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Overall Rating
3.32

Awesome33.82%
Worth A Look: 22.06%
Just Average: 8.33%
Pretty Crappy: 14.22%
Sucks: 21.57%

10 reviews, 144 user ratings


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300
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by Rob Gonsalves

"How not to make a Frank Miller adaptation."
2 stars

Outside in the parking lot after '300' was over, I saw a few guys running to their car, imaginary swords poised, shouting “Fight for glory!” and laughing. That’s as appropriate a response as any to '300,' an overwrought, revved-up, and deeply silly symphony of clanging steel and spurting blood.

That may sound fun, and in fits and starts it is, mostly in the first half hour. After a while, though, its heavy-metal thunder becomes white noise; some of us may wish the stalwart Spartans would just die with honor already so we can go home. The movie isn’t without some humor, but generally it’s so grimly full of itself it invites derision. You either buy into its warrior-class snobbishness or you don’t, and if you don’t, it’s a long sit.

300 is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, the same artist whose comics inspired 2005’s Sin City. Miller made his name working on the Marvel comic Daredevil, and he seems to have worked backwards to Batman, then to old pulp fiction, and finally to the battle of Thermopylae, the birth of manly heroism, wherein three hundred of Sparta’s finest soldiers held off the massive Persian army for as long as they could. Miller has a thing about machismo, and his graphic novel fetishized the Spartans’ toughness, bravery, and did I mention toughness? The Spartan men are trained from childhood to kill or be killed; the women are allowed to speak, though when it counts, even the Queen has to submit to rape in order to be heard before the Council.

Directed by Zack Snyder, who helmed 2003’s uninteresting Dawn of the Dead remake and next threatens to adapt Alan Moore’s seminal comic Watchmen, the movie has been run through God knows how many digital filters to achieve a look slavishly identical to Miller’s drawings. The difference between this dubious achievement and Sin City, a far more entertaining comic-to-film transplant, may simply be that 300 strains so hard to be cool it keeps blowing its cool, while Sin City was just cool, returning Miller’s noir-flavored narrative to its source. Again and again in 300, limbs are lopped off, spears pass through ribcages with no resistance, dark red bee-swarms of blood explode from each slash and hack. It’s all very pretty, but also hermetic and fake.

The only moment of true beauty comes when Sparta’s king Leonidas (Gerard Butler) goes to visit the Oracle before battle, and she’s doing what appears to be an underwater dance on dry land; the visual is pinched from Howard Schatz’ photography, but one is grateful for its relative quietude. Elsewhere, Leonidas and his noisy elite — the few! the proud! the Spartans! Hoo-ya! — set the movie’s tone. When the Spartans aren’t destroying every Persian they see, Leonidas is either bellowing about destroying Persians or having destroyed Persians. Leonidas is a terrific bellower, though you’d think one of Zack Snyder’s legions of digital artists would’ve whited-out the fillings visible in Gerard Butler’s bottom molars as he bellows. (Spartans are so tough they even fill their own cavities. With the innards of their foes! Hoo-ya!) The Spartans are also raving heterosexuals, contemptuous of the “boy-lovers” among the other Greeks (as if Spartans were exempt from the common homosexuality of the day), while the Persians are ruled by the freaky-tranny Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), who adds a craven hunchback to his collection of fags, disfigured dykes, and other unworthies. 300 goes beyond homophobia into homoterror.

Ah, but nobody appreciates the warrior! He will be betrayed by non-combatants at home; he will die on the battlefield in a crucifixion pose, nearly 500 years before there was a Crucifixion. I wouldn’t say 300 has much relevance to current conflicts; Snyder says politics were far from his mind as he made the film, and I believe him. He plays toy soldiers heedless of anything except the aesthetic, iconic charge. The timing is interesting, that’s all.

