300: Earth and Water

 
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(Updated: November 08, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Fantastic edit. Aztek463 has pumped up the epic into the original 300. The original 300 was more intimate than its sequel. By combining 300 with 300 Rise of the Empire, Aztek463 has given the story a 3 ACT structure that not only gives the original story more context but adds more spectacle, more violence more sex and more depth. Flawless integration of the 2 films. This is the must go version of these 2 films. This edit should also win the award of the best film edit of this month. Kudos to Aztek463!

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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Overall rating 
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Wow. I'm really impressed with this edit. Mashing both the 300 movies together and cutting away the fat was always going to be gold, but nothing could prepare me for how emotionally engrossing a 2+ hour movie that's wall to wall combat could be. The finer points of both flicks are excised but I didn't miss any of it at all, I was fully entrenched in the story of the war being fought on two fronts, expertly intercut by the editor so you always knew exactly who you were following. I enjoyed this a lot. The only possible way I could see to improve it would be to somehow include a few more scenes with Eva Green unteathered breasts, but even without that this is still an edit that I'll be returning to again and again. It's an epic in every sense of the word.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Overview - Stroke of genius, this edit. Chronologically sequencing events from 300 and 300 Rise into one edit was a well conceived, though doubtless very tricky concept to pull off. Each film has their own, altogether distinct, look, and there is the concern that shifting from one film to another would distract from enjoyment. In addition, elsewhere I had rated the individual 300's 7/10 and 5/10, mostly for narrative issues, and I wondered if this edit would rely on excessive action at the expense of story.

Video - Sure enough, from Sparta to Athens, the hue swings from reddish to bluish. Yet there were a lot of blacks in both that acted to visual cohere the elements. Along with those ever present floating cinders and motes. I don’t know whether this was sheer luck, or if Aztek463 had this planned all along. In any event, visually the films merged.

The editing I thought smooth, and the choices smart.

Audio - Cracking 5.1 sound. Dialogue was never a problem and the bass solid. The only quibble I had came at the very end. The credits. The music jumped abruptly from heroic score to pop song. The aural presence was utterly different. It was jarring and catapulted me straight out of the film. Ninety seconds on, I was done. The Pumpkins should have wailed later, or been cross-faded. That’s just me.

Narrative - This is where Aztek excelled, elevating 300 Rise almost to the level of 300. The narrative sleight of hand had me enjoying the sequel much more than I had originally. I still found the heroes of the second film weaker, the villains stronger. Xerxes not as dominant as remembered, perhaps by design.

Enjoyment - Oh yeah. Thank you for doing such tight edit, that you kept the running time to under three hours. I won’t view 300 Rise again. Fire and Water will be my go to there. Does not eclipse 300, though I doubt that was the intention. Action binge fest, and a fun one at that.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
7.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

Top notch editing. The technical profiency of this edit is very high. It was an interesting watch, but at the end of the day I just don't care about the events in Rise as much as the original. This makes them as good as they can be, I think. I wish the movie didn't have to go on after the ending of the original 300, but narratively there would be no way to make that work. This was a cool idea executed as well as is possible. I think the story of the sequel/prequel just isn't that strong. I'll watch this edit on occasion though it doesn't replace 300 for me.

The editing is pretty seamless and the picture quality is outstanding.

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Yes
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MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

Being a huge fan of the testosterone driven 300, I was not-so-very-but-still-a-bit anxious to see its pre-/se-/interquel 300: Rise of an Empire.

I should have known... Bar a handful of exceptions, Hollywood no longer has the creativity to handle sequels like it once had. There are no Empire Strikes Backs, The Godfather Part II's or other similar masterpieces in this decade's films. Bar a handful of exceptions. Rise of an Empire is not an exception. Trying to gap the bridge between to films when you have almost no one of the original cast to your disposal is one of the most ludicrous, impossible things one could try. I applaud their efforts, but it still feels as if they failed.

Aztec tried to bridge the two in a two-hour-ish epic. He succeeded partially, but his efforts are highly recommended viewing. If his edit lacks in execution, it is only because of the source material.

AUDIO:
Everything flowed nicely and I didn't notice any hiccups, save one. When Captain Astemis' eldest son, Artemis, is decapitated, the sound drops considerably in a matter of seconds. It made it clear something was missing. This flaw, if you will, is also the one moment where Aztec's skills are best evident. Up until that point I had COMPLETELY forgotten that Dillios' had been narrating the whole thing in the original feature! Aztec did a fantastic job at keeping the plot going, not having missed a beat where Dillios would try to fill the gap with storytelling.

VIDEO:
Added grain (and other effects?) did a commendable job in bringing the slightly visual styles of both films closer together.

STORY:
The parts that were left out were never missed. Every time someone was mentioned, the next scene cut to that person. A great example was where Themistocles visited Gorgo while Leonidas was out. To show Leonidas was withheld elsewhere, Aztec then cut to Leonidas visiting the Oracle. Great craftsmanship, and it really made it feel as if the stories were interflowing, rather than making up for the original cast not having returned (as was the case). It was disappointing to see the arrogant Xerxes of the original 300 be reduced to the puppet he was in 300 RoaE. He was controlled, told what to say and do, and only seldom did he show a spark of arrogance, which was then in contrast to his puppet-like nature, that in turn did not help making his character believable. If both stories truly played back-to-back, he should have been arrogant from the start. in 300 RoaE he swayed back and forth, while Artemisia proved the real villain. Again a fault of the source material, which Aztec tried his best fixing.

Despite Aztec's great efforts, 300 Rise of an Empire is still an underwhelming sequel compared to its grand predecessor 300. It was everything I'd been looking for in an action film for quite some time. Aztec's fanedit strips the sequel of its shortcomings and ties it into the original film to bring a better storytelling experience of the brave Spartans than the original sequel ever could.

Comes highly recommended for fans of 300 and those who like the sequel but prefer the original.
*NOTE: Gave an 8 for enjoyment. Was looking for 7.5 but 7 does not do it justice.
8 for narrative because of the inferior 300 RoaE storyline.

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