Home • Up • 300 • A Mighty Wind • Along Came Polly • American Wedding • The Aristocrats • The Avaitor • Bad Santa • Bewitched • Big Fish • Borat • The Bourne Supremacy • The Bourne Ultimatum • Bowling for Columbine • Brokeback Mountain • The Brothers Grimm • Camp • Cars • Chicago • Children of Men • Connie • Constantine • The Da Vinci Code • The Devil Wears Prada • Down With Love • Dreamgirls • Elf • Fantastic Four • Farenheit 9/11 • Finding Nemo • Hairspray • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix • Hero • Hot Fuzz • The Incredibles • Intolerable Cruelty • The Italian Job • Kill Bill vol 1 • Kill Bill vol 2 • Knocked Up • The Ladykillers • The Last Samurai • Looney Tunes Back In Action • The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers • The Lord of the Rings:Return of the King • Lost in Translation • Madagascar • Mambo Italiano • The Manchurian Candidate • Matrix • Matrix Revolutions • Mean Girls • Memoirs of a Geisha • Mission Impossible 3 • The Motorcycle Diaries • Mr. And Mrs. Smith • Mystic River • Ocean's Twelve • Ocean's 13 • Old School • Pan's Labyrinth • Phantom of the Opera • Pirates of the Caribbean • The Producers • Ratatouille • Rent • Sarah Silverman-Jesus is Magic • Scary Movie 3 • Scoop • Shark Tale • Shrek 2 • Shrek the Third • SiCKO • Sideways • The Simpsons Movie • Spiderman 2 • Star Trek: Nemesis • Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith • Starsky and Hutch • The Stepford Wives • Stuck on You • Super Size Me • Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby • Terminator 3 • Transamerica • Transporter 2 • Transformers • View From The Top • Volver • Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit • War of the Worlds • Wedding Crashers • X2: X-Men United • X-Men: The Last Stand



In ancient Greece, 300 Spartans (and 6,700 allies) hold off tens of thousands of Persians at the legendary battle of Thermopylae.

What I Thought

Well now. I got that 'and 6,700 allies' number off Leonidas' Wikipedia entry (he was the Spartan king). I would be pretty miffed that this movie wasn't called '7,000' instead of '300' if I was them. Any descendants from the battle 2,500 years ago should sue. I'm just sayin'.

The wiki on the "Battle of Thermopylae" only mention the 300 Spartans plus 700 Thespians. It's very confusing. I think this scandal needs a Congressional investigation to find out the right number. There's so much misinformation on it that it's making the Pentagon jealous... I'm just sayin'.

The movie was adapted from the Frank Miller comic book (he also did Sin City), which was adapted from the legend. It's basically a 2 hour comic book with lots of beautiful visual imagery with very little storyline.

What storyline there is, is simple: Small group of soldiers go to stop the Persians. A tiny sub-plot with Leonidas' wife holding the fort back in Sparta. Big battle. That's it.

Given that there's very little going on story wise, they better give us some action and visuals! And on these items, the movie does not disappoint.

The whole movie is shot in a very rich sepia tone (think of a golden haze on everything), giving each scene such a wonderful texture, enhanced by the crimson cloaks of the Spartan soldiers. Each scene seems made for a comic book and almost every frame can be made into a postcard or movie poster with plenty (almost too many!) slow-motion "heroic" scenes with artful poses.

Additional eye candy for the ladies and 10% of the gents with the supernaturally awesome abs and chiseled bodies on the Spartans. I really didn't know the Speedo was invented in ancient Sparta, movies are so informative that way. You know, I could have looked like that if I had only taken up the offer my university's crew coach extended my Freshman year! Instead here I am sitting on my office-chair butt, though at least I found a great pair of True Religion jeans to show it off. But still, I'd rather have the chiseled abs rather than the jeans. *sigh*

Anyway. So the movie looks and feels gorgeous with great music to boot. The dialogue is unfortunately clunky. After all, it did come from a comic book, and sounds as such. But given the mythological bent of the movie (in fact, the Persian army certainly includes some monster-types) that can be forgiven.

Finally, a big warning to those who are weak-stomached. There is plenty of blood and gore and brutality in this movie. Lots of arms getting chopped off, heads rolling, and people split in two, IN SLOW MOTION. In other words, a perfect comic-book movie for the 16 year old demographic. So be warned.

I liked this movie. It was exactly what I expected, especially knowing the storyline and my experience in Sin City. Maybe other people not so much. I could see someone saying too gory, too boring, slow-moving, and too cheesy. All I do is refer them back to the fact that this came from a comic book.

Finally, I have to mention the thing other reviewers kept bringing up, which is the homophobic/homoerotic undertones of the movie. You see, the Spartans (i.e., the "good guys") are all manly and such and look down on Athenian "boy lovers" (even though historical Sparta had a huge tradition of pederasty and acceptable homosexuality so I would say this comment is very tongue-in-cheek) and the "bad guys" are led by Xerxes, a body-pierced (his face alone has about 30 piercings!) and effeminate emperor with a court made up of lesbians and amputees (don't ask).

The reviewers shoot themselves in the foot b/c the movie is *both* slightly homophobic AND homoerotic so clearly there's some irony going on here that the reviewers are missing, that the movie appears to pander to the superhero macho stereotype and at the same time winks at gay culture by having the supposedly homophobic Spartans run around in speedos and perfect abs. Clearly, (CLEARLY I say!) those reviewers understand neither the "17 year old comic book reader demographic" nor the subtext of the last 50 years of comic books.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.