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A two-sided piece of art
gus49531 March 2007
This film isn't for all people. That's to say about a lot of movies in general of course, but this one in particular brings up a big clashing point between critics; What do we want to see in our movies? What is more important, to portray a fictional setting for the sake of giving people a mind blowing visual experience or to amuse and amaze them with clever plot twists and intelligent dialogs?

First lets analyze what exactly this film is made of. Basically, the whole thing is just one epic fighting scene after another. Most noticeably is the camera work and the visual effects. Every shot seems like it was intended to be a work of art. The colors, the characters, the costumes, the backgrounds... every little detail has been given so much attention. During the big fights you'll also instantly notice the unique editing. There are a lot of "time slowdowns" throughout the battles which show what exactly is happening. Fatal wounds that slowly leak blood spatters in the air, decapitated heads traveling in slow-motion across the screen... it's all there.

The story on the other hand isn't very complicated, in the sense that the whole movie could probably be described in a sentence or two. The dialogs are simple and most often talk about moral values like freedom and honor. If you would look at the script, it would probably look like another movie that has nothing more to offer then idealistic visions of how life should be.

Reviewers of this title seem to be split up in two groups. They either love it with passion calling it an epic movie of the 21th century, or hate it even more and throw it off like a piece of garbage consisting of mindless action and silly cliché phrases. I feel reluctant to take a position in this argument. Normally it's tolerable to weigh out both sides of this matter to result in a fair judgment about a movie. Not in this one. On the one hand the visual are surely among the best to be witnessed in a movie. Every detail, every background, every special effect set to the scenes are so mindblowingly stunning. On the other hand the plot and dialogs are of the most simplistic and quite frankly dumb kind. "I fight for freedom! I'd rather die in honor then live in shame!" Sounds familiar?

Of course it could be debated that this movie was never intended in the first place to have a unique plot that makes your head spin. But from an objective point of view it's still lacking in this department, so it should be noted.

Now that's fine and all, but does that all make of the film? Is it worth watching or what? I think it is. For me the good outweighs the bad by miles. From the second the movie started it grabbed me and didn't let go. Every battle, every scene of the movie had me at the tip of my chair. Everything from the strong acting to the wondrous visuals to the war-shouts of the soldiers was just so stunning... it was truly a wonderful experience.

I did not one single moment felt like the movie lacked anything. But I could imagine why other people did.

So here's the deal.

If you are easily impressed by beautiful landscapes, wonderful camera-work and editing and powerful acting then go see this. Right. Now. You'll be missing out if you don't. There is so much to see, so much power in the way this comic is translated to the big screen... It'll leave you in awe.

However, you are looking for a good story, clever plot twists, some innovating to the world of the movies then skip this. 300 contains nothing of this, nor does it wants to give you this.

I enjoyed this movie so much, but I know there will be people that will pass of as rubbish, and that's understandable. Just be sure to make up your mind about what you want to see when you go to the theater yourself instead of being drawn into bias by the tons of reviews this site has to offer.
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rmax3048235 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The story of Spartan King Leonidas holding the Persian Army of Xerxes at bay at the battle of Thermopylae. As far as I can remember -- I was there but it's been a long time -- it's reasonably accurate historically although perforce some of the dialog must be fabricated.

If it has any redeeming social value it's probably that the kids who are the intended audience will learn that there was once a city called Sparta that wasn't in Mississippi.

But the photography and f/x are something special. Images are in high contrast and tinted a kind of gold except at night, when they're tinted a kind of blue. Not midnight blue but kind of a neon blue.

The acting is professional in caliber. Some of the monsters (for that's how they're depicted) overplay their roles, if that's possible. The women are attractive and it's interesting to see that the queen has been outfitted by Dior or somebody, wearing a dress cut perilously low on her iliac crests. The men are uniformly built. Their pecs are massive. Their abs are rock hard. In fact, they're built almost identically. Can you photoshop a group scene? If it weren't for the photography and f/x it could be a sword and sandal epic from 1958 filmed in Cinecittá starring Lance Sterling (née Guglielmo Gogliucci).

But the photography alone almost redeems the film. The skies are straight out of J. M. W. Turner, smoky and smudged, but slowly swirling.

It's thought provoking but the thoughts it provokes are primitive. There is no overlap between good (white Spartans) and evil (black Persians). This kind of binary thinking is dangerous because it's liable to lead us into believing that this is the way the real world works -- all good versus all evil -- whereas in fact God didn't make the universe in a way that renders it so easy for humans to understand.

Too bad they distilled Spartan culture into nothing more than a lot of heroes taking "drunk delight in battle with my peers." The Spartans certainly fought well and the battle scenes are impressive except when they lapse into very slow motion or are overcranked to lightning speed.

Sparta must have been a nice place to visit though you wouldn't want to live there. They periodically raided their neighbors, the peaceful Helots, for slaves. Older mentors adopted young boys as sexual objects. If a newborn was deformed or otherwise deemed unfit it was put down.
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Forget the Naysayers, 300 Delivers!
CrassActionHero31 March 2007

Review: 300 has been given lots of criticism. People like to view in the political way. That is not the way. Here's my take.

300 is an entertaining movie. This is all about the action and it's Spartans. The movie takes about the first 30 minutes to give us plot development before the Spartans take it to the battlefield.

The action is the key. The slow motion action is what really delivers. This is like a ballet of blood done so nicely. The action needless to say is satisfying. We are given lots of campy dialog and some good humor here and there that works. Gerard Butler is wonderful. He embodies the great king. Becomes him.

Now, on to the politics, 300 has it's own politics, but it was also based on a comic book written back in 1998. How can this be a pro-Bush statement? This is just like another Frank Miller picture, Sin City. The point is to make the comic book come to life. 300 was written by Frank Miller almost a decade ago and you think this is right-wing propaganda?

Listen to me. Take a deep breath and lighten up. Okay?

One last thing, this movie is NOT a history lesson. This is based on a graphic novel, similar to a movie made back in 1962, and is inspired by the battle in 480 B.C. This is not racist either.

