really developed the characters very well, which made it much more interesting than your typical action show. You really start to care about the gladiators as they struggle trying to gain freedom, and the "villains" of the show just keep trying to hold them back, but act like they care. The overarching story is fairly simple, but the characters are really what make this show. I found myself constantly rooting for certain guys to win their fights, or shocked by some twist that made me completely rethink a character.

The best part of the show is John Hannah as Quintus Batiatus, he just OWNS this role and makes it so good, you can really tell he was having a good time playing the house master of the gladiators. I don't think I've ever seen an actor take a role and make it his own, quite like this guy has done here. Any time he shows up on screen, you know it's gonna be awesome. It also features Xena herself, Lucy Lawless (buck ass naked too! :O). The rest of the cast is equally good, most of em are unknowns, but they're all good choices. Unfortunately the guy that played Spartacus has a serious illness and had to drop out, so they had to recast him in the second season. It seems like they picked a decent replacement though, and the original guy is supposed to work with the new guy.

A lot of people probably gave up on this show after the first couple underwhelming episodes, but it's definitely one that gets good really fast. By the end you'll be ready to watch it all again.

Gods of the Arena was a prequel miniseries they made, between season 1 and 2 while they recast the lead role. This was a nice touch because it added some depth to a few of the more important characters in the first season. It actually changed my opinion completely on one of the characters, Crixus, whom I hated in the first season. But seeing where he came from, and how he had to deal with situations made me really like him.

And if you still aren't sold on it, there is lots of boobage and dick (depending on which way you swing :P). But in all seriousness, there is a lot of violence and sex, so if that bothers you, steer clear.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby PopnFresh » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:40 pm

I keep meaning to check this out. I had a similar response to you back when the show was first coming out, "300 on TV, great. I'll have to keep Kellie away from it or else eventually I'm going to get the 'make your abs look like that' discussion." But I've heard a TON of great stuff since those early episodes.

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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Evenflow » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:44 pm

Meh, I didn't care much for it. Doesn't have the depth that you would expect it to have. Now, you should watch Mad Men (its on Netflix now) if you want to witness a pretty good show.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:32 pm

Yeah but Mad Men is a given. You can't help but be enchanted by Mad Men. I love Mad Men so much that I want hats to come back into style so I can wear one. To me it feels soooo much harder to give something new a chance. There just isn't enough time in the day to watch everything I want to watch and play everything I want to play.

Also, boobies are always nice and everyone loves boobies. But I find cable nudity to be pointless when there is porn so readily available. Besides, unless you are Quickshot McCock, 45 seconds of softcore cable grindage isn't enough to rub one out. Fucking impossible.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Sord » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:29 pm

What do you mean, come back in style?! Awesome hats are always in style. Wear that shit, regardless of what any asshole might think or say!

I have a great collection of awesome hats. I miss my beanie the most. That was an amazing hat. It is bright yellow with a blue K on it. (My high school colors, and it was even school merchandise! Kelso Highlanders!)

AMC puts out some incredible shows. I haven't seen Mad Men yet, but Breaking Bad is fucking awesome. The Walking Dead was pretty good too, the few episodes I've seen.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:08 pm

Does your collection include fedoras?
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Lightfeather » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:05 am

Damon wears cabbie hats on a regular basis instead of a regular ball cap.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Sord » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:27 am

I actually do have a fedora :) And I do wear it on occasion.

The only hats I don't really care for are cowboy hats. That's not to say that they don't look good, they just don't look good on me. I mostly wear uh.. well, I guess its a baseball cap, though it has a Football team logo :P
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:16 am

Season 2 finally started after a long hold up and is still awesome even with the change in lead role. Unfortunately Andy Whitfield, who played Spartacus, passed away last year. They had ended up recasting the character last year while he was still alive, because he decided he wasn't well enough to continue. Apparently he worked with the new guy for a few months and was able to give him some insight into the character. The new guy started off really strong, keeping faithful to the first season depiction on the character, but also adding his own spin on it. It was nice that he didn't just try to imitate Andy.

Another worry I had was that
Spoiler: show
the death of Batiatus (John Hannah), removed one of the best characters on the show. But the reemergence of Craig Parker as Claudius Glaber seems to be a fitting villain so far.
The action is as cool as ever, and of course there are still boobs galore. The story seems to be going in some interesting directions. Also crossing my fingers for the return of Gannicus (from the Gods of the Arena miniseries).
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Marcallo » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:58 am

Anyone find it amusing that you're getting to see Lucy Lawless' tits every episode about 20 years later than you wanted to with this show? At least from the half a season I watched. It's a great show I just don't ever watch things all the way through like this. I have shiny object syndrome when it comes to TV shows.
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"...

...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."

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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 pm

I hadn't watched this yet because it only had a couple of season 2 eps when I first checked it out. Now that someone has posted something and rezzed this thread, I checked again and, hey look! Season 1 is on again! So before Starz decides to pull off all its programs again, it's time for a sweaty, swarthy, homoerotic marathon! Woohoo!
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:26 am

Now lets be honest, for her age, Lucy Lawless' tits look pretty damn good. Though I don't disagree with it being 20 years late
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Sord » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:09 pm

I wanted to see them years ago. I wanted to see them in Battlestar Galactica. I want to see them in this.
Bye space sword!

