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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.

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