Rise Of An Empire (2014/Warner
A/B+ Sound : A/B+ Extras: B+ Film: B+
check out my review to the companion book for this film here on
the first 300
film hit theaters in 2006, it was a surprise success. While Frank
Miller's incredible graphic novel was a hit with readers, it wasn't a
house hold name like a Marvel or DC property. In addition, some of
the filmmaking techniques that Zack Snyder employed were pushing the
boundaries at the time and perfectly blended a world that is very
comic book-y and fantastical. (here Noah Murro directs and Snyder
steps down as co-writer/ producer)
laws of physics can be stretched to provide meaty eye candy, which is
seen here in the sequel 300:
Rise of an Empire
- a film made eight years after its predecessor that I actually
enjoyed more. The film grossed over $330 Million worldwide and
definitely benefited from the 3D experience (especially in IMAX 3D).
As far as Blu-ray presentations go, Warner Bros. really outdid
themselves here with a great release full of good extras and an
incredible home theater experience.
this film gains from the first and foremost is Eva Green (Casino
as Artemisia - her character is sexy and delightfully evil and is in
my opinion one of Hollywood's more memorable villains. Artesmisia
does not hesitate to slit a man's throat or cut off his head and make
out with it. Her use of the god-king Xerxes (returning from the
first film) is brilliant and the execution of their relationship on
screen makes this film a more interesting watch. The first ten
minutes of the film is definitely the strongest moments that tell the
history of the two characters and an EPIC shot of Xerxes addressing
his Persian Armies sending them to war. Additional
cast include Lena Heady, Rodrigo Santoro, David Wenham, Andrew
Tiernan, and Perer Mensah returning from the original film.
thing I like about this film is the fact that it takes place BEFORE
the first film, DURING the first film (just at a different place),
and AFTER the first film. Characters from the first film (including
Gerald Butler's character) bump into each other and the story pushes
obviously past the credits of the first one. What also makes this
more interesting is that the majority of the film is a battle on the
high seas. From my understanding, water is a hard thing to replicate
using digital technology - which seen here looks fantastic on
Blu-ray. You can see every ripple in the water and fog rising off
the ocean reflecting onto ships. The level of detail in this
transfer is really something else.
Gorgo (Lena Heady) tells her men about the Battle of Marathon, in
which King Darius I of Persia was killed by General Themistocles of
Athens. Darius' son, Xerxes, witnesses his father's death, and is
advised to not continue the war, since only
the gods could defeat the Greeks.
Darius' naval commander, Artemisia, claims that Darius' last words
were in fact a challenge and sends Xerxes on a journey through the
desert. Xerxes finally reaches a cave and bathes in an otherworldly
liquid, emerging as the God-King.
He returns to Persia and declares war on Greece.
Xerxes' forces advance towards Thermopylae, Themistocles meets with
the council and convinces them to provide him with a fleet to engage
the Persians at sea. Themistocles then travels to Sparta to ask King
Leonidas for help, but is informed by Dilios that Leonidas is
consulting the Oracle, and Gorgo is reluctant to side with Athens.
later reunites with his old friend Scyllas, who infiltrated the
Persian troops and learned Artemisia was born Greek, but defected to
Persia as her family was raped and murdered by Greek hoplites and she
was taken as a sex slave to the Greeks, who left her for dead in the
streets. She was rescued and adopted by the Persians. Her lust for
vengeance gained the attention of King Darius and he made her a naval
commander after she killed many of his enemies.
leads his men, which include Scyllas, Scyllas' son Calisto and
Themistocles' right-hand man Aeskyklos to the Aegean Sea. They ram
their ships into the Persian ships, charge them, slaughtering several
soldiers before retreating from the sinking Persian ships. The
following day, the Greeks feign a retreat and lead a group of Persian
ships into a crevice, where they become stuck. The Greeks charge the
Persian ships from the cliffs above and kill more Persians.
Impressed with Themistocles' skills, Artemisia brings him onto her
ship where she attempts to use sex to seduce him to join the Persians
as her second-in-command. He refuses, causing her to push him aside
and swear revenge. What continues is an epic battle, which showcases
the power of teamwork and the bloodthirsty vengeance of the Greeks.
plus is the sound track to the film by Junkie XL that provides a fast
paced, gut wrenching accompaniment to the tone of the film.
in 1080p digital High Definition 2:40 X 1 and boasting an impressive
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless English 7.1 audio track - the vast
soundscape of the film surrounds your senses and pitches you into the
stylized action. Other tracks on the disc are Dolby Digital French
and Spanish 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are also available in English,
French and Spanish. The DVD transfer of the film pushes the
boundaries of the format but falls short of the detail in the
Blu-ray. Ultraviolet copy is also including for your iPad or
The extras on this
release are also notable with...
the Scenes: The 300
include "3 Days in Hell," "Brutal Artistry," "A
New Breed of Hero" and "Taking the Battle to Sea."
Leaders & Legends
which dissects the film's loose adaptation of history, with both
filmmakers and historians offering a candid, almost scene by scene,
character by character breakdown of the differences between the very
real battles and players of the Persian/Greek wars and the version
of those clashes and warriors as realized on screen.
Eva Green's Artemisia and Lena Headey's Queen Gorgo, as empowered
women, warriors and leaders.
The ships and strategies of the Greek navy and the sets used to
create the naval battles of the film, and the historical
developments, advancements, technology and tactics employed by the
Greeks in war.
a Warrior where
the cast members train for their roles.
this is a great release to a movie I really enjoyed! Recommended!