The movie 300
(an adaptation of a Frank Miller
graphic novel directed by Zack Snyder
) has had huge buzz for weeks
and a very effective marketing and advertising campaign that has been emphasizing the amazingly unique look of the film, the breathtakingly beautiful nearly-nude male physiques and the violently bloody hand-to-hand combat scenes. The result is packed theaters, lines around the block and record box-office
.MadProfessah had every intention of seeing the movie this weekend
and called up some other black gay men to see if they wanted to join me. "What's the movie about?" one of them texted me. "Look it up! Hot Nked Guys. Violent. Spartans vs Persians" I replied. Two of them said yes. Although it opened up on over 3000 screens nationwide, it didn't open on the Arclight Cinemas
so we decided to see it at the Vista Theater at the intersection of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards in Silverlake. When we got to the theater about 40 minutes before the showing there was an impressive looking line stretching about a block and a half down Hollywood Boulevard. Clearly we weren't going to make it to that screening. Buying a paper quickly from a newspaper dispenser (where the heck is a free LA Weekly
when you need one?) I saw that the movie was showing at the Glendale Mann Showplace 4 theaters a 10 minute drive away an hour later than our original showtime at the Vista.
Arriving at the theater in Glendale (which is near the corner of Brand Boulevard and Harvard Boulevard about one block away from The Grove
owner Rick Caruso's Americana at Brand
development set to open next year basically adjacent to the Glendale Galleria) about 45 minutes before our showtime there was a short line to get tickets but a very long line of people waiting to get into the theater. Clearly, 300
was going to have a huge opening weekend box-office total
The movie is about a famous battle (The Battle of Thermopylae, or "Hot Gates" in Greek) between a vastly outnumbered group of Spartans (Umm, 300
of them, get it?) and a huge army of invading Persians. The (mostly phenotypically White) and uniformly muscular) Spartans are led by King Leonidas (played by Gerard Butler
) wearing a fetching black letaher jock strap while the (mostly phenotypically Black, and bizarrely pierced) Persians are led by Xerxes (played in a curiously gender noncomforming way by Lost
's Rodrigo Santoro
) in a gold mesh jock strap.
Spartans, the audience is told by a helpful narrator, are raised from a young age (in an environment which modern day sensibilities would characterise as child abuse) to be violent, courageous and indomitable. We are shown a young teenaged Leonidas, practically naked except for a loincloth in a wintry blizzard being stalked by a giant wolf. The young Leonidas cleverly manages to kill the wolf and returns home to his people (who seem surprised he survived the challenge) to be declared their king.
The highlights of the movie are the unique canvass painting look of the film, the stunningly beautiful examples of male physique voyeuristically displayed and the non-stop bloody violence which saturates the film.
There's quite a difference between how regular viewers are embracing the film (89% positive
, B+ average
) compared to film critics (62% positive
, B- average
). I must say that I agree more with the users in regards to this film.GRADE: A-.