300 Unexpected Surprises

This past Friday the Designer and Developer teams from PilotOnline & HamptonRoads.com were treated to lunch at California Pizza Cafe at MacArthur Mall in Downtown Norfolk which is 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 titled “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 blue-screen 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, although 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! In fact, 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 is amazing! It’s a stylized movie so even though it is really gory in detail it’s not that bloody at all. 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 that 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 fans of the comic book and even if you never read it or heard of it. It’s money and time well spent but see it in the movies!