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Critics write about 300 March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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Wholesale human slaughter may have never looked so pretty as in this heavily stylized rendering of the battle of Thermopylae in ancient Greece. But many movie critics didn’t see much else to write home about. Instead, they wrote without mercy this week in their respective columns. In no particular order read what they had to say >

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WESLEY MORRIS > BOSTON GLOBE >
1. For fans of the Frank Miller-Lynn Varley graphic novel from which 300 has been adapted, the movie parks itself in the big manly wheelhouse of lots of filmgoers. But there’s a stale, synthetic airlessness about the movie. Imagine a large cast trapped in a series of spectacular screensavers. It could be ancient Greece. It could be somebody’s hard drive.
2. If you happen to enjoy spending almost two hours watching a bunch of worked-out UK Thespians battle for the survival of Hellenism in only sandals, leather codpieces, and vermilion capes, run don’t walk.
3. It’s a testament to the inherent cinematic depth of Miller’s graphic novels that movies based on them are so vicariously dull. Sin City was like watching your buddy get a lap dance. 300 is often like watching that buddy play a video game.

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STEPHEN HUNTER > THE WASHINGTON POST >
4. Go tell the Spartans that their sacrifice was not in vain; their long day’s fight under the cooling shade of a million falling arrows safeguarded the West and guaranteed, all these years later, the right of idiots to make rotten movies about them.

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A.O. SCOTT > THE NEW YORK TIMES >
5. This movie is about as violent as Apocalypto and twice as stupid. Adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, it offers up a bombastic spectacle of honour and betrayal, rendered in images that might have been airbrushed onto a customized van sometime in the late 1970s.
6. The Persians, pioneers in the art of facial piercing, have vastly greater numbers, including ninjas, dervishes, elephants, a charging rhino and an angry bald giant, but the Spartans clearly have superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities.
7. Allegory hunters will find some gristly morsels of topicality tossed in their direction, but you can find many of the same themes, conveyed with more nuance and irony, in a Pokemon cartoon.

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BOB LONGINO > COX NEWS SERVICE >
8. It’s bombastic, overdone, ripe, obvious and a near-perfect video game. The only thing it’s missing: a joystick for every moviegoer.

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GLENN WHIPP > LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS >
9. This butch macho-macho man, the Village People would have loved this movie, aggressiveness will certainly play in some quarters. And it is daring, not necessarily in its technical proficiency, which eventually grows tiresome, if only for imagining Xerxes as RuPaul with a bigger entourage. Only a Spartan could resist that.

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ZACK SNYDER DIRECTOR AND CO-WRITER, 300 >
10. “Really, so you were there?”
His response when someone suggests that perhaps the Spartan soldiers who fought so valiantly wore more body armour than he depicts in 300.

300 > Greece is the buzz internationally March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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The mainly young male audience rushed into the theatre, father’s brought their sons, even some daughters. When the previews ended the audience roared as the film logo’s rolled. They would soon know that few stood against many.

The story unfolds in ancient Greece, pretell this is a graphic novel adaption from Frank Miller’s top selling “300″. The visual anatomy of this film is astounding. I have seen similiar graphical styles and I have seen only hints of what this film presents.

300spartans1.jpg Dedicated fans of history shouldn’t percieve this movie analitically, but to keep an open mind for what you are about to see. Cinema is the 7th Art and films and movies are made as an art form. They have to be observed just like that. A form of Art. Even in the case when historical facts are manipulated and presented according to the director’s opinion. This is his way of making art. 

300spartans2.jpg The battle scenes are joyous dances of death that portray the elite Spartan soldiers as skillful and masterful heroes that are dedicated to their precious homelands. Blood is shown in a very 2-dimensional manner, but not in such a way to make it unbelievable. It is beautiful, every swing, every slash of the sword. Every drop of blood is filled with style.

