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130 of 142 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus Still Deadly
First, for those that may not have seen Spartacus on Starz and are looking to get into the series via DVD based on its popularity, Spartacus: Vengeance is season 2 of the show but technically the third season. After the excellent 2010 5-star season premier under the title Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Andy Whitfield who played the lead role of Spartacus tragically died of...
Published on April 2, 2012 by Sky

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Blood, Rushed storylines and lacking conviction.
Like so many I loved Blood & Sand, and Gods of the Arena. However, I felt that this season lacked so much from the previous two Seasons. The storylines were rushed and left you scratching your head. There several frayed ropes that left you hanging for more. Liam, I'm sure is a fine actor, but lacks the compassion/conviction in his facial expressions that Andy (RIP)...
Published on July 26, 2012 by Y. Garcia


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130 of 142 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus Still Deadly, April 2, 2012
This review is from: Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First, for those that may not have seen Spartacus on Starz and are looking to get into the series via DVD based on its popularity, Spartacus: Vengeance is season 2 of the show but technically the third season. After the excellent 2010 5-star season premier under the title Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Andy Whitfield who played the lead role of Spartacus tragically died of cancer. Whitfield embodied Spartacus; he was a believable, imposing, rough, tough character that made viewers feel like they were watching the real guy from circa 70 BC. His untimely illness left the studio scrambling to decide how to or if the series would continue. Ultimately the studio decided to produce a prequel that ideally would give Whitfield time to recover after treatment, but sadly Whitfield relapsed and passed shortly after production of the prequel.

The prequel was called Gods of the Arena and it was excellent. But there was something missing from Gods that made Blood & Sand the 5-Star series that it was: Andy Whitfield and his Spartacus character. So for season 2 we get Spartacus back, but was Whitfield really replaceable? Starz took a chance and went for the Whitfield look-alike with Liam McIntyre versus finding another imposing force that could also act. Yes, McIntyre does look quite a bit like Whitfield, but there is something just a little less imposing, less rough and less tough about the guy; he's a kinder, warmer Spartacus that smiled too much (and a bit smaller; he had to look up to most of his warrior co-stars). And that took away some of the believability from season 2 for me....Especially when Spartacus would break into one of his many inspirational and emotional speeches to his group of freedom fighters. It was the non-battle scenes that I was often struck by the notion that 'the real' Spartacus is gone.

So was season 2 good? Was it maybe even great? It had some great moments for sure, but had some very big shoes to fill after season 1's finale. Some of the season 2 supporting characters were certainly not as strong as season 1's. The unexpected return of Lucy Lawless definitely helped, but as good as it made the final episode of season 1, I think that the studio was ultimately kicking itself for killing off John Hannah who carried all of Gods of the Arena and co-starred more than he supported many of the Blood and Sand season episodes. (Don't worry: If you're new to the series and you watch the shows in time chronologically with Gods of the Arena first, that tidbit of info about killing off John Hannah is spoiled in the first few moments of episode 1 of Gods even though Hannah stars throughout; so thank the studio for that, not me.)

Similar to its series predecessors, Spartacus Vengeance leaves nothing for the imagination during its time period: 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 Vengeance take place after Spartacus' gang of gladiators escape slavery and form a large rebellion to strike down Roman slavery altogether.

I was still very entertained by Spartacus: Vengeance. I'm a fan, but Andy in my opinion is sorely missed. I think I'll keep watching, and according to a November 7, 2011, Entertainment Weekly article, a third season has been picked up.

Blood and Sand: 5 stars
Gods of the Arena: 4 stars
Vengeance: 3˝ stars
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Jupiter's.....beard, they've done it again, May 9, 2012
By 
Rich H. (Warren, MI USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Fans of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and the prequel Gods of the Arena: Draw near, that I may break words with you.

Know this in advance: there are parts of this second season (or third, depending on how you're counting) of the Spartacus saga that _you will not like_. But the gods do not favor such thoughts! WE are for Spartacus: Vengeance, preferably on Blu-ray, which has had noticeably better picture and sound quality than the Starz broadcasts. Bend ear, and I shall give good reasons to make purchase:

- The story is on a par with, possibly even better than, Blood and Sand. It's different - how could it be otherwise? - but more complex and on a much grander scale. The same goes for the setting. Spartacus has always featured impressive camera work and CGI, and this time around it is, at times, literally jaw-dropping and downright beautiful. Much of S:V looks and feels more like a movie than a TV series.

