By the numbers: DVD release of ‘300’ demonstrates technical artistry of the film

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 3, 2007 | Publication: | Author: Rachel Miles
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Even if you didn’t manage to see “300” in theaters, you’re sure to have heard about it. This graphic-novel-based film drew attention from every corner of the country when it hit the big screen, and the release of the DVD has been just as highly anticipated.

Considering that it was fi lmed in a warehouse in Montreal, it’s not hard to guess why people are talking about this modern DGI (digitally generated image) masterpiece.

The film is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, about the battle of Thermopylae, when a band of 300 Spartans held off the Persian army, the mightiest in the world.

Determined to conquer the world, King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) of Persia enters Greece, fi rst offering King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) peace if he surrenders.

The proud Spartans, who had been taught never to bow to an enemy, give Xerxes his answer with the death of his messengers.

The Ephors, a group of leprous priests, order Leonidas not to go to war. Leonidas, however, puts his life in danger by choosing to disobey them. The film follows the struggle of the Spartans and their allies, the Arkadians, against the Persian tyrant, as well as Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) as she fi ghts for her husband’s cause before the Spartan senate.

It’s hard to believe that very little of what’s on the screen before you is real. While some elements are poorly animated, the graphics are amazing overall.

The beautifully choreographed battle scenes, various beheadings and the loss of limbs were quite believable, making the film unsuitable for kids or the weak of heart.

Originally, Warner Brothers didn’t like the idea of producing it as an Rrated film, but after watching it, it’s understandable why writer/ director Zack Snyder fought against changing the script to merit a more teen-friendly rating.

Gerard Butler, probably remembered best for his starring role in “The Phantom of the Opera,” portrays Leonidas, king of the Spartans. Butler already had an illustrious career, but this role puts him in a whole new spotlight.

Like all of the actors portraying Spartans in the fi lm, Butler had to endure a brutal training regimen to achieve his muscled look. His dedication, not to mention his acting skill, is both visible and admirable.

The compelling scenes are only enhanced by the stellar musical score — not since “The Lord of the Rings” has there been such a compelling soundtrack. Musical composer Tyler Bates perfectly combined classical and new age music with edgy rock and touches of other styles to complement the movie’s intense scenes. Despite the importance of movie soundtracks, few are epic in and of themselves, but a great deal of the power of “300” is due to the incredible original music.

Despite a few Gladiator-like moments and the mispronunciation of some Greek words, “300” is worth a look.

Having won three awards and achieved seven additional nominations already this year, you should expect to see even more of this film when the Oscars roll around.