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300 - reviews


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#1 of 28 ONLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted March 08 2007 - 06:49 PM

Saw the midnight showing, so I was inclined to want to like the film a lot. I'd offer the 1st act is a little shaky once we get to Leonidas as the adult king of Sparta. Some of the dialogue delivered by Gerard Butler seemed like he was trying to fight a lisp while delivering the words with the accent he choose for Leonidas. The mid-section of the film is the visually fun part of the film, with the crew of 300 Spartans doing what they do best, but scenes back in Sparta play woefully flat and uninteresting, it was like they dropped in some soap opera set in this time period, and the direction in Sparta was underwhelming. Director Zack Snyder is good visually with the backdrops, but not so good with actors and the dialogue delivery. That being said, some of the comic relief feels a little too contemporary, but it was still welcomed given all the carnage on display in this film. The last act fell a little flat to me too, there's this missed opportunity in the resolution that should have been much more inspirational in light of the odds faced by the 300, but it just doesn't quite hit the right notes for me. So overall, it could have been great, but it's okay. Visually, it's sort of appealing, but there's just not enough foundation of a real world to support the veneer of Sparta or the chosen place of battle by the Spartans. I never felt like I was transported to this world, but merely was a passive viewer of the events that unfolded. Definitely check it out for a matinee price, or if you have one of those moviecash tickets from the Best Buy-300 promo last week. I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
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#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted March 08 2007 - 06:58 PM

Good film. I was hoping for a home run, and got a solid triple.

300 is the graphic novel come to life. All of the beautiful Miller visuals (and quite a few of Snyder's), all of the Miller bombast, and lots of Miller's terrible dialogue Posted Image I'd forgotten about that, but it's here for the aficionados.

It wasn't as nutty and wall-to-wall action as I had hoped...some compromises were made to ensure 300 is a real movie, a complete story. But when it hits the action beats, it transcends the genre. Two action sequences in particular, one with Leonidas and one with a fighting pair of Spartans (a dyas), are f***ing spectacular. Demo HT material for years to come. They use the (seen in the trailer) speed up/slow down camerawork to replace the awful quick cuts. For that alone, Snyder should be given 10 Oscars, because I predict action films will use that methodology a lot more in the coming years, and it's significantly better than jump cuts, or shaky cam. It's fluid and smooth, and works for the viewer, not against.

The score is also excellent. It works well on the iPod, and even better in the film. The sound design is very solid. The acting has it's moments at both ends of the spectrum, but more good than bad. And Butler is quite good, even with some bad lines. The voiceover, especially at the tail end, becomes a bit tedious; Wenham is ill-suited for some of the histrionics.

I was left wanting a bit more, but the film came close to meeting expectations, so I was quite pleased. Any and all fans of graphic beheadings and copious nipples (and lovely ones at that) will be most pleased. And what else does a movie need, really Posted Image

Worth a trip to the theater, just for the direction and style alone. When a story this awesome is well-told, it's worth going, even if it's only the Cliff Notes version.

As a last note, the loveliest end credits since The Incredibles, bar none. Just amazing...fans of the graphic novel will be extra pleased. Seriously...I'll watch these whenever I put the DVD (or Blu-Ray/HD-DVD, natch) in. They are that good.

I tried hard to limit my f-bombs...it's the kind of review (and movie) that calls for them Posted Image

8.5/10,
Chuck

EDIT: Already fixed and in the right thread. To add to Patrick's comment, the "back home" stuff felt contrived and forced, probably because it was. I understand the studio push to have a female presence and to balance the action. It just plays poorly. Thankfully, there isn't much of it.
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#3 of 28 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted March 09 2007 - 10:56 AM

Kick ass. That's pretty much it. Posted Image

Score: B+

#4 of 28 OFFLINE   UngersPride

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Posted March 09 2007 - 12:07 PM

