Brief note on the film first: a very stylised version of what the battle of thermopylae may have been like, adapted from a graphic novel and filmed with back projection to make it look as much as like the comic as possible. The result is really quite stunning, and the action and battle sequences very rousing. And bloody. The film is framed with one spartan telling others what happened, and thus what you are seeing is what they think it must have been like. This is a point lots of people seem to have missed.
As regards the dvd: this is a two disc edition, and the first disc contains a widescreen version of the film, with direct scene access, and a commentary from the director and two of the production staff.
The second disc has:
be one of three hundred: a brief bit with the director giving thanks to those who supported the project online.
A documentary about the battle. twenty five minutes long with contributions from historians and it's fascinating stuff.
A documentary about the spartans. Short but good.
Conversations with the creator of the graphic novel. Brief but interesting.
A short and generic production documentary.
a look at the making of the film in images. fascinating but moves very fast and be warned if you're eplipetic as the fast moving could give you a fit.
lots of short production documentaries, that are all quite interesting, and can be watched as one.
A great film.
And a very good package for it.
I'm not going to rate the film, that's been done to death everywhere else. What I'm going to do is rate the High-Def experience you'll be getting:
Visual: 300 visually is a stunning film. The 'crushing' technique is akin to the graphic-novel counterpart and really sets the atmosphere beautifully. I know very well that such a harsh technique will not appeal to everyone but I will say that without it the film would be left a little lackluster. Moving on to the real High Definition detail: 300 is definitely not the most detailed blu-ray film around; it certainly doesn't show off the true potential of a blu-ray disc (this is more due to the post processing of the film than anything else) but it still looks crisp, vibrant and very detailed. And if I instilled doubt in anyone reading this then please, ignore it. The film looks breathtaking and definitely deserves a 4/5 for visuals alone.
Audio: Deep, clear, haunting and definitely the best audio experience I've had in a while. 5.1 surround sound really immerses you in the experience and makes you feel you are there in the middle of the action. All I need is a red cape and I'm good to go! ;)
Features: I keep reading that blu-ray movies have no extra features or something..I won't go into it but if that's a doubt for anyone here, then drop it immediately. There is a ton of extra features that include deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews, directors commentaries, webisodes (short behind the scenes videos covering everything from makeup and costume design to how the 300 got such buff bodies) and more. The extra features alone would give this film a 5/5.
In conclusion, 300 is definitely a film to add to your blu-ray film collection. Visually stunning with incredible audio to match, and a host of extra features to give die-hard fans a second helping of possibly the greatest action film ever! I'm going to confirm what everyone is saying; 300 is region ABC or regionless (whichever you prefer) and WILL run on UK PS3s. Enjoy!
on 11 February 2009
English DolbyTrueHD 5.1
English PCM 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1 : English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish.
Pour les francophones : allez-y sans crainte, c'est exactement le même blu-ray que celui vendu chez nous à l'exception de la jaquette (en anglais).
Frank Miller adaptations are on a roll. First we got "Sin City," and now we have the story of three hundred Spartans who repelled a massive invasion.
And the adaptation of "300" is a stunning one -- literally stunning, since it bombards the viewer with larger-than-life characters, smashing visuals and tight direction. It goes a bit too fast for its own good, but it's a truly epic film that takes the historical war movie to another level -- all the more so because it actually happened.
As the introduction tells us, the Spartans were the ultimate warrior people. Babies were inspected for weakness or faults, and killed if they had any; as they were growing up, they were taught and toughened by a savage regimen. Their only true hope was to "die beautifully" for their land.
A Persian messenger arrives, telling King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) that the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) wants the Spartans to bow to him. Leonidas' response: shove the Persians into a pit. But before he can go to war, he must consult the corrupt priesthood of Ephors and their beautiful Oracle. She predicts that Sparta will fall and the gods forbid war at the approach of the Carneaian festival -- courtesy of a hefty bribe from a Spartan traitor.
So Leonidas takes out three hundred of his best men, along with their nervy Arcadian allies, and begin trouncing the Persians. But they are being sabotaged, both by a hunchbacked outcast and by a treacherous councilor, whom Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) is battling. And so at Thermopylae, Leonidas prepares for a final battle against the monstrous Persian Army -- knowing that their story of freedom will live on.
This is not a "sensitive" movie where you have any appreciation for the bad guys -- it's a glorification of three hundred soldiers who died for their land and freedom. It just wouldn't work otherwise. It doesn't blindly adore the Spartans -- we see their darker side in their "weed out the weak" policy -- but it does appreciate them. They respect and care about each other, and Leonidas is as kind as he can be even to Ephialtes, the traitor.