'300' isn’t exactly pro-war; it’s too unconscious for that. It yearns for a war worthy of all this totally awesome bad-ass filmmaking technique, dude. Hoo-ya.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15601&reviewer=416
originally posted: 03/11/07 01:45:07
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good movie skip the sequel 4 stars
3/17/16 Charles Tatum You just can't get past those visuals. 4 stars
10/12/13 David H. Historically inaccurate, but has great eye candy. 3 stars
10/21/12 Sean Harrison A bit corny, but still entertaining. One of the better graphic novel based movies. 4 stars
9/10/11 Captain00Kirk Over-rated, too much slo-mo and low on story. www.youtube.com/Captain00Kirk 3 stars
9/10/10 Barbara Leaf Not my type movie but I LOVED IT. Sex, gore....I couldn't get enough. 5 stars
5/31/10 User Name With it's cheesy lines and stylized violence, 300 reaches guy movie greatness. 3 stars
3/20/10 J-Dawg Sex, violence, and mindless action. Pretty much sums up 300. 1 stars
9/12/09 R.W. Welch Stylized but still effective treatment of legendary battle. C+ 3 stars
8/20/09 Monday Morning I haven't seen so many 6-packs since my Miller Brewery tour. 4 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder A popcorn film that's actually entertaining and doesn't insult one's intelligence? Here! 4 stars
4/28/09 Dr.Lao Idiot machismo and cartoony violance with pretentions of being, "art" 2 stars
3/07/09 Rigato Horrible. The Spartans themselves were homosexuals, or at the very least bisexual... 1 stars
2/06/09 man great 5 stars
11/21/08 PAUL SHORTT AN OVERABUNDANCE OF STYLE AND VIOLENCE ACCENTING A SUBSTANCE-DEPRIVED STORY 1 stars
9/14/08 Samantha Pruitt thought it would be better, needed waaay more blood! 3 stars
9/03/08 Alexandru Totir I found it to be very entertaining to watch, quite good, and the actors look stunning & hot 4 stars
8/06/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/21/08 Bob? Hilarious review. Nailed it. 1 stars
6/28/08 AnnieG A good adaptation of a graphic novel, but would have preferred to see a historical version. 3 stars
6/13/08 Karrie M action packed and the guys were HOT, loved it 5 stars
5/25/08 Max Sloppily over the top, and dripping with ugly, heavy-handed right wing propaganda. 1 stars
5/07/08 Crispy Plenty of you ignorant fools will lap this up and Hollywood knows it 2 stars
5/02/08 Greets "the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring" I agree, although I liked the first 20m 2 stars
4/19/08 mark madsen this a good movie. alittle far fetch. 4 stars
3/06/08 Matty! this movie was awesome. just because we don't all hug trees like you tards... 5 stars
3/03/08 europa America should embrace the Spartans "Newborn Policy". 5 stars
2/01/08 surfer Thinly veiled glorification of fascist ideology - perfect aryans against subhuman cripples 1 stars
1/28/08 Rollie It's as if Cornelius is trying to say Frank Miller didn't get it right the first time. 5 stars
1/13/08 David Graham Visualy glorious and entertaining war movie, THIS IS SPARTA. 5 stars
12/08/07 Keystra Williams THIS IS SPARTA! 5 stars
10/26/07 tracey chambers eye candy for sure. worth checking out 4 stars
10/17/07 TreeTiger ENTERTAINING..!!! 5 stars
10/11/07 Spliff Well and truly entertained me, but not as good as the original 4 stars
10/10/07 Bitchflaps The men are fuckable, but the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring and ugly. 1 stars
10/07/07 Vincent Visually stunning, very entertaining flick 4 stars
9/23/07 Jason Great movie, but perhaps a little overrated 3 stars
9/10/07 JeromeBoch This movie did what it was intended to do; it entertained the Hell out of me! Loved the CGI 5 stars
9/09/07 QC Extraordinary. Revolutionary cinematography. The best movie of the year so far. 5 stars
9/09/07 Blitcher God, what a waste of resources, digital or not... 2 stars
8/31/07 I-K Mysogyny, demonised enemy, rank exaggeration... EXACTLY what a war story retold would be! 5 stars
8/28/07 mb Truly Terrible and Not Recommended 1 stars
8/14/07 vinman29 Fell asleep twice--repetitive battle scenes 2 stars
8/12/07 Joe Smaltz They didn't say it was a cartoon 1 stars
8/08/07 Ron People never cease to amaze me. I wonder what kind of crap movies they like 4 stars
