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300

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    86
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 300's 4K release excels in A/V upgrades but lacks new extras; it's visually captivating and mainly for fans.

    300 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    91
  • 300's 4K UK release by Warner Bros enhances its iconic stylization with a superior HDR10 presentation, maintaining its unique comic book aesthetic with richer details and colors, significantly outperforming its original Blu-ray.

  • Audio
    93
  • The 4K release of '300' impresses with a Dolby Atmos mix enhancing the soundscape with clear dialogue, robust bass, and immersive battle sound effects, offering an audio upgrade from original 5.1 tracks.

  • Extra
    82
  • 300's 4K release offers stellar visuals but recycles old extras, including a standout commentary and over 3hrs of varied features on the Blu-ray, missing the chance for fresh insights.

  • Movie
    84
  • 300: A visually striking, adrenaline-fueled spectacle lacking historical accuracy, prioritizing style and visceral excitement over substance.

    Video: 91

    Warner Bros.' 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "300" elevates its visual experience to unprecedented heights, making it a definitive edition for aficionados and newcomers alike. Shot on 35mm and finished with a 2K Digital Intermediate, this 2160p transfer, encased in the film's original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1, gracefully bridges the gap between its source material's heavy stylization and the technical prowess of modern home video formats. Utilizing the HEVC (H.265) codec for HDR10, complemented by a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range, the visual presentation enhances the film’s distinctive comic-book aesthetic. The intricate rendering of textures—from linen cloaks to the bronzed armour of Spartans—reveals a notable improvement in detail that, while modest, is unmistakably enriched by the film’s HDR grading. This not only refines the grain inherent to the original footage but also cleans up previous anomalies like edge enhancement, making for a crisper and more stable image throughout.

    The HDR10 grading proves to be a significant boon, injecting life into Zack Snyder's meticulously crafted vision with bolder brights, deeper blacks, and a nuanced palette that accentuates the film’s red-brown-bronze-gold tones with unprecedented clarity. The golden yellows and deep crimsons shine with a new vibrance, supported by an ink-black foundation that enhances both the three-dimensional feel and the film’s stark contrasts. Despite being an upscale from a 2K source due to the extensive use of virtual sets and CGI, the transfer showcases careful attention to maintaining the integrity of the original comic's artistry.

    However, while the transfer marvels with its attention to detail and color reproduction, it also highlights some limitations inherent to the upscaling process and the original CGI work. Notably, some digital effects—such as blood splatters and digital flames—may appear more pronounced against the newly minted backdrop, drawing attention to their artificiality. Yet, these aspects are minor when considering the overall achievement of this release. Warner’s commitment to enhancing every possible facet of the film’s visual presentation pays off, offering a richer, more immersive viewing experience that remains true to Snyder’s vision and the source material’s essence.

    Audio: 93

    The 4K UHD release of "300" significantly elevates its audio presentation with a new English Dolby Atmos mix, seamlessly unfolding to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for systems not equipped with Atmos capabilities. This upgrade instantly impresses, not only through its meticulous handling of the soundscape but also by expanding the auditory experience both horizontally and vertically. From the foreboding rumble of thunder in the film's opening to the enveloping din of battle scenes, the mix offers an immersive auditory canvas that showcases heightened channel spacing and a palpably broader soundstage. Composer Tyler Bates' score gains newfound vigor, underlining each scene with an added bass rumble for dramatic effect, ensuring the film’s score is more dynamic and impactful than ever.

    Notably, the Atmos mix provides a superior clarity and balance across all elements, from dialogue to the subtlest of background noises, ensuring each soundbite resonates with intended impact. Dialogue is crisp and dominates the frontal array without being overwhelmed by the robust sounds of warfare or the atmospheric effects that fill the soundscape. The mix adeptly balances intense sequences with quieter moments, maintaining an active channel engagement throughout. This ensures that even in moments of calm, there is a sound to capture the listener's attention, keeping them immersed in the world of "300".

    Remarkably, the additional rear and height channels introduced by the Atmos mix amplify the cinematic experience, particularly during battle sequences where the clang of sword against shield and the whistling of arrows add a tangible layer of immersion. Low Frequency Effects (LFE) are punchy and authoritative, lending weight to every thunderclap, drumbeat, and clash on the battlefield. This comprehensive approach to the film’s audio landscape not only revitalizes its sonic allure but solidifies this Atmos track as a compelling reason for enthusiasts to upgrade their collection.

