Fox lets loose another classic war film, only this time the war is set in Ancient Greece. The 300 Spartans is the film and it tells the tale of the Battle of Thermopylae in which a small Spartan army was left alone to defend and hold a pass against thousands of Persian soldiers. The setting is really old take on The Alamo and very similar in theme and setup. To say anymore might be a spoiler.
The film is about the King of Persia, Xerxes, who is out to conquer Greece. Standing in his way is the rather argumentative nations of Athens and Sparta. It is decided that the two will have to stand up to Persia and one mountain pass is their way to victory over Greece. Sparta and its men are given or rather take the responsibility to protect the pass and hold Persia at bay. The Spartan army, one that only numbers 300, is led by Leonidas (Richard Egan) who must stop the advancing Persian army which outnumbers them 20 to 1. The Battle of Thermopylae is the result of the Persians battling it out with the 300 Spartan soldiers.
The 300 Spartans is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Of nice surprise is how good the film looks on DVD. The print is very clean with only a small amount of print defects and grain. Only enough to mark the film vintage. Colors are the real highlight here with some bold reds as seen in the cloaks the Spartans wear. Chroma issues and aliasing are never really an issue. The transfer is sharp and in line with a film of this age. Contrast and black lever don't falter. All in all a very pleasing transfer from Fox.
Dolby Digital 2.0 and mono tracks are included as well as a Spanish mono dub. The 2.0 mix is pretty good with no distortion and good clean dialogue and effects. The only issue that some might find a touch annoying is the surround activity which sounds a bit forced and over inflated. Too much stuff that should not be there, something that seems like a bit of a rush job to get some surround effort. Not bad or overly annoying, it's just that it doesn't sound all that natural.
Extras consist of a trailer, a Spanish trailer, some TV spots, and then a few other like minded film trailers from Fox.
The 300 Spartans is a pretty good film that's only real hindrance is that it did not have a bigger budget to make it truly epic. Well that and the fact that some of the cast are complete pieces of wood. Still the film delivers the goods and is a very solid directed film. Fox's DVD is a nice catalog effort with a pleasing transfer and audio track. Recommended to anyone who has heard of the film or for those that like good tales of warfare from the days of ancient Greece.
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