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300 Brings Miller's Unique Vision Back to Theaters

Category: 300 News
Article Date: February 1, 2007 | Publication: Smart ReMarx | Author: Andrew
Source: http://features.smartremarx.com/index.php?itemid=572

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Just like the film adaptation of Frank Millerís Sin City, produced with a unique combination of special effects, computer graphics and live acting, Warner Bros. Pictures film 300 promises to adapt a thrilling Frank Miller saga to the big screen in a startling and dramatic fashion.

The film takes actual panels from the original comic book publication which was offered as a five-issue limited series by Dark Horse Comics in 1998 written and illustrated by Miller. Using dialogue and sequences from the comic book (which was reprinted as a single graphic novel the following year) the script was formed to fill in the storytelling for the cinema.

Already, previews are giving the audience a taste of a different theater experience, due to overlaying live action with computer generated backgrounds, and swathing the film in a unique color palette. The live action filming took place in front of a blue screen so the background and effects could be filled in around the actors. Like the film Sin City, the whole look of 300 is very unique to cinema, ethereal and unworldly, eschewing a modern quality to evoke a more barbaric vibe. 300 takes its visual inspiration directly from the graphic novel, using actual scenes not just to tell the story, but to plot camera angles and pacing.

300 is the story of the Battle of Thermopylae that pit the "300" Spartans against the Persian army. The events date back to 480 B.C. and in the film, the story is narrated by Dilios (played by David Wenham.) The Spartan army, led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) fight against the invasion of the Persian army into Greece.

The film was directed by Zack Snyder who director credit is basically the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead, and the upcoming Watchmen, another graphic novel adaptation. 300 is receiving both HD and 3D treatment for its March 9 release date and will be seen in traditional movie theaters and IMAX theaters.

Message boards are already debating the historical accuracy of the film, though the filmmakers smartly said earlier this year, when marketing kicked into high gear, that they were emphasizing the legend as envisioned by Frank Miller and not treating the film as a historical record. The film takes as much visual license with the era as the comic book did, and it's not hard to guess that there was a certain amount of reworking to make it work as a movie. Besides the critics who will nitpick small details, the biggest complaint seems to be the story portrays the Persian empire as the bad guys. But that perspective, as much Miller's as Snyder's, also ignores the fact that modern cinema needs a good guy versus bad guy format to appeal to 2007 audiences.

Regardless, for those who can take in 300 for what it is, breathtaking storytelling on an ancient battleground, it promises to be a rewarding movie experience. The film is expected to make its worldwide debut at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, and will be released in theaters on March 9.

 


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