The Last Word: 300 delivers what is was sent out to do. Action. Entertainment. Skin. Ignore the naysayers and enjoy. Excellent popcorn fun.
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"This is Sparta!!!"
BrunoRatesTheMovies27 March 2022
For my 300th review, the movie 300.

This was such a stylised breakthrough when it first came out. But it was a bit long in the runtime and full of slow mo but that's to be expected from Frank Miller and Zach Snyder. The movie adaptation from a comic that was adapted from an old Greek mythological tale. I think the exaggerations of the movie perfectly exemplified how myths blow up over time. Every frame was straight out of a graphic novel and it still looks amazing.
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History x Fantasy
deepfrieddodo12 April 2022
Snyder's epic brilliantly avoids critiques of historical accuracy by meshing fantasy and history together.

Following the 300 Spartan soldiers of the ancient battle of Thermopylae, focus lies heavily on the action sequences, shot reminiscent of the panels of the graphic novel they were lifted from. Superbly choreographed to a degree of superhuman skill, violence justifiably plays a key role in plot, whilst well balanced with dashes of democracy shown in an aligned arc to give the story context.

Acting is great across the board, with many well-known faces showing up, and without a potentially poor attempt to portray Greek accents.

Key events are by and large historically accurate, an accuracy which is held until the likes of the Immortals arrive. From thenceforth fantasy takes rule, providing the excitement from battle to battle. Even then, famous quotes and people are portrayed providing an excellent mix. And as the narration follows the words of someone inspiring soldiers at the next battle, the creative licensing of history is justifiable even more.
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Strong on style; weak on reason
harry_tk_yung17 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have to get something out of the way first. From the two movies I watched back to back in two days, there is enough blood to fill Lake Ontario. Done! (Oh yes, the other one is "Hannibal rising").

Frank Miller fans who have been so pleased with how faithfully "Sin City" has replicated the graphic novel (some even calls it just the animation of the novel, with a few real actors thrown in) will note that for "300", the movie makers have taken considerably more liberty in adapting. But then, the original graphic novel is itself an adaptation from real history.

While the main attraction of this movie is its stunning visual style, I do wish to point out some ironies before we store our brains away and sit back to enjoy. The irony is that the same hero who claims to be defending civilization and reason kills an emissary on the mere pretext of the latter's discourteous words. You would be hard pressed to find an act more barbaric. But this is good: it serves as a timely reminder that this movie is so one-dimensional that whatever the "heroes" do is right. The audiences that have recently winced at a scene in "Letters from Iwo Jima" where an American Marine shoots a surrendered Japanese soldier are unlikely to have the same reaction in witnessing the Spartan heroes gleefully thrusting their spears, en mass, through the heart of wounded soldiers lying on the battlefield. This mean only that such audiences are taking "300" for what it is.

Let us therefore move along to the visuals, which should be your only reason for watching this movie. Never has slaughters in battle been made to look so stylishly beautiful. As appetizer comes the first encounter which reminds me of the line of scrimmage in an NFL game. By sheer brutal force, the line of Spartans and shield holds back the seemingly unstoppable momentum of the onslaught of the first wave of Persian attack. While the evil attackers fall under the mighty thrust of the spears, their wielders are entirely unscathed – another thought association: "a wicked thrust, it's dust to dust; from fore to aft, they feel a draft" in Guenevere's witty lyrics in Camelot (1967) turns out to be an apt description of the scene. Next comes the Persian cavalry, which is disposed of with equal ease by the famous wedge formation. The third wave is a little more intimidating, the ghostly "immortals" plus a ghastly giant. That requires a little more work but at the same time provides King Leonidas an opportunity to shine.

After a brief time out, we are treated to huge beast with trunks that might have been on loan from "The Return of the King". By this time, the audience's thirst for blood should have been brought to a height. What follows is a sequence that I think is the highlight of the entire move. Through a skillful mix of slow and fast motion, we are shown how the "300" disposes of their opponents as if they were straw men, with limbs and heads flying around at will, and a rain of blood splashing on the screen in a glorious crimson.

But then the tide begins to turn as we see the first Spartan casualty. Standing in the midst of a sea of slaughtered enemies and bathing in glory, a young hero fails to notice the approach of a stealth and swift horse, carrying a deadly rider. Before we have a chance to blink, we witness the fall, in very slow motion, of his headless body. This is the son of the King's most loyal captain who, at the start of the march, told the King that his son "can be replaced" if lost in battle.

Some say that there is so much CGI that they may as well not have actors in this movie, but I don't agree. The fact that the real actors are acting almost entirely in front of a blue screen does not mean that they are not real. Gerard Butler, who did not impress me as The Phantom (but did quite well as The Stranger in "Dear Frankie" (2004)), is an impressive King Leonidas, with his raw power and determination. Also good, as the warrior queen, is Lena Headey who had a reasonably good role in "The cave" (2005) but was underused in "The Brothers Grimm" (2005). What I really love is the performance of David Wenham (a very memorable Faramir in LOTR) that gave me something to remember, in the last scene of this movie. Playing the sly traitor is Dominic West whom I have just seen yesterday in "Hannibal rising", as the French inspector. The acting in this movie is generally fine, on the one-dimension level.
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"300" insulting on so many levels
view_and_review9 April 2007
300 was the first movie of 2007 for me. 2007 was/is going to be the year of quality over quantity. I'm tired of running out to see seemingly good movies based upon good trailers, just to find out that the movie was not worth the money spent. I was going to wait until this summer before going to the theater, but Saturday night rolled around and I had nothing to do, so against my better judgment, I went to see 300.

I looked up the start time online to find out that "300" started at 10:05. I went to the theater and saw "300" on the marquee. I purchased a ticket for "300", and it read clearly on the ticket, "300". I went to the screen which also had a marquee that read, "300". I sat down through 30 minutes of commercials and previews before the movie started, and the title read, "300". So, I'm sure I did watch the movie "300", but by the end of the movie all I was sure of is that I got ripped off.

