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Spartacus: Rome, Now with Even More Porn


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#61

swansong

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 11:10 AM

Finally got around to seeing this and I guess the only way is up. It was pretty poor and while I'm not a fan of gratuitous stylised violence the gratuitously overdone slow-mo bugged me so much more. I hope they dial that way down. Since people keep saying it gets better I'll probably give it a chance because I am interested, at least in theory, in the story, but even with all the hot bodies I can't see this show holding my attention if this is what it amounts to.
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#62

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 12:38 PM

Actually, you can see the same "crappy" unrealistic stuff on a late night HBO zone movie (ie, alien sex files).


Those movies are terrible. I or anyone could easily write something ten times more erotic. I guess Spartacus is going to be filled with gratuitous and unfulfilling sex scenes.
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#63

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 12:49 PM

All right you've convinced me. I would've given up and deleleted the programming from my DVR after this pilot episode. It was so horrendously cheesy! But as everyone's saying it gets better later, I'll give it a chance. I've watched enough shows that started out marginal and hit their stride later.
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#64

JohnnyFever

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 3:37 PM

I'm glad I dvr'd this so I could fast forward repeatedly. The super slo-mo shots of red corn syrup being thrown about, got boring after the first fifteen minutes or so. As for the hype about the sex and nudity, Cinamax (Skinamax) and Showtime show soft porn virtually every night, so I'm not sure what the fuss is about. Plus these days, most people have access to the internet (if your reading this I assume you do) so I not sure why people get so excited over few quick flashes of nudity and simulated sex. Nothing they could show on cable could come close to what's available online if that's what you're looking for. I loved Rome and had hopes for this, but when the publicty cranked up and all the buzz was about lots of nudity and ultra-graphic violence, I began to lose hope. After seeing the first episode, my fears were confirmed. It seemed like Mortal Kombat with nudity. All that's missing is a graphic that pops up and urges the gladiator to FINISH HIM!

Edited by JohnnyFever, Jan 26, 2010 @ 3:38 PM.

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#65

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Posted Jan 26, 2010 @ 3:40 PM

According to Hollywood Reporter, the "Sparty" premiere was good for the pay cable's fledgling foray into original programing: 'Spartacus' premiere ratings set Starz record.

Though, admittedly, the bar was set low, it's all about perspective I suppose. It did what they wanted it to do and that's bring more eyeballs than they've ever had before.

Edited to add: I vote for the title of this thread to be changed to: Spartacus: Blood and Boobs cuz, as I said before, this show ain't got nuthin' to do with "Rome."

Edited by DioxinBlues, Jan 26, 2010 @ 3:47 PM.

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#66

YesYesNo

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Posted Jan 27, 2010 @ 1:58 PM

OMG, amazing. Sex, violence, the story of an epic warrior. Amazing. It's a bit like Charmed only not crap. Not that I ever watched Charmed.
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#67

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Posted Jan 27, 2010 @ 2:32 PM

OMG, amazing. Sex, violence, the story of an epic warrior. Amazing. It's a bit like Charmed only not crap. Not that I ever watched Charmed.


Charmed had sex and violence? The few episodes I ever watched it was just Melrose Place with magic thrown in, lol.

Edited by Belmont, Jan 27, 2010 @ 2:34 PM.

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#68

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Posted Jan 27, 2010 @ 6:21 PM

That's the point, not enough sex and violence in Charmed. But it's the same level of quality.
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#69

emjohnson03

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Posted Jan 27, 2010 @ 10:03 PM

wasn't that fun! haha!

Totally shameless and I was confused a lot of the time but man, what mindless entertainment!

I was watching Glee before so to go to this is like 180 but I don't mind at all!

And the male lead is freaking hot! I don't care if he can act since he's shirtless ALL the time! And short hair!

