Advance Review: The names Raimi and Tapert instantly bring back wonderful memories of such classic television programs as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Maybe for some of you just hearing Rob Tapert's name has you frolicking down memory lane with thoughts of Cleopatra 2525. If you're a fan of any of those shows and hope for more of the same here you obviously haven't seen any of the publicity for Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen along with the shows head writer Steven S. DeKnight attempt to recreate the world of Spartacus on the small screen utilizing some of the popular stylized visuals of today's cinema. In other words, they're recreating 300 on the small screen using Spartacus as their story.
Despite being easily comparable to either 300 or Gladiator you may still find yourself hard pressed when trying to enjoy Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It's unabashed imitation of both of those classic testosterone fuelled films is flagrant yet it fails to capture the essence of either. The visual style of 300 is blatantly mimicked with little attempt to evolve the style for this historical tale. Who can really blame the producers for trying to latch on to the success of such a popular movie? It's just a shame they rely so heavily on it. As for Gladiator, this show would definitely benefit by drawing from Maximus' and Commodus' animosity for one another. It's there in its infancy at the moment with Spartacus and Glaber but that hatred for one another could turn this dud into a classic if handled with the appropriate care.
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