Thursday, February 15, 2007

Film Screening Preview: 300

John Tucker Must DieThanks to the generosity of my good friend Brian Sibley I got the chance to attend an early preview of the new film 300.

Having had 3 hours sleep last night and a minor crisis at work today I nearly cried off, particularly since Brian couldn't join me having gone down with the dreaded lurgy that's going around at the moment. The trailer hadn't particularly excited me either.

The film is named after the 300 Spartans who faced insurmountable odds, fighting a massive Persian Army to the death. It is based on a graphic novel (pesonally I prefer the term comic book - it sounds less pretentious!) by Frank Miller and stars Gerard Butler (star of Phantom of the Opera and the under-rated Dear Frankie) and David Wenham (Faramir from Lord of the Rings) amongst others.

The film is visually like nothing I've seen before - well, OK it is slightly reminiscent of Miller's other big graphic novel movie, Sin City, but feels MUCH bigger, much more colourful even with its over-bleached grainy look, and even more awe-inspiring. It truly has something unique to it that could only have been presented in this form which is like a very high quality 'painted' comic book crossed with an odd, distorted, beautiful reality.

It is quite simply gorgeous!

There may not be a lot of plot and dialogue here, but there's enough, and when the visuals and sound are this fantastic, who cares about deep, meaningful conversations between talking heads? This film makes Gladiator look like a cheap, old-fashioned cartoon in comparison!

Zack Snyder (who he?!) has turned in one of the most impressive films I've seen in a long time, and Lord knows there have been some great movies this last year. For the first time in ages I'm advising friends to go see this at a good cinema, rather than wait for a good DVD or HD-DVD transfer. At the Odeon West End tonight the print quality was superb (and very large), given the deliberately grainy and bleached-out look, and the speaker system did full justice to the wonderful soundtrack which is note-perfect throughout.

It's funny that I wouldn't have thought of going to see this if I hadn't been given a free ticket - it seemed like it was going to be just another overhyped film from people barely heard of before. It is so much more than that. Please go see it when it opens on March 9th (or March 30th - the notes accompanying the press release seem to contradict each other). If you don't like this film then, quite frankly, you just don't like movies. Period.


Anonymous said...

As a HUGE fan of Gerry's, THANK you SO much for the great review! I, for one, can hardly wait for March 9th. I will be seeing this one of IMAX!
Naoma aka RezzRN

landa said...

Absolutely awesome review.

lola said...

yeah great review, I'm quite ur opinion!
300 is an awesome movie and a great visualization of Frank Miller's comic!

Anonymous said...

I'm quite ur opinion!
300 is a grat movie and a spectacular visualization of Frank Miller's comic!

Anonymous said...

yeah great review, I'm quite ur opinion!
300 is an awesome movie and a great visualization of Frank Miller's comic!

Riddley Walker said...

Yes indeedy, having seen the trailers and the quality of the footage (great treatment without going overboard), I'm looking forward to this one immensely.

Know what you mean about certain films not really galvanising you into getting out and seeing them. A mate dragged me out to see the Last King of Scotland, which I was kind of indifferent about. I ended up very impressed with the piece, especially James McAvoy's performance, and glad I'd been coralled into going.

Anonymous said...

Already bought my tickets,
Gonna drive 70 miles and watch it on IMAX..
Nothing else will cut it