7/15/07 the young one yes the lack of armour was rather bad but i guess the whole plot seemed very nice to me 4 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega It's no "Lord of the Rings", and really shouldn't be. 3.5/5 4 stars
7/11/07 Hello Stranger visually stunning yes. acting and script? total crap 1 stars
7/09/07 GS2 Worst movie of the year, maybe more. Starting with the name, they should have called it 25. 1 stars
7/02/07 William Goss A traditionally gripping epic tale wrapped in modern visual splendor. 5 stars
7/02/07 lotr fan i asked for mayo...THIS IS TARTAR 5 stars
7/02/07 Tanya g very hollywood 2 stars
7/01/07 Lydia Helton Edges out Alexander among just-watchable ancient historical dramas. 2 stars
6/18/07 Abs This Movie revels in it's Machoness!!! 5 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold REMEMBER this film; think about it. That's all that the "Spartans" wish. 5 stars
5/14/07 movieman lame 1 stars
5/08/07 Anthony A contender for not only worst movie of the year, but worst movie of the decade. 1 stars
4/27/07 Straight guy guys, it's only gay if you're a little 'curious' and want to hide that. great entertainment 5 stars
4/26/07 Dude lame 1 stars
4/25/07 Dave gay war porn 1 stars
4/25/07 Nicole M No naval battle, no armour, no realism... no point. 1 stars
4/23/07 Stevo UK Complete bullshit. 1 stars
4/21/07 UvIndex Dumb movie. Nice graphics, and nothing more than that. 2 stars
4/19/07 grendel73 This movie was awesome! The action sequences were amazing. Great cinematography. 5 stars
4/14/07 Maverick Unrealistic?!.. no, comics are realistic. i suppose Sin City is unrealistic too, or Batman? 5 stars
4/11/07 Jake Unrealistic battles, and SUPERGAY. 1 stars
4/11/07 Indrid Cold Weak story, but the most intense, visually stunnning battles since Saving Private Ryan. 4 stars
4/10/07 Double M Stunning cinematography, visuals and some of the craziest, most intense battle scenes ever 5 stars
4/09/07 Kelly loooved tho action! nothing can beat Gladiator though 4 stars
4/08/07 Will Prepare for Honor! Prepare for Glory! A good ol' spleen-stabbin, leg-choppin action film 5 stars
4/08/07 Vin Passionate & hardcore....makes GLADIATOR look like sesame street! 5 stars
4/06/07 Pooly Actually Peter, I enjoyed Troy more than this! 2 stars
4/05/07 Sumixam Great movie - Visually stunning 5 stars
4/04/07 Anthony 300, how bad is thee? Let me count the ways . . . 1 stars
4/02/07 Joe Amazing, really pushed the bar with visuals 5 stars
3/30/07 Alice Loved Sin City but this was crap. CRAP ! 1 stars
3/30/07 M Amazing.... the only ppl who wont like it are those who loved "little Man" & "Borat" 5 stars
3/29/07 Grigory Unintentionally hilarious; lady with mole was ugly. 2 stars
3/28/07 Stephen Outstanding. Not as historically inaccurate as some make out. Definitelty big screen, big s 5 stars
3/28/07 malcolm decent modern take on an ancient culture and historic event 4 stars
3/28/07 Ruperd those men r do sxy!!OH ye and ur all gay 1 stars
3/26/07 Rachel Hilarious. (Not to mention sexy man candy). 4 stars
3/26/07 Obi Wan Must See! Great eye candy and best action scenes in a long time! 5 stars
3/25/07 euge That was so fucking awesome...NOT 1 stars
3/24/07 Steve Newman what a load of crap 1 stars
3/24/07 Pandababy Some good scenes, but full of dumb crap 3 stars
3/23/07 DEREK most amazing movie ever, who ever gives it less then 4 stars is dumb. 5 stars
3/23/07 Jim Gordon This is the worst film ive seen in my life, total crap 1 stars
3/23/07 Renae It was *intentionally* hilarious and awesome. 5 stars
3/22/07 David Worth a look, a little too much video-game not enough movie though. 4 stars
3/22/07 Johnny Well its awful and sad at the same time, it glorifys militarism, its for simpletons. 2 stars
3/21/07 ES 3/4 of the best movie ever commited to film and then it falters like a dying spartan 4 stars
3/20/07 Jake Bluez Outstanding. Style, action, romance, visually stunning, good actors, great fights. Wow! 5 stars
3/20/07 carniv4 This had to be one of the stupidest movies ever. 2 stars
3/20/07 gatz Genuine adrenaline. 4 stars
3/20/07 SoStraightItHurts Wow... I can't wait to see the gay porn version... oh wait... Did I? 1 stars
3/19/07 Stacy There are quite a few laughable, unintentionally gay moments, but it was mostly fun. 4 stars
