Stephen Speicher

300 (2007)

Rate this movie   58 votes

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

    • 10
      30
    • 9
      16
    • 8
      5
    • 7
      3
    • 6
      2
    • 5
      2
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0
  2. 2. Sense of Life, or Personal Value

    • 10
      17
    • 9
      22
    • 8
      13
    • 7
      1
    • 6
      2
    • 5
      3
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0

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201 posts in this topic

imdb.com listing for 300 (2007).

Movie suggested for rating by Free Capitalist.

(Note that although I beat Free Capitalist in seeing this movie first, in honor of his unrelenting interest in, promotion and discussion of 300 prior to release, I accord to him above the rightful title as suggester for its rating. :angry: )

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I could have stood for more inspiring talk of ideas and less battle gore, but a terrific movie nonetheless. 300 shines when ideas come to the forefront (even when I did not share those ideas), and its artistry shines in the action. A wonderful ending, one which captures, I think, the essence of what the filmmakers strove for in the film. I gave it a 9 for artistic merit, and an 8 for personal value.

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I thought this was an incredibly done movie. Artistically brilliant, and the dialogue captures some important essentials - some of the final words of Leonidas explicitly identify Persian mysticism as something to be fought. This is the first movie I can recall seeing where I get the impression of complete control over every frame, something Ayn Rand noted about one Fritz Lang film that I've never seen.

We are still fighting the Persians, and I wish there were somebody in the White House with 1/1000 the fortitude of Leonidas to finally finish the job with the capabilities that now exist.

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300 shines when ideas come to the forefront (even when I did not share those ideas), and its artistry shines in the action. A wonderful ending, one which captures, I think, the essence of what the filmmakers strove for in the film.

I agree. I didn't agree with everything in the movie, but there were some good ideas that I loved seeing in such a movie as this. When was the last time you've seen "mysticism" defined as something to fight against?

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While I have yet to see the movie, I hear that Frank Miller was very much influenced by Ayn Rand's work "The Romantic Manifesto", which might explain Phil's point that every frame was under the director's control. I'm happy to see the good reviews here, and am very much looking forward to seeing it!

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I agree. I didn't agree with everything in the movie, but there were some good ideas that I loved seeing in such a movie as this. When was the last time you've seen "mysticism" defined as something to fight against?

I second this review word for word.

Warning Minor Potential Spoilage Ahead

The distinction between Reason and Mysticism was explicitly contrasted -- in those words -- and, most powerfully, not toward the Persians, in which the distinction is less explicit, but in his disgust with having (by Spartan law) to seek out and endure the orgiastic, drunken mumblings of the "oracle." This movie was unapologetically stylized, dramatic, powerful, like a vintage comic book, when good fought evil, rather than its own inner doubt. As others have said, I did not agree with everything out of Leonidas' mouth, but much of it I did and I was inspired by the heroism, the fearlessness, and by the absolute refusal to kneel and pay tribute to the Persian monarch whether god or king. And Leonidas' wife... There hasn't been a heroine like that in a movie since... I can't think of one. Maybe "Dangerous Beauty," but this woman was as great a hero as her husband and let's just say that "Monna Vanna" may have been an influence on the character and the plot.

That movie was amazing. I will see it again in the theatre.

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Warning Minor Potential Spoilage Ahead

The distinction between Reason and Mysticism was explicitly contrasted -- in those words -- and, most powerfully, not toward the Persians, in which the distinction is less explicit,

I just reread what I wrote (@2:26am, CST) and I need to state, for the record, that the distinction b/w the mysticism of the Persians and the reason of the Greeks certainly was a cornerstone of the movie. The theme was stated on a personal level early in the movie and generalized later. A beautifully constructed exposition of values.

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I loved it. My heart was pounding. My hands were gripping the arm-rest. I felt my adrenaline (epinephrine) begin to increase while the physical pains from my past were lifted.

This is what warriors should be like. This is how battle should be fought. NO MERCY, NO SURRENDER just annihilation of one's enemy! What warriors, what courage, what MEN, I salute them.

This is a movie worth buying the day it comes out!

