300 (Zack Snyder, 2007)

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DrewReiber
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#51 Post by DrewReiber » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:19 pm

jbeall wrote:That doesn't necessarily annoy me when it happens, as movies should be faithful to their own medium. Although Sin City worked well as a frame-by-frame adaptation of a comic, I think it's the exception, not the rule. I find The Lord of the Rings far superior to the original books--Tom Bombadil, anyone?--for precisely this reason.
A major problem with this logic, at least in terms of the film version of 300, is that they are selling the film on Frank Miller's name more so than the book. Between the advertising and Snyder's own comments, the marketing has been pretty focused on selling people the idea that this is like Sin City, the movie. When people ask Snyder about using the green-screen approach, he welcomes the comparison but credits this to Frank Miller's vision (Rodriguez doesn't come up). It seems this entire endeavor has far more to do with Warner and Snyder following up the success of another film and using those filmmakers' credibility to their own ends, rather than doing Miller's material justice. Again, why are there orgres?

And I also agree as far as the potential grevious error in deleting content from the original story, which is why I mentioned it as simple omission.

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Antoine Doinel
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#52 Post by Antoine Doinel » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:34 pm

DrewReiber wrote:It seems this entire endeavor has far more to do with Warner and Snyder following up the success of another film and using those filmmakers' credibility to their own ends, rather than doing Miller's material justice.
Welcome to Hollywood.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#53 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:18 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:Welcome to Hollywood.
Exactly. And Miller's been burned before -- hence his reluctance to let Sin City be adapted. I definitely will have low expectations going in and hope to be pleasantly surprised... or at least mildly entertained.

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#54 Post by DrewReiber » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:47 pm

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:
Antoine Doinel wrote:Welcome to Hollywood.
Exactly. And Miller's been burned before -- hence his reluctance to let Sin City be adapted. I definitely will have low expectations going in and hope to be pleasantly surprised... or at least mildly entertained.
I guess my excuse for being disappointed has more to do with what I felt was a raising of the bar with Sin City. While I don't necessarily agree that every comic book should be adapted so closely, I do believe the movie set a precedent for respecting source material. I thought, however niavely, that it would be at least a little more difficult for "Hollywood" try and reset everything with lower standards. Instead, in my opinion, the very next Miller adaptation seemed to pay less attention to the complexity of the translation and instead, paid more tribute to the generic, surface pleasure of CGI-laden violence.

You know, now that I've actually typed out that last sentence, I'm even more disappointed I didn't see this coming. Still, the last thing on Earth I want to see right now is Alan Moore's Watchmen be put through such a low-brow view of the comic-to-film medium. David Hayter was so close... SO CLOSE! Now that Warner is finally taking the HBO original series/mini-series format more seriously in regards to it's properties (Preacher), I would much rather see Watchmen default to something far more suited to it's content and structure. For now, it's just a wait and see game.

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Lino
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#55 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:22 am

Just noticed that it's NIN playing in the soundtrack of the trailer.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#56 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:22 am

DrewReiber wrote:I guess my excuse for being disappointed has more to do with what I felt was a raising of the bar with Sin City. While I don't necessarily agree that every comic book should be adapted so closely, I do believe the movie set a precedent for respecting source material. I thought, however niavely, that it would be at least a little more difficult for "Hollywood" try and reset everything with lower standards. Instead, in my opinion, the very next Miller adaptation seemed to pay less attention to the complexity of the translation and instead, paid more tribute to the generic, surface pleasure of CGI-laden violence.
Exactly. Which also perpetuates the myth that all comic books are juvenile and shouldn't be taken seriously.
Still, the last thing on Earth I want to see right now is Alan Moore's Watchmen be put through such a low-brow view of the comic-to-film medium. David Hayter was so close... SO CLOSE! Now that Warner is finally taking the HBO original series/mini-series format more seriously in regards to it's properties (Preacher), I would much rather see Watchmen default to something far more suited to it's content and structure. For now, it's just a wait and see game.
It sure is. And I too am frustrated that the Greengrass/Hayter version of Watchmen never came to be. It sounded so good and like they really captured the spirit of the graphic novel even in a condensed form.

