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Author Topic: 300
Lyrhawn
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I got over the historical inaccuracies, and overall thought it was an average, decent film. I don't agree with the people who are raving about how awesome it is, and I don't agree with the people who say it's the worst thing ever.

The scene where Xerxes tried to give Leonidas a back massage was a bit beyond my ability to not laugh at though. Luckily most of the audience seemed to agree with me.

The slow motion was cool and artsy at first. It quickly became annoying. Slow motion used for dramatic effect should operate on a less is more policy. I feel like I paid for three thirds of a movie but only got two of them. I want a partial refund.

The end was cool. After watching the 300 of them mow down all those Persians, watching them by the thousands was fun. It gave me a bit of the feeling actual Greeks must have had back then, that after seeing such a dramatic retelling of Thermopylae, the idea of them by the thousands is awe inspiring.

I could have lived without everything involving Leonidas' wife and the Spartan politics. I guess it worked as a palatte cleanser in between battle scenes. But that, and the goofy bit with the ephors and the "oracle," were a waste of time to me. This movie was about the flashy battle scenes (which were VERY flashy [Smile] ), the rest just seemed like filler.

Did anyone else get Gladiator vibes from the two scenes in the wheat fields?

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bluenessuno
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yes to the wheat field. did appreciate the end credits? reminded me of the animated credits for The Incredibles.
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Nato
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quote:
The scene where Xerxes tried to give Leonidas a back massage was a bit beyond my ability to not laugh at though. Luckily most of the audience seemed to agree with me.
It was like Bush trying to give the German chancellor a shoulder rub. [Big Grin]

I had fun watching it. This time last year, (right before finals) I watched V for Vendetta. I hope they release another good comic book movie next year.

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SteveRogers
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It made me want to purchase the book. Is it good too?
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Carrie
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The book is incredible. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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SteveRogers
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Sounds like a birthday present.
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Synesthesia
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I liked that movie.
It was cool.
It was what I wanted it to be which was a movie with men running around with weapons.
it made me want to go out and get a spear...
Since I want a spear anyway.
But, the Spartans kind of frustrate me, their culture was so *shudder*
But I did see a documentary about them ages ago that was interesting.

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Little_Doctor
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Typical Quentin Tarantino movie. Good action scenes, but I think they butchered the story. It's too bad, becasue I love Frank Millers graphic novels.
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TL
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quote:
Typical Quentin Tarantino movie. Good action scenes, but I think they butchered the story. It's too bad, becasue I love Frank Millers graphic novels.
What on earth....? First question: Have you ever seen a Quentin Tarantino movie? Second question: Have you read the graphic novel? Cause it wasn't anything like a Quentin Tarantino movie, and it was largely faithful to the graphic novel. Many of the shots/images were translated right off the page, and most of the dialogue is directly from the book. Sorry for sounding so astonished. I didn't know how else to react.
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Storm Saxon
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Unabashadly pro-Sparta movie. [Smile]

I thought it was interesting in that the Spartans were shown as what most people nowadays would often consider barbarians, while the Persians were usually not.

I think the movie should not be seen by people who don't have an understanding of nuance or reality, who can't see the movie for a... Spartan myth.

As has been mentioned, I, too, think the whole rape of the queen scene does't work within the movie (or the novel, if it was in there the same way). It would have been better if they had kept within the theme of the movie and she had refused to 'kneel'.

On a somewhat peripheral note, I don't think I've ever really wanted to kick someone's ass as much as I did the *two* families who brought their young children to the movie. One family's daughter was ten, the other four.

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Little_Doctor
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
quote:
Typical Quentin Tarantino movie. Good action scenes, but I think they butchered the story. It's too bad, becasue I love Frank Millers graphic novels.
What on earth....? First question: Have you ever seen a Quentin Tarantino movie? Second question: Have you read the graphic novel? Cause it wasn't anything like a Quentin Tarantino movie, and it was largely faithful to the graphic novel. Many of the shots/images were translated right off the page, and most of the dialogue is directly from the book. Sorry for sounding so astonished. I didn't know how else to react.
1. Yes, I have.

