The 300 Post I Might as Well Get Out of the Way

I haven’t seen it and I won’t be seeing it until it comes out on DVD. Then I can sit back with a couple of bottles of cheap red and it’s bottoms up every time that Scottish bloke who plays Leonidas says “Are you lookin’ fer a mouthful o’ heydies ya Persian jessie?”

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40 comments on “The 300 Post I Might as Well Get Out of the Way
  1. MrLefty says:

    Violent authoritarian goodies beat violent authoritarian baddies. THE MOST INSPIRING MOVIE YOU’LL EVER SEE.

    Nah, don’t bother. It’s incredibly tedious.

  2. Phil says:

    Ooooh, look muscles! I hear the Keyboard Komedy Kommandos love it. And don’t forget. Michael Moore and Al Gore are fat.

  3. MadameBoffin says:

    God, you’re a bunch of movie snobs.

    Sure it’s historically inaccurate. Sure, Leonidas is played by a Scot (I’m sorry, Spartan actors seem to be in short supply?). Who the hell cares? When did truth become incompatible with a good story*?

    Let me paint a sweeping stereotype that I nonetheless think will be played out in these comment pages: intello-types in love with their own ego who pooh-pooh popular culture in the form of a movie because… why? Dunno. But you’re all gonna hate it, guaranteed 🙂

    * And it’s not a perfect movie, granted. But what is these days.

  4. barry says:

    it’s not that i hate it, it’s just that i like my gay porn with less plot….

  5. Sandstone says:

    Gee barry you are one that gets down on the mob

  6. cynic says:

    trying to chase this movie into its ‘proper’ intellectual corner is impossible. you can card xerces and leonidas as representing both sides, as long as you keep your cool and don’t start invoking hitler all over the place ala Paul Byrnes

  7. Katz says:

    Gay porn. No cock. Boring.

    RWDBs beside themselves trying not to read parallels into a faggotexpo flick.

    Of course Xerxes isn’t a Shiite Atatollah. Ridiculous!


    Are RWDBs really homosexuals in denial?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. Let me paint a sweeping stereotype that I nonetheless think will be played out in these comment pages: intello-types in love with their own ego who pooh-pooh popular culture in the form of a movie because…

    Pick your window, mard-arse.

  9. anthony says:

    If you haven’t yet, you should [link]

  10. Graham Bell says:

    You’ve missed the point completely.

    Nobody minds a rollicking good action film – and scary mysteries have always been popular too. Soppy romances will never go out of fashion – nor will over-the-top ridiculous satires. Some things never really change.

    But the tastes for historical-epic and the costume-drama genres have changed ….. and audiences throughout the world are far more informed and discerning now. They now expect sophisticated interpretation of these stories and of these events and of these characters and that, of course, calls for an exceptionally high level of writing and directing skills to bring forth the drama and all the excitement from the bare historical facts. They expect outstanding editing, acting, props, sound, lighting, camerawork, etc.; and they also expect special effects that are credible, seamless and appropriate [bad luck “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”]. No matter if it is in Ouagadougou or WaggaWagga and no matter if they express their likes and dislikes in film-makers’ jargon or in ordinary words, that’s what they expect now.

    Gollywood still hasn’t got the message. They are still serving up the same old dames-and-ducats and don’t-mess-with-my-toga rubbish that brought in a bit of loot way back in the ‘Fifties and ‘Sixties but now with politically-correct scripts and obvious [un-]special effects.

    Wooden acting, ignorance of primary-school history and screwed-up storylines are neither artistic nor creative, they are merely shoddy ….. and, as such, should not draw the attention of film reviewers but rather that of consumer protection watchdogs. It’s not “popular culture” at all [I happen to enjoy “popular culture” myself :-)]; it’s just a waste of time and money and that’s it. [b.t.w. My copy of “Troy” was bloody woeful as a film; no good as a drink-coaster; inaccurate as a frisbee].

  11. Alex on the Bus says:

    Let me paint a sweeping stereotype that I nonetheless think will be played out in these comment pages: intello-types in love with their own ego who pooh-pooh popular culture in the form of a movie because… why? Dunno. But you’re all gonna hate it, guaranteed

    No, I’m not seeing 300 simply because it looks tedious. And don’t tell me I’m condemned to never see a popular film in my life: I went and saw Hot Fuzz last night and it was the best film I had seen in ages.

    What, you’ve never taken a short cut before?

  12. antony,

    Thanks for the link. Goes to confirm my decision to wait for the DVD.

    That Xerxes really does look like a jessie. They all do.


    For mine, Paul Byrnes nails it – but then I’m only saying that because I’ve seen Olympia, Triumph of the Will and that Robert Hughes doco on the famous Nazi exhibition of “degenerate art”. I once sat through about half of Ivan the Terrible, Part I as well.

