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  1. #661
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    Target - February 18th, 2020

    Midway
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  2. #662
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    Past Tense - Sword And Sandal Quarter Part II


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on March 28th, 2013 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Part two of the mega "300" post comes at you like a well thrown spear. Duck if you want, won't really matter though.

    - - -

    I'll forgo the theatrical stats, just scroll above to Part I.

    This outing we focus on the exclusive that came from the former retail giant, Circuit City. This will be one of the shorter entries.



    This arrived at their stores on July 31st, 2007, four exclusive collectible cards (4 x 6 inches). These were not packed with the DVDs; but were available for both the single and two disc editions ($13.99/$22.99), but at the register.

    You would buy the movie then receive them in a milky transparent envelope - first come, first served. There were a minimum of twenty sets per store.

    The cards were printed on thick card stock. As mentioned previously, I have my cards inside the Best Buy, Spartan helmet exclusive gift set. Cards came with comments by the director, sway.

    Quite fortunate that I didn't have to buy rebuy the DVD to get a set. Yeah, let me address this - my DVD Crawl back in the day.

    I used to go to Circuit City first since it was the first store on my weekly trips. It was located roughly a block away from Best Buy. After that, as needed (not really part of my weeklies) Target, then Wal-Mart.

    Anyhow, back to that story...

    Politely asked the woman at customer service and she handed me a set for free. One of my easier acquisitions.

    Going the extra mile for you guys. Here is each card with Zack Snyder's commentary. The back of each reads "Collector's Edition" and "Zack Snyder Commentary On The Scene"...



    One of the most challenging, and rewarding, part of making 300 was dissecting some of Frank Miller's illustrations and their individual elements, ultimately finding creative solutions as to how to bring those images to life. In this scene two of the key elements in capturing that look were the lighting and the rendering of the rain. We relied on intense lighting to give us hard highlights and dark shadows. The rendering of the rain was also pivotal to capturing the look of the original illustration, so we opted to use a combination of both practical and CGI raindrops.


    We did our best to faithfully translate Frank Miller's fantastic illustrative style, textures, lighting and geography into live action in a way that captures not only the action, but also the attitude, exaggerated perspectives and overall intensity. For this particular frame we shot many passes of our stuntmen falling off the rock cliff set into padding below. Combine those elements with a layer that included Leonidas and his men pushing several soldiers back, throw in some digital battle grit and CGI blood, and with a little luck, you have a Frank Miller illustration come to life.


    "A thousand nations of the Persian army descend upon you, our arrows will blot out the sun," threatens the Persian Emissary. Not intimidated, Stelios defiantly replies, "Then we will fight in the shade." The arrow scenario was something included in our original test shot and then later in the actual film. As each new version arrived for commenting, I would look at it and exclaim, "More arrows!" In the end, I think the final result is an intimidating cloud of weapons raining down on the Spartan soldiers.


    There are four distinguishable battles in the film. During battle three, we turn the fantasy aspect of the story up a notch. We decided to play on the fact that the audience is seeing the battle through the eyes of the ancient Spartan mind as Dilios spins this fantastic tale around the campfire. The storyteller device allows us to embrace the surreal and elevate the tale of Leonidas and his 300 soldiers into the stratosphere of legend.
    - - -

    From 2007, can't recall where I found this on the web.



    Saved that pix all these years, still think it's cool.

    C'mon, you know it made you smile.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnote.



    Above is the home video ad for stores and merchants. You'll noticed the HD-DVD edition came with a "Strategy Game". Did some looking and found out it was called "Vengeance And Valor".

    You get x amount of Greeks to keep Xerxes' army at bay. Command them where to go and what weapons to use - attack or defend. That's interesting, I guess.

    The only strategy game, I've ever played was "Battleship".

    The HD-DVD came with another exclusive (at the time) - Picture In Picture mode. See the film as it was shot with blue screens, minus the visual effects. This became available in the 2009 Blu-Ray re-release, "The Complete 300" - which isn't. So many of the exclusive written about here were not included.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Egg.

    Never owned the single disc version (why would I?), so I can not say if this is also available on the single disc edition. *shrugs*

    Snyder explaining how he convinced Frank Miller and the studio to make the feature, plus the transition from graphic novel to cinema.

    Disc 1 -> "Special Features" -> highlight 'off' for commentary, press up; highlight "Special Features" - ENTER.

    OR

    Disc 1 -> "Special Features" -> highlight 'Main Menu', press down; highlight "Special Features" - ENTER.

    And there you go folks - the end of Part II. Half way done - there is much more to cover. Come back here on March 5th, 2020 for the next exclusive installment AND you don't have to go shirtless for it.

