Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

I don't know about you, but it looks like a few million people find something appealing about a bunch of sweaty guys in shorts. Damn, I hope we're talking about women here...

Opening this past Friday, 300 earned $70 million in its first weekend, making it one of the top grossing R-rated movie debuts in history. The kicker? The movie only cost $60 million to make, thanks to shooting just about everything in front of a blue screen. Here come the money.

300 follows the 300 man (get it?) Spartan army in their battle against the million man Persian army. The movie is based on a graphic novel, aka fancy comic book, written by Frank Miller, the man who also brought us Sin City. And when I say based on, I mean based on. Many of the shots in the movie are direct recreations of panels in the comic. Whether this is a good or bad thing is hard to say - some fans will love that the film says true to the novel, while others will feel it's just a Hollywood rip-off. Make your own decision.

Despite all the partial male nudity, this is a good film. The blood and gore are over the top, so this is not a film for the youngins', but truthfully it's all just CGI. The action sequences are great, but I'm not thrilled with the overall "look" of the movie. The colors and tones are all very muted, and it just doesn't pop. Maybe that's a good thing, since more vibrancy might make the CGI aspects stand out as totally fake.

Gladiator movies have never really been big-time, but 300 seems to be bucking the trend. Despite the shirtless action. Have I mentioned that there's way too much male skin in this thing? Sure, there are a couple of hot ladies there as well - like the oracle - but directors need to remember the audience this type of movie plays to. How about a sequence with warrior women, where they all wear skimpy little leather bikinis and dance around the fire pit at night? I smell a sequel.

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