As highly touted as this movie was, as much money as it raked in, this movie was a bomb. I felt like I sat through two hours of Greek propaganda. I wanted to see the movie because I figured it would be similar to "Troy", "Lord of the Rings", or "Kingdom of Heaven" with the fighting. In other words, two very good and well equipped armies battling it out until one is overcome by the other. Umm, how wrong I was. It was more like a bad martial arts film with spears and swords. You know the kung fu movie where the hero is surrounded by his dozens of opponents, and they all attack one at a time, until the hero kicks or punches them all out without much effort. You know that type of movie? Yeah, well "300" was like that.

I don't think I've ever seen a more inept army, or were we to believe that the Spartan band was just that good? The Spartans were not just heros, they were superheros. With little more than a cape and a pair of leather Speedos, they were able to fend off the biggest army they ever faced. I don't even think they wore a cup. They didn't have one wasted motion. Every strike was fatal, every block was well timed, and they never suffered one loss until late into the movie. When I say they didn't suffer one loss, I mean not a loss of blood, not a loss of sweat, not a loss of nerves, not a loss of a weapon. As many spears that were chucked, they somehow regenerated them. Heck, they didn't even lose breath in this movie. Even if the Persian army was the biggest waste of flesh to hold a sword, the shear numbers would have caused exhaustion in any humans, but the Spartans fought droves of Persians without getting tired. Battle after battle, the Spartans came out with glossier skin than the fight before. To have so much exposed skin, I would think that they may suffer an abrasion or two on the rocks... they didn't even get that.

Eventually you come to realize that the Persian army consisted of the armies of every conquered nation in the known world with the exception of Sparta, in other words Greece, or in other words Europe. Amongst the Persian army you saw Black faces, Asian faces, Indian faces, Persian faces, and even monsters from origins unknown. Sparta was the first nation of Europe to be attacked, and Sparta/Europe was the only nation to withstand the onslaught of Persia. The Persian army, with the skills, talent, strength, and minds of so many other nations-- fought so pathetically, that they may as well not have been wielding swords. The Spartans were so graceful, skilled, strong, and every other admirable characteristic you can think of, that you got the idea that they could have done just as well with a rubberband and paper clips. Translation: white = strength, honor, grace, etc.; non-white = weak, stupid, shameful, etc. I can see why the Iranians were upset with this movie.

"300" was a gross exaggeration of a real event. The battle in "Lord of the Rings" was much more realistic. At least there was some give in "Lord of the Rings", there were some losses, and there were even some signs of peril. "300" leads you to believe that a bunch of 3/4 naked Ambercrombie & Fitch models with capes on were able to take on untold thousands of Persian soldiers to protect their beloved Sparta. Yeah, that's even less believable than the U.S. having won the Vietnam War.

If you are looking for blood, violence, sex, and nudity, then this movie is perfect for you. If you are looking for content, depth, or even just historical accuracy, then stay far away from this movie. This movie was empty, it didn't provoke the mind or the heart. The characters are all one dimensional and it looks like the entire movie was done in front of a blue screen. This movie is not only an insult to one's intelligence, it is an insult to all non-whites.
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Excellent Film. We Need More Like it.
jmillerjr-0098312 April 2022
I recently watched this film again (in 2022). I had seen it when it came out and purchased the DVD the day it was released. I remember loving it, but would it hold up after a decade or so? Yes indeed. This movie is amazing. The critics panned it when it came out as visual candy for the simple-minded. But I couldn't disagree more. The film's take on the ancient world is filled with barbaric scenes, but I think it also has a heart that is far better than the usual progressive cynicism we tend to get from most of Hollywood.

This is an aspirational film, a movie that reminds us to fight for what we believe in. And as for any historical liberties, I would place 300 in the category of "Historical Inspiration." Obviously, you shouldn't be using 300 to write school papers about the Battle of Thermopylae. But I do hope that folks would see films like this one and be sparked to learn more.
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An Epic Film
walken_on_sunshine23 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing a 99% complete 300 at a 24 hour film festival i was amazed by the accuracy and beauty before my eyes.This film is an adaptation of Frank Miller's (Sin City) graphic novel 300 and wow is it ever accurate.I am very glad to see two magnificent pieces of Frank Millers art Sin City, and 300 have successfully transferred over to the big screen without losing anything in between.Visually the film drops you off your feet and it's not even completed yet so when this eventually debuts in the theaters it will have double the impact on me as i plan on seeing this again.The mix of live action and CGI creates beautiful landscapes, gorgeous backrounds, and amazing dimension to the characters.The film's dialog is pretty much exactly the same as it is in the graphic novel much like how most of the dialog in Robert Rodriguez' Sin City was taken directly from Frank Millers graphic novel.Personally i think that 300 is the best film of it's kind.It's got a faster pace than Lord Of The Rings, is more accurate than Troy, more compelling than Tristan and Isolde, and more violent than Gladiator.This movie so far deserves the academy award for best picture and without a doubt deserves the academy award for best cinematography for the originality and sheer beauty put into it's visuals.The battles are well filmed and action packed so for those of you who want gore and violence you'll get it and you'll be satisfied.Overall this is a movie of epic proportions and deserves a lot of recognition for it's originality,visual beauty, and it's accurate portrayal of it's original source.
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Don't even bother
raypdaley18224 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Have you seen the trailer? Then don't bother paying good money to watch this. And don't buy the DVD. It's trash.

Far too much slow motion, especially during the fight scenes. Not enough concentration on the fight scenes ( I wish they'd watched Troy before they made this, the fight scenes in this might not have looked so bad then).

The story is already set in stone, 300 Spartans against an army of thousands. their all going to die, it's just a matter of when, how and how long it will take for them to die.

This isn't based on total historic fact, it's an adaptation of a graphic novel (for which read Comic Book!). it's mainly shot on green screen and uses lot's of CGI which is painfully obvious.

It show's it's comic book roots in the fact that there is little to no character development.

OK, yes. we follow how a Spartan child becomes a warrior. then you see the wolf and even John Landis must have been laughing at that having created a better wolf in the 1970's for American Werewolf In London.

the King of the Spartans is a good character, and the guy who has sex with his wife - Well, you know she's going to kill him once he spills the beans on her bedroom activities.

the fact he was being paid by Xerxes was quite a good and unexpected twist.

i would have liked to have seen the final battle that was about to start as the film finished. i assume they left that open to make a sequel.

generally this was very poor. it shows how a well cut trailer can make a bad film look really good.
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More oiled men than a night at Kaptain Quendo's Man-Love Palace
gundognc1 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Oh dear god this is bad.