  3. #663
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    Best Buy - February 25th, 2020


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  4. #664
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    Target - March 6th, 2020


    CDs

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    "Mandy Moore - Silver Landings" with two exclusive bonus tracks $12.99

  5. #665
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    Best Buy - March 3rd, 2020


    Up
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  6. #666
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    Past Tense - Sword And Sandal Quarter Part III


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on April 11th, 2013 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Still not surrendering, part three of the mega "300" post hold its ground with more exclusives! Not great ones, but hey - they do count.

    *nods*

    - - -

    As mentioned last time, I'll forgo the theatrical stats. Look at the February 6th, 2020 entry for that data.

    This time out we focus on the remaining stores, plus a tangent entry with its exclusive. I kinda have to include it, though I know in my heart - it's crap.

    Lets address this alphabetically...

    On street, July 31st, 2007, FYE/Suncoast had their own exclusive bonus disc. This became one of the hardest acquisitions for me for the movie.

    My voyage for that exclusive took me to three FYEs - in three different cities. Man, I'm too anal - don't want to think about how many miles I drove to add it to my collection.

    The first store didn't have it, sold out.

    The second store said they had copies, but couldn't sell it to me.

    Apparently the exclusive was ONLY available on pre-orders. You can't just walk in; buy the movie and get a copy. Their exclusive had a limited window of customer availability. I kid you not.

    I saw a surplus of bonus discs not attached to any pre-orders.

    Asked what they were going to do with them? Their reply - "send them back to corporate". WTF? What kind of imbecilic policy is that? I left so pissed.



    Got lucky at the third store. Sway. But there was an effort. The two clerks there argued over whether to sell it to me. Granted, I had to rebuy the movie just for that disc. It had to be under a pre-order... well I bought the two disc set once more, $22.99.

    As mentioned in Part I; sold my extra copy on Ebay, I lost money on this venture.

    Their exclusive came in a printed cardboard sleeve. Sorry, no menu screen, it just plays. The bonus disc has a run time of 22:53 minutes and is presented in letterbox.

    - - -

    This was the crappiest of the exclusives and it was from Target; download, "Making Of 300". A quote from their weekly ad:

    Target Deluxe Edition includes 300 movie download (full theatrical version) for PC or mobile device with exclusive 'Making Of 300 download', and over 90 minutes of thrilling extras on a bonus disc.
    Yeah - a digital copy too. Oh joy. That ad was borderline false advertising, or at least poorly worded. The store had a history of doing stuff like that.

    Sorry I don't have their weekly ad.



    The image above is a recreation of their exclusive embossed slipcover. I would say it's roughly 95% correct. As I wrote, I don't own this, so no scan is possible. I did however find a couple of low-res pixs, which I used as references.

    Continuing...

    So many were upset with Target; their exclusive was loaded with DRM (Digital Rights Management).

    So... you needed to register with Movielink.com (Windows only - and required Internet Explorer), fork over your email and various personal information to download the movie...

    THEN they email you the link to download the making-of.

    What was it? It was the HBO special that aired on March 1st, 2007 (22 minutes). And that Digital Copy ran through their proprietary software. No, do not want. This 'exclusive' was only on the two disc edition that sold for $22.99.

    - - -



    The next offering was from Wal-Mart. It is weak, but still beats out Target's offer - a bonus movie; the director's cut of "Alexander" (two disc set), side packed with the single disc edition of "300".

    This combo sold for $19.98. It's not a bad deal if you just wanted the basic version of the movie - you got a free, two disc special edition of a solid flick. As I recall this set was available on both the widescreen and full screen editions of "300".

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Don't get mad.

    As I wrote, I kinda have to include this mess here too. *sigh*



    The motion picture "Meet The Spartans" opened on January 25th, 2008. It was made with a budget of $30,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over 38 million during its U.S. theatrical run; worldwide it made over $84 million (how sad is that?). The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number seven.

    The feature opened against "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", "Juno", "Cloverfield" and "Rambo".

    Never bought this, so I can't tell you if it came with any kind of insert. The film had two editions; theatrical and unrated. Each were single disc releases.

    The theatrical edition came with both the widescreen and full screen versions. Unrated was widescreen only.

    Can't tell you if this came with a slipcover. *shrugs*

    - - -



    Circuit City offered on release - June 3rd, 2008; free muscle t-shirt (large size); packed on the back of the "Unrated Pit-Of-Death Edition" DVD. The set for $16.99. Looks like it came in a slipcase for the tee, sorry for the poor quality image. It was the best I could find.

    Have no desire to see this garbage. A movie made for the bottom, lowest common denominator.

    Okay, lets think pleasantly ahead - one more exclusive for "300". Final installment in this mega post will punch you on March 19th, 2020.

