The Bottom Line
- Visually stunning
- Cinematically innovative
- Highly entertaining action spectacle
- Gruesome violence, but some of the horror of this is cut by film's deliberate artificiality
- Excessively stylized to the point of being jarring
- Operatically over the top
- DVD special edition (two discs) containing action spectacle 300 (2006)
- DVD special features include an audio commentary track with the director, writer and director of photography
- Feature film run time: 1 hour 56 minutes
- MPAA rating: R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity
- DVD release date: July 31, 2007
Guide Review - 300 DVD Review
Based on a graphic novel coauthored by Frank Miller, 300 (2006) is a visually stunning, cinematically innovative and highly entertaining action spectacle about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., which is celebrated as an example of valiant resistance against an overwhelming force. The movie's hero is Leonidas (Gerard Butler), leader of the city-state of Sparta, who realizes that if the Greeks are to protect their way of life, they must defend against invaders from Persia led by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). When Xerxes attacks with a huge army numbering perhaps 200,000, there comes a point when Leonidas defends a mountain pass with a mere 300 men from Sparta. The 300 can only slow the Persian advance, but they buy time for the Greeks to regroup and eventually repulse the invasion.
Disc Two of the 300 Special Edition DVD set contains extras with a total run time of about an hour and 34 minutes. The 24-minute bonus material "The 300 — Fact or Fiction?" takes a look at some of what is known about Sparta in classical times. Another extra is the 14-minute "Frank Miller Tapes," a short documentary about the graphic novelist who created the source material for the movie. In addition, there are three brief deleted scenes, two of which feature the traitorous hunchback, while the third shows Persian giants with dwarf archers on their backs. More than 38 minutes of the bonus material consists of a dozen Webisodes, footage of the cast and crew on the set in Montreal, but this was previously available via the Internet.
Disc One contains the feature film plus an audio commentary track with director Zack Snyder, writer Kurt Johnstad and director of photography Larry Fong.
Although there are a variety of special features, the entertainment value of the feature film itself makes 300 worth renting.