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Frank Miller Outdid Himself With '300'

Category: 300 Reviews
Article Date: March 9, 2007 | Publication: SyFy Portal | Author: MICHAEL HINMAN

Posted by: admin

Before leaving Friday evening for a particular movie theater in Orlando, I decided to read one last review of "300," which opens this weekend. It was from CNN, and they didn't like it.

"It's not so much the body count or even the bloodlust that's disturbing," CNN's Tom Charity said. "It's that the film, with its macho militarism, seems out of step in a war-weary time."

I couldn't disagree more. Sometimes it takes a film filled with massive amounts of blood, walls of bodies, and a true disdain for human life to actually remember why exactly many people are weary of war in the first place. While our brave men and women overseas are not the characters depicted in "300," war is ugly. And war portrayed here between the Spartans and the Persians is very ugly indeed.

Another issue I had with some negative reviews is that there seems to be this sense that "300" was supposed to be bigger and better than a certain Oscar winner in 2000: "Gladiator." Huh? You think because you give soldiers shields and swords, with a shouting commander, that suddenly Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott are turning their heads? If anyone is trying to compare "300" with "Gladiator," they are going to be sorely disappointed. Not that one movie is better than the other (that is a matter of opinion), but that these are two totally separate films.

"300" was filmed completely on sound stages, in front of blue screens and green screens, with the environment added later. It gave the entire film a feeling that it was a CGI dream come true, but you forgot about all of that within 10 minutes of the movie starting.

As a persian god-king, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) threatens Sparta, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) gathers 300 mens -- with opposition from his own republic government -- to try and stave them off.

A year from now, when Hollywood announces its honored films, I would not be surprised in the least if I don't hear "300" called. But who would expect it? Sometimes, the best films are ones that Hollywood doesn't understand. And that's fine, because "300" is both entertaining and moving. And it's certainly worth a couple hours of your time.

"300" was written by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. It was directed by Zack Snyder.


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