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VDH on 300

Can be read here. He offers a satisfying and thoughtful analysis of the film’s relative authenticity. According to Hanson, it is accurate and poetic--if that makes sense. I have not seen the movie and my memory of the events covered in the film is dim--but his explanation made some sense to me. Where it matters, he argues, the film gets it right. And where it doesn’t get things right--it gets them wrong in the right (i.e., the Greek) way. In other words, he seems to suggest that it is good storytelling. It tells us a story that we should know in the best way possible for us to understand it.

I almost never go to the movies and, when I do, it is usually for the kids. But I’ve been wanting to see this and Amazing Grace. So will someone who has seen both please tell me which one to pick if I can only see one before they both come out on DVD? Of course, I heard Hugh Hewitt’s movie reviewer say last week that he could not begin to imagine that there was any woman who actually wanted to see 300. But that didn’t really dissuade me . . . their movie reviews are almost always off but have the virtue, at least, of being amusing.

Discussions - 14 Comments

Some movies have to be seen on the big screen, because when they’re shown on the smaller screen something is lost in the translation. Saving Private Ryan for instance. The opening battle sequence had to be experienced in a theater. Likewise the second part of the Tolkien trilogy. That scene where the orcs attack Helm’s deep in a downpour, and the siege ladders are being hoisted against the outer rampart, was simply amazing. I remember watching it for the first time and just being stunned at the creative genius that brought such a work of utter genius to the screen.

There are some seriously talented people out there, as Dick Cheney might add, big time!

I’m tempted to go see 300, {if the Iranian mullahs hate it that much, it’s kind of obligatory to go see it... just to irritate the hell out of them}.

I’m surprised there aren’t more larger than life war movies. And some more biographies too. Movies like Khartoum, Cromwell, Patton, MacArthur, which covered larger than life characters. Why hasn’t somebody revisited the life of Nelson. Why isn’t there a movie being made of the war against the Barbary Pirates.

Instead we get an avalanche of kinky thrillers, that don’t thrill, but sure are kinky.

Casino Royale was very good. I wish I had seen it in the theater; I intended to, but never got around to it.

I have not seen 300but I remember seeing The 300 Spartans when I was 14 or so.


If Prez Ahmadinejhad and his mad mullah caretakers were ticked off with 300 then this film would tick them off even more. Quite politically incorrect, now, but not then and to that I say "Bully" and Yes sir.

Of the two, 300 should be seen on the big screen-because it’s a big epic movie. I am a woman and I wanted to see it...and ,except for the kinky sexual parts(which I closed my eyes for), I thought it was great. The violence was not offensive and the bravery was stirring. Go see it in the theater.

A tough choice, but 300 does benefit from the big screen as others have noted in a way that is not as important for Amazing Grace. But the movie you must absolutely, positively see, and see on a big screen with an audience, is The Lives of Others. It is simply brilliant in every way.

I grew up worshipping "The 300 Spartans." For my money, save the "poetry" and the "poetic license." All of that cheapens the real accomplishments of the men at the Hot Gates. What we really need is a decent remake of the original movie with Richard Egan.

If the Iranian Government criticized "An Inconvenient Truth" I’d go drop 7 bucks on it - general principles. I have not been going to the movies - too expensive - but I am going to see 300.

Dan, something on Nelson would be great...but the story I think cries out for the big epic treatment is that of Cortez...more amazing that any imagined epic could be. It would not please sentimentalist audiences, but these days there is an audience that can take the robust "multiculturalist" viewpoint that would be required, i.e., sympathetically but unflinchingly portraying believers in human-sacrifice, or for that matter, Christ-haunted Machiavellian adventurers.

My two daughters went to see the movie and enjoyed it. They said it was a bit bloody, but good. They rarely go see war movies, so it must be good. I will go see it when I return for leave in May. I hoping it will still be in the theaters as I want to see it on the big screen. Yes, I enjoyed the old 300 Spartans, but a new version for todays youth is something to be enjoyed too.

The only thing that I know about Cortez comes from the chapter that deals with him in Hanson’s "Carnage and Culture." He must have been something.

But yea, he deserves the big screen treatment too.

The reason I suggested Nelson is that with the new CGI capabilities, it should be possible to bring a full fleet action to film, and do it justice. "Master and Commander" was excellent. But it was a duel, not a major fleet action.

Another thing they could do is Jutland, or the Battle of Heligoland Bight, where Admiral Beatty earned his spurs.

Aren’t those the types of epics, the larger than life events, that those in Hollywood got into the business to produce.

Remember David Lean, take at look at his flicks. "Dr. Zhivago," "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Bridge Over the River Kwai." Each was an epic.

I think that Hollywood could do with a reintroduction of a Studio, complete with the old studio system. They were capable of holding down costs while producing incredible films. Another studio, bringing up new, heretofore unknown talent, giving those people a chance, I’d think such a studio would make a ton of money.

Every female I’ve talked to has loved it (they’re all in their low twenties, though). I think it has to do with the fact that the Spartans are manly men and the Spartan women are strong women. When the Persian ambassador gets frazzled because the queen keeps interjecting, he asks Leonidas why the Spartans let their women address the men. The queen answers for him: "It is because Spartan women are the only women who give birth to men." The movie understands there is a difference between male and female honor and virtue and depicts both to wonderful effect.

Everyone should read Hanson’s short apology before condeming the movie. I can’t remember the last time a movie was made which portrayed Western culture as the protagonist (how dissappointing was Kingdom of Heaven?), and 300 is the greatest piece of pro-Western propaganda produced in recent times. 300 gets my vote over Amazing Grace for the reason everyone has mentioned: the epic scale of the movie is best viewed in the theatre.

The Spartan women were far-famed for their beauty. Helen of Troy was a Spartan woman. But their reputation for beauty predated Helen, "whose face launched a thousand ships."

I haven’t read of VDH "condemning" the movie. He noted some falsifications, such as the rhinoceros. But he favourably reviewed the movie. He also said the Greeks themselves took artistic creativity in rendering the events of the pass.

That’s what I mean, Dan. Anyone who would speak critically of the movie should read the VDH piece, because he speaks favorably of it and addresses many of the aspects of the movie which people find fault with.

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