» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

March 14, 2007
Things I learned from this film: Spartans are the hottest ancient Greeks, Persia's king was an eight-foot-tall drag queen, and shirts should really be optional as they serve no purpose except to limit a (my) healthy appreciation of pectoral muscles.

Surely there must be something else to say about this long-awaited, heavily-promoted, graphic-novel-adapted film? Let's see, 300 tells the story of a Spartan king who, for a couple of hasty reasons, rounds up 300 hot guys in their underwear and marches them off to war against a giant Persian army with nothing more than some shields, spears, and a strategy simple enough to be depicted by a few drawn lines in the sand. Each of these elite soldiers has been rigorously trained since birth to yell "HOO!!" when necessary, which appears to be whenever their king yells a sentence that ends with "…SPARTAAAA!"," …SPARTAAAANS!", or "…GLORYYYY!" The only other remaining piece of plot information is just whether or not they win or lose, and if you are a sweet, innocent lamb who really can't figure it out in the first ten minutes, I'm not going to be the one to ruin it for you.

Now I'm afraid that I've deterred you from slapping down some ticket money and getting pumped about seeing this movie in the theater. Plot or no plot, 300 is an amazing feat, a very non-Spartan approach to filmmaking. The color treatment alone is enough to make it worth seeing, much less the striking presence of the main character, who it's impossible not to follow on-screen, even when surrounded by nearly-identical dudes. I was doing some research on Gerard Butler, the hard-as-nails King Leonidas, to confirm my suspicion that a Scottish accent kept breaking through his majestic lines, and I was surprised/delighted/dismayed to learn that he was the adorable Archie in Mrs. Brown. I would never, ever have recognized him due to what I believe is some sort of prosthesis going on here in order to make his face look more Spartan. David Wenham (aka "Faramir") and Vincent Regan (aka "that guy from Troy") are immediately recognizable, however, as they basically play tiny, one-dimensional slivers of former roles.

Everything's pretty one-dimensional in this film, to be honest, as all of the energy was obviously focused into creating something stunning and original. With that mission accomplished, nobody seemed to go back over the film and think "what a breathtaking representation of…nothing." Because of this, a review about 300 is very difficult to write. 300 expresses nothing and signifies nothing. It is what it is - eye candy. But the reason reviews of it aren't terrible is that it is some of the finest eye candy yet, and it's hard to pan something that's so unique and truly deserves to be seen on a big screen.

I know what you're thinking. "But it's made from a graphic novel! It's not supposed to be King Lear! Meh meh meh! Frank Miller!" Look, all I'm saying is, Sin City managed to include "awesome-looking" in one giant package of "awesome." It hit the visual highs necessary to make it groundbreaking while also including some substance. Of course, that film also had the benefit of the stupendous Robert Rodriguez, one of my favorite filmmakers ever, who managed to take Frank Miller's handiwork and make it into a masterpiece in its own right. 300 won't quite rob of you of speech, but it'll certainly leave an impression. And sometimes thinking is overrated, you know? Sometimes we all just gotta sit back and enjoy the nearly nude men on the screen who are engaged in combat for their honor.

SEE ALSO: 300themovie.warnerbros.com

Susan Howson
A staff writer attending graduate school in Richmond, VA, Susan Howson cannot be persuaded to stop talking about movies.

See other articles by Susan Howson.



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