on 29 October 2010
As the might of the Persian army, led by God-King Xerxes, continues on it's path for world conquest, a group of 300 Spartans, led my Kind Leonidas, march out to meet and stop them in their tracks. Adapted from Frank Miller's graphic novel, and similar to another of his works Sin City, 300 mixes live action and CGI to recreate a visually stunning tale of an epic battle!
The picture quality is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the detail is exactly what you would expect from a Blu-Ray disc; close ups reveal sharp, crisp edges and the muted colours add a lot of depth to the film. On the other hand, there is a lot of noise throughout the whole film. Although noticeable at first, you are able to tune it out once the action starts happening but we felt that it added another dimension to the film and made it feel more like a looking at a moving comic.
The sound quality is brilliant, crisp and clear in TrueHD and makes excellent use of the surround sound system (if you have one) with the battle scenes coming alive all around you.
The special features are good and as you would expect from a recent film with a Director's Commentary, Additional Scenes (in High Definition), Frank Miller's Vision Realised On Film Featurette (in High Definition), 300 Spartans - Fact Of Fiction Featurette (in High Definition), Who Were The Spartans? Featurette (in High Definition), A Selection Of Webisodes and a Photo Gallery.
All in all, this is a brilliant film that is amply supported by excellent picture (if you like the look of a comic), sound and special features.
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.
'300' is one of those movies that deserve a frequent re-visit....it's a truly magnificent spectacle.
We begin with the young 'Leonidas' having to complete a long and hard initiation/trial to be
accepted as a 'Spartan' warrior.
Years have past, 'Leonidas' a King, husband and father......
A threat looms down upon 'Sparta' as 'Persian' hoards approach the empire, self proclaimed
'God' 'Xerxes' sends messengers to 'King Leonidas' offering a peace if he and his people
submit to his will and rule, the 'Spartan' king gives his answer.
The Spartans will now have to face the invader, 'Leonidas' seeks council climbing a difficult
rock-face to consult with the 'Oracle' before going to war, he tells of his plans to march north
to the mountain pass known as 'Hot Gate' at 'Thernopylae' to face the 'Persian' army.
A select few, the finest and bravest soldiers are selected to march north with their 'King' just
'300' to face 'Xerxes' massive force.
At 'Thernopylae' the '300' repel attack after attack, even monsters from far off lands are no
match for the 'Spartan' warriors.
'Xerxes' sends in his personal guards the undefeatable 'Immortals' to crush the defenders,
seemingly even they are no match for the skills of the '300'
Meanwhile back in 'Sparta' there is a rebellion mounting against the Kings actions led by the
leading politician who imposes himself upon 'Leonidas's' wife 'Queen Gorgo' in return for
her to address the parliament.
All this while the battle rages, want-to-be 'Spartan warrior' hunchback 'Ephialtes' having been
rejected for the fight turns traitor offering 'Xerxes' help guiding the Persians to the rear of the
A swords and shields spectacle to behold with frequent bloody and graphic battle scenes.
* Additional scenes- of the traitorous 'Hunchback' and never-before-seen 'Giant Warriors(in HD)
* Frank Miller's vision realised on film(in HD)
* 300 Spartans -fact or fiction - the shocking life of a Spartan revealed(in HD)
* Who were the Spartans ?
* How the actors built their characters based on Spartan customs(in HD)
Well, 3 Stars, 3 stars for Great Action and entertainment, good special effects and loads of gore.
Cheesy one liners, posturing and just loads of Fun. Great set pieces and drama, I also enjoyed the build up, the story and the climax.
I liked the fighting, the lighting is fantastic as is the art and costume - The movie really is worth watching for that alone, I bought my brother a Blu Ray for his birthday as a showpiece.
This is based on the 300 Graphic Novel, and only loosely based on history, so please don't start believing it.
Minus 2 stars - as I was and have been quite annoyed at the obvious Racism expressed by the original Author of the Graphic Novel, Frank Miller, and this is evident in the Film - The 'East' is seen as uncivilised, brutal, evil, degenerate, weak, cowardly, dishonourable and treacherous, whereas the Spartans - stalwarts of The West are seen as the opposite, idealistic, and noble.
The 'Immortals' as Goblins, The King of Persia as a total weirdo and monsters in The Persian army....oh kay...
