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

I saw 300 and enjoyed it--I have been thinking about it over the past fews days, in fact. I usually cannot stand films set in Ancient Greece or Rome with actors speaking in a British-like non-rhotic accent. Maybe I shouldn't be so distracted by those things--I would prefer subtitles than English for such cases.

Besides that, I really enjoyed the film for its more important themes.

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On a side note, I'm glad Quasimodo got another role. While still typecast he put in another good performance.

:):) After this character joined with Xerxes and they showed him standing in front of that army wearing what my friend's girlfriend hilariously referred to as a "duncecap," I started laughing out loud. He looked ridiculous. Given what another poster indicated about how laughing at the enemy is considered a good thing, maybe my response was completely appropriate. However, the scene was quite dramatic and so I wonder if that's the reaction the director meant to get. Either way, it sure was funny.

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I finally saw this movie, and I too wish to echo the many positive sentiments expressed here. I wish to emphasize the most important point for me, which is that the movie's portrayal of good philosophy and evil philosophy was more explicit and accurate than most movies I've ever seen. Please note that I am not suggesting that an enormous comprehensive philosophy was presented. Rather, I am suggesting that a great many important philosophical ideas were presented in the correct light.

Considering the many bad philosophical ideas being furthered today, that this movie was made and has seen tremendous box office success are refreshing and encouraging signs. Batman Begins, V for Vendetta, and now this? I think the American moviegoer is ready for Atlas Shrugged.

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[weak suffer what they must" (Thuc. xvii). Spartans were the first to fight for liberty as properly understood (through instructions of Lycurgus), and the first to do what they believed was necessary for its preservation. It is true that 300 makes other historical omissions (small, or artistically necessary, in my opinion), but the liberty aspect in the movie is historically spot on, and deserves to figure so prominently, for it played the same role in Greek histories.

How does this apply to the Spartan treatment of the Helots?

Bob Kolker

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As I wrote elsewhere (I think in this very thread), the concept of liberty that Spartans discovered was first applicable to themselves only, i.e. I'm fighting for my liberty, for people who matter to me (basically, for my values). Nor is this an unfair or limited view of liberty, because you cannot/should not fight for liberty of someone who doesn't matter to you, that would be altruism. However, what the idea of natural rights added to this was that it said: even if you refuse to fight for your liberty, others still shouldn't infringe on it. Spartans, at the dawn of history, said: if you don't fight for your liberty, you don't deserve to be free, but we will, and we do. Helots, and slaves, had an unenvieable life in the ancient world, but so did some of the Africans on cotton plantations, but we don't dismiss cultures on those grounds alone. Life period, in the ancient world, was often brutal and unenvieable. I emphasize the goodness and the values that were produced in spite of the bloody and cruel life of most of human history.

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As I wrote elsewhere (I think in this very thread), the concept of liberty that Spartans discovered was first applicable to themselves only, i.e. I'm fighting for my liberty, for people who matter to me (basically, for my values). Nor is this an unfair or limited view of liberty, because you cannot/should not fight for liberty of someone who doesn't matter to you, that would be altruism. However, what the idea of natural rights added to this was that it said: even if you refuse to fight for your liberty, others still shouldn't infringe on it. Spartans, at the dawn of history, said: if you don't fight for your liberty, you don't deserve to be free, but we will, and we do. Helots, and slaves, had an unenvieable life in the ancient world, but so did some of the Africans on cotton plantations, but we don't dismiss cultures on those grounds alone. Life period, in the ancient world, was often brutal and unenvieable. I emphasize the goodness and the values that were produced in spite of the bloody and cruel life of most of human history.

The Spartans produced little that was good. They suppressed art (other than that which pertained to military matters). They suppressed commerce and despised it. They treated their own children with great cruelty. The enduring legacy of the Spartans are the military memes they nurtured. Their stand at Thermopylae was a special case of that.

The Spartans left no art. They left no science. They left no broad philosophical legacy. The thinnest book every published in ancient Greece was -Outstanding Verse by Spartan Poets-. Even their cuisine was bad! Please pardon me if I do not see too much room there for goodness and values. The closest thing to Sparta in modern times was Stalinist Russia at it grimmest. Except for their military genius and bravery, I see very little in the Spartans worthy of emulation. One might want to visit Sparta, but one would surely not want to live there (Alcibiades was an exception).

Bob Kolker

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One might want to visit Sparta, but one would surely not want to live there (Alcibiades was an exception).
Alcibiades, but Xenophon too, and Cimon (the great Athenian general), alongside with his sons, plus many other Greeks and Athenians besides. There's a story that before Cimon came to admire Sparta, a Spartan man suggested he send his sons to train at Sparta rather than leave them at Athens. He inquired what they would learn there. The Spartan replied, they would train in virtue and how to be men, there. And of course he sent them, and by all accounts was extremely proud of them.

