Review: Spartacus – Gods of the Arena: Episode 2 – “Missio”

Episode 1 review

This week picks up right where the last one ended. Batiatus is dealing with getting pummeled by Tullius’ goon squad. In typical Batiatus fashion, he exacts his revenge on Vettius (whose ludus is funded with Tullius’s cash money) with the aid of Ashur by returning the beat down. Gaia helps Lucretia get a wealthy patron over to Batiatus’ house in order to secure Gannicus in the games. While doing so, the patron takes a liking to Gannicus and forces him to have sex with Melitta, Oenomaus’ wife. Meanwhile, Oenomaus has been promoted to doctore, ending in a rain swept slo-mo fight with the old doctore.

This episode was pretty good. Crixus is forced into a fight with Gannicus at the behest of Gaia and actually beats Gannicus up a bit before Gannicus gets the upper hand. We really start to see the drive that Crixus has to be a champion, and the disrespect towards Ashur when he gets the brand of the brotherhood not for completing the trials, but for doing some dirty work for Batiatus in the streets of Capua. I’m still not sold on Gannicus as a character, but this episode gave him a bit more to do. The theme of this episode is the lack of rights given to slaves, and no matter how great Gannicus is as a gladiator, ultimately he is still beholden to the whims of Batiatus, even forced to sleep with his best friend’s wife because his dominus orders him to do so. Once again, Crixus is the most interesting thing about this episode. We have yet to see Lucretia show any interest in him whatsoever, but you can tell that Gaia is the one that will introduce the two of them.

All in all, this episode was better than the first primarily because it focuses more on characters we are used to from Blood and Sand. This one actually had less boobs and violence and it actually helped because it didn’t fell forced. The main storyline revolves around Batiatus so if you hated that character, I’m not sure this is going to appeal to you. Still, I enjoyed it. More Crixus, please.

7/10

Mirrodin Besieged! All night long, baby.

Time for another midnight MTG pre-release tourney! The twist this time is that players have to choose a faction, Mirran or Phyrexian, and will get different sealed product based on the chosen faction. I’m hoping to do multiple events and try out both options.

My first impression is that the Phyrexian sealed pools are probably going to be more powerful, on a baseline, than the Mirran pools. I hope the infect mechanic doesn’t just rape everyone to death!

 

Splattercast Archive: Episode #18

Archiving the memorable moments, quotes, films, and events that have occurred on the Splattercast. This will be an ongoing feature designed to be a handy guide to what was talked about on each episode. You can find the links to each episode blog on the Splattercast Archive page.


Episode 18: (11-21-2006) Download Link
Hosts: Jeff
Category: Solo show
Format: News, Reviews, DVD Releases
Running Time: 40 min

Description

The dreaded solo show format returns as Jeff soldiers through another episode all by his lonesome. News includes The Thing prequel being switched to a remake and the resounding success of The Grand Horror screening. A listener sends in some mail saying that Jeff spoiled Hard Candy. Jeff also reads a Netflix comment about a woman upset that her son can’t see sex but is allowed to see violence before ending with DVD reviews, including the Must Buy DVD of the Week: The Adventures of Teddy Ruxspin.

Films Reviewed

Live Feed (2006) d. Ryan Nicholson

  • Jeff: 4/10

The Last Broadcast (1998) d. Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler

  • Jeff: 7/10

Salvage (2006) d. Jeff and Josh Crook

  • Jeff: 8/10

Memorable Moments

  • Possibly our first listener mail? Mick from the U.K. (We’ve always had a big British audience, not sure why)

Quotes

  • Jeff: “Battlestar Galactica is one of the best shows on T.V. today.”
  • Jeff: “The Grand Horror was well attended, hundreds in attendance, and everyone had a great time.”
  • Jeff: “Support your local cable access channel. That’s good to do.”
  • Jeff: “(The Last Broadcast) It’s as good as Blair Witch.”
  • Jeff: “I will probably definitely rent this.”
  • Jeff: “I had no idea there was that much back story to Teddy Ruxspin. I thought he was just this teddy bear you jammed a cassette tape in and he talked and told you a story. No. He is an illiop, and he’s got some heavy shit on his plate, man. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with this stuff.”

Not a whole lot in this episode. It is worth noting that for his choices during the solo episodes, Jeff has been choosing “harder edged” genre fare. He’s always been the guy that enjoys watching these torture and gross out flicks more than anyone else on the cast. And I don’t know what that Battlestar Galactica comment is all about. Up until a week ago, he assured me he had never even seen it. Hmm…

Special thanks to Wave for compiling the notes for this episode.

Splattercast Archive: Episode #17

Archiving the memorable moments, quotes, films, and events that have occurred on the Splattercast. This will be an ongoing feature designed to be a handy guide to what was talked about on each episode. You can find the links to each episode blog on the Splattercast Archive page.


Episode 17: (10-24-2006) Download Link
Hosts: Jeff and Tina, appearance by Steve
Category: General
Format: News, Reviews, DVD Releases
Running Time: 71 min

Description

There’s a break in the solo show monotany! Tina Fontaine co-hosts with Jeff this week. News  includes Clive Barker writing the Hellraiser remake as well as killing Pinhead in The Scarlet Gospels and Asia Argento to star in Mother of Tears (remember when people were excited for that?). Steve stops by to promote The Grand Horror. Jeff and Tina review a plethora of films before giving you the must buy DVD of the week: Evil Bong.

Films Reviewed

Baby Blood (1990) d. Alain Robak

  • Jeff: 4/10
  • Tina: 4/10

Calvaire (2004) d. Fabrice du Welz

  • Jeff: 6.5/10
  • Tina: 5/10

Imprint (2006) d. Takashi Miike

  • Jeff: 7/10
  • Tina: 8/10

Hard Candy (2005) d. David Slade

  • Jeff: 7.5/10
  • Tina: 9/10

Memorable Moments

  • The Grand Horror gets a writeup from Dread Central.
  • The first appearance of Tina as co-host. Previously, she had done news on episode 12.

Quotes

  • Jeff: “Everybody keep an eye out for Kip Winger because we’re only 17 here at the Splattercast.”
  • Jeff: “I’m always down for Argento. I like Argento. I’m always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Although Mat and I will for sure agree that we think it’s totally creepy when he puts his daughter in movies and then has her acting all sexy and taking off her clothes and stuff.”
  • Jeff on The Grand Horror: “I’m sad to say I had no involvement whatsoever. So when the big Hollywood execs come out and start offering that bank for all the distribution rights and wanting to bankroll all the next features, I’m not going to get any of that bank….don’t forget about me when you guys get famous, ok?”
  • Tina: “Europeans are pretty fugly.”
  • Jeff: “A bunch of dudes are hanging around, getting it on with a pig.” Tina: “That’s the point where I turned to Jeff and said that I never want to go to Europe.”
  • Jeff: “I don’t like when these damn DVD cases oversell.”
  • Jeff: “Zombie comedy is starting to get played out, I don’t mean to be a negative Nancy.”
  • Jeff: “I’m sure you cannot go wrong with Evil Bong.”

I think this episode works well. Much better than the other solo shows because, well, it’s not a solo show! Tina pops on to offer her non-horror perspective and it makes this ep. much more interesting to listen to. It’s amazing how just having another person to bounce things off of improves the quality significantly. It’s also an early example of how the softer tone Jeff takes towards not only Dario Argento, but Charles Band.

Special thanks to Wave for compiling the notes for this episode.

Splattercast Archive: Episode #16

Archiving the memorable moments, quotes, films, and events that have occurred on the Splattercast. This will be an ongoing feature designed to be a handy guide to what was talked about on each episode. You can find the links to each episode blog on the Splattercast Archive page.

Episode 15: (10-17-2006) Download Link
Hosts: Jeff
Category: Solo show
Format: News, Reviews, DVD Releases
Running Time: 25 min

Description

Jeff is on his own this show as he chats a bit about The Grudge 2 opening #1 at the box office. He also discusses a few different horror themed comic books including the ANOES, F13, and TCM from Avatar press before finishing up with a couple Fred Dekker classics: The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps, along with the weekly DVD Releases which includes the Must Buy DVD of the Week: Frankenhooker.