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(Note that although I beat Free Capitalist in seeing this movie first, in honor of his unrelenting interest in, promotion and discussion of 300 prior to release, I accord to him above the rightful title as suggester for its rating. :angry: )

Thanks Stephen :) The film was a breath of fresh air for me, and I'm glad people liked it :)

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

If only I could have seen it in IMAX! But alas, I still got a great seat at my local theater. The visual style was beautiful and the fighting sequences were highly stylized so that the battle gore wasn't as extreme as some people were saying. Who couldn't love this movie after hearing the queen's appeal to fight for, among other things, reason!? The explicit use of both the words "reason" and "mysticism" together makes me wonder if the writer has ever read Ayn Rand's writings. The influence wouldn't be too far-fetched.

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I gave it a 9 in both areas.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I found the voice-over narration intrusive and thought that, as in Fuqua's King Arthur (one of my favorite movies), the word "freedom" was used too frequently - or, at least, could have been better placed. I also had some trouble understanding the nature of the affair between Leonidas' wife and the corrupt politician.

It seemed as if a few of the actors did not quite grasp the depth of their lines, judging by their delivery. Leonidas' wife's speech to the council, Xerxes' delivery in the marvellous "kindness" scene, and Dominic West's (the corrupt politician) loose acting throughout the film, bear this observation out.

Then I had trouble hearing a bit of dialogue (Leonidas' words to his son being the memorable instance) in the beginning - this may have been just my theatre though.

The cinematography and some of the music reminded me of scenes from Ridley Scott's Gladiator with Maximus' wife and son in the afterlife, but this was fleeting.

The above notwithstanding, being a mythologized account of what happened at Thermopylae, and considering that the characters had to be individualized, I had no problems with Leonidas' own explicit philosophy: he was a warrior not a philosopher.

I thought the scene with Xerxes stressing his "kindness" to the hunchback was very high-concept and a major strike against altruism.

There were many, many good things here, too many for me to list. In tribute, all I can say is that the Spartan, as depicted here, is the view I had, growing up, of the "strong man": toughened, merciless, pitiless; on the edge of cruel. This is not to say I thought of myself that way. I only mean that this was my strongest attraction to the movie: Spartan discipline and self-assurance.

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I gave it a 9 in both areas.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

...I also had some trouble understanding the nature of the affair between Leonidas' wife and the corrupt politician.

"Affair"? I'm pretty certain it isn't an affair--as if she's cheating on her husband. She sleeps with him (which he requested as payment) in order to get him to convince the council to listen to her. It's obvious she doesn't want it or like it, and she doesn't like or trust him from the beginning.

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I gave it a 9 in both areas.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

...I also had some trouble understanding the nature of the affair between Leonidas' wife and the corrupt politician.

"Affair"? I'm pretty certain it isn't an affair--as if she's cheating on her husband. She sleeps with him (which he requested as payment) in order to get him to convince the council to listen to her. It's obvious she doesn't want it or like it, and she doesn't like or trust him from the beginning.

My use of "affair" is misleading: I meant the word in a broader sense: as in "state of affairs," as in "event" or "occurrence." I should have used another term; I agree with your view of their "interaction."

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Perfect.

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Here is an interview with Frank Miller, author of the graphic novel.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Although the visuals and performances (in my view, Lena Headey's Queen Gorgo takes the honors) are positively stunning, the depiction of the "Persians" nearly ruined the film for me. These "Persians" were nothing more than monsters and freaks come to town (I burst out laughing at the first appearance of Xerxes, who looked like a resident of the East Village circa 1980 on steroids). One of the reviews I read referred to them as the "Orcs from Mordor", an apt characterization in my view though, unfortunately, this film was not in any way the equal of Peter Jackson's far superior "Lord of the Rings" effort. We know nothing about them . . . their culture, their values, their way of life, their motivations in wanting to conquer Greece (the words "Darius" and "Marathon" are tossed off without any explanation). What slim context is provided is focused solely upon the Spartan way of life which, in my view, was NOT the glory of Greece (was this battle fought to preserve the Agoge?). All of Leonidas' and the other Spartans' otherwise wonderful words about Reason, Freedom, Liberty and the Dawn of New Age for Greece seemed fairly ridiculous to me given the admittedly brief depiction of many of their own lived values (was the typical Spartan any less a slave than a Persian?), but also that, in this film, that they were up against not other men, but friggin' monsters! I have no doubt that even individuals with the most repulsive ideas would be compelled to battle these Orc-Persians in some way (the ultimately "heroic" behavior of frequently very silly characters in B horror movies comes to mind).

