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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Meet the Spartans (2008)

"That is how men greet each other in Sparta: high-fives for the women and open-mouthed tongue kisses for the men!"
- Leonidas (Sean Maguire)

Review By: Matt Serafini   
Published: June 03, 2008

Stars: Sean Maguire, Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo
Other Stars: Phil Morris, Diedrich Bader
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for crude humor, brief nudity
Run Time: 01h:26m:19s
Release Date: June 03, 2008
UPC: 024543519058
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D- D-D-C D+

DVD Review

The most disturbing trend in Hollywood over the past few years is without the doubt the cynical money grab aimed at teenage audiences. Obviously this isnít a new concept, but if you happen to go to the movies on a Friday or Saturday night when a youth-oriented PG-13 movie has opened then you know what Iím talking about. These days teenagers are going to the movies with more frequency and more force than ever before, and not necessarily because the want to see the film, either. Itís just a place to hang out. Something to do.

And thatís where Meet the Spartans comes in. A comedy in theory only, this is just a lame reworking of 300ís general storyline with an endless array of pop culture references littered throughout. Everything from American Idol to Brangelina gets parodied but the end result is always consistent: nothing about this filth is even remotely funny.

Filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the same folks responsible for Date Movie and Epic Movie, have gotten a lot of mileage out of their penchant for obvious and unfunny humor. Iíve seen their previous two outings and didnít much enjoy them, but Meet the Spartans is a new low. The jokes have no setup or resonance, instead every single gag is random and dependant on the audienceís familiarity with Deal or No Deal, Stomp the Yard, Britney Spears, etc. This barrage of current pop culture isnít funny, and every single bit is hammered into the ground to ensure that itís not even remotely funny.

The cast tires. They do. Kevin Sorbo, Carmen Electra, Phil Morris and Diedrich Bader attempt to solicit laughs but they end up embarrassing themselves. Electra, while easy on the eyes, struggles with her comic timing and delivery in nearly every scene. Iím not comfortable with blaming her entirely though, as the filmmakers do little else beside linger on her scantily clad body.

Clocking in at 67 minutes before credits, the length of this dreck is fairly indicative of the filmmakerís efforts. Sure this is a parody film, but when you canít break the 70 minute mark before resorting to a useless musical number and deleted scenes, thereís a problem. In fact, the non-linear collection of clips is spread over the course of the nearly twenty minute closing credit sequence.

Rating for Style: D-
Rating for Substance: D-

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame1.85:1 - n/a
Original Aspect Rationoyes
Anamorphicnoyes


Image Transfer Review: True to the film itself, Fox's DVD of Meet the Spartans is an unmitigated disaster. Virtually every scene is awash with thick artifacting, edge enhancement and compression. Movement isn't fluid, rather blocky and obscured. Backgrounds frequently jerk and move when actors speak. It's a cheap transfer for a terrible film.

Image Transfer Grade: D-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Spanish, Frenchno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio fares better than the image. This is a music-heavy movie and the track will keep your subwoofer and surround speakers active. The audio texture isn't entirely encompassing, but dialog is clear and the music has enough fluidity to satisfy.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
3 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Actors Ike Barinholtz, Kevin Sorbo, Sean Maguire, Actress Nicole Parker, Writer/Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Know Your Spartans Pop Culture-Trivia Game
  2. Meet the Spartans: The Music
Extras Review: What a worthless collection of features. The commentary is lively enough, and is probably the best feature on the disc (including the film itself). The cast and crew have a decent enough time cracking jokes and offering some insight into the production. I can't say I cared terribly for what anyone had to say, but a fan of this film may want to give it a listen. It's lighthearted enough and, for what it's worth, funnier than the film itself.

The trivia game asks you multiple choice questions pertaining to pop culture (ie the name of Tom Cruise's child). Right or wrong you're treated to clips from the movie. Wow.

Meet the Spartans: The Music takes the cake for the most useless bonus feature I've seen on a DVD. Ever. This feature simply gives you the chance to select one of eight musical clips from the film to watch again.

Prepare for Thrusting featurette (4m:57s) covers the actors and their exercise regiment for toning their bodies to play Spartans. Kevin Sorbo dominates this little feature and it's a good thing. He's a pretty funny, good-natured guy whose squandering his talents away on junk like this.

The set tour with actor Ike Barinholtz isn't terrible amusing. Running 6 minutes and 40 seconds it's a quick walkthrough of the film's production. Nothing worth noting.

A four minute gag real is about as souless and unfunny as the movie itself.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

There isnít a laugh to be found in Meet the Spartans, another cynical product aimed squarely at teenagers whoíre looking to get out of the house on a Friday night. Now that the film is on DVD it will hopefully be forgotten about in no time. With this review behind me, I personally canít wait to let the forgetting begin. Now.

 


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