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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 9:09amSanction this postReply
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Based on the trailers I've seen on TV, I thought this was a CGI film.  Some of the characters don't look real.  Strange cinematography.



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Post 1

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:54amSanction this postReply
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I watched it over the weekend and Iím going to watch it again soon. The cinematography was freakin amazing and the storyline wasnít that different from history, it was much closer then other recent historical movies. The CGI blended in perfectly and the camera speed changed to emphasize the action, not just to make it look cool.

As for the Ďdarkí scenes in the beginning, I think they were necessary for the film. Because they show how the king was reared and the environment he grew up in; the audience knows why he takes all his future actions and why he dealt with the Persian threat the way he did.

Thinking about it, I donít think I really stood much of a chance; Iím smack dab in the middle of the demographic they were aiming for, I love Frank Miller, and I love historical movies, they had me hooked as soon as I walked into the theater. The only thing missing that I think would have been nice would have been to show the final battle between the Greek armies and the Persian oneís.

A quick little scene, the Greeks would have finished that in ten minutes.





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Post 2

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 11:37amSanction this postReply
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Greek messenger- "The Persians number so great their arrows shall blot out the sun."
Spartan soldier- "So much the better! We shall fight in the shade!"

Well, that much, apparently, is "history" but how anyone knew that, of course, is problematic.  It is the story as told by Herodotus.  The shorter version is on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae
 
I own 300 Spartans, the 1950s (1962, actually) version of this story.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0055719/
 
Liberals here in Ann Arbor are having a hard time with this, and not just because the MSU Spartans from East Lansing are a problem. 
 
So, to set the record straight:
  1. No, you would not want to live in Sparta.
  2. No, you would not want to be a helot, an Epirote slave of a Spartan.
  3. Yes, it was gay.
  4. Yes, they were pederasts.
That said:
They elected two kings for life.  Leonidas dead, a new one would be elected, thus providing continuity and a constitutional check within the "executive" branch.  The decision to go to war was democratic.  The men who voted were the ones who fought.  ... like having Dick Cheney and George Bush take Congress to Afghanistan and Iraq...
 
The Spartans excused their allies and asked to have the honor of dying.  The Thebans withdrew -- perhaps how we know about the arrows and the shade.  They did that because the first time around at Marathon, the Spartans were not there.  A religious festival prevented them from arriving before the Athenians (and their allies) defeated the Persians.




Post 3

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 11:38amSanction this postReply
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Some of the characters aren't real, and are larger-than-life fantasy creatures. It works beautifully all the same. I thought I'd hate Sin City for its cinematography, and came away not consciously aware of it and loving the movie (though I'd not recommend as unreservedly as 300). Similar for 300 and its cinematography - the previews put me off, but you become unaware of the camera and CGI effects other than that they are very effective.

And I'd be for a whole second movie for the battle of Salamis. :)




Post 4

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 5:24pmSanction this postReply
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     I think that too many people confuse Frank Miller with Herodotus (ergo, like Disney's Pocahontas, expected a documentary and found the movie lacking thereby. Nobody complains about Shakespeare that way.)

     Haven't seen the movie yet, but (I understand that most WAS 'cgi') from what I've gathered, it gives very short shrift to the other Greeks who also stayed...to the death; little mention of the necessary Fleet-Battle at Salamis; lesser mention that Sparta was a 'slave' society (over the indigenous Helots) to begin with for its warriors 'freedoms'; and, the Persians were pederasts whilst the Spartans weren't.

LLAP
J:D

(Edited by John Dailey on 3/13, 6:11pm)




Post 5

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 5:33pmSanction this postReply
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Addendum:

     O-t-other-hand, without those famous warrior leaders and fighters (this stuff IS what they lived for doing, no?) spearheading (nay, LEADING by example and morale) a 'last stand' at Thermopylae (if one buys Herodotus' history), where would the rest of the Greeks be then and thereafter, nm, the rest of our historical Western Civilization? What culture flaws existed in Sparta (yeah, I wouldn't care for the culture/life-style...apart from murder and buggery being expected), no one can detract from the admirability of its inclusion of 'to the death in our defense.'

     Don't hear of that around too much nowadays, ya know?

LLAP
J:D

(Edited by John Dailey on 3/13, 6:10pm)




Post 6

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:20pmSanction this postReply
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Salamis has been done... I am sorry not to have found it after some googling and IMDB.com, but I saw the movie with the divers setting pikes in the harbor and the Persian ships being rammed by Athenians... (I was 10; it was the 50s.)