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#57 Post by Handsome Dan » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:40 pm

DrewReiber wrote:I guess my excuse for being disappointed has more to do with what I felt was a raising of the bar with Sin City. While I don't necessarily agree that every comic book should be adapted so closely, I do believe the movie set a precedent for respecting source material. I thought, however niavely, that it would be at least a little more difficult for "Hollywood" try and reset everything with lower standards. Instead, in my opinion, the very next Miller adaptation seemed to pay less attention to the complexity of the translation and instead, paid more tribute to the generic, surface pleasure of CGI-laden violence.
I see your point and don't disagree overall, but from what I remember of 300 (the comic) was that it was more or less ALL "surface pleasure" and "violence." I don't mean those as negative criticisms, necessarily; as surface goes, I thought the comic's was pretty nifty. I would be more concerned if Snyder (or someone) was doing what you described to, say, Ronin, which is pretty surface-y itself but has a bit more potential as an interesting story (not that spectacle and narrative are always that easy to tell apart, but anyway...).
DrewReiber wrote:You know, now that I've actually typed out that last sentence, I'm even more disappointed I didn't see this coming. Still, the last thing on Earth I want to see right now is Alan Moore's Watchmen be put through such a low-brow view of the comic-to-film medium. David Hayter was so close... SO CLOSE!
I may be the only person in the world who didn't think that Paul Greengrass was the perfect match for Watchmen. I thought United 93 was excellent, but I don't think that a similar touch would work at all for that. To be honest, I wish they would just leave poor Watchmen alone and put all this talk of adapting it to bed for now. It worked great as a comic, so why mess with it?

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#58 Post by DrewReiber » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:56 pm

Handsome Dan wrote:I may be the only person in the world who didn't think that Paul Greengrass was the perfect match for Watchmen.
I didn't care about Greengrass either, my concern was Hayter's script. Like Batman Begins (imo), I just assumed that the strength of the script might supercede on behalf of weaker direction. I don't like Aaronofsky or Greengrass, and my opinion of Snyder is self-evident, so I've pretty much written off interest in the directors of the project for sometime now (or least since Gilliam left).

Honestly, I agree with you about putting the project to bed, but neither Joel Silver nor Warner are going to leave this one alone. It's going to happen no matter what we do or say and I would just rather see it given some kind of justice than turned into stylized, masturbatory nonsense. I had been following Hayter's career since he rescued Singer's X-Men with an 11th hour rewrite (the previous draft suuuuucked) and he's probably the only element that kept a still unwatchable Hulk film from seeming like it came from another dimension entirely. Imagine the Hulk getting around by tearing the roofs off of cars and driving them around like bumper cars. Yeah, THAT bad.

Anyway, Hayter took the bump surprisingly well after Paramount pulled the plug but has yet to find luck with his other developments including his potential writing/directing of Black Widow for Lionsgate. Now I feel the Watchmen project has finally hit its worst case scenario and if Warner truly feels like going ahead with it after 300, it's just going to perpetuate the myth that Moore's work is unadaptable. How about they just start accepting the idea that Joel Silver isn't the best producer by which to guide Alan Moore adaptations? Naaaah, too many people still think V for Vendetta was good.

WHOOPS!

(*runs out of thread*) :wink:

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#59 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:19 am

It looks like Miller's Ronin is heading for the big screen...

Latino Review:
Frank Miller's Ronin to be made
Date: February 12, 2007

By: Ronnie Adams
Source: IESB.net

Robert over at the IESB.net has made an interesting discovery. Turns out, 300 producer Gianni Nunnari's next project will be another Frank Miller graphic novel. This time, Nunnari will bring Ronin to the big screen.

I first heard the name Frank Miller because of Ronin. My buddy Andy was a big fan of the graphic novel and one long Saturday at our friends family comic book store, Sci Fi World, I read the entire series. So of course, seeing Sin City and 300 come to life has been great. I have seen 300. I can't say too much but what I will say is this. 300 might just be my favorite movie of the decade.

But now, Nunnari has tapped Stomp The Yard's Sylvain White to direct Ronin.

I have no idea what Stomp The Yard does to prepare someone for a Frank Miller graphic novel, but let's hope Nunnari's seen something we haven't.

To update the story even further, Wilson at Black Film has spoken to Sylvain White about the project. The production is being setup at Warner Bros., who have a first look deal in place. So once 300 makes the bank for the WB that i see it making, it is a good bet Ronin gets fast tracked.

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#60 Post by DrewReiber » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:59 pm

"From the director of I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer..."

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#61 Post by pianocrash » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:23 pm

A chorus of boos?

IMAX, here I come.

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#62 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:36 pm

I wonder how long this one will take until it's embraced by the gay community as a contemporary gay camp classic before it goes down the obvious road of turning into a Broadway musical, followed by an HBO MOW, and being remade by Martin Scorsese a la Kubrick Spartacus.