As far as I can tell the most significant characters in 300 are the deltoid, bicep, abdominals and the other great muscle groups. It is a testament to how awful this film is that this is somehow a relief. The human cast are entirely secondary to the main aim which is to show lots of people slaughtering lots of other people. The whole thing appears to be some sort of visual love poem to the human body.

*may contain spoilers*

The plot of 300 can be summed up thusly: "300 Spartans die". It's not much of a plot but there you go.

King Leonidas (lit. "maker of chocolates") is unhappy at the possibility of all the Spartan health-clubs being closed by Xerxes. Having been told that he isn't allowed to defend the Spartan calisthenics program by a bunch of lepers with their own lap-dancer he decided to lead 300 prime Spartan beefcake to the "hot gates" for a body building dance-off with the 9 foot tall Xerxes and his army of slaves. Both sides do some flexing before getting down to the fighting. The Persians roll out the most farcical military units they can think of and contrive to get themselves slaughtered very cinematically. A Rhinoceros for #*$@'s sake! A #*$@ing RHINO! Really. A giant, some elephants and a guy with blades for arms who looks as if he should be auditioning for the next Clive Barker movie (who we sadly never see fighting). I was really surprised that there weren't some orcs and maybe a cave troll or two.

Finally a hunchback, who looks as if he is a silicon sex toy for the advanced user, sells out the Spartans and shows Xerxes a way round Thermopylae. Then all the Spartans die.

Admittedly there seems to be some sort of side plot about some nasty Spartan chappie trying to get the queen into the sack but I assume that this is just a time filler because they couldn't afford to make an entire two hours of CGI fighting.

*end spoiler*

I would thoroughly recommend that everyone see this film. It's appalling. It's the best comedy this year. It's a homo-erotic masterpiece.
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Despite Several Flaws A Very Memorable Movie
Theo Robertson21 February 2008
Hearing that 300 is based upon a " graphic novel " which is a pseudo intellectual phrase used to describe a comic book I didn't go out of my way to watch this because the present Hollywood movie making factory spends too much time and money bringing these type of stories to the screen . Also I was very unimpressed with director Zack Snyder's previous film the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD which is a pale imitation of a superior movie . Sometimes prejudice can get in the way of judging a film of its own merits because 300 is one of the more memorable movie moments from last year and one that seems unforgivably ignored at the more prestigious film award ceremonies

Being based upon a comic book you could say in all honesty that the visuals mirror those of a graphic novel , but I would claim it goes far , far beyond that and say it's like watching a painting come to life . The battle scenes are entirely different from those seen in LORD OF THE RINGS or KINGDOM OF HEAVEN but are no less impressive and some of the battle sequences , most notably the ones featuring the immortals are terrifying . Did I say this film is like a painting come to life ? In some sequences it looks like a nightmare come to life and this stylish formalist type of cinema will send a chill down your spine . This is cinema strictly for adults only

Fans of ancient history and classical studies will find a lot to criticise because it's not an accurate depiction of ancient Greece but you should always make the legend according to John Ford . Unfortunately by concentrating on the visuals there's other aspects lacking . The Spartans don't really come across as real characters from ancient times , more of a crowd of wise cracking macho cyphers and let's be honest here , with the exception of voice over the dialogue is rather poor . It often reminded me of something present day Scottish folk hero John Smeaton might say : " Dinnae come tae Sparta , we'll set aboot ya up here "

But despite these very noticeable flaws this is a truly memorable movie down to the jaw dropping visuals and it's the visuals the film will be rightly remembered for . It's a pity that the Oscar voters have ignored 300 because certainly make up , cinematography , editing and possibly best supporting actor for Andrew Tiernan as Ephialtes should have been nominated at least and this film will be highly regarded in years to come
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Have we gone so mad we can not distinguish films from video games?
auberus29 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
For the life of me I can not understand why people would rave so much about this mockery of a movie…

I knew I was not going to see an accurate historical film. I knew I was in for a graphic novel adaptation.

But what I witnessed was a simplification of already simplified and false historical facts. The result is catastrophic.

Obviously it is easier to show "real Spartan warriors" not indulged in a fair amount of man love. But guess what they were… Obviously it is easier to show Persians as decadent, uncivilized, unsophisticated and without any understanding of military strategy…But guess what the Persian Empire established by Cyrus the great, the writer of the first human right declaration, was the most magnificent and civilized empire in 480 B.C. Obviously it is easier and convenient to imply that Greece won against Persia at the naval battle of Artemisium. But guess what, historically, the Greeks lost that naval battle as well. Obviously it is easier to define bravery as 300 Spartans warriors fighting against a million Persians. But guess what they were more like 10000 Spartans, Athenians, Thebans, Thespians and Phoceans against 200,000 Persians. Obviously it is easier to represent Xerxès the first as a giant homosexual, piercing adept. But guess what he was more like a sophisticated Persian and also a great military strategist. Obviously it is easier to make War and Killing the glorious thing a nation could ever accomplish. But guess what there is no Glory in War and Killing. Only Death… Obviously it is easier to make a baseless action movie rather than a real epic "peplum". An action movie staged in an imaginary Time and Place with imaginary heroes and villains. But guess what great movies are not easy to make, great movies are based upon a tangible scenario and everything else is aimed to support that scenario.

Some of us applaud the aesthetic of the film as I refuse to call it cinematography. But for me the glossy, saturated bronze color like background looked incredibly unrealistic. Some of us feel shiver down their spines when hearing talks of freedom" and "justice" coming out of King Leonidas, Gerard Butler's mouth. But for me it sounded more like an unintentional satire of America misadventure in Iraq. Some of us cheer at the slick fighting scenes and rejoice when Zack Snyder's camera abuses slow motions in order for the audience to enjoy the slaughtering. But for me that was the paroxysm of emptiness and the moment I felt lectured by a mediocre director as to why violence, racism, sadism are surprisingly virtues to be cherished. Some of us raise their arms in the air and wave at the ripped muscled Spartan men. But for me those leather pants Greek Warriors fighting thousands of ninjas almost died of ridicule. Some of us enjoy metal music mixed with "Gladiatoresque" chants. But for me it was noise and a sign that the film triggers 15 year old disturbed American boys who think Leonidas is a brand of chocolate and Xerxès an upcoming video game.

