This Week In Home Entertainment: Now You See Me Plus Spartacus, Da Vinci's Demons And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-09-03 13:25:42discussion comments
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”Spartacus
Spartacus: War of the Damned Blu-ray
The final battle cry was yelled and the final sword was crossed months ago, but it’s still difficult to believe that Starz’s drama Spartacus has finished out its final installation with War of the Damned. The Roman gladiator and rebellion-based drama really put Starz on the map as a scripted player and its final season sent our main characters out in style.

Anyone familiar with the story of Spartacus in Roman history knows that the gladiator rebellion did not end well for the smaller, less well-financed party. Thus, for three seasons, Spartacus wasn’t about determining the outcome of our group of rebels, but rather, it was a show that made us love a group of solid fighters with different motivations and personalities. It was about fighting for honor, glory, freedom, asylum, and much more, all against the tyranny of a Roman faction that also included likeable and intricate personalities. Spartacus is a complicated drama, and that extends all the way into War of the Damned.

In War of the Damned, Spartacus (Liam McIntyre), Crixus (Manu Bennet), Agron (Daniel Feurriegel), Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), Saxa (Ellen Hollman), and Gannicus (Dustin Clare) are working to battle harder and take over larger parts of Rome, freeing servants and slaves while they go. The group is divided in some ways due to petty infights and an influx of people, but they still manage to challenge Roman armies led by Glaber (Craig Parker) and Caesar (Todd Lasance).

Like other seasons of Spartacus, War of the Damned is well-crafted in some ways and kitschy in others. The highly stylized rendition of the rebellion is no less bloody than in past seasons, but in many ways it is a more meaningful and grown-up battle that gives us a tale of a bold ending, rather than one filled with hope.

The season also looks spectacular on Blu-ray, and if you get the chance to catch it in High Definition, that’s certainly the way I would suggest watching it. You can order the Spartacus: War of the Damned Blu-ray over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature:My copy of War of the Damned was presented in a Blu-ray book format. Each of the discs is enclosed in one of the “pages” of the Blu-ray book, and each of the pages features a pretty collage. It’s a really nice-looking set, and it’s full of bonus features.

Of these, the best extra is probably “Spartacus: The Legend Retold.” It’s the first featurette available on the fourth disc in the set, and it goes through the history of the series since its 2010 inception. There are some goofy introductions from a voiceover guy, but we get to hear from characters who made a major impact throughout the series, and Gods of the Arena and Andy Whitfield’s cancer diagnosis is also discussed. There’s always a lot to talk about with a season that finishes out an epic series, and the Spartacus: War of the Damned set hits all of the right notes.

Other Special Features:
“The Price of Being a Gladiator”
“A Bloody Farewell”
“The Spoils of War Revealed: Visual Effects”
“Adorning the Damned”
“The Mind Behind Spartacus
Audio Commentaries
Extended Episodes
discussion
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