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#63 Post by scalesojustice » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:18 pm

pianocrash wrote:A chorus of boos?
I saw that the IGN review was mentioned in the comments, so I checked it out.
That said, there are so many painterly images in 300 that it qualifies as the closest thing to "pure cinema" that audiences have come to in quite some time: The silhouette of the Spartan elders' temple against a cloud-stained moon; the spectacle of dead bodies in the shape of a great, gnarled hand reaching out of scorched soil; more than one extended shot of the Spartans laying waste to their adversaries as the camera changes speeds, zooms and shifts focus to keep up; and the pristine and breathtaking shadow of a lone spear as it ascends a stairwell towards its designated target.

Ultimately, the film looks a little bit like a Boris Vallejo print come to life — muscled supermen springing to action to save their oil-painted landscape — and full credit must go to Snyder. But with both this and Dawn of the Dead, he has proven himself a consummate storyteller who can transform convention into cinematic magic… which is why it's with reluctant enthusiasm that we assign him the responsibility of restoring the luster of mainstream movies.
IGN knows nothing anyway, but does anyone else find this offensive? Or maybe just sad.

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#64 Post by Cinesimilitude » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:27 pm

I still want this to be a good movie, cause It will look SO DAMN GOOD on HD-DVD. The positive reviews help.

4 reviews so far at rottentomatoes, all 4 love it.

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#65 Post by Roger_Thornhill » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:55 pm

Not that I trust IMDB ratings to guide the quality of a movie or not, but it does have a 9.0 from over 1,100 votes. There's definitely some screenings where people aren't booing. :D

I actually just finished reading the comic book a few days ago and found it to be an entertaining adult bedtime story, but not much more. There's little characterization and the Persians are one-dimensional beings of pure malevolence, but the illustrations are frequently beautiful and Miller keeps the story moving at a quick pace. I have no idea how historically accurate Miller's work is, but from what I remember of the Battle of Thermopylae it seems to generally follow what happened.

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Mr Sausage
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#66 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:14 am

scalesojustice wrote:IGN knows nothing anyway, but does anyone else find this offensive? Or maybe just sad.
Maybe not offensive, but certainly disquieting. I don't see the benefit in such wild overpraise; in fact, it sounds like the critic walked out of the screening, went home, and dashed off that rhapsody while the fever still buzzed in his head. Maybe when the DVD comes out he'll look back and wonder what he was thinking?

I know he doesn't have much clout here, but it's in moments like these that you're thankful for the comparative level-headedness someone like Roger Ebert.
Last edited by Mr Sausage on Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#67 Post by chaddoli » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:14 am

I've pretty much ignored this film since word of it came out but that IGN review IS offensive. "Pure cinema"?!?! Are you fucking kidding me? I doubt anyone at IGN knows what this means and it being applied to a film like this (which the best word of praise I can accept is "cool"), is ignorant and....well, stupid.

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#68 Post by tartarlamb » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:57 am

Roger_Thornhill wrote:I have no idea how historically accurate Miller's work is, but from what I remember of the Battle of Thermopylae it seems to generally follow what happened.
This is being anticipated with much groaning, brow-knitting, and eye-rolling in the Classics department where I'm at/hermetically sealed in. Though, I have to say, the general mood is a lot lighter than it was during the release of Troy (you never heard such bitching in your life).

I don't think there's any claim to historical accuracy being made here. If it doesn't end with Achilles jumping out of a birthday cake then it should be good fun.

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#69 Post by Roger_Thornhill » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:38 am

tartarlamb wrote:If it doesn't end with Achilles jumping out of a birthday cake then it should be good fun.
I feel the same way, I dreaded Snyder's remake of Dawn and was surprised that I enjoyed it despite it essentially jettisoning Romero's thematic and allegorical concerns. I'm sure 300 will be stylized, empty fun as well.

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#70 Post by Grimfarrow » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:53 am

Horrible acting, terrible dialogue and politics which is already dated (ie. Bush circa before Democrat majority).

I loved it.

The film is so gay it's not even funny. And the choreography, art direction and superbly chiseled loins make it a total popcorn movie for everyone - gay, straight, pro-Bush, anti-Bush, men, women. And transsexuals too.

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#71 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:10 pm

GreenCine Daily review:
Berlinale Dispatch. 300

Adrienne Hudson, always up for a good fantastical tale well-told, on an already controversial Out of Competition Berlinale entry.