Now, there were things I really liked about the film: Leonidas' "interview" with the oracle and "audience" with Xerxes were marvelous as were the Queen's Council scene, the stupendously choreographed fight scenes and the final tableau. However, in my view, had the filmmakers departed from the comic book and showed in a developed manner the reality of the Persians and what they represented in contrast to what was developing in the Greek world at the time -- the ENTIRE Greek world, they would have given us a far superior and, I think, a more intellectually and . . . yes . . . a more emotionally satisfying flim.

I gave "300" a 5 in both categories. Disappointed in Princeton.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Although the visuals and performances (in my view, Lena Headey's Queen Gorgo takes the honors) are positively stunning, the depiction of the "Persians" nearly ruined the film for me. These "Persians" were nothing more than monsters and freaks come to town (I burst out laughing at the first appearance of Xerxes, who looked like a resident of the East Village circa 1980 on steroids). One of the reviews I read referred to them as the "Orcs from Mordor", an apt characterization in my view though, unfortunately, this film was not in any way the equal of Peter Jackson's far superior "Lord of the Rings" effort. We know nothing about them . . . their culture, their values, their way of life, their motivations in wanting to conquer Greece (the words "Darius" and "Marathon" are tossed off without any explanation). What slim context is provided is focused solely upon the Spartan way of life which, in my view, was NOT the glory of Greece (was this battle fought to preserve the Agoge?). All of Leonidas' and the other Spartans' otherwise wonderful words about Reason, Freedom, Liberty and the Dawn of New Age for Greece seemed fairly ridiculous to me given the admittedly brief depiction of many of their own lived values (was the typical Spartan any less a slave than a Persian?), but also that, in this film, that they were up against not other men, but friggin' monsters! I have no doubt that even individuals with the most repulsive ideas would be compelled to battle these Orc-Persians in some way (the ultimately "heroic" behavior of frequently very silly characters in B horror movies comes to mind).

...

The depiction of both sides is highly exaggerated and idealized. As comical (this was adapted from a comic book) as the Persians were, what did you think of the depiction of Leonidas and his men? Xerxes might have been ridiculous wearing lots of jewelery on his nearly naked body, but Leonidas and his men were also partially nude, muscular as their Ancient Greek sculptures, and even had flowing red capes! The giants and monsters are pretty consistent with the comic-book style of the movie, if not realistic.

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The depiction of both sides is highly exaggerated and idealized. As comical (this was adapted from a comic book) as the Persians were, what did you think of the depiction of Leonidas and his men? Xerxes might have been ridiculous wearing lots of jewelery on his nearly naked body, but Leonidas and his men were also partially nude, muscular as their Ancient Greek sculptures, and even had flowing red capes! The giants and monsters are pretty consistent with the comic-book style of the movie, if not realistic.

Although I haven't seen or read it, I understand from those who have that the film is very faithful to the vision of the comic book. I have no problem with stylization or even exaggeration in the realms of art (I was an opera singer in my younger days after all; my work was frequently all about stylization and exaggeration!). Indeed, there were times when I felt I was watching an Abdoer infomercial whenever the perfectly six-packed Spartan phalanx was assembled, but given the realities of 5th Century BCE warfare and the fact that they were the elite of Sparta's military machine, I should imagine that men would have needed to be in fairly magnificent physical shape even to be considered a member of the 300. So this didn't bother me at all, grounded as it was in reality to a certain extent.

But . . . the depiction of the Persians was not simply exaggeration, let alone stylization: it had nothing to do with reality at all, in my view. The Persia of Darius and Xerxes was one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world . . . up that point in time, that is. The Greeks of that time, on the other hand, had embarked on a different developmental journey that would redefine what the words "civilized" and "civilization" mean. Pointing out the tremendous significance of the meeting of these two worlds and world-views at Thermopylae and beyond did not require turning one side of the conflict ((a conflict that continues to this day) into nothing more than a freak show. As I mentioned, this approach weakened the film -- and, in particular, its philosophical ideas -- for me.

