It is very rare when a movie lives up to the lofty expectations that the trailer has set. The trailer for 300 set my expectations incredibly high, but the film did not disappoint.
Part of me thinks this review is pointless. If you saw the trailer, you want to see it. Heck, I just watched it again and thought, “Wow, this movie looks awesome, I’ve gotta see this!”
But, perhaps a poor critical review is keeping you from watching it. If so, know that the critics are wrong, and the people have spoken. This film is already in the top 200 films of all time on the IMDB. Of the 37,000 voters who’ve rated it, almost 75% gave it a 9 or 10 (actually, close to 60% give it a perfect 10). Also, the only critic who matters is Roger Ebert, and he didn’t review it.
But not only must you see it in the theatre, you must see it in IMAX. I promise you, you will hate yourself if you wait for video. Seriously, I don’t care how good your home theatre is, it can’t do this movie justice. If you wait for DVD, there will be much wailing (from you) and gnashing of teeth (Yes, your teeth. Totally gnashed.).
The film is a visually stunning masterpiece. It begs for IMAX, and IMAX delivers. Make no mistake – this is not a regular movie thrown on an IMAX screen, it is a special print mastered in the IMAX format. We saw it at The Bridge in LA, and except for some seats in the very last row (behind some stupid railing), there didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house. We even sat towards the back-left, but the screen is so monstrous we seemed to be barely off center.
The fight scenes? Incredible. The sex scenes? Filmed on a cold set, apparently. You might miss that in some small theater, but not with IMAX. See? IMAX is looking out for you.
The sound is also fantastic. A deep bass rumbles as the largest army ever assembled marches on screen. As shields bash skulls. As a god-king whispers. Seriously, the man has no “inside voice”.
The casting was excellent. Gerard Butler was the epitome of the warrior king, and I expect more leading roles from him in the future. I also expect – and this is written without the slightest hint of irony or sarcasm – that you will see a surge in the number of boys named Leonidas. I don’t think think, however, we will be seeing many girls named Gorgo, despite Lena Headey’s portrayal of the beautiful and strong queen. I do think we’ll see a lot more of Kelly Craig (Oracle Girl), assuming Larry Ellison doesn’t run off and marry her. Heck, here’s some more Oracle Girl right now:
Continuing 300’s affect on pop culture, I also predict that MSU will have this film playing on campus, and steal the music and dialogue clips to get their teams pumped, for most of eternity. And just about every new local sports team will want to call themselves the Spartans. And the next NFL expansion team will be the LA Spartans, so we can say LA is home to both the Spartans and the Trojans.
For those who’ve already seen it, I’ve compiled a list of titles for further viewing. I haven’t seen these, but have added them to my Netflix queue. Unfortunately, none of these have Kelly Craig.
- Beowulf & Grendel: Starring Gerard Butler as Beowulf.
- Last Stand of the 300: History Channel special on the subject. Unfortunately, it only had one airing and now they want you to buy the DVD. I’ll wait.
- The 300 Spartans: 1962 film depicting the same battle.
- Imagine Me & You: If you want to see more of Lena Headey, she plays a lesbian temptress in this romantic comedy. So what I’m saying is, you want to see more of Lena Headey.