"Prepare for Glory!" No, really. Prepare for it. This movie is stuffed with glory. In fact, I kind of suspect Zack Snyder partially chose to make 300 [site] because he wanted some of that Frank Miller glory that's rubbed off on Robert Rodriguez. I don't think he quite got close, though - for every cheerer at the press screening there was at least one booer, and the battle was on as the credits rolled.

But let me back up a bit.

The first half hour was nearly abominable. This was when most people walked out. I mean, it wasn't just like, "Okay, I know this is silly but somehow it's cool," no, it was seriously stupid. The coming-of-age beating the young Spartan boys have to go through, the soft-porn sex scene and even the young King Leonidas versus the anorexic, flashlight-eyed wolf duel simply couldn't add up to glory, by anyone's definition. These Spartans swagger around, haughtily killing messengers and I couldn't help but be reminded of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, dropping her suave pun-stuffed lines after every kill.

In Sin City, Rodriguez's comic style is completely in tune with the behavior of his characters, who'd otherwise come across as not so cool and heroic. Snyder does develop his own style by filming everything in front of green screen and later pulling out black and pushing the color saturation. Though that creates interesting pictures, for me it was not surreal enough to legitimize the overly dramatic plot and a voice-over narration that could easily compete with trailer narrations for bludgeoning the obvious.

Now, once the battle scenes come up, things start to turn around. I'm one for battle scenes anyway, as long as they're halfway good. And there were a few things I really appreciated here. You know how our hero usually just clobbers one of the countless enemies over the head and that guy's out of the game? That's always annoyed me. I only started paying attention to this about halfway through, but from then on, our hero always came back to chop the clobbered guy's head off. Now he's down. Thank you, Snyder. I also enjoyed the bloody effects - take the 300 logo as reference.

Still, the battle scenes are far from flawless. Our guys have supernatural reflexes, but when it's fitting to have one of them dramatically killed, he's incredibly slow on the uptake, what with everyone yelling and pointing behind him. The 300 never look like more than 50 at most and in those scenes where there are thousands of nearly identical soldiers covering the hills, even the ones furthest back understand every word of the pep talk the captain holds hunderds of yards away. Oh, well. I was into this by now and even the stray bizarro creatures couldn't get me down. Most of us just had a good hearty laugh at them.

The soundtrack is so-so. Taking in the music in only subconsciously for a while, I'd find my attention suddenly snap to it as I thought I recognized a fragment here or there. Whoa, Pirates! Hey, Lord of the Rings! Et cetera. So you have your classic fantasy thing going and suddenly, as our 300 Spartans are charging, hard rock thunders in. Not very fitting to ancient Greece - all they had were lutes without amp adaptors - but after laughing incredulously, the music, damn manipulative as it is, gave me an adrenaline boost.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for that kind of glory, when it's justified. After sticking through the beginning, I enjoyed myself. No, it's not all good from then on, but the bad parts are amusing, even if not intentionally so. According to the press notes, Frank Miller was delighted with Snyder's work. Still, I say, if you're going to spend money to see this movie, I advise you, spend a little more and watch it in the theaters. The overblown effects are 300's single glory.

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#72 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:17 pm

I like this quote from the Like Anna Karina's Sweater blog. It sounds like Filmbrain might have been one of the people who walked out as mentioned in the article Fletch posted above!:
Finally, a few words about 300, mostly to come to the defense of Erik Davis, who is taking quite a beating for his negative review. Remember that scene in David Lynch's Dune where Sting, at his overacting worst, screams "I will kill him!"? Now imagine a film where every single line is uttered with the same bombastic fervor, whether deserved or not. This is what 300 delivers, and ridiculous doesn't begin to describe it. With laughable attempts at Shakespearian dialog, this is a film that will appeal only to adolescent fanboys or enthusiasts of greased, half-naked men fighting each other. Forty minutes was all I could manage. 300 might just be the new Showgirls.
This has actually gotten me interested in seeing the film, in the same way that the YouTube video of all the 'best' scenes in The Wicker Man remake made me want to see that film (I guess I must have a 'slow down when passing the scene of an accident' mentality!). It would take a lot to rival Showgirls for me! If they have a scene where someone runs into a room and shouts 'MONKEYS!', and the Spartans then have to fight off a pack of them, then it might become one of the best bad films of the year!

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#73 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:45 pm

It looks like this is shaping up to be Spartans On A Plane.

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#74 Post by Lino » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:48 pm

I wonder how the (supposedly) homophobic Snyder might feel about all this.

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#75 Post by scalesojustice » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:48 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:It looks like this is shaping up to be Spartans On A Plane.
and hopefully it will disappear just as quickly and quietly.

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