Frank Miller’s "300"…
…and you couldn’t have possibly think I would pass up my post of Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of the graphic novel.
For those that haven’t read the graphic novel, the premise is Frank Miler’s storytelling skills placed against the backdrop of 480 B.C., when 300 Greek Spartans fought to defend their civilization against an invasion of about a million Persians. How much of Miller’s version is historical fact, is up to the historians to debate. But for pure FM-style entertainment, I had enjoyed the read of 300 as I had the love for the Sin City series.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that I had hauled my ass to watch the movie version ASAP, when it was initially released in the U.S. last Friday. As of today, it made about $70 million over the weekend, so most of y’all saw it too. If not, most of y’all will. The film can only best be enjoyed as a visually-styled movie, and to give it more undue credit then that, is to read into it as something that it is not. It’s been criticized for lack of a “meaty” plot (which is a fair criticism), but being this was an obvious “high concept” flick, I was entertained by my expectations of an “R-rated” popcorn flick. But since, I’ve heard amusing, but contradicting reactions which included its absorbing “cartoony” violence versus its brutal beheadings, and more humorous opposing viewpoints were that the movie was a men’s machismo fantasy, while others said that the flick was latently homosexual.
But, anyways, during the 300 panel, at the WonderCon 2007 convention, an audience member posed a couple of critical questions aimed at Zack Snyder, regarding the “ethnic” portrayals, as well as, the “crucifixion” ending of the film. This movie was an obvious work of fiction (like how Amityville Horror and the Da Vinci Code were), where historical facts were liberally used as background to a movie for entertainment purposes only. But, there’s bound to be a common dumbass (or dumbasses) who thinks he (or they) is smarter than the production of the movie. No worries. Zack was prepared to answer – by first providing the diplomatic response of “it’s good that my movies can cause discussion of more important topics.” Then he simply explained “…but this is Frank Miller.”
Yup, I agree, it’s Frank Miller. And this is what the comic writer & artist had written in the 3rd issue of 300 that would perfectly apply to the issue:
If I allowed my characters to express my own attitudes and beliefs, my work would be pretty damn boring. If I wrote to please grievance groups, my work would be propaganda.
Yet, we continue to get responses by those who have not read the book or seen the movie like this – 300 Sparks an Outcry in Iran.
Oh woe, is the thought of man as an intelligent species.
Last week, I saw Black Snake Moan. When I first viewed the trailer, I was intrigued by the concept of a white nymph held captive by a black bible-thumping southerner to absolve her sins as a play on race. Although, As much as I enjoyed the movie and its music, like all mainstream Hollywood films of late, it fell short of having the balls to be daring and more racy. Although, I’ve grown up with a love of American cinema, and I doubt I will ever, ever fall out of love of it, a large part of me continues to be disappointed with the lack of courage by it in creating revolutionary films, in the face of fear of losing a commercially viable audience. Come on, Americans aren’t that dumb, are we? I’m not a cynic, there is sign of intelligence out there for a “new wave” of filmmakers to exploit.
Otherwise, I believe this year will continue to be entertaining with American mainstream movies… Grind House is coming up… although, there is a mixed reservations for Transformers. For god’s sake, Michael Bay is directing it. We’ll see… huh? Live Free or Die Hard? (Hey, Kevin Smith is in it, and for that reason alone, I’m looking forward to the flick.) Spidey 3… Pirates of the Caribbean 3… Harry Potter 5… but revolutionary?