Monday, March 12, 2007

Movie Review: 300

Alison and I have somehow gotten in the habit of only going out to movies or dinner when our friends are around. Last Friday, we decided to buck that trend by going out to eat and to see 300, which was opening that day. The film is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, which is, in turn, inspired by the Battle of Thermopylae.

Here are a few assorted comments about the film:
  • The look of the film is spectacular; the costumes, the prosthetics, and the stylized blue-screen effects---and almost every scene in the movie was shot in front of the blue screen---are all visual feasts.
  • I enjoyed the music very much. It's an odd mixture of music that could have been performed in the ancient Mediterranean and modern guitar licks, but it somehow works. It works so well, in fact, that when we left the theater, when went directly to the bookstore to pick up the soundtrack.
  • The story is only loosely historically accurate, but you have to expect that in a film based on a comic book.
  • The dialog is often quite melodramatic, but, again, that is to be expected in a graphic-novel adaptation.
  • Several plot points are quite obvious long before they happen, and I'm not just talking about the inevitable ending here. I found that rather annoying.
  • Despite the above shortcomings, the movie does successfully manipulate the viewer's emotions. I found myself identifying with the Spartans and cheering them on.
Overall, I give it 8.0 out of 10. I would have only given it 7.5, but I'm bumping it up half a point for reminding me to crank up the intensity of my workouts.

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