But, that's what the Graphic Novel espouses so that is naturally what the Movie does too - so I give the Novel the same marks.
As someone whose ancestors are from the old Persian Empire, I was obviously annoyed at having them all represented as nothing more than spear fodder and scum, but I quickly suppressed these foolish sentiments as it's a FILM and nothing more!
All in all, very good cinema, art direction, music and acting - yes, acting, it is SUPPOSED to be wooden and as much like the Graphic Novel as is possible, and the actors perform what they do splendidly.
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!
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 9 September 2012
300 is the `retelling' of the battle of Thermopylae: after King Leonidas refuses to bend his knee to the God-king Xerxes (ruler of the Persian Empire) and quite rashly throws his messengers into a bottomless well, the former has no choice but to muster a force of just 300 Spartans to face the infinite hordes of Persian warriors and their seven foot leader on the Greek coast. Madness? This is Sparta!
Folks expecting a complex historical drama rooted in reality- prepare to be disappointed, 300 is none of those things. On the other hand, if you enjoy stylistically violent slow motion battle scenes, packed with eighteen foot Elephants and all other fantastical creatures far more likely to be found roaming the depths of hell than the sand dunes of Persia or Egypt( all to a pounding heavy-metal soundtrack) then this is right up your street. One might ask why in Hades is this film rife with historical inaccuracies? To which I would reply: the film is told from the perspective of Dilios, a Spartan warrior with a gift for storytelling whose aim is to put Leonidas and his 300 in the history books. The tale would not be half so immersive if we were told that the Persian army was in fact rather small and not at all the terrifying, satanic legion we see in the film.
The acting is excellent; the battle-scenes pitch-perfect: brilliant.
on 13 March 2009
No. This is a bargain!
Zack Snyder's faithful adaptation of Frank Miller's seminal comic series is easily one of the most visually stunning films to be released in recent years and absolutely made for Blu-ray. Gerard Butler is excellent as the Spartan King Leonidas leading 300 of Sparta's finest into battle against the Persian hordes of the 'God King' Xerxes. The incredible, stylized action scenes are offset by political wrangling as Queen Gorgo (the gorgeous Lena Headey) desperately tries to convince the Spartan council to send troops to support the 300 on their nigh impossible mission.
Spending less than £20 on a Blu-ray disc isn't bad but for such a sensational film? It's a no brainer. Sex, violence, a legendary, action packed story-line and a wonderful cast - do yourself a favor and add this to your collection today!
We normally watch 300 at least once a month at home, so rather than catching it randomly on Sky, I decided to buy a copy, as we normally miss the beginning and watch from some random point.
The story is very simple, but very detailed, visually stunning and inspiring. King Leonidas (Gerald Butler) is a Spartan King in Greece, which is being over taken by Persians, lead by King Xerxes. Although the Spartans numbers are much lower than the persians, they are incredibly skilled with little weaponry and outsmart the enemy. King Xerxes sends different groups, with different abilities, but King Leonidas and his men find and exploit their weakness.
This was made by the same people who made Sin City. If the story was read as it was read by the narrorator it wouldn't take long to tell the story, but the breaks of visual detail are beautiful. Although incredibly graphic and gory, it is also very beautiful. Not to mention some of the cheesiest lines of all time are said during this film! But it adds to the brilliance. I appreciate some people are not going to like 300 - if you don't like blood, guts & violence its not for you. Anyone else I would recommend seeing it at least once!
The battle of Thermopylae has entered into legend as one of the greatest acts of courage and sacrifice, as 300 Spartan warriors lay down their lives in a battle against insurmountable odds in order to delay the Persian advance across Greece long enough for a proper defence to be mounted. Due to their self sacrifice the Persian threat was repulsed.
This film reimagines this historic battle in a comic book fashion, and a highly entertaining tale that gets one caught right up in the excitement is the result. The high principles of the Spartans, the courage of Leonides and his followers, the exciting fight sequences, all makes for a good action romp. Everything is very much overdone, the bad guys are grotesque, the good guys are strikingly buff, the violence gory. The use of CGI'd blood is plentiful but justified. Not a film for the fainthearted, it is a good entertaining hundred minutes that is a bit different from the herd.
The only weak point is Gerard Butler's very Scottish accent, for much of the film tis great Greek King sounds a lot like Sean Connery. But apart from that it's all good stuff!