  7. #667
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    Target - March 17th, 2020


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  8. #668
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    Best Buy - March 17th, 2020


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  9. #669
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    Past Tense - Sword And Sandal Quarter Part IV


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on April 25th, 2013 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    The final installment of the four part mega "300" post will draw its last breath this day.

    - - -

    For theatrical stats; look up the February 6th, 2020 PT entry.

    What does this outing hold? All of the exclusives for the July 31st, 2007 release have been covered. *nods*

    This is most true.

    But there was another... a box set.



    Released on November 18th, 2008 was a three disc set with physical premiums; fifty-two page art and hardcover photo book with a personal message from Director Zack Snyder, a motion image (lenticular - King Leonidas throwing his spear) encased in lucite plus six photo cards showcasing the theatrical poster campaign.

    It also came with an exclusive bonus disc, not a store exclusive - only available in this box set.

    But more on that in a moment.



    On release day, Best Buy had their own, the final exclusive for this motion picture, a comic book. A limited edition, mini, thirty-two page comic which came inside the box (only three available per store). This sold for $34.99.

    Note, this was not a comic book adaptation (of a movie who itself was adapted from a comic); it was in fact, a reprint of chapter one of the source graphic novel - up to the point where Leonidas kicks the Xerxes' emissaries into the pit.

    This was a sampler, part of a bigger official hardcover graphic novel book (published in 1999 from Dark Horse), released by Dark Horse Comics; story and art by Frank Miller.



    Above are the cards which came with the box. All six foil cards were printed on card stock and are lobby card sized (5 x 7 inches). I bought my copy on release day, but had to make an exchange.

    The third disc was scratched up. I made an exchange at Customer Service, but the replacement was just as damaged.

    I was bummed to say the least. Yeah.

    Since then I found an excellent person online for disc repair, resurfacing. The send-back is a couple of weeks later, but the resurfaced looks brand new, flawless mirrored surface. Very sway. I sent my third disc for fixin'

    - - -



    The third disc has a single featurette, "To The Hot Gates: A Legend Retold"; run time of 30:06 minutes. This disc also houses the film's Digital Copy.

    The question: Are discs one and two any different than the two disc edition from the year earlier?

    Nope, they are the same (I checked), just new packaging with premiums (plus the above mentioned third disc). There is a change though, the pressed labels on disc one and two are different than the two disc edition.



    Above is the content sheet which was attached to the rear of the box - why yes, I kept mine.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    November 2008 issue of Empire magazine (British), published the results of a world-wide poll of the "500 Greatest Movies Of All Time"; "300" ranked 337th.

    - - -



    Before you ask, no - none of this exclusive explosion happened for the sequel, "300: Rise Of An Empire" (2014). *shrugs* The movie made a lot of money.

    Worldwide it made $330,780,051 on a budget was $110,000,000 (estimated).

    Did some number crunching... worldwide profits. Global totals minus production costs.

    The first film made $391 million. The second film made $220.7 millions. And those numbers does even count home video sales.

    Suppose the studio was expecting a hundred million more for "Rise Of An Empire" and got all pouty when it didn't happen. And that becomes zero exclusives. Oh well.

    The screenplay written by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon (the trio wrote the first film). Composer Tyler Bates returns as well.

    The only returning cast members are Rodrigo Santoro - Xerxes. Lena Headey reprising Queen Gorgo and Andrew Tiernan as Ephialtes.

    I think it will match, because the idea is matching - characters and style and all that. Especially because they're calling it like a spinoff, you get bits of the first movie. There's a place where they meet, the first movie and the second movie, but it's a different director. I didn't see the movie yet, the final result, but the experience - I mean, Zack was pretty much involved because he wrote it and he's producing it. His hands are there, but Noam [Murro] will have his own take on directing it. I think it's going to be pretty awesome, and the fans are going to be pleased.
    - Santoro

    It's a solid flick, I own the DVD set. For me, the reason why it didn't do as well as the first film was time.

    Seven years for a sequel to come out to theaters; the impact would've been larger if it happened within three years. The energy had waned and at that point and the visuals had been spoofed and utilized in other movies. It's was no longer 'new'... or impressive.

    Oh well, that's it for "300". But it's not over, "Sword And Sandal Quarter" continues on April 9th, 2020 with a new period actioner. You'll have a horsey good time. Well... one party will. See you then.

  10. #670
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    Target - March 27th, 2020


    "5 Seconds Of Summer - Calm" exclusive 2 tracks $12.99
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  11. #671
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    Target - March 31st, 2020


    Star Wars: The Rise Of The Skywalker
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  12. #672
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    Best Buy - March 31st, 2020


    Star War: The Skywalker Saga
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