It's fine to make movies out of comics. It's fine to make violent films. It's also fine to use CGI in order to display thing you could not without. Eventually it is fine to fantasy an historical period. But make no mistake there is nothing groundbreaking or breathtaking in 300. As there is no soul in this film only flesh…As there are no story only events…As there is no cinematography only computerized background…As there is no feeling only fading impression…This is virtual at its worst. What's best to erase a virtual film? I suggest we all make a virtual fire in our mind in which we'll burn 300. And maybe the flames will be so big it will enlighten Hollywood once and for all...
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Hollywood's first big Gay epic movie
ApolloBoy1098 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Men in black bikinis. Sweat pouring off their pumped up bodies.Did film auteur David DeCoteau (Voodoo Academy, The Brotherhood and Wolves of Wall Street) have a hand in this creation?

If American fan boys flock to this film, there may be other reasons why they spend all their time with their fan boy friends down in their parent's dark, deep basement. Maybe basement is the new word for closet! There must be some reason why girls their age are so interested in yaoi.

The homo erotic tension left me gasping from testosterone more than a few times.

What little story there is, Frankensteined from bipartisan history, could have easily been played out in a half-an-hour format on TV. For an epic film it lacks all that made Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur and the like, epic films. Unless limb chopping has become elements of a good story and strutting/marching is now considered a sub-plot --- this film offers no frigging story line. There's a wicked queen, well, I guess he's supposed to the King of the Persians. Some pumped up gym rats who don't like the evil Queen. There's also a good wife and a bad politician. (Is there any other kind)

(BTW: Bad guys are deformed. Good guys are half-naked and look like underwear models. I guess that's the new twist on pointing out who's good and who's bad. It used to be that bad guys wore black and good guys wore white, now it's who's deformed and who isn't)

The cardboard characters spout off (I had such a hard time understanding Bulter's dialog, I gave up) cheesy lines and they all seem so disconnected from this ancient battle. The battle itself reminded me of the disco era when on any given night throngs of saps were clamoring, literally stepping over each other to gain entrance into some trendy nightclub. That is what the battle scenes looked like, only without the leg chopping, wild costumes, gayish grunts,sweat, muscles and the whole mano-a-mano atmosphere. Well now wait a minute, I do believe that's exactly what it looked like back then. Perhaps Miller lived in the village during the 70s. I don't know.

The lowdown: 300 men (in black bikinis and spa robes) hold off a prissy horde numbering in the hundreds of thousands. That's it. So I ask: Was there nothing more compelling from a historical perspective, well, I know there was and Miller must have known that too. Lot's more, in fact, portions of the real Spartan history would have been more interesting than the end result of this film.

Even if they didn't use "what really happened", why didn't they come up with something more than a soap-opera sub-plot, I mean, the double crossing politician is so 80s.

My final thought on this wreck of a film is, are we over Frank's Miller juvenile scripting yet. May we now move on to better story lines that are more than excuses to use "gosh-gee-whiz" technology and creative blood-letting?

No. I didn't like the CGI sets/backgrounds at all. When I choose to play a video game I accept cartoon graphics. When I plucking down 12 bucks to get in to a movie, I expect better.
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A major disappointment.
BA_Harrison9 June 2007
Caught in a temporal warp that causes everything to happen at half-speed, 300 buff Spartan warriors do battle with a massive invading Persian army (consisting of slaves, giants and assorted freaks), led by an impossibly tall, self-appointed 'god' (with a penchant for body-modification) named Xerxes.

Adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller, director Zack Snyder's paean to the noble warriors of ancient Greece is an aesthetically stunning, but ultimately hollow epic that exists purely to showcase a series of stylish battle sequences. Virtually plot less, 300 devotes most of its running time to mindless macho posturing and endless well choreographed skirmishes. Whilst this is fun for, say, an hour at the most, it eventually becomes tedious in the extreme.

With its CG rendered backdrops, beautiful lighting and faultless cinematography, 300 is visually arresting— like classic Renaissance art brought to life—but when applied to virtually every frame of the movie, this level of aesthetic perfection also starts to become tiresome. Likewise, an overuse of slow-motion drains the carefully composed battle sequences of life, leaving the viewer emotionally detached from what should be thrilling cinema. Used sparingly, these techniques can have a tremendous effect on the power of a movie, but Snyder has obviously forgotten that sometimes less is more and overcooks the whole damn mess.

It's a shame really, since Snyder had shown so much promise with his first movie, the impressively scary remake of Dawn of the Dead. And there is so much about 300 that could and should be praised (the set design, the amazing costumes, and realistic make-up and effects), that it makes it even harder for me to report that I was hugely disappointed by this overblown and rather pretentious 'blockbuster'.

A word of advice, Zack... next time, concentrate on telling a decent story, shoot enough footage so that you can afford to show the film at normal speed, lose the CGI blood, and get some decent actors.... if you screw up the long-awaited Watchmen adaptation, it might mean the end of your career.
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Bloody Awful
kenjha26 October 2007
300 Spartan men in underwear and capes go against a Persian army of tens of thousands and manage to cut off a lot of Persian body parts. The computer-generated imagery looks cold, gray, and depressing in this bloody recreation of the events of 480 BC, based on Miller's graphic novel. Unlike "Sin City," another Miller work that was successfully transferred to the screen by Miller himself, this one fails miserably under the overwrought direction of Snyder. The acting consists of little more than flexed muscles and gnashed teeth. Snyder's obsession with slow motion is maddening. Without slow motion, used in every other scene for no apparent reason, the movie would only last about 42 minutes.
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If You're Looking for another Braveheart or Gladiator, Keep Looking
sgreenwa25 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is awful and it had NOTHING to do with the violence like for many. I am a movie fanatic and I am most specifically a history fanatic. My fav. movies are time pieces. My fav. show on television is easily Rome. I can't tell you how excited I was about this movie. Unfortunately, it was utterly awful.

