Friday, March 16, 2007

Movie: 300

300 is all about the visuals. It seems that 99.9 % of thought, time, effort and expense went into the videography – which apparently is not a word, according to my spellchecker. But I’ll use it because I’m sleepy and my vocabulary is sluggish today. Every single scene – and I mean every single still is dedicated to being an intense canvas of visual artwork, rich, dramatic and perfectly composed. Every landscape is majestic, every facial expression wrought with intensity, every thrust and parry an iconic pose. Never a hair is random or out of place. The result, I found, though intriguing for a while, became a massive over-stimulus that tired me out. If you recall the film The Cell – with the virtual reality environment - this had a somewhat similar feel, with much toggling back and forth between ultra-slow-motion and ultra-fast-motion. All footage was graded to extreme blue-on blue or dark metallic tints.

The dialogue, besides being entirely stupid – and people, it really was stupid. I just can’t stress how stupid, no matter who the speaker – fit this whole heightened-reality framework. Or rather – heightened unreality if I may. Every exchange was supercharged – like this:

“Our arrows shall blot out the sky!”

“Then we shall fight in the shade!”

The story was simple. A retelling of the tale of 300 Spartan soldiers who, against insurmountable odds, hampered hundreds of thousands of invading Persian slaves/warriors in effort to save Greece from conquer. It was embellished of course and – as I could have predicted – blasphemed with modern-day values and modern-day clichés. The kind of snide ignorant shit-stain Hollywood rarely fails to leave on any work historical (given this is more a mythology than history).

The horridness of all this constant heightened unreality is twofold. One – it services the attention deficit disorder that infects our entire population in this virtual day and age (please don’t even talk about this as being a childhood issue – please – don’t be so naïve)! And two – it leaves the viewer completely disconnected from the story. You can’t possibly fall into the story and feel like you’re there and feel compassion for the heroes. And this is a serious no-no at the FWG School of Good Storytelling. The viewer is held at a distance – thus, as the climax unfolds there is no jeopardy. I was entirely unconcerned whether the ‘heroes’ prevailed or fell. What should have been heart-wrenching became a mild curiosity. This was inevitable.

So if you’re one of the A.D.D. inflicted youth-oriented adults that dominate the 18-49 age group – you might just find this flick worthwhile for its stunning visuals! I can’t recommend it on any other level.

For a much more hip dissertation, internet cool kid Eeeeekkk offers this view.


Anonymous said...

My hubby is going to watch this tonight hehehehe, I think he will LOVE it. Of course I gather the two of you are on totally different wavelengths haha...

Babs Gladhand said...

Thomas watched a special last night on the Spartans, and was enthralled. And when he came to bed at 2:00, he couldn't contain his excitement and I had to hear ALL about it.

I think to get him back for it, I'm going to tell him he should go see this movie this afternoon.

I'll tell him you said it was totally awesome.


Kathleen said...

I saw the preview a few weeks ago and thought, "I so don't want to see that movie." I found the blue-on-blue tint-thingy annoying in the extreme, to say nothing of all the CGI. Thanks for verifying for me that I do not want to see it.

Just to make you jealous - I saw The Maltese Falcon on the big screen on Friday night.