300 (2007)

Spartans, prepare for glory!

http://300themovie.warnerbros.com

Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" is very loosely based the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world's first democracy.

<i>300</i>, the 2007 story of the three hundred Spartans who held off a massive Persian offensive in Ancient Greece, proved a disappointing film. In spite of my Classics degree, I won't complain about the divergences from recorded fact. The film is clearly meant to be a fantasy on historical themes instead of a faithful account of the event. Rather, what irked me was the hammy dialogue. There were the tropes of recent Hollywood battle scenes: warriors on the good guys' side defending themselves with little exertion as they trade silly quips about how they've got each other's backs. A queen gives an address to a council that is all melodrama -- are we back in George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels?
Having enjoyed <i>Sin City</i>, a film with a similar green screen approach, I thought that <i>300</i> would be enjoyable on the basis of its special effects, but alas it wasn't. For one, the cinematography is claustrophobic. All outdoor scenes but one were filmed with a green screen, and the digital backdrops add no depth. Even when supposedly standing on the Greek coast under a big sky, everyone seems like they are just standing around in a fairly small room. Also, the fight scenes seem more primitive than considering that this film followed years after <i>The Matrix Reloaded</i>.
The little I can recommend <i>300</i> for is the variety of demonic monsters and exotic costumed assassins that fill the Persian army. As I said, this is a fantasy on historical themes, and the additions are often interesting. Still, I had a hard time sitting through the whole film.

Virtual Studios, Legendary Pictures, Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment MM, Nimar Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Cruel & Unusual Films by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon, Frank Miller, Lynn Varley.
Stars: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Dominic West.

Genres: Action, Drama

Keywords: evisceration javelin shield army epic ancient world based on graphic novel ancient greece s.a.t. minions warrior sparta greece 5th century bc

03/07/2007

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