According to Herodotus: "... the Persians learned [perversion;pederasty <=misogamy ((NOTmisogyny) i.e. "mis-marriage") from us."  He said.  Then, there was the Mary Renault book, The Persian Boy.

Today, in America, homosexuals distance themselves from pederasts.  Homosexuals attempt to gain a perception of acceptance by condemning pederasty, though, of course... well, you take it from there...

And for that matter, the Persians were not so bad as governors.  After the Ionian Revolt failed -- which is why there were the two invasions of Greece: retribution for support of the Ionian Revolt -- the Persians emptied out Miletos as the institgator and enslaved them, and they had some other people nailed to boards, but basically, the Greek cities of Ionia did not suffer under the Persians.

So, there is a lot of cultural relativism here.  Democracy has its limitations.  From Plutarch, there is the story of the Romans surrounding a town in Southern Italy and the town fathers attempting to avoid an unavoidable massacre.  And the Romans say, "Well, it's war and the Senate has decided, you know...."  and the town ambassadors say, "Well, just vote again and this time vote for peace." And the Roman general replies, "Do you think you are dealing with Greeks that  we just change our minds?" 

Athens -- for all of its highly-touted democracy -- was willing to democratically vote in an oligarchy and kill 15000 people, mostly so their property could be seized.  So, don't get too attached to Athens... or too detached from Sparta...

300 is art.  You see yourself in it... or not... depending on who you are inside.  Myself, I am a security guard.  I am not a cop.  I am free market, not socialist, but, yes, I was at Thermopylae, because it was my duty. I am a guardian.

And personally, I think that the conservatives here who want to kill Islamo-fascists should enlistEven if the US Army won't take you, a private contractor will.   If you believe in killing "Islamo-fascists" then go ahead and meet them face to face, hand to hand.... and we promise to remember you...

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/14, 6:18am)




Post 7

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:37pmSanction this postReply
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Michael (M):

     Good points. Renault's book was worth reading. Alexander was 'something else' for sure...just as the Spartans were...whatever the present-day evaluation of their culture flaws and praiseworthinesses.

     Ntl, I have a prob seeing the likes of Socrates nm Aristotle 'flourishing' (most especially any of their 'authority-questioning' writings) under ye olde established Persia-of-then (nm today's, as some Iranian rulers wish to identify with) rule.

     Regardless, were there no Sparta, there'd been no Thermopylae battle, ergo...

LLAP
J:D

(Edited by John Dailey on 3/13, 8:52pm)




Post 8

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:50pmSanction this postReply
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Addendum (couldn't edit/'P.S' it to my last post):

     Anyone want to bet that we've now another 'Thermopylae' already existing for years (if not pre-9-11), yet not really recognized as such?

     Back in the noted times, most of 'Greece' already had accepted alien-culture Persian rule. The remains (including the noted ones) hadn't yet, and, that's what the war and battles were all about.

     Anyone want to take extra bets on whether or not *we* (collected from whereever) presently have...'300'...to handle the ultimate nitty-gritty coming to US?

LLAP
J:D

(Edited by John Dailey on 3/13, 8:55pm)




Post 9

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 6:29amSanction this postReply
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John Dailey suggested: "Ntl, I have a prob seeing the likes of Socrates nm Aristotle 'flourishing' (most especially any of their 'authority-questioning' writings) under ye olde established Persia-of-then (nm today's, as some Iranian rulers wish to identify with) rule."
Well, that was Athens, not Sparta.  Philosophy was impossible in Sparta.  In fact, it did not seem to do well much of anywhere...   The Athenians killed Socrates.  Aristotle survived only under Alexander's shadow and when Alexander died, Aristotle fled Athens.  The Athenians tried Aspasia and deported Anaxagoras, both of them personal friends of Pericles.  Honor him as we do today, he was not popular with the Assembly.  The philosophers wrote and held their Academies and Lyceums because they could not speak at the Assembly, being foreigners, of course.

In the wake of the failed Ionian Revolt Athens drew in refugees. What we call the "Socratic" method, they called the "Ionian way."  Socrates learned it from Aspasia. 

Like anything interesting, this is complicated.  It is hard to say that philosophy would have or would not have flourished here or there.  Perhaps if Greece had fallen, then Syracuse would have been the "school of Hellas."  Perhaps the Persian court would have been far enough away and disinterested in these lovers of wisdom...  It is an axiom of history that it is impossible to say "what if." It did or it did not.




