Blu-ray Review “300: Rise of an Empire”

300-2Actors: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Rodrigo Santoro
Directors: Noam Murro
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 of 5 stars

When I heard about the plans for a sequel to “300”, I have to admit, I did roll my eyes a little. Honestly though, “300: Rise of the Empire” is a actually a really solid follow up to “300” and in same way even a better film than the first film. It is adapted from a screenplay by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, and based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel “Xerxes”. It has a great cast lead by the gorgeous Eva Green (“Dark Shadows”) along with Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) and Rodrigo Santoro (“Love Actually”) who return to reprise their roles. After watching this I was left just saying “Wow, that was crazy”. Highly recommend.

Official Premise: “300: Rise of an Empire” takes the action to a fresh battlefield — the sea — as Greek general Themistokles (Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. Themistokles must face the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Santoro) and Artemisia (Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Warner Bros is releasing the film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray, DVD and an Ultraviolet Digital Copy. This film was made to be seen in 3D and I am sure it is amazing in 3D but the film also worked very well in 2D. The 1080p transfer is easily one of the best that I have seen all year. It is flawless and really pops off the screen and that is not in 3D. I just love the style and this is just visually stunning. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is literally insane and such a powerhouse! It had my walls shaking and my wife screaming to lower it, so that means it was very effective!

In terms of special features, there are some decent extras here. The main powerhouse here is “The 300 Effect”, which consists of four featurettes focusing on the film including “Brutal Artistry”, “A New Breed of Hero”, “Taking the Battle to the Sea”, which focus on taking the fighting to the sea and 3 Days in Hell” looks into the how the battle scenes were created. “Real Leaders & Legends” and “Women Warriors” shows us some of history legends that changed history. “Savage Warships” gives us an inside look into their creation. Lastly “Becoming a Warrior” looks into the challenge that was required to get ready for shooting.

Own “300: Rise of an Empire” on Blu-ray 3D combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, 2-disc DVD special edition and Digital HD on 6/24

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