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300 Unexpected Surprises

This past Friday, the Designer and Developer teams from PilotOnline & were treated to lunch at California Pizza Cafe at MacArthur Mall in Downtown Norfolk, famous for its trendy eateries and shops. The service was good, and the food was good but nothing special. It certainly isn't a place I would eat at again. Afterward, we were treated to a movie, and the choice by all except me was "300". You may find it strange that I never heard of Frank Miller or the epic comic book series "300," but it's the truth.

The teams were anxious to see this movie. Earlier in the week, we were able to read the comic series, which I have yet to do even after I saw the movie. "300" is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel "300" by Frank Miller about the Battle of Thermopylae. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with Frank Miller attached as an executive producer and consultant and was shot mostly with bluescreen to duplicate the imagery of the original comic book work.

Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive army of more than one million soldiers. Facing insurmountable odds, the Spartans' sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against the Persian invaders. The story is based on the Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 BC. However, a narration by Dilios (David Wenham) gives a historical fantasy feel. At Sparta, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support for her husband.

It turns out the movie was damn good! It's probably one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. The camera work and effects during all the fight scenes are fantastic! It's a stylized movie, so it's not that bloody, even though it is gory in detail. Most of the blood came off as comic-book-like, which isn't a bad effect. If done right, it fits right into the depiction of the events in this movie and follows the comic well. I have skimmed through them, and I might even read them now that I have seen the movie. I'm thinking about going to see it again over the weekend. Yeah, it was that good, and it's one of those movies you have to see in the movies to get the full effect. To see this on a television screen won't do it justice. I recommend this movie as a must-see for comic book fans, even if you have never read it or heard of it. It's money and time well spent but see it in the movies!

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