Visually exciting '300' not for the squeamish

Category: 300 Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 3, 2007 | Publication: contracostatimes.com | Author: Barry Caine
Publication/Article Link:http://www.contracostatimes.com/movies/ci_6534606?nclick_check=1

There's enough testosterone in "300" to power every Starbucks west of the Mississippi.
Men with carved pecs strut around in G-strings and the occasional over-the-shoulder throw, ready to mate or do battle.

In "300," out on DVD today, hordes of invading Persians threaten to take over Sparta, a warrior culture led by muscular King Leonidas, played semi-a cappella by "The Phantom of the Opera's" Gerard Butler; he doesn't sing but he is charismatic and lusty.

Adapted from the Frank Miller graphic comic about the stand at the Thermopylae pass in ancient Greece, the story follows Leonidas and his 300 Spartans as they fight thousands of Persians while the rest of the country prepares for war.

Violent to the max, the film is shot in stylized black-and-white, similar to Miller's "Sin City," with splashes of red and rust mixed in. The actors perform in front of a blue or green screen and backgrounds and special effects are added via computer. The result is a visually exciting film -- but one that's not for the squeamish.

Extras: Plenty of deleted scenes and featurettes. (The History Channel's "Last Stand of the 300," also out this week, offers a more substantial look at the incident.)