And it's done in a manner appropriate to its comic book origins -- grimy, bloody and epic, but with a stylized look that is almost like CGI. The battles are shockingly good, and full of fantasy-ish creations like the monstrous creatures or the silver-masked Immortals. Even a wall of corpses. But we also get some beautiful visuals as well -- roiling seas, sunlit battlefields, Spartan cities, and the drugged Oracle in her white veil.
While the script gets a bit over-the-top at times, it's hard not to be moved by dialogue that can be darkly funny ("It's just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare") or stirring ("He did not wish tribute, nor song, or monuments or poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: "Remember us." That was his hope, should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be").
Butler and Headey are simply great as Leonidas and Gorgo -- they're both strong, passionate and fearless, and they both do a great job in their separate storylines. But the movie is filled with good performances -- David Wenham as the narrator, Dominic West as a disgusting traitor, Santoro as the decadent, arrogant god-king, and many others.
"300" is a unique, stirring, stunning movie that pushes the action-movie envelope, and gives a thrilling edge to a real-life story of overwhelming edge. A brilliant movie.
on 30 November 2007
Personally I found this film spectacular. The use of CGI to create a sense of fantasy to a true story, all be it a very stretched one, was used brilliantly.
The film is based on a comic by Frank Miller which in turn is based on the story of the 300 spartans. I won't bore you with the history but it is worth pointing this out.
If you liked Sin City chances are you'll like this. If you liked Gladiator you'll probably like this. If you liked them both then you'll love it. Stay clear if this sort of genre isn't for you as it really is dependent on that sort of film goer.
on 4 January 2008
I approached this film in two minds. I'd read a lot about its inconsistencies and historical distortions, and even suggestions of homophobia and racism.
First time I watched 300, I didn't really enjoy it. This can be put down to watching it on a 15" poor quality TV.
I decided to give it a second go - watching it in high definition on a 42", and the difference was staggering. I'm now very much a fan.
Regarding the historical mistruths - these are easily explained by it being based on a comic book and not history.
300 has little to no plot, but it is a pure, visually stunning, adrenaline filled, testosterone pumped dream (or nightmare depending on your tastes).
Taken for what it is (a comic book brought to life), it's hard to take negative claims against it seriously, because the film itself is not serious outside of its own narrow origins.
If you are looking for a film with depth and meaning, please avoid this film at all costs. If you are looking for an exciting, visually impressive comic book action film, then walk this way.
on 7 August 2007
Just wanted to confirm what others indicate - the disc has no region coding so will work on UK Blu-Ray players including PS3. Great film & awesome in high-def.
Brilliantly visual movie of the historic stand of Leonidas and his men. True it is not a historic recreation of events - but one could go as far as saying that it captures the spirit. The movie is modernised and follows the comic by Frank Miller closely. This is the second time a movie is based on his books, the other is Sin City and both have been very successful, in my opinon the best transfers of comics to movies. 300 is very graphic and visual, the action is fast paced and the dialoge is good, it is as cool as it gets.
Persian: "A thousand nations of the Persian empire descend upon you. Our arrows will blot out the sun!"
Spartan: "Then we will fight in the shade."
The movie does get a bad review from a number of sources, mostly based on historical inaccuracy and occasionally for a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact that these accusations have some merit I feel they miss the point in a wider sense. Leonidas, his Spartans, the Greeks, the Persians and the battle of Thermopylae have become familiar names to a new generation. For some this will be a passing interest but others will dwell on the story and eventually some will learn more. For those who wish to look for historical accuracy I recommend History Channels: The Last Stand Of The 300 - The Real Story. While at the same time you should remember that this lavish documentary is made because of the movie 300 and its popularity. Also, it is clear which is likely to attract a wider audience.
The stand of Leonidas and the Spartans is legend and worthy of a good tale. 300 is every bit a good tale and in this sense quite fitting to their memory.
on 5 January 2016
Another fine steelbook for the collection. As per most dvd 'steels' though this has been re-released as a blu-ray steelbook so essentialy making this redundant (Unless you're a bit of a dvd steelbook completist like myself!) A lot of these older steels are a real 'steal' these days as folk upgrade to the blu-r versions. This particular edition was - and still is quite rarefied though, so pleased I had the opportunity to grab one... my personal wish list is getting smaller :)
on 29 December 2007
As both an archaeologist and a film lover I do find it amusing when people start criticising "300" for its lack of historical accuracy - in some respects the film is massivly accurate - the story is a rousing yarn told by a veteran spartan soldier to the ammassed spartan army, thus as any good tale should be, it is populated with glorious spartan warriors, repulsive traitors, demonic enemies more beast than man and a corrupt God King revelling in grotesque and unearthly pleasures
If we could travel back to the 5th/4th century BC i think many of the films detractors would be suprised to see storytellers entertaining the populace with a tale of the Mighty 300 not dissimilar to this!
300 is a solid piece of visualy arresting storytelling told in a timelessly entertaining way and should be watched as such.