John’s Thoughts on 300

Ok, I’ve been holding it in a bit debating if I should post this before or after the “official” release tonight, but I decided to post it now… let you see the movie, and then come back and throw your comments into the frey. So what did I think of 300? Well… it’s a good movie.

ON THE GOOD SIDE

– The film is visually BEAUTIFUL to look at. The art, costume and digital designs are flawless and actually become a character themselves in the film. You can forgive someone who forgets they’re watching a movie instead of a moving piece of art on screen. It’s that good looking.

– The action is every bit as intense and chest pounding as you could hope for

– The cast as a whole did a magnificent job. Especially David Wenham (who played Faramir, Captain of Gondor in the Lord of the Rings films) as the warrior/story teller Dilios.

– Beautiful story. As a pure story, Miller’s 300 exceeds his Sin City offerings. Very Shakespearian in nature extolling the inner conflict of a man, a king, driven by honor and duty and a love for his nation… but even more love for his wife. It’s a story of arrogance and shame, of ego and cruelty… and in the midst of it all… it’s a story of courage.

– ANYONE WHO SAYS 300 IS JUST STYLE AND NO SUBSTANCE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT. This film is heavy on substance… some people will sadly just fail to see it. That’s not to say that everyone will or should like it. 300 is certainly not for everyone and I can understand some people not enjoying the film. That’s fair enough. But it certainly doesn’t lack from substance. Not in the least. Anyone who says otherwise is either blind or just purposefully looking for an excuse to justify their own distaste for the film (something that they don’t have to justify in the first place).

ON THE BAD SIDE

– As good of a job that Gerald Butler did… I had a hard time once in a while getting over this King of Greece having a heavy Scooo-Tish accent. It was a bit distracting

– The film fails to deliver on the sheer quantity of action that it seems to promise us. We’re a full half hour or more into the film before any spears start to fly.

– Some of the dialog feels disjointed and out of place

– This one isn’t the fault of the movie per se since it’s also in the book… but it’s hard to feel too much sympathy or honor for a culture that throws babies from a cliff if they don’t quite look right

OVERALL

300 is a good movie that I think most people will enjoy… it is not however the major classic many of us were hoping for (and perhaps for that we have no one to blame but ourselves). The film is beautiful to look at, but ironically some of its visual beauty may actually distract from the beauty of the pure story and tale behind the film.

On a side note… I’m now VERY curious to see the weekend Box Office results. The theatre here in town showed a midnight screening on 2 screens and both were sold out. I’ll stick with $50 millionish.

Comment with Facebook

153 thoughts on “John’s Thoughts on 300

  1. Hey guys. This may seem a little passive,
    but whatever happened to liking films as an escape?

    I liked the film for what it was: An action flick that entertained on several different levels. Sure, anyone can pick apart the best of films. But different people will be entertained by different things. For example, how many people find porn entertaining/stimulating? The graphic nature of porn gets the job done on several levels (pun totally intended), but everything else is terrible! Is the shitty acting gonna make you stop watching it?

    Something to think about…

  2. 300 was a complete disappointment to me. Everyone talking about homoerotic subtext.duh!They were Spartans!hello. I think too many people missed the line- “freedom isnt free” as if our goverment tried to tie in support for the Iraq war. Additionally, it was pretty obvious that the soldiers made a little anti gay crack near the end. I think this was a poor attemt to advance politics into a movie. The timing of this movie is also suspect, Persians are Iranians today aren’t they. Truthfully the movie should have depicted an elite gay fighting force if it wasn’t just another Christian Stab at using movies and media to control young minds looking for an authentic heroic movie to escape the very control that exists in 300. Thumbs Down

  3. I saw this movie 3 times.

    I enjoyed it!

    I’m going again.

    The narration a problem? Well, I saw Bladerunner with and without narration, and sorry to say, the non-narration version I found terrible (BUT, it IS Bladerunner, so I still liked it). The Bladerunner was very empty without it.

    This is told as almost a fable….

    True, and in ways exagerrated.

    It’s a blend. And, filmed the way it was, slo-mo, sped up, and that bronze/gritty look, was FAN TAS TIC!

    Oh, and the hack and slash was an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons movie wet dream!!!!!!!

    If I had the dough, I’d hire all of them for a spin through one of the many modules out there in the World of Greyhawk.

  4. i saw this movie for the second time today!
    first off..i am greek so i take a little pride in our history if its all the same with you..!but the way i see it, this is like someone telling our history in a exagerated way if you get me( with the monsters and the imortalls being like creatures and stuff)
    for the comment in the beginning about not being able to have sympathy
    about a race that discarded their sick babys…you think that was a mistake in the film and the graphic novel? well…tough for you but go study your history dude and what spartans did back then
    oh you think gerald butlers scottish accent was botherinG? ok why not make the whole film in friking greek then if you want it authentic?!?!
    you think they spoke english back then or even the english people didnt!!….boy! you people like to pretend you are sceptics and act all pro and critisize!
    the film was awesome. A fantasy looking, exagerated retteling of true events.
    and a history i can be proud of and wish i could have their courage and honor today.

  5. “My take: a junk food movie on a topic that, had it been truer to the story instead of the graphic novel, could have been a Hollywood classic.”

    Christian,

    In a heavily cited Wikipedia article at,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae, basically the entire movie is authenticated.

    Some of the more “Hollywood” occurances in the movie, such as the “earth and water” request, the throwing of the envoy into the well, the consultation of the oracle,the “blot out the sun/fight in the shade” comment and the “come and get them” answer from Leonidas are documented.

    I stopped counting at 14 points of authentication, which, in addition to those things mentioned above, included the fact that the first wave of 10,000 Medes sent by Xerxes was nearly obliterated by the Spartans with only 2 or 3 Greeks having been killed. Xerxes did send a wave of 20,000 Immortals on the second day, who, like the Medes on the first day, were utterly defeated while being flogged to keep moving forward by their commanders.

    The two things I could not authenticate were:

    Gorgo’s killing of Theron and…

    Whether or not the oracle at Delphi had “nipples that could dial a phone.”

  6. My take: a junk food movie on a topic that, had it been truer to the story instead of the graphic novel, could have been a Hollywood classic. For the P.C.-freak/paranoiac, there actually was a good deal of historical accuracy (esp. about the upbringing of the boys). But the reality is that there were about 1300 soldiers who stayed beyhind with the 300. That, to me, tells an even greater tale that’s too briefly covered at the very end (since most people were exhausted and wanted to get out of there by then) about the unification of Greece. They had never, ever fought alongside each other till the Stand of the 300.

    And at sea, the Athenian navy shocked the Persian navy (which outnumbered them 8:1) over the course of the 3 days. The fact that Athens by sea and Sparta by land disabled the invulnerable Persians in reality announced the rise of democracy as a concept – and, if you think about how long humans have been around, can be considered the spark that created what is now Western culture. Not that this could all be budgeted in (or should be) for a Hollywood classic, but uh, get a grip.

  7. Carlos,

    Are you freaking kidding me with this?

    (A) I don’t recall anyone saying, thinking, or, up until now, believing that 300 was supposed to be a high-brow, 100% historically accurate documentary. Is anyone here old enough to remember when movies were pure escapist FUN? Hello! They took a graphic novel (we used to call them comic books) and made a movie. Are you familiar with the term “historical fiction”? It’s fiction that is based in some historical fact, but mostly, it’s made up.

    (2) There were at least 4 times in the movie when it is pointed out that the Persian army was an army of slaves. Who were slaves in ancient times? That would be conquored peoples of OTHER LANDS, i.e. not the same color as you, so they could be black, white, red, orange, green, purple, or navy blue. The point of having slaves when you were out to rule the world was not to kill your own people when you could kill the ones you’d already conquored.

    (D) Judas Priest on a popcicle stick! Get off the gay thing already. What noise do you make when you stab something with a 10 foot pole while holding a bronze shield weighing 100 pounds? Yes, it is common knowledge that the ancient Greeks practiced homosexuality, and, yes, the Spartans did as well as the Athenians. (Watch the Discovery Channel sometime.) Seems when you are killing off “unfit” babies, girl babies get cast off more frequently than boys, and after doing that for a while, you run out of women with which to have sex. However, for the love of Pete, they didn’t have M-16’s. Most men I know make the same freakin’ sounds when the get off the couch and, believe me, sex doesn’t last long enough for that kind of noise. And what, exactly, do you think blood does when it leaves the body forcibly? Dance the freakin’ polka? Watch Forensic Files sometime, you’ll get the idea.

    Good grief! Give it a rest already! 300 is a very entertaining movie, not a political statement. Why the hell can’t we just go to the theater to be entertained? God knows, we need it.

  8. Carlos,
    Deep down inside I want to believe that at some time during your year in school you learned a little something about the battle of Thermopylae. I’m even going to hold onto the hope that maybe in your ramblings you learned about laconic speech (the source of the dialogue that you’re whining about) and it’s importance and significance in relation to Lakedaimonian culture.

