Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (BLU-RAY)

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Bottom Line:

Bloody, pornographic, and completely over the top; Gods of the Arena gives more of what people enjoyed about the first season.

In the second season of the rediculously over the top Starz series, It follows Batiatus's rise to power from his father and aligning the situation for events of the first season. The show had to do this beacause Andy Whitfield, the actor who played Spartacus, became very ill with cancer and had to leave the show before they could film the next season. Sadly he died weeks before this show release of this show on video. 

Despite the unexpected and unfortunate change, the show did not suffer. As this season it is more of what people want from the first season. If you have seen Spartacus, it is an exercise in everything gratuitous. Any adjective that is edgy can have a very added to it. Very violent, very pornographic, very foul mouthed,etc. I find the gratuity occasionaly works. With the sheer amount of it, I find it tends to dive into shock just to shock. If you're not into over the top entertainment, look elsewhere. 

What does always work is the visuals. The show is very well directed, especially the fighting sequences. Everyhting is saturated with color and the backgrounds are dripping with style. This is definitely one of the best looking television series I have seen. I highly recommend watching this on Blu-ray as its a great transfer that works great with the digital effects. 

As far as the story goes it has its ups and downs. When we follow the power struggle between the slave owners it can be moderatly engaging, but most of the drama is pretty silly and dumb. What helps this department is the acting by the core cast. For the most part they are all very good and revel in the rediculousness of it all. 

In the end if you're into over the top melodrama's that revels in sin and lust then this is the show for you. As a piece of pulpy entertainment it works. But as a engaging character study or deep drama, not so much. 

Review by Alex Tracy