2. I have read the graphic novel. It just seemed to me that they took away some of the deepness of the story. For example, when I read the novel I was legitimately upset when Leonidas knelt before Xerxes. It was such a huge moment on paper, but in the movie it didn't seem like a big deal.

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Lyrhawn
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It took like five minutes for him to actually kneel. I'd call it a big deal.

(I was going to keep the rhyme going there with something about movie reels and bringing the Spartans to heel, maybe even something about what the scene made me feel. But I figured that was going overboard.)

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katharina
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$70 million

Biggest March opening ever. Set all kinds of records. $22,000 a theatre on a wide release. The critics may have mixed feelings, but this movie is a box office smash.

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TL
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quote:
1. Yes, I have.
Okay, so -- where's the comparison? How is this at all similar to a QT movie?

quote:
2. I have read the graphic novel. It just seemed to me that they took away some of the deepness of the story. For example, when I read the novel I was legitimately upset when Leonidas knelt before Xerxes. It was such a huge moment on paper, but in the movie it didn't seem like a big deal.
Huh. Okay. So that's the example (in a movie where 90% of the dialogue and images are lifted directly from the comic) of unfaithfulness. Not that it was actually unfaithful, but there was this one moment where -- even though it played out exactly the same way and contained exactly the same dialogue and looked exactly the same -- it didn't seem faithful. Well, that makes sense.
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TL
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Ah, well. Really... Sorry to be such a spoilsport. I just, suffice to day, I disagree with your take. I thought it was extremely faithful, and I really, really liked it.
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the_Somalian
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This movie was a tad worse than "V is for Vengeance" (Or whatever its title was.)

I actually kind of wanted the Spartans to get slaughtered left and right.

I mean, when they finally fall, I don't see why it isn't treated as a victorious, joyous moment for the invading hordes. Just think how much they went through!

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Lyrhawn
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Vendetta.
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DarkKnight
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I saw it and really liked it. I did go in expecting to see a Frank Miller graphic novel turned into a movie so it really fulfilled my expectations. I think a lot of liking it or not liking it depends on what you think you were going to see
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vonk
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I saw it last night and really enjoyed it. It was exactly what I was expecting: really cool looking violence on a very large scale.

A couple of parts bugged me a little. The wolf at the beginning didn't look very much like a wolf to me. I know it was just a flashback in a flashback, or something, but still the entire thing is a retelling of a story, and everything else tries for a realistic look, so what's with the cartoon wolf?

Also, the whole flashback in a flashback thing confused me. At the beginning and the end it makes it clear that this is all a speech before the troops to rally them for the big battle, but then all of a sudden the story is a recap for the council. So which is it? Is the narrator talking to the council or to the soldiers, or did he tell the same story to all of them? I dunno, it wasn't a bad thing, it was just a little confusing to me.

And finally, the rippling man-flesh seemed a bit overplayed. Are those guys really that buff, or is that a whole buch of makeup and speccial effects? Seriously, every three seconds it's like "Look at this guys fabulous abs!" Meh, I'm probably just jealous.

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Lyrhawn
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Really that buff. I know Butler at least went through a very strenuous training program to get his body into that shape.

I'm jealous too.

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm jealous too.


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Goody Scrivener
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Really that buff. I know Butler at least went through a very strenuous training program to get his body into that shape.

Waitaminnit.... Leonidas is the Phantom of the Opera???? Seriously? I never would have figured that out from the posters.

Now I really gotta see this movie!

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Teshi
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"300" = Blood in sepia.

</lighthearted generalizations>

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Dr Strangelove
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I thought the movie was excellent. Not the best ever and I probably won't buy it, but I think I am going to see it again in the theater. No, it wasn't completely historically accurate. Big deal. They made a good movie from a good story. I approve.
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Libbie
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quote:
Have you ever been to Sparta? It is fairly rocky and mountainous.
Why do you think I asked?

quote:
Honestly, it's not supposed to be a historical movie and anyone who walks into it expecting more than a blood-soaked gorefest is stupid.
Yeah, no crap. I saw a couple of posts on here saying "I love historical fiction!" and I've seen PLENTY of people getting all excited to see a historical film on other forums as well. I was just trying to make a very clear warning: **NOT HISTORICAL FICTION** The first trailer that came out really, really downplayed the orcs and the way Xerxes is eight feet tall, so many, many people thought this film was something it's not.
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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
What's with all the protests about historical accuracy? Are you joking? Trying to parody your own position? This isn't a movie about the historical battle of Thermopylae. This is a mythical story of Leonidas's stand as told by one of his men someone who, for instance:

* Has never seen an elephant or a rhinoceros before.
* Has known Xerxes only from the tales of an exalted god-king.
* Thinks Persians are effeminate and immoral.
* Has a strong interest in making his story sound as powerful and epic as possible to its intended audience.

This film is intentionally outlandish and mythological in its presentation. This is a Spartan glorifying one of his greatest heroes, with more Spartans as his audience. It's actually a perfect frame story for the kind of film they wanted to make I wish more films would be made this way.

Seriously, though, when someone, someday, makes a movie about the historical battle of Thermopylae, I hope you enjoy it. But why in the world did you go to see this one, if that's what you wanted? And when you realized it wasn't historical, why the inability to change gears, and understand its actual intent?

NO FREAKING KIDDING.

Did I say that I was expecting a this to be historical fiction? Where? I don't recall saying that anywhere. I recall saying how dumb it is that people have been hyping it as historical fiction.

If you want the truth, my usual gang of bad-movie-watching pals called me up and invited me to come to 300 with them specifically because it looked so awful. It delivered, and then some. I found the writing to be too tedious to bear, but at least the orcs and the goatheaded guy and Xerxes were hilarious.

No, I was not expecting a historical movie. And I never, EVER said that I was, so everybody lay off that angle with me, okay? What I was expecting is exactly what I got: A load of hilariously bad film.

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It took like five minutes for him to actually kneel. I'd call it a big deal.


Only because the entire film was shot in slow-mo. [ROFL]
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Alcon
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I saw it last night and loved it. It was exactly what I thought it'd be, wonderfully thrilling, beautifully choreographed, beautifully filmed endless violence [Big Grin]
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the_Somalian
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What's so good about "endless violence"? This movie was bereft of a serious story and was a cartoon in almost every aspect. I think this makes its violence all the more repulsive.
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Lyrhawn
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Oh god I forgot about the goat!

That and the Xerxes back massage were the most hilarious parts of the movie.

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Storm Saxon
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It's interesting how no one at Hatrack is upset about the '-ist' parts of the movie.
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0Megabyte
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Er... the what "ist" parts?

I know I was rolling my eyes at the "freedom vs. mysticism" junk, especially as I understand that those things weren't really much to do with the real events. Certainly not anti-mysticism. The way they portrayed the oracles and everything was utterly, completely wrong.

I think the way it was portrayed in history was more entertaining, actually, with the whole "Sparta will fall or it shall mourn for its king" prophecy, which Leonidas ended up causing to come true (the latter bit, at least.)

They certainly weren't fighting mysticism or superstition. That annoyed me.

The amount of nudity was slightly annoying, and did not make me comfortable. (especially considering I was sitting next to my mother and step dad in the movie theater. Joy.) I kept thinking "come on, get to the damn violence, I didn't come here to see nudity and grotesque erotic dances, damn it!"

The talk of freedom almost made me laugh. Sure. Freedom. Okay, that was what they were fighting for. Right.

Basically, the story was annoying as hell, but I didn't want to see a story, really, I wanted to see awesome action scenes. Which I got. Spartans with hard rock music in the background, what's more awesome than that? Very little, that's what.

On balance, I loved the movie. But if I ever see it again, I'm gonna skip over some parts.

Namely, all the story bits.

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Storm Saxon
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Along the lines of the first review linked in this thread, a lot of people are upset about the fact that the Persians are all black, and the women all get raped.
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Puppy
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You mean the fact that the Persians hired one black guy as a messenger? Seriously. The rest of them aren't black. They're orcs.
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dantesparadigm
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The Spartans were fighting for freedom.

Their own freedom, Greece's freedom, their wives and children's freedom, their slaves free- oh wait, not that last one.

I found it kind of ironic that a group of people from a city forced to press its entire male population into soldiery in order to keep the Mycenaeans, who outnumbered them ten to one, in bondage would not shut up about freedom.

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ElJay
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I don't think you can say the queen got raped. She was presented with a choice, and she decided consenting to sex was a better choice for her than not having his support in the counsel. It was a pragmatic decision, certainly, but I can't see how you can call it rape. Sex can be not enjoyable for the woman (or the man, for that matter) without it being rape.

As far as I'm concerned, she was the only female character in the movie. The oracle and the slave dancers were basically set dressing. If you're calling them women in the movie, than you have to call the random women walking around Sparta in the town scenes women in the movie, too, and none of them got raped. So either way you go, it's not an accurate statement.

As far as the role of women in the movie, a movie set in that time about a war is not going to have a lot of women in it. So what? There are movies where men are incidental characters, at best, although not as many because there isn't a part of human culture than makes for interesting movies that excludes men quite as effectively as war excluded women for most of history.

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Storm Saxon
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Please keep in mind that I am not invested in the viewpoint that people should be upset about the movie. I'm not really upset about the movie, but I definitely see what others are saying. The movie makes it pretty clear that the Spartans are barbarians and not worthy of emulation, but it also casts everyone who's not white and male as either 'orcs' or victims, if they were female. It does let the Spartans be some kind of heroes.

The problem, Puppy, is that all the Persians were some shade of brown. Yeah, they were orcs. I get it. But why not put any white orcs in there? Seriously. What's it take away from the movie? It's certainly historically accurate. Persians have lots of very 'white' people, and it's not like they couldn't make slaves of some white people on the way to Greece.

As for whether the queen was really raped, I withdraw the statement that she got raped, but I stand by my earlier statement that it makes no sense in the movie. It would've been much more in line with the theme of the movie for the queen to be the match of her king and not given in and then just killed Theron when he was revealed as a traitor. They already had hyped her previously as a Wtrong Spartan Woman With Spirit.

As it is, she submits and loses. Her killing of Theron at the end is just kind of whiny and pathetic and petulant, rather than victorious and strong. She's a loser and the oracle is the plaything for the oracles and all the other women are just incidental.

Women aren't just incidental in the movie, they are potrayed as victims. Brown people aren't just incidental in the movie, they are all potrayed as subhuman.

I enjoyed the movie, and I'm not saying that I think movies have to all be instructional or whatever, but I think that the movie could have succeeded just as well, and have been a little more inclusive by helping other people to revel in 'their own' being heroes so to speak. Why not?

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ElJay
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Theron wouldn't have been revealed as a traitor if she hadn't killed him, it was the Persian coins spilling out when she killed him that revealed him. I'm not saying they couldn't have found a different way to reveal him as a traitor, but if it wasn't for him also betraying their deal there's no way she would have been the one to kill him. Not like she has to be, but just saying that your rewrite wouldn't have worked.

I didn't see her killing of him as whiny and pathetic, he betrayed her, and attacked her honor, her recourse was to kill him. *shrug* I don't think it was necessary to the movie, certainly, the movie was about what was going on down at the cliffs, the rest was incidental. And I agree that it would have been more in character for her to turn him down and take her chances with the council. But I don't see another fast way to tie up those loose ends without the accusation & killing.

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Storm Saxon
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He comes on to her.
She rebuffs.
He threatens to crush her in the council.
If I remember correctly, she already had her audience, she was just letting him screw her so she had his voice. As he's walking away a Persian coin falls from his robes.
Or
In council, it's revealed that the other council dude whose name I can't forget has been following him and he makes his big rail against her, then she and the other coucil dude reveal him as a traitor.
Or
It turns out that she has her own money, being the queen and all, and has gotten the truth out of the oracles by paying them more.
Or
She learns from the oracle girl the truth of the whole matter, that the oracles are in the pay of the Persians, etc.

Take your pick. If you don't like the ones I've picked, I'm sure if you think hard enough you can come up with some thing that works. As you say, it's incidental. From what I understand, it wasn't even in the comic.

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Puppy
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Storm, the orc-looking Persians were white. Or at the very least, they were of indeterminate race. Their skin was pale and ashen, and their faces were deformed enough not to bear the features of any real-world heritage.

I wonder if there is a way to portray an ancient conflict between a European power and a non-European power, take the Europeans' perspective, and not be called racist, no matter what you do.

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ElJay
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She wouldn't be the one to kill him in any of those. I think they did it the way they did to make her more important of a character than she would have been otherwise. This way she's noble for sacrificing her honor to get what she thinks is necessary to save her country and her husband, and then she's strong for killing him when he betrays her.

If she wasn't going to say yes, actually, I'd take the whole scene out. There's no point to it without the denouement, which couldn't happen if she said no. But if you pull it out, there's even less of a role for her in the film, and the producers face even more critisism for making a film without meaningful female characters. This way she kills at least one of the bad guys, which I think they thought they needed.

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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
Storm, the orc-looking Persians were white. Or at the very least, they were of indeterminate race. Their skin was pale and ashen, and their faces were deformed enough not to bear the features of any real-world heritage.

I wonder if there is a way to portray an ancient conflict between a European power and a non-European power, take the Europeans' perspective, and not be called racist, no matter what you do.

You can still take the European perspective and still throw some white guys in the mix with the Persians. Stop playing the victim.

The way I understood what you were saying was that the Persians were orcs, as in just evil cannon fodder.

If you're only referring to those dudes who, when their masks were ripped off looked like orcs, I didn't see that they looked 'white'. You kind of do acknowledge this. If you're going to go that far, you might as well say Xerxes was 'white'. I mean, he's pretty pale. He's not really 'brown', right? More of a golden color.

For the sake of argument let's say that the orc guys were of indeterminate race, that still leaves all the for sure bad guys as not-white. I think my question of why they couldn't include some for-real white dudes in the movie still stands. Make a few of the nameless drones white. Big deal. It's factual, it's historical. It doesn't take away from the movie.


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Eljay,

I forgot to add that the conclusion to all of those was the big stab. [Smile] Sorry, I kind of thought it was implied. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for her to kill him when he's revealed as a traitor, rather than as revenge for getting screwed.

I think, too, it works better in that aspect is because one of the nicer bits of the movie was the love between Leonidas and his queen. Why sully the queen's virtue by throwing the edit: screwing bit in? By not screwing Theron, she keeps her honor, doesn't kneel, is on par with Leonidas, and gets her revenge. A good ending, I'd say.

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ElJay
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Oh, I figured you were implying the big stab. My arguement is that in that society, the only way the woman standing in a huge crowd of men is the one to make the stab is if the man in question offended her personal honor and no one else thinks he's a bad guy. If he was revealed as a traitor first, through the coin drop or the other guy following him or bribing the old gross dudes on on the mountian, it would be an execution (by a man) or a duel (with a man.) She wouldn't get to be the one to kill him in any other scenario, I don't think.
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Storm Saxon
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What about if the honor of Spartan society is besmirched and she is acting in her queen capacity?
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ElJay
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I still don't think it would fly. From the conversation with the first emissary from Xerxes, Spartan men rank first, and then Spartan women, because they give birth to Spartan men. Any man there would be seen as being more suited and having more right to the role. I don't think Queen has a capacity, beyond what the king indulges her. . . you saw how shocking it was for her to speak in the council at all.

Even if it did go down that way, though, it wouldn't be her being strong. . . she would be filling a symbolic role given to her by the men. Unless she does it by herself, unexpectedly, she's just being a puppet.

What she should have done was pretended to acquiesce when he propositioned her, and then killed him then, in her chambers. She'd get away with it, 'cause what honorable thing would he be doing in the King's chambers at night? And, of course, they'd find the Persian gold, too, which would clinch that he was scum.

Why the heck was he carrying it around with him, anyway? Seems dumb.