I just saw the movie. I was looking forward to it, but I kept my expectations low. All I can say is that I was pleasantly surprised. This movie was very well done. Some of the visuals look like a Frank Frazetta oil painting. I loved the style and sheer visual beauty of this film. It sometimes felt like I was watching a dream of the battle - other worldly, yet real.... The action sequences are top notch. The director has a solid footing here. The one battle sequence with Butler (as Leonidas) was extraordinary..... as he moved in slow motion.... just superb artistry... The entire movie worked for me. At 2 hours it never dragged. In fact I wanted to see more. It has a solid historical footing regarding events. However, if some things looked odd or if some of the characters looked fantasy-like, it should be remembered that this film is a stylized version of events based on a graphic novel. With that said, the good guys (the Spartans) are made to look like muscular he-men, while the traitors are made to resemble grotesgue creatures, and the enemy often comes across as bigger, darker, and more threatening... Thus, the visual canvas gives form to a person's true inner character.... The beginning of the film sets the mood and tone with a voice narration. Butler is Scottish, with a thick accent, so what you hear on screen is his accent - he is not trying to fake an accent.... The battle sequences are superb. The back home scenes have a puropse: Leonidas' wife is trying to convince the Spartan Senate to send more soldiers to help her husband and the three hundred. It worked for me. I could go and on.... suffice it to say I am looking forward to buying the DVD. This movie makes it clear that it celebrates brave, heroic men. In a time of anti-heroes.... this movie revels in the fact that real HE-MEN are willing to lay down their lives for what they believe.... I easily give it a 9.5/10.

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Brett_M

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Posted March 10 2007 - 01:30 AM

I have been looking forward to this since I heard about it. As a digital projection, I was not disappointed. I loved the flick. What pleased me the most was that they added to the graphic novel to flesh it out. No matter how good the battles are, 2 hours of just that would not be a good film. I enjoyed all of it. Deftly directed, it was an audio-visual feast. Great production design with attention to detail. Filmed and edited beautifully. The battles were as exciting as I'd hoped -- bonecrushing and bloody. Score and sound were bombastic. I found the film moving in a few sequences, and I was pumped up at a few as well. I also enjoyed the humor infused throughout. The performances served the film well and Gerard Butler was absolutely fantastic throughout. He will rocket to superstardom. Every frame of the film is an epic painting of love, heroism, and slaughter. It's a balls-out action film, a love story, and a drama about betrayal, duty, honor, and sacrifice. It's my favorite movie this year. ****/****
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#6 of 28 OFFLINE   DustinPizarro

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Posted March 10 2007 - 03:35 PM

Long ago I never would have thought that I'd see 300 on the big screen. But fast forward 10 years and there I was in the middle of the theater captivated by every visual sequence that flashed across the screen. Director Zack Snyder has done a tremendous job. Every scene I remembered was brought to life. My favorite being the Persians driven off the cliff by the marching Spartans. The battle scenes was every bit as ferocious with all the blood and flying body parts that the graphic novel is known for. And I agree with Chuck with the end credits, very impressive!! The performances were good as well with obviously most of the credit going to Gerard Butler. His Leonidas was just as impressive as Mickey Rourke's Marv from Sin City. His Leonidas was very convincing and not just in the middle of a battle but in the poignant moments of realizing that he and his men will die. If there were any negatives to this movie then I would point it to the score. Not that it was bad but it was not consistent. There was a scene after a battle where there was an electric guitar riff that seemed out place and took me out of the movie. I would have stuck with a more classical style but maybe I'm just nitpicking. I had no problems with the politics in Sparta scenes as the battle raged in the Hot Gates since they were not in the graphic novel. I thought of it as a filler for what would have been a shorter film without it. Overall 300 is a soon to be classic which now has an empty spot on my shelf when it comes out on blu-ray. Can't wait!!!

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Kami

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Posted March 10 2007 - 07:04 PM

First of all let me just say this movie is amazing to look at. I love the style. Almost every shot is a work of art in itself. This is one film that wholly benefits from being entirely green-screened - it was required to get the look across, and it worked very well.

Second the sound design is great, very high impact to go along with the outstanding visuals. The score was also great but I agree with an above poster that the guitar riffs in the one scene felt out of place. However knowing they are coming it'll sit much better on second viewing.

The action and fight scenes are extremely well choreographed. The action is simply awesome. I wanted more of it though. For all the fighting in the movie, I was never fatigued by it which is a sign of very good editing. The pace was good (though the movie seemed a tad slow to get going at the beginning). For a movie so focused on action, I find it kind of weird that I want more of it, but I do. So I got my fingers crossed for some kind of extended or director's cut with more battles.

Every time they went away from the battle I just wanted them to go back. I understand it was most likely because of the studio pressuring them into a larger female presence and whatnot, but I would have liked more focus on the battle. Not just the fighting but more of the stuff in between, to get a better look at Spartan tactics and such. I would have also liked to see some of the other Spartan warriors have their little plot lines fleshed out more, but they suffered because of the cutting back to Sparta in between attacks. There was some real potential for more "band of brothers" type stuff but it sadly fell short.

