'300' Conquers High-Def Awards5 Dec, 2007 By: John Latchem
Warner Home Video's hit film 300 dominated the first ever High-Def Disc Awards, taking High-Def Title of the Year and Best Bonus Feature honors.
But in an outcome that underscored the bruising format war between the two rival high-definition optical discs, the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD versions of 300picked up one honor apiece.
The High-Def Disc Awards dinner was part of High-Def 2.0, a one-day conference held Dec. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Calif. High-Def 2.0 was presented by Home Media Magazine in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter and the Entertainment Merchants Association.
A panel of critics and bloggers determined the best titles in 11 categories, with eligibility dating back to the inception of each high-def format — HD DVD in April 2006 and Blu-ray Disc in June 2006.
Not only was 300 the only multiple award winner, but it also was the only winner released on both high-def formats. Specifically, the 300 Blu-ray earned title of the year, while the HD DVD won the bonus feature award for a function that allows a blue-screen version of the film to run simultaneously with the main film, allowing fans to see the extent of the special-effects work done to depict an ancient battle between Spartans and Persians.
Each format also was awarded a live-action title of the year: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's James Bond epic Casino Royale won for Blu-ray and Universal Studios Home Entertainment's cop comedy Hot Fuzz won for HD DVD.
Sony Picture's Close Encounters of the Third Kind was named best multidisc set. The definitive collection uses seamless branching to store three different versions of Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi film on a single disc, allowing viewers to compare them.
High-Def Award Winners:
High Def Title of the Year: 300 (Blu-ray), Warner Home Video
Best Live-Action Blu-ray: Casino Royale, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Best Live-Action HD DVD: Hot Fuzz, Universal Studios Home EntertainmentBest Animated: Ratatouille (Blu-ray), Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Best Picture Quality: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Blu-ray), Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Best Audio Quality: Transformers (HD DVD), Paramount Home Entertainment
Best Bonus Feature: 300 (HD DVD), Bluescreen Picture-in-Picture, Warner Home Video
Most Innovative Use of New Technology: HD DVD U-Shop feature (Internet purchase ability), Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Best Long-Form Music Video: Dave Mathews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Music Hall (Blu-ray), Sony BMG
Best Catalog: Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Best Collection/Multidisc Set: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment