Category Archives: 2006

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King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Title :300 (2006)
Rating :7.7/10
Release : 9 March 2007
Genre :Action, Fantasy
Runtime:1h 57min
Country:USA
Language:English
Director:Zack Snyder
Writers: Zack Snyder
Stars :Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham

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300 (2006) movie review

While I have no direct evidence linking either director Zack Snyder or graphic novelist Frank Miller with the Bush administration, their booming, fascistic, searing flesh feast, 300, achieves what many had thought impossible: making a case for Bush’s war in Iraq so clear, distinct, and fanatical that I half expected an Army recruiting station to be erected at the theater’s exits. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a battleground orgasm; a homoerotic parade of tight abs, facial hair, oiled chests, leather, steel, gritting teeth, and phallic weaponry so overpowering that it’s just about the best movie ever made with jingoistic intent. It’s like a Manowar video with D-Days budget. Still, it would not be nearly enough if it merely romanticized warfare as a general rule. In order to be topical, relevant, and most importantly, successful, it must cut through the abstractions and sell the current conflict with all the bombast and mad glory that no one at the Pentagon seems to possess. With the dying embers of Operation Iraqi Freedom reaching few beyond the hopelessly patriotic, a new birth of support is needed more than ever, though Snyder’s film strikes at such a low point that its enthusiasm could be interpreted as desperation rather than inspiration. But it would have been too easy to release such a film in the wars early days, as the bloodlust engendered might have carried a relatively brief shelf life. One cannot blow their wad too quickly, after all. No, it was right to save it until now. It’s the film Bush has been begging for, and it just might save him from oblivion. If I know its target audience, I have every confidence that it will.

Ostensibly the historical tale of the Battle of Thermopylae, whereby a force of 300 Spartans fought bravely to their doom against a far superior swarm of Persian invaders, the film never lacks the will to play the underdog card whenever the blood needs boiling, but the moral superiority — the destiny of the superior cause — always belongs to King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his chosen few. That Leonidas is a stand-in for Bush is clear from the first scenes, as this man refuses to accept an emissary from Persia, which is obviously itself Bush’s very defiance of the United Nations. Leonidas is a go it alone sort, and he hits back at the messenger, which he knows will bring about a great battle. Still, Spartan law requires that the king must secure the approval of a group of mystics (called Ephors) before waging war, which frustrates his manly sense of honor. Yes, folks, the mystics are the U.S. Congress, and once Leonidas screams, “Why must the very law I am sworn to protect prevent me from doing my duty?”; the table has been set: Bush will go around Congress (using lies and tricks, brilliantly redefined as to never secure a declaration of war, and send his men to battle, the law be damned. Needless to say, the mystics/Congressmen are ugly, repellant, and literally isolated (they live on a hill,for chrissakes, as in Capitol Hill — come on guys, don’t make this so easy), which further demonstrates that the king/president is the true guardian of the people. Congress is simpering and weak; Bush is muscle-bound and bold, dashing about with flight suit and codpiece, all in service of the greater good.

Having defied the law and the effete government of Sparta, Leonidas takes his hyper masculine crew to the field of honor, which is a narrow mountain pass that will enable his smaller army to defeat what are continually referred to as hordes. And fuck of all fucks, Persians? Fine, a more accurate connection would be with modern-day Iran, but as most Americans happily argue that a turban is a turban, the leap to Iraqis is not so difficult. Amid the deafening noise, thunderclaps, and raging tempests, Leonidas bellows that their cause is for freedom, and that their deaths will secure a better future for their children and grandchildren. As he roars, assorted shots highlight sweat, grime, and rippling flesh, as well as a beard so unmistakably cock like that it all but penetrates the opposing army with its might. It’s the stereotype writ large: the enemy (Islamic terrorists) fear sex, and as such cover their bodies, while the American/Spartan forces glisten and shine with ejaculatory bluster, never appearing less than the peak of potency. Even though the American forces in Iraq were not technically outnumbered, it need not be a direct transfer to the screen. Leonidas commands a small army, much as Bush leads a miniscule coalition of nations. In fact, it is quite apparent that such unpopular wars are far nobler than larger, more coordinated efforts, as martyrdom seeks first to prove that it is misunderstood — or misunderestimated, as the case may be.