    I don’t even want to get started about your “propaganda machine” accusations or any of the rest of your paranoid drivel. Everyone raise your hand if you’re a conflict theorist! On the other hand, it has been a while since I’ve seen some truly baseless observations so I did get a pretty good laugh. I really hope you’re just trying to rile up some right-wing hardliners to turn this forum into a flame fest using a rather obtuse and obvious technique. Unfortunately, that would mean you’re not only starving for attention, but ignorant and un-original. ( You should probably just go and get a job as a shopping mall easter bunny).

    @Lori, I’m definitely with you on the accent, and yet they picked him as the narrator.

  9. 300 is racist, sexist, and homophobic ON TOP of having bad dialogue, a weak story, absent characterization, terrible plotting, and stealing from LOTR, Troy, and Alexander like there’s tomorrow. “No retreat! No surrender! No clothing!”

    It’s a Bush Administration and Freudian wetdream: straight white hypermasculine men [GOOD] kill straight/gay nonwhite men who invade [BAD Arabs, Africans, and Asians] for the greater glory of “freedom” in an orgy of lust (bloodlust, that is — although each time a sword/spear penetrates a man there’s a loud sexual grunt heard and blood sprays from the angry tip of the sword/spear like semen).

    Gay snuff porn meets Republican pro-war propaganda: visual lubricant for the war machine and gay male fetishism.

  10. @Kristina,

    Sorry you hate the chick flicks, I guess you could say I have eclectic taste in film, I like what I like. I LOOVVEED 300. But, I also greatly enjoyed “Daddy’s Little Girls”. Sorry.(I enjoyed Troy, too. Didn’t love it, but if Brad Pitt is gonna be naked, I’m for it!)

    @Naught,

    Let me see what I can do about the Drac 2000 thing, I might be able to come up with a copy and send it to you. How much does it cost to mail something to the “far corners of Asia”, I wonder?

    @John,

    I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but, did you not find Wenham’s accent distracting? I swear, everytime he opened his mouth the voices in my head said “I’m a friar, I can say anything I want to, damnit!”

  11. Stuart,

    Funny, I don’t recall “Moaning” about it. All I said was that I found it a bit distracting… and that’s the 100% truth. As a matter of fact… if a bunch of the Spartans has various accents, I would have found that a bit less distracting. But when ALL the spartans have the same dialect sound, EXCEPT ONE guy (The main guy at that), yeah, I found it a bit distracting.

  12. I distinctly remember a certain movie featuring Scottish, English and American hobbits and nobody moaning about everyone from the same damn village having a different accent.

  13. I truly enjoyed this film. Plenty of substance for my liking and visually it was absolutely incredible! Definitely think that this movie is going to change the history of film making and we will see a significant uplift in “blue screen” film production created with insane digital animation like 300.

    Cool thing I just found when searching for 300 goodies was a 300 contest on this site Zannel. check it out, can win lots of cash and prizes.

  14. I agree, it was cool the first few times, but if you look carefully it goes slo-mo so you can she something distintive in the fight, either something in the background, or even what another Spartan is doing. Or how the King killed the Persian guys he was running through and stuff…know what I mean?

  15. Well, then lets talk about how good the action/effects were?

    I thought they were pretty brutal!

    I’d give Action = 8/10 kinda hard to see 300 men fight at once! And make them ALL look good!

    Effects = 9/10 With the “Immortals” And they way the Spartans fought and stuff! I thought it was awesome!

    What do ye guys think?

  16. You get a bunch of men online to talk about a movie with good-looking half naked sweaty guys, and yeah, it’ll turn into “gay” talk. Lord, I wish you guys would actually READ what you post and really think about what you just wrote. I’m not trying to start a war here, but it would be nice to end the stupid gay debate.

  17. @Lori

    I can’t stand chick flicks. It annoys me that people asume that we chicks enjoy formulaic, stupid romcoms where people could get together in five minutes if they’d just sit down and TALK rather than having the typical big fight, then a sad montage, followed by somebody chasing their true love down for the big kiss at the end. I can’t stand that shit.

  18. @Lori:

    I live in the far corners of Asia.. even Xerxes might not have known my lil corner of islands. I looked for Drc 2000 in Bittorent but there wasn’t enough seeders. I CAN access Amazon.com but the price of buying Drac 2000, ori DVD is just a bit much for me. But I dunno, I’ll go and check the dvd sellers tonight they might just have it. My bf is like, “but the movie’s a shitehole” and I’m like “but that isn’t the point”.
    If you mean chick flicks = sappy flicks, hm well kinda depends actually. If you mean chick flicks = flicks with man candy, then yes.

    @Kristina:
    LMFAO the clip was too funny. Seriously, go and watch Attila.

    Girls, do you remember when Leonidas was having his 1st head to head battle with the Persians, buldozing his way through many many of them? At the end of that slo-mo scene he knocked a guy with his shield, and the tail of his helmet’s hair was flicking right before he offed the guy and I caught myself taking a deep breath. YES I KNOW I’M A BIT OBSESSIVE. But damn, the details.

  19. I saw this last Monday at a press screening and I actually laughed out loud during Gorgo and Leonidas’ sex scene, when her tit wiggles in slow motion. That was funny. As for the film, I enjoyed it and it was exactly what I thought it would be: over the top fun.

    As for homo undertones – I didn’t catch it, in fact, I’d make the argument it was geared toward the opposite, when Leonidas calls the Athenians “boy lovers.”

  20. Don’t know, but u can sure as hell hire the guy, who got these actors into shithot shape, to be your perosonal trainer for life. Then u can put on a pair of leather speedos.

  21. @Naught

    What country do you live in that you can’t get Drac 2000 even pirated?
    Can you access Amazon.com by internet? Where the heck do you live?

    Kristina, that clip is too funny! You’re correct in assessing Drac 2000 as shit and again in labeling Gerry a babe. (Sigh)

    So, do you and Naught only like the action-packed testosterone festival type movies or are you into the “chick-flicks” as well?

    Nipples that could dial a phone!!!You’re killing me, Smalls! ROTFLMAO.

  22. Kristina,
    we should do this more often. Get some more girls while we’re at it. For too long this has been a male site. It needs some woman’s touch.

  23. This thred is so great. We’ve got us girls in a corner getting hot over Gerry while the boys duke it out over homoeroticism. God God, I LOVE this damn site:)

  24. Hopefully this also means Warner Brothers will throw a lot more cheddar Zach’s way for “Watchmen”. He’s proved that he can make something different and R-rated and it will open huge.

    Watchmen is different and it’s should absolutely be R-rated.

    I cant friggin’ wait to see Dr Manhattan walking through vietnam with the Hueys all around him. F**K, that’s gonna be sweet.

    I have so much more faith now. I really think Zach is the man that will do the “Watchmen” movie right.

  25. OH F***.
    Kristina you’re right. I’d never have thought of Dennis Rodman, but damn. I’m a believer. And to think he was the guy who played Karl in Love Actually.

  26. @Kristina and Lori:

    I heard that Gerry’s hot in that movie but I cannot find Dracula 2000 in my country, not even pirated ones dammit. But 300… God watching 300 is definitely an experience.
    I watched the whole movie, and I mean the *whole* movie with a silly grin on my face, I kid you not, those 8-pack Spartan abs was causing commotions in my pelvis the WHOLE time, it was that good of eye candy.
    300 was very “HELLO THERE” for women. Bring drool cloth, oxygen tank and extra panties. Or don’t wear one at all. Damn why didn’t I think of that. Might actually make it a hotter experience. Oh I’m a slutty whore. Whatever.

    Women, watch 300.
    Men, go get 8 packs, the new standard of your species is created with 300, the bar has been raised. We promise we’ll get fake nipples soon.

  27. Saw it yesterday night, man it was full house on every cinema showing 300 in my country’s capital city. Nucking futs!

    I definitely still did not get homoerotic tones from the Spartans, though the “HAAUUUH!!” was getting a bit much after the 15th time. And Alfie yes Xerxes was laughable I was actually giggling through his scenes, he just looks and sound so wrong. HE was what I would call gay and giving off ALL kinds of gay vibes, what with his “Kneel before me!!” speeches.

    I tried, I really did try not to take the movie seriously and was expecting it to be mucho mucho disapointed just cos my expectations was too high, but ah what the hell, I liked it. Wish they would play the story a bit more though, and get Sean Bean instead of David Wenham. Hell, they both look kinda alike anyways, but Sean Bean is a much better narrator than Wenham was. It was not as good as I wanted it to be – the movie was too short to be that good, but yes I’d watch it again.

    It was a serious eye candy for women – yes.
    The Oracle scene was so on, I was surprised it didn’t get too much censor here. LOL, dialed a phone.

  28. Yeah,
    I gotta say, Grindhouse looks sick.

    “Is it my scar…?”