    Not sure what Joe Goebbels would have made of 300 – he was a big film buff and well aware of the usefulness of movies as propaganda. I suspect he might regard it as a bit over-the-top (he wasn’t too rapt in Reifenstahl’s work, apparently) and too overdone.

  13. Graham Bell says:

    Condemning a bad film without having seen it can be a real trap. [Got caught myself when, relying on the opinions of several American veterans, I said I wouldn’t watch one of the “Rambo” films – the news media had a field day with that one!]

    What you can do is say firmly that you relied on the opinions of others whose opinions you trust – and then just tough it out too.

    You can say that life is too short to waste it on rubbish. When challenged on how you could know, you can be as snobbish as hell and just say that you are experienced enough to spot a dud film at a hundred paces [it’s one of the very few times when arrogance could be beneficial :D]

  14. Geoff Honnor says:

    Well, Margaret liked it. David didn’t.

  15. Shaun says:

    It seems that to comment on ‘300’, one is at a disadvantage if they have actually seen the movie.

    I quite like how they replicated the feel of the comic book and the imagery was spectacular at times. The dialogue was also faithful to the Frank Miller’s comic as well which was a pleasant surprise (as there are some good original lines).

    The Persians were depicted as a depraved, corrupt lot. One could argue that is was indeed a comment current politics. More likely is that the depiction of the Persians as often disfigured, ugly characters was a simple sign that they are the baddies as the buffed, perfect bods of the Spartans told us they were the good guys. To draw any inferences about modern politics is a little silly as it ignores the history of the time.

    ‘300’ is interesting as it does well as a blank canvas on which the viewer can project their own interpretation about what the movie signifies. For some, a disturbing comment on current political tensions. For others, a none too subtle gay old time in Hollywood. For others, the Spartans represent that lone blog commentor, steadfast and true in their convictions facing the horde of Persian commentors, relentless in their quest to show what he or she is wrong. 😉

  16. Adam Gall says:

    Tough one. If you watch it, you support it. If you don’t, you can’t justify not watching it. This and Bra Boys will both be DVD only for me, I think. Preferably when they get to weekly. I thought Sin City was pretty terrible, so I guess I’ve got some justification for not seeing this.

  17. The War Nerd on 300. He’s extremely dismissive of the movie and the Spartans.

  18. barry says:

    Scriptwriter John Rogers dissects the Anti-American sentiments of 300 here – a very interesting take on the way 300 pisses all over the tropes of American war cinema.

    re: Frank Miller – certainly the film replicated the feel of the comic well, but Frank Miller’s comic style is almost like reading cinematic storyboards anyway. I’d like to see someone replicate Transmetropolitan or The Invisibles. Having read most of Frank Miller’s work years ago and gotten sick of his unrelenting move toward macho breast-beating and chundiferous portrayals of women, I didn’t feel the need to go see this.

  19. Cliff says:

    An okay film. I was, however, a bit iffy about the portrayal of it as a “freedom vs. slavery” thing… sure, the Spartans were fighting for their freedom… but what about the poor helots??

  20. Cliff,

    I think it was more a case of the Spartans fighting to defend their own, home-grown form of jessie-boy tyranny from being overrun by Persian jessie-boy tyranny.

  21. Cliff says:

    And of course, to defend their homegrown eugenics program against TEH EVIL MULTICULTURAL EMPIRE!

    *Cliff withdraws tongue from cheek*

    Seriously though, I’m glad they did what they did. Thermopylae gave the rest of Greece enough time to prepare for serious victory over the Persians. My main gripe with the movie is that it glorifies Spartans to the detriment of all the other city-states… and closes with the Spartans (led by a poorly cast David Wenham) leading the Greeks to final victory on the field, with no mention made of the battle of the Straits of Salamis where the Athenians routed the Persian navy. In fact, the only mention of Athens that I recorded in the movie was when Leonidas curtly dismissed them as “philosophers and boy lovers”, and the only other Greeks who seemed to join the Spartans were the Arcadians, who were nonetheless portrayed as amateurs and cowards.

  22. tigtog says:

    Totally agreed that historically Salamis was the turning point, despite the romance of Themopylae.

    barry, I really liked John Rogers’ summation of the entire Frank Millar oeuvre: (paraphrasing) “Manliness rules, so man the fuck up, men!”

    Further commentary and attempts to map it onto current politics seem so superfluous.

  23. John Greenfield says:

    I have just been pissing myself at the excerable luvvies a la David Stratton (isn’t he the most odious person in all Australia?) and Paul Byrnes. All they can see in neocons and Muslims. All the rest of see is poofters and pansies in sandals killing each other.

    And psstttt….isn’t the executive producer’s surname “Miller” Jewish? Remember that NYT journo JUDITH MIller was a Jewish neocon…

    What a hoot!