The acting was better than I expected. Some of the lines they had to deliver were pretty hard to get across convincingly but they managed to do it most of the time. Butler is the star here - his performance was top notch, he nailed it every step of the way.

This is a movie I think will do even better for me on repeat viewings at home (bring on the HD DVD, Warner!).

For now I give it a 4 out of 5.

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted March 11 2007 - 02:35 PM

This was an amazing flick. I still can't stop thinking about it even though it's been hours since I left the theater. Can't wait for the Blu-ray. 5/5

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   BrettV

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Posted March 11 2007 - 07:57 PM

I saw this film last night. Amazing story, interesting/odd characterization, beautiful scenary, wonderfully engaging cinematography ... The sound design and mix were solid. Nothing really over the top, but all there. I'd give it a solid 8.

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   ErichH

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Posted March 15 2007 - 09:50 AM

You're being picky at all - it's a stinker moment in the edit room. Totally out of place. Along with the Zimmer music at the end, I'd say the score police were on a donut break. I agree with many here - some of the battle scenes were great work. E

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted March 18 2007 - 03:38 AM

Finally got my viewing in last night. Went with HTF member Josh.C & his lovely pregnant wife. Posted Image

I liked it alot. Liked it more than I thought I would. Earlier this year, I had low expectations, then rose to pretty high, then back down again...strange I know. Posted Image

One thing that impressed me the most and what I was expecting to find little of was the story. I kind of expected an obligatory story to surve the action. Instead, the story was rather meaningful. And that's a very good thing. As strong and unique the visuals and style used are...the story works well on it's own. I was thankful to care and was really worried I was just going to get eye candy.

In fact, I think some of that "xbox-playstation" myth actually makes the film better because it really is not like that at all. There are a few moments that certainly look like a video game action thing, but truthfully, only a few times. Even then it still works.

I liked Gerard Butler. Very good. He's best when he was more methodical and just speaking camly and reflective. At those moments Butler is at his best and most believable. When things get intense and he yells, it can come across a bit forced...but this is not Schindlers List. Posted Image

One minor issue I had was with the narrator....not his voice but the way he looked. I'm kind of strange and picky on some things but the way they had his hair etc...just didn't look like it fit him and the armor. Sounds nutty...maybe I was just used to the way Farimar looked in LOTR. Posted Image

Want to see it again...but liked it alot the first time. This thing is gonna be HUGE on dvd, hd dvd, & blu-ray. HUGE.

8.5/10...Posted Image

#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted March 18 2007 - 09:26 AM

The cinema I saw it at had the surround-speakers blown (They just made a loud 'flapping' noise the whole movie, like a bunch of bats). The movie was so good I didn't even complain about the noise. Seriously, best action film I've seen in 10 years. I predict his movie will do for HD/BR what The Matrix did for DVD.
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#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Josh.C

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Posted March 18 2007 - 09:59 AM

Awesome night indeed, FM's 300 lived up to it's billing in every way. It's so nice to get a movie with lots of hype that delivers on first viewing. I fell in love with the look of the film. I loved the slow motion shots and thought they were just enough w/o overkill. Even the wierd oracle sequence and King Leonitis and wife love scene were tastefully done and very artistic. I loved the one liners thrown out by the Spartans to the Persians. For example, (paraphrasing) "I would get down on my knee's, but you see, it's been bothering me, probably from all the Persians we slaughtered this morning" Really added to the arrogance (which they backed up with brute force) of the Spartans. I also loved the way that the Spartans banded together as they faught. Excellent film and a no brainer for a second viewing and DVD purchase whenever it hits stores. 9.5 of 10- Really well done! JC

#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted March 18 2007 - 10:50 PM

300 was pretty much what I expected. A cross between Braveheart and Gladiator.

Visually and aurally stunning. Acting was fine. Dialog was hit and miss. I agree that the second act is the better of the three.

Overall a very enjoyable time at the movies.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Btw, saw it in IMAX and was blown away (have only seen true IMAX films to this point). Crystal clear image and sound, a perfect presentation well worth the $14.50. It will be my theatrical presentation choice from now on when available (Spiderman 3, Harry Potter).Posted Image
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#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted March 28 2007 - 02:30 PM

I finally managed to find time to watch this film.....and in IMAX no less. I was completely blown away by the film...absolutely breathtaking battle scenes. It was a visual and aural assault on the senses. Gerard Butler was fantastic in the role of the King......this is definitely a star-making performance. 300 now has an empty spot waiting for it in my DVD collection.....bring it on! Posted Image

A 9.5 out of 10 for me. My favourite film so far this year! Posted ImagePosted Image

......guess I'll have to pick up the graphic novel at some point too. Posted Image
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#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted March 28 2007 - 06:48 PM

300 - 1 of 10

Oh dear lord this was unbelievably terrible.