    “No… it’s your car…”

    That movie is gonna be awesome.
    Plus, I’ve been dying to see R.R. tackle horror again, ’cause From Dusk Til Dawn is one of my fav’s. I notice all the people that complain about there being too many Zombie movies arent complaining about this one. I guess quality does count for something, and R.R. usually delivers a quality product. Except for Spy Kids… God, what a waste of time.

    See, we do agree quite often, but nobody ever pays attention to those times. They just wanna see us argue. Well I’ll tell ya what. We’re not gonna do it anymore. We’re not clowns for your amusement. Do you hear me? We’re human beings. With thoughts and feelings and emotions. If you burn us, do we not feel pain…? If you stab us, do we not bleed…? Oh nevermind.

  29. 300 was everything and more than I expected – the fight scenes were like this wonderful ballet – great choreography and the blood cgi – wow!

    Leonidas was so kick ass that I thought to myself, “Maybe they’ll be able to hold back the Persians”.

    I don’t think 300 is meant to be an epic movie but it works waaaaaay better than Troy ever did.

    I can forgive Gerard Butler his Scottish accent just for the near nude scene :)

  30. oh i figured you would but i like it when jokes are over explained and stripped away of all their humour to a point where it actually gets funny again….it would have been a lot clearer spoken as in text it just strips away my intent…

    I have yet to see these new designs but I doubt it jay…oh i doubt it…..

    but I saw the grindhouse trailer on the big screen….how fucking great is that going to be??? jesus i can’t wait….

  31. “300’y”
    I would have gotten it without the explanation. very funny…

    I can handle it now. I mowed the grass and realized the error of my ways.

    And I have to agree with you on the Oracle scene. I’m surprised they didnt cut through the fabric. I’ll try to pay more attention to the strap when I see it in IMAX next weekend…

    Who am I kidding? 30 foot boobs… yeah, I’ll be lookin’ at the strap…

    Speaking of Transformers,
    The new designs are awesome… (he says cautiously, trying to break away from the 300 discussion)

  32. sorrty lori….I was too busy looking at the nipples that could have dialed a phone..

    Jay – I wasn’t actually that mad with you or anyone here …the things on RT were the things pissing me off to be honest…it was ridiculous

    ultimately we both enjoyed the film – just for different reasons..

    I don’t want to get to 300’y* about it but I am glad we are friends again….like I said …we still have transformers to battle over…..

    (*300 being my new euphemism for gay ;p)

  33. jay i enjoy our debates and discussions…..

    i think you have taken this 300 stuff way to personally….

    you called me a spoiled little child and i am still talking to you…..come on jay we still have transformers to get through

  34. Quote: 300″ – Gay: Yes or No? I dont see it, personally, but maybe I am in the minority. It doesnt seem that way, but who knows.

    I found Xerxes behavior way more gay than the Spartans, spears thrusting and all. Xerx was the cat running around asking everyone to kneel.

    Darren

    Thanks for that, I thought I was right, but couldn’t find my copy of Highlander to review it. (Damn kids taking my stuff and never putting it back.) At any rate, with regard to the whole accent debate, er, question…whatever, Lambert answering he’s from lots of different places when questioned about his accent is what I think of when watching Gerard Butler in 300. Yes, there are moments when his Scottish accent is more obvious than at other times, but I didn’t find it nearly as distracting as the narrator who, correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t exactly have the same accent as Gorgo, Theron, the Captain and several other characters whose names I won’t even attempt to spell. I guess, for me, getting to look at Gerry Butler buff and nearly nude overrode the distraction of his imperfect accent.

  35. oh not the narrator was very important….

    he needed to explain everything that was happening on screen as it happened again in case we were too dumb to figure it out….

    and he needed to remind us what it meant to be a spartan every couple of seconds in case we forgot because we had been hypnotised by the repetitive nature of every single scene in the film

  36. @Darren

    We have got to have a little chat with Campea about that narrator. For real. I don’t know what he liked about it. It was repetitive as hell and didn’t really add anything to the movie. The visuals were more than enough. The opening sequence needed a narrator, I’ll give them that, but I didn’t need his voice through the entire movie. Boo. It was the one thing I truly HATED about the movie.

  37. Narrator was way lame.

    @Naught-I’ve never seen Attila, unfortunately. The first time I saw Gerry was Phantom, and have been hunting down his other work like a fiend ever since.

  38. My reasons for questioning the gay themes you say you saw had nothing to do with homophobia.
    You’re free to think that if you wish, but it doesnt make it true. TLOR’s movies were so gay it’s ridiculous and I still like those films. My problem came from not seeing it in this particular piece, not from any problem I have with liking something with gay undertones.

    Jeez,
    I accept that you saw them, accept that I didnt.

  39. yawn….this topic is getting old….”it has gay imagery” “no it doesn’t” “yes it does” “no it doesn’t” ….yawn cool movie though….

  40. You’re right,
    I should have respected what you saw.
    Sorry I had the audacity to question you on it.

    Just to be clear, I never questioned your overall enjoyment of the film. I just questioned the gay themes suppossedly encased in loincloths and the use of spears as weapons. I dont know how I didnt see it, but if you did, more power to ya. Darren was right, you can see what you want to see and who am I to question it.
    I enloyed this movie. At no point did I say it was a classic or a masterpiece. I said I loved it. I can list a whole lot of movies that I love that I would in no way consider masterpieces. Dont put words in my mouth.
    Bottom line, if you try hard enough, you can “see” what you want to see in anything. I didnt see homoerotic overtones and I didnt see current geo-political overtones, but I’ll admit that if you do see those things then I have no right to say you’re wrong. It’s just not something that I experienced. Fair enough?

    The last thing…
    If defending something that I like and attempting to engage in debate and dicussion concerning that particular item makes me whiney and unaccepting of the opinions of others, then I guess you’re whiney too. Accepting the fact that others have opposing opinions does not mean slinking away with your tail between your legs and not saying anything in response to that opinion. I wholeheartedly believe that you saw what you saw, but that doesnt mean I cant ask you to explain, and it doesnt mean I cant say that I dont agree with you. Need I point you to the Wicker Man thread. You staunchly defended the merits of that film against people who dared think it was less than stellar. Does that make you whiney and unaccepting of the opinions of others? Of course not. It makes you human, Alfie. We defend things we like.
    Also, does it mean that you were being whiney in all the Transformers threads when you just didnt accept the opinions of all the people that like what they see? Should you have just been quiet and accepted what they had to say or do you have the right to voice your side? Dont try to insult people by calling them out on things that you are guilty of.

    Anyway,
    You saw what you saw, and that’s cool.
    I dont know why I tried talk to you about it. I guess it just seemed like you were reaching for things to bash it on. In retrospect, I realize that the gay thing wasnt a put-down, it’s just how you viewed the material. So be it. I guess for some reason I considered you a web-friend. I see now that that’s not the case. Trust me, it wont happen again.

  41. Early ending weekend estimate is 70.025 million for 300. (boxofficemojo.com).

    so John should have stuck with his initial estimate of 60-70 million it seems.

  42. I can definitely see how you could come out of it seeing it as a political film – miller is a very political writer so to say there is no political angle in this story at all is silly. there definitely is….

    Anyway back to what we were talking about…..I am not saying that I think the entire film was a gay amataphor and thats all it was about …I am just saying I saw symbolism so strong that I find it odd how some people can’t understand how some are seeing it that way…and just the mere hint that there may be some gay themes in the film was enough to send all sorts of people into a defensive lather as if the very thought of the film having anything gay in it was highly offensive to them. like it isn’t o.k. to like something with gay undertones……

  43. @Jay

    “In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be the only one here trumpeting the gay thing. If it’s soooo obvious, why are you the only one here that sees it?”

    No, he wasn’t. But this could be debated. I *do* think Alfie goes overboard with the spear thing, but consider this:

    300 buffed out guys. (and 700 not so buff..the ‘potter guy’ the ‘blacksmith guy’…the good old friend who turns out to be a freaking crybaby) are doing just fine against a bizzare looking Persian Army. Ephialtes, the deformed outcast, wants to join the buff Spartans- even if his role on the battlefield is minimal-just as long as he gets to kill one Persian for Sparta and regain his honor. Insulted, he goes over to Xerxes pussy tent, and kneels before the mighty Xerxes who, despite his harem abundance, has no piece of ass himself.
    In addition, his throne is carried by shirtless slaves, his steps are that of the same (male) slaves. While all this is mostly from a POV of one of the characters, the idea is that all the “outcasts” and those that look “monsterous”, “wierd” or “different” are the enemy.

    So, you have the Persian Army (who are the gays) attracted to the buff men of Sparta, who want to protect traditional families and/or want to punish Sparta for throwing away undesirable ‘less than perfect’ male babies…

    So the ‘real guys’ don’t want the outcast ‘gays’ in thier city, much less thier unit.

