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post #1 of 56 Old 06-14-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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300 Rise of an Empire 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/3D Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

88



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, Rodrigo Santoro, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Callan Mulvey
Directed by: Noam Murro
Music by: Junkie XL
Written by: Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 24, 2014


"For vengeance. For Glory..."


My Take:

Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel “Xerxes” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield. After its victory over Leonidas' 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes' army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by Admiral Themistocles. Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. Pitted against the massive invading Persian forces led by both mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, the vengeful commander of the Persian navy, Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land…

I am a fan of the original 300 but the trailer for this follow up didn’t inspire me to see if before its home video release. I went in with reserved expectations figuring that may make for a better viewing experience and I think it helped. First off let’s be clear neither this film nor the first tells a true story of the events depicted. What we have is an impressionistic take on the historical facts which is more or less a derivative dramatization. I have no problem with that especially as a fan of the genre. 300 Rise of an empire takes place contiguous to the events depicted in 300. The paralleling nature of the narratives works well here as we get to see how things kicked off beginning with a bit of background on Xerxes as well as differing perspective on some of the events/characters from the original storyline.

Here we see more of what went on after the bloody battle when 300 Spartans stood against a horde of invading Persians. Additionally the plot here continues with the Athenians going up against Xerxes’ naval commander, a very pissed off former Greek named Artemisia who has a very serious axe to grind with her former countrymen. As with the first film there are buckets of blood and pervasive sword play that underscore the violence. I honestly didn’t mind the script despite its underdeveloped nature and videogame feel. I would have to say that both the writers and director seem to shoot for more of a form over substance focus but that doesn’t preclude the film from being mildly entertaining.

The production elements are reminiscent of the first film although slightly dialed down in terms of the roughness of the post-production work. The use of slow motion is similarly used but enhanced effectively by the application of 3D in post. The primary members of the new cast are fine with Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton being the stand outs. Several members of the cast from the first film make appearances here which assists continuity. At the end of the day I found 300 Rise of an empire to be better than expected but not up the well rounded and thoroughly compelling entertainment of its predecessor.
.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):



3D Presentation: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen):
  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):
  • Realism:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:



300 Rise of an empire 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Channel sound that has an average bitrate of 5.7 Mbps.

This film wasn’t shot natively in 3D but was converted in post-production. The film was largely shot against green screens and the reproduction of the digital effects and wide angle background elements translates positively here. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by separation of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background which creates a visual sense of virtual space. High definition dimensionality and apparent resolution is rarely questionable in close ups and brightly lit exterior sequences (of which there are few) but it varies some in the limited lighting that comprises much of the film. Comparing white/black levels, color and skin tone reproduction to the 2D presentation I found them to essentially be identical. There is moderate but effective use of 3D effects that transcend the boundaries of the screen which where applicable makes for a somewhat involving experience especially during the action based segments. I will say that this added to my enjoyment of the overall presentation which like the 2D version looks terrific on Blu-ray. I didn’t notice any distracting instances of crosstalk or other video related anomalies. The end result is a satisfying but ultimately unremarkable 3D video presentation.

This 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fairly aggressive and features an active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that positively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in the recording. The action based sequences transform the listening area into a three dimensional sound field filled via immersive surround activity that mates perfectly with the events unfolding onscreen. Low frequency effects produce deep bass that rumbles with tactile authority as it pressurizes the room. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that produced just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is a wonderfully involving and dynamically rewarding sound design that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation and rhythmically charged bass extension. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.

2D Video Quality:


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



300 Rise of an empire comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray, black and crimson set against a sepia toned aesthetic. Warm golden accents are used to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays without washing away detail. Whites are snappy and crisp and grays are multi-staged and layered. The film was largely shot against green screens which softened some of the background elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall I found the quality of the video to be high. It isn’t always razor sharp but it was cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement that increased the perception of fine detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradationally revealing and shadow detail is just as strong. I found myself enamored by the film’s deep grays, rich contrast and intriguing use of color. Framed at 2.40:1 its images have incredible depth and a stimulating visual aura that look terrific on my large screen. I didn’t note any deleterious signs of video related artifacts or compression noise.


