The 300: Rise Of An Empire story pits the Greek general Themistocles (Stapleton) against the massive, invading Persian forces, ruled by the mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Santoro), and led by Artemisia (Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy. Knowing his only hope of defeating the overwhelming Persian Armada will be to unite all of Greece, Themistocles ultimately leads the charge that will change the course of the war. Based on the graphic novel "Xerxes" by Frank Miller. (Gary Reber)
Special features include five featurettes: The 300 Effect (HD 29:55), Real Leaders & Legends (HD 22:52), Women Warriors (HD 12:22), Savage Warships (HD 10:36), and Becoming A Warrior (HD 04:39); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p MVC 3D picture was converted by Generb and photographed digitally with the Red Camera system. The picture is wonderfully resolved and exhibits a blood-soaked visual stylization of battling countries. As such, the color palette is desaturated and darkly stylized with warm, dark reds and deep, solid blacks. The picture should be viewed in a dark or black room environment. Contrast is well balanced throughout. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, object texture, splattered blood, and wood splinters from battered ships. Ocean waters appear perfectly realistic. The 3D presentation is a conversion. The sense of depth and perspective is impressive and dimensionality is consistently convincing. No doubt due to the extensive CG rendering, the 3D enhancement is first-rate. Both positive and negative parallax views are exciting visually, with plenty of effective out-of-screen piercing of sword tips and arterial scrap. Visually the 3D enhances the realism of the settings and battles at sea. Ghosting is absent throughout and the presentation is pristine. This is an exciting visual experience in which the 3D treatment definitely enhances the realism and sense of intimate observation. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is aggressively dimensional, with a deep, extended .1 LFE bass foundation that often extends to below 25 Hz. Consistently, all 7.1 channels are activated, which creates an enveloping holosonic® listening experience. Dynamics are powerful and thunderous during battle after battle on land and on the sea. Ships collide with explosive energy and explosions roar. Surround loudspeakers are constantly engaged at full-reference SPL, which delivers a level of sonic excitement not often encountered. The battle on the sea sounds chaotic, with surging seas surrounding the engaging ships. Directionality is precise and pans are smooth. Above the mayhem, dialogue retains excellent intelligibility and spatial integration. The narrative dialogue is perfectly balanced out front. The powerful and dynamic orchestral music score is expansive, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends aggressively to the surrounds. This is an exciting and powerfully engaging sonic experience that perfectly depicts ancient wars. (Gary Reber)