    Ha ha Ha
    Seriously, though, I’m not saying this is the case at all. It is, generally, a characters POV. He may “see” traitors as being crudely deformed. He may “see” possible allies bailing out at the last minute. Persians are barabaric, strange monsters in cahoots with evil forces (Snyder does a bit over the top OTN in the harem scene) …

    Let Alfie, or whoever else, come away with thier own interpetations of the film.
    What people get out of it is what people get out of it. Indeed, there had been early reports on this film at Film Fests (such as Berlin) that 300 was a political film! For Bush AND Anti-Bush! Believe it..or not.

    BTW, I felt the film was a statement on racism. But that’s just my thoughts.

  44. @Kristina:

    “The narrator got on my damn nerves, especially during the scene where Leonidas has just turned away from Gorgo and headed off to battle. I wanted to jump in the screen and tell him to shut up and stop ruining the moment. They didn’t need some guy yapping over it to tell the dumber people in the audience what was going on”

    Glad to know I was not alone on that thought. I didn’t mind the narrator/Dillios in the beginning of the film, and his character served a greater purpose at the end (including an outstanding transition) as well as using a “larger than life” approach to the story he tells (POV) but it was scenes like the one you (and I) mention that made the film less enjoyable. The idea is to *show*, not *tell*. In the scene mentioned, the visual packs enough emotion. There is no need to ‘explain’ what is going on. Again, I personally got BORED being ‘told’ over and over again what’s “it like to be a Spartan’.

    BTW, John Campea liked Dillios/The Narrator, so he says… way, way up there at the tippy top of his post. Think we could sway his opinion on this?

  45. @Alfie:

    “connery was meant to spanish in highlander…not egyptian”

    Guess who needs to see “Highlander” again? Connery’s character Rameriez states he was born in Egypt, moved to Japan, Scotland, then Spain. In addition, there is one detail in the film, clearly explained, that Immortals can have “odd accents” because the do a lot of traveling. This was mostly to get away with Chris Lambert as a Scot, of course, and never really worked in the films- or the show.

  46. Sometimes Alfie makes some good points and people seem to just want to discredit him for the sake of it. It’s amazing he always comes back and fights his corner in a pretty diplomatic and respectful way.

    I’ve yet to see the film but from the trailers and clips it’s always looked like “high Camp” to me, nothing wrong with that, something can have a campy / homoerotic tone without actually having anything to do with actual homosexual sex. It’s very common for over the top manliness / macho imagery to run a course that’s pretty close to gay imagery. You don’t have to see that, but getting over defensive because other people do is a bit strange. Gay artist Tom of Finland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_of_finland) often used macho imagery in his Fetish art. It’s not uncommon for biker cops, cowboys and other obviously macho domains to also have an air of the camp. So to me it would seem impossible to make this kind of film without some air of camp, even Spartacus had its £snails and oysters” line

  47. Why is everyone treating rotten tomatoes as the GOD of all critics? I have been curious.

    Kristina,
    You’ve only love Butler after Phantom? That is unbelievable, I have loved him since Attila, if you haven’t seen it, go and do. That Scttish bit of manflesh that is wrapped in the perfection of Gerard Butler causes commotion on my pelvis everytime.

  48. if you think it is reaching, jay, to see homoerotic themes in this film tfair enough…I saw them and find it hard to believe you see none at all but whatever..everyone is differentl……

    but for the record i have not levelled this gay claim as a criticism – not once.

    I have not said “man all the gay shit sucked and ruined the film” …. all I said is that I saw it in the film clear as day and if you think i am the only one who sees it then you are obviously not reading many things about this film. i am not the only person to see it or say it and you fucking know it.

    again I have not in anyway said it was a bad thing ….all the gay imagery and symbolism …… not once.

    it is all you staunch defenders of this most perfect film who assume it is a criticism as you obviously believe that gay equals bad. saying something is gay is not automatically a criticism. obviously it is to you and that is probably something you should work on….its 2007.

    jay you also need to get of your high horse…trust me I was not the only one laughing in the theatre I saw it in…..no one clapped or cheered I can promise you that but people wewre snickering and laughing at some of the more absurd scenes..especially like that bit that took place between the opening credits and closing credits….

    you 300 fans really do come across like little cry babies…I can’t believe it….

    and as for kind of bringing up that whole joel seigel thing with clerks 2…i assume thats what you are talking about…the guy who stormed out of clerks 2 and yelled something about how bad it was….would kevin smith have complained if someone stood up and yelled “this is fucking awesome and I love it” no of course he wouldn’t have…he was whining and trying to milk a nothing story into a something big so he could publicise that fucking piece of shit desperate and sad attempt at regaining cred he shat out last year….. you and kevin smith have a lot in common – you both seem tyo whine an awful lot and are not very acceptive of other peoples opinions…

    look if i find something funny i laugh…end of story.

    and this film made me and others in the cinema laugh a lot.
    no one complained….

    The only joy I am getting now jay is seeing how seriosuly you guys are taking this film……it boggles the mind.

    and I liked the film for godsake!!! i liked it for its absurdity…i liked how fucking over the top and ridiculous it is……it was repetitive and samey…that is undeniable but I liked the film…i didn’t like it for the reasons you did obviously..i certainly didn’t think it was some sort of fucking cinematic masterpiece that will be remembered as a classic as you oibviously did .. neither did i come here and say it was load of garbage that I hated but because I am not fawning all over it like it is some world changing event I am getting attacked for it. you guys are…well…kind of pathetic..

    seriously go to rotten tomatoes and read the feed back being left for critics who dared give it a bad review…its pathetic.

  49. i agree tthe queen was badass…i love tough hardcore women like that….and for an older woman she turned me into a fan….STAB! “this won’t be quick, this wont be pleasant, for i am not your queen.” GANSTA the whole movie was shit talking and backing that shit up with somebody dying….IMAX is gonna be fuckin insane!!! Im smokin at least 2 blunts before i go IMAX….my eyes are gonna bleed….lol

    peace….

  50. Plus,
    Ditto to everything Mike said.

    How dare you ruin other poeple’s theatre going experience by acting like a spoiled rotten child and cackling through the movie. Is that the only reason you went? That really is pathetic.
    I try to believe that you’re not just a hate troll who thrives on bringing the misery that so greatly consumes you to others, but acts like that in a crowded theatre of people who were probably enjoying what they saw makes me think otherwise. I make the assumption of the mentality of your crowd based on the reaction that my crowd gave. Enthusiastic clapping sporadically throughout the film and actual applause at the end.

    Acts like that put you on the same level as jack-ass critics who loudly voice their displeasure with a film and draw attention to themselves as they exit a screening in the middle of a movie.
    Absolutely zero class, my friend.

  51. The movie isn’t necessarily all style no substance … but it is all style no dramatic weight. There is no sense of loss here, and I think the problem lies in all of the overwhelming CGI. Nothing seems REAL.

  52. Alfie,
    If you’ll notice, in my post I stated that if you didnt like it for reasons A, B. and C then that’s fine, but to accuse it of having gay overtones was ludicrous. I never said you were wrong to find it ammusing in the manner that you did. Pull your panties out of your butt and calm down.
    If you want to think of it the way you think of it, you’re perfectly able to do so. I never insulted you for that. In fact, I never insulted you. My only comment towards you was concerning the ridiculous gay comments.
    It’s a fact that soldiers in ancient times wore little clothing. Especially cultures like the Spartans who believed so heartily in the own superiority in the art of war. In fact, some ancient greek cultures had soldiers that went to battle with nothing but their shield and sword.
    How is historical accuracy homoerotic? And spears…? The proper and basically only use of a spear is somehow homoerotic? What…? Stabbing someone with a spear is homosexual symbolism? Are you kidding me?
    I have no problem with homosexuality. I have no problem with gay symbolism when it is actually present. LOTR’s had plenty of it and I still like those films. It doesnt bother me at all that that in reality, most of the spartans were more often than not engaging in homosexual love with their fellow soldiers. I dont care. You’re probably right about some people having such a problem with it but I’m not one of those people. My problem is that it just wasnt there. Certainly not in the examples that you suggest.
    Accurate clothing levels and spears do not equal gay symbolism. If you want to see it, then go ahead, but in my opinion that says more about you than it does about me. It seems to me that you might have been focusing on the “tiny hot pants” a little too much for it not to mean anything. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be the only one here trumpeting the gay thing. If it’s soooo obvious, why are you the only one here that sees it? You’re not the only one here that didnt find it amazing. You’re not the only one that has criticized it. Yet you’re the only one here that sees homosexuality. You dont think that says something? I’m not talking about all over the web, I’m talking about our little cross-section of society.
    It’s really quite funny to me that I’m being accused of being homophobic because I dont see gay symbolism in the use of spears as weapons. That really is reaching, Alfie.
    I would however like to ask everyone to weigh in on this.
    “300” – Gay: Yes or No? I dont see it, personally, but maybe I am in the minority. It doesnt seem that way, but who knows.