- The cast outdoes itself yet again. Liam McIntyre takes a couple of episodes to get comfortable with the daunting job of filling Andy Whitfield's sandals, but by mid-season he's rocking Spartacus every bit as hard as Whitfield did. Cynthia Addai-Robinson takes awhile to get into her role as Naevia (replacing Leslie-Ann Brandt,) but makes up for it and then some in the final episode. All the returnees own their characters in splendid fashion, even when those characters have dramatically changed (see below.) It's very hard to pick a standout this time, but I'm going with Nick Tarabay. Yeah, Asher, who this time around is pushing his intelligence (he's smarter than he appears) and cunning (he's even more of a snake) to their limits in an attempt to gain real wealth and power. Tarabay takes what was a relatively minor character in the other series and brings him to the forefront as a downright fascinating, and in a way even tragic, figure. Where was he hiding this guy in S:B&S?

- Lucy Lawless, who takes her character Lucretia on a horrific roller-coaster ride from wife and house-mistress (with a touch of the Borgia thrown in,) to mad prophetess, to a vengeful slave's plaything, to confidante-and-perhaps-assassin of a powerful family. You'll be genuinely wondering whether she's crazy-like-a-fox, or just plain crazy, right up to the moment of the Stephen King-worthy climax in the final episode.

- "Libertus". Spartacus and his generals return to the arena in Capua one final time, and the result is the best episode of any of the three series up until this point. This and the season finale are by themselves worth the price of the entire set.

- "Wrath of the Gods". I didn't think it was possible to top the finale of Blood and Sand. They did it.

- The bonus features are all worth watching, especially the "making of" episode 5 featurette. For someone who still pictures the lights-camera-action Hollywood stereotype behind the scenes, watching 21st-century state-of-the-art "filming" with its complex battle choreography, robotic digital cameras and virtual sets is endlessly fascinating.

To be sure, there are a few problems with S:V:

- First and foremost: only ten episodes. The whole blasted thing was over and done with inside of three months. And this is weird, because there is easily 13 episodes worth of story here. As others have noted, this means that a number of intriguing plot threads (e.g. Lucretia's rescue from the ludus massacre, and the Seppia / Seppius relationship) were just barely touched upon. I assume they blew the budget on episodes 5 and 10, but still, ten episodes simply were not enough to tell this story as it should be told.

- As with S:GotA, the story starts out slow, taking a couple of episodes to ramp up. Clearly the producers' fault for spoiling us with S:B&S, which was solid from end to end. ;)

- It's clear at this point that the producers are making a conscious effort to outdo themselves sex-and-violence-wise with each new season, and in S:V it's actually become a detriment to the show. We now have the camera lingering on spilled intestines and increasingly-bizarre mutilations for no other reason than "Hey, look what our effects guys came up with THIS time!" We also have numerous scenes set in a brothel that clearly exist only to (ahem) insert sex that they couldn't work into the storyline. (This season could have been subtitled "Meanwhile, back at the whorehouse...") S:B&S proved that they can use the sex and gore intelligently to pump up an already good story. So why go all gratuitous on us now?

- Ten. Episodes. At a higher price than most other series' 22-episode seasons. (If history is any guide, however, the price will come down soon after release.)

Sum of topic: Buy it, but wait until the price comes down somewhat. Five stars, but just barely this time - the length, the price and what is now the almost overbearing sex and gore almost cost it that 5th.
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72 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did you see that!, February 26, 2012
By 
CP30 "CP30" (Tatooine, Tunisia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I've not bought the blu-ray of season 2 yet but I will. I have the prequel and season 1. I'm a big fan and was devastated when I heard Andy Whitfield was ill and then died. He was perfect for this role. He was awesome. The new guy is doing ok. If he was the original Spartacus I'm thinking we'd all be saying he's awesome but Andy set such a high bar I don't think anybody could have matched or bettered him. Anyway. Season 2 in my opinion is a little different to season 1 for me. I liked seeing the gladiators being trained, fighting in the area and seeing the twisted plots unfold in the house of Batiatus. Now that season 2 is out in the open with so many different locatnions it's obviously not the same. However, season 2 has got better and better with each episode. Last Fridays.... I think episode 5... was the best episode yet! I was yelling OMG! and my girlfriend was screaming!!! really she was. When Ganacus comes back and enters the arena only to fight against....????? I was shocked! But there was so many other jaw dropping moments in this episode the 59 minutes(?) just flew by. I was mentally drained.... how often can you say that after watching a show?! It was like seeing Star Wars in 1977.... you left the theatre thinking 'wow... did I just see what I think I did....no way!' and then you'd talk to everybody you knew about it for weeks and weeks.... well my work colleagues will be getting an ear full tomorrow. This last episode was that good!