1. I DON'T CARE HOW VIOLENT IT WAS, that is not my gripe.

2. I DON'T care how historic it was. Most movies fall far short of what really happened...I get that. That is also not my gripe.

3. The dialogue was bar none pathetic. The worst i have seen in ages. People were laughing at the lines that many here have already made fun of. I rolled my eyes at least 10 times. "tonight we dine in hell" takes the cake.

4. How many times must we see the king shout to get his point across. It's supposed to be a Braveheart moment with the whole "Freeeeeeeeeeedom", but never once is it effective. It's not effective because he does it a dozen times and he does it in moments where it's not needed. We also don't care about him or his gang of suicidal warriors like we did William Wallace and his men. Why? Simple. the character development is terribly hollow. They force it on you that "Spartans can't afford to be emotional". Okay...and because of that, just realize every time you try to have your over the top powerhouse inspirational moments, they're not going to affe4ct us the same way as say in a Braveheart...because William Wallace WAS emotional...and we related to him...and cared about him, and we felt for him when he suffered loss...but in this movie...you don't allow us to gravitate to these characters. Bantering back and forth in play while they chop peoples heads off is simply not going to warm us to these people so that the "inspirational" moments have ANY affect. Like when the Captain's son is beheaded. In most movies your heart would be torn out in sorrow for the guy...but in this movie...it's just another head hitting the ground. They want to pull on your emotional strings, but they never pull it off anywhere and it's all in the setup and how much of a testosterone induced farce they set this up to be. It needed to have the dramatic pull of a Braveheart...a Gladiator...it had the storyline potential to give us that, but they butcher it from moment one and it's impossible to take ANYTHING serious.

5. The Persian king was pathetic. everything about him. he wasn't scary, he wasn't to be taken serious...he was a farce who liked to wear women's makeup. AWFUL. And how they did his voice so that he was to seem god-like...AWFUL. he seemed like a fruit-cake...nothing more. "i am nice. I will show them I am nice". that is when I said "that's it...Im out of here".

There was nothing to like about this movie...not a thing. I went in expecting it to be my fav. movie of the year bar none...and i actually walked out with 20 or so minutes to go. What a joke. I'll now go give it a 1/10 and the 1 is for the fact it was just under 2 hrs. if you're going to make an awful movie, make sure it is under 2 hrs please. They did, so they get 1 star instead of zero. Oh wait...there is no zero. My decision is even easier now.
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The Evolution of Epic Battles
Alex_Priest15 February 2007
After gaving us some of the greatest epic movies in the last 50 years,it was clear that filmmakers needed to take them to the next level.

But how can you make a new movie,for the audience to like,without recycling old material?

Answer:You improve what old filmmakers couldn't:Graphics.

Ben Hur,Braveheart,Gladiator,Spartacus and perhaps even Troy are only some of the epic movies that gave the audience so big thrills that they cannot be repeated. Almost every epic movie that will be made today,no matter how good the story will be or how faithful will be to reality,is bound to repeat itself.We got examples from Alexander and Kingdom of Heaven.

300 doesn't apply to this category.Besides it takes the epic to the next level.And more are like to follow.

Just like in the Lord of the Rings,much CGI was used here.

The result? This movie was a pleasure for the eye.

All the camera work and graphics exceeded my expectations. I thought they were comparable,if not better,to the LOTR,go see for yourselves.

I could write something about the plot or the actors's outstanding performances(especially Gerard Butler's..you see,being Greek-Italian,I wanted the best from the actors..Butler gave it. The anger in his eyes,the fury in his voice and the violence in his actions really reminded an ancient Greek king),but I won't ruin it for you. You must see it to understand how great this movie is.

But always remember that this is a movie that is based on a graphic novel and is by no means a faithful depiction of what really happened in Thermopylae in 480 B.C. All those who will pay the ticket to see this movie,must be prepared not for a historic movie,but for a stylish battle movie.

This movie,together with the LOTR,is the entrance to the 21st century's new epic movies.

Kudos to Zack Snyder,who came from nowhere and has,already from Dawn of the Dead,proved that he is a brilliant and capable director. We will surely see more of him in the upcoming years.

So,you read my Comment?

Aren't you curious?

What are you waiting for?

Run to the nearest cinema,see this piece of art and when you are finished don't forget to come to IMDb to vote. This movie is destined to be at least in the top 100.

C'mon people!Hail for 300,the Evolution of Epic Battles!
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"Spartan! Come back with your shield, or on it."
Nazi_Fighter_David19 August 2007
The key of Zack Zinder's epic style of film was to take the action event and turn it into a mythology… He wanted to get to the essence of the Spartans, and to show us the story of a handful of soldiers willing to risk all for a larger western concept of freedom and liberty…

"300" is an interpretation of a complex historical event, the collision of cultures that continues to this day… Spartan warriors and Persian soldiers were probably the most extreme cultures of that moment…

They were interesting elements of truth in Zinder's movie: The Spartans were not like the Athenians… They lived under more barbaric rules… Every Spartan was a soldier… They fight as a specialized unit ("That's the source of our strength!"). Once they get this right group of iron, brass and muscles they become almost undefeatable ("Today no Spartans die!").

If you're a Spartan citizen you're a soldier ("Spartans! What is your profession?"), you're a pure warrior struggling for justice and for what you believe is true… The Spartans remain a mystery to everybody… They were, probably, unique… Till the day of the clash, they have never met an adversary who could offer them what they call 'a beautiful death.' They only were hoping with all the massive army gathered against them, there might be one down there who's up to the task ("Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell!").

