Number's up for '300' with high-def wins
EmptyWarner Home Video's "300" dominated the inaugural High-Def Disc Awards on Tuesday, taking high-def title of the year and best bonus feature honors.
But in an outcome that underscored the bruising format war between the rival high-definition optical discs, the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD versions picked up one honor apiece.
The High-Def Disc Awards dinner was part of High-Def 2.0, a daylong conference held Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. High-Def 2.0 was presented by Home Media Magazine in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter and the Entertainment Merchants Assn.
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 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 version won the bonus feature award for a function that allows a blue-screen version of the film to run simultaneously with the feature, allowing fans to compare the two and see the extent of the special-effects work done on the film to depict an ancient battle between Spartans and Persians.
A live-action title of the year for each format also was awarded: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's James Bond film "Casino Royale" won for Blu-ray and Universal Studios Home Entertainment's cop comedy "Hot Fuzz" won for HD DVD.
Sony's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was named best multidisc set. The definitive collection uses seamless branching to store three versions of Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi film on a single disc, allowing viewers to compare them.
A complete list of winners can be found at hollwoodreporter.com.
John Latchem is assistant managing editor of Home Media Magazine.