Saturday, March 24, 2007

just back from 300. I wasn't completely unaware about it, but didn't realize, for instance, that it was so gory. its stylized presentation was fairly effective tho it seems like a movie that'll look dated in a couple years. what was the name of that comic book style recent thriller with Gwyneth Paltrow and that actor who isn't so famous as maybe could? 300 looked like that. I liked that other movie well enough tho, er, I fell asleep. I'd forgotten till the closing credits that the movie derived from a graphic novel. it certainly looked like it had. and it also resembled those front story features to video games that set up the boop-boop-boop-blast-blast of the game itself. I think the effort to make the movie look like a comic book took some of the bran out of the story. there's some heart in the movie but a general cheesiness largely overwhelms it. it played to the 14 year old boy in the audience, which, in this case, means the cheap seats. it was wicked how he cut that dude's head off!!!. the endless prattle about freedom sounded like Braveheart. neither movie was really about that, tho I don't mean to say I didn't like either. in fact, the movie had a number of quotes of or allusions to other movies. the late scene in the wheatfield hearkened to Gladiator (I liked that movie: we almost watched again tonight, except Erin voted no). the hunchback seemed like Golum to some extent. the rhino and elephants in battle looked like Lord of the Rings. the movie opted for some rococo comic bookiness that was engrossing if a trifle whack. Leonidas climbs a rocky pinnacle to reach the oracle, his cloak fluttering comic bookly in the wind. the oracle is attended by men who all look like Robert the Bruce's leprous father. the oracle's veils flutter with mesmerizing pointlessness. well, it was supposed to be sensuous, but I felt like a cat watching television as those veils swirled. the Persians, woo boy, were they decadent. from the 1st emissary who appears, it is one hubris-filled snooty pants after another. all of whom get what for in spades by the mighty Spartans. the whole point of the movie was to get our boys in place to do battle. wow, there was a shot of the Persian fleet getting devastated by a storm, which was historically in the wrong place, that was wonderful. straight off the canvas of any number of vast romantically-conceived paintings. yow! the battle scenes were a blur of energy. definitely began as graphic novel. blood spattered about gracefully. the battles in Braveheart largely looked fun. you know, you pull the arrow out of your eye, drink some ale and slap your comrade on your back. the Spartans weren't going to have that much of fun, they were too workmanlike. tho they liked their job. every shiny pectoral muscle had a scar as token of satisfying satisfying puritan work ethic. the battle scenes got a bit wearying, no dynamics, it's all high gear in slo-mo. a great scene was the rain of arrows on the 300. whoooosh, tho, hey, kind of taken from Braveheart, what? Xerxes reminded me of Ra in Stargate, tho played by an angry RuPaul. the soundtrack took steroids but was effective. there's an Imax version available, but I don't think I have the constitution. regarding upcoming cinema temptations: 2 horror flicks that look dully disturbing, Will Ferrell's next one (I'm in),and something else that was loud.
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