DVD REVIEW: Spartacus: War of the Damned

SpartacusWOTD_DVDWhile still mourning the loss of one of my favorite shows, I’ve been looking forward to marathoning the epic final season on DVD. Thankfully, the time for marathons is nigh – Spartacus: War of the Damned is out on DVD/Blu-Ray in the US tomorrow, September 3rd.

Check out our review of the DVD set after the jump.

 

 

 

There aren’t really words to describe all the reasons I love this show – or there are, but there isn’t enough time for me to sit here and list them all out. Suffice it to say that it’s easily one of the most epic, inclusive shows I’ve ever seen. Each season just got better and better, and the final season was no different.

Here’s an official synopsis of War of the Damned:

SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED – THE COMPLETE THIRDSEASON takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber. Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the Battle of Vesuvius. These victories have not only forged the legend of Spartacus, but have greatly increased the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. Rome is indeed beginning to tremble at the threat Spartacus now represents.

War of the Damned in particular was great for a lot of reasons, but the key elements for me were the introductions of Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) and Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance). The depth and tenacity of these new adversaries – who were finally a match for Spartacus and his strategic mind – made it so much more entertaining to watch. We got to see a darker side of the rebellion as well, making it so that, at times, you weren’t sure who you were supposed to be rooting for.

In addition to all 10 episodes of War of the Damned, the DVD set comes with 6 behind-the-scenes featurettes:

  • “Spartacus: The Legend Retold” – originally released by Starz in January, this featurette was a lead-up to the final season, and features cast and crew taking a look back at what’s come to pass, as well as what we can expect from the final season. We get to see a bit of Andy Whitfield as well, which is always lovely.
  • “The Price of Being A Gladiator” – it’s no secret that all of the actors have to be in tremendous shape to tackle the intense action sequences (and the skimpy costumes – yikes!). Learn what it’s like training to be a gladiator, and see the bonds that form through suffering – I mean, training…
  • “A Bloody Farewell” – this was probably my favorite of the featurettes. Close to the end of shooting, the cast and crew talk about what they’ll miss the most about being on the show. The recurring theme is always family, and it does a lovely job conveying the bond that they all share, beyond just the words that they speak.
  • “Spoils of War Revealed: Visual Effects” – while watching, it’s easy to imagine that they’re really fighting in the epic landscapes that are portrayed. In reality, it’s a lot of CGI and green screen work. Here, the focus is on the visual effects crew, and we get to see some of the work that went into putting together this epic show week after week.
  • “Adorning the Damned” – I did mention the skimpy costumes, didn’t I? It’s a bit more intricate than that, in reality, and you start to get a real sense about how much of the story can actually be told through what the actors are wearing.
  • “The Mind Behind Spartacus” – this is a sit-down interview with Steven DeKnight, creator, head writer and executive producer of Spartacus. The interview focuses on the War of the Damned in particular, and Mr. DeKnight reveals his favorite moments and scenes from the final season.

In addition to these great extras, you get even more on the Blu-Ray release. The Blu-Ray exclusively contains extended episodes and audio commentary. The Blu-Ray set costs $59.99, while the DVDs will run you $49.98.

All-in-all, a fitting tribute to the last season of this show. Be sure to pick up your copy tomorrow!

 

Season 5 Rating: 5/5
DVD Extras Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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3 comments

  1. I really, really miss Spartacus. Will pick up the Blu-Ray set and completely gorge on it this weekend to make myself feel better. Cheers for the review!

    • geeksyndicate /

      I have to admit I still have the last series to watch..much catch up!

      • I am jealous! Ah, to gaze upon Spartacus’ might and behold with virgin eyes most victorious battle… 😀

        /nerd.

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