Last night we took a break from our run of Humphrey Bogart films to watch 300. Bill had wanted to see it when it was in theaters, but that just didn’t happen. I finally remembered to put it on our Netflix queue, and it arrived yesterday.
It had a good soundtrack…
I had read that it was historically inaccurate, so I was not overly bothered by any of the details that didn’t mesh with actual Spartan warfare (fighting out of formation or without armor), real Spartan life (the claim of a “free” society), or real Greek culture (“God speed” says one fleeing Arcadian…God speed? Which god?).
And I knew this was based on a comic book, so I could be amused by the gravity-defying agility of the characters (gotta love computer animation!).
But I did not realize that this was a fantasy fiction…kind of like Sparta takes on the forces of Mordor. The Persian army seemed to be composed of wizards, orcs, and all sorts of amazingly deformed creatures that could only come out of the depths of hell. Heck, they even had oliphants. And what was up with that half man – half lobster (aka: the human guillotine) who looked like what “might have been” had the Karate Kid’s mom taken Thalidomide?
I understand the technique of portraying bad guys as inhuman…but really.
Beyond that, I really can’t say that the plot was captivating or that the characters were inspiring. I mean if a pregnant (read: highly emotional) soldier’s wife doesn’t feel particularly moved when she sees a scene where the queen receives the necklace her dead king wore in battle (and I tried, I tried) than you really haven’t done much in the way of character development.
The special effects were cool, I suppose. But I’m just too old now for lots of blood: it doesn’t excite me the way it used to. And all that slo-mo, stop-action fighting with people hovering in the air…I first saw that technique in The Matrix (it might be older than that for all I know), and that was eight years ago. There comes a point where it just seems passé (please note the use of the fancy “e” there…and many thanks to my BIL, Tom, who made that possible).
In the end, it wasn’t a total waste of my time. I rarely watch modern movies, and whenever I do, I feel so hep and a part of modern pop-culture. But even Bill agreed that it was better on DVD (as in free) than if we had paid to see it (and paid babysitters for the ability to see it).
For a bit, I’ll go back to old movies. We just got a collection of Roy Rogers films I think the kids will enjoy…and me too. No blood. No slow motion. But probably not a bad soundtrack.
…a bit more…
My sister, who is celebrating her birthday today, chastized me for not appreciating this movie. Apparently, I should have spent my time admiring the bare-chested actors to get the true essence of what the movie was all about. Silly me. But, when you live with this hunk o’ burnin’ love, I’m sure you realize why I just don’t notice those sorts of things:
And Esther also disagreed with my assessment. So please don’t allow my personal opinion to detract you from enjoying the film, if you like looking at men’s chests and think severed limbs and heads flying in slow motion across the screen are cool. My copy will be back at Netflix in a day or so.
Happy Catholic liked the bare-chested babes, too. I’m sorry, I still can’t get over the deformed guy who beheaded the inept general with his forearm.