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Da Vinci’s Demons Season 1 Blu-ray Review

Da Vinci's Demons Season 1 Blu-ray

“Da Vinci’s Demons” is a mind numbingly absurd series.

The life of the legendary artist/inventor Leonardo Da Vinci gets a new fictional spin in the 8 episode first season of “Da Vinci’s Demons.” In this series, the narrative revolves around the seemingly tortured artist inventing weaponry for Florence’s leader Lorenzo Medici amidst a growing power struggle in Italy between Florence and Rome. Da Vinci also shows a passion for Lorenzo’s mistress Lucrezia while also embarking on a quest to find the ever importnant Book of Leaves. Intertwined throughout the series are a number of key subplots involving Pope Sixtus IV, DaVinci questioning religion and demons, Da Vinci being arrested and put on trial, Vlad the Impaler, the Vatican’s secret archive, future prophecies, the Medici and Pazzi families, and the cult group the Sons of Mithras.  

Around 10 minutes into the season premiere of “Da Vinci’s Demons,” it becomes quite apparent that this cheesy and trashy Starz series has little to do with history at all. The show, which feels oddly derivative of films and shows like “National Treasure,” “Anonymous,” “Spartacus” and even “Smallville” to a certain degree, feels like a whacked-out historical revision courtesy of the mind of hack writer David S. Goyer. Instead of crafting a clever story of the iconic artist, Goyer is more set on taking as much artistic liberty as possible by loading the project with prophecies, conspiracies, dumbed down dialogue, excessive violence and nudity, and an overabundance of vague set-ups for a second season. The only real human response the show ever evokes is a headache.

Even though the show is not my cup of tea, ‘Demons’ still has its merits. First and foremost, the show looks visually impressive. From the generally impressive CGI to the impressive sets and production values, “Da Vinci’s Demons” at least looks professional. Likewise, the greatest composer in TV history (Bear McCreary) has composed yet another brilliant score. How does this guy create so many hit scores  year after year?


The series, which is presented in 1.78:1 1080p, looks dazzling in hi-def.  The sets, the lighting and the neat opening credits look particularly noteworthy here.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 makes Bear McCreary’s score sound even better thanks to this winner of a hi-def track.

* Starz trailers and an ad for the companion app for “Da Vinci’s Demons.”
* A rather flat commentary on “The Hanged Man” and “The Serpent” by David S. Goyer, Tom Riley, Laura Haddock and Blake Ritson. Discussions include the opening credits, the story structure, shooting locations, history and so forth. Expect lots of quiet spots.
* Deleted secenes form 6 of the 8 episodes.
* Commentary on “The Tower” by David S. Goyer, Tom Riley and David Schofield and commentary on “The Lovers” by David S. Goyer, Tom Riley and Tom Bateman.
* “Mastering Da Vinci,” “Constructing Da Vinci” and “Dressing Da Vinci” are three short featurettes about the show’s score, the sets and the costumes.
* “Worldwide Fanfare”- A brief look at “Da Vinci’s Demons” being presented at places such as San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con.

September 18, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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