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300 4K UHD Review

This is a “300” 4K!

Before he dove into the DC Universe, fan favorite director and co-writer Zack Snyder adapted Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300.” The action fantasy period piece is a highly fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae (seriously, it is not historically accurate) in which 300 Greek Spartan warriors (led by King Leonidas) stood up to the conquering King/self-proclaimed God Xerxes and his massive army. Elsewhere in the story is a political struggle taking place in Sparta involving Queen Gorgo’s support for Spartan warriors.

Back in 2007 “300” kicked viewers in the face with testosterone with its hyper stylized direction, machismo, slow-motion and fast-motion, bloody violence, and visual FX ladden action sequences. So, how does the film hold up 13 years later? It’s lost a bit of its luster to be sure. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to admire here. The fight for freedom message still stands strong, the “This is Sparta!” moment is iconic, the visually stunning images tend to look straight out of the comic, and the action sequences are fierce (if not a bit tedious), but the Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, and Michael B. Gordon script (and Frank Miller’s own comic) has some baffling content. Not only are there strange fantastical moments that feel out of place (seriously, what is with that goat man?), but the story’s depiction of Persians and disabled people is often cruel and insulting. 

The cast here is generally strong. Gerard Butler was never better than he was here. Peak Butler! It’s strange to see Michael Fassbender here pre-stardom but he makes an impression even in a supporting role. Before she became a star with “Game of Thrones,” Lena Headey commands the screen as Queen Gorgo. Last, but not least David Wenham remains an underrated talent. I wish he was in more roles. 


Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. How does it look? The 4K disc maintains the grit and grain while also providing a nice upgrade. It’s not a significant upgrade mind you, just a solid one.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The sound, on the other hand, is extraordinary as it delivers room shaking action.
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* Commentary by Zack Snyder, co-writer Kurt Johnstad and cinematographer Larry Fong.
* 12 websiodes spotlighting various elements of production, the cast, the graphic novel, etc.
* Deleted scenes with intros by Zack Snyder
* A still gallery
* A making of featurette
* Self-explanatory featurettes titled “The 300- Fact or Fiction?,” “Who Were The Spartans?: The Warriors of 300,” and “Preparing For Battle: The Original test Footage.”
* “Frank Miller Tapes”- An extra on Frank’s vision. Frank Miller interviews included. 

October 1, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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