I've never had such a strong urge to MST3K a film, ever. In fact I don't really care fore the show and really dislike people who do engage in mst3king a film, but I had to just grit my teeth and endure. It was abominably bad--and I expected I'd probably like the film, boy was I ever wrong.

Absolutely awful, the worst film I saw in either 2005, 2006 or 2007 (so far).

300 is so bad it makes you realize that Troy was an exceptionally well written, conceived and executed film with brilliant acting. Posted Image

There's not a single positive thing I can think to say about this film, except that the art direction was okay. I didn't like the cinematography, the editing, the style, the execution, acting, or script. The story was decent.

300 does happen to feature the universe's most inept and stupid queen of all time, a ten year old could have figured out what the greasy nonripped politician Spartan was going to do--but apparently spartan women weren't eugenically bred for intelligence or even being able to see more than two seconds into the future. Yeesh.

Not entirely sure why Xerxes' millions gave the Spartans time to sleep and recover. They are such nice enemies to not press the advantage of their overwhelming numbers. And it was so honorable of Leonidas to only throw the spear so that Xerxes bled, rather than actually killing him, what a tard, now Xerxes can just spin it into a new aspect of his godhood, that the spartans thought they could kill him, but all they could do was scratch him.

Also terribly nice of Xerxes to withdrawl for a year so the spartans could assemble and army of 10,000, no sense pressing the advantage after earning a route through the pass.

I've not even gotten to the videogame qualities of the movie. I scoffed before seeing it at the videogame criticism coming from critics, assuming that critics, for the most part have never played a modern game through completion. But they're absolutely right, the aesthetics are modern ps3/360 videogames via the Matrix (the film): slow down for the killing stroke and an artful bloodspray--draw this out for at least four more repetitions until the shot is over, and repeat this sequence six times per battle sequence (there are about four battle sequences), it's actually worse than playing a videogame, it's like watching someone leveling up. I've done that (watched someone level-up, on Secret of Mana). It's boring, uninteresting and absolutely no fun whatsoever, which is exactly what I felt like watching 300, I kept waiting for them to shoot lightning out of their swords from accumulating so much EXP.

The fact that the enemies come in waves of increasing difficulty exactly like a video game was also somehow annoying. First, fight the infantry, then come the cavalry, then avoid the arrows, then fight the masked warrior 'elite' part of which is your first 'bossfight' against a giant blundering ogre who can have bits stabbed and chopped up but doesn't take any damage, even from six inches of steel being shoved into his eye (and brain) until you defeat him and enter the prerendered video sequence where your character chops off his head in an elegant manner with, yes, another artful blood spray.

Repeat this twice more (I think, maybe three times, I was so bored I lost count).

Absolutely awful movie in every way imaginable.

Oh and to become king of Sparta all you have to do is kill a wolf. Someone should have told nonripped greasy politician Spartan (the badSpartan) that all he needed to do was wander a few miles from the city in the winter and kill a wolf with a spear and the people would depose Leonidas and make him king, it would have saved him a lot of trouble.

I've never realized before just how talanted Stallone and Schwarzenegger were as actors, they actually had range, it's fantastic. Spartans don't have range, just vocal cords that only work on two levels, talky level (for 'I long to die honorably fellow soldier' that makes up the majority of the dialogue) and ROARING LEVEL for 'talking' to everything else.

 

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted March 29 2007 - 12:24 PM

Thank God - someone else who disliked the movie! Yay! Posted Image
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#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Jace_A

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Posted March 30 2007 - 10:14 AM

Although I thought the movie was ridiculous, campy rubbish, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about the history behind this story. When Xerxes is played by a 8 foot drag queen, the time for considered thought is over. The film had almost as many howlers as "Showgirls".

#19 of 28 ONLINE   RobertR

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Posted April 01 2007 - 01:15 PM

I had posted before that I had reservations about historical inaccuracies just for the purpose of making things look cool, but I have to say I rather enjoyed the film. Nicely done look to it. Loved the Queen's big moment (the women were all very good looking). I do wish that Xerxes hadn't been portrayed as an eight foot tall drag queen, though.

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   EricW

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Posted April 01 2007 - 05:17 PM

but wouldn't that make sense? i mean tire the Spartans with slaves first; they have little value to you anyways. why waste your trained elite first?
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