1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Frank Millers Graphic Novel/Film '300' Getting Rave Reviews

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Deeper_Background, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    It's truly difficult to resist making epic proclamations about a filmmaker's career after watching something like 300. Director Zack Snyder, the man responsible for a superlative remake of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, adapts Frank Miller's graphic novel with passion and creativity, proving that classical storytelling will never go out of style — especially if more filmmakers are able to make it look as cool and exciting as this. Combining old-school mythmaking with ultramodern technique, Snyder has crafted a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that is unlike any movie audiences have seen, and in so doing he may have sealed his own fate as a possible redeemer of modern moviemaking.

    Gerard Butler plays Leonidas, the wise king of Sparta. Raised with the utmost ideals — honor, duty, glory — Leonidas is a brilliant military strategist and egalitarian champion of personal freedom. So when news arrives from Persia to herald Xerxes' (Rodrigo Santoro) sovereignty over Sparta, he rebuffs the declaration and announces that his countrymen must fight to preserve their way of life. Unfortunately, the Spartan elders honor an ancient and fickle belief system that prohibits Leonidas from challenging the impending Persian hordes.

    Fearing for the safety and freedom of his people, Leonidas enlists 300 soldiers -- declared his personal bodyguards -- and mounts a valiant defense against Xerxes and his limitless armies. Meanwhile, his wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), attempts to employ more diplomatic means to solicit support from the Spartan council, even as Theron (Dominic West) poisons its members to her plan from within.

    At the same time, however, there is a palpable humanity to Leonidas and his men. While they do in some way provide the latest cinematic iteration of Schwarzeneggeresque musclemen — not one of them is built less than Ford tough — they are not without thoughts and feelings, which are applied liberally to their efforts to protect one another and, by extension, their Spartan homeland.

    Best of all, Leonidas' relationship with his wife Gorgo offers a rare display of tenderness and devotion that is seldom seen in "guy movies" like this one, and provides some of the film's most profound and lasting emotional underpinnings. Notwithstanding a sex scene that almost surely ranks as one of the hottest and most beautiful in recent memory, theirs is a partnership that reflects mutual understanding and shows the sort of commitment that is to be aspired to in real life as much as on the silver screen.

    Thankfully, the acting also plays directly to this seeming juxtaposition between classicism and modernism. Butler, a reliable Russell Crowe-like leading man who hasn't yet enjoyed the success he deserves, finally finds his Maximus in Leonidas. He possesses enough strength and tenderness to satisfy all of the demands of his character, and yet defines the film within terms that will have audiences swooning over his personal stage presence for countless roles to come. As Gorgo, meanwhile, Headey is a terrific adult beauty who conveys credible intelligence as well as smoldering sexuality. The lack of self-consciousness she lends her character — especially when clothed — is far hotter than and sort of make-up for the "prettiness" filmmakers might have found in a more familiar (i.e. commercial) face.

    Of course, the only way their performances would have worked is if the material was treated deadly serious, and Snyder exerts masterful control to make sure that each defiant turn and earnest proclamation is absolutely sincere. He choreographs the action in such a way as to inspire awe no matter what his characters are doing, employing slow-motion so freely that it seems more the norm than the 24 frames per second that audiences have become accustomed to. But at the same time, none of these flourishes feel superfluous. Instead, they create the kind of momentum and operatic scope that elevates a tall tale to the stuff of legend.

    That said, there are so many painterly images in 300 that it qualifies as the closest thing to "pure cinema" that audiences have come to in quite some time: The silhouette of the Spartan elders' temple against a cloud-stained moon; the spectacle of dead bodies in the shape of a great, gnarled hand reaching out of scorched soil; more than one extended shot of the Spartans laying waste to their adversaries as the camera changes speeds, zooms and shifts focus to keep up; and the pristine and breathtaking shadow of a lone spear as it ascends a stairwell towards its designated target.

    Ultimately, the film looks a little bit like a Boris Vallejo print come to life — muscled supermen springing to action to save their oil-painted landscape — and full credit must go to Snyder. But with both this and Dawn of the Dead, he has proven himself a consummate storyteller who can transform convention into cinematic magic… which is why it's with reluctant enthusiasm that we assign him the responsibility of restoring the luster of mainstream movies.

