Sunday, January 11, 2009


300 is the big screen adaptation of the graphic novel (or longer-than-normal comic book for those unaware) by the same name. Based on the infamous battle at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., 300 tells the tale of King Leonidas who defied the orders of his corrupt priests and takes 300 (number sound familiar?) of his soldiers to stand against Xerxes and his Persian horde, rather than bow to the "god-king" and acknowledge his rule over Sparta. Basically, what all that means is that we have a smaller group of guys fighting a much larger group of guys. All the while, Leonidas' queen fights on behalf of her king against the politicians who refuse to send the rest of the Spartan army to his aid. Directed by Zack Snyder, 300 maintains a strong connection to the unique visual styles of the graphic novel, helping it to stand out from largely violent dramas like Gladiator and Braveheart (both awesome). Now, let's get on to the ratings...

Original Release: 2006
Running Time: 117 minutes

Death - $2
I would like to directly quote the definition of a full two-dollar rating here. Ahem... "Holy crap, that was NUTS!" 300 Spartans fight for days against a nonstop flow of Persian warriors... demon ninjas, spiked-up elephants and pre-christ grenades all came and fell. Bodies drop left and right here so I would be a fool to say this didn't get the highest possible rating.

Effects & Animation - $1
I was very torn on how to rate this one. The vast majority of the movie is shot with green-screen and tons of special effects were used to create the attacking armies, fountains of blood, and overall stylized look of the movie. The effects were incredible and did exactly what they were intended to, BUT it didn't look real. And I know, I know... it wasn't really supposed to look "real" but I have to go with my gut here.

Critters & Creatures - $1
I might be rating a little harshly here too, but I am sticking with a dollar. There are a slew of odd characters and beasts in the movie, most of which tag along with Xerxes. I can still very vividly see that creepy egg-shaped guy with the big blades on his forearms that decapitated one of Xerxes' generals. However, as far as I know (and please feel free to correct me if I am ever wrong here at Ten Dollar Reviews) these were all part of the graphic novel as well. It may be unfair to hold a dollar back simply because they were true to the comic - and I respect the hell out of the fact that they were - but the movie itself shouldn't be able to take full credit in my eyes. And this is all being written through my eyes, so there you go.

Nerd Factor - $2
I felt like the Fonz when I saw this movie in the theaters. I've also read a lot about the making of the movie and the reactions that it recieved so I will gladly give it dos dolares for the anticipation and the follow-through with those of the geekly persuasion.

Action and Ass-Kickery - $2
Lots and lots and lots of fights. The Spartans can kick some ass and the quantity and variety of ass that gets kicked in 300 is astounding. There are some truly brutal and graphic battle scenes with blades slicing and arrows flying all over the place. It should not come as a surprise that a movie about a major moment of military history has more than a few punches thrown.

Total Rating: $8

I actually saw this in the theaters first, at one of those pre-screenings that you can get tickets to from local media outlets. If you know much about me, then you probably know I'm a bit of a nerd. So let me just say that I felt like the freakin prom king in that theater! I was the coolest guy in the room by far, and I mean this by normal human standards - not "who has the best Boba Fett costume" standards. Don't let that impact your thoughts on the movie though... nerds and normies alike have all been known to thoroughly enjoy the action and distinct look of 300. If you haven't managed to see it yet, then I would defintiely recommend giving it a try.

Also, I feel like I should make this clear for my lady readers (ok... "reader"... hi mom!) in case the poster image above wasn't clear. The Spartans don't wear a lot of clothes and work out enough to make Ahnold jealous these days. They're kind of like He-Man, sans the confused sexuality.

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