Friday, March 09, 2007

Movie Review: 300


I saw a midnight showing of 300 and I have to say that my quick one-word review could be summed up thusly: Yawn.

I wanted so badly to like this film. I tried. I went in expecting it to be terrible but hoping for it to kick ass but it did neither definitively.

I'm a huge Frank Miller fan and I love the source material and I can accept a certain amount of tinkering with the source material when it's for the better of the film. A few perfect examples would be The Prestige, Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban or Kubrick's The Shining. What I take issue with are changes that serve to the detriment of the piece.

In 300, they added an entirely superfluous plot with the Queen of Sparta, doing her best to wangle reinforcements for her husband.

So, this added a full 20 minutes to the film that just made it drag. I was bored.

Add to that another 25 minutes of superfluous slow-motion and you've got a movie that is 45 minutes too long. The film was so bogged down it couldn't keep any momentum and it made me more than a little sad. And there were parts of it that were just cheesy as hell (like Leonidas posing nude in the moonlight or some of the terrible makeup jobs that would make Lon Chaney roll in his grave.) I was worried the music wouldn't fit, but it worked. The imagery was stunning most of the time and the recreation of shots was quite faithful to the source material at times.

The thing that kept driving me up the wall was the fast-motion/slow-motion transitions. Can't filmmakers of today put a moratorium on that for a while? It might look cool now and again but there were entire sequences put together in this fashion and it gave me a head ache. What happened to rolling in good old fashioned 24 frames per second? And then, when things need to get a little dramatic now and again, switch it up to 48 per, but only when something needs to be emphasized. But in this picture, slow-motion was employed any time a character looked in the direction of... well... actually, any direction. And any time they took a step, or put their hands in water, or turned around, or...well...you get the idea.

I'm not saying the picture was God-awful. I think it was a 6 out of 10. Is a 6 out of 10 worth your money at the box office? I would say probably, only because the 60% of the film that is good is worth seeing on the biggest fucking theatre screen you can find.

Also, having seen this, I'm starting to have reservations about Zach Snyder being in charge of Alan Moore's Watchmen.

3 comments:

Joel hates bryan for life said...

You're right... I do hate you for life... sad to say...

Stenar said...

I think this film shows more flesh than Shortbus. Therefore, I must see it. ;) j/k

Mari said...

I just saw this movie last night on DVD on my TV and must say I really liked it. Visually it was a stunning movie, I agree that the part with Leonidas's wife with the politician was perhaps unnecessary but it did help cut down the extreme rawness of the fights.

I was pretty surprised at all the arms, legs, heads chopped off, it was quite a lot.

Overall I'd give it an 8 with a note to all the ladies out there: this is better than The Gladiator regarding gorgeous men with hot bods!