Justin & i (Vi was totally disinterested) went to see ‘300‘ today, and i hands-down loved it.
i think this movie possibly has the best marketing campaign of anything i’ve seen in a long time. let’s just start with this little fact: i’m a junkie for movie trailers. it fascinates the hell out of me to see how someone not attached to the movie itself chooses to market a work of art (qualifier, remember that whole “poptimist” thing, i’m into interpreting it all as “art”, even when it’s very very bad art). remember how horribly ‘unbreakable‘ crashed & burned at the theater? the trailer led you to believe this was another super-twisty ‘6th sense‘, and when it was revealed to be a slow, thinky comic book flick, there was plenty of “wtf?!” going on in the theater. likewise, if you’ve had the bad fortune to sit through ‘the new world‘, go back and watch that trailer. i still get pissed off every time i see it, wondering where the hell that beautiful movie got hidden, instead of the mess we actually ended up with. in the opposite direction but just as annoying as having something grossly mis-advertised is when you get the whole movie in those 60 seconds. you know that there’s no point in bothering to go watch it, you just caught all the major plot points and all the best jokes.
this one, though, not so much. if you like the trailer, you will like the movie. it’s utterly accurate without giving away all the high points (of course, the battle of thermopylae was a real historical event, so plenty of people knew the ending beforehand). i got goosebumps every time i watched it, even on my tiny computer screen.
the movie reminds me in a way of baz luhrmann‘s stuff: story’s pretty straightforward, almost simple, to make way for the incredible *experience* of it all. it’s utterly beautiful, and i say this even though ‘pan’s labyrinth‘ was the last thing i’d seen at the theator prior to this. all the blood and gore, and yes, there is plenty of it, is very stylized, very hyper-real. when people’s legs got blown off in ‘saving private ryan’, i thought it was gratuitous crap, but when men go slaying through arcs of blood in slo-mo here, it’s like ballet. the people in here are every bit as amazing to watch as the cgi (minor complaint: just as in the trailer, the guy playing the king has a tendency to bellow lines a bit over the top. everyone else’s acting is spot on, and the queen is flawless), both for their stunning physiques and their solid performances. in the hands of most directors, this whole approach could have very easily turned into a full-on cheeze fest, but it really works here. yes, guys, it’s a violent tale of uber-male-bonding, but chicks, fear not, there’s a good story going on too.
the imdb discussion boards have a thread up about people going in costume. none of that on a sunday afternoon in b’more, but i would have loved to see it. anyone else been amused by such things where you’re at?