300 (2007)

March 24, 2007 at 8:09 pm 16 comments

Leonidas (Gerard Butler), King of the Spartans takes 300 of his finest soldiers to defend his city and his country from the vast Persian army of Xerxes, who fancies himself as a bit of a God. 300 against thousands might seem a bit unfair, until you realise that the Spartans are harder than… really hard… nails.

300 is aesthetically sublime. It’s a visual feast of sepia-toned blood and dirt that is just gorgeous to behold. Add to this some of the most rivetingly awesome fight scenes ever seen on the big screen and you’ve got a package that appeals to the blood-thirsty adolescent in all of us. It’s hard to count the amount of times you will secretly pound your arm-rest while muttering ‘yes!’ under your breath. Snyder’s take on Miller’s graphic novel is quite simply a joy to watch and it reeks of pure style from start to finish.

Yet despite the stunning atmosphere, the film sometimes feels a bit lacking in substance. Out of 300 soldiers, a few more could have been fleshed out and developed as characters. Not to say that they don’t work as two-dimensional super-soldiers, but apart from a brief spout of anger when the Captain loses his son, it’s sometimes hard to really care for some of the characters. 

At times, the film loses its sense of coherence and can feel a bit poorly structured. For instance, Snyder sometimes immediately follows scenes of adrenaline-fuelled testosterone goodness with conspiratorial whispers as the Spartan Queen trys to gain access to the Senate. This incoherent pacing gives the film in inconsistent mood and leaves you thinking ‘enough talking wench, back to the slaughter.’ These frequent forays into political subterfuge just don’t engage enough and feel stagnant next to the awe-inspiring battles that they follow. Of course, these scenes are a necessary plot device, but they feel poorly placed.

Furthermore, the gravitas of some of the coolest lines in the film are somewhat diminished by some dodgy editing. Example: “Our arrows will block out the sun.” “Then we will fight in the shade.” (pauses for about a  second, then clips to some boring landscape back at the Senate.) Not enough time to appreciate how cool a thing to say that is.

Yet, what little there is to criticise cannot detract from what is truly a gory, stylistic delight to behold and along with Sin City proves that a lot of good can come of this new ‘computer age.’

Worth it?

If you’re expecting a deep portrayal of the soldier psyche or Greek philosophising on the meaning of war, stay at home. If you’re somebody who enjoys popcorn and punching your fist in the air at decapitations, don’t miss this.

Pictures: Top Right: Gerard Butler as Leonidas, the most bad-ass king since King Cole. That merry old soul. Middle Left: The immortal Persian bodyguards aren’t as immortal as they think they are. Bottom Right: The annual Sparta Charity Dive 480 BC

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Written by: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Michael B. Gordon 

Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West

Trailer

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Entry filed under: Reviews.

Premonition (2007) Top 10… Dagnasty Evil Villains

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chad  |  March 25, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Hey, I just stumbled upon this blog. You have some creative things to say about some interesting films. To offer some constructive criticism: proofread your posts more thoroughly. The two glaring errors in your blog-writing, which I tend to find in most of the blogs I wind up forgetting, are errors in grammar and inconsistency in tone. The grammar problems are easy to fix, just pay closer attention to your English Professors next time you make it to class. The inconsistency in tone occurs primarily when you try to stay objective for three paragraphs and then say something like “…and leaves you thinking something like, ‘enough talking wench, back to the slaughter.'” If you could just choose whether you’re writing as a wannabe-intellectual who analyzes films objectively, OR as an opinionated college-student who “took a film class one time,” you could have a pretty decent blog. You might wonder who I am to judge you, and that’s a very good question. However, it is irrelevant, since putting your opinions and work on the internet opens both to criticism.

    Reply
  • 2. corkeryd  |  March 25, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Well, thank you for comment, Chad.

    First of all, these posts are always proofread before publication and these errors in grammar that you have discovered must only be visible to the eyes of the pedantic.

    The implication that I have English professors is presumptuous and incorrect, but I did enjoy your subtle allegation that I’m also a lazy student: ‘next time you make it to class.’

    In response to your criticisms of the review’s tone, I believe that objectivity is more suited to straight-news reporting and that the very idea and purpose of a ‘review’ of something is to present your opinion of it. I don’t think objective is the word you were looking for.

    I am neither this wannabe-intellectual nor this stuck-up college student that you describe, but I appreciate your critical analysis of my entire personality based on a few blog entries.

    So here’s my objective, un-opinionated review of 300, just for you Chad:

    ‘300 is a film that was made about a battle a very long time ago. It has actors that pretend to be the characters from back then, but in reality, they are long dead. Is this a good film? I can’t say, because I’m a ‘wannabe-intellectual who analyzes films objectively.’

    Reply
  • 3. 300 (2007) « The CinemATTIC  |  March 25, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    […] 300 (2007) […]

    Reply
  • 4. Linda  |  March 25, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    now now boys ….. play nice!

    Reply
  • 5. dannyh  |  March 25, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    haha! brilliant! forget that fucker chad, your blog rocks!

    Reply
  • 6. Winluck  |  March 26, 2007 at 12:02 am

    i say…”Write on, corkeryd!” If every blogger was like the dry image Chad roots for…the blogosphere would implode. I don’t remember seeing a clause in fine print anywhere that we can only write in one style, and only one style, so help us [insert religious deity here].

    Reply
  • 7. ablogaday  |  March 26, 2007 at 2:46 am

    It’s so fun to read the exchange between the blog writer and this Chad fella. So funny. Thanks for entertaining us. I like your review though. And yeah, we blog because we can!

    Reply
  • 8. iancarey  |  March 26, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Who is this Chad? Flog’im I say! Or maybe a ‘300’ style decapitation is in order. HooRah

    Reply
  • 9. corkeryd  |  March 26, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    HOORAH is right, man!

    Reply
  • 10. moviegoat  |  March 26, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Oooooh, it’s gettin rowdy in here! Let’s try not to forget
    that blogs are a public service and we should respect our
    generous bloggers. No one is forcing you to read it, so pay no
    mind to grammar, spelling and style – focus on the content and
    purpose. Everyone wins.

    MovieGoat.com
    Chewing on the world of independent film.

    Reply
  • 11. Bethany  |  March 26, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    awesome blog – love movies and different reviews – glad I found this blog – oh, and 300 was a great action film, people shouldn’t take it so seriously …. of course they had quippy lines back then! 🙂

    Reply
  • 12. Juri  |  March 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    This is a really good blog. Its good for eye. I like movies and espessially such as “300”. Respect to the blogger…

    Reply
  • 13. mattgunn  |  March 29, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Such an incredible film… I’m ranking it 2nd on my all-time list.

    -Matt
    http://www.mattgunn.ca

    Reply
  • 14. davidbdale  |  March 30, 2007 at 1:08 am

    “You might wonder who I am to judge you, and that’s a very good question.”

    Still wondering, Chad.

    Reply
  • 15. Incorrigible Introvert  |  March 30, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    All the blog-flame-wars I have seen start with someone trying to “critically analyze” the blog/post, and doing so in the first comment!

    Anyway, nice blog, though not exactly of my taste.

    Reply
  • 16. Yabo  |  March 30, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Wow, he would blow a fuse over my reviews then. I don’t even bother with having someone proofread it. It’s my freaking blog. As long as someone gets something out of it, who cares if it’s “perfect.” You do a great job man, keep it up.

    Reply

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300 (2007)
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