Again, I emphasize that I don't try to paint Spartans in overly enthusiastic lines; I know their faults quite well. But you said there was very little in Spartans worthy of emulation, and I reply that the Greeks themselves considered Sparta practically the only Greek nation worthy of emulation, because it produced virtuous men, honest, dedicated, industrious, to a fault. They left no art not because they were stupid, but because they believed it distracted them from more virtuous pursuits. They didn't encourage philosophical study or prolonged self-examination, and one Greek writer says you could almost judge a typical Spartan grunt as stupid, and then all of a sudden you'd hear him say the most wisest pithy expression you've ever heard in your whole life. The writer then provides some examples of such sayings, and I was forced to concede to his judgment. Spartans left no monumental buildings, and a visitor asked them once, why don't you have any great buildings left behind you after Sparta is no more? And they replied, that Sparta's great memory were its men; as long as those men existed, she didn't need any monumental buildings for people to remember them by; and they didn't want to be remembered, if they didn't have such men any longer. Now you can't tell me there's nothing to admire in that.

I assume you've read about the Spartans from modern books, which have a distinctly Victorian coloring to them, wherein art in a culture is the all-important cultural barometer. Instead, I would recommend reading the Greeks themselves, who gave a much more balanced view of the Spartans; they put the Athenian art and culture, but little virtue, on one side, and Spartan all-consuming devotion to manliness on the other, and pronounced judgments (in favor of both, based on respective merits, but leaning towards the Spartan side a bit more). The best book to start is Plutarch's life of Lycurgus. Then his Spartan Constitution, Xenophon, and Herodotus' Persian Wars.

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Tehran, May 1, IRNA

Iran-Movie-Persepolis

A number of experts and critics attending the screening and analysis session of the documentary dubbed `Glory of Persepolis' said that it reflects the dignity of Iranians and Persepolis, adding that it is a proper response to the insulting Hollywood movie `300'.

The screening of a new series of films started at Nour film house of Imam Ali (AS) Religious Arts Museum on Monday afternoon and `Glory of Persepolis' was the first film that was screened and analyzed.

The session was attended by the producer of this documentary, Hossein Hazrati and Head of Parseh Research Foundation

Mohammad-Hassan Talebian among others.

Speaking at the session, Talebian said that this cinematic project was proposed by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization in 2003.

"The production of the proposed film was materialized through the efforts of the Parseh Research Foundation team working on

it, which is now used to introduce Persepolis to visitors and give them an idea on this world famous ancient monument prior to touring it," he added.

"Based on the research conducted at the foundation on the scientific progress and outstanding technologies of the era, it was found that the technology of the period was ahead of its own time, some examples of which are just being used today.

Film critic, Reza Dorostkar, also attending the session, dismissed the idea of preserving the Iranians identity and history through incitement of their feelings.

"Today, we need to produce films aiming to revive our historical monuments that will provide the opportunity to observe historical facts and at the same time get introduced to the history," he added.

On his part, the producer of the documentary expounded on the film and the relevant book, adding that it is the fruit of sincere efforts of all those involved in the project.

"In the process of production, it was attempted to consider the views of domestic and foreign experts, researchers and

archaeologists," said Hazrati.

In other news, 300 has made over $400 million dollars worldwide.

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For those that care, one week from today this movie comes out on video. I am looking forward to viewing it again, and again, and again.

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For those that care, one week from today this movie comes out on video. I am looking forward to viewing it again, and again, and again.

Thanks. Already ordered it. :)

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For those that care, one week from today this movie comes out on video. I am looking forward to viewing it again, and again, and again.

I'm looking forward to making this movie my first DVD purchase. :)

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I'm looking forward to making this movie my first DVD purchase. :)

I think you are making your first cholce a great choice. :)

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For those that care, one week from today this movie comes out on video. I am looking forward to viewing it again, and again, and again.

I'm looking forward to making this movie my first DVD purchase. :)

Your first DVD purchase? Well, you have much to look forward to!

In addition to 300, some other movies you might want to get DVD's of, especially if there are "Special editions" available, are:

Chocolat* (with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp)

The Fountainhead (with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, etc.) (I was really impressed with the apparent restoration of this film that was done for the DVD)

The Shawshank Redemption *

The Stranger (with Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles; not related to the malevolent and deterministic Albert Camus novel) (Try to get the best DVD you can find of this one; the film needs some restoring.)

Spartacus* (with Kirk Douglas and Jean Simmons)

Finding Neverland* (with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett)

Fahrenheit 451 (with Oskar Werner and Julie Christie)

I'm sure others will have some good recommendations as well. Enjoy!

["*" means the film has stereo sound]

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For those that care, one week from today this movie comes out on video. I am looking forward to viewing it again, and again, and again.

I'm looking forward to making this movie my first DVD purchase. :)

Your first DVD purchase? Well, you have much to look forward to!