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SPOILERS BELOW

But . . . the depiction of the Persians was not simply exaggeration, let alone stylization: it had nothing to do with reality at all, in my view.
The depiction of the wolf in the film has "nothing to do with reality at all" either - if one is looking for a 'naturalistic' depiction of a wolf. But if one is trying to present a 'stylized' and 'romantic' depiction of a ferociously menacing and deadly beast, the filmmakers did a perfect job. The same is true of the depiction of the tyrannically menacing and deadly beast that, like the wolf, attacked the Spartans.

Also remember, what we are witnessing in the film is the visual representation of the mythic story woven by the sole surviving Spartan - a story he blows to purposefully mythic proportions to rally followers. Such a mythic tale naturally includes mythic foes. For instance, does anyone here seriously believe Xerxes was 9 ft tall?

I think the romantic stylization of this film was superb.

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If only I could have seen it in IMAX!

You missed out. It was ossum!!!

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

This is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. When Leonidas sent the soldier back to tell their story, with instructions to tell of their victory, I was struck by just how much of a victory it was. 299 of the Spartans may have died, but their victory of the spirit is a story that's lasted for over 2000 years, and I'm sure will last for at least 2000 more.

Before the movie began, someone who worked at the theater announced that 300 is IMAX's top grossing movie of all time, even bigger than Harry Potter, and after only one day of being open. It makes me happy to know that a movie such as this has achieved that kind of success. No matter all the bad things going on in the world, when something truly heroic is put up for people to revel in or reject, we see exactly what the real spirit of our culture is.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

This is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. When Leonidas sent the soldier back to tell their story, with instructions to tell of their victory, I was struck by just how much of a victory it was. 299 of the Spartans may have died, but their victory of the spirit is a story that's lasted for over 2000 years, and I'm sure will last for at least 2000 more.

I agree that was a poignant moment. The touching moment for me was when Leonidas had died, and Gorgo gave his necklace to their little son, looking at him with all the hope in the world.

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I wanted to add a few thoughts to my previous review.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

It's hard to say what's my favorite scene or bit of dialogue. There were so many good ones!

One memorable moment: the first time we see the queen. I immediately thought how beautiful and noble she looks. Then the Persian emissary insults her, and before the king can say anything, she responds with a perfect retort. The words in my head, after hearing that, were: I love you. :-) God what a woman!

So many frames could be cut out, posterized, and hang on a wall as a work of art. Simply amazing. One scene that was breathtaking was the oracle's erotic writhing, with the wisps of smoke and the thin fabric weaving with her body. It reminds me of a pre-raphaelite painting.

Best movie of the year. Just award the 2007 Oscar now and move on. Easily the best movie since Kill Bill 1 & 2, and arguably superior.

Why doesn't the Marine Corps place a recruiting booth outside theaters showing this? I wanna enlist after seeing this!

How wonderful to see a perfect explicit philosophical statement of civilization vs. barbarism, reason vs. faith, freedom vs. tyranny. Then the implicit philosophy of the characters -- in their personal psychology and in their actions -- mesh perfectly with the explicit ideas.

When I wrote that this movie was perfect, I mean that literally -- artistically and thematically and philosophically. I agree with the movie's message and with its sense of life, and it is all done so well and in such a new way. This movie reaches for the moon -- and lands there.

Frank Miller is a hero for seeing that this story is told, and told so well.

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I absolutely loved this movie. I gave it a 10 in artistic merit and a 9 in personal value. It would have been a 10, but for some reason I didn't feel all that sad when King Leonidas died. Perhaps because I knew it was coming... I don't know. I'm curious, what was it that Leonidas said that some people didn't really agree with? I can't recall anything specific. I did love the idea of reason versus mysticim when decided to go to war. I partially agree that we didn't really see any evidence that the Spartans were any more free than the Persians, but, at least to me, the fact that the Persian "godking" wanted Leonidas to kneel before him was enough.

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I loved this movie. Aside from visually stunning, it was philosophically and when it comes to it's sense of life - perfect for me.

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Before the movie began, someone who worked at the theater announced that 300 is IMAX's top grossing movie of all time, even bigger than Harry Potter, and after only one day of being open.

BoxOfficeMojo.com is (currently) showing 300 as this week's number 1 movie with an estimated weekend gross of more than $70 million! (The budget for making the film was $65 million.)

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