This show continues to amaze me. Half way through the season and the characters are all in place, the plots are thickening and you know the twists are coming too. I'm not a big fan of the new Navia either...the other girl was excellent.... but all in all...this second season delivers and delivers BIG. I highly recommend watching it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I gave my word. Blood and honor!, September 16, 2012
The house of Batiatus has fallen and the gladiators have slain all who lived in the house. They escape and move into the woods outside of Capua. They are terrorizing the area with raids for weapons, food and supplies.

A gladiator is being chased by Roman soldiers on horseback. Spartacus leads the soldiers into a trap. A handful of gladiators kill all 8 of the soldiers and Spartacus carves a message into one of the dead Roman legion soldiers. It is Glaber's name.

Glaber is dispatched to the city of Capua. He is a praetor in the Roman senate but he is sent to get rid of Spartacus. If he doesn't go and someone else defeats Spartacus then Glaber loses face and status in the senate.

Crixus tells Spartacus of his desire to find his woman, Naevia and to free her and Spartacus gives his word to help him in his mission......

This is a great opening to this second season of Spartacus. This features a new actor in the main role this season as the original actor who portrayed Spartacus died of cancer. The new actor does a great job in the role and this first episode is full of a lot of nudity, sex and violence. If that is not your type of series then be warned.

It is very good season opener and I recommend it to you!
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56 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second Season, February 11, 2012
By 
Blood and Sand was season 1
Gods of the Arena was the 6 episode prequel to Blood and Sand
Vengeance is season 2.

They decided to make Gods of the Arena to give Andy time for his cancer treatments. In all honesty, Vengeance just doesn't feel the same. I can see why they had to get Liam, since Andy died, but they replaced Lesley-Ann Brandt (Naevia) and it just isn't the same.

Trying to give Liam a chance so we'll see... not liking the new Naevia. But it's only up to the 3rd episode right now so I'm hopeful....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning and amazing, June 6, 2012
By 
Edward Davenport "njmom" (Tabernacle, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
never have i seen a show with such great acting, action, story, and character depth. even after the tragedy of andy whitfields death the show has manage to stay strong with liam mcintyre, who i think is just as good as andy. the new arch-villains are not quite as good as batiatus and tullius from blood and sand and gods of the arena, respectively, but glaber and co are still fanstastic and the scheming among characters is as good as ever. still one of my favorite shows on tv. definitely a must-watch for any self-respecting tv fan.

5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gladiators are far from common slaves!, September 17, 2012
With Llithyia's father dead she cannot divorce Glaber because he was the only one who could dissolve the marriage. Varinius stomps off to return to Rome as his plans for marrying Llithyia to gain power and money are lost with the death of Senator Albinius.

Glaber gloats that his wife cannot now leave him and holds secret that fact that he murdered her father at the arena. He tells Llithyia that the only reason she lives is to bear his child or else she would be dead. Ashur is in a cell as he is the only one who returned from the forest of his group of Roman soldiers and Glaber doesn't understand how he survived and his trained soldiers were slaughtered.

Ashur explains that gladiators are far from common slaves and that one of them could easily defeat any three of Glaber's soldiers. Ashur is forced by Glaber to prove his claims so Ashur must fight three of Glaber's soldiers and he defeats all three of them at one time. He tells Glaber that he was considered the lowest fighter among the brotherhood of gladiators and that his men have no chance in face to face combat. Glaber asks him to recruit the kind of men they need to capture or kill Spartacus. Ashur later tells Glaber that he has recruited the warriors they need.

Naevia is almost mental over what happened to her in the villas and the mines. Naevia wants to learn how to fight and defend herself so no man will ever lay hands upon her again. Gannicus and Spartacus face each other down as Gannicus is leaving the camp and is suspected of being a thief. They both use two swords and begin to fight.....

