Sep 302020
 

300 is a movie that I never really immensely enjoyed back when it was released and even today, found it to be great to look at, but little emotion behind the amazing visuals, though some of the fight scenes were pretty bad-ass.

 

 

300
(2007)

Genre(s): Action, War
Warner Bros. | R – 116 min. – $24.99 | October 6, 2020

Date Published: 09/30/2020 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Writer(s): Frank Miller and Lynn Varley (graphic novel); Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon (screenplay)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headley, David Wenham, Dominic West, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Quebec) (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.


THE MOVIE — 3/5


Plot Synopsis: In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (RODRIGO SANTORO), and Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas (GERARD BUTLER), king of the Greek city state of Sparta, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive Persian army. Though certain death awaits the Spartans, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their common enemy.

Quick Hit Review: 300 is a movie I’ve now seen three times, the first in theaters followed by either DVD or HD-DVD and now on 4K Ultra HD. And with each viewing, my opinion hasn’t really changed, I found it to be a visual feast for sure with some dedicated performances by all involved, however the story was thin and worse, the actual characters were pretty one-dimensional with a few exceptions, most notably Lena Headley as Queen Gorgo, though even she only gets a few scenes to shine. I also liked Gerard Butler and his ferocious and fierce portrayal as King Leonidas.

One criticism director Zack Snyder has received over the years he’s more focused on the visuals than much of an emotional connection with the characters and story. It’s not totally unfair even though I did love his Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition but even in a movie like Man of Steel, which I liked quite a bit, as well as Watchmen, I will admit there can be a detachment and in the end, can leave a movie rather indifferent. This is a case where a movie should’ve been longer, although I imagine that would’ve been adding new material not in the graphic novel which would’ve probably irked Frank Miller who gave his blessing.

Having never read the much praised graphic novel, I can only judge based on the movie itself which you can tell Snyder and company painstakingly re-created panels. So on the visual aspect, which has been copied to death in numerous movies thereafter, this is a home run even when some of the action-war sequences became a bit tedious.

In the end, 300 might not be perfect and the story itself could’ve been more well rounded, the visual effects and Snyder’s signature style is at least fun to look at if not all that involving as an audience member. Given I’ve seen this three times over the course of nearly 15 years, my mind hasn’t changed all that much.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. This section has, with some minor edits, been copied from the 2009 Blu-ray review. Sadly missing are two picture-in-picture tracks, not sure why Warner didn’t use the “Complete Experience” disc in there instead.

Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Zach Snyder, Director of Photography Larry Fong and Co-Writer Kurt  Johnstad

Fact or Fiction (24:36) – Personally this would be my favorite feature on the disc as it discusses (with Frank Miller and some Historians) the accuracies (or inaccuracies) of the film and how they tried (or didn’t!) into making 300 seem real.

Who Were the Spartans? The Warriors of 300 (4:32) – Here we see the cast discussing their real-life (or semi) counterparts.

Preparing for Battle: Original Test Footage (6:43) – Zack filmed some footage to help convince WB to finance to film.

Webisodes (38:23) – Set of 12 production diaries that are in rough form but get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production.

Deleted Scenes (3:23) – Three scenes here that includes introductions by Snyder.

Rounding things out there is a short Making of 300 (5:51), Making of 300 in Images (3:40) and Frank Miller Tapes (14:42) which delves into why Miller allowed Snyder to adapt his novel.

 


VIDEO – 5/5


300 marches headstrong onto 4K Ultra HD where it’s shown in the original theatrical 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. This picture looks absolutely glorious in 4K, detail is incredibly sharp and even from a distance you can discern the natural and intended film grain and noise while black levels are stark yet still on-screen elements can be discerned. There were no obvious flaws like aliasing, artifacting and the like and even though the Blu-ray was good, this is the best the movie will ever look. As per Snyder’s style, the movie doesn’t exactly have incredible colors as everything is tamped down with a bronze-like tint with some minor deviations from time to time, especially the few brightly lit scenes.

AUDIO – 5/5


The original Blu-rays (both 2007 and 2009) had Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks, replaced on the 4K UHD with new a Dolby Atmos track. As such, like the picture, you get absolutely immersed in the CGI environment. Along with the clear dialogue, the gritty, dark war action sequences showed off incredible depth, the LFE channel turning on giving this track some rumbling on the floor and walls, with the front and rear speakers providing some extra depth.

 


OVERALL – 4/5


Overall, 300 is a movie that I never really immensely enjoyed back when it was released and even today, found it to be great to look at, but little emotion behind the amazing visuals, though some of the fight scenes, when not slowed down, were pretty bad-ass I suppose. This 4K Ultra HD combo pack has some remarkable visual and audio transfers and the features, mostly on the Blu-ray, were good however missing the PiP bonus from the “Complete Experience” release from 2009.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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