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'Meet the Spartans' Rocks Hard in Vegas

11 May, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Meet the Spartans stars Method Man and Carmen Electra take the stage at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas May 10.

LAS VEGAS — To promote its 300 spoof Meet the Spartans, 20th Century Fox decided to take a Vegas hotel by storm.

To mark the June 3 DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of the film, Fox brought out film stars Carmen Electra and Method Man, partnered with Real Networks for a private concert with rock band P.O.D. and topped the day off with a packed party at Body English Nightclub May 10.

All that was missing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino were the 300 Spartans — make that 13, as that's all Leonidas hires in the film to battle the Persian army.

“The multiple media events offered us both mainstream media and grassroots opportunities to get our messaging to a core audience for this DVD,” said Steve Feldstein, SVP of corporate and marketing communications for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

“The characters in 300 take themselves very seriously. Their humorless natures gave us a lot to explore,” said writer-director Aaron Seltzer. “In Meet the Spartans, the characters still treat themselves and their situations seriously, but we juxtapose the dialog and actions in ways that parody the original film.”

Meet the Spartans may be a spoof of 300, but everyone involved insists it's also an homage.

“We made Meet the Spartans with love and admiration toward 300,” said actor Sean Maguire, who plays Leonidas. “Although it may look like we were just being silly with it, we really do appreciate that film.”

Electra, who plays Leonidas' wife, Queen Margo, and has partnered before with Seltzer and writer-director Jason Friedberg for Epic Movie and Date Movie, enjoyed the fact that, for once, the men in her movie wore less clothes than she did.

“I loved every moment of it. They were working out and had to train, while I was sitting back, eating pizza, laughing,” she said. She added that she's not looking forward to watching the special features on the Blu-ray and DVD, fearful that an extended lovemaking scene is there.

“It never stopped. It went on, and on, and on and on. It got uncomfortable after nobody called cut. I think I called cut,” she said.

On the other hand, Method Man, whose real name is Clifford Smith, said he's looking forward to watching the bonus features.

“I know they've got some extra footage of me dancing,” he said.

And he knows why people will add Meet the Spartans to their collection.“Because I'm in it,” he said. “[Carmen] too. That's a given.”

Electra added: “It's just fun. If you want to laugh out loud and not take things so seriously, this is the way to go.”

The Meet the Spartans Unrated “Pit of Death” DVD ($29.98) includes an audio commentary, a “Know Your Spartans Pop Culture” set-top trivia game, a gag reel, a “Meet the Spartans: The Music” featurette, a “Prepare for Thrusting” featurette, “Tour the Set with Ike Barinholtz” and trailers. The Blu-ray edition ($39.98) includes all those features and adds an onscreen trivia track and two interactive games: “Celebrity Kickoff” and “Super Pit of Death Ultimate Tactical Battle Challenge.”

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