BLOOD, SAND, SANDLES AND SEX I just finished watching the first eight episodes of Starz new series, Spartacus, Blood and Sand. If you like men in loin cloths or stark naked battling each other in the arena or the bathhouse, you'll love this series. However, if you are looking for originality or don't like computer generated blood and gore in slow motion, beware. To be sure, there's lots of eye candy and great close-ups on all the leads, and it's fun to see Lucy Lawless as Lucrecia, the wife of Botiatus, John Hannah, the owner of a school for gladiators. I really like the lead, Andy Whitfield. Whitfield was born in the U.K., grew up in Wales and studied at Sheffield University in England. He then spent five years working in the construction industry in London. He moved to Australia 10 years ago, attended drama school in Sydney and gained work as an actor, while also working as a diagnostic engineer, a job that required him to rappel down tall buildings. He has also worked as a freelance photographer.I just read he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and will begin treatment immediately in New Zealand. As a result, production on the second season of Spartacus — which was scheduled to get underway later this month — has been delayed. Manu Bennett plays his arch enemy and rival, Crixus. We get to see a lot of him and his shaved nether regions. I read that he was offered a ballet scholarship in New York after finishing high school, but chose to travel Europe and the US instead. He certainly moves well. A New Zealander and of Maori descent, he was also in 30 Days of Night with Josh Harnett and one of my favorite films, Lantana. There is one story line with a gladiator who is in love with the boy who helps out around the school and they have a couple of sex scenes and kissing. If you have Netflix you can watch the first 8 episodes online.
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