When the likes of 300 utilise innovative filming techniques it is really difficult to trump the original in a sequel, and I feel this may be the reason why Rise Of An Empire draws somewhat mixed reviews. The movie is full of action, well acted and has a reasonable continuity from 300. As a piece of action entertainment it works and if you enjoyed the original you should like the second instalment.
on 20 February 2016
300: Rise of an Empire arrives onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC (27.51 Mbps) 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The transfer is a first-rate stunner, with an exceedingly refined image faithful to Murro and DP Simon Duggan's blood-soaked vision and flawless even in the face of the film's most frenetic action scenes. Colours are desaturated and stylized as intended, with opulent golds, sun-bathed ambers, stormy blues, visceral reds and deep, inky blacks. Contrast remains vibrant throughout. Edges are razor sharp. This transfer litters the screen with every juicy, bloody detail: drops of sweat glisten with shocking clarity, distinctive individual wrinkles on the faces of the cast, also exposing pores and the tiniest blemish on their lifelike complexions. (5/5)
300: Rise of an Empire 3D arrives onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. Though converted in post, the resulting 3D experience is beautifully realized, with a proficient picture backed by absorbing depth and convincing dimensionality. Foreground objects pop, background elements retreat naturally into the distance, and the Athenian and Persian ships exist believably in a spatially sound ocean-scape. Arterial eruptions spray outward. Sword tips all but pierce the fourth wall. In 3D, the film seems even deadlier. (4.5/5)
AUDIO (2D & 3D):
Similarly, the DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio lossless track is also first-class. Right from the start, as stone-like doors open to reveal the ending of the first movie, the track impresses with a deliberate design that commences subtly in the center and gradually widens, slowly spreading to the sides and rears before slamming with a deep, hard bass note. This mix presents with an immersive soundfield, filled with a variety of noises, from the daily activities of townfolk to the sounds of wildlife in the distance. Action sequences are, of course, the highlight, as the room fills with the roars of soldiers all around, weapons flying through the air, the winds of a violent storm blowing through the night or the loud sharp cracks of thunder overhead. Dialogue is intelligible, with perfectly prioritized voices. (5/5)
Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel Xerxes and told in the breathtaking visual style of the previous blockbuster 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield - on the sea - as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. 300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. Ultimately, the only difference between the two movies is the two leads: Sullivan Stapleton as the theatrically gallant Themistocles and the stunningly beautiful Eva Green in a winning performance as the brilliant military strategist Artemisia. (3.5/5)
300: Rise of an Empire has an estimated budget of $110 million, but has a respectable $331 million worldwide gross. The original 300 grossed $457 million in 2006.
The 3D set comes with a 3D lenticular front cover. The packaging itself is less satisfactory, with the 3D disc stacked on top of the 2D disc. Come on, Warner, you can do better than that! Put the 3D and 2D discs in their own slipcases!
Despite being stylishly identical to Zack Snyder's wildly imaginative adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel, 300: Rise of an Empire is a passably entertaining follow-up that neither complements nor augments its predecessor. Other than for the visual design, the film's only genuine highlight is Eva Green's deliciously evil performance as the film's seductive villainess. The 2D version arrives with stunning, reference-quality audio and video presentation, with a respectable post-conversion 3D. This set is recommended.
on 8 April 2014
The Battle of Salamis was supposed to be a naval battle. Not a heroic last stand at a mountain pass like the Battle of Thermopylae covered in 300. And a naval battle in ancient times meant no fancy cannons or ships of the line exchanging broadsides amidst clouds of billowing gunpowder smoke.
And yet, 7 years of waiting has paid off. 300: Rise of an Empire is thoroughly satisfying. The violence in this film makes you grin with glee from ear to ear despite considering yourself a seasoned veteran of gore films. 300: Rise of an Empire is also not just about the sea battle, but masterfully takes us through several flashbacks without jeopardizing the story and turning it into a mess. The film also leaves enough room to create several believable characters, most prominent of all the real historic female naval general Artemisia, wonderfully played by Eva Green. Green plays Artemisia with an authoritative aura that has warrior written all over it. Xerxes takes a back seat this time, but we do get a glimpse into his past and who the man once was.
