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300: Rise of an Empire: 3D Looks Great, But Where’s the Thrill?

What were the filmmakers thinking when they decided to go with a dull realism reminiscent of old gladiator movies?

by
Andrew Klavan

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March 19, 2014 - 11:00 am
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300-Rise-of-an-Empire-Artemisia

I think 300 is easily one of the best movies of the last twenty years, the only movie I’ve seen twice in a week since Hitchcock died, a film that will be re-watched and remembered long after most if not all of the prestige art films of our day are forgotten.

The tale of the Spartan battle against the Persians at Thermopylae was released in 2006, when Hollywood, entering its most shameful days, was beginning to churn out despicable anti-war on terror and anti-military propaganda even while American sons were actually on the battlefield in harm’s way. 300 was instead a stirring W-style call to defend the age-old values of the west against an oppressive and ignorant foreign invader.

But what made the film special — even brilliant — was the wild, confident imagination it brought to the screen from Frank Miller’s graphic novel. Though the story stayed very faithful to the history in Herodotus, it introduced fantastical beasts, over-the-top video game violence, outsized characters and even bulked up muscle suits to give the story a larger than life feel. It was as if the movie was saying to the Islamic-fascists who had attacked us: “You think we’re decadent because we sit around and play video games? Let us show you the sort of western courage that inspired those games, Islamo-schmuck!”

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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I have poor depth perception so 3D has been more annoying to me than useful, especially when the theatre charges $3 for glasses they say I can't use for the next 3D movie. So I watched Rise of Empire in 2D with my son and his friend.
I thought the gore was greater than 300, which I had considered as much as I needed. More than thought, I thought the sexual perversion was more disgusting than titillating.
I enjoyed the battle sequences but I'd have liked them less graphic, myself.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
And not even very accurate, at that. Did the person who developed the poster -- dark-haired girl with bow and arrow -- know anything at all about archery? She's either going to have a _seriously_ cut left forefinger, or she's going to lose that arrow before she releases it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've seen a photo from the web, a fellow was trying a compound bow out and managed to shoot his left hand through the thumb, past the bow, and into his left forefinger. In the photo, he's still holding the bow (has to!) and the fletching is half-buried in his hand. Ouch!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's the 'Hunger Games' effect.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I lingered over the wrongness of that picture for the longest time. It is clear those who staged it have never actually shot an arrow.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is also the little detail that the Greeks of the era detested archers, slingers, and skirmishers of all sorts, women were not warriors, and she got the wrong sort of arm-guards.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder how the Iranians will throw their predictable hissy fit over the new movie.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why? That's easy. Because Hollywood still doesn't understand WHY 300 was such a hit. They don't get it. They do mindless imitation reasonably well, but because they don't understand what they are imitating, they are doing it very badly. They are imitating what they *thought* was the core idea, but instead all they copied was the font and average word length, not the text of the message.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very perceptive comment.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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