You know, I saw this film in the theater. I want to say it was at Crestwood Plaza, and my initial assessment was that it was with El Guapo, but given the timing of the film–it was four years past working with El Guapo, and but we were working across the street from each other downtown at the time. Perhaps I saw it with Gimlet, as I would have just finished working with his wife at the time. It’s only sixteen years ago, and already the memory is fuzzy.
At any rate, this is a retelling of the story of the Spartans fighting the Persians at Thermopylae. Jeez, do I have to explain what that was? The Persians were looking to invade Greece, and a small contingent of soldiers from Sparta hold off the invasion at a narrow pass. The Spartans are all killed, though, but the Persian victory cost them–it was a Pyrrhic victory before Pyrrhic victories were named after Pyrrhus. Gerard Butler plays the Spartan king Leonidas, and he plays it with an Australian accent.
I mean, it’s based on a comic book, and they managed to capture a comic book feel to the film with its colors, some stylized slow-motion and different shots. It has a subplot about Leonidas’ wife trying to raise a Spartan army to bolster the 300–who are not an army per se as paid-off oracles prohibited gathering an army for battle–which kind of serves to pad the story a bit, but I’m sure the film cut a bunch from the comic books. They’re different media, of course, and the film is pretty good for what it is.
A strange bit–I found I had two copies of the DVD from various film-buying frenzies, which came in handy. I had some trouble with two DVDs I tried to watch one night–The Return of the One-Armed Swordsman didn’t play, and then I put in a copy of 300 which was balky before the title menu and then froze about half way through. So I paused my viewing for the evening, and I popped in the second copy of 300 the next night. Not only did it play flawlessly–alleviating my fear that the DVD player was getting wonky and I would have to deploy one of my several backups already, but the second copy played immediately from the same spot. Because, for the DVD player, it was the same disc.
The film also fits in with my reading, as I am into the second volume of The Story of Civilization, The Life of Greece. And like Reservoir Dogs, this book makes me want to rewatch another film. Or, rather, this film and what I’m reading. That film: The Warriors, a retelling of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand. Coming soon to a movie report near you? Time will tell! (But probably not as I have so many other films to watch, so rewatching DVDs and videocassettes is unlikely–unlike rewatching things I’ve seen in the past before buying them, sometimes again, on media.)