Lem, Andrew and I stood for over an hour in a long line that started up the staircase, out the door, and down the street at opening night of 300, the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic book series by the same name. This is hardly a documentary about the famous Spartan stand against the Persian army at The Battle of Thermopyle, but portrays it the way legends are always told: exaggerated, entertaining, and epic.
The movie is comic-book stylized and stays faithful to Frank Miller’s storytelling. I have read the comics and just as in Sin City, was pleasantly surprised to see the shots and framing of the movie were literally recreated from panels in the comic books. Since you can’t fit much in a 5 part comic book series, it’s not a surprise that this big-screen version added some plot lines and fleshed out its characters more, but it was very well-done. 300 had the classic themes of making a stand and sticking to your ideals when the odds are against you. Good guys were good, bad guys were really, really bad, and the heroes were larger-than-life.
I really loved art direction, and thought the visual treatment was beautiful. That sounds a little strange since 300 had its ample share of decapitations, severed limbs, and skewered bodies, but even that was stylized…you would have to see the movie, I guess, to understand.
The fight scenes were spectacular! The battle choreography was great, and this movie really perfected the “Matrix-esque” slow-motion effect. Of course, unlike the last two Matrix movies, these scenes had a point and moved the story along (300 had least had a story…or at least one that you could understand).
We were unanimous: it was one of the best movies we’d seen in a long time.