At the end of the day, if you hadn't already come to this realization 7 years ago, you need to now: 300 is a work of art, not a historic movie. It is the film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novels and thus sticks to the literature both in story and in art design. Hence the oversized moon. Hence the ridiculous blood splattering. When viewed in this context, it is almost impossible to find flaws in these two adaptations, as they masterfully bring the graphic novel to vibrant life.
Last but not least, 300: Rise of an Empire offers breathtaking setpieces and backdrops, and is arguably more grand than the original 300 film, although of course we aren't treated to the plethora of enemies and fantastical creatures as the first film did. Nevertheless, a well done and truly satisfying sequel. My only gripe is that the final duel should have been far more epic, and the soundtrack could have used some of the familiar thematic choirs of 300. Still, a 5, out of 5 stars.
on 29 May 2016
The distractions add up in this film. Much as I tried to enjoy this as a serious film (and there are some good scenes), these are the distractions that spoilt it for me:
Is it pronounced Themistokalees, Themystaclees, Themistacles or any other of a wide number of pronunciations suggested by the cast?
The ships in the battle scenes seemed to move like they had high powered diesel engines.
There was a metal ship spewing fire in one of the battle scenes.
There was a man riding a horse across ships during a naval battle.
There was this clearly wealthy young man who Themistocles did not want to get hurt. I never totally worked out who he was or whether he got killed.
The Greeks jump off a very high cliff onto a ships' deck below and land not only without injury but ready to fight too.
The main players did not seem to have the gravitas of Gerard Butler and I couldn't help looking at Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles, without thinking of Jason Lee from My Name is Earl and wondering what the Karma outcome would be.
Peter Mensah had a brief scene and was fabulous. Eva Green also played a good part. The story-line has some interesting twists and turns (some ridiculous ones too such as the sex scene between Themistocles and Artemisia).
The film is OK to half pay attention to on a lazy Sunday afternoon but don't look too closely at it.
on 1 April 2016
A masterpiece of CGI which was made in the same style as its predecessor, '300', the battle of thermopylae. This one culminated in the sea battle of Salamis. Both films were made in the style of Frank Miller's graphic novels, or comic books. The dramatic effect is quite startling and exciting but there was an over-emphasis on the blood and guts rather more than had been the case with '300'. Entertaining but somewhat repetitive.
This High Court finds the accused, producer and writer of this sequel to his own 2006 splendid masterpiece, guilty as charged of following crimes:
1. Being too lazy to direct this second film
2. Hiring a director who was an absolutely incompetent beginner
3. Being careless (or drunk?) to the point of writing a completely substandard BORING scenario
4. Endorsing abysmally bad actors for two main roles
5. Flashing ugly silicon breasts in public
6. Sending to the front Cersei Lannister, a middle aged mother of three, dressed in a dirty nightgown and armed with a rusty meat cleaver
7. Not only using napalm in V century BC but especially using it poorly...
8. Transforming Xerxes, the gigantic King of Kings, a monument of evil, corruption and depravation, into a pathetic sidekick
9. Showing the battle of Salamis, an apocalyptic clash of fleets and warriors on a scale defying imagination, as a s***ty little skirmish won by a cavalry charge (sic!)
10. Replacing a Bad@ss Leonidas by a Couldn't Care Less Themistocles, who has all the "maiestas, dignitas et gravitas" of an used condom, when the REAL Themistocles was a titan of politics, a genius of warfare, a monument of charisma and also a man of legendary oratory talent. He was in fact so honey-tongued that, in order to ensure the final victory in war, he actually managed to convince the assembly of Athenian citizens to abandon their own beautiful and rich city without fighting - when it was obvious that as result it will be plundered and burned to the ground by Persians...
