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Highly Recommended Viewing: 300 (blog)

Category: 300 Reviews
Article Date: March 26, 2007 | Publication: | Author: Ariel

Posted by: stagewomanjen

Jo and I went to see 300 on Saturday afternoon. At the Manchester Odeon IMAX. Screen the size of an 8-storey building, half a gazillion watts of stereo sound; all of that. It was undoubtedly the most intense cinematic experience of my life.

I'm delighted to report that the movie was everything I'd hoped it would be. Visually stunning, deeply visceral, an incredibly faithful re-envisioning of the original Frank Miller graphic novel and an intensely cathartic storyline that was complemented throughout by a quite superb musical score (which I must get hold of on CD).

It took me right back to the first time I read Legend, or the first time I read the Battle of Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings. Heroic last stands, undaunted courage in the face of insurmountable odds, a fight to the death to defend your homeland and loved ones... I think that sort of thing speaks to something deep in the psyche of most fantasy fiction fans. I'm not enough of a psychologist to say what, exactly, it might be, but it's probably something to do with chivalry, with honour, with doing the right thing, even if it means you won't necessarily live to reap the rewards.

I know; a bit old-fashioned in this day and age, perhaps. But you show me a fantasy fan who tells you they're not just a bit old-fashioned, and I'll show you someone who's fooling themselves

Needless to say, I'll be buying the DVD as soon as it appears. And quite possibly a bigger TV screen to play it on. Don't think Jo would let me install an IMAX - we'd probably have trouble with the planning permission - but hell, you need something huge to really do the movie justice. If you're thinking of seeing 300 at any point, don't wait for it to come out in a small-screen format. Shell out the cash, go to the cinema, sit back, relax, enjoy the spectacle. You'll be glad you did.

Quick Edit: There's an interview with art director and effects designer Grant Freckleton over at the CG Society website if you're interested in how they came up with those aforementioned stunning visuals...

Quick Edit II: Film mag Empire Online has a set of video interviews with Zack Snyder, Gerard Butler, Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro.

Quick Edit III: I re-read the graphic novel this lunchtime. Apart from the addition of the side-plot with the slimy politico back in Sparta (there to give Queen Gorgo some more screen time, I reckon) the movie is an incredibly faithful adaptation of the original. I mean, right down to some of the frame layouts, the dialogue, the posture of Xerxes as he lounges on his throne and sneers down at the remnants of the Spartan force... everything... superb.


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