Movie Review: "300"
Here's how the CNN review of "300" begins to sum up the movie:
Nevertheless, it's not so much the body count or even the blood lust that's disturbing. It's that the film, with its macho militarism, seems out of step in a war-weary time.Big surprise there -- not! The mainstream press has been finding an "anti-war" message in all recent movies about war, even in "Letters From Iwo Jima" -- to me, the message in that film was "hopeles, pointless war is bad" rather than "all war is bad". "300", a graphic stylization of the Battle of Thermopylae, is just about the ultimate "guy movie" -- lots of limbs being hacked off and male bonding in a not-really-homoerotic way. The movie itself is visually stunning; it was almost entirely shot in front of a blue screen, with the backgrounds inserted digitally with a surreal color palette. (This Time magazine review has some of the details of how the movie was shot.) Here in Boise, the late showings on the digital screen were sold out before the early evening showing started -- it looks like the marketing plan worked pretty well for this film.
Bottom line -- if you're looking for a guy movie with lots of violence and some sick humor, "300" is a good choice. On the other hand, if you're looking for a realistic portrayal of ancient battles, try The History Channel. I give it 4 gratuitous decapitations out of 5.