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Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season
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  • Spartacus: Vengeance, The Complete Second Season
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  • Spartacus: War of the Damned - the Complete Third Season
Total price: CDN$ 79.57
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Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Nick E. Tarabay, Lucy Lawless
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: Feb. 7 2012
  • Run Time: 692 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,428 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

A new 13 episode series

Betrayed by his country. Beaten into slavery. Reborn as a warrior. Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a graphic and visceral account of Rome’s most famous gladiator. When he’s separated from the love of his life, Spartacus is forced into the gruesome and bloodthirsty arena, where a grisly death is primetime entertainment. Spartacus must fight for survival, befriend his enemies and play politics in this new world of corruption, violence, sex and fame. He’ll be seduced by power and tormented by vengeance. But his passion will give him the strength to prevail over every obstacle, in this modern and uninhibited tale of death, honor and endurance.

Starring: Andy Whitfield (MCLEOD’S DAUGHTERS) as Spartacus, John Hannah (THE MUMMY) as Batiatus, Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Lucretia, Peter Mensah (300, THE INCREDIBLE HULK) as Doctore, From Executive Producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi (Spider-Man ®, Evil Dead), Steven S. DeKnight and Joshua Donen 4-Disc Set contains tons of bonus features including ALL NEW featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers and more! Blu-ray to include 4 Director’s Extended Cut episodes! The series premiere was the highest rated show in the history of the TMN next to the Sopranos series finale, currently remains in the top 3 programs.

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First let me say this series is great and the Blu-ray transfer is excellent. The packaging is nice too.

The problem is that one of the disks had a flaw in it that makes one of the episodes unplayable. The problem is that unless you watch a series you buy from Amazon straight through in a massive viewing marathon, you might not discover such a flaw until you have passed Amazon's return/exchange period. When I pointed this out to Amazon, they basically said tough luck.

So, I now have an incomplete collection of this excellent series.
This experience prompted me to:
- Visually check all my disks on arrival for single disk purchases
- Never buy another boxed set series from Amazon again
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The first 2 episodes are over the top, very 300-ish and a tad cheesy.. but hang in and keep watching this show gets better and better and better. There is a lot of sex and nudity (male and female), and of course blood, guts (literally) and death...but this show is like nothing else on TV. Many episodes leave you hanging and the season ender had me laying in bed for an hour thinking about it all. If you like this type of show/movie/book you will like this if not love it. If you hate violence and sex makes you blush then pass. It is for sure for mature audiances.
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Format: DVD
The first couple of episodes in this series are terrible. There is no way around it. It seemed the creators wanted to create a very emotional tone to the series, by having a slo-mo scene every two seconds. It comes off completely cheeseball, and really hurts the first impression you will probably have of this series. It's so melodramatic in these early episodes, that you'll cringe frequently, and question how such garbage has a fan base.

However, around episode four or so, something changed and the show became great. The dialogue is beefed up, the melodrama is taken away, and it starts to tell a really interesting story. The writing is really strong, and you will be wanting more and more as the series goes on. It's as good and addictive as anything on HBO and Showtime.

If you know absolutely nothing of the series though, I'd start with Gods Of The Arena. It doesn't get off to the rocky start of Blood and Sand, and is a great origin story, and proper beginning to this epic series.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Roman gladiators, Roman debauchery, and copious amounts of violence, gore, and nudity/sexuality. This helped make the series great, but was even better due to strong acting and a stronger storyline developed during the course of the first season. Given the none of the actors shied away from nudity (surprised to see Xena/Lucy Lawless here), many of the actors did a great job in portraying the sense of what these characters may of actually been like should they have existed in that time period. Sure it is based on the Roman history of the gladiatorial uprising lead by the gladiator known as Spartacus, the first season deals with the unknowns of this historical figure as he battled in the gladiatorial arena and his life building up to the eventual uprising of the Roman slaves lead by a large gladiatorial contingent with Spartacus at its head. Was a shame that Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer after the first season and eventually passed away due to it. The man portrayed the Spartacus character with such dignity and power that it was a pleasure to watch each episode he starred in. Great series for those that are fans of Roman history (yeah it is very loosely based and not too factual) and Roman gladiators. As long as you are not offended by graphic violence and gore, as well as copious amounts of nudity and sexual interaction you should find this series quite enjoyable.
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Format: DVD
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this series. It has a "300" signature, and the plots, characters and pace of the show keeps you hooked. There is a load of graphic violence and nudity, so it is not for the faint of heart (I cannot recall seeing so much of both in ANY TV shows or movies), so beware if this is something that could potentially offend you. It is often gratuitous, but so is the whole show, and this will create a big gap between those who loved or hated the show. There is no in-between in this case.

I have found the characters to be very compelling, especially Andy Whitfield that gives an amazing, magnetic performance, in the likes of Russell Crowe in "Gladiator". His presence is strong and it is incredibly sad to have lost such a promising, talented actor. It is worth watching just to see this.
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Format: Blu-ray
After the first few episodes of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND, one can be excused for thinking it's little more than shallow and stylish titillation. Some have accused it of being campy, even cheesy. It is certainly excessive, operatic, and at times downright nasty.

But the best classification for it is pulp. Lurid and exploitative but very far from stupid. What starts as a riff on 300 becomes an intricately plotted, incredibly well-realized and intelligently written modern pulp masterpiece. You may tune in for the boobs, butts and blood, but you will stay for the fantastic characters and compelling narrative. More than once throughout the season I actually gasped, out loud, startling nearby cats.

There is no show on television right now that compares. Bringer of rain, indeed.
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