Everyone's a critic: '300'

Friday, March 16, 2007

Four stars (out of four)

I hadn't heard anything about the movie "300" before I walked into the theater. Maybe that would give me a fresh aspect as a critic, not having seen, heard or read anything before I walked through the door. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It reminded me of "Braveheart": a brave hero, sacrificing life and limb for a cause he thought was worthy, just set in a different time and place and a little less bloody. In this case, it was King Leonidas and his group of 300 Spartans who fought to the death against a massive Persian army. The story is told by a narrator, who in the end we learn is one soldier sent back to recount the events, so the battle is never forgotten. Their cause was to protect the rights of free men. While there are many battle scenes, they are presented in almost a dream sequence manner. This fantasy imagery makes some of the people larger than life, others smaller and the 300 Spartans always heroic. The fantasy element also contributes to softening the details of the blood and gore. King Leonidas was presented as a likable ruler, with a great sense of humor.

-- Shirlene Hecht

Two stars (out of four)

Wow. I can't remember the last time I viewed a movie so violent and tragic. But of course, I am not a violent, blood, guts and gore type of movie gal. "300" was a hyperviolent, hypermasculine ode to honor and duty by way of an epic battle against an invading force of Persians. The visual components of this movie were compelling. The cinematography, along with computer imagery, was tremendous.

From a personal perspective I thought that the graphic sexual and abuse scenes are uncalled for due to the topic of the movie. I have a mixed opinion of how to rate this film since it features graphic violence, lewd sexual content and abuse of children. If you are an individual who enjoyed the graphic novel "Sin City" by Frank Miller, then this might be your type of movie.

-- Donna Sternickle

Three and a half stars (out of four)

Wow. The summer "blockbuster" season has kicked off. I went to see the critically acclaimed "300." It is the No. 1 movie in America. This movie takes place around 480 B.C. and is about a small, mighty army of Spartans taking on a million-plus Persian soldiers to secure their homeland from tyranny. This movie, with its stunning visual effects, reminded me of such great past movies like "Troy" and "Gladiator."

Plenty of action and violence in this one, let me tell you. This movie was rated R for obvious reasons. Go see it!

-- B.D. Vancil

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