Both the Spartans and Samurai warriors were comparably fierce and passionate ("No prisoners! No mercy!")... They were raging soldiers ("Give them nothing but take from them everything!")… But at the same time they had an absolute code of honor on the essence of being a Spartan… And it's cruel, very cruel… When a boy was born, he was inspected… If he's been sick or deformed, the child is murdered… From the time he could stand, he was taught not to retreat, never to surrender… He was taught that death on the battlefield in service to Sparta was the greatest glory he could achieve in his life… At the age of seven, all the boys were taken away from their mothers and plunged into a world of violence, turning them into growing men, ultimate warriors the world has ever known…

King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) was a legendary hero, somebody special… His name was the descendant of lions… He was very powerful, very thoughtful and perhaps in the film far more human than he is even in the graphic novel... Leonidas was a practical man whose life is matched by a straight road to one gleaming moment in destiny and that day, he couldn't meekly swallow the insult of Sparta's submission to the world of Xerxes… "This is Sparta!," as he shouted to Xerxes' emissary, affirming that there is no softness, no place for weakness, and only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans…

What I loved about Leonidas was his needs, in his moment of indecision, of a back-up, maybe a second opinion, some assurance of his wife Queen Gorgo… So we see him, both times, looking to his wife…

Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) was a great character not only in the film but in history… She was sexy and beautiful and above all tough and aggressive… There was intensity, elegance and ability in her… Also a kind of femininity in her nobility... There's only one moment when she loses it at the end and it was not a breakdown…

We know lot of Queen Gorgo thanks to Herodotus, the father of the history, who chooses to write about her which clearly demonstrate she was significant… Spartan women were special anyway, they were incredibly beautiful and Sparta was the land of beautiful women… They were beautiful because they were physically fit, because they were allowed to exercise… They were not repressed and were considered incredibly potent… Gorgo could speak among men because as she affirmed it before the Persian emissary: "Only Spartan women give birth to real men!"

Gorgo's one love scene with Leonidas and the dialogue beforehand, was powerful: "It is not a question of what a Spartan citizen SHOULD do nor a husband, nor a king. Instead ask yourself, my dearest love, what should a free man do?"

Brutally violent and completely faithful to Miller's work, Zinder's "300" is inspiring, brave, and bloody artistic film
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Hitler would have liked it!
alexandermangoldt12 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Movies like these often make me wonder about the decision finding-process of an actor. For hypothesis' sake, let's take a journey into Gerard Butler's mind after reading the script: "Hmm, okay, sounds pretty much like a gory battle film to me. There isn't much of a story, but the public these days really seems to be into epic war movies, probably with the war in Iraq and 9/11 and all. Now, some of the scenes, especially those at the beginning remind me of something I learned in history class, I think it had something to do with Hitler and survival of the fittest. I don't really endorse these values, but the film seems to. Well, I'm only a second rate actor and I haven't had my big success yet, so maybe, taking on the role of Leonidas might be a good idea and an excellent career move, since the film is provocative, to say the least, and even if it turns out to be a bad movie with fascist tendencies, people will still talk about me. And all these months at the gym will finally pay off, because I get to show my sexy body throughout the entire movie. I won't be wearing much, accept for some briefs made of leather and a red cape around my neck. The text isn't too hard either, I don't have to act much, all they want me to do is shout and shout in a belligerent way like the warmonger I see on TV all the time. Yeah, I think I'll give my agent a call. There's nothing good on TV, so what the heck, let's do this flick".

To the film itself: After twenty minutes into the movie I got bored. A juxtaposition of battle scenes, monsters that looked like prototypes from the LORD OF THE RINGS and a more than stupid side story with King Leonidas wife and some gossamer thin malice spun by a third rate playwright. Whether this film endorses fascism or not doesn't really matter, because this film boils down to one simple adjective: stupid!
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Great visuals almost hide a a lack of story and connection to reality
dbborroughs3 September 2007
Wildly historically inaccurate story of the battle of Thermopylae, I'll let other people pick on it for its tenuous connection to reality.

How is it as a movie? Its tough to say accurately. Bear with me this is hard to explain.

The film is for the most part hysterically funny with its over the top, over cooked dialog. Its a real scream, with every sentence a pronouncement, or seeming pronouncement of some grand sort or another. The performances are pretty much on par with the over done dialog, some of which is lifted from Frank Miller's graphic novel (which ultimately is just as laughable as this movie). The way things unfold are so...well actually at a certain point things stop unfolding and it just becomes a battle, an hour long battle with a rhino and some elephants and a monster out of a B-horror movie and a hunchback. None of it is connected to reality, but it looks good.

Yes this movie is pure eye candy. Almost every shot is visually stunning. There are shots which will be on posters for decades to come. Its certain to get technical Oscar noms-and probably wins- for photography and art direction. The visuals are the reason to see this film. Then again after about fifteen minutes of this eye candy overload you realize that there isn't much,if anything beyond it. Lets face it they've gutted the story and reduced it down to Spartans vs the Persians (with no real context as to the events) and made most characters likable cardboard cutouts, leaving you nothing to do but watch the pretty pictures. Its enjoyable, but pretty empty, like a a ride on the best looking amusement park ride you've ever seen- only its a minute long ride after a three hour wait, or finding out your date for the evening has the IQ of a gnat and is incapable of any sort of intelligent speech . Over and over, especially towards the end I had to keep asking, is that all there is? It is watchable. Its just not very satisfying (especially if you know the real story, which is oh so much more harrowing and heartbreaking).I saw it, great, can I see something else now?
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Awesome, breath-taking film.
FilmWeekUK15 February 2007
I somehow missed the hype on this one, and the trailer really didn't excite me, but I got a chance to see an advance screening and the other reviewer here who said "It blew me away" hit the nail right on the head.

I generally hate going to the cinema - preferring to wait until the DVD or HD-DVD are available because I'm fed up of shoddy prints, poor sound systems, ignorant members of the public with their ringing phones, late arrivals, noisy popcorn etc. My home system is so much better. But not for this movie! It needs to be seen on the big screen (preferably an Imax - I'm hoping to catch it a second time on IMAX) with a good sound system. The images are consistently breath-taking, the sound is staggeringly good and note-perfect throughout, and Gerard Butler is barely recognisable as the guy from "Dear Frankie" (a great, under-rated movie) and "Phantom of the Opera".

