Frank Miller's 300 HD DVD Review
300, the movie, is the CGI action film event of 2006 and is now on HD DVD, DVD and Blu-ray. Shot 100% digitally, this film begs to be viewed on one of the high definition disc formats. But it's the HD DVD users that get treated to groundbreaking disc technology: Make Your Own Movie.
300 is adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. It's Frank Miller's impressionistic vision of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.
In the movie, a coalition of forces under the Persian Empire gathered to invade the shining light of a fledgling western civilization;
The Movie Review
The Movie Review
Director Zack Snyder meticulously follows the visual style of Frank Miller's comic series the way
We Shall Fight in the Shade
It's easy to find much of the dialogue comical or even cheesy. But remember that much of it is taken from the pages of a comic book and, believe it or not, the famous line "we shall fight in the shade" was a quote from lifted from pages written by Herodotus. Never mind the dialogue – the film moves at a mile-a-minute pace while we're treated to the finest eye candy this side of the local Cineplex.
HD DVD Video
The film's visuals are a jaw-dropping example high def disc technology. I've long held the HD DVD version of Peter Jackson's King Kong to be the best example of video I've seen on the format with its rich, colorful detail. I now have a new one to set right along side King Kong.
But 300 provides something different. It's not nearly as pristine as
300 HD DVD is the kind of disc you retain as a reference anytime you want a practical demonstration of the technology. Its stylized shots and creative video effects make it a veritable bookend to the clean, sunny skylines featured in
I watched the film in 5.1 Dolby Digital through my Xbox 360's HD DVD add-on player. An optical cable connection feeds my Arcam receiver - the receiver powers five NHT speakers and delivers an audio signal to my 12" subwoofer.
Dolby TrueHD is available on the disc and selectable through my setup. I avoided it, however, since I lack TrueHD decoding and didn't feel I'd be acoustically served with a downsampled version. So I elected to just go with regular Dolby Digital 5.1 pending future experimentation.
The film's soundtrack made practical use of surround channels. When young Leonidas faces the wolf in the snow, the echo in the cave was reproduced perfectly. A few times through the movie I heard odd birds fluttering about in the surrounds; effects that added depth without ever being overbearing.
There was one scene where I swore I heard a loon. And I know the call of a loon. It is summer, and living in
Warning: Bass and subwoofer are used liberally throughout. Just when you start thinking the soundtrack is only feeding you a constant monotone rumble to exaggerate fight scenes, the .1 channel will do something more detailed and dynamic. There were parts of the film that dipped as far into 20Hz range as my sub was capable of and I could feel them in my chest. It's truly a bass lover's soundtrack. If you have a sub that can follow subtle variation down low, you certainly won't be disappointed.
Verdict – Who Will Like this Film?
If you've been known to enjoy the odd mindless action film, you'll love it. tThough this is no mindless action film -- quite the contrary, it's a highly esthetic mindless action film and there is a difference.
If you're a comics fan you'll love 300's faithfulness to the source material. However, you might not like this movie if you expect a detailed and historically accurate 'period piece' depicting ancient
See a complete review of special features for this movie