I’m not going to try to sell you on 300. You either like the film or you don’t. If you’re here, reading this review, you probably think the movie’s all right and are no doubt familiar enough with the story, so I’m not going to bore you with it. It is, at its core, a two-hour fight scene. It’s an amazing battle, and incredible eye candy to be sure. But really, this sort of action epic, light on story, heavy on special effects is either your bag or you’re going to look elsewhere for your cinematic delights.
That out of the way, let me say WOW! I love this Blu-ray package. What an amazing job Warner has done with this set. Double-dip be damned, if you care at all about this film and are the sort of person who enjoys bonus features on a disc (I know there are two or three of you out there who couldn’t give a Spartan’s spear about them) then it’s worth ditching the old bare-bones one in favour of this, the 300: The Complete Experience.
This disc takes all the bonus features from the old Blu-ray disc edition, the stuff you could only get on the HD-DVD version of 300 and adds a whole new, rule-breaking way of experiencing the film - The Complete 300: A Comprehensive Immersion. This feature is worth the price of the disc alone. When you enter into it, you’re greeted by the director, Zack Snyder who walks you through the usage of it (and if you’re still confused, there are three pages devoted to the Comprehensive Immersion in the digibook packaging - more on that later.) There are three “timelines” to choose from while experiencing the film, each offering you a different stream of information focussed on a different element of the film and/or its production. “Creating a Legend” focuses on Frank Miller’s vision and how the story made the transition from page to screen. “Bringing the Legend to Life” is all about the filmmaking process. “The History behind the Myth” was most interesting to me, as an opportunity to examine Miller and Snyder’s take on the tale from a historical standpoint. The interface may be a little clunky when switching from one stream to another but it doesn’t detract from the fun of the feature.
Without dwelling any further on the special features (there are a ton more and they’re all worthwhile - again, great work, Warner) I just want to add a note about the digibook package. This thing is gorgeous. I don’t care as much for artifacts in this day and age as I used to. I enjoy not owning CDs anymore. I read a lot of digital books. I get my news from the internet. But for some reason, I still like to have the films I care about in a package I can hold. Something tangible. And this book feels like a million books, and looks it too! The digibook gives one a feeling of reverence for a film that mostly likely doesn’t deserve it. It’s a small, sturdy hardcover that’s snazzy, embossed and quite shiny. There’s just enough content inside to get you all fired up to want to watch the film but not enough to distract while watching it. And again, if you’re at all confused by the way the Immersion feature works, it’s all laid out for you here. Really, I couldn’t ask for much more from a 300 Blu-ray experience. Highly recommended for fans of the film!