Highly recommended. I've given it a 9, and I don't think I've given a movie that high a score for over a year (and I average about 6 movies a week). This makes "Gladiator" look like a cheap kid's cartoon.
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This Was Dreadful
sddavis6321 August 2010
It's relatively high rating notwithstanding - this was dreadful. From beginning to end and everything in between. I have no argument with its bloodiness. Warfare in the ancient world was surely bloody and I have no problem with it being depicted in this way. But it was depicted poorly. The battle scenes were poorly presented and had an overall air of unreality to them and much of this seemed locked in the world of fantasy.

The movie depicts the great Battle of Thermopylae, when the Spartan King Leonidas led a combined army of Spartans and Athenians against the Persians under King Xerxes. The movie is historically accurate to the extent that Leonidas did indeed die in battle against the Persians at Thermopylae. Aside from that this is mostly a muddle. The opening half hour or so showed some depictions of life and military training in Sparta (for Sparta indeed was a highly military culture) and offered some views of how boys in particular would have been raised in this culture. But that recreation of Spartan life cannot overcome the basic conclusion I was forced to, which I share now again - this was dreadful!
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When nipples attack!
onepotato210 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ugh. Where to begin with this pile-up? It occupies some truly weird place where homoerotic tough-guy worshiping meets up with right wing, pro-male, pro-war machismo. Here it is: someone's most delirious homo-erotic dream AND a hetero guys most brainless, macho fantasy. I'll let you tell me what that means for the culture. I'm baffled. This movie was offensive to me from the first few minutes. If you missed the offenses, you're pretty dumb.

Somehow, it takes a crowd of hetero guys to come up with a movie this gay (and this anti-gay!!!). Top Gun was the previous upper limit for heterosexual homoeroticism. A homosexual would have probably reached their fill before devising a half-naked villain in a speedo who wears eyeliner... probably way before our butch, half-naked hero throws a pole at him and hits him in the mouth (Mmmmm, very subtle...). And to turn the Spartan army which in reality was an ARMY OF LOVERS, into an army of homophobes. Uh yeah, OK, whatever.

I made it through very little of this junky, stupid movie. At about the 2 minute mark, the painfully dumb narration turns out to be issuing from the mouth of a drippy character who announces that Sparta has to go to war with the Persians because the Persians "don't believe in reason!" Uh huh... sure. You go to war to defend reason. Yeah. That sounds terrific. Oddly Sparta doesn't strike me as a place where anyone has ever picked up a book, or debated anything past their initial caveman grunts. 'Reason' never even makes a token appearance. How's that for perfunctory plot motivation?

By the 7 minute mark I was already thoroughly tired of the stupid script, the stupid delivery style (every line is shouted as a rallying cry) and the anti-gay provocation. Every line is a fresh piece of horsesh*t pseudo-poetry that gets shouted. Even the passing of gas would be announced by one of these hard-ons shouting: "I JUST FAHRRT-TED!!!!" If you shout every line, it must be profound and passionate right? ...or absolutely, profoundly stupid. Every frame is pretty, but it's as shallow as a movie can be, making it a worthy successor to the very vapid Sin City. The silly production design seems to cause all the remaining nonsense I could bear to fast-forward through. If you're going to war, would you only wear a speedo? If you go to Sparta to announce that Spartans are your new scapegoat, do you stand a foot away from the decorative hole to infinity at the center of town?

Frank Miller & Gerard Butler are on my boycott list after this homophobic crap. Would anyone make a movie today in which we root for an army that vilifies black people? Why do these schmoes get a pass on this deeply objectionable movie? Butler is a Neanderthal. Good luck pulling your career out of the hole it's in Gerard. You might consider whether the scripts you accept reflect current values or those of fifty years ago. How many anti-straight-boy movies could these fan-boys put up with? Let me tell you, when Hollywood eventually starts making them, they'll be long overdue.

The ideal audience for this may be heterosexuals mourning the lost "culture of virility" with man-boys pining for a time when they weren't towing the line of women cutting them off from sex to get their way.
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Technically good and well cast, but overall disappointing
electrobird10 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The direction and editing on the battle scenes is great, the cast is superb, but in my opinion the screenplay and direction are lame.

It seems as the dialog is there just to frame the action and the movie is detached of any emotion. Even the part where the queen consents on being raped by Theron couldn't make me feel a thing. Lena Headey and Domic West try hard, but apparently there was such a hurry to cut back to the battle action that you don't have the chance to have any feelings about it. The scene where the Queen gives a speech to the council, is betrayed by Theron and finally kills him is saved by the good acting. The coins on the floor where a smart idea, but I wonder if that speech was written by Karl Rove.

As expected from a Hollywood movie, this one is extremely dualistic, with Spartans presented as civilized heroes, in contrast to the fanatic, promiscuous and abominable Persians.

Overall, the battle scenes are believable, the military strategies accurate and the figurine and makeup of the Spartans very truthful. Leonidas and his soldiers seem to have jumped directly from an ancient Greek vase.

However, they missed the target on the characterization of the Persians. Rodrigo Santoro is a good actor and does a nice Xerxes, but men from the Persian upper classes wore long crimped wigs and false beards. The Persians clothes and ornaments are also completely inaccurate. I've seen Persian artifacts in museums and I can say that they don't resemble to anything seen on this flick. With so many piercing and chains (not to mention the promiscuity), the Persians look more like revelers from a S&M party.

In addition, Black Persians are something new to me too. The Persian Empire never went beyond Turkey and the Caucasus was in fact in Persia. I didn't expect them to look like Brad Pitt, but I didn't think I would see so many blacks among them either.

Great cinematography and editing! The battle scenes are very well done. The sepia tone of the movie makes the blood look brown and it never spills as it would as a result of a real artery rupture. It looks more like fragments flying through the air and this makes the scenes a little less graphic and more artistic.

Unfortunately, the special effects are inconsistent and although you can't really notice the CGI on the battle scenes, the Rhino and the Elephants are way too big and unrealistic. Who knows… perhaps they looked like that in 480 BC.

I don't discriminate hunchbacks, but that orgy was gross and looks like something you would find along with bestiality, child pornography and incest on a website for perverts. It wouldn't have made the final cut, if this movie had a director or a producer.

Was there a composer on this movie?

Overall, 300 is a pretentious action flick. It is technically well done and well acted and I will give it a 5 for that reason.
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