Special Edition DVD (front)

An fantasy-action film directed by Zack Snyder and based on Frank Miller's graphic novel.

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A Visual Feast for the Eyes and Other Senses

  • Oct 21, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: Seriously excellent CGI special effects; suburb acting

Cons: None as far as I'm concerned

The Bottom Line: See this film; it is spectacularly graphic, grim, and beautiful.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

I am a student of history and so I was more than intrigued by the movie 300 (2006) the graphic novel retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae in Greece written by Fran Miller. The year was 480 B.C., and a force of 300 Spartans from the now legendary city-state of Sparta under King Leonidas defends Greece (along with a force of three thousand or so allied Greek troops) from a Persian army led by one Xerxes. That Persian army numbered in the hundreds of thousands (some sources say the army numbered a million men or more), yet it was held at bay for days by the 300.

The Story-Line

Directed by Zack Snyder (Dawn of The Dead – 2004) 300 begins at the end around a campfire. At its center is a wizened battle-worn Spartan warrior, Dilios (David Wenham – Van Helsing, The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King, Moulin Rouge), who is recounting an amazing tale of battle, glory, honor, deception, and magic. The stories hero is King Leonidas (Gerald Butler – Rein of Fire, The Phantom of the Opera), the brave and prudent king of Sparta who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice for his family, convictions and freedom of Sparta's people.

Dilios weaves an amazing tale of how, when a boy, Leonidas slew a large mystical black wolf-like creature. The brave and battle hardened Leonidas went on to become the most competent swordsman, fighter and strategist Sparta ever knew. He grew into an able and just ruler (well by most), and the beloved husband of Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey – The Brothers Grimm, The Remains of the Day). Sparta and all of Greece was at peace until the leader of Persia Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro – Lost, Charles Angles: Full Throttle, Love Actually) lands on the shore of Greece with a rather large army.

Xerxes sends a messenger to Sparta seeking the city-states surrender, but Leonidas balks and dispatches the man and his guard; after-all Spartan men are bred for war and never surrender, never! After consulting his Senate Leonidas consults with the Oracle, a gorgeous, nubile Spartan beauty whose flawless body is divined by the Ephors, a counsel of ancient, leprous wise men, whom even the King of Sparta must consult with before going to war; it is Spartan law, and not even the King is above the law. The Oracle and the Ephors advise Leonidas not to go to war, neglecting to tell him of course that they have been bribed by the Persians to tell him such.

But Leonidas is determined to protect Sparta and his people so he assembles a band of 300 Spartan warriors (he calls them his personal body guard), all of which have male heirs, and sets off North to greet the Persian army. Along the way he is joined by a band of some 3000 Greeks.

My Thoughts

History aside, 300 is a visual feast, and on that level alone well worth the price of a rental. Frank Miller the man who brought us the graphic novel Sin City, not to mention the resulting movie, has written a very compelling story complete with seriously gorgeous graphics. With more than a little help from CGI the film makers have turned 300 into, well a graphic novel with a look and fell not unlike the aforementioned Sin City.

There is no shortage of blood lust and battle prowess; the battle scenes are not to be missed with their slow monition sequences reminiscent of ballad. There is beauty in the bloodletting, and art to the killing of masses with its twisting limbs and muscled Spartan bodies dancing about the battlefield as one unit. Make no mistake this movie is rated “R” for a reason.

The images on the screen are crisp and clear, and despite the muted hues the gritty color palette manages to be beautiful and awe inspiring. The soundtrack is appropriately rousing in all the right places, and the costumes are works of art themselves, with an awe-inspiring attention to detail.

And the acting is first rate, and dead on. I never felt it was over the top; all of the actors developed a cadence that kept the film moving briskly along. Gerald Butler is excellent as King Leonidas; by the end I wanted to go into battle with him! His chiseled presence is at times mesmerizing and not to be missed.

300 is one of those movies I will eventually own and watch time and again.

