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Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 1 (2010)

Andy Whitfield , John Hannah  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,043 customer reviews)

List Price: $59.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Peter Mensah, Lucy Lawless, Nick Tarabay
  • Producers: Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Steven S. DeKnight, Joshua Donen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 692 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,043 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003PIUBZS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,027 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurettes: Gladiator Camp, History Rewritten, Make-up Effects, The Hole And more!
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Episodes with Enhanced Digital Effects
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Bloopers
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The "sword and sandals" genre isn't exactly known for its subtlety and restraint, but even by those standards, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is deliriously, delightfully over the top. Viewers familiar with the 1960 film starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Stanley Kubrick, the best-known version of the Spartacus tale, will recognize the basic outline of the story: a Thracian warrior with a beautiful, loving wife is betrayed by his Roman "allies" and forced into slavery, whereupon he distinguishes himself as a gladiator nonpareil and, after enduring countless indignities, leads his brethren and others in a rebellion against their oppressors. But there's a lot more Caligula than Kubrick in the 13 first-season episodes (each a bit less than an hour long) of this Starz television series, which stars Andy Whitfield in the title role and also features Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as the wicked wife of Spartacus's owner. The fight scenes are highly stylized (the entire production seems to have taken a cue from the surreal, painterly look of 300) but extraordinarily brutal, featuring multiple dismemberments and decapitations amidst seas of slow-motion, CGI-generated blood; a gladiatorial battle in episode 5 pitting Spartacus and his rival-turned-ally Crixus (Manu Bennett) against a monster named Theokoles is definitely not for the squeamish, but that's only one of many such scenes. There's also ample sex and nudity, as the couplings involving various studly gladiators and lustful Roman noblewomen are like salacious combat between Chippendales dancers and Victoria's Secret models. Meanwhile, the personal relationships are the stuff of soap operas, with the Romans in particular depicted as relentlessly decadent, duplicitous, and power-hungry.

If this all sounds outrageously entertaining, it is, though perhaps not for everyone. And although the future of the show (which was executive produced by Spider-Man director Sam Raimi) is in doubt due to Whitfield's ongoing battle with cancer, we'll always have this season to revel in. Bonus material in the four-disc set includes audio commentary on a variety of episodes and a batch of featurettes, most prominently a 15-minute "making of" documentary. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republic’s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
751 of 782 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's view May 21, 2010
I felt compelled to give my review in contrast to some of those I have been reading saying this series is aimed at a male demographic. I am educated, gainfully employed, well read, happily married and middle aged.
I love everything about Spartacus.
I think the problem is that some people go into it with specific expectations. Start watching with an open mind.
As film art, it is absolutely beautiful. Some of the visuals are obvious CGIs and in my opinion they were done to enhance the visual experience and it works. I think the director is presenting it as his vision to us. For a television series its stunning to watch.
As a story, it is riveting. They have done a great job baiting the viewer and building interest and depth in the plot. You become fully vested in the characters without even realizing it. There is a natural continuity through it without becoming predictable. So much going on, even the side plots are interesting.
As history, it is what it is. A fictional story based on facts. I know watching this sort of historical saga always piques my interest in true history and I research. Some people get all up in arms about how it really was. I find the way a writer or director fills in the gaps or interprets history interesting and accept it for what it is.
Frankly, this bloody, dirty, depiction of that era is far more believable then some Disneyfied version. (Don't attack. I'm a big Disney fan as well)
As far as the actors and acting is concerned, kudos all around. Lucy Lawless is the big name draw and she is amazing. But equally good is about everyone else in the film whether you like their characters or not, the acting is all top notch. The costuming and even the lack thereof, is beautiful without detracting from the show as a whole.
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236 of 258 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing in the Name March 8, 2010
Verified Purchase
If you thought HBO's depiction of ancient Rome was graphic and brutal, wait till you see Spartacus: Blood and Sand! Take the excellent scripting work that went into Rome, combine it with the shocking sex and violence of Caligula, mix in a little of the over the top blood spatter of 300 and your expectations will be very well set for Spartacus.

I remember when HBO's Deadwood first came out that some of the public reaction was astonished and skeptic of the portrayal of such a violent and profanity filled Wild Wild West. After decades of Westerns led by squeaky clean John Wayne characters, I'm not surprised. Similar to what Deadwood was going for with the Western, Spratacus leaves nothing for the imagination during its time period. But what makes Spartacus such a classy show is that there's nothing gratuitous. It's all intended to be a very real depiction of how day to day life went in the hierarchies of Rome circa 70 BC. Love, battle, adultery, orgy, torture, rape, murder...it's all there in all its glory...and I mean ALL its glory.

The events of Spartacus take place about 20 years prior to those depicted in the HBO Rome series, and it initially focuses on the historical figure Spartacus' enslavement and rise as a gladiator.
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182 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Highly Original and Entertaining" February 21, 2010
"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" continues cable television's dominance in quality programming outshining all network shows by a landslide. The series debut on Starz TV in January, 2010 and before the series was even broadcast the station ordered two full seasons worth of episodes which shows Starz's dedication to broadcasting high quality progamming. "Sparatacus: Blood and Sand" is a historical weekly drama, made along the same lines as "Rome" and "The Tudors", but with more graphic violence, sex, and language. The series is about a Roman gladiator named Spartacus who is captured and becomes a slave in a gladiator school headed by Batiatus in Capua. There, Spartacus must fight for his freedom, and he ultimately becomes the head of all slaves as others look up to him for his determination and willpower. The first season features 13 episodes all produced where money was no option. The sets, costumes, and location shooting are the best for any series produced for TV and there were times that I had to remind myself that I was not watching a movie, but a mere TV show. Andy Whitfield, an Australian actor, is mesmerizing as Spartacus, and his character is at times often bold, intense, heart-warming, and unapologetic. Lucy Lawless has a supporting role as the wife of Batiatus who is having an affair with sexy gladiator Crixus, played to perfection by Manu Bennett. The one asset the series has is the amount of male flesh that viewers can witness week after week. Obviously great care went into the casting of actors that were buffed and well-built and if your a straight woman or a gay guy you will not be disappointed in the amount of male testosterone that is shown. Full male frontal nudity, mainly by Manu Bennett, is shown as well, which is why the series has a TV-MA rating. Read more ›
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Spanish Audio?
It is latin spanish or castillian?
Apr 11, 2012 by Félix S. Campiñez |  See all 5 posts
Should I watch the prequel first?
I watched the prequel first - but by mistake. I bought the prequel and 1st season bundled and thought by looking on the rear of the package I could tell the difference (newer one would have a newer date) but both showed 2010 and I picked the "prequel" since it did seem a reasonable... Read More
Dec 10, 2012 by M. K. Delorean |  See all 6 posts
Anyone else not able to get this blu ray to play?
I have the Blu ray edition, and all 4 discs play perfectly on a Panasonic DMP BD50, with the exception of disc 3, episode 9. The 2 minutes from c. 26:40 to 28:40 completely break up. They are unwatchable, unlistenable, and cause the player to freeze. Only by stopping the disc could I unfreeze it.... Read More
Nov 13, 2010 by Michael Cooper |  See all 11 posts
Why is this Blu-Ray movie so expensive?
It's not a movie, but a cable TV show, so they are always a lot of $$. 13 episodes, so it should be about 3-4 discs.
Apr 28, 2010 by D. Holt |  See all 23 posts
additional languages & subtitles?
Are there french subtitles ?
Apr 16, 2010 by Pierre Alengry |  See all 4 posts
bonus / special features Spartacus B&S region1 DVD Be the first to reply
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