  2. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    I just saw a movie that’ll give your eyes boners, make your balls scream and make you poop DVD copies of THE TRANSPORTER. It’s called 300. I don’t know what the title has to do with the movie, but they could’ve called it KITTENS MAKING CANDLES and it’d still rule.

    It’s about these 300 Greek dudes who stomp the sugar-coated shit out of like a million other dudes. I have a feeling that a lot of high school sports coaches are going to show this film to their teams before they play. Also, gay dudes and divorced women are going to use screen captures for computer wallpaper.

    The movie takes place about a million years ago, and it’s sort of like a prequel to SIN CITY. Except way less guns and cars but twice as much skull splitting. If you watch this movie and go into a Taco Bell, and say to the cashier, “I need some extra sauce packets” guess what? You’re getting twenty sauce packets because your face will punch him in the brain.

    I can’t spoil the plot because THANK GOD THERE ISN’T ONE. Just ass kicking that kicks ass that, while said ass is getting kicked, is kicking yet more ass that’s hitting someone’s balls with a hammer made of ice but the ice is frozen whiskey.



    Who gives a shit if the music isn’t historically correct? LORD OF THE RINGS could’ve used some Journey. This movie has that chu-CHUNG kind of metal that you hear in your head when your shift supervisor is telling you that you’ll have to stay for clean up and you wish you had a sock filled with quarters in your hand.


    Basically, the Greek dudes are fighting these Persian dudes, but the director, who must have a dick made of three machine guns, does it all like a video game. The Greeks fight every death metal video from the last ten years. There’s wave after wave of giants, freaks, ninjas, mutants, wizards, and a hunchback who looks like he’s got Rosie O’Donnell on his back.

    Would I have been happy if Dom DeLuise from HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART I had shown up? Maybe, but this movie more than makes up for that glaring oversight.


    These are Greek times, when there were a lot of naked women around. And there are some naked women in this film, but almost every naked woman scene has a muscular dude giving the screen an ass picnic. Dude-ity is something directors put in their movies so people will think they’re serious, I guess, and not just throwing in naked hotties.

    Any directors reading this – IT’S OKAY TO JUST THROW IN NAKED HOTTIES.

    Can’t someone make a movie about naked Amazons and call it PAUSE BUTTON?

    My final analysis is 300 the most ass-ruling movie I’ve seen this year, and will probably be the King of 2007 unless someone makes a movie where a pair of sentient boobs fights a werewolf
  3. thanks, db. Speaking of Hollywood, how is Clint Eastwood doing?
  4. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    There was a thread on this. Looks like it got buried and I'm too lazy to dig it up.

    Aintitcool News does have some...interesting...reviews.

    I haven't seen this yet, but I did see Dawn of the Dead. I don't even like horror films. I went because my nephew wanted to see it and was really amazed by the style and the look of the movie. Take his filmmaking, a Frank Miller story and some pretty damn interesting historical source material and I really want to see this movie.
  5. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    He's still alive and accepting an award in France last weekend! (thankfully)
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Saw it yesterday.

    Fan f'ning tastic.

    Great story, great visuals.

    Will gross $40-$50 million this weekend. Take it to the bank!
  7. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    I wish I could use a word as long and convoluted as "Schwarzeneggeresque" in a story. But as a person who digs historical stories and culture from the ancient Greek and Roman eras, this is going to be sweet.
  8. I saw a promo about in on HBO Saturday morning. Looked Pretty Damn Cool.
    I may breakdown and go to the theatre to see it.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    You should just link to that review rather than post the whole damn thing with a link at the bottom.

    One, it makes it appear that you wrote it. (Don't worry, we know you better).

    Two, you are stealing content from the website.
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Wow, no wonder bloggers are taking over the world.
  11. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Careful, Miller admits in a mini-interview in the newest Esquire (Hi Jones!) that he took serious liberties with some historical aspects. Most notably, the type of armor and weapons used by the Spartans.
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I'm told there is a strong supernatural element to the graphic novel, so I wouldn't expect historical accuracy.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page