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Storm Saxon
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[Dont Know]

Eh, I think the movie could easily make her not have to have sex with Theron out of some benighted desired to get help. To me, Leonidas sleeping with Xerxes out of some desire to make the Persian army go away makes as much sense as Gorgo sleeping with Theron. Neither one is heroic.

It wouldn't be out of place for her to just lay the smack down on Theron then and there in the council chambers in queenly rage and get away with it any more than it does for her to kill him because of her besmirched honor being given away for nothing.

I guess the whole thing with her sleeping with him works for you. [Dont Know] I don't buy at all that there isn't a place for her to be as heroic as the king in the movie--and I just don't buy her letting Theron have his way with her as being heroic. Sorry. edit: After getting the bit I missed, I see that it's really more that you want the a workable Theron death. Pardon for misreading.

I mean, which is more heroic, you are in a desperate spot and through guile, cunning, or strength you achieve your ends, or you let your adversary screw you up the butt, get deceived by him, and still not get what you want except for the fact that, as you say, he's so stupid he carries the Persian coins around with him? I mean, she didn't even really win over him, Eljay, except by getting lucky. How lame is that?

Come on, Eljay. There's got to be a better way. [Smile]

quote:

What she should have done was pretended to acquiesce when he propositioned her, and then killed him then, in her chambers. She'd get away with it, 'cause what honorable thing would he be doing in the King's chambers at night? And, of course, they'd find the Persian gold, too, which would clinch that he was scum.

edit: I seem to have glazed over this. Sorry. I agree that that might work. I like it better than the current way Theron's death is handled, anyway. I do think it would be better that she just outright kill his ass on the way to the bed chamber, rather than even let him insider her ceremonial holy of holies.
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Lyrhawn
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Historically, it wouldn't have mattered if the gold was Persian or not, a Spartan having that kind of wealth, or really any wealth at all would have caused incredible scorn. Wealth was abhorred in Sparta during that time, in fact, Sparta was the first in Greece (I think they were the second after Lydia) to use money in the sense that we think of it today, and their money was iron rods, intentionally meant to be so cumbersome that no one would be able to easily acquire wealth. Which, if you're looking for historical accuracy, makes the scene with Leonidas bribing the Ephors look that much more ridiculous, to say nothing of the "oracle."

As I think it's been said elsewhere on here, I was under the impression that this movie is supposed to be a mythic tale as told by David Wenham's character. Surely, as the Persian empire included the middle east, into Pakistan, north into the -stans and into Egypt, there would probably have been a great many "brown" people in their army, though not 100%. But if this is an exaggerated tale as told by the one Spartan to survive the battle, you have to take everything with a healthy dose of salt.

As far as the plot with the Queen and Theron, the Ephors and their "oracle" and basically everything not involving the killing, does anyone even care about that part? That, and the "freedom" speeches all seemed like goofy stuff tacked on afterwards to try and turn it into a decent movie, but I honestly didn't care about any of it. I just wanted to see me some fightin. I guess it served it's purpose as a pallatte cleanser inbetween slaughters, but I found the non-fight stuff rather weak.

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Storm Saxon
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No one, I think, is arguing for historical accuracy. Certainly not me.
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ElJay
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It's not that it works for me, or that I want a workable Theron death. I really couldn't care less. What I'm arguing is that the writers/directors did it the way they did it to try to give the movie a strong female character, and that without her killing Theron they wouldn't have it, and there are very, very few plausible scenarios to get to that killing. So, you were saying that her having sex with him made her a weaker character, and I think they put it in in order to make her a stronger one.

I'm not even saying I think they succeeded. . . I'm kinda taking an apologist for the filmmakers role. I can't come up with another way to make it work, except the killing in the bedchambers thing, but I also don't think they needed to do it at all. Like I said a couple of posts ago, a movie about war in that era, I think it's perfectly reasonable for there not to be any strong female characters. Because honestly, women probably didn't play much of a role in anything interesting that happened related to the war.

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Storm Saxon
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O.K., I got ya. That's cool. [Smile]
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