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Spartacus (2004)

Goran Visnjic , Robert Dornhelm  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Goran Visnjic
  • Directors: Robert Dornhelm
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Run Time: 354 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002PYTB4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,420 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spartacus" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In 72 B.C. the Roman Empire swept through Europe, conquering countries and selling their citizens into slavery. One slave dared to take a stand: Spartacus. After witnessing his father's brutal murder and being sold into slavery, Spartacus (Goran Visnjic) vows to one day live as a free man. Leading 80 fellow slaves in a coordinated revolt, Spartacus and his men flee into the mountains. Alarmed by the growing slave insurrection, Roman politicians and generals vow to stop Spartacus at all costs. In the final battle of slaves versus Romans, Spartacus' epic fight for freedom becomes the stuff of legend.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
'Spartacus' the '04 mini-series starring Goran Visnjic (who?) as Spartacus leads a cast of even lesser known names in a surprisingly good retelling of the famous slave rebellion against Rome, circa first century BC. Almost three hours long, 177 minutes to be exact, the storyline is consistently enjoyable throughout and the allotted viewing time passes quickly.

Plot: A band of gladiator slaves rebel against their masters, first destroying the gladiator school and then the local garrison of Roman troops. As the slave army roams the countryside they attract more slaves to their cause and their numbers multiply. Repeated attempts are made by Rome to destroy the rebels but against all odds the slaves win victory after victory. That is until Spartacus plans for a sea escape are thwarted and all the might of the Roman Empire are summoned to squash the insurrection.

Surprises: I was surprised to see that two of my favorite scenes in the original '60 epic were not included in the mini-series. However, In spite of there absence the film doesn't suffer from their exclusion. This is all in all an excellent production that deserves to be seen.

Cast: Goran Visnjic does a masterful job at balancing the emotive, warlike nature of Spartacus with the more sensitive, cerebral longings of the legendary warrior, while Rhona Mitra as his love interest Varinia displays a much more aggressive, firey nature than we've come to expect from the original Varinia played by Jean Simmons. Rhona is absolutely magnificent! James Frain gives a fantastic performance as well in the role of David, Spartacus second in command. Also strong performances by Angus Macfadyen as Marcus Crassus and my daughter's favorite Paul Telfer as Gannicuc.
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88 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The rationale for turning Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film "Spartacus" into a two-part television mini-series was that this time the production would be more faithful to Howard Fast's novel. Given that the Spartacus revolt is a part of Roman history it would make more sense to try and be more faithful to that actual history than a fictional novel, but that is going to have to wait for another day and it just might take a while for Hollywood to want to revisit this story. The chief attraction of Fast's novel, in contrast to the historical record, would seem to be the happy ending that is provided by virtue of Spartacus having a child who survives his death and is raised free.

What we believe we know about the real Spartacus is that he was born free in Thrace and may have served as an auxiliary in the Roman army in Macedonia. However, he deserted, lived as an outlaw, was captured, sold into slavery, and ended up being trained at the gladiatorial school of Batiatus in Capua. In 73 B.C.E. Spartacus escaped with 70-80 other gladiators and camped on Vesuvius, where they were joined by other slaves who ran away from their masters and began plundering and pillaging the region. Spartacus wanted to escape Italy by crossing the Alpus, but the slaves from Gaul and Germany wanted to stay in southern Italy and continuing the plundering and pillaging. That first year Spartacus and his men defeated a force of 3,000 raw recruits led by Cladius Glaber and then two forces of legionary cohorts. In 72 B.C.E. Spartacus had an army of approximately 70,000 slaves and the Roman Senate sent two consuls, Publicola and Lentulus, with two legions each against the rebels. Publicola defeated the Gauls and Germans, and Crixus was killed.
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54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent History. Good Screenplay. Bad Acting. Poor Script. February 24, 2005
Format:DVD
This new rendition of 'Spartacus' provides a more accurate depiction of the Roman Slave Revolt that took place between 73-71 B.C. but is horribly lacking in script and acting: something to be expected from a TV miniseries I suppose.

Goran Visnjic as Spartacus simply fails to leave any memorable impression. His voice is so passive and unengaging, and his face so placid, that he hardly passes for a charismatic leader who commanded over 100,000 people. The character follows the positive comments by classical sources on the real Spartacus as having been a skilled commander and humane leader. There is little information on Spartacus however and really no information on his origins. Rome had been in an ongoing civil and foreign wars in which slaves were routinely used as auxillaries. Such auxillaries were commonly used to carry out indiscriminate massacres by their leaders such as Sulla or Marius because they were more expendable if popular sentiment became too hostile. Being an adult in these times, Spartacus may have been among such groups of men and not so much the saintly Marxist hero fighting for the laborer portrayed by Fast. As for Crassus, Angus Macfadyen is diappointing but the fault lies more with the screenplay and script. He plays Crassus as if he were a rich snob who's obsessed with power. Marcus Licinius Crassus was very rich but hardly a snob. Plutarch describes Crassus as affable and modest: a man who would talk to persons high and low with tact and politeness. Generous to others, he acquired influence by his vast wealth, being a court advocate, and giving loans without interest to important upstarts like Caesar from whom he could also ask for payment on demand (a traditional Roman practice seen as normal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Same thing as history -- decisive battles
Crap in a different package is still crap. Just one episode from what was an alright series on the history channel a lifetime ago. PASS!
Published 8 days ago by Rose Toledo
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus or Scanderbeg?
The plot of the story is largely based on Marin Barleti's "Scanderbeg", a book (of the 16th century) about the Albanian hero of the 15th century who fought against the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by George Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of Iconic Story
Been looking in all the wrong places for this video. Got it i no time flat! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy!
Published 6 months ago by Gaby Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I wont say this movie is terrible but its not very good. I found it rather boring and lacking in action for a movie about a Gladiator. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tom A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Ave Spartacus
This was a good redux of the classic Spartacus. The movie was fairly well directed and acted, although a few of the characters were fairly two dimensional. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ed Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad dubbing
Like the other reviews, it's too clean for the time period and again this was a mini-series on TV - some of the dubbing is pretty bad.
Published 11 months ago by BikerBehr
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
The look of this movie is weird. It looks very shiny, glossy, polished and too clean for the time period.

The history has a LOT of flaws. Read more
Published 13 months ago by taaj
5.0 out of 5 stars much better than anticipated
When I first saw this miniseries I was unsure that an actor from ER could do heroic fiction. However, he was quite believable in the role. Read more
Published 13 months ago by firefly52
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a great show
Great show..Recommend to everyone..Great cast. Great story telling..Goran makes a great Spartacus... a MUST see for history fans..LOVE LOVE LOVE
Published 13 months ago by Hera
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Price...so-so movie.
For five bucks, I shouldn't complain. However if you are expecting it to be like the STARS channel...forget it. Guess that's why it is marked down from $19.95.
Published 16 months ago by Lawrence Travers
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