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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More 300 (2007 film) reviews
review by . August 28, 2009
This is perhaps the film that really made Zack Snyder well known.  It's what put him in the minds of many movie goers.  And it put him in my mind too, but not for the exact same reasons.  When I saw 300 for the first time, my first thought was that it was a very stylistic looking film that was filled with a lot of cool, flashy special effects, beautiful choreographed battle sequences.  In short, it was a film that looked good.  But being someone who also enjoys getting some …
Quick Tip by . June 11, 2010
sd
Quick Tip by . May 22, 2010
mindless action. Excellent visual effects.
review by . October 30, 2008
300 (Widescreen Edition)
I haven't read the graphic novel so this review is based solely on the presentation of the movie.     The Spartans of Greece want to keep to their ways, keep their freedom and land and way of life without the interference of the Persians. But here come the Persians anyway. After told by the wise men and the Oracle (consisting of lepers and a drunken adolescent girl) that there would be no war, the King of Sparta "takes a walk" with 300 of his finest warriors "as bodyguards". …
review by . November 01, 2008
A graphic novel comes to life   Awash with bloody splendor   Testosterone fuels the cry   No retreat, No surrender!     Spartans groom their toughest men   Picked from the day they're born   When challenged by the Persian king   They counter it with scorn     The Oracle says not to fight   So say the corrupt priests   You cannot stop our festival   To go and fight like …
review by . August 19, 2008
300 was a huge success, due largely in part to the splendid CGI backgrounds and limitless display of bloodshed. I was caught up in its success for several months before I watched it a few more times asking "is it really that good?" Although it will appeal to fans of the graphic novel, and mainstream action moviegoers when you pick it apart on a critical level you'll see how it fails to compare to other epics based on similar time periods. In no way those this rock `em sock `em action joy ride hold …
review by . August 18, 2007
Pros: Awesome use of cinematography, coloring, great acting; well done!     Cons: Definitely not for everyone (violence and weirdness)     The Bottom Line: I'm telling you - Xerxes was a Goa'uld...     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I decided my sister and I needed to see a movie. Reno 911? Ghost Rider? We were a little torn until I read so many good reviews about 300. I’d been wary until then, …
review by . March 22, 2007
I'm so glad I've seen this movie on big screen before it touch on DVD because it's just meant to be watch that way. I was totally bowled over by the visuals, the sound and the actors. The grainy and out of worldly color of the movie, helped in placating the faint hearted, to the scenes of decapitations, limbs flying off in different directions. The soundtrack was most apt. The rock music weaved seamlessly into the ancient setting of the movie quite magically. I've seen movies where they tried to …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, 300 takes over the screen like an invading horde. With all the gushing blood of a horror movie and the scope of a classic epic, the second film from Zack Snyder (who helmed the 2004 remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD) is an impressive visual spectacle. Gerard Butler (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) plays Leonidas, the king of ancient Sparta. The city is famous for its warrior philosophy, and Leonidas won't kneel to the demands of Persia's King Xerxes (LOST's Rodrigo Santoro). Instead, Leonidas leads his 300-strong army against Xerxes's army of millions. Meanwhile, his wife (Lena Headey, THE BROTHERS GRIMM) campaigns in Sparta for the city to send reinforcements as she butts heads with the treacherous Theron (Dominic West, THE WIRE).


300 is a 2007 American action film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller, a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a super-imposition chroma key technique, to help replicate the imagery of the original comic book.

King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) leads 300 Spartans into battle against Persian "God-King" Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of more than one million soldiers. As the battle rages, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support in Sparta for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over ...
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Details

Cast: Rodrigo Santoro, Dominic West, Tom Rack, Stephen McHattie, Gerard Butler, Peter Mensah, David Wenham, John Dunn-Hill, Vincent Regan, Lena Headey, Michael Fassbender, Tom Wisdom, Andrew Pleavin, Andrew Tiernan, Giovani Antonio Cimmino, Greg Kramer, Alex Ivanovici, Kelly Craig, Eli Snyder, Tyler Neitzel, Tim Connolly, Marie-Julie Rivest, Sébastian St Germain, Arthur Holden, Michael Sinelnikoff, Dennis St. John, Neil Napier, Dylan Scott Smith, Maurizio Terrazzano, Robert Paradis, Kwasi Songui, Alexandra Beaton, Frédéric Smith, Loucas Minchillo, Nicholas Minchillo, David J. Francis, James Bradford, Andrew Shaver, Robin Wilcock, Kent McQuaid, Marcel Jeannin, Jere Gillis, Jeremy Thibodeau, Tyrone Benskin, Robert Maillet, Patrick Sabongui, Leon Laderach, David Lapommeray, Vervi Mauricio, Charles Papasoff, Isabelle Champeau, Veronique-Natale Szalankiewicz, Maeva Nadon, David Thibodeau, David Schaap, Jean-Michel Pare, Stuart Myiow, Andréanne Ross, Sara Giacalone, Ariadne Bourbonniere, Isabelle Fournel, Sandrine Mérette-Attiow, Elisabeth Etienne, Danielle Hubbard, Ruan Vibegaard, Geneviéve Guilbault, Bonnie Mak, Amélie Sorel, Caroline Aspirot, Gina Gagnon, Tania Trudell, Stephanie Aubry, Mercedes Leggett, Stéphania Gambarova, Chanelle Lamothe, Sabrina-Jasmine Guilbault, Manny Cortez Tuazon, Cindy, Atif Siddiqi, Camille Rizkallah, Trudi Hanley, Neon Cobran, Gary A. Hecker
Director: Zack Snyder
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, War
Release Date: March 9, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Michael Gordon, Zack Snyder
DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Legendary Pictures
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