Bonus Features:
Disc 1:
300 Rise of an empire 3D
Disc 2:
  • 300 Rise of an empire 2D (plus bonus features)
  • (HD)The 300 Effect(4 segments totaling 29 minutes):
  1. 3 days in hell
  2. Brutal artistry
  3. A new breed of hero
  4. Taking the battle to the sea
  • (HD) Real leaders & legends – 23 minute documentary
  • (HD) Women warriors – 12 minute featurette
  • (HD) Savage warships – 10 minute featurette
  • (HD) Becoming a warrior – 4 minute featurette
  • Bonus DVD
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel “Xerxes”, 300 Rise of an empire is the follow up to 2006’s popular 300. While it doesn’t feel as well rounded and completely involving as its predecessor I found it had enough merit to keep me engaged over its one hour and forty minute runtime. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in this 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack that features excellent high definition video, a satisfying yet unremarkable 3D conversion, enriching lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound and a decent supplemental package that is worth exploring if you enjoyed the film. If you like the original film 300 Rise of an empire is worth checking out so toss it in your rental queue and take it for a spin on Blu-ray.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 56 Old 06-14-2014, 09:01 PM
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Thank you Ralph will definitely rent this
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post #3 of 56 Old 06-14-2014, 09:16 PM
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Hmm.. I enjoyed the first one as well. The question is, should I buy the 3d or rent the 2d?

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post #4 of 56 Old 06-14-2014, 10:02 PM
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I'll be renting this one but will probably relent and end up buying it seeing as I already have the first one. I'm a sucker for owning the sequels of movies I've already got.
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post #5 of 56 Old 06-15-2014, 09:43 AM
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I enjoyed the film primarily due to Eva Green's performance. She dominated every scene she was in and has an exotic sultry sexiness that is almost unmatched these days. Showtime's Penny Dreadful is more confirmation of this.
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post #6 of 56 Old 06-15-2014, 10:21 AM
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Now if they can make a movie of Illium and Olympos from Dan Simmons then that would be a movie worth owning.

Klipsch so much it Hz
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post #7 of 56 Old 06-15-2014, 01:08 PM
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Day one blind buy for me,Hope the 3D is cheap and not like the lego movie.Great review.
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post #8 of 56 Old 06-15-2014, 11:46 PM
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Actually liked this one just as much as the first. While not historically accurate the movie never tries to be more than what it is and makes no apologies, which makes for a very entertaining, well paced, testosterone driven romp. And Eva Green is just tasty! Looking forward to the release of this one.

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post #9 of 56 Old 06-16-2014, 11:05 AM
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I'm struggling to get excited about this one for some reason...I was hoping Ralph might make my decision easier with either a 4 or a 2 rating...darn 3!!! lol

I enjoyed the first one but wasn't blown away. Maybe I'll just rent this one instead.
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post #10 of 56 Old 06-16-2014, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post
I'm struggling to get excited about this one for some reason...I was hoping Ralph might make my decision easier with either a 4 or a 2 rating...darn 3!!! lol

I enjoyed the first one but wasn't blown away. Maybe I'll just rent this one instead.
Greetings,

Sorry about that AJ! Well you'll have to get by with a rental first my friend...


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post #11 of 56 Old 06-16-2014, 04:00 PM
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Watched the movie in 2D and totally regretted that we didn't go for 3D ...
My son and I can't wait for this 3D
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post #12 of 56 Old 06-16-2014, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. I saw this in the theater and enjoyed it. I'll probably pick up the 3d version.
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post #13 of 56 Old 06-17-2014, 06:17 AM
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Thumbs up

I actually REALLY liked this movie in the theater. The 3D conversion was one of the best I've seen (possibly THE best if we're talking about post-conversions). The visuals and action were all fantastic.
The Greeks taking over for the Spartans themselves couldn't compare to Leonidas and crew from the first movie...however, Eva Green's performance more than made up for that. She was AWESOME!
Definitely a buy for me
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Last edited by Stormshadow4life; 06-17-2014 at 12:22 PM. Reason: clarifying something
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post #14 of 56 Old 06-17-2014, 11:29 AM
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Incredibly dull follow up to a great movie. It took me about 4 nights to get through this film because every time I hit play, it would bore me to sleep. If you MUST see this, rent, don't buy.

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post #15 of 56 Old 06-17-2014, 12:50 PM
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I went to pre-order this from Amazon, and neither 2D or 3D shows up as available to order. Wonder if there is an issue, because the release date is the 24th???
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post #16 of 56 Old 06-17-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post
I went to pre-order this from Amazon, and neither 2D or 3D shows up as available to order. Wonder if there is an issue, because the release date is the 24th???
Amazon and Warners are in the middle of contract battles, so no upcoming Warners titles are available for now. (THE TIME MACHINE is in the same unpleasant boat.) You can always order from Best Buy or any other on-line vendor you prefer.

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post #17 of 56 Old 06-19-2014, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post
I actually REALLY liked this movie in the theater. The 3D conversion was one of the best I've seen (possibly THE best if we're talking about post-conversions). The visuals and action were all fantastic.
The Greeks taking over for the Spartans themselves couldn't compare to Leonidas and crew from the first movie...however, Eva Green's performance more than made up for that. She was AWESOME!
Definitely a buy for me
I've seen movies that were shot in 3D that didn't look as good as this. Green was the real power behind the throne.