300spartans3.jpg The brave King Leonidas is the type of leader that you would fight for, and die for if you were in his Spartan army. The dialogue has meaning and inspiration for anyone who hears it.

Saying that this movie is “Troy” and “Gladiator” on steroids is an understatement. Zack Snyder, the director brought Frank Miller’s graphic novel to epic life. This movie in my eyes has brought film-making to new heights. How will Hollywood top this one?

300spartans4.jpg Fans who have read the graphic novel will not be dissapointed. I read it, this movie is the graphic novel, but displayed in the best way possible. There are a few fatastical creatures in here, however I won’t spoil the fun. Now go watch “300″.

Official Web Site > http://300themovie.warnerbros.com

Website of the 300 workout trainers > http://www.gymjones.com

Zagorakis promises Athens party March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece’s UEFA EURO 2004 winning captain Theodoros Zagorakis expects Athens to “put on a great show” when this season’s UEFA Champions League reaches its climax with the final at the Olympic Stadium in the Greek capital on 23 May.

theodoroszagorakis.jpg  Theodoros Zagorakis, 2007 UEFA Champions League final ambassador

Ambassador for final > Zagorakis, who is UEFA’s ambassador for the final, took part in the quarter-final draw at the Megaron International Conference Centre today and said: “It’s a great honour for me to be chosen as the ambassador of the final.” Looking ahead to the May showpiece, the PAOK FC midfielder added: “It will be a great event for Athens and for Greece and I will do everything in my power to help make the event a great success.”

Rise to the occasion > Zagorakis, 35, retired from international football last year after winning 119 caps and knows only too well the ability of his countrymen to throw a party following the jubilant scenes in Athens when Greece triumphed at UEFA EURO 2004. “The one thing I’m sure of is that the Greek people will make everybody welcome here and will host a great party,” he said. “Greeks have proved that we can rise to the occasion in every event we have organised so far, such as two previous European Cup finals and the Olympics in 2004. The city is very hospitable and I’m sure the people of Athens will put on a great show.”

Previous finals > Athens has staged two European Champion Clubs’ Cup finals, witnessing Hamburger SV’s 1-0 defeat of Juventus in 1983 and AC Milan’s 4-0 thrashing of FC Barcelona in 1994. The Olympic Stadium also provided the backdrop for the 1987 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final, where AFC Ajax beat FC Lokomotiv Leipzig 1-0. Zagorakis, who will call time on his distinguished playing career at the end of the season, said it was a fitting venue for the conclusion to the UEFA Champions League campaign.

‘Magnificent stadium’ > “It’s a magnificent stadium for football and I know it will rise to the occasion both for players and fans alike when 23 May comes around,” he said. “When we talk about the Champions League we talk about the ultimate trophy and the ultimate competition in football, and we are delighted to have the final here in Athens.”

Cyprus cricket National Team promoted to European Division 3 March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cricket Hockey Rugby.
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The Cyprus cricket National Team finished last year’s European Cricket Division 4 Championship in Belgium second behind Finland and although equal on points with the Finns, failed to earn a direct promotion to the European Cricket Division 3.

The team had performed beyond expectations leaving expectations high for the next Division 4 championship in 2009. However, events elsewhere have radically changed these expectations. At the ICC Europe World Cricket League Division 2 Championships, last year in Scotland, Greece’s National Team fielded two ineligible players in all three preliminary round matches.

According to the ICC Player Eligibility rules the championship organizers stripped Greece of all its points, which put Greece at the bottom of its respective group, and suspended the players concerned for the rest of the tournament. Greece then refused to play the match for the seventh place against Israel, the loser of which would be relegated to Division 3.

The Board of the European Cricket Council recently re-examined the issue and resolved to suspend all funding support from the ICC Europe Regional Development Program for a period of 12 months and to relegate Greece to Division 4 which opened the doors of the Division 3 to Cyprus.

