Warner Home Video is planning to push the boundaries of high-def technology with the July HD DVD release of '300,' which is set to include the world's first "blue screen" picture-in-picture commentary.
Warner first announced '300' in early May for a July 31 release on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, with initial specs including an In-Movie Experience video commentary track (exclusive to the HD DVD version).
Though IME tracks are common to many HD DVD releases, '300' will be unique in that it will include what Warner is dubbing the first-ever "Blue-Screen Picture-in-Picture Version." Throughout the track, director Zack Snyder will present the pre-CGI-enhanced version to the finished film, allowing viewers to compare the entire movie in both rough and completed forms.
The HD DVD will include several other additional exclusive features, including the "Vengeance and Valor" interactive game, a "Pick Your Favorite Scenes" function allowing users to assemble clips and create a unique montage, as well as other web-enabled downloadable features to be announced.
The remaining specs will be identical to both the HD DVD and Blu-ray versions of '300,' including standard audio commentary, multiple featurettes, a suite of "Webisodes" and deleted scenes.
Warner has set a $39.95 list price for the HD DVD/DVD combo version, while the pared-down Blu-ray will sell for $34.95.
Note that these separate-but-unequal versions of '300' are the latest in what appears to be new trend for Warner, following the recent dual-format release of 'Blood Diamond,' which the studio issued in a stripped-down Blu-ray version earlier this month, ahead of a more full-featured, IME-enhanced HD DVD edition due on July 3.
You'll find the fully updated specs for both version of '300' llinked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule and HD DVD Release Schedule, under July 31. We'll keep you posted on any further spec updates, and stay tuned for full reviews of both versions..