Presumably the title "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was chosen for Starz's latest dramatic foray because "300: Blood and Sand" or "Gladiator: Sand and Blood" wouldn't clear legal. In any event, there's scant resemblance between this dreadful blend of those recent movies and the program's ostensible namesake, as the show tries to adopt "300's" visual style and -- despite spilling buckets of gore -- proves woefully pale by comparison. Indeed, when the smoke clears from this blood-splattered battle, the survivors will likely stand and sheepishly plead, "I'm not 'Spartacus!' Please, don't confuse me with 'Spartacus!'"
Just to put this appraisal in context, the original 1960 classic remains a personal favorite, and I'm extremely fond of the other aforementioned efforts -- so this hardly represents an aversion to swords and sandals. There is, however, considerable irritation over such a brazen, at-times-laughable attempt to piggyback on their success.
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