  24. I was told today that there were actually 700 Greeks at Themopylae. 300 Spartans and 400 from Thesbos – i.e. Thesbians. I wonder if they would have made it into the film if they’d come from Lesbos instead.

  25. tigtog says:

    Greenfield, I’d be most surprised if everyone with the British occupation-based surname Miller was Jewish.

    Due to kosher type restrictions regarding dealing with yeast on one hand, and guild restrictions on Jews on the other, I’m pretty sure that Miller was one of those occupations that most Jews were not allowed to hold in Europe until relatively recently. I’m sure that the story of how Judith Miller’s father came by the surname would have its genealogical fascinations, but I very much doubt it means that she and Frank Miller are necessarily co-religionists.

  26. Nabakov says:

    Looking forward to watching “300”. I do like a good art-directed punchup. A mate of the director, Zack Synder, said he basically just wanted to fry people’s eyeballs with a great visual-driven story.

    And also looking forward to the sequel when the Spartans and Persians team up 70 years later to smash the Athenian democracy.

  27. Pavlov's Cat says:

    I’m just looking forward to watching David Wenham, however badly cast.

    Tigtog, exquisitely said (9.13 pm), but I fear you are casting your pearls, etc.

  28. j_p_z says:

    Somewhere in a pitch meeting in Burbank, probably 5 or more years ago…

    PRODUCER: I want to make a movie about the Hellenic victory at Thermopylae.
    STUDIO EXECUTIVE: What the hell is this guy talking about?! Call security!
    PRODUCER: Okay then, I want to make a movie about a Frank Miller comic book.
    STUDIO EXECUTIVE: Heeey, I like the way this fella thinks! Here’s a wheelbarrow full of money!
    SENIOR STUDIO EXECUTIVE: Let’s be careful about this. They got that other Frank Miller thing, what’s it called? Sin City? set up across town. Let’s wait and see how it does, before we jump on this.
    STUDIO EXECUTIVE: Good point. Here’s half a wheelbarrow full of money. Check back with me later.

  29. Zoe says:

    David Stratton (isn’t he the most odious person in all Australia?

    Not while this man draws breath, he isn’t.

  30. Nabakov says:

    David Stratton (isn’t he the most odious person in all Australia?

    Hmm, if you think that a film critic who influences around 0.5% of the population, then I really hope you don’t end up pulling jury duty on murder and child abuse cases.

    “Nah, this is nothing. Raped and smashed nine year old kid. Reasonable doubt OK? I mean it’s not like the accussed has an irritating beard and voice and slagged off a film I like. Now that’s a life sentence.”

  31. Nabakov's Director's Cut says:

    Hmmm, should read:

    “if you think that of a film critic”

  32. Graham Bell says:

    Thanks for that concise , accurate overview of the process …. 🙂

    Not quite off-topic. Yesterday, ABC Radio National had a program on the long-running British police series “The Bill” and mentions were made of how the accountants and marketers fiddled with the direction of the show and screwed it up.

    “The Bill” used to be fascinating – ordinary people in everyday situations but with interesting perspectives. I reluctantly gave up watching it when they abandoned creativity and became a predictable boring lowest-common-denominator soapie instead.

    Businessmen just don’t realize that real money is made out of art when risks are taken. If Eisenstein, Ford or Kurosawa had fronted up for selection to make “301”, they wouldn’t have even got past the adminstrative assistant’s assistant on the front counter.

  33. the amazing kim says:

    Personally, I’m waiting ’til this version *cough* comes out.

  34. Spiros says:

    “And psstttt….isn’t the executive producer’s surname “Millerâ€? Jewish? ”

    Then there was the well known Jewish Australian cricketer, Keith Miller.

    And the up and coming Jewish player for the Melbourne Football Club, Brad Miller.

    As names go, Miller is as stereotypically Jewish as Smith.

  35. suz says:

    A lot of Jewish (and other) immigrants changed their names on arrival in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    I know someone Jewish whose surname is Clark.

  36. Amanda says:

    Jonathon Miller the British … personality (he does so many different things) is Jewish and I’ve come across a few others … I always assumed it was an Anglicisation popular probably because of its very low key stereotypical English quality.

  37. Robert says:

    On Miller:

    Contrary to popular belief, you cannot tell whether people are Jewish from their surnames. According to the Jewish genealogy site Avotaynu, the third most common surname among Jews in the United States is Miller, which is also one of the most common names among gentiles.

  38. Cliff says:

    I thought that Judaism was matrilineal, which means that the surname (which presumably in most cases comes from the father) would not be a reliable sign of a person’s relationship to the religion in many cases.

  39. Graham Bell says:

    So another 300 Australian troops are off to war again.

    Maybe we should do something to stop Australia’s long-range patriots and action-hero politicians watching too many action-hero films …..

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