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post #18 of 56 Old 06-20-2014, 05:48 PM
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Green was the real power behind the throne.
Really? I guess I need to watch this in 3D next time.

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post #19 of 56 Old 06-21-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post
Amazon and Warners are in the middle of contract battles, so no upcoming Warners titles are available for now. (THE TIME MACHINE is in the same unpleasant boat.) You can always order from Best Buy or any other on-line vendor you prefer.
Thanks for that info. I normally order everything through Amazon, but I do have a Best Buy gift card, so will use that for this purchase.
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post #20 of 56 Old 06-22-2014, 12:09 AM
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Thanks for that info. I normally order everything through Amazon, but I do have a Best Buy gift card, so will use that for this purchase.
They've worked something out and Amazon's taking orders again.

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go to amazon,that right,and dominated every scene she was in and has an exotic sultry sexiness that is almost unmatched these days.[IMG]http://*******/XfuKgc[/IMG] Showtime's Penny Dreadful is more confirmation of this.thanks
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post #22 of 56 Old 06-26-2014, 09:09 AM
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I wasn't sure which one to get (2D or 3D) and I finally settled for the 2D steelbook. Since it's a conversion I figured 3D wasn't obligatory...Hopefully I made the right choice Will watch tonight - tx for your great review Ralph.
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post #23 of 56 Old 06-26-2014, 09:22 AM
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I wasn't sure which one to get (2D or 3D) and I finally settled for the 2D steelbook. Since it's a conversion I figured 3D wasn't obligatory...Hopefully I made the right choice Will watch tonight - tx for your great review Ralph.
The 3D was a conversion....but it was far better than most natively shot movies IMO.
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post #24 of 56 Old 06-26-2014, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post
I wasn't sure which one to get (2D or 3D) and I finally settled for the 2D steelbook. Since it's a conversion I figured 3D wasn't obligatory...Hopefully I made the right choice Will watch tonight - tx for your great review Ralph.
Greetings,

I am sure you'll be happy with that Morpheo. Enjoy and be sure to post back with your thoughts after you've seen it...


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post #25 of 56 Old 06-26-2014, 06:26 PM
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Really enjoyed this movie,great blind buy in my book.
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post #26 of 56 Old 06-26-2014, 10:47 PM
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I grabbed this on impulse at Target yesterday, brought it home, snuck it into the house, and watched it down in the HT. The 7.1 audio was top notch, easily a 94 as Ralph scored it. The video (2D) was also very good, though with the stylized camera work, colors, and effects, there were a few times when I felt it pushed style just over the edge.

I enjoyed the contrast between this and 300, particularly Spartans in 300 contrasted with Athenians in Rise of an Empire.

All in all a nice romp through mythologized Greek history with some stylistic and plot excesses that were easy to pass by and some engaging performances. As mentioned several times, Eva Green was great, and her backstory helped engender the pity/love/hate/fear factor central to her character. I also enjoyed Sullivan Stapleton's portrayal of Themistocles, confident/resourceful/inspiring yet doubting/uncertain/out of ideas.

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post #27 of 56 Old 06-27-2014, 09:17 AM
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Data-Bass.com has measured the bass content in 300: Rise of an Empire. Check out the results and vote on how well you think its bass was executed.

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post #28 of 56 Old 07-01-2014, 09:02 PM
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I guess, I have to check my hole system over!!!

The dialogue was so low comparare to the surronds, that I wish I could raise the volume on the fly by at least 1 Db on my Marantzt AV8801.
Wonderfull piece of equipment but lack this option ( you have to go through the all audio menu).

I could not realy crank it up since the main and surronds were so loud!

Am I alone?

Ray

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post #29 of 56 Old 07-03-2014, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post
I guess, I have to check my hole system over!!!

The dialogue was so low comparare to the surronds, that I wish I could raise the volume on the fly by at least 1 Db on my Marantzt AV8801.
Wonderfull piece of equipment but lack this option ( you have to go through the all audio menu).

I could not realy crank it up since the main and surronds were so loud!

Am I alone?

Ray
No you aren't!!!!!!! I came here myself to see if anyone had the same issues??? This is the first time I've had this problem with my system where the dialog was very low.. I don't blast my system either I wonder if I got a bad disc??

Any ideas
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post #30 of 56 Old 07-03-2014, 10:15 AM
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I found the same thing Darthray. The surrounds are recorded extremely hot on this soundtrack. They don't integrate with the main soundstage very well at all. It was extremely noticeable right off the bat when we sat down to watch the film. I noticed it is a 7.1 soundtrack and I run a 5.1 system so I almost wonder if it is something with the metadata for wrapping the rears into the surrounds. Never had an issue like this with other 7.1 mixes, but this one was apparent immediately.

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