Meet the Spartans appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer offered a consistently positive affair.
Sharpness seemed solid. A few wide shots looked slightly soft at times, but those remained in the minority. Most of the flick looked crisp and well-defined. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement appeared absent. No source flaws cropped up either.
In terms of color, Spartans went with the same golden, desaturated palette utilized in 300. This meant a lack of many vivid tones, but the hues were well rendered within the stylistic constraints. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows showed good clarity and delineation. Overall, this was a very satisfying image.
I felt the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Spartans offered a pretty involving effort. All of the action sequences brought the five channels to life. These presented good localization of elements and blended together nicely. The material spread out the spectrum and made this an active, involving setting much of the time.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech sounded distinct and natural, and I encountered no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Effects appeared clean and accurate, and they showed reasonable depth when necessary. Music also demonstrated good dynamics, with bright highs and rich bass. Overall, the audio of Spartans supported the material well.
When we head to the extras, we start with an audio commentary from writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer and actors Nicole Parker, Ike Barinholtz, Kevin Sorbo, and Sean Maguire. All sit together for this running, screen-specific chat that looks at general experiences during the shoot. The actors dominate as they discuss training, makeup, stunts, and other aspects of the production.
This leads to a rollicking track during which the participants often speak on top of each other. In terms of content, you won't learn a ton about Spartans. We get a smattering of notes, but the emphasis is on laughter; those involved chortle over the film and their own interactions. The commentary is actually more enjoyable than I’d expect, but it’s not memorable or particularly useful.
Next comes Know Your Spartans, a pop culture trivia game. It asks questions about many of the folks referenced in the flick. Most of the questions are pretty easy, though I got one wrong about the bands with which Randy Jackson has played; who knew he performed with Charlie Daniels? (By the way, some of the questions change if you play again; I found a mix of new and old when I went through a second time.)
For a form of chapter access, we get Meet the Spartans: The Music. This simply allows you to jump right to any of the movie’s eight musical sequences. Why would you want to do that? No idea, but it’s there as an option.
Two featurettes follow. Prepare for Thrusting lasts five minutes, 14 seconds as it provides notes from stuntman Tim Connolly, Ryan Watson, Brian Patrick Collins, and Chris Gann, and actors Kevin Sorbo, Jareb Dauplaise, and Sean Maguire. It gives us a glimpse of the actors’ physical training, though it sticks with a jokey tone most of the time. That makes it awfully lame.
Finally, Tour the Set with Ike Barinholtz fills six minutes, 39 seconds. The actor takes us around the shoot and lets us see some behind the scenes tidbits. We also get some comments from Sorbo, Maguire, production designer William A. Elliott, and actors Phil Morris, Diedrich Bader and Carmen Electra. A few decent shots appear, but the wacky overtone makes it less useful.
A Gag Reel goes for four minutes, 16 seconds. Should you expect anything other than the standard goofs and gags? Nope – it’s a very typical blooper collection without much to make it worthwhile.
When the disc starts, we get ads for The Onion Movie and Burn Notice. The disc’s trailers area includes two promos for Meet the Spartans as well as one for Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs.
After the absurdly unfunny Epic Movie and Date Movie, was there any reason to expect better from Meet the Spartans? Probably not, and the flick definitely fails to improve on its predecessors. It uses the same submoronic template and fails to provoke a single laugh – or even many scenes that don’t provoke eye-rolling and disgust. The DVD features very good picture and audio along with some generally forgettable extras. Stay far away from this ghastly flick.