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Camelot Season 1 Blu-ray and Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena Blu-ray Reviews


“Camelot” is nothing special.

“Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena” is an unnecessary, but entertaining mini-series.


After Morgan murders her father (King Uther Pendragon), she plots to rule alongside King Lot. Little does she know that her father had an affair and a child (Arthur) who is the rightful heir to the throne. When Morgan learns of this, she vows to battle for the throne despite it being Arthur’s destiny to be King. Plots in this 10 episode season include Excalibur, a murder trial, Arthur’s adoptive brother Kay, Merlin, shapeshifting, tricks, battles, Igraine’s banishment and eventual imprisonment, and Arthur’s crush on Guinevere (even though she is set to be married to Leontes).

“Camelot” had real potential. The production values are great, Eva Green (of “Casino Royale” fame) steals the show as the evil scenery chewing Morgan, and even Claire Forlani does a fine job as Igraine. Unfortunately, the negatives outweight the positives here.

The problem is nothing much happens in these talky, filler filled 10 episodes. There’s not enough forward movement which is an issue that plagues many short-lived serialized series. It doesn’t help that some of the cast members are woefully miscast. Joseph Fiennes (whom I normally like) is completely out of place as a weird, dark, gothic Merlin. Jamie Campbell Bower (Arthur) is also out of his league as the awkward, lanky Arthur. Bower has been good in other roles, but he’s clearly not leading man material nor is he right for Arthur.

Summary: It’s not hard to see why “Camelot” didn’t get renewed for a second season. It’s simply a mediocre fantasy series, but at least it’s better than the laughable “Merlin.”

Note: I don’t know if it was just my player, but the load times for the discs were abnormally slow.


The 1.78:1 1080p picture quality is top notch here. The open country and lavish sets  shine in hi-def.

From the opening credits to the action sequences, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track really puts the speakers to work. A superb track.

* Starz series trailers.

* An episode pop-up feature that gives historical info about the King Arthur legend and the Middle Ages period.
* Camelot Character profiles for Arthur, Guinevere, Igraine, Kay, Merlin, and Morgan. These extras feature the cast and crew chatting about the characters in-depth.
* “Camelot Blooper Reel”- Not funny.
* “On The Set: Mooney’s Movie”- Actor Peter Mooney records Jamie Campbell Bower briefly. 
* 3 scene breakdowns.

* “Candid Camelot”- Random footage of the cast goofing around.
* “The Women Of Camelot”- A featurette on the actresses and their characters.
* “The Knights”- A featurette on the Knight characters.

* “Starz Studios: Camelot”- A basic featurette on the series.


For those wondering, “Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena” is not a continuation of “Spartacus: Blood And Sand” (the first season). It’s a 6 episode prequel mini-series that revolves around Lucretia and Quintus Batatus’s rise to fame. This series takes place before Spartacus arrives. The main plots involve Quintus wanting control of his father’s ludus, Quintus’s champion gladiator (Gannicus), a new arena opening, another gladiator (Crixus), and a gladiator tournament.

In the hiatus between “Spartacus: Blood And Sand” and the upcoming “Spartacus: Vengeance,” the folks at Starz and the “Spartacus” showrunners decided to make a prequel mini-series during the downtime. Since the fate of Quintus and Lucretia is already known, the story couldn’t be set after “Blood And Sand” and thus a prequel about their past was made. Did the story need to be told? Probably not. This is essentially more of the same we saw in “Blood And Sand” only with new characters and some further revelations about characters we’ve met before. Other than that, the slow-mo, blood splattering, cursing, and sex scenes are as present as they were in the first season of “Spartacus.”

For me, the two highlights of this series are the production values and Temuera Morrison as Doctore. The production values (namely the costumes and sets) are as impressive as they were in ‘Blood’. A lot of hard work and effort went into making viewers feel as if they are being transported to another time. As for Morrison, I always felt he was an underrated actor and was glad to see him get new work here. He is just as good as Doctore as he was in “Star Wars Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones” and “Once Were Warriors.”

Summary: If you liked “Blood And Sand,” you will dig “Gods Of The Arena.”


Lines and grain are present in the 1.78:1 1080p picture quality, but the striking colors (especially the blood) more than make up for the distractions.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track hits all the right notes. The sword clangs, music, dialogue are as sharp as a gladiator’s sword.


* Starz series trailers

* Extended versions of episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
* Commentary on episode 1 by Rob Tapert, Jesse Warn, Iain Aitken, and Barbara Darragh. Commentary on episode 2 by Steven S. DeKnight, Dustin Clare, Peter Mensah, and Jaime Murray. Commentary on episode 3 by Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless and Michael Hurst. Commentary on episode 4 by Steven S. DeKnight, Lucy Lawless, Dustin Clare and Jaime Murray. Commentary on episode 5 by Steven S. DeKnight, Brent Fletcher, John Hannah and Lucy Lawless. Commentary on episode 6 by Steven S. DeKnight, Rick Jacobson and Peter Mensah. If you want to hear about set stories, script discussions, technical aspects, and cut scenes, feel free to check out these commentaries.
* A special 3D scene titled “Ring Of Fire Battle Sequence.” Note: This only works for 3D TVs.
* Arena Bloopers.

* A Q&A panel from San Diego Comic Con 2010.
* “Dressed To Kill”- A featurette on the various costumes.
* “Enter The Arena: Production Design”- A look at the streets, the arena, and room sets.
* “Post Production: The Final Execution”- A featurette on the visual f/x and other post production work like audio and so forth.

* “10 Easy Steps To Dismemberment”- Title says it all.
* “On Set With Lucy Lawless”- A day in the life look at Lawless on set.

* “Battle Royale: Anatomy Of A Scene”- A look at the making of the major battle in the arena.
* “Weapons Of Mass Disruption”- A look at the props/weapons used on the show.
* “Starz Studios: Gods Of The Arena”- A featurette on the season.


September 7, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I fully agree completely.

    Comment by mesothelioma | October 24, 2011 | Reply

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