3/19/07 Andrew Mind-numbing and instantly forgettable. Hooray. 1 stars
3/19/07 Monster W. Kung It's like a Manowar video: big, loud, dumb, and sort-of-gay. But there's worse. 2 stars
3/19/07 Stanley Thai So far, this is the top movie of 2007! Great film! 5 stars
3/19/07 Ephraim Lee I unfortunately went in looking for a story. The action + visuals were nice though 3 stars
3/19/07 Anthony G Looking for a story? Not here. Looking for badass action? Here you go. 4 stars
3/19/07 dude pretty good 4 stars
3/19/07 Dan Great action, but the scenes in Sparta were useless and a little too cheesy 4 stars
3/18/07 Will A visual spectacle. Like a short story. 5 stars
3/18/07 SPARTANMAN300 BEST WAR/FIGHTING MOVIE EVER!! u dont like it, " Then we will fight in the shade." 5 stars
3/18/07 jess if you liked sin city, you'll love 300, if you didn't like sin city, you'll hate 300 5 stars
3/18/07 Simon it's frank miller, so you know it's shallow and moronic. but at least it's sweet-looking! 2 stars
3/17/07 Shobert 300 is the number of brain cells you lose by watching it. 1 stars
3/16/07 Isaac Unintentionally hilarious and cheesy as hell 1 stars
3/16/07 dICK jENN nice obvious use of dictionary to describe the movie . dipsht! 5 stars
3/16/07 pat horse shit 1 stars
3/14/07 Single Malt A Caravaggio painting come to life, the images stick with you long after the movie ends. 5 stars
3/14/07 rex the worst film i've seen .no hope for film. morons takin over world 1 stars
3/14/07 Elder Made Gladiator look phony. Made Troy look amateur. Breathtaking every 5-7 minutes. 5 stars
3/13/07 Mo Fantastic movie. Honor, duty, glory - all things we need more of in the world. 5 stars
3/13/07 Quigley Not up to the hype. Pretty gross at times and repetitive slo-mo battles. Good visuals. 2 stars
3/13/07 Agglepraxis off-putting and atavistic homophobia (decadence=faginess), but some great action 3 stars
3/13/07 Brian Mckay Masterful action scenes, solid acting, and dream-like visuals. Only drags in a few spots. 4 stars
3/13/07 byzinski Best damn movie yet . Mind blowing action. Patriotic to the core. 5 stars
3/13/07 dmitry I walked out after 20 minutes...Totally worthless 1 stars
3/12/07 Leonidas This is the best Beeping movie to ever grace movie theaters. Tonight, We Dine In Hell!!!!!! 5 stars
3/12/07 big dave yo this movie was the best EVER!! IT DOESN'T GET BETTER any one that says other wise suck 5 stars
3/12/07 Jenn blatant sexism, androcentrism, and ethnocentrism 2 stars
3/12/07 B-Nasty Kickass movie. No other word for it. 5 stars
3/12/07 JH Fantastic. A Greek play about the battle on the big screen. 5 stars
3/12/07 Joe if only I could give a negative rating. 1 stars
3/12/07 Chris Not completely historically correct, although a must see, Fear Wrath from a Spartan woman!! 5 stars
3/11/07 Donny M Awesome. Soft cor porn/action=greatness. 5 stars
3/11/07 Tim LOTR: Check. Gladiator: Check. Jet Li's Hero: Check. But OH MY!!! Borrow from the best!! 5 stars
3/11/07 Rob 300 cliches. Cheesy. 2 stars
3/11/07 Kiver Williams Don't get your hopes up insanely high, and you'll have fun. 8/10 4 stars
3/11/07 bytehead A feast for the eyes. 5 stars
3/11/07 CARLOS MOVIE OF THE YEAR BY FAR. SPECTACULAR BATTLE SCENE. 5 STARS 5 stars
3/11/07 Ole Man Bourbon Good, but not enough men in it. 4 stars
3/10/07 Alex Hypnotic-beautiful imagery-brings the comic alive 5 stars
3/10/07 leonhart-less Slightly anti-climactic, but beautiful beyond words! A must-see! 5 stars
3/10/07 Tom Forsdike Very Violent Very Beautiful! With just enough story to keep it all together, I loved it. 5 stars
3/09/07 Vicious Embrace the carnage and this film will astound you. 5 stars
3/09/07 the wizz I am in shock, The best fuckin movie I have ever seen! I feel like I just had an orgasm-!! 5 stars
3/09/07 Todd That was so fucking awesome. 5 stars
3/09/07 action movie fan far from pure cinematic joy. pompous and arty-too often slow-lord of the rings was better 3 stars
3/09/07 Adrian See it in the IMAX or don't see it at all. This is pure cinematic joy. 5 stars
3/09/07 Darren Shea Wow. Just Wow. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

UK
  23-Mar-2007 (15)
  DVD: 01-Oct-2007

Australia
  05-Apr-2007 (MA)




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