DVD 300 [DVD] [Canadian; Special Edition] (DVD 6262584),
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300 [DVD] [Canadian; Special Edition]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, 300 takes over the screen like an invading horde. With all the gushing blood of a horror movie and the scope of a classic epic, the second film from Zack Snyder (who helmed the 2004 remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD) is an impressive visual spectacle. Gerard Butler (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) plays Leonidas, the king of ancient Sparta. The city is famous for its warrior philosophy, and Leonidas won't kneel to the demands of Persia's King Xerxes (LOST's Rodrigo Santoro). Instead, Leonidas leads his 300-strong army against Xerxes's army of millions. Meanwhile, his wife (Lena Headley, THE BROTHERS GRIMM) campaigns in Sparta for the city to send reinforcements as she butts heads with the treacherous Theron (Dominic West, THE WIRE).
With its gore and scale, 300 marks director Snyder as a possible successor to Peter Jackson's throne. Jackson also got his start in horror with BAD TASTE and DEAD ALIVE, and the two men share a penchant for ambitious battle scenes. The huge fights in 300 rival Jackson's efforts in the LORD OF THE RINGS films. David Wenham, who starred in two of the Tolkien-based films, plays Dilios, one of the Spartan soldiers. Though the cast doesn't boast any A-list stars, the actors ably fill their larger-than-life roles. In a film filled with men, Headley stands out as Queen Gorgo. She matches her warrior husband in strength, while showing love toward Leonidas and their son. Though there are scenes that demonstrate the humanity of the characters, 300 is undeniably about bravery and blood, and it succeeds because of the stylish depictions of both.
Gerard Butler, Vincent Regan, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Michael Fassbender, Rodrigo Santoro, Andrew Tiernan, Dominic West, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin
"[I]ts technical achievement is beyond question....The film's presentation of the cities and battlegrounds of ancient Greece can only be considered a marvel, vividly rendered through a digitised expressionist palette..."
Sight and Sound
3 stars out of 4 -- "[Director Zack Snyder] keeps the action roaring....300 dazzles as spectacle..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t looks incredible....Not real, not surreal, 300 is something else, a hyperreal realm where myth gasps to life."
"The surreal ode to extreme combat is part Fellini freak show, part LORD OF THE RINGS-style blood feast, and all adrenaline rush....Its bruised beauty is enhanced by an inky palette..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Everyone is loving 300 for perfectly valid reasons. It is a visual feast....The style exceeds mere competence and satisfies all promise."
"[I]t is less spectacle than blood rite in which history and myth almost literally bleed into each other."
"[W]ith a visual style that injects new energy into the sword-and-sandals epic."
"Snyder uses every trick in the bloodletting playbook, and invents a few new ones, to stage one of history's greatest last stands." -- Grade: B+
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