Review: March 10, 2007

I saw the movie 300 last night and here are some thoughts about it.

First off, Should you go see it?

My quick answer is Yes, it's a pretty good movie. On a scale of 1 to 5 I give it a 3.9. It is not the masterpiece that Braveheart is and then again what is? And it is a cut above your average film (3) in a few different respects but it's not a great film.

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ReviewThe film itself is very Spartan and I don't know if this is by design or a coincidence. And let me explain what I mean by Spartan. This word usually has a negative connotation about it. Spartan is almost a criticism in our culture. We are a culture that appreciates enjoying the finer things in life.The image of Spartan that I want to evoke with this review is of the simplicity of the Spartan life but also juxtaposed against the vibrant red of a Spartan warriors cape.

And this is exactly how the movie parallels Spartan in style.The film is a very basic story without a lot of dialogue and not a whole lot of twists and turns. What it comes down to is there is an impending battle and people are going to die. Let's do away with all the small talk and get the job done.

This is the Spartan way and this is the way of this film.But, this is where the crimson cape comes in. It adds a certain visual element to the Spartan warrior. It is almost as if the cape becomes brighter when it is worn by the plain warrior. And this same juxtaposition is taken in the film. There are scenes and images in this film that are just astonishing. It is a substantially rich experience in terms of what you see. There are images that will remain in your head for a long time. In particular there is one long shot of the warriors standing in the gap at Thermopylae that is so beautiful they really should have used it for the movie posters. And the first day and night of battle are so rich with visual action that you will be stunned.The first night of battle is significant in this film because there are so few night time battle scenes in the movie and this movie captures the weak moon pallor of night battle superbly.

A word of cautionOfficial Movie Replica of Spartan Helmet

This movie is ultra-violent. And I mean ultra violent. It rivals any horror movie ever made. The body count is high and the decapitations are plentiful. There are plenty of very clear sword and spear penetrations and much more.

So exercise some prudence in who you bring with you. It is definitely not a good first date movie

.300 Spartan Helmet Prop Replica

About the ActorsThe Main Actor (Gerard Butler) who plays the King of Sparta (Leonidas) is adequate and reasonably looks the part but his acting is only average and he has a Scottish accent. What were they thinking with that? It's Sean Connery Syndrome, but there are very few uberman actors like Sean Connery and he isn't that way because he is Scottish. He is that way because he is Sean Connery!

The Main Actress (Lena Headley) who Plays Queen Gorgo is definitely a cut above. Her acting was superb and there were some good parts in this film for her. I can see why she chose the part. And it doesn't hurt that she is scorchingly beautiful.

Tip for the Director

The film is an astonishingly well made piece of work. But what was with the dramatic long shots where people make life altering decisions standing together on the top of a mountain with the setting sun in the background? That has never worked in any other movie and it didn't work in this movie.

The Dancing girl in the Video Clip

The Oracle

You have seen the girl dancing in the video clip. It looks like she is dancing in silk. Well you get quite a bit more of that. She is an Oracle and this was an interesting way to visually express the ethereal spirit of an Oracle. I think they actually filmed it underwater then took out all the water in post production. Pretty amazing and kudos for that. Much better than some old witch stirring a brew in a cauldron!I looked her up in the IMDB and her name is Kelly Craig. The only other work she has done is as a stunt double in the movie Coyote Ugly and that was in 2000. What's up with that Hollywood?

We want more of her. Put her in some more movies!!!