Monday, May 12, 2014

Warner Home Video's 300: Rise Of An Empire To DVD And Blu-ray On June 24

Frank Miller’s graphic novel (a fancy name for an adult comic book) “Xerxes,” (as of yet not released) was adapted for the screen by Zack Snyder, who, as you might recall, did the same thing for Miller’s “300” back in 2006.   

After several title changes they finally settled upon 300: Rise of an Empire, which was probably a smart move since the brand identity of the hit film 300 was already in place and familiar to the target audience.

The finished product generated domestic ticket sales of $106 million (and twice that in foreign markets) and now Warner Home Video has announced that 300: Rise of an Empire will be making its way to the home entertainment market place as a three-SKU product offering on June 24.

That street date yields an ARR of 109 days.

The SKU configuration consists of a double-disc DVD edition (bonus features are on the companion disc), a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 3D/2D Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (two Blu-ray discs).   Both Blu-ray SKUs feature UltraViolet.

While Gerard Butler as King Leonidas was the clear focus of 300 in his heroic stand at the Battle of Thermopylae, this film has several competing stars, including Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), Artemisia (Eva Green — Casino Royale, Dark Shadows, etc.), the commander of Xerxes’ naval forces and Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton — Gangster Squad, Darkness Falls), the leader of the united Greek armies of Athens and Sparta. 

Whether by design or happenstance, Eva Green overshadows all of her male co-stars, which makes for an interesting dynamic, since she is both a traitor to her “Greek” homeland and the enemy (read that as the villain).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyHistory records that Artemisia advised Xerxes to avoid engaging the smaller Greek fleet and instead use his ships as close-in support for his advancing armies.  That advice was ignored as Themistocles was able to sucker the Persian fleet into the climatic battle at Salamis.

While 300: Rise of an Empire is sort of the “Cliff Notes” version of history, the film is nevertheless well-constructed, bloody as hell and entertaining throughout. 

As to bonus nuggets, these are anchored by the four-part featurette/documentary titled “The 300 Effect,” which includes segments variously titled “3 Days in Hell,” “Brutal Artistry,” “A New Breed of Hero” and “Taking the Battle to the Sea.”   There also four additional featurettes — “Real Leaders & Legends,” “Women Warriors,” “Savage Warships” and “Becoming a Warrior.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyWarner Home Video also turned to its extensive film library for six new-to-DVD vault offerings that have been added to its May 20 release package.

These are: Fever in the Blood (1961, starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Angie Dickinson and Jack Kelly), Girl He Left Behind (1956, teaming Tab Hunter with Natalie Wood), Jump Into Hell (1955, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu the previous year is revisited with a largely unknown cast), Law and the Lady (1951, toplining Greer Garson, with Michael Wilding, Marjorie Main and Fernando Lamas), Onionhead (1958, Andy Griffith’s follow up to the hit comedy, No Time for Sergeants) and Violent Road (1958, Brian Keith, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Dick Foran as truckers hauling explosives). 

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

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