300 (2006)
By: J.R. McNamara on August 16, 2012  | 
Warner Home Video | Region B | 2.35:1, 1080p | English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 | 116 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Michael Fassbender
Screenplay: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon
Country: USA
External Links
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Director Zach Snyder appears to be the great adaptor. When left to his own devices he makes pretty, but miserable films like Sucker Punch, but given the opportunity to play in someone else's universes he delivers, and I site Watchmen, the un-adaptable comic and his flawed but fun Dawn of the Dead remake as examples.

Here we see him adapt comic creator Frank Miller's version of the historical tale of King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, which is a great tale of war and treachery in ancient Greece. He has attempted to adapt the story in its whole, though he has changed some elements for timing or aesthetics, like the fact that Miller had all the Spartans naked for the entire battle. Whilst some possibly would have enjoyed that aspect, I don't think I could handle watching that much sausage, unless it was at a barbecue or on a meat lovers pizza.

300 tells of Leonidas (Gerard Butler), King of the Spartans, who is warned through an emissary from Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) that the great army of Persia will soon be at its gates, and that they, the Spartans, should kneel and become part of the Persian Empire. Will Leonidas succumb? Hell, no, and so starts the great battle between 300 Spartan warriors and the hordes of 10,000 Persians and their affiliates. Political shenanigans halt the reinforcements that Queen Gorgo (Lena Headley) has to ask the state council for, and so the 300 warriors are left to their fate, and with traitors on the battlefield and at home, survival seems unlikely.

I have only one major criticism of this film: the regular use of slo-mo. So much of this film is presented in slow motion that at times I thought someone had slipped me a double dose of Mogadon! Whilst this device is useful occasionally, it is dramatically overused here, defeating some of its attempts at tension.

The movie relies heavily on computer graphics, particularly the background scenery. Snyder and his production team shot almost the entire movie on sound stages with the actors in front of blue screens, and computers filled in the rest later. The heavy post-production colour tweaking gives the film a metallic, surrealistic look that was a little hard on the eyes at times, but that is just my poor old peepers falling apart on me. Time to get to Specsavers!

Apart from that I loved it. 300 ticks all the boxes I require of a good fantasy film with plenty of chutzpah; some cool monsters (which I imagine weren't actually present in historical times); and battle sequences filled with decapitations, dismemberments, and a shed load of blood spilling. Although much of the blood and gore is also of the CGI variety so detractors will be upset.

If you're looking for a dose of manliness 300 won't disappoint. By the time I had finished watching it I had grown a beard, my chest was hairier and my dick and balls? Well let's just say they were even more impressive!

Of course a digital film of this time looks flawless. Presented in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the otherworldly colours scheme is immaculately reproduced and the image is as sharp as you could possibly expect from the high definition format.
This disc has a butt kicking, ear splitting and gut punching audio track presented in True Hd 5.1.
Extra Features

First up is an audio commentary by Zach Snyder, writer Kurt Johnstad and director of Photography Larry Fong. This is entertaining and track with many aspects of the film discussed, no matter how small.

The 300 - Fact or Fiction looks at the history of Sparta and ancient Greece. Essentially it's a bullshit filter for the film and it is really informative.

Who Were The Spartans? The Warriors of 300 looks at the historical methods of the Spartan war machine. It is an extension of the previous extra.

Preparing For Battle: Original Test Footage looks at the process Snyder had to go through to get the film made, and the fight a creative person has to endure against those with the purse strings.

Frank Miller Tapes looks at the comic career of Frank Miller, who gave us 300, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and many other revered comics tales.

Making of 300 is just a brief look at the making of the film.

Webisodes consists of 12 brief featurettes that highlight different aspects of 300's production in a little more depth than the above making-of

Making 300 in Images looks at the day to day production in a series of rapid fire images, which is an interesting concept but not as good as, say the Green Screen version of Sin City on its releases.

There are three Deleted Scenes introduced by Zach Snyder which, and is generally true, we're not missed.

The Verdict
Machismo in digital form, 300 is history turned up to 11 so fans of swords and sandal films will get just a much out of it as fans of 'historical' films like Braveheart. And chicks will dig the amount of abs and biceps on display.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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