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300 (2007)

February 9, 2010

7/10 Atomic Situps

Almost makes me want to go work out. Almost.

300 is the re-telling of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC (good year) where an army of 300 Spartan warriors nearly took down an entire army of Persians that were aiming to burn their homeland to the ground.

Freakin’ Persians, man. No respect.

I remember the first time my roommates and I saw this back in college, our immediate consensus was to hit the gym pronto. Never before had we felt so emasculated by watching a movie. I think a lot of guys had that reaction after seeing dozens of badass actors donning 8-pack abs that would shatter your hand if you tried to punch them, then grabbing a chunk of flab from under our wifebeaters, wondering, “What the hell have I done to myself?

But that ended right quick when we remembered how much easier it is to play video games and drink beer.

Point is, this is a guy movie. I’m sure some of the ladies out there will appreciate all the eye candy and how any guy will deny to the teeth that watching shirtless dudes sweat and grunt for lengthy periods of time is so not homoerotic (except for Xerxes, he’s pretty homoerotic), 300 is essentially about hardcore killing machines going on a bloody rampage for two hours. There’s one or two “romantic” plot lines thrown in there for good measure, but that’s probably not gonna make your girlfriend like in any more.

It’s directed by Zack Snyder and I’m still up in the air as to whether or not that’s a good thing. He follows Frank Miller’s source material to a tee and really does his best to make his movie look like a graphic novel in motion, but ever since Watchmen, I don’t know. It’s just that he’s so focused on the visuals and overall aesthetics that subtlety and storytelling end up playing second fiddle, which sucks. Granted, not sure how subtle he could have made this thing to begin with, but some of the macho shit and epic speeches are pretty ridiculous.

Nor does it help that the guy was apparently born with a slo-mo dial in his hand, which gets old fast. It’s just more fun to watch guys get rocked in real-time is all. Call me crazy.

But whatever, I’m being way too critical about this, time to tone it down and stop being such a snob. You boot up 300, you check your brain at the door, you get prepped for some masculine itching and you get ready for some crazy violence backed up by a verifiably kickass true story. Though some liberties are definitely taken – that was Miller’s call, not Snyder’s – the main story of the Battle of Thermopylae is pretty intact and that story is right up there with Gettysburg as one of the all-time great battles.

And even though he can be a little much at times, Gerard Butler is also pretty freakin’ awesome as Leonidas. Doesn’t take a whole lot to make a Spartan look cool, but he does it quite effortlessly. Too bad he’s done nothing but horse shit ever since.

A couple days ago I saw that the folks over at IGN hailed this as the best movie of 2007, and while I’m not really sure how many cupfuls of salt I need to take that one with, that’s some pretty high praise for an action epic. The action scenes are pretty sweet, the whole thing pretty much convinced every male viewer that they were born in the wrong century and for all its over-the-top bi-curious manliness, 300 is still a pretty boss time. Not a best-movie-of-’07 time, but “boss” works.

Alright, I’m off to go bust out a 300 workout session. I am gonna be so ripped, bro.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 8:30 am

    good luck ‘ripping’ or whatever you kids are calling it
    very good review, funny and accurate
    i like 300, its stupid good fun
    i disagree with you though – chicks dig this movie too

    • February 10, 2010 5:23 pm

      Ross is right. Us chicks dig it, or at least I do.

      • February 11, 2010 1:01 pm

        I take it all back, you have proven me wrong and it makes me glad. Well done.

  2. February 9, 2010 10:52 am

    LOL hilarious review. 300 was pretty good for me, probably a low 7/10, the action is badass and stylish. If you liked the movie, you might enjoy the book Gates of Fire.

    • February 9, 2010 11:21 am

      Thanks, man. You know, I started reading that a couple months after I saw this movie, but stopped because that was during a period in my life where I didn’t like reading. Still have it on my book shelf, definitely going to give it a read soon, pretty awesome stuff. Will report back.

  3. February 9, 2010 3:06 pm

    This is a movie for women and gay men to love the hot men in loincloths. Guys have to check their masculinity at the doors to see bloody, sweaty men on screen screaming and grunting and… ooh, what was I talking about?

    • February 9, 2010 8:09 pm

      Did anyone see the don’t-ask-don’t-tell-spoof of this on SNL?

  4. February 10, 2010 5:26 pm

    This was probably one of the most visually enjoyable movies I’ve ever seen. I didn’t pay as much attention to the story or the ass kicking or good one liners initially because I was so enamored by the how insane the cinematography was. Every viewing I watch now I think I enjoy it that much more.

    Also, it has one of the most bad fucking ass trailers ever.

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