    Maybe your post wasnt directed at me. If that’s the case, then so be it, but are you trying to tell me that you’ve never defended a film that you like when others are bashing it. C’mon Alfie. Who are you trying to kid? I know for a fact that you staunchly defended The Wicker Man. Dont insult others for doing things that you are guilty of.

  53. have i once said i didn’t like it because it was gay? not at all….I saw somethign in it you guys didn’t and look how you got your panties in a bunch…..

    I find it funny how offended people are by even suggesting there are gay overtones to this film…accusing me of homophobia becausde i saw something in the film when you guys are the ones being a bit homophobic by being so offended that this film you love so edearly could in any way be seen as gay…..

    why is it such a problem for you guys to enjoy a film that has gay themes and extremely gay symbolism…..

    i am not one of the cool kids who wants to be different – if you actually read what I said instead of just jumping up and dopwn and having a fucking tantrum because I failed to cum at every repeticitve slo motion fight i said I ENJOYED IT…..i like over the top and this film was fucking ridiculously over the top….

    i cannpot believe how seriously some people are taking this film..l.I have never seen a film get so staunchly defended by people…it is like not liking it is crime…

    guess what – not eveyrone wants the future of film to be fucking video games o.k….is that o.k. with you guys??

    go and read rotten tomatoes and see what people aare writing about the critics who have dared to give this a bad rating…and that was before the film had come out??

    i am really starting to believe 300 fans have become worse then LOTR fans, star wars fans, browncoats etc etc in an incredibly short amount of time and in time you probably be a bit embarrassed about how seriously you took this film…..

    again I ENJOYED THE FUCKING THING – for different reasons sure but you guys need to chill out a little bit……

  54. And for the people writing it off as “gay”, I smell insecurity in the air. Whenever a bunch of good-looking men are onscreen, why is it that guys have to peg it as “gay”? Are you worried that if you enjoy the movie, your friends will think you are gay or something? I’ve never understood that. Not for one moment while watching this did I think that two dudes were gonna go at it, especially considering that a considerable amount of screentime was given to King Leonidas getting his freak on with his wife.

  55. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything from Gorgo, but man, she rocked the house. Love having badass chicks to look up to!

    And Jay, your wife’s a smart lady. Good lord that man is a fox. I have this thing about aggressive, demanding men I think. Jack Bauer from 24 gets my heart fluttering, too. Leonidas is going in my fantasy file for SURE.

  56. Alfie,

    I stand corrected. However, Spanish, Egyptian or Martian, Connery’s accent was wwwwaaaayyyyyy off.

    Kristina,

    You said it, Sister. Queen Gorgo rocks! My favorite line was “Because only Spartan women give birth to real men.” Could have only been better if she had told the “Persian douche” “Because if not for a woman, you’d still be soiling yourself and sitting in it.”

    Saw it for the second time this afternoon. Even though I knew it was coming, I couldn’t resist giving a standing “Hoorah!” when she gutted Theron. Gorgo’s the kind of woman I want in my circle of friends.

  57. What should they do with their spears?
    Punch them in the ground and dance around them?

    Stabbing someone is what a spear of for. How is that homoerotic symbolism? That’s the farthest I’ve ever seen you reach, Alfie.

    It’s like saying shooting someone is homoerotic symbolism, because you use your “gun” to “shoot” something inside of another man. That’s ridiculous.

    The gay guy said it was gay because he was attracted to all the shirtless men. You wouldnt accuse a movie with hungreds of shirtless women fighting a battle of being overly lesbian. If anything, you would say it’s a heterosexual man’s dream come true. You see what you want to see. If they wanted to make it gay all they had to do was make it historically accurate. The filmmakers puposefully neglected history in order to remove the homosexuality.
    If you didnt like the movie because of the actors, or the dialogue, or the repetitive quick/slow action then just say that. Saying something had gay themes based on accurate clothing and the proper use of a spear just makes you seem like the kind of guy who spent too much time obsessing over well built, muscular, shirtless guys.
    I didnt get anything gay from that movie, least of all the proper use of a spear.

    I got exactly what I expected to get from it. A f**king kick ass, impressionistic, mythical swords and sandals flick with awesome visuals and battles. The backgrounds were actualy a lot better than I thought they might be and the characters were immersed in the CGI landscapes way better than I expected. I thought I would be picking out bad edges, but I didnt see hardly any. I loved the set-up period at the beginning, but I didnt expect it to be nothing but battle scenes. Gorgo was the shit. Very happy with the changes Zach Snyder made to the character and her story.
    I must say that the fight/battle scenes were frigging unreal. I loved every moment of every one of them and at no time did I find the effect to be overused. The f**kin’ crazy CGI blood spurts. The limbs flying off. The heads. I literaly got chills during everyone of them. I loved it. I thought it was way more than just “good”. There is nothing wrong with thinking that, but it does not accurately describe my experience. I even thought the voiceover was really well done. What can I say? It just clicked for me on every level.
    My wife loved it. I mean, LOVED it.(for the same reasons, Kristina) Leonidas has now replaced Maximus as her ancient man of choice.
    My friend Matt and his girl loved it too, and we’re all planning on going to see it again in IMAX next weekend.

    I give it a 9.5 out of 10.
    I cant wait to see it in IMAX.

  58. I really really liked the movie. I thought that the acting was good and the battles were fucking amazing. I enjoyed that movie a helluva lot more than any other movie I’ve seen recently. I’d give it and 8.5/10.

  59. ALfie,

    “…it was two hours of rippling muscle men with no tops, tiny hot pants running around for two hours impaling other men with their “spears”……the symbolism there is far too strong…..”

    Symbolism? You are playing with words, picking flints here and there. Personally I still do not see the ‘gayness’ of the movie, even with that dirty quote from your comment. I live my life with gay/lesbian people, surrounded by them, my roommates and best friends are gay, and granted I have not watched the movie but all I’ve seen from the trailers and teasers did not make me go “God that’s gay” even once. It didn’t even cross my mind. Your comment was a ‘Huh?’ moment for me.

    Nobody said Gerard Butler was a great actor, nor does anybody expect him to be, if I may say so myself. We all know we’re not watching an Oscar movie. But if I must mak an example, Renee Zellweger looks like she is acting. She won an Oscar didn’t she? For Chicago nonetheless, and I thought her acting for that movie was kinda painful to watch.

    You hated this movie since the very 1st trailer came out and yes good that you stick by it but your whole POV of the movie just screams homophobic to me. All your comments about this movie are: juvenile with no depth and homophobic. I was never gonna say anything about it but I honestly do not see a well justified reason of why you hate the movie so much. Can anybody actually point out a good, well thought reason of why ALfie doesn’t like the movie? Because I would really like to try to understand.

    My bestguess is that you wanna be one of the cool kids who doesn’t like what pop culture is liking now. Because uncool is cool, the ones that doesn’t fit in are the cool ones nowadays yada yada yada.

    I am well prepared in being disappointed by 300, but I just don’t understand how you could hate it so much.

  60. SPOILER CITY AHEAD FOR YOU FOLKS WHO BITCH ABOUT NO SPOILER WARNING. Okay, I just got back from seeing it. I agree basically with Campea’s assesment. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but the narrator got on my damn nerves, especially during the scene where Leonidas has just turned away from Gorgo and headed off to battle. I wanted to jump in the screen and tell him to shut up and stop ruining the moment. They didn’t need some guy yapping over it to tell the dumber people in the audience what was going on. After watching this, Gerry Butler can impregnate me any day of the week. Seriously, you guys get to ogle hot chicks all the time, and it’s time for my little slice of heaven. What a piece of ASS!!!!!! GRR!!!!!! Whoo!!! I was in love with him since Phantom of the Opera, but now it’s official. This guy is a grade-A 100% panty-dropper! That was by far the hottest love scene I’ve seen in a hot minute. Queen Gorgo was fucking awesome. As a chick who is sick and tired of seeing women in these kinds of movies as mere tokens or spoils of war, Gorgo was a welcome change. Her big moment near the end had me hurting my hands from clapping so hard. “You will not enjoy this!” I loved that they actually had a decent love element in an action movie without it overwhelming the action element. I couldn’t stop smiling at Leonidas looking to Gorgo for the go-ahead to kill that Persian douche. Oh am I the only one who thought the hunchback was a Gollum ripoff? The action was great, although the slo-mo quick speed stuff was a bit overused. It got some oohs and aaahs the first couple of times, but after the 300th time you’re used to it and it doesn’t pack a punch anymore. Overall, I dug the movie a lot. I could feel how invested I was in the characters that by the time the inevitable end came, my stomach was in knots from dreading it. Ugh, that last shot of Leonidas……………….. On a scale of 1-10, I’m going 8/10 with points deducted for the lame-ass narration and the overuse of slo-mo quicktime. Can’t wait to get the badass edition DVD.

  61. I actually really enjoyed this. Only two things stuck out at me…
    1. The Persian King’s (whose name I won’t pretend to spell) voice seemed way to deep for someone as scrawny as him.

