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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

GREENLIGHT #121: 300 (with "The Alamo" and "Gladiator")

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Ann and Les think there are, at least, three-hundred reasons not to see 300 (2007.) This movie is an adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel about 300 Greek Spartans holding off, for a while anyhow, the invading Persian army but it turned out to be just a graphic movie. Lots of blood and guts and not very believable. Gerard Butler plays the King and screams his way through the movie. The Queen is played valiantly but ultimately pointlessly by Lena Headey though she is the recipient of the best line of the movie delivered by the film’s villain Dominic West. Ann and Les think this could be considered a work of genius if you think of it as camp but there are no signs director Zack Snyder had that in mind unless you count the costumes as evidence. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends an American film about a small bunch of guys who hold off the invading Mexican army in Texas and it's called The Alamo (1960.) This is a John Wayne starring and directed film and it is stirring. Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, and the stereotypical western actor Frankie Avalon round out this fine cast. Ann recommends a film that almost made sandals and swords cool. Russell Crowe plays a noble warrior who is loved by the King, played gloriously though briefly by Richard Harris but therefore is not so loved by the King’s son, Commodus, played Joaquin Phoenix. So, when the King dies early, Commodus enslaves Maximus which then gives him a chance to become a gladiator who wins the hearts of the people and the King’s daughter played to perfection by Connie Nielsen . It’s the Ridley Scott masterpiece called Gladiator (2000.)

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