A very short review of 300 by me, your resident critic. I do not use the title film critic as that honor is unreservedly held by Dr Gonz, who's many fine works can be found over at www.mudwig.com for want of such prowess, I present my review below:
300 is the movie Gladiator could have been if they had followed the Roman army rather than one man. Sure it wouldn't have been the personal epic it was but it would have been a massive, historical work.
I'm not going to outline the plot, if you haven't heard of this battle, or read Frank Miller's novel, or any of the other million stories about it, or seen any of the advertising for this film then you're already dead and the world wanted it that way.
The first thing that struck me was the quality of the film itself. There is no better argument or 'dont download compressed Divx copies' than watching this movie in digital at a cinema. The image was so crisp and clear, the sound clarity as clear as water ridden urine. It was, in short, beautfiul. I actually felt I'd been watching VHS tapes instead of DVDs recently. The grit, dirt and hues of colour gavwe a radiance and reality o the film that automatically killed the competition.
The acting was all round fantastic and bar, just a few tiny, misuses of the English language posing as dialogue it stood out. There were no moments when I literally shuddered at the language used and even the incredibly hammy speeches play well because of the sheer epic scope of the film.
The setup and intro are suitably powerful that you are hooked within about 5 minutes of the opening. Every camera angle and shot is milked for all it's worth, perhaps a little overstated on repeat viewing, but first time around it's visually orgasmic.
The combat effects aren't overused (The now ubiquitous matrix 'freeze and fly' camera) and none of the heroes or villians perform particularly outrageous feats of physical daring, being just slightly over the top in their exertions.
Favourite moments for me include the clash between the Spartans and Persia's immortals. Historically a 'who would win if' argument. Elite soldiers from the middle east / Asia versus those from Greece. Fantastic viewing.
There is a suitable amount of backing political intrigue with the role of 'warrior woman' played well by our hero's wife, queen of Sparta.
I defy any man not to feel that animal twinge of excitement at the first charge of the Persian infantry into the Sopartan line, sheer classic film making that plays on the emotional xylophone very well.
There are of course a few bits missing, the characters are perhaps a bit two dimensional, platying as they are an era of history rather than personalities of an age. But that's forgivable as it's what the film seeks, scope.
All in all 300 out of ten.