Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Complete First Season, Blu-ray

by | Sep 27, 2010 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Complete First Season, Blu-ray 4-disc set (2009)

Starring: Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, Lucy Lawless
Studio: Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080p HD

Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Extras: Audio commentary; MovieIQ; Spartacus Historicus pop-up history; Nine featurettes (“Spartacus: Blood and Sand- Behind-the-Scenes”, “Spartacus: Battle Royale”, “Gladiator Boot Camp”, “Grime & Punishment: The Hole”, “Andy Gets Plastered”, “Legend Re-Imagined”, “Oh, Those Randy Romans”, “Shooting Green: The Shadow of Death”, and “Exposing Your Ludus”); Blu-ray exclusive extended episodes; trailers for “Spartacus: Vengeance”, “Brooklyn’s Finest”, “Law Abiding Citizen”, “The Crazies” and “UFC”

Length: 692 minutes
Movie Rating: ****          Video Quality Rating: ****         Audio Quality Rating: ****1/2

A married Threcian man, who will later become known as Spartacus (Andy Whitfield), enlists in the Roman Army to fight against the invading Getae warriors.  However, when the Roman commanding officer of his group orders them to attack the Greeks instead, Spartacus leads a revolt.  Spartacus is punished for his actions by being sentenced to death in the gladiator arenas and having his wife Sura condemned to a life of slavery.  His success in the arena leads to a reduction in his punishment and to his purchase by the owner of a gladiator training facility.  Spartacus strikes a bargain with his owner that he will continue to train and win in return for his owner’s promise to locate and free Sura.  The entire thirteen episodes from the first season are included on four discs.  (Disc One: The Red Serpent; Sacramentum Gladiatorum; Legends; The Thing in the Pit. Disc Two: Shadow Games; Delicate Things; Great and Unfortunate Things; Mark of the Brotherhood. Disc Three: Whore; Party Favors; Old Wounds; Revelation.  Disc Four: Kill Them All; Special Features).  

“Spartacus: Blood and Sand” is an adult-oriented television show with its graphic violence and explicit sexual content. With that in mind, viewers who enjoyed the movies “300” and “Gladiator” will likely enjoy this Blu-ray set as its gladiator battles are highly-entertaining plus it has an intriguing take on the political inner-workings of the Roman government.
The overall high definition video quality of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” is very good.  Images are crisp with razor sharp detail.  Black levels are consistently dark throughout the set.  Colors are vibrant and warm with nicely-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is solid and free of major defects and compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality of the English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track is excellent.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete sound channels into its mix.  Dialogue is clean, intelligible and securely anchored in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for the sound effects and music score, plus include several split rear effects.  The low frequency effects channel provides deep palpable bass, particularly in the battle sequences.

– Calvin Harding Jr.

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