Monday, April 09, 2007

2007, in theaters

You should know
I’ve never read the graphic novel (although I’d like to) and I generally just didn’t know much about the battle. Most of what I’d heard about the movie relates to three categories: racism, pro-Bush rhetoric, and topless men running around in loincloths and capes. And it’s all there, sort of.

Dan and Brian were both eager to go to the movies. Dan had seen 300 already and highly recommended it, and was willing to see it again.

Brian mentioned preferring a bit less sex mixed in with his violence; fair enough. I’m sure you’ve heard all the commentary about how, in a movie about a bunch of muscular men walking around in loincloths and capes, something has to appeal to the straight men in the audience. I’m not sure I buy it, but then, I’m not a straight man. I am a former English major, though, and I managed to come up with literary purposes for almost all of the sex scenes – and I have no idea what the sex-to-violence ration was in the original text.

It was violent, though. Oh, was it violent. Heads and limbs were severed on a regular basis, multiple eyes were put out, animals and people alike were tossed over cliffs into the sea, forts were made from corpses, and a thick layer of blood coated the scenery, causing the bodies to blend in with the rocks.

That said, it was fairly enjoyable. The plot was loose, but it was enough to hold the events together. The narration was a bit unclear, but it made sense by the end. I sort of expected to have odd dreams that night (we saw a late-night show and I went to bed shortly after arriving at home) but I didn’t.

See it if…
…You had no problems with either The Passion of the Christ or V for Vendetta. The most objectionable parts of both of these movies (violence, racism, political agendas, that sort of thing) show up in 300, especially if you go in looking for them, so if you couldn’t stand those, you won’t like this one, either. Otherwise, though… it was good, mindless, violent fun.

The rest of the Internet
Beware of spoilers
The Wikipedia pages for the movie and the actual Battle of Thermopylae.
Decent reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
Salon was less impressed.
RIchard Roeper enjoyed it for what it is.
HowStuffWorks explains the fun stuff behind the movie.
Jeff at Movie Hawk and Matt at [sic] saw it at the same time.
Leonidas and his 300 warriors have their own website.

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