DVD Review: 300

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 14, 2007 | Publication: teenhollywood.com | Author: Lynn Barker
Publication/Article Link:http://www.teenhollywood.com/d.asp?r=156168&c=1055&p=3

irst off, this is a super violent movie, although the comic book "look", in sepia tones with splashes of blood red, make it not quite as real and shocking.

Straight from the pages of history, here's the drill. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Sin City's Frank Miller, 300 is a brutal, battle-packed version of the Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 super soldier Spartans and some Greeks confronted thousands of invading Persians! The odds were horrible but these Spartan dudes were trained from birth to kick butt and chew gum...and they are totally out of gum!

The story focuses on Spartan King, Leonidas (a beyond-buff Gerard Butler) who leads his small army into a hopeless battle against the invaders with pride and a ton of flair and dignity. He also leaves at home his queen (Lena Headey) who has to fight her own political battles and fight off the unwanted attentions of a jerky senator-type. Let's just say that she succeeds and he doesn't but he meets the Gods with great class!

Video/Audio: Wow! 300 looks amazing on my big TV. The interesting sepia tones and red accents come through beautifully. The high contrast backgrounds look just like they did in the theaters. Excellent and Wow, the sound! Dolby Digital 5.1 is loaded with surround sounds of battle.. swords and shields clashing from all corners of the room and a dialogue track that is balanced. No complaints.

Special Features: Lots! Some great, some.. not so. The feature-length "Audio Commentary" with director Zack Snyder and his writer and cinematographer is loaded with dead space but Snyder, who does a lot of the talking, does give you info on effects, post production, shooting with green screen, etc. He makes some comparisons to how much the movie looks like the graphic novel etc. Okay.. but not great.

Also on Disc 1 is an Easter Egg, hidden bonus that gives you a little look at the film's process from the graphic novel to the movie version.

Disc 2 goodies delve into the history of the story with gusto.. no boring history class here. "300: Fact or Fiction" is a featurette with Frank Miller and historians along with some cast and crew talking about the actual history vs. the film, etc. There is a spunky female historian who is obviously excited about the subject matter and makes you feel that way too. She'd make a good teacher. You get info on the adaptation from the novel etc.

In "Who Were the Spartans", a shorter featurette, we get info from actors etc. on Spartan customs, brutal lifestyle, etc. short but interesting.

"The Frank Miller Tapes" is a doc featuring Miller's history, style, early years creating comics; very much all about Frank while focusing on his original "300" comic series. Very interesting, especially for graphic novel fans.

A "Making Of" featurette and "Making 300 in Images" reveal the behind the scenes info on this unusual shoot; sparse props on a set that will be filled in later by computer graphics. Really educational if you'd like to know how such a feature was made. There are three "Deleted Scenes" with intro by Snyder with some giant warriors cut out of the movie and a whole, sad set piece for the traitor hunchback in the film; the grotesque, misshapen fellow who so badly wanted to be a warrior. Good stuff although short.

A set of "Webisodes" first shown online and from a promo DVD are just snippets with filmmakers on effects, the beefing up of the cast (Yum!) and stunts, costumes, set design, make-up and prosthetics and some interviews with Lena and Gerard.. a nice collection to slake your thirst for movie info. Not the typical electronic press kit junk.
Overall, the bonus stuff should please fans. I would have liked a video diary by Butler or Headey.. more actor stuff in general but, what there is, is fine.

Lena Headey portrays Gorgo, the strong Spartan queen
Credit: Warner Bros.
Wrapping Up: This amazingly energetic movie has a special "look" that is groundbreaking but, okay, let's get real. If you're a chick you are probably watching this for the amazingly buff bods in action! There are more hard abs here than at a Mr. Universe competition! There is also a very powerful woman who kicks her own share of fanny. Guys will love the battle action so there's something for everybody. If this is your kind of thing, you won't find better than 300. Go buy or at least rent!