In addition to 300, some other movies you might want to get DVD's of, especially if there are "Special editions" available, are:

Chocolat* (with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp)

The Fountainhead (with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, etc.) (I was really impressed with the apparent restoration of this film that was done for the DVD)

The Shawshank Redemption *

The Stranger (with Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles; not related to the malevolent and deterministic Albert Camus novel) (Try to get the best DVD you can find of this one; the film needs some restoring.)

Spartacus* (with Kirk Douglas and Jean Simmons)

Finding Neverland* (with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett)

Fahrenheit 451 (with Oskar Werner and Julie Christie)

I'm sure others will have some good recommendations as well. Enjoy!

["*" means the film has stereo sound]

Thanks, Jim A.! What I mean is, I've watched a lot of movies (the only one I haven't watched in your list - tiny version, I'm sure - is Finding Neverland), I just have not bought them. I watched a movie in a theatre for the first time in over 2 years when I went to see 300, and it was the posts in this thread on The Forum that led me to it.

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Thanks, Jim A.! What I mean is, I've watched a lot of movies (the only one I haven't watched in your list - tiny version, I'm sure - is Finding Neverland), I just have not bought them. I watched a movie in a theatre for the first time in over 2 years when I went to see 300, and it was the posts in this thread on The Forum that led me to it.

The short response (I don't ever seem to have short responses on The Forum :)) is that I'm very selective about what I buy. Not even The Fountainhead DVD has made it into my possession despite watching many movies several times over. My video collection, for example, consists of We the Living and The Sound of Music. :) Movies, well, anything, has to rank very high in every category (esthetics, sense of life, specific dialogue, acting, sound, etc.) before I want to own it.

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Thanks, Jim A.! What I mean is, I've watched a lot of movies (the only one I haven't watched in your list - tiny version, I'm sure - is Finding Neverland), I just have not bought them. I watched a movie in a theatre for the first time in over 2 years when I went to see 300, and it was the posts in this thread on The Forum that led me to it.

The short response (I don't ever seem to have short responses on The Forum :)) is that I'm very selective about what I buy. Not even The Fountainhead DVD has made it into my possession despite watching many movies several times over. My video collection, for example, consists of We the Living and The Sound of Music. :) Movies, well, anything, has to rank very high in every category (esthetics, sense of life, specific dialogue, acting, sound, etc.) before I want to own it.

The Sound of Music is an excellent film to own. It is probably the very first film I ever saw, and I have seen it about a hundred times.

Have you seen Gattaca or S1mone? Have you seen Hello Dolly!? I recommend them all.

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Is there something special on the second disk?

The single disc version include commentary by Snyder, screenwriter Kurt Johnstad and director of photography Larry Fong.

The two-disc version will include the same commentary plus additional scenes of the traitorous hunchback and never-before-seen giant warriors, "Frank Miller's Vision Realized on Film," "300 Spartans - Face or Fiction?: The Shocking Life of a Spartan Revealed," "Who Were the Spartans?: How the Actors Built Their Characters Based on Spartan Customs," Webisodes and a photo gallery.

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Thank you for the information Brian. It seems from the information that you gave that there is a lot more to see and enjoy on the 2 disc set.

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I have my movie and I am enjoying it. I also hope you all get your movie (two-disc special ediciton), and enjoy it.

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I have my movie and I am enjoying it. I also hope you all get your movie (two-disc special ediciton), and enjoy it.

I did - and I REALLY enjoyed the Frank Miller interview.

The KC Objectivist Group is meeting at my house this weekend to have a "300 movie night" - CAN'T WAIT!

theDML2112

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Whew, after reading through these 10 pages, there is not much I can add. I paid US$8 at the store, for the DVD, and did have a positive response to it. (You couldn't GIVE me 99% of the rubbish I see for sale these days). I go along with much of the positive comment here. I love the uncompromising attitude to fight for what they value, their way of life.

The dialog on the sound track, like so many modern productions is too faint to hear much of the time. I think that the mixing of channels to suit the theater, leaves the voice channel under boosted for home theater, becoming almost inaudible at times. When I watched the commentary, I could hear the commentator well, but not the film dialog. I may use the caption option next time.

As for style, I can accept the comic book format, but my preference would be to tone down some of the "monster' stuff, because it can become 'laughable', not something to be desired. All in all, I like the movie for it's guts in taking a stand, for it's valor in execution of that stand, and it's portrayal of noble men.

8 for artistic merit, 9 for sense of life.

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As for style, I can accept the comic book format, but my preference would be to tone down some of the "monster' stuff, because it can become 'laughable', not something to be desired.

Monster stuff?

I not only did not mind the comic book style of the movie, I really enjoyed it. There is nothing less naturalistic than a comic book frame, which shows you the essentials and nothing more. To put that much thought into the filming of a movie requires true skill, and this in my opinion is what makes 300 absolutely gorgeous. In fact I even enjoyed Sin City for that reason, even though it was one of the most malevolent and disgusting movies I've ever seen. But the colors and the scene framing is too captivating to look away from. Frank Miller's dialogue also is such a breath of fresh air from the contemporary naturalistic garbage we've become accustomed to.

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