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If you're turned on by ultra-stylish visuals, every scene trying to look like a painting, and graphic violence, then you'll like "300". You'll not care about the near-absent drama, the cheesy dialogue, or the blatant rip-offs of BRAVEHEART.
I loved Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, and was excited for his follow-up, until I saw the preview for 300. Instantly I realized he's returning to his TV commercial and video director days of caring only about visuals and "looking cool". He could care less about characters or drama, the elements I consider most important and thought most people (whether or not they're aware of it) do too, but apparently not, because out of all the people I talk to about the movie it's almost universally praised.
Maybe it's the six-packs, I don't know. I suppose I recommend people to see it just because most people do love it, and the visual style is pretty unique. The video-game look totally distances me from getting sucked in, and even more so from the much-too-frequent narration. Rounding out my list of cons is an absolutely pointless side plot that leaves me wondering if Snyder has bothered to learn even the basics of drama.
The King of Kong (2007)
KING OF KONG is one of the greatest movies I've seen in a while - not documentaries, movies. The film-making here is nothing short of extraordinary - building suspense, creating anticipation, and playing with the archetypes like the best Hollywood movies.
If you have ever played the original Donkey Kong arcade game, or on the original Nintendo, you have to see this movie. I have never beaten Level 3 on the third cycle - the spring on the elevator stage, if you know what I'm talking about, is going extremely fast. These guys get beyond 20 cycles.
I don't want to give anything away...I heard they are going to make this a feature movie with actors, but I think that eliminates the main draw of this concept - these guys are in their forties, in some freak cases have wives and children, and they play Donkey Kong with as much heart as Lance Armstrong rode bikes. They are some of the strongest characters I've seen in a movie since STAR WARS. To best summarize how enjoyable this movie is, after watching the DVD for the first time, I immediately restarted it from the beginning, and watched it again.
Better than most movies
I'm writing this to hopefully replace the last guy who was on the front page bashing the show. What a twit. This is bar none the greatest show on television right now, maybe ever. I hate TV, I can never get into it, but this show is so amazing I have no problem watching it for 8 hours a day. And I don't even get paid to.
The characters are varied, complex, and interesting. The suspense is taut and nearly constant, the twists satisfying while never being predictable. It is a show of superlatives. My favorite aspect of the show has to be the situations characters constantly wind up in where they have to make a choice, usually one or both options hanging their own or someone else's life on the line (or hundreds of thousands of lives). Without giving anything away, creators Surnow and Cochran along with one of the greatest ensemble writing teams on earth are better storytellers than practically any filmmaker.
One thing though: If you're debating "getting into" the show, I almost recommend not to. Especially if you have a job and/or life, because it will simply take over. For me, April of 2006 was "24" month. I watched 4 seasons straight, each season being over 18 hours in length (when you factor in commercials not present on DVD's), and it was one of the greatest months of my life, where I hardly ever interacted with people not named Jack, Chloe, Tony, Edgar, Michelle, Marwan, Kim, Chase, or Sa-yed Ali. And in the past 3 days I watched the entire season 5, just in time for the start of season 6. I want everyone to get into it. At 24 episodes a season, you basically get 12 of the best movies of the year, for now going on 6straight years. Jack will put a bullet in your brain if you stop watching.