Thursday, July 30, 2009

300

Zack Snyder, 2006 (7.9*)
This film is purely about action entertainment, and a work of art, and not about a history lesson. Zack Snyder's artistic battle film is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller (author of Sin City) from 1998, and is inspired by the battle at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. The attempt is to make the comic book come to life in a style that pays homage to the original artwork of Miller's. Sparta was a male-dominated military system that basically died out due to their philosophies (most female and small male babies were left to die in fields), but they also created the strongest armies for their size in that era.

Gerard Butler works as King Leonidas, who takes the best 300 warriors from Sparta to defend Greece from the pass at Thermopylae from the invading Persian army led by King Xerxes, who demands acquiesence "from all of Europa". The action is the key here, not the inane injections of humor or the gratuitious addition of attempted romantic sentiment with the queen, played by the gorgeous Lena Headey.

It's a well-shot dance of martial arts and death, though a little unrealistic, glorifying, and one-sided. People will enjoy this in the same way we enjoyed Gladiator, as entertaining action. It's a little gory for some, but not unlike modern video games. Kids, soldiers, gun freaks, game players, guerrillas, mercernaries, nationalists, death freaks, Greek historians, martial arts fans, and 'real men' will all enjoy this, it's excellent popcorn fun.

For History buffs: here is a link to the Film's FAQ at IMDB which has historical information about this battle and era in Greek history, which actually led to the rise of nationalism as a unifying philosophy.

1 comments:

Zach November 6, 2009 at 5:49 AM  

It's too bad that Gerard Butler pretty much flopped after 300 and did a bunch of crap films. I was expecting big things from him.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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