Films Reviewed

Night of the Creeps (1986) d. Fred Dekker

  • Jeff: “A solid 7/10″

The Monster Squad (1987) d. Fred Dekker

  • Jeff: “I shit you not, 9/10″

Memorable Moments

  • Jeff proclaims The Monster Squad as one of his all-time favorite movies.
  • One of Jeff’s all-time favorite movie lines from the film is: “I’m in the goddamn club, aren’t I?”
  • Jeff plugs the amazon.com links on the website, something we experimented with early on, then gave up on, then replaced with banner ads.
  • Jeff’s story of finding the Frankenhooker electronic VHS box at the video store as a kid.

Quotes

  • Jeff: “Mat is indisposed right now so he couldn’t do the cast this week. I think he’s on a secret government mission. I think they are going to Halo drop him out of a B-2 Stealth Bomber over North Korea so he can infiltrate Pyongyang and destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons facilities at which point a fiery explosion will chase him down a hallway until he escapes by jumping head first through a picture window and hauls ass toward a demilitarized zone. It’s either that, or he’s really tied up with his college midterms.”
  • Jeff on The Monster Squad: “This isn’t going to be a review so much as it is going to be just me gushing over this movie.”
  • Jeff: “A lot of times you see kids in movies and you just hate them. You just want to kick them in the teeth because they are doing such a shitty job.”
  • Jeff: “There’s a lot of dynamite in this movie. Dracula loves dynamite in this movie.”
  • Jeff: “Somebody please put Monster Squad on DVD. I will be your friend forever, I totally swear.”
  • Jeff: “If you’re into Julia Stiles and her giraffe-ass long neck, you might want to check out The Omen (2006).”
  • Jeff: “I like Jason Mewes. I’m a sucker for him, I’ll admit.”
  • Jeff: “I googled what were the 1987 Oscar winners….for Best Director and Best Picture….It was Bernardo Bertolucci for The Last Emperor and I just gotta say that’s bullshit.

Pretty short episode and this one is all Jeff. He slurps Fred Dekker, but who wouldn’t? This is also the first and only time the Splattercast had a truly “solo” show in that no other hosts submitted audio reviews or anything. A quick listen. And  man, what does Jeff have against Julia Stiles’ neck?

Special thanks to Wave for compiling the notes for this episode.

Splattercast Archive: Episode #15

Archiving the memorable moments, quotes, films, and events that have occurred on the Splattercast. This will be an ongoing feature designed to be a handy guide to what was talked about on each episode. You can find the links to each episode blog on the Splattercast Archive page.

Episode 15: (10-06-2006) Download Link
Hosts: Mat w/ appearance by Jeff and Steve
Category: Solo show
Format: Dead Lantern News, Indie Spotlight Band of the Week, Reviews, DVD Releases
Running Time: 39 min

Description

News this week includes a mysterious illness for George Romero and a new 300 trailer. We also spotlight the band Deadsy, run through a few reviews and end with our DVD releases of the week.

Films Reviewed

Beyond the Wall of Sleep (2006) d. Barrett Leigh

  • Steve: 6/10

The Hidden (1987) d. Jack Sholder

  • Jeff: 7/10

Memorable Moments

  • The first and possibly only time a band was spotlighted.

Quotes

  • Mat: “Anybody who knows me knows I’m an Ancient history junkie. I love this stuff. It’s like crack to me.”
  • Steve: “I imagine this is the same type of crap that made all those Japanese kids break out into seizures years ago during an episode of Pokemon.”
  • Steve: “Exploding heads make me smile.”
  • Steve: “I hate the South.”
  • Jeff: “Yo hippie, what kind of dude are you?”
  • Steve: “Amducious!”
  • Mat: “Any film with Jeffrey Combs is a winner in my book.”
  • Mat: “If you can put the phrase ‘chicks covered in blood’ and ‘German Expressionism’ in the same sentence, you’ve got something going for you there.”

An absolute waste of an episode. Jeff and Steve provide a couple reviews but other than that, this one is totally forgettable. The Deadsy spotlight was because I was friends with the band from way back. They were trying to “break out” from anonymity and asked if I’d play a couple of their tunes on the show. They’re basically over as a band, but I recommend checking out their stuff. Very different from what you generally hear. God, these solo shows…when will they end? This is like the Splattercast’s Dark Ages.

Special thanks to Wave for compiling the notes for this episode.