Monday, April 16, 2007

Me Mini Movie Reviews: 300

Finally got out to see this with a friend tonight. First time back in a theatre in a long while, but we both wanted to see this, and we both ended up liking it. She really liked the unique look of the movie, as did I, and I thought it was well-done story telling and drama as well. And let's not forget, some fantastic one-liners.

The movie is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, which took it's story from the historical events at the battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans stood against the massive armies of the Persian empire. If you know your history, you know how it ends, but I won't say it here just in case you haven't seen it and don't want to know. The director, Zack Snyder, took his visual cues from the graphic novel, much like Robert Rodriguez did with Frank Miller's Sin City. Snyder does a great job here visually - the cinematography and distinct look of the film is pulled off seamlessly, considering most of this was shot on green screen. As good as Sin City was, there were spots where you could tell it was done on green screen (depth perception a little off), but here it's been taken a step further and I didn't have my usual "CGI moment" where I'm taken out of the story 'cause my brain tells me what I'm seeing is fake. The look of it is just amazing.

The actors all do well, with Gerard Butler leading the way as King Leonidas. He fearlessly leads and inspires his small army of well-trained Spartan warriors. They know the odds point to what could be a futile outcome, but they believe in their cause, in the King's cause. Not to mention death on the battlefield is the ultimate glory for these Spartan Warriors. As one states, they are looking for someone who might equal them in a fight. And fight they do - the battle scenes are a visceral thing, as these Spartans take no prisoners. The fighting "phalanx" maneuver is something to behold in its machine like, deadly efficient, symmetry. But the thing I loved about it, was that the King himself wasn't just sending his men to fight, wasn't just in the back somewhere fighting with them - no, he was at the very front commanding, leading, and fighting. I'll bet current politicians wouldn't be so quick to start wars if they were to do the same thing themselves.

Speaking of politicians, there's a squirrelly one in Sparta too. The Queen - well played with a quiet intensity by Lena Headey - has to put up with him and the mystic influenced Council as she tries to rally support to send the full Greek army to her husband's aide. Lena Headey does great in the role of the Queen who is just as powerful and unyielding as her husband the King, fighting a battle on a different kind of turf. It is shown that these two are equals in every sense, and love each other, but know that freedom is worth fighting for, as it is the Queen who inspires Leonidas to break with tradition to fight for what is right - even though they both know the cost. As a side note, after seeing her in this, I have slightly higher hopes for her pulling off the role of Sarah Conner in the upcoming TV series, The Sarah Conner Chronicles spin-off of the Terminator movies.

I thought it was a great movie, and certainly justified its spot near the top of my 2007 anticipated movie list. Fantastic visuals, good acting, and a compelling (if at times over the top) story combine for a kick ass movie experience.

Verdict: Recommended.

Comments on "Me Mini Movie Reviews: 300"

 

Anonymous OriginalLRU said ... (April 16, 2007 1:16 PM) : 

There's no reason we can't be civilized.

Best line in the movie. :-)

- Original LRU (google forgot my password)

 

Blogger Eaglewing said ... (April 17, 2007 12:45 AM) : 

Agreed. Best line in the movie! That's gonna be my new catchphrase before kicking butt :)

 

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