    2. Was the hunchback Quark from Deep Space Nine?

  62. lori…connery was meant to spanish in highlander…not egyptian….anyway onto 300

    this film was hilarious. me and my friends were laughing from beginning to end….dear old gerard butler will never be considered a great actor by any means…he is quite painful to watch emote…..he looks like he is acting if you know what i mean..very unnatural presence…..

    one things for sure if i never see another slow motion spear stab someone again it will be too soon…

    the one scene that I thought was truly great though was when butler met with the main bad guy ( i would try to spoell their character names but i know I would get it wrong)..i like scenes when the main hero meets with the main villain and talk without fighting…act civil and try to reason before they have the final battle….love stuff like that….like in flash gordon when ming meets flash at vultans “castle” and offers him a place in his kingdom..anyway I like scenes like that

    but to be honest i did enjoy it – probably not for the reasons the filmmakers intended…..it was gloriously ridiculous and to the people who claim were no homoerotic themes….you are nuts. i saw it with a gay guy and when we left even he said it was gay….come on lets face it …it was two hours of rippling muscle men with no tops, tiny hot pants running around for two hours impaling other men with their “spears”……the symbolism there is far too strong…..

  63. 27 mil….aint much of a surprise…they theater i had two screens and they were all packed FULL of people….and that was like 12:35am…glad its doin good….great movie wanna see it again….

    peace….

  64. No Stuart, it’s not silly

    I don’t care if they all had German, Scotish, Canadian or Russian accents. It’s just a bit distracting when all these guys from the same place have the same dialect tone… EXCEPT the one main guy whose accent is totally different from the rest.

  65. I wonder if the King Of GREECE would work better with an American or Canadian accent, than a Scottish one.

    Jeesh. Silly.

    Stuart, Scottish guy

  66. As long as it entertained me for the time I was in my seat, and I didn’t feel like I was gyped of my hardearned buckos when the credits rolled, this is a damn good movie. For those people looking for movies to “read” into, stop playing with the computer and go live your life. Movies are escapist entertainment; no movie in the history of the world has changed the course of history, so stop reading anything into them. “300” is all that and a bag of chips

  67. Speaking of the Matrix, WB just released the date for Speed Racer May 9 2008. It will be very interesting to see what those Wachowski brothers do with this one.

  68. I went to a 1 am screening(yes 1 am), and it was jam-packed. This movie might do 70 million. It didn’t blow me a away as it should but it was very good. The problem is the movies best lines and some of its best screenshot where in the trailers. This movie makes me want to not watch another trailer in my life. Another problem I had was it go to talkative in some points. I firmly believe that a action movie should have a major action scene within the first 20 minutes to grab the audience. There was a point in this film where I was like get on with it already. The Matrix(as flawed as it is)did that for me. Before seeing the movie I hadn’t seen any trailers or screenshots, but within 10 minutes of the opening credits I was absolutely floored. Last night there was some people declaring 300 one of the best film they have ever seen. Those people I suspect didn’t follow it as closely as I did, and by following it my expectation were out the roof. Anyway one month from now is FUCKING GRINDHOUSE. A movie that I have more expectations for than 300. There is absolutely no fucking way that movie disappoints me.

    Side Note: Spider-man looks very stupid based on the trailer showed last night.

  69. Hello everyone,
    I am Persian, and I do not want to ignore this fact that the Persian army hold by Spartan about 3 days in Greece, but making this movie and showing the funny faces like “Lord Of the Rings”, that is not good,
    In this movie shows Persian like savage people. How come Cyrus the Great who brought The First Declaration of Human Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Cylinder) and made more than 100,000 Jews free from Babylon, and his people are savage, but the Spartan who had slavery in their county showing as perfect people (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_antiquity)

  70. just got back from seeing it…..holy crap!!! it was a very good movie….it was the most fun i had in theaters in a long time. i personally think the pacing was perfect the beginning only felt like 15-20min of story and the rest action. the spartans went hard!!! (no homo) this movie made me want to push a random stranger just to show my warrior’s spirit…lol
    not the perfect movie,but a badass movie and thats all i needed….the most fun ive had in the movies in a very long time….peace

  71. You know, it might go over 50 million. I went up to the theater half an hour before the show I wanted to see(4:55 pm) and it was sold out for the WHOLE DAMN DAY. I had to buy an advanced ticket for today at 4pm. People were lined up to get tickets. I listened to what people were getting tickets for, and it was ALL 300, and the lobby was packed to the walls.

  72. Anybody want to guess how many more posts will it take to lock this topic up, like a couple of previous topics this week? We are almost there by now. *POP* no more posts…..

    John is there a limit on posts per topic? Behind the scenes question.
    Show us the wizard behind the big curtain.

  73. just saw it and I loved it. it gave me exactly what i expected and thrill no movie has met in a while.

    and John, your complaining about the first 30 minutes being story development, but did you honestly believe for 2 hours it was going to be intense blood fights with Spartans and Persians? if they did that people would complain it gets repetitive on the fights (which it totally doesnt and throws new things all the time).

    What makes it better is that the story of the characters and the plot is pretty strong to. the foreboding, the twists, and some nice surprises in how everything plays out.

    best lines:
    “So many arrows will fly they will block out the sun”
    “Then we will fight in the shade”

  74. Quote: “The scene with the politicians yelling “Treasure!!!” is maybe the best explination of historical and present polictial will pushing for war and aggression.”

    Umm, I believe they were shouting “traitor,” not “treasure.”

  75. Just got back from seeing 300. I have to say, I went under protest and ONLY went because my sons aren’t quite 17 yet and couldn’t go alone. However, I am planning to see it again in a day or two.

    I had not seen any trailers, nor (sorry, John) read any hype prior to seeing the film. Going into it blind, so to speak, I was predispositioned to hate it, since my two teenaged sons wanted so badly to see it.

    I was immediately taken by the visual beauty of the film. I am not a huge fan of computer generated effects, but the brown tones of the movie seemed to mute the obviousness of the graphics.

    I loved the casting. I find Gerard Butler’s accent much less distracting than that of other actors. (Sean Connery as an Egyptian in Highlander comes screaming to mind.) Mr. Butler seems to be able to down play it and come off sounding more “generically European”, in my opinion.

    I totally, totally became involved in the story, plots and sub-plots as well. Though roughly two hours in length, it seemed much shorter, even with the first thirty minutes or so moving at a slower pace than the rest of the film.

    I agree, this is not a film for everyone. It is bloody, violent,and intense. I watched much of it through my fingers. The graphics were so realistic, I literally got sick to my stomach during the “Persians at the well” scene as well as the scenes on the “cliffs”. (I’m just a teensy bit scared of heights.)

    Truly, it is hard to feel sympathy for a culture which discards babies, but life was much harder then. Given the choice between the two, I found the Spartans, warts and all, much more sympathetic than the Persians. Why? I am not a fan of double standards, even in fiction, and I couldn’t get past the whole “it’s okay for us to pin people to a tree, but you guys are barbarians for putting our guys in a wall” thing.

    Overall, I found the movie highly entertaining. The Spartans in leather speedos didn’t hurt, either. Yes, we girls like our eye-candy, too. If I had to find fault it would be these: The Gollum-like creature I really kept expecting to say “precious” every minute it was on the screen, and the computer generated wolf. A real animal could have been green screened and made to look larger, like Xerces, and been much more frightening, in my opinion.

    The bottom line, can’t wait to own it on DVD.

  76. Just saw it, that movie is sick dirty.

    And anybody who wants more action and less set up in the first half hr should just stick to watching wrestling & crash up derbys

  77. I just came back from the movie and I want to make the case that 300 was indead a GREAT movie. I’ve read the negatives all day, and I want to bring them out.

    The main critique, especially in the mainstream media is that this is nothing more than a filmed video game, the flow and passion of the action is so much more cinematatic than any video game or jerky cam action movie.

    I admire the filmakers for not hiding the brutual nature of Spartan culture, in our cultural environment killing babies is about as evil as you can get, but the Hilter toting PC crowd is waiving its banners over an interperation of a historical culture. It is an ugly topic of discussion to bring up of weather some are more fit in a society than others, but an important one none the less. I’m not sure if this film comes down as strongly for it as many have intpreted, as the glimpse of shame in the hunchback’s face is a haunting reminder of the lust for redemtion of those who do evil deeds.

    The story has an increadible depth to it of both internal and socialital freedom and honor. The film is basically another morality tale of the price and value of freedom against mysticism and tyranny, two forces still very present even today. The scene with the politicians yelling “Treasure!!!” is maybe the best explination of historical and present polictial will pushing for war and aggression. Whether war is fought for freedom or political interests is a fine balancing act. The film makes the case that this war, like WWII was for the former, but yet they still aren’t mutually exclusive. A very important and subtle social comment, as important today as it was in Ancient Greece.