In such a series that is total action you would never expect the action to continue to escalate but it does. Each episode gets more action, more violent and the plot also gets better. This series is well written, acted and directed and you can see it in every episode and scene. I recommend this episode to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the mighty Republic bleeds when struck!, September 17, 2012
Spartacus is reunited with his men as he nears Vesuvius. Only Spartacus, Mira, and Naevia survive basically unharmed but Nasir is severely wounded. Spartacus had fought like he was possessed in the woods. The gladiators have found an old stone temple for shelter. An old man comes out with a bow and arrow, he lowers his bow as he hears Spartacus's name. Lucius, the old man, knew all of the news of the mines and of the upcoming fights in the arena. Lucius is a Roman but he joins their rebellion as he has no love for the aristocrats of Rome. The gladiators create a plan to sneak into the arena and save their own warriors.

Llithyia, her father Senator Albinius, and Varinius plan the divorce of Llithyia from Glaber and for her to return to Rome with Varinius. Ashur tells Glaber of an abortion medicine hidden in Llithyia's room and Glaber confronts his wife as he is enraged. She tells him that he is not worth an heir or of her. She tells him that she wants Varinius as a husband as she basically is leaving him for a man with more power and potential. After the games she is going to Rome.

The undefeated Gannicus returns to Capua to fight in the arena against the captured gladiators while Spartacus and his men plan an attack on the arena itself......

It is now fight or let some of the best gladiator rebels be killed needlessly in the arena for the entertainment of Capua and Varinius. The action in this episode goes to an even higher level and the plot continues to show its twists and turns. Glaber shows why he is a praetor and a man to be reckoned with. I enjoyed this episode as it is one of the very good ones. I recommend it to you.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus, the true champion of Television., March 28, 2012
This review is from: Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I've been a fan of Spartacus since the first episode of the show. Once you are introduced to the characters in the Ludus you get to see just how deep and fleshed out each character is. Spartacus goes from a hot headed Thracian, to obedient champion of Capua, to the leader of a renegade group of warriors fierce enough to go against the roman empire.

Andy Whitfield's illness and eventual death put the show on hiatus. While they were waiting for his recovery they already had Liam McIntyre picked out with Andy's approval to continue on with the show if he was unable. They also released a prequel to the first season called Gods of the Arena which introduced us to even more characters and further developed the history of the Ludus we see so much of in the first season. The first seasons were fantastic and this continues the trend.

Andy left some Titan sized shoes to fill but Liam has stepped up so far and delivered a great performance. So much has changed since the fall of the house of Batiatus and sworn enemies are now true brothers, and visa versa. Spartacus is now fighting for more than just his own life as he becomes a paragon for the enslaved populace of Rome.

He vows to free all slaves, he vows to fight against Praetor Claudius Glaber, and he vows to have his vengeance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet inflicting equal wound, how do I not become the man himself, a man my wife would turn from!, September 20, 2012
Gannicus has Ilithyia captive and is taking her through the forest to the temple as a gift to Spartacus. They come upon men hunting and carrying their dead game and Ilithyia shouts out a warning and Gannicus is forced to slay the men. He tells her that if she makes another sound he will remove her tongue.

At first Spartacus is enthusiastic to slay Ilithyia as he sees revenge for the murder of his wife. Ilithyia tells Spartacus that the child she bears is his and he cannot bring himself to kill his own unborn child. Meanwhile Glaber is unconcerned about his wife except for the loss of face because she was taken by Spartacus and what that will mean in the senate. He is more concerned about the loss of what he thinks is his child and the loss of the heir to his father-in-laws wealth.

Spartacus sets up a meeting in the town of Atella where he plans to meet Glaber and give him his wife for a wagon full of weapons. Glaber has a plan of his own....

The action continues to ramp up as the action is never ending. Glaber becomes more desperate to kill Spartacus and save face and the gladiators following Spartacus are still divided and not really a team of warriors. Internal struggles and differences weaken the gladiators and the new members of the group while the relentless pursuit by Glaber and Ashur never lets up. This is a good episode and lays the groundwork for the last two action filled episodes. I recommend this one to you.
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Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 [Blu-ray] by Liam McIntyre (Blu-ray - 2012)
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