(Off to look him up, haha!)
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#70

CabotsintheWind

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 1:36 AM

Having seen the second episode, I have to say, I'm still not overly impressed with the CG on this show. I would have thought it would have been better and more thought out. Who ever is doing the post on this show is doing a crappy job of it. The story got better, dialogue was better and the acting inched up a notch, but there was still the crappy video game blood and slo-mo action that made no sense when it was used. I vowed to give it three eps before calling it quits, I have to say if the CG doesn't improve, no matter how much the acting and story line do, I'm out of here. I had eye strain from the wavy lines because the live action didn't quite meld naturally into the computer generated green screen scenes.

Edited because a different word fit better

Edited by CabotsintheWind, Jan 28, 2010 @ 1:38 AM.

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#71

Constantinople

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 12:59 PM

Jean Simmons died the same day this turkey had its official broadcast premiere. Coincidence?

I don't think the porn comparison is actually about the sex, I think it is more about the quality of dialog, acting, and production values.


I agree, though now that I see the second episode is available On Demand for free, who am I kidding? I'll watch it.
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#72

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 3:04 PM

Having seen the second episode, I have to say, I'm still not overly impressed with the CG on this show. I would have thought it would have been better and more thought out. Who ever is doing the post on this show is doing a crappy job of it. The story got better, dialogue was better and the acting inched up a notch, but there was still the crappy video game blood and slo-mo action that made no sense when it was used. I vowed to give it three eps before calling it quits, I have to say if the CG doesn't improve, no matter how much the acting and story line do, I'm out of here. I had eye strain from the wavy lines because the live action didn't quite meld naturally into the computer generated green screen scenes.


Is there any TV series that has used a lot of CG effects? I'm thinking they don't have the time or the budget to do a first class job, like for a movie.

Edited by Rickster, Jan 28, 2010 @ 3:04 PM.

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#73

CabotsintheWind

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 5:51 PM

Is there any TV series that has used a lot of CG effects? I'm thinking they don't have the time or the budget to do a first class job, like for a movie.


Criminal Minds has used green screen effects in the first season, with great results. I'm sure Criminal Minds didn't first season, have more money than Sparty does. Especially sine Sparty is working down in New Zealand, and I"m sure that they are doing the post there.
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#74

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 6:08 PM

Heroes has crappy special effects and that's a show built on special effects.
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#75

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 8:23 PM

Is there any TV series that has used a lot of CG effects? I'm thinking they don't have the time or the budget to do a first class job, like for a movie.

Sanctuary on SyFy is pretty much all CGI. Only the actors (duh) and surfaces they touch or interact with are real. They actually do a pretty good job, However, due to this, the show does have several "bottle" episodes (the whole episode taking place in one or two locations).

This show is ...strange is the best way to put it.
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#76

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 2:20 AM

Episode 2 on the free-view and I'm definitely liking the lead guy without the wig. Seems like kind of a little guy though - the solid muscle notwithstanding.

Just figured out tonight that Legatus played Haldir in LotR. I recognised his voice straight away, but I couldn't place him until tonight. Suddenly got a flash of him with a blond wig. Not sure if I should have known that or not - I feel enough of a geek as it is.

Still loving the chop socky violence and splattery gore - and loved all the Hannah/Lawless scenes. They are the more interesting story, as far as I'm concerned. Middle-management class trying to work their way up the ladder, but getting just as shit on in their own way.
Actually I kind of like how everyone on this show has to answer to someone - that whole "shit rolls downhill" aspect that I think someone upthread already mentioned.

I confess I'm not really all that interested in whether or not ol' Sparty gets his wife back.
Interesting too was the way they handled foreplay. Now that's something I never saw on the proper "Rome".
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#77

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 3:59 AM

Just figured out tonight that Legatus played Haldir in LotR. I recognised his voice straight away, but I couldn't place him until tonight.


Well now I feel doubly dumb. I had the same problem with him (the voice) and finally recognized him from Legend of the Seeker. And the whole time on that show I thought he looked vaguely familiar, couldn't place it, and never bothered to look him up.