    My summary is to those who dismiss it as souless, is to look deeper at the themes at play, and those who dismiss it as heartless, to accept a prespective foreign to you and it will embrace you. My only critique is the lack of perspective of the Persians, the slaves who fight and die for a false god who rules them. They have a story to tell too.

  78. Now that I seen it, I will say that there is action in the first half hour…
    A wolf? No, I mean bedroom action! Ha!

    I don’t think this is a great film. I think it’s a good one. Best actor/actress of the bunch to me is Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo. However, I have to disagree with John Campea in one major area. The Dilios character. While the narration (and perhaps even a POV) serves well in payoff in the last half (and a *nicely done* transition near the end) of the film, there were times where narration got in the way of the emotion of a scene (Zack Snyder obviously has no concept of letting a scene just PLAY) and the upeeth time of “what it is to be” a Spartan.

    There is something from Miller’s work I hoped they would have changed and did not. It is the most troublesome for me, and I wonder if there is something to it. Maybe not, but it’s what I got out of the film. It seems that if any man or woman is not perfectly buff (and white?), then they are not just an outcast–THEY ARE THE ENEMY! What is up with the freakshow? I also felt the scene where a rejected character goes to Xerxes harem pussy tent to change sides was a bit on the nose, and way too long. The character is a freak and joins a seductive (and demonic?) freakshow.

    Aside from one CGI shot of the city of Sparta, all FX, CGI and animatronic, were excellent.
    While some minor stories with characters were pushed aside in favor of battles that were a bit too video-game like and eventaully loses track of geography, I didn’t go to expect a movie on the finer points of diplomacy. I was not disappointed in that area. Music score was good, although I didn’t think the guitar riffs were always needed.

    Yes, there is lots of style.
    Yes there is substance.

    Yes, one eventually wins out over the other.

    3 out of 5, 5 being best.

  79. Someguy:

    “i haven seen this movie yet does it have a lot of bad words?”

    I can’t recall much swearing (I remember “whore” if you count that. Obviously lost of violence, also sone nudity and sex. There were a bunch of kids in the theater where I went and this movie is not for kids (because of the nudity and sexual elements.)

  80. I agree with alfie. Why over hype the fuck out of a movie? you are setting yourself up for disappointment. To think that 300 was supposed to be a “major classic” seems inconvenient.

  81. i am here – lurking..waiting…..

    i see this tomorrow……not to surprised to hear that john didn’t enjoy it as much as he thought he was going to…..thats expectations for you…..keep em low thats what I always say….

  82. I’ve been thinking about this film all day, and one of the things that bothered me was the fact that, the violence didn’t bother me!

    Limbs were flying every which way in the battle scenes, but it all seemed too… I don’t know… cartoony I guess would be one way of putting it.

    I think that’s one of the main problems I had throughout this film. Nothing seemed real. The landscapes, the sets & the large battle sequences came off as ‘too’ cgi.

    That’s obviously the style that the film was trying to convey, but for my personal taste it didn’t work.

    If this was a fantasy epic of some kind, I could probably accept it, but I don’t think this subject matter warrented this kind of stylistic treatment. Perhaps as a graphic novel it works, but not as a film.

  83. Hey: gerard (300 prop replicas sideshow collectibles)

    Come on man, if you want to advertise on John’s site, then pay the man. Didn’t he ask you not to advertise in the name field? This isn’t my site, but I’d say if you’re here to comment on movies, then do so. But if you are here to advertise, then have some respect and do it right (legit.) You may have a great business, but I would never click that link or buy anything from you this way. It just seem shifty even if you’re totally reputable, etc. Given that you have done again exactly what you were asked not to do, I would assume negative things about your character and general business practices. All in all, not the way to be successful.

    Sorry. End pissy semi-rant.

  84. Wow. lots to say, but Ill keep it short..

    Substance? That’s cool you found substance. I didn’t, but I still liked the film, so to say that because I saw very little substance means that I’m “either blind or just purposefully looking for an excuse to justify their own distaste for the film” would be incorrect. I’m neither of those things. Sure there’s a couple bits of politics and family in the film, but it’s only there to allow us to catch our breath until the fighting continues.

    “- The film fails to deliver on the sheer quantity of action that it seems to promise us. We’re a full half hour or more into the film before any spears start to fly.” – – I’m not sure which movie you were watching, but it certainly wasn’t “300.” After the 30 minutes of set up that you don’t seem to want, it’s ALL action for almost an hour and a half. And bloody and intense action at that.

    Basicaly I’ll sum by saying this. I too thought the film was very good. Not spectacular, but very good. We agree on this, I just agree with you for exactly the opposite reasons. Weird.

    Also, this film will ass-kick at the box office this weekend (I think 50-60 mil sounds about right), but as begtodiffer says, no way in hell will it last.

  85. The people who didn’t like this movie are just bitter because they would have gotten thrown off the cliff at birth. Don’t hate cause you couldn’t cut it in Sparta.

    This movie is monsterous!

  86. I don’t know what movie some of you people saw, but the 300 I saw lasst night was damn near perfection. Since we’re critic dropping in here, I like what the guy from the Chicago Times said –

    “For today brings about the release of “300,” and it is the “Citizen Kane” of cinematic graphic novels.

    This is a movie that revels in a time when men were men and women were women, and the men loved the women but spent most of their time fighting with other men, all the while spouting grandiloquent speeches about duty and country and loyalty, and the glory of a “beautiful death” on the battlefield.

    It is excessively, cheerfully violent — and it is gorgeous to behold. It looks like the world’s most sophisticated and expensive video game, and I mean that in a good way. ”

    Exactly!

  87. Giohn (gio and john, see what i did there? lol)

    where i live (in DC) the washington post gave it a bad review….stephen hunter said the film was dumb in terms of dialogue and wasn’t historically accurate….he also stated that its the worst retelling of the story of the spartans…..how do you feel about those views….agree, disagree? nice review by the way, you dont let your excitement get in the way of a review…

    peace…

  88. Problem is, Darren, is that the first 30 minutes is nothing but horrible overacting, and more than a little bit of exposition. There’s no real character development per se. We get a bit of backstory on how Spartans are trained as kids, and then a lot of huffing and puffing about war.

    Oh yes, there is the topless dancer who gyrates a bit, which somehow means don’t go to war.

    Then the action starts, and doesn’t stop until the credits roll. If you took all the slo-motion and projected it at normal speed the film would be about an hour long.

    300 will rake in the dough this weekend, regardless of reviews. (Look at Norbert and that Travolta motorcycle movie.) However, it will die a quick death at the boxoffice. Mark my words.

  89. “The film fails to deliver on the sheer quantity of action that it seems to promise us. We’re a full half hour or more into the film before any spears start to fly.”

    This was one of your minuses John. While I cannot comment on the rest (I’m seeing the film sometime tonight) I will comment on this one. Why? Because I feel that t’s …an odd thing to say.

    I don’t care if there isn’t a body count of spears n’ sandal action for a half hour. Do they set up the characters and story first? I bet they do. Granted, even character was established in 2000’s “Gladiator” as audiences seen a battle. But then…aside from Maximus escaping the soldier-executioners, there is no “action” for the next thirty minutes in that film.

    Not every movie needs to have “action” in the first 30 minutes. Just drama, characters and setup. We have to know what’s at stake and who’s who. While fans of Miller will spot stuff quickly or might even know who’s who in five minutes or less- what about the new fans, or the audience who come in who haven’t read the graphic novel?

    Of course, like I said, I haven’t sen the film…”yet”…so maybe your definition of “action” includes conflict and drama? Given the rest of your thoughts this would not seem to fit in with them.

    I don’t want “action” every five minutes in a film. I want a good action scene established by geography. I want an action scene where I know or have a sense of what’s at stake for the characters if it does not establish them in one. The first Thirty minutes of “no action” in “300”? I can live with that—so long as the next hour or so kicks my rear end.

  90. Hey John,

    I’ve only read the graphic novel, but I really didn’t think 300 was anywhere close to Miller’s other work in terms of depth.

    I don’t dispute that there is SUBSTANCE to this story, but I don’t think any of the conflicts are really developed very much–aside from the overriding theme of courage.

    Compare 300 to The Dark Knight Returns. Miller’s Batman work had, um, dialogue and, um, narration. LOTS of it. 300 felt like it averaged 3 sentences per page. Nothing wrong with that–I LOVED the extra room for art, and more words don’t automatically equal greater depth or substance . . . but I didn’t come away from reading 300 with the feeling that I really knew any of the characters very well, not even the King. He was NOT a stereotype–but he wasn’t Shakespearean either. Please don’t insult King Lear by trying to make the comparison.

    With all that said, I’m really looking forward to the movie, and I don’t doubt that it does have substance . . . but I think the difference is that I never expected it to have the smorgesboard of substance that other Miller fans are expecting, sense the graphic novel itself doesn’t develop its themes in a very well-wrought, thoughtful, wordy way. (And again, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. Kubrick’s 2001, for example, provided immense substance without lot of dialogue.)

