Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


 

300

300

Genre: Action/Drama
Rated: R
Directed by:
Zack Snyder
Starring:
Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominick West, Rodrigo Santoro
Released by: Warner Bros.

In Short: Ancient war is hell, but an extremely enjoyable experience in the safety of a big-screen movie theater.

Men's Men
Comic Book Style Wins the War
by Jenny Peters

Fanboys around the world are eagerly awaiting this week’s release of “300,” the cinematic translation of Frank Miller’s popular graphic novel; they, and other, less-comic-book-obsessed filmgoers who love a good action yarn, will be extremely satisfied with this visually arresting flick.

Director and co-writer Zack Snyder leaps full-bore into this oft-told tale of the 300 Spartans who died so famously at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Focusing on Leonidas, the ultra-macho king played with gusto (and a serious washboard stomach) by British actor Gerard Butler, the story begins in Sparta, where boys are trained from birth to be killing machines, warriors without compare. It’s a good thing, too, since Xerxes, the ruthless Persian king, and his army of more than 100,000 soldiers are threatening their Greek city-state.

300
Lena Headey as Gorgo

Using a visually arresting film technique that drains almost all the color out of the screen image, Snyder creates a unique world that allows us to completely give over to the experience of being back in a time when honor and distinction during wartime were the overriding factors of life. Add in the crazy visuals of the Persian king and his strangely mutated slave soldiers juxtaposed against the scantily clad Spartan hardbodies, and “300” becomes a veritable visual feast.

Gerard Butler as Leonidas

It is something of an allegory, too, with some pretty obvious references to the Persian encroachment into the Spartan lands as a parallel to what is happening in the world today, but that is a minor part of the overall story. It’s mostly a basic tale of strong men who will fight to the death to protect their home and family, even against insurmountable odds.

The film is not the best pick for the faint of heart. It is a brutal, no-holds-barred look at ancient wartime practices, and the only color that seeps through onto the screen is the red of the gallons of blood shed on the way to the Spartans’ inevitable defeat. Limbs fly, heads roll, face it, hand-to-hand combat in the 5th Century B.C. wasn’t pretty, but it sure makes for a fascinating big-screen experience. And make sure to see this one in a theater, as the visuals are made for the theater, not your living room.



PJW030807
 

Shopping for a die-hard beauty junkie? From anti-aging retinoid pads to a paraffin bath set, the products on GAYOT's list are worthy of any spa.

From the classic vaudeville of the Marx Brothers to the outrageous antics of Will Ferrell's Frat Pack, these films never fail to leave us laughing out loud.