I actually like the CG. They seem to be going for an almost camp approach to drama (it may not be intentional on their part) so the CG being a little poor actual works for me on that level.

I love the crazy ridiculous gore. It reminds me more of Sin City than 300, though I see why some make the comparison.

I am running a little hot and cold with the actress playing Sora (sp?). Her physical acting is fine; loved her in the fight scene where she helped hubby fight off the bad guys and she has a very expressive face. But sometimes her line delivery is a little wooden. Stunningly beautiful woman, though, so I'll just hit mute if I have to.
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#78

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:55 AM

Just watched ep2 on the Starz site, and I feel like we are finally gettting some plot movement (seriously, how can a show with so much "action" move so slowly?) Sparty and his wife continue to be dullsville, but the scene between Lucy Lawless and the blond wife showed some promise. I loved John Hannah's speech about how he's just a man making his way among the gods and politicians. The little instances of the Romans and their somewhat cranky polytheism were some of my favorite parts of HBO's Rome and I'm glad to see that here as well.

Things that I would like to see less of:
1. Long closeups of Spartacus' eyes--beyond an unfortunate resemblance to Chace Crawford, there isn't much there. Please move along.
2. The black gladiator coach wielding his bullwhip--when you cast an actor that badass, you don't need to show us this over and over again. Give him some lines instead.
3. Spartacus' wife--if you want us to care about her (and his quest for her), give her a real plotline. Dream sequences and pining montages will not cut it.
4. John Hannah, literally--I can't believe that I found his average guy shirtlessness more shocking than all the gladiator locker room manmeat. I'm not sure what I think about this.
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#79

zelmia

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 5:59 PM

2. The black gladiator coach wielding his bullwhip--when you cast an actor that badass, you don't need to show us this over and over again. Give him some lines instead.

I agree with this. We know he can crack that whip. But we also know he's whatever-John-Hannah's-character-name-is's right-hand man. So he's clearly no dolt. I also found myself curious about his backstory.

I was a bit confused about a couple of things, though. First the timeline. These guys were raw recruits in the morning - hauled rail ties all through the night, then trained again all that day (on no food, apparently) - then had to "pass the test" the next night? That doesn't seem right, and yet it did seem to play out like that. I know the training was beyond grueling, but those expectations seem ridiculously high.
Also, my understanding is that the ludus took meticulous care of their men - they needed them fit and strong and healthy. I can't imagine the dumping of the morning meal into the dirt to be tolerated by the trainers, no matter who you are.

4. John Hannah, literally--I can't believe that I found his average guy shirtlessness more shocking than all the gladiator locker room manmeat. I'm not sure what I think about this.

Well, it was a bit jarring after having nothing but 6 packs to look at for the previous 40 minutes. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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#80

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 8:02 PM

It's not Rome, it's not I, Claudius, but it's OK, if a little trite (Gladiator). OK a lot trite - the whole scene before he goes off to war with the rose/flower petals, blah de blah.

You know Sparty & Gauly are going to be friendly at some point.

And seriously, if this is supposed to be a realistic depiction of Roman times, am I really supposed to believe that people in ancient times went half naked in winter?

They weren't in Rome at the beginning and the Romans weren't half-nude, the local Thracians, however, were peeved that they didn't get any rations or clothes. But, hey, men in loinclothes....OK by me. Goes to show desperately they needed Rome to help them, yet again shows they were duped by Romans.. Shouldn't they know better?

Not sure who the auidence is supposed to be - Too violent for (many) women, but quite a lot of nude men. My husband did enjoy the boobs and I enjoy some beefcake (It's about time we women get some goods, too!).

I guess Starz wants to prove that it can hang with the premium cable channels.

Hee!
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#81

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 10:58 PM

The whole foreplay scene with Lucretia and Batiatus surprised me...literally. I was like, whoa!

