Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “300”

(Warner Home Video. 2007. Color. Widescreen. 2 Discs. Rated R. Directed by Zack Snyder.) Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Dominic West. Music by Tyler Bates.

The best I can do to sum up this movie is that it’s a visual retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, as told around a campfire. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, the film tells the story of Leonidas (Butler), the King of Sparta, who leads 300 men against the enormous army of the Persian Empire. Visually, it’s a feast. The campfire aspect is made apparent in the exaggerated reality in which the film dwells, thanks to very liberal use of CGI and high-speed cameras (I’ve joked with friends that if this movie was shown at full speed with no slow-motion, it would be about 45 minutes long). The battles are excessively brutal, the Persians are practically demonic, and the Spartans seem nearly indestructible (I got caught up in their testosterone-fueled camaraderie, and the thrill of their tendency to sound off loudly). There’s even some humor from time to time (I loved Leonidas’ remark about being civil). The story is fairly simplistic, but with enough political intrigue to keep it interesting. The soundtrack is suitably epic and driving, so much so that I was able to resist asking how electric guitars made their way to ancient Greece. Special features include director commentary, featurettes on the history of the Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae, some rather illuminating behind-the-scenes webisodes, an interview with Frank Miller, and three deleted scenes (which don’t account for much). If you’re interested in an extremely stylish, testosterone-drenched action movie, you can’t do much better than this.

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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