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300 Sneak Peek!

Category: 300 News
Article Date: November 10, 2006 | Publication: LatinoReview.Com | Author: George 'El Guapo' Roush
Source: http://www.latinoreview.com/news.php?id=1119

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Most comic book fans have heard of the legendary Frank Miller. His work has appeared in comics since the late 70's, but his visionary look on Daredevil and the gritty Batman: The Dark Knight Returns shot him to instant fanboy stardom and he hasn't looked back since. His Sin City stories captured an even wider fan base outside of the comic book world and were successfully adapted into film by Robert Rodriguez. His Eisner Award winning 1998 series 300 is the latest endeavor in comic to film format. Zack Snyder, the rookie director with a veteran eye who scared the crap out of people with 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake brings to life Miller's take of the Battle of Thermopylae and the Spartan leader, King Leonidas.

Warner Brothers was kind enough to allow members of the press a sneak peek at about thirty minutes of footage of 300. Just from the trailer alone, I was really excited to see what Zack Snyder could do with this graphic novel.

Starting off we were shown the first ten minutes of the movie. As soon as the first frame comes up on the screen, you immediately know you're in for something different. All of the actors and props were shot in front of a blue screen. The backgrounds and sky were added in later giving it the feel of Sin City but the look of a movie that comes across as enormous on screen. The visual effects company Animal Logic had their hands full with this one and all of their hard work really pays off. The film looks breathtaking with its visual appeal and gritty looking modified underlying color. God, I love trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about.

We're introduced to a young Leonidas as he's thrust at a young age out into the world and forced to fend for himself even if it involves killing anything in his way to survive. The shot shown in the trailer of a giant wolf circling a young man is shown here and it's a powerful scene that gives you a small taste of what's to come. Leonidas survives his forced growth into becoming a soldier and returns to Sparta as a grown man and their new King. He's tested later in the scene when a messenger warns him that the Persian King Xerxes will wipe out his entire city unless he surrenders. This is probably that time in history where the saying “Don't kill the messenger” was first introduced and also ignored. This is one King that don't take no shit off nobody!

The second scene we were introduced to was one of the early battle scenes. This is where the movie really stands out. Actually, every scene stands out, so you could say it's like piling diamonds on top of diamonds. You could say that. You probably wouldn't because you're not as stupid as me but it's all I could come up with. Here is where we see the Spartans working as a complete unit to defeat the approaching enemy. It starts with the Persians trying to move back the Spartans, but they've formed a human wall using their shields and aren't going anywhere. It would be like trying to push Rosie O' Donnell away from the buffet table. Shit ain't happening. At first the battle scene has a lot of tight shots showing the chaos and it's almost hard to follow, but then it slows down, pans back and shows the Spartans waving a linear path of destruction, killing everyone who stands in their way. It's a really nice dolly shot done in one complete take and just gets bloodier and bloodier the longer it goes.

The next scene is with King Leonidas and the smoking hot Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo. This scene helps expand on their relationship a bit more that's not mentioned too much in the series. It's here where we see a love scene complete with nice breast shots and sculptured six pack abs, though I'm not sure who had what. In fact, when I was watching the Spartans I came to the conclusion that the distributors for abdominal machines sold out during this production. Sit up contests must have been huge back in the day.

After that we saw a scene where King Leonidas meets King Xerxes. The Persian appears about eight feet tall in the movie, and is wrapped in a gold outfit that looks like something the drag queens off Santa Monica Blvd. wear on a nightly basis. Xerxes tries to explain to Leonidas that unless he bows to one knee and surrenders, he's going to wipe any and all history of the Spartan culture. Take one wild guess what Leonidas' response is. It's a great scene and Gerard Butler really shines in his role as Leonidas.

The last scene is another battle sequence. This time the Spartans face off against King Xerxes' elite army called The Immortals. Scary looking half samurai/half ninja type guys. It doesn't take long before everything goes completely batshit and the Spartans open up a gigantic can of whoop ass. If you want some manly man blood and guts, this film goes into testosterone overdrive. The Immortals unleash a gigantic ugly warrior, who proceeds to throw an axe right at Leonidas' head. And that's when the scene for us ends. Now I have to wait until next year to find out what happens. Bastards.

I was really impressed with what I saw. Just when you think movies with battle scenes started getting stale, someone comes along and one ups everyone. Zack Snyder said the film is about 90% complete. It opens next March and has a run time of around 1:45 minutes. I know I'll be first in line.

 


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