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Post 10

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 6:53amSanction this postReply
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There is something here which is being ignored - namely that the movie is NOT about the Greeks versus Persians.... that is merely the backdrop, the stage, on which is played the THEME of the movie, the 'message' the movie is showing - the SAME AS WAS THE CASE WITH WE THE LIVING, and any cinema.....  the proper  questions to be asked here  SHOULD be involved with - what IS the theme of this movie - what IS the message being shown - what IS the value if watching it, AND WHY.........

Anything else here is irrelivant, a 'naturalist' approach to the movie, precisely because it is not a documentary.




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Post 11

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 8:49amSanction this postReply
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In Post 6, MEM snidely remarked:

I think that the conservatives here who want to kill Islamo-fascists should enlistEven if the US Army won't take you, a private contractor will.   If you believe in killing "Islamo-fascists" then go ahead and meet them face to face, hand to hand.... and we promise to remember you...

This is just more MEM anarchist bullshit rhetoric.  This is like saying that if I want to stop robbers or murderers, I should meet them face to face rather than pay a well-trained police force to do the job.  For that matter, it is like saying I should meet any insects in my house face to face rather than pay a well-trained exterminator to do the job.

I swear, sometimes I wonder why MEM even posts here.  He is lucky the site owner has some tolerance for nonsense.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 3/14, 8:50am)




Post 12

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 9:05amSanction this postReply
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This is like saying that if I want to stop robbers or murderers, I should meet them face to face rather than pay a well-trained police force to do the job. 
But they don't - they are 'after-the-fact', seeking to find the robbers or murderers once the deeds have been done....  it is indeed up to you to secure your place and defend your place...




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Post 13

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 9:39amSanction this postReply
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Robert, I admit that in a worst case scenario, I would have to defend myself face to face.  However, generally speaking, a proper government does this for us, even after the fact, i.e. pursuing, trying, convicting and sentencing violent criminals.  I see no difference between domestic threats and foreign threats in this regard.



Post 14

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 10:24amSanction this postReply
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Michael-M:

     Indeed, true about Athens not Sparta where democracy (of sorts) flourished. I didn't intend to imply otherwise, merely that without Sparta there'd have been little likelihood continuance of Athens et al per se. After all, the Greeks, seeing the Persians were going to come in force, did find a need for Sparta to spearhead things.

Robert-M:

     Your post #10 sums up concisely what I've been trying to allude to in my earlier ones, both about the nature of the main idea ('theme') and that we're talking non-documentary. The worse thing about the movie may be no more than that it went overboard in 'artistic license.'

LLAP
J:D




Post 15

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 5:02pmSanction this postReply
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I loved this movie!-best flick since 'Casino Royale'.



Post 16

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 5:25pmSanction this postReply
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Erik:

     Umm--why? --- The fascinating 'Matrix'-like trick photography, the intense 'Screw YOU' attitude of the Spartans to the Persian demand of 'accept-or-die', or the (over?) realistic blood-gore fighting scenes?

LLAP
J:D




Post 17

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 8:38pmSanction this postReply
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In Post 6, MEM snidely remarked:

I think that the conservatives here who want to kill Islamo-fascists should enlist. Even if the US Army won't take you, a private contractor will. If you believe in killing "Islamo-fascists" then go ahead and meet them face to face, hand to hand.... and we promise to remember you...

This is just more MEM anarchist bullshit rhetoric. This is like saying that if I want to stop robbers or murderers, I should meet them face to face rather than pay a well-trained police force to do the job. For that matter, it is like saying I should meet any insects in my house face to face rather than pay a well-trained exterminator to do the job.

I swear, sometimes I wonder why MEM even posts here. He is lucky the site owner has some tolerance for nonsense.


Here here!

But Luke, sometimes you have to go face to face with a cockroach. Would you have the guts to pick up your shoe and stomp the little critter? And if you call an exterminator it's only after the fact those cockroaches invaded the privacy of your home. Those little bastards scurrying across the kitchen floor! Indeed us conservatives should enlist in the bug exterminator service, and take part in the great crusade to kill all freedom hating cockroaches!
(Edited by John Armaos
on 3/14, 8:38pm)




Post 18

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 9:04pmSanction this postReply
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R ye Malcom hath writ: ... on which is played the THEME of the movie, the 'message' the movie is showing ...
Would that be "self sacrifice for a noble cause"? 

While the theme could be, "Democracy versus Monarchy, not in politics, but on the battlefield,"  there is no doubt that this is about self-sacrifice.




Post 19

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 9:06pmSanction this postReply
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If that is the case, what is so great about the movie?



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