Friday, March 16, 2007

Mr Bounder / 300 SUCKS!

Done on a storyboard proportioned post it . Then I cropped it to full screen

And the 300 part of the Headline. God it was awful. If I can contribute in any way to stopping the tide of this things success, consider it done. Awful acting, pacing, music, acting, script, costumes, special effects and acting. And slow motion. Lots of slow motion. Sadly it was my first IMAX experience. That's how badly it sucked. A system designed to be completely immersive and I felt like I was watching a bad puppet show. ARRGHH. My brain hurts.

Changed my mind. Go see it. And then buy the Steve Reeves collection.


Tom Moon said...

Love your drawing and the 300 review. When I heard that it was doing great business I wondered if I had misjudged it and it was actually worth seeing. But I guess not. I'm surprised though that you didn't even like the visuals as they seemed to be the only thing interesting about it.

Surly Bird said...

I found a YouTube-ish video of the whole movie on the web the other night and even though the visual quality wasn't great, it was good enough for me to get the idea. "300" was a waste of time, but at least I saved my money. Normally, I'd feel a little guilt over "stealing" a movie like this, but I'm glad I didn't use my own fuel and cash to see this movie.

I hated "300" for all of the reasons Ellis pointed out. I have seen one movie this year and that was "Apocalypto" - a much better, but also very flawed movie. My general opinion of movies has been slowly crawling to one conclusion: The new generation of film-makers, with few exceptions, don't know how to make a movie. They employ all of these gimmicks and tricks and flashes and whatnot but there is no real craft on display and no attempt to tell a comprehensible story. One thing "Apocalypto" had that "300" doesn't have is a sense of reality to it. For me, the argument that it was an attempt to translate the comic book to film doesn't wash. The job of the director is to make an engaging film and this thing was never, ever engaging. It was a pointless exercise, for the most part.

To be fair, a considerable portion of the blame, in my opinion, has to be heaped on the source material. I've got to say it - and I know it's not generally accepted in comic book circles - but Frank Miller is way overrated as both an artist and a writer. Maybe he used to be great, but a lot of his post-Dark Knight stuff, doesn't impress me visually or otherwise. I wish he would slow down and actually draw his comics with a partial attempt at making them something besides the sloppy things they are today. I thought the very first "Sin City" mini-series was interesting and his artist technique was still somewhat decent, but the following Sin City mini-series quickly became tired. I didn't even bother with his Dark Knight sequel. I wanted to puke when I saw the art. I didn't read "300" either for most of the same reasons.

These are strong words, and a much longer post from me than usual. It is, to be honest, something of a reaction to all the water-cooler talk I hear at work about how incredible this movie is and how every frame is a masterpiece. I guess people are so starved for decent entertainment, anything that even hints at something good is devoured blindly.

Tom Moon said...

Lots of friends told me to see Apocalypto, but I didn't because Mel's Passion of the Christ movie bored me, for all the same reasons discussed. It was just a meticulously rendered "visuals" movie. Slow motion drops of sweat falling, close-ups of fleshy chunks being torn from Jesus' back.

I'm trying to understand it as a sort of new genre brought about by the rise of CG. It's kind of like how a kung fu movie is really only a showcase for the athletics; the story is just there to string the fight scenes together. Or in those old Hollywood musicals how the songs and dancing are the real point. Traditional story is de-emphasized. Of course a really good musical contains strong story, characters AND song and dance, but that's the exception rather than the rule. The Music Man and Singin' In the Rain come to mind as examples.

So I think there's precedent to this kind of "new" approach. It has a certain amount of legitamacy, but you have to go in with adjusted expectations. That being said, I have no desire to see "300". As Rick Schmitz put it, the whole thing is just too "testosterone-soaked".

Surly Bird said...

It's not so much the testosterone that bothers me, but the lameness of a movie that could've been so much more. The Battle of Thermopylae is one of history's great struggles but what was presented in the comic and the movie was just a cheesy rock video.

rickart said...

I haven't seen it and I had the opportunity to watch it for free with the rest of the LOTRO team... I'm right there with you Surly, Miller is very hit and miss. Some of his stuff is very dramatic and involving, but too much of it is just so much pandering nonsense. I also agree that he's overrated as an artist. His compositions and story telling are not as innovative as his reputation would suggest.

Interestingly, I think his best work is the stuff he's done when he's under some editorial control and working with characters who were previously well developed. His work on Daredevil, Dark Knight and even Terminator vs. Robocop is way better than the stuff he's developed on his own. One might even lