Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Host and 300

Check out the comment threads at the AV Club in regards to reviews for these two movies, The Host and 300, the last two movies I have seen in the theater. It is hilarious high-brow v. low-brow humor...and a lot of people taking things out of context and making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill. The really interesting thing is that people pissed off about 300 pour into The Host's comment thread immediately, dismissing the movie as far-fetched. Y'know, because that beast the size of a three-story building with lobster-claw hands in 300 really fought at the Battle of Thermopylae. Meatheads. You have to love it.

Let me begin by saying that if you aren't a fan of Frank Miller's graphic novel, you probably won't be a fan of 300. It is a spectacle to watch, but it is ripped straight out of a graphic novel, a la Sin City. The only difference here is that the premise of Sin City never happened. The premise of 300 is the Battle of Thermopylae. I think that is where people are struggling the most with this movie. If you are going in looking for Braveheart or Gladiator - or worse, a historical, detailed account in the vein of Gates of Fire - you are going to the wrong place. 300's dialogue, for the most part, is either word for word, or a slight variation of Miller's original dialogue. This must be taken in context, the script is from a graphic novel! Yes, entire blocks of monosyllabic dialogue are shouted. The good news is that the fight scenes are expertly executed, so if you come for what is hinted at in the trailers, you will not be disappointed. The entire tone of the film is also pitch perfect and a worthy interpretation of Miller's original work. But, while I believe they did a great job with bringing Miller's vision to the screen, I wasn't blown away. I am a big fan of Sin City and for better or worse, I pitted 300 against Sin City and 300 just doesn't compare. In the end, it doesn't tug at a variety of emotions, it is all adrenaline. All knocks aside, 300 is the type of movie best viewed in the theater, and I would encourage anyone to seize that opportunity.

The Host
This is the best movie I have seen in the theater this year. Granted, that list probably isn't in double digits yet, but that can't detract from the fact that The Host is a top-notch monster flick with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. I can't put it any better than Scott Tobias did over at the AVC.

The Host is currently showing at E Street.

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