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Special Edition DVD (front)

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

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By no means does it achieve greatness, but "300" is still a hell of a time.

  • Nov 25, 2011
*** out of ****

It isn't historically accurate or relevant, and it's decidedly silly; but there's just something about Zack Snyder's big-screen adaptation of the Frank Miller comic book "300" that appeals to me right off the bat. It's the kind of movie that bothers just as many as it entertains; a critically divisive action movie that just barely passes as art in its genre. Quite a few readers will probably find it laughably shallow, but there's a charm to Snyder's style; and in the absence of great stories, great characters, and great dialogue, there's something that the director arrives with and delivers will ambition. It's full-throttle, brutalized entertainment.

The story is a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae, and if you want a history lesson, I would strongly suggest looking elsewhere. One thing movies are good for is the fiction itself; and "300" more than makes up for the areas in which it is often severely lacking through the devotion of its makers. Anyways, back to the story at hand; King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) was raised from birth to become a great Spartan warrior who represented his homeland of Sparta. The beginning of the film chronicles his rise from infant to ruler; this is done with efficiently quick narration and what I perceive to be attempts at characterization. Snyder doesn't care much about his characters; so expect from beginning-to-end his main focus, which is the battle field, taking the stage instead of depth or character development.

One day, Sparta is paid a visit from a Persian messenger; whom Leonidas kills. He fears this news will be returned to the enemy forces; thus, the King gathers 300 Spartans and marches them into battle against the Persian Army. The opposing enemy forces are ruled by one man; that is Xerxes, also a King.

If it weren't for Snyder's unique, inspired direction and treatment of this material; this journey would have seemingly dragged on-and-on-and-on. Yet somehow, the filmmaker is able to establish his own style; and it's one that has defined him ever since. Sure, it consists of slow motion and CGI visual effects; but good ones at that, and Snyder makes a mean, intense slow-motion action scene like you wouldn't believe. When the Spartans are doing battle with the Persians (and the Immortals, and whoever else), its nigh impossible not to feel some sort of excitement. Such moments are never boring; while the only instances less fascinating are the ones consisting of prolonged dialogue exchanges between the genuinely uninteresting and one-dimension heroes and villains.

Usually, I'd have a problem with actors just doing their jobs and nothing relatively special (or worth mentioning whatsoever); as well as action that overshadows plot and logic. However, "300" ultimately separates itself from most action flicks out there and creates a completely visual experience; it's pretty intoxicating. It won't be engaging or entertaining for everyone as it was for me, but I can't complain about a well-done genre picture; and "300" is certainly worth a recommendation if worth anything at all.

Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Stephen McHattie, and Michael Fassbender also star. There are some names in there that you definitely know (at least by now); and some that you certainly should know by the time the movie is over. There's a chance that I've given off the wrong impression; that these are "bad" actors and "bad performances" because they deny their ability to do anything more than, well, their job. That is not what I am implying. "300" is competently acted throughout; with actors often spewing out from their collective mouths dialogue so absurd that certain, singled-out lines could go down in cinematic history as some of the most joyously stupid words ever spoken. Whether you're a grouch or one who goes to movies like this one for pure entertainment; such moments are guaranteed to provide some sort of pleasure.

Snyder worked hard on the film, and that is why I am giving him plenty of praise in return for such dedication. I admire the movie he has made, even if it is not a great one. His direction is the work of a true visionary, and at best and worst; "300" exists to be gawked at. And if you can do just that, then you might enjoy yourself. If you haven't seen the movie already, here's my advice; don't think too much. Most movies with as many stabbings, decapitations, and blood shedding should not be taken as seriously as some critics are taking them. I believe that Snyder's film is a pretty good example of this, and whether you like it or not will depend entirely on your expectations and how open your mind is to stuff like this. To conclude this write-up, I will just say this; I do not call "300" great cinema, great acting, or great anything. But the images are beautiful, the tone is admirably silly, and the action is both brutal and honestly filmed. In conclusion, I liked how fun the movie was; and it's better than you might anticipate. Or at least let's hope it is.

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November 25, 2011
in terms of graphic novel adaptation, this was great! Thanks for the review, Ryan!
More 300 (2007 film) reviews
Quick Tip by . November 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Ive been contemplating weather to make this a review of a quick tip, looking at the type of Movie 300 is I think a Quick tip would be better. Now onto the micro review.      As we all know 300 is a stylistic retelling of the the famous Spartan battle of  Thermopylae were 300 Spartans held back  half a Million Persian troops.      Like I said the day I finished watching the DVD, "I don't care if its historically inaccurate, 300 is one …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
300 Spartans Delivers the Goods
Based on the comic book by Frank Miller, the movie 300 is an epic Tale of 300 Spartans and numerous other Greeks battle against Xerxes and his mega army of Persia. The battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, shows the strength, honor and sheer fighting power that once was the Spartan men. The story being told Through the ages and in many different ways is truly made historic by Frank Miller's story telling.      While not a fan of comic books, or movies that look like comic books …
review by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
 300 is quite the confused movie. There are times when its unoriginality is glaring, like in a scene stolen to a tee straight from the finale of Gladiator, juxtaposing the death of our hero King Leonidas with images of his young son and wife running in a dark field of grain. Then there are times when it tries so hard to be unique it’s ludicrous, such as a scene in a Persian army camp where totally inexplicable things are going on including, but not limited to, a near-orgy, a squirming …
review by . July 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
1 of the BEST!!
What Pompted You to write a Review?  This is one of the best movies I have seen in my life.  Not only are the graphics excelent but the whole story line was good.  I like how it has some real life events of how the Spartans were.        How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?  The plot made sense and I don't think it could have been better and that is probaly due to the excelent acting and directing.        Were You ENTERTAINED?  …
review by . December 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Madness?... THIS IS SPARTA!!
The 300 Spartans is based on the battle of Thermopylae between the Persian empire and Greece. Mainly Athens and 300 Spartan Hoplites against the entire Persian empire. The Persians were lead by Xerxes the Great who Persians believed to be a man god. The Greek City States were lead by King Leonidas of Sparta. Although a mere man, King Leonidas was a warrior in every sense of the word! Xerxes the Great was continuing a war with Greece that had been initiated by his father, Darius the Great.    …
review by . August 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Cinematography was great but not too big of a fan of the plot
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This...is...BORING! I just never got into 300 as much as my friends, though I appreciate the effort they gave it.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Bloody good time in this war thriller with lots and lots of half naked men killing each other!
Quick Tip by . May 22, 2010
mindless action. Excellent visual effects.
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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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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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