Da Vinci’s Demons – The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)

Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)This season opens with the Turkish army as their ships approach the shores of Italy, poised to attack.  Meanwhile Da Vinci is at the ready with one of his inventions; he has secured multiple cannons together in a way that they can be fired and maneuvered by one person.  But what he doesn’t know is that the Turks have a secret weapon of their own.  But does this season hold up to it’s predecessors?  I’m a big fan of David S. Goyer and the work he’s done on the DC films such as “The Dark knight Trilogy” and “Man of Steel”.  So I was excited to check this show out!  Though Goyer’s dialogue may be a bit weak at times his strength generally lies in his character development.

Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)

So this show has one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to period dramas; and that is when most of the characters speak, regardless of their country of origin, in a British accent.  When a show or movie does this it looses a lot of it’s authenticity and makes it difficult to get engrossed in the story.  It also kinda perpetuates the idea that if you’re a good and honorable person, you speak with an English accent, but you don’t, then you’re EVIL!  It also just seems like a lazy thing for the filmmakers to do.  Since it was filmed in Wales I’m sure it just made things a lot easier to have the actors use British accents rather than trying to attempt a style of speech from foreign land.  But at the same time you have shows like “Vikings” which take place in Scandinavia.  Their main character is played by an Australian actor, and yet he totally nails the the Scandinavian accent!  It just makes things so much more rich and diverse.

“Demons” is following a growing trend that’s been developing for the past few years.  TV networks across the board seem to be on the hunt for their next big period drama.  Or more specifically, their next big “Game of Thrones“.  The huge success of GOT has spawned so many imitators that there’s too many to list here.  The problem is is that GOT has the massive financial backing of HBO which allows them to create grandiose battle scenes coupled with dazzling digital effects.  But the true strength lies in it’s incredible writing and character interactions.  Though this season of “Da Vinci’s Demons” does make a valiant effort to pull you into the relationships of it’s characters, the acting and dialogue cause it to fall just a bit short.  For example, and this might be a slight spoiler but it occurs within the first few minutes of the first episode this season, when Da Vinci is faced with the dilemma of having to kill his mother who is aboard one of the Turkish ships, I didn’t really get the sense that this was tearing him up inside.  It seemed more like of an inconvenience rather than a truly traumatic experience that will live with him for the rest of his days.

The visual effects are fairly decent, but compared to other similar shows they somewhat pale in comparison.  Nowadays people can easily spot the inaccuracies in a show’s digital effects.  So if a TV show’s effects aren’t at least close to the level of a major motion picture, it’s generally held in a lower regard.  Though the visual scope of this season is a bit small, it’s strength lies in the action during the battle scenes. You can tell that the directors of each episode take great care to recreate the intensity and random violence of war.  But that’s not to say that making a show like this in a smaller or “theater style” way can’t be done.  You could totally pull it off but it would require much more comprehensive writing and a stronger cast.  In a way, you could say that “Da Vinci’s Demons” is the “Battlestar Galactica” of period dramas; not quite “Star Trek” but better than “Stargate”.

But to it’s credit, this show does an excellent job of portraying the extreme, brutal and sometimes bizarre lengths with which people of that time would go to in order to show their allegiance to their God.  There is a scene, and again this might be a bit of a spoiler, where a religious zealot is seeking guidance from his God.  To do this two of his brethren attach him to a rack that has him standing vertically.  They then secure his hands and feet in the shape of the “Vitruvian Man”.  Then, and this is where it gets messed up, they lower a large metal mask onto his face that allows them to pour searing liquid into his eyes whilst holding the fluid in place.  It also has two piercing needles that stab into his skull.  And this is something that he ASKED for!
 Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)
Disc 1:
Semper infidelis
Modus Operandi
The Labrys
Disc 2:
Anima Venator
Liberum Arbitrium
Alis Volat Propriis
Disc 3:
La Confessione Della Machina
Angelus Iratissimus
Ira Deorum
 Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Crisp and very clear. Although for shows like this it helps to have some grittiness to the image.

Depth:  Fairly good depth. Although most of the shot from a distance are crated digitally and they lack a bit of realistic scope.

Black Levels:  Rich and accurate.  Although the night time scenes are a bit hazy.

Color Reproduction:  Excellent and vibrant colors.

Flesh Tones:  Not bad. But there’s definitely room for improvement.  The lighting is a bit harsh at times.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean No problems here to speak of.

Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)


Audio Format(s): English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics:  There are quite a few opportunities to take advantage of the dynamics and I must say that they’re done quite well.  The balance between the explosions and the dialogue is very consistent.

Low Frequency Extension:  Boom goes the canon!  Good stuff here!

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A.

Dialogue Reproduction: Pretty good. Although there are a few moments where people mumble a bit and it’s tricky to make out what they’re saying. But those moments are few and far between.

Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)

Aside from the inclusion of Leonardo Da Vinci and the opportunity to witness him create new concepts and inventions, this show isn’t exactly groundbreaking.  But the action scenes definitely serve as an enjoyable distraction.  To the best of my recollection this is the first time we’ve seen Leonardo Da Vinci portrayed on the small screen.  So you gotta give STARZ credit for taking a chance on a new idea.
Da Vinci’s Demons The Complete Third Season is available on Blu-ray Jan. 26th.
Da Vinci's Demons - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray Review)

Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

Comments are currently closed.