SRP $39.99 2.40:1 Dolby TrueHD5.1 WARNER BROS
 
SRP $34.99 2.40:1 Dolby TrueHd 5.1 WARNER BROS
 
SRP $34.98 2.40:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 WARNER BROS
 

WARNER BROS. has released the box-office hit, "300" to high-def and dvd in all formats. In addition to blu-ray and hd-dvd versions, there's a 2 disc collector's edition dvd, regular widescreen dvd, and even a full-frame(pan and scan)version!  For those insane enough to consider buying or watching a pan&scan version, why are you here???

Gerard Butler stars as King Leonidas, the brave, tough leader of the Spartans, choosing to fight to the death the barbarous Persians rather than lose his kingdom to a tyrant. The film is closely based on the graphic novel by "SIN CITY" author Frank Miller, more than on fact, so not only is the film intentionally filled with over-the-top, hyper-sensed graphics, but it's also very surreal looking. For this reviewer, that is the film's biggest drawback.  Obviously, many loved he way the film looked in theaters. This critic hated its design.  The story, script, and actors are terrific. However, it's annoying to not once be able to take in a scene without having the CGI animated sky swirling overhead. Sure, it not only saved money, but was more truthful to the graphic novel, to film entirely on a soundstage, but "300" could've been a much greater film, with some sense of realism to the scenes!

Again, those who loved the film in theaters will love it in high-def and dvd! Because the film sought maximum contrast, by upping various lighting schemes, dulling colors and other tricks, it's hard to judge this film by other film standards. The dvd has consistent grain and a very soft image throughout, but is in keeping with the theatrical presentation. The 2.40:1 aspect ratio is intact on all but the full-frame version. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is outstanding, ranking this as one of the best "DEMONSTRATION" discs of 2007!  From beginning to end, the audience is immersed in the sonic world of treacherous mountain journeys, cascades of falling arrows and more. This is one of the most aggressive mixes of this year or any year, thus far! Bass effects are numerous. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

WARNER BROS. has provided the same 1080p/VC-1 transfers with 2.40:1 aspect ratios for the blu-ray "and" hd-dvd transfers.  Because Director Zack Snyder explains in the supplements, he intentionally pumped up the contrast, dulled down the colors, digitally added grain and other elements, the film has a decidedly "2-d" look. It's completely flat and nothing jumps off the screen, ever! It's a terrific high-def reproduction of a film that this reviewer found annoying and dull (look-wise)after only a short while! So, it's accurate, but don't expect the high-def of blu-ray or hd-dvd to make this look better than its source elements allow. 

WARNER BROS. has provided matching Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes on both blu-ray and hd-dvd formats, but the blu-ray also gets a PCM 5.1 mix.  The Dolby TrueHd mix is notably superior to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the dvd, with more distinctive surround effects and even deeper bass. However, the difference between the PCM and Dolby TrueHD mix is less discernible. The PCM is certainly a bit louder, without any tweaking, but these are both outstanding mixes from beginning to end. The dynamic range is amazing and "300" offers a rousing score as well.

WARNER BROS. has loaded these formats with extras.  Disc 1 of the 2 disc dvd presentation offers the film with optional audio commentary. Although mainly technical, it's engaging and certain to engage fans of the film with in-depth explanation of various filmmaking techniques employed in scene-to-scene analysis.

The 2nd disc offers a short documentary, deleted scenes and numerous featurettes.

The same extras are offered on the blu-ray and hd-dvd versions, however the hd-dvd also includes a substantial amount of "high-def" features, unavailable elsewhere, including:  an interactive game, the ability to watch the entire film with picture-in-picture blu-screen, web-enabled features and more!