  91. Townes – It’s not that there’s a theme of any homesexual bonding between Spartans, it’s just the film’s aesthetic I’m talking about.

    Think of ad for something — let’s say a sports car — and the ad features a gorgeous busty model leaning over the car. Obviously they are trying to appeal to men. That’s the same thing going on here in 300 — such homoerotic imagery, to an extreme degree if you ask me. As I said, there are many ways you could have portrayed Xerxes. But he really looks like RuPaul in the film.

    John – was the audience laughing when Xerxes first appeared? People were howling at the screening I saw.

  92. Fuck fuck fuck I can’t wait to go. I’d be at the theater now if my SHITHEAD ASSHOLE COCKSUCKING dad didn’t kidnap my car. I’m stuck at home until 4pm. So all the kids will be in my theater by the time I get there. THANKS dad!

  93. Yeah, I guess it depends on how you define “substance.” For instance, I think most movies have “substance,” but if it’s pretty transparent or superficial, then I think the argument can be made that there was no substance, not just that the substance was of poor quality. From the few things I’ve read about 300, that seems to be a main complaint.

    It’s all semantics really. Anyway, I’m still undecided on whether I want to see the film, and the early word is not encouraging. I might have to wait until I can netflix it.

  94. BegToDiffer

    Cicero wrote:
    However, an examination of the historical details reveals that “references to particular homosexual attachments of Spartans are conspicuous even by Greek standards”

    why not adumbrate it in this movie about sparta?

  95. BegsToDiffer

    I hyped Underworld 2… and said it was shit
    I hyped Reno 911… and said it was shit
    I hyped Lady in the Water… and said it was the worst film of they year

    And the simple answer to your question of:

    “Snyder did such a good job with his remake of Dawn of the Dead. How did he fuck this one up so bad?”

    is… he didn’t fuck it up. he did a very good job. Very faithful translation of the original material.

    So… just because guys don’t wear shirts… that’s homoerotic? really? You gay guys please easy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  96. I don’t quite understand how the fact that you found a little substance in the film automatically precludes anyone else from deciding something different. Did you want to discuss the movie here or just open it up for opinions similar to yours?

    On rotten tomatoes, its cream of the crop score is sitting at 48%. Not exactly a worthy rating.

  97. Hey spider-man prop replicas sideshow collectibles (Please use a name and not an advertisment in the “name” field)

    The quote:
    “I didn’t make the movie… why should I care?”

    Just means that I have no vested interest in the movie being good or bad. I didn’t invest money in it, I didn’t write or direct it. If a movie is good… then great! I’ll say so. If it’s ok… then I’ll say so. If it’s bad… then I’ll say so… regardless of what my hopes for it are going into it.

    CHeers!

    ~Gio

  98. i’m trying very hard not to read everyone’s post/”reviews”, to me they might spoil the movie for me. i want to think about the movie and not remember oh, that dude wrote this on themovieblog.

    gohn/jio (friendly ribbing), can you clarify “I didn’t make the movie… why should I care?”, for me. i don’t want to take it out of context. thanks.

  99. Thanks for your thoughts John. You’re right, you’re the only guy on the web I’ve found that actually calls it like he sees it, no matter if you were looking forward to a movie or not. Keep up the great work!

  100. Oh Beg to Differ,

    It must kill you that the majority of critics are giving this moive positive reviews (63 positive to 39 nagative)

    As I said in my post… this movie isn’t for everyone. It’s just not. fair enough.

    And why would it “kill” me to write that the movie wasn’t great? I’m objective. The marketing made it look amazing. It ended up being Good. I didn’t make the movie… why should I care? I call it like it is. Unlike some people.

  101. >> “This one isn’t the fault of the movie per se since it’s also in the book… but it’s hard to feel too much sympathy or honor for a culture that throws babies from a cliff if they don’t quite look right”

    Did I mention that Hitler occasionally mentioned the spartans in his speeches and not in phrases like “spartans are like jews” (for those of you who want to make a Mel Gibson joke… this is YOUR oppurtunity!)

  102. Oh John….

    It must have postively killed you to write that post. With all your many ejaculations over the past few months about how awesome the film would be.

    You couldn’t come out and say it sucks, could you.

    First off, the style is non-existent. Dull browns, and very flat looking for an all green screen project. It looks like the opening animation for a second rate video game. Compare this film with any other — Gladiator, LOTR, Sin City, whatever — it is visually DULL.

    Substance?!? Dude, there is none. Even in the source material. Why do you think Snyder added that ridiculous subplot about the wife and that guy from The Wire? Just to give us something more, but even that was kind of pathetic.

    “Some of the dialog feels disjointed and out of place” – SOME?!? SOME!?! Every friggin line of this movie feels that way. How many times can we hear somebody scream SPAAAAARRRRRRTTTTAAAAAA! This is dialogue as written by an 11 year-old boy.

    MetaCritic score currently stands at 50. That’s piss poor dude.

    Here’s a great quote from the New York Times:
    “Another movie — Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s “Team America,” whose wooden puppets were more compelling actors than most of the cast of 300 — calculated the cost [of freedom] at $1.05. I would happily pay a nickel less, in quarters or arcade tokens, for a vigorous 10-minute session with the video game that 300 aspires to become.”

  103. I agree John, it’s a good movie, but not a great movie, and because of the high expectations I had with it (which is my fault entirely), it ends up being a dissapointment.
    There were some great moments in it though (for example, the first battle at the gates, where the spartans push & stab, over & over again was fantastic), but I expected more.
    I didn’t think the previews that showed up all over the media in the last week would be the best parts (visually speaking) of the film. I hoped that they would just be hints of what was to come. In one sense, they blew their wad with those previews.
    Regarding the accents, well we really don’t know what accents they had back then anyway, because they didn’t even speak english back then. We’re kinda conditioned to expect some type of high-brow english accent because that’s what films have done for so long. It doens’t mean it’s right.
    On the other hand, Butler’s scottish accent was still bothersome because no other spartan spoke like that. It only makes sense that if you want to give a culture a specific accent (scottish, german, new yawk, whatever…) then it should be consistent amongst all the people from that culture/area.

  104. Okay here’s how I felt about it.

    POSITIVES:
    Visually, it looked freaking awesome! The whole oracle scene was one of the most beautiful looking scenes in movie history. I liked how the only thing they really made “comic bookish” was the blood splatters, which actually made it really cool to me.

    The story was way better than I expected. I truly thought it was going to be a straight up, full 2 hours of action, but it ended up being a lot of story, with pretty good character development with the time devoted to non-action.

    The subtle humor was awesome. When they’re stabbing the dudes and Leonidus is eating the apple, or Leonidus talking to Xerces about the Spartan women.

    The cinematography was unreal. The speeding up and slowing down back and forth was an awesome way to shoot this.

    NEGATIVES:

    -I didn’t know Gollum would be trying to still find his precious in Sparta.
    -Was it just me, or did anyone else think they were looking at a bunch of professional wrestlers playing the role of the men when all of the Spartans were walking up. Killer abs bro!
    -Almost all of the climactic moments and one-liners were in the freaking trailer! God, save me some of those sweet lines in the movie.
    -That was NOT the dude who played Xerxes voice! That just didn’t fit in any way whatsoever.
    -The whole oracle thing, although looked sweet, didn’t seem like it added anything to the story.
    -Some of it dragged in the dialogue parts.
    -Come on, the casting director and directory of photography of this film HAD to be fan boys for Ridley Scotts “Gladiator.” Russell Crowe look-a-like, and the whole ending scene with the wife and kid, come on!

    OVERALL:
    GO SEE THIS MOVIE! The things I didn’t like are definitely small things that didn’t ruin the experience for me whatsoever. I’m nitpicky, I know. But definitely one of the best comic book movies I’ve seen. Awesome stuff.

  105. Hey Lou,

    No, there are things about this film that I didn’t like. It’s not a great film (in my opinion). And as I said in the post I can understand some people not enjoying it. This movie is not for everyone.

    However, the film does have substance. That’s just objective fact. It’s as simple as saying Butler has a beard in this movie. He does.

    Now… if you personally enjoy the substance the story brings… that’s a totally different matter all together.

    Cheers.

  106. [quote]- ANYONE WHO SAYS 300 IS JUST STYLE AND NO SUBSTANCE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT. [/quote]Your assertion about the depth of the story is where the crux of debate about the movie will lay. Unfortunately your subsequent wording could just as easily be used as proof that your predisposition to like the movie is proof that you are seeing substance in the movie when there is none. Interesting considering how light the graphic novel is.

    Followup posting should be interesting.

  107. that bit about “I had a hard time once in a while getting over this King of Greece having a heavy Scooo-Tish accent”…. My rule of thumb is this, if you’re playing the role of a foreigner and you have a hard time reproducing a regional accent, you can always fall back on a scotish accent and get away with it. Sean Connery’s done it all his life and look where it’s got him! lol!

Leave a Reply