This summer, the Cyprus National Team will travel to Belgium where they will be competing against Spain, Finland, Isle of Man, Portugal, Croatia, Malta and the hosts of the European Cricket Division 3 Championship from 19th to 25th of August.

There is little doubt that this will be a formidable challenge for Cyprus cricket since all these opponents are veterans of European competition, who are also well supported, well sponsored, well organized, and above all play high quality cricket. Regardless of the results though, the experience can only benefit the players who will represent Cyprus in Belgium and give them a clear understanding of what is required to compete at that level.

UEFA Champions League Trophy March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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uefatrophy.jpg  UEFA President Michel Platini hands the Champions League trophy to Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis before the draw for the soccer competition’s quarterfinals at the Athens Concert Hall yesterday.

The three English sides were kept apart in yesterday’s draw which pitched AC Milan vs Bayern Munich, PSV Eindhoven vs Liverpool, AS Roma vs Manchester Utd and Chelsea vs Valencia. The Champions League final will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on Wednesday, May 23.

Cypriots demolish wall in Nicosia March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday praised the Cypriot government’s unexpected demolition of a wall that has divided Nicosia for decades, calling it a “brave, unilateral, decision of goodwill”, and appealed to Turkish-Cypriot leaders to reciprocate.

“We hope for a response from the other side,” Karamanlis said, echoing comments by Cypriot cabinet members as well as European Union and United Nations officials.

A bulldozer began dismantling the 4-meter-high concrete wall stretching along Nicosia’s Ledra Street on Thursday night and finished early yesterday.

“We expect, after this unilateral move, a decision to remove the Turkish army from the area in order to open the crossing point for citizens,” Cyprus Foreign Minister Giorgos Lillikas said on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn also appealed for action. “I urge all concerned parties to use the momentum created by this courageous decision and rapidly take the next steps to effectively open the Ledra Street crossing,” Rehn said, noting that such a move “would… encourage efforts aiming at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

The UN’s special representative in Cyprus, Michael Moller, spoke of “a very welcome and positive contribution of great significance.”

There were no official comments from Ankara yesterday but an adviser to Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Rasit Pertev, was upbeat. “The dynamism created by this move will lead to the opening of the crossing,” he said.

The wall was situated in the Ledra Street, the main tourist street of Nicosia. It indicated the so-called ceasefire “green line”, the U.N. buffer zone, after the Turkish military invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus in 1974. Nicosia is the last divided capital of Europe.

The “green line” crossing regime was facilitated in Cyprus in 2003. Since that time some ten million people have crossed the demilitarised zone, most of whom were Cyprus Turks working in the southern part of the island.

Cyprus has been divided according to the ethnic principle since 1974, when Turkey invaded the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus after a short coup d’etat, supported by the Greek military junta. As a result of the Turkish military invasion, 37 per cent of Cyprus territory in its northern part was occupied by the Turkish troops. In 1983 Cypriot Turks self-proclaimed the creation of the illegal Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was not recognized by the world community.

Praise flows for wine in fight against cancer March 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Wine And Spirits.
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Red and white wines can help combat various forms of cancer, according to research conducted in Greece, scientists said yesterday in Thessaloniki.

Greek experts have been conducting tests over the last few years on the positive effects that a few glasses of local wine can have on the drinker’s health.

According to research presented at the Detrop Food and Drink Exhibition by Dimitris Kouretas, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Thessaly, plant polyphenols that are found in grapes can have an effect on human cells, bacteria and enzymes, thereby preventing cancer, including breast, lung and gastric, from breaking out or can fight tumors.

Kouretas led a study in 2004 that showed Greek white wines from Santorini and Thessaly grapes had anti-cancer properties. Since then, scientists have tested the effects of Greek red wine and found it has similar qualities, although they underline that drinking wine is not a cancer cure.

Research on patients with heart problems by a team led by Kouretas showed that those suffering from a narrowing of the arteries benefited from drinking red grape extract in comparison to patients who were given a placebo.

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