    Extra: 82

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "300" brings a visually enhanced experience of the movie, though it largely relies on the wealth of bonus content from previous releases, without introducing new materials. The set includes two discs: the 4K UHD disc with the film in its crispest form accompanied only by the filmmakers' commentary, and a Blu-ray disc packed with legacy extras. Commentary tracks featuring director Zack Snyder, writer Kurt Johnstad, and DOP Larry Fong bridge both discs, inviting a deeper dive into the film's creation. Notable legacy features range from detailed documentaries like "The 300: Fact or Fiction" and "Who Were the Spartans? The Warriors of 300", to behind-the-scenes footage including "Preparing for Battle" and a collection of insightful webisodes. This package, despite its reliance on previously released materials, serves both newcomers and seasoned fans with substantial content that enhances the viewing experience of this iconic film.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: With director/co-writer Zack Snyder, co-writer Kurt Johnstad, and DOP Larry Fong.
    • The 300: Fact or Fiction: Delves into the historical accuracy of the story.
    • Who Were the Spartans? The Warriors of 300: Explores the real-life warriors that inspired the characters.
    • Preparing for Battle: The Original Test Footage: Offers a look at the initial vision for the film's iconic battles.
    • The Frank Miller Tapes: Discusses Frank Miller’s role and influence in bringing his graphic novel to the screen.
    • Making of 300: Covers various aspects of production but is not a comprehensive documentary.
    • Making 300 in Images: A photo montage showcasing scenes from the film.
    • Webisodes: Include coverage on Production Design, Wardrobe, Stunt Work, Lena Headey, Adapting the Graphic Novel, Gerard Butler, Rodrigo Santoro, Training the Actors, Culture of the Sparta City/State, A Glimpse from the Set: Making 300, Scene Studies from 300, Fantastic Characters of 300.
    • Deleted Scenes: Introduced by Zack Snyder, offering additional content not included in the film's final cut.

    Movie: 84

    300," directed by Zack Snyder and based on Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's graphic novel, presents a ferocious visual storytelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. In this cinematic spectacle, King Leonidas, portrayed with gritty determination by Gerard Butler, leads a mere 300 Spartans against a vast Persian army. The movie, while not seeking to provide a historically accurate account, captivates with its stylized imagery and intense combat sequences. It prioritizes action, employing a considerable amount of slow-motion effects, CGI, and a rock-track laden soundtrack to enhance the visceral experience. The supporting cast, including Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, and Michael Fassbender, add depth to the Spartan tale, even as the film leans heavily into the realm of testosterone-driven narrative rather than nuanced character development.

    Warner Bros. has upgraded "300" to 4K UHD, offering HDR10 enhancement and a new Dolby Atmos mix, aiming to attract both first-time viewers and longtime fans. While the film initially debuted on Blu-ray, this edition does not simply retread old ground but seeks to immerse the audience further into Snyder's vision. Despite its foundation in Frank Miller's graphic with vibrant CGI sets and larger-than-life characters, "300" becomes an attractive proposition for those drawn to its unique aesthetic.

    This edition highlights "300" not only as a hallmark of style over substance but as an enjoyable atmospheric piece that serves as a homage to its source material's machismo. Even as critics and audiences may debate its fidelity to historical facts or depth of storytelling, "300" remains a compelling watch—a visually stunning action movie that deftly mixes fantasy with the valor of Spartan warriors. Though it strays from being an educational piece on ancient warfare or Spartan society, its entertainment value is undeniable, offering a two-hour escape into a meticulously crafted world of bravery and battle.

    Total: 86

    Zack Snyder's 300 has always been a divisive film, hailed for its stylistic triumphs while critiqued for its lack of historical accuracy and depth. Yet, its transition to 4K UHD Blu-ray brings the visual and auditory experience of this Spartan tale to breathtaking new heights, making it an essential upgrade for both aficionados and newcomers to the film. Warner Bros.' release shines with a 2160p transfer that elevates the original Blu-ray’s A/V specifications, incorporating HDR10 grading that profoundly enhances its striking visuals. Added to this is the Dolby Atmos audio mix, providing an immersive soundscape that amplifies the film's already impressive auditory experience. However, the release stumbles slightly in its supplemental offerings, recycling bonus materials from previous releases without introducing any new content or enhancements.

    The package boasts excellent Ultra HD video and a terrific Dolby Atmos sound mix but falls short in providing fresh or additional content for the dedicated fanbase. This lack of innovation in bonus material may disappoint some, but the principal draw remains the substantial improvement in audio and visual presentation. The Atmos track, in particular, is a standout feature, offering a significant enhancement over previous iterations that fans will likely find irresistible. The smart application of HDR10 also significantly improves upon the visual aspects, ensuring that 300 has never looked more compelling or sounded better on home media.

    In conclusion, while the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of 300 may not offer new extras to entice the longtime followers seeking fresh insights or retrospectives on the film, it stands as a definitive must-have for its unparalleled A/V upgrades. The superbly applied HDR grading and the atmospherically immersive Dolby Atmos mix elevate the home viewing experience, making it an enticing proposition for enthusiasts prepared to revisit Sparta's glory in stunning detail or those looking to experience Zack Snyder's visual spectacle for the first time in 4K. Despite its shortcomings regarding additional content, this release is highly recommended for its technical merits alone, promising an unparalleled audiovisual feast that celebrates the film's enduring appeal.