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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:51 pm

Just went marathoned Season 1 and enjoyed it for the most part... but now I can't find the other stuff? I thought netflix would keep S2 on another tab and I just noticed that there is no season 2 tab, at least not anymore. Looking around, I found some so so streams on alluc.org but it is quite tedious how slow the video comes in. Anyone know of other streaming sources? I'd rather not download or torrent these.

Anyone else have issue with the cheesy CGI blood in this series? The other CGI background stuff is not so bad, if very video-gamey. I can ignore that because I can force my focus onto the foreground. However the bloodsplatter can't be ignored. It's just the fakeness of the blood splatter is jarringly obvious and sometimes cartoonish. Other effects like Mr. Horsecock's full monty reveal and the stump of said horsecock looked totally fake.

Other than that I am enjoying the storyline, enjoying the acting, the action, the boobage, and the lack of flexing. So glad it is not just oiled dudes flexing for the camera. Lucy Lawless has nice tits for her age - I'd motorboat those! And when I tire of those, the fantastic body of Ilythia is visually stimulating, though I find some of her acting to be forced, especially when she's being giggly. I find myself thinking of Hedonism Bot when I watch the show what with all the grapes and the colorful linens draped over sensuous forms. I too find Batiatus to be a joy to watch. I find him to be close in caliber to the portrayals of Al Swearengen or Atia of the Julii but not quite equaling them because the latter two simply stole their shows.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:54 am

Technically season 2 is the one that just started, subtitled Vengeance and there are only 3 episodes so far. There was a 6 episode miniseries Gods of the Arena that they produced last year in between the two seasons, so you may not be missing as much as you thought you were.

And I second the comments about Ilythia's boobs
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:47 pm

Caught up watching a slow, fuzzy stream of Gods of the Arena. Started on Vengeance and I'm wondering who the hell are the new gladiators? From that opening scene of Ep1? Excluding Spartacus who is a new actor, I don't recognize the guys he was with. Later on in the sewers or whatever, I recognize a few on Crixis' crew. I'm also hoping that there will be someone who can really anchor the show the way Batiatus did.

/edit Hmm... I've watched everything from Blood to Arena... Vengeance is on Starz...which I just remembered that I get with Dish network for free lol. So nvm about finding a stream.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Sord » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:45 am

I tried watching this on Netflix and yeah after re-reading the first paragraph in the original post, I encountered the same thing with the pilot. Cheap 300 ripoff that immediately made me turn the thing off about 20 mins into it. I think all the Starz shit is going bye bye from Netflix soon though so I probably wont have a real chance to really give it shot. Oh well. :(
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:47 am

I think most of the main gladiators were just guys that had smaller parts in the first season, though I don't really remember 100%. But I think the idea is that they've been picking up new recruits along the way, so there may be some random new guys. I think Glaber could be a suitable replacement for Batiatus, they just haven't really given him the screen time yet, but I've liked the small parts that he's had so far.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:40 pm

You know what I really hope? That the fighting camera style is copied by future movies and shows. Why? Because I can actually SEE what the fuck is going on during combat. There's been a trend in the last 10 years of shaky cameras and waaaaay too close camera work where half the shit is out of focus or entirely off camera. It's like a cheap way to hide the fact that the action sucks or is poorly choreographed. With the super stylized slo mo, I now have the chance to follow the action.

Another thing I was curious about. Is Glabus kinda small looking? He looked sorta tall as an Elf. But he looks kinda undersized when he's wearing his cuirass. Makes him look sorta like a guy with small man syndrome.

Also, one of Ilythia's hand maidens is kinda hot.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:09 am

IMDB says Craig Parker is 5'10", so yeah, I guess he is rather short for an actor
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:36 pm

You wanted Gannicus? You got him! What'd you think of his return? Last night's episode was like gods vs gods brought together from the different series and I'm glad it was an episode that was as epic as the occasion warranted.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:05 pm

GANNICUS! That was one of the best episodes of the series imo. It'll be interesting to see how he integrates with Spartacus and the group
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Yeah and even though Glaber is the antagonist, I was rooting for him to fully assume the mantle befitting a mighty Praetor. That makes the bad guy a real bad guy instead of just some dude who you wouldn't care about when he eventually gets steamrolled. The title of the episode coulda been "Glaber Grows Gonads". I like this trend better than the previous which would led to something like "I, Claudius. Cuckold."
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Tamayo » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:12 pm

Yeah I felt sorry for him when everyone was messing with him in the previous episodes, and he's now starting to take initiative and be a strong villain. I liked him in this last episode dressed in the robes instead of his full armor, it looked more fitting on him since he is a smaller guy.

Gannicus and Spartacus dynamic was pretty cool too, I figured they weren't gonna see eye to eye. I have a feeling he'll come back to help at some point... or maybe he'll end up working for the bad guys. Who knows.. It was also cool when Glaber told Ashur to prove his point about how good gladiators are, and he held his own against 10 Romans and was like "and I was considered the weakest." This Egyptian guy seems pretty intense too, interested to see more of him.
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Re: Spartacus Blood and Sand / Gods of the Arena

Postby Feaduin » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:52 pm

Doh... the free Starz preview is over I guess so now i gotta look for the streams again :(

well, that didn't take long and I found the latest ep almost immediately on a fast server.

I agree that it is nice to see Ashur do his thing for once since he was always sorta the runt and treated like shit. My guess is that he will be the instrument of Karma that brings down Crixus eventually.

In the Gannicus v Spartacus matchup... it's times like these that I really miss Andy Whitfield. The new guys is cool and all but he still needs to gain another 35 pounds.
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