In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas (Gerard Butler), king of the Greek city state of Sparta, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive Persian army. Though certain death awaits the Spartans, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their common enemy.
Plot: King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.
Director: Zack Snyder
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Runtime: 117 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: A simple-minded but visually exciting experience, full of blood, violence, and ready-made movie quotes.
“An all around upgrade to the visually stunning film.”
300 was originally shot in 35 mm and finished at a 2k digital intermediate — this means you’ll get an upscaled 4k presentation on this disc. On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. This is a significant upgrade over the Blu-ray, so go and grab yourself a copy right after you finish reading this review (winky face).
If you’ve seen this movie you’ll know that the Blu-ray has a heavy amount of grain. This film was shot on 35mm and then filled in with large segments of CGI. Mix all that together with the intentional stylistic choices of cinematography — you won’t have a razor sharp image… but that’s okay. Naturally, this continues with the remaster of the UHD. The grain is heavy in the beginning, but it’s not distracting — it’s what you can expect from the original source. To be honest, I didn’t think anything of it, it’s actually less grainy than the Blu-ray because this new transfer tightens everything up.
Otherwise… 300 UHD is an all around upgrade, the HDR brings out the stylistic choices of both the cooler and sepia tones + the red capes, accents on armor… you know how it goes. The details aren’t anything to ring home about, but many of the close ups showcase a new level of detail that hasn’t been seen before in previous releases. In this transfer you can make out the appearance of pores, sweat, dirt, cuts… even dirty teeth. Black levels are consistent throughout as well, but they really stand out (especially) in scenes like when young Leonidas faces the wolf early on in Chapter 2 and again when Leonidas gives his last speech where the sun is starting to rise behind him for contrast in Chapter 24. *inserts two thumbs up emoji’s*
Outside of the visuals, make a note — the new Atmos mix is awesome! My audio setup is still sub-par, but if you have a nice setup it should be a solid, new experience for you. I’m jealous of you that do.
In conclusion —
On top of the new transfer, the UHD has has one special feature in a commentary with the director, Zack Snyder. The Blu-ray disc is loaded with special features, but it’s nothing new if you’ve already owned the film. What’s included? Behind the scenes looks at production design, wardrobe, stunt work, training, various character webisodes, how they adapted the graphic novel and more. It’s everything you’d want from a special features package if your looking for it.
Taking everything I’ve said into account, you can be sure that 300 gets my recommendation to own — as a matter of fact, it’s a must own. We’ve all seen 300, so you know what it looks like (visually) and if you don’t like it now, you never will. What you can count on is the fact that this transfer is the best it’s ever looked and sounded, so if your a fan of the movie, you’ll love the UHD. No matter what you decide to do, you can grab a copy at your local retailer on 4K & Blu-ray this October 6th. Can we get Sin City next please!
Are you a fan of 300? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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