At this point, I'm only interested in Lucretia and Batiatus' attempts to move up in the social ranks. That's where the story lies. Lucretia's scene with that blond chic (can't remember her name) was subtly funny.

I don't care about Spartacus' quest. Every time he fights I think two things: a) why does he still have such pretty teeth? and b) Xena would have kicked ass a long time ago. The second thought was definitely there when Lucretia watched Spartacus' first training session.

Was Batiatus being serious about helping Spartacus reunite with his wife? I couldn't get a handle on it.

Looks like LL is back to blond next week...
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#82

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:03 PM

Episode 2 was a solid improvement over the entertaining first foray. The reduction in CGI blood was welcomed although I don't see the wisdom in letting the gladiators fight to the death at the ludus considering they are all playing for the same team.

I, too, find the social climb of Batiatus and Lucretia to be highly enjoyable to watch. Lawless and Hannah were splendid in their scenes together, even when they weren't both being fluffed.

Dare I say this show accomplishes the rare feat of being equally appealing to straight men, straight women, gay men and lesbians? It seems like this show has something for everyone.
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#83

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:09 PM

I liked this episode, it was interesting with all the politics and the way John Hannah/Lucy Lawless interact. Am I nuts or does LL have something going on with that Gaul Gladiator?

The fighting was better in this episode, I really hated all that CGI fake blood and limbs flying everywhere. I have to admit I jumped when Spartacus threw the sward and the Gaul deflected it and it ended up killing that other slave.

I think I'll give it a few more episodes to find it's groove.
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#84

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:12 PM

Am I nuts or does LL have something going on with that Gaul Gladiator?

Ok, I'm glad it wasn't just me thinking that. When she was giving him the eye, I thought to myself, "wait, are they fucking?" She gave him sex eyes.
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#85

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:48 PM

Am I nuts or does LL have something going on with that Gaul Gladiator?


Oh absolutely. LL was giving the emperor's daughter a tour of the advantages of running a school for gladiators, and practically pointed out the Gaul as one of the benefits.

The social climb of Batiatus and Lucretia is the only storyline worth a toss. They are totally carrying the storyline, with some help from the trainer.

Dialogue is still horrible. But LL is hot.
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#86

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:04 AM

But LL is hot.

Speaking of, did they tame down the red in her hair? I thought it looked much better this week.
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#87

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 2:22 AM

Ok, I'm glad it wasn't just me thinking that. When she was giving him the eye, I thought to myself, "wait, are they fucking?" She gave him sex eyes.


I read an article where Lucy said that Lucretia desperately wants have a child but Batiatus isn't getting the job done, so she is looking elsewhere. I would imagine she is looking inside the ludus for this service

Edited by CabotsintheWind, Jan 30, 2010 @ 2:23 AM.

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#88

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 2:54 AM

Interesting too was the way they handled foreplay. Now that's something I never saw on the proper "Rome".


Took the term "handmaiden" to a whole new level.
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#89

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 4:43 AM

Lawless's character also looked REALLY peeved when Spartacus jacked him up during the test.
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#90

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:42 AM

Despite Spartacus's success killing 4-5 gladiators in Episode 1, I like that they didn't make him Super Gladiator in Episode 2 and that there's much that he can still learn.

Wonder what happens if Batiatus doesn't come up with the extra 30% interest for the grain merchant. You can't really send an enforcer to a guy who runs a gladiator school.

You know Sparty & Gauly are going to be friendly at some point.


Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But it does seem that the Gaul will be his new frenemy, to replace his Thracian frenemy that was killed in the arena in Episode 1.

Episode 2 was a solid improvement over the entertaining first foray. The reduction in CGI blood was welcomed


Although to this fuddy-duddy I still think there's a bit too much gratuitous violence. I still think one of the creepiest, scariest scenes in I, Claudius is when Messalina was executed, and then didn't even show that. Oh well, perhaps Starz' Spartus (Spartacuz?) is genuinely more authentic in its explicit violence.
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