11. Presenting Ancient Greeks, one of the most warlike, aggressive, clever, dangerous people who EVER lived, as some kind of pacific clueless herbivores... Ancient Greeks were not just mere farmers, herders, artisans, merchants, fishermen and sailors - in fact EVERY single citizen was trained in a very harsh way to fight from his early childhood. All those who could afford appropriate armor and weapons would become hoplits (heavy infantry) with all others becoming peltasts (light infantry of javelin armed skirmishers). As soon as he was of age every citizen participated in wars of his city ("polis") and those conflicts were many, because war, together with philosophy and pederasty, was the favourite pastime for Ancient Greeks. Wars were almost permanent and were waged for any kind of reasons - sometimes to start one it was enough to spit over the border, on another city-state territory (not a tall order, considering the small size of most of "polis"). Small wonder that Ancient Greeks invented Olympic games, which forced all the states to stop fighting once every four years - after all EVERYBODY needs a break from time to time... By trying to show Ancient Greeks as peaceful people reluctantly taking arms against an evil empire this film is simply RIDICULOUS!
12. Showing on the screen the most appalling scene of unsuccessful copulation ever...
13. For all practical purpose destroying a promising franchise
14. Causing waste of perfectly good popcorn in a world where hundreds of millions do not have enough to eat
15. Making people vomit in disgust in the theatres and therefore causing a public health hazard
16. Abundantly humidifying his own legacy with malodorous body fluids...
Sentencing: the film receives two stars because of some visually nice scenes, especially during naval sequences; otherwise this court sentences the accused to a total of no less than five thousand and no more than ten thousand obligatory consecutive viewings of all Jar Jar Binks scenes from "Phantom Menace", 8 (eight hours) per day, seven days per week, allowing during those 8 hours only short toilet and coffee breaks and one 15 minutes lunch break. The shades of 300 Spartans are charged with supervision of the sentence.
This court is now adjourned and considering that this court was stupid enough to watch this film all the way to the end, well, this court is now going to drown its sorrows in strong liquor and debauchery on the court of the King of Kings in company of Court's Own Chipmunks. God save the Queen and all those sorts of things.
on 15 November 2015
The special effects are very good and graphic, unfortunately the story line as portrayed in the film (not the historical events) are very simplistic and overly rely on mindless gore. No way close to the original 300 which has a nice balance between story and action....would be better off renting this out from a library...
on 10 September 2015
This dvd was ok. But I prefer the first 300 film. (2006 with Gerard Butler in leading roll.) I would have sooner watched that one again. More action. This new 're-make', if I can call it that (? ) made me sea sick. Its ok if you prefer navy battles. I certainly would not watch it again.
on 28 May 2015
It's an entertaining film, very good potential but other than Eva Green the actors don't seem convincing in their roles. It's a little cliched in parts with stirring battle speeches you've heard so many times. Overall it's enjoyable, but could've been much better.
on 8 August 2015
I can only call this movie ok, if it came out closer to the first 300 movie (which I loved), I might ha ve been more generous and given it 4 stars, however since the success of the first movie, there have been many series that have captured the same brutal style and gore fetish. This move comes second class to the original. It is not really as sequel of the first movie it is more of a tie in. It starts 10 years before the first movie, then take place during the first movie, and finally ends a little while after the original 300 ends.
Yes the movie is brutal with lots of action. The trouble it is an imitation of the original. The movie stars a few year before first movie, with a new lead warrior. Themistocles. An inspiring politician who believes in a united Greece, and fight like a Spartan to achieve it. His foil is Artemisia the Greek commander of the Persian navy.
The movie what any who saw the original would expect a total brutality fest. It is just not the same feeling I got from the first movie something was missing. An ok watchable movie very action packed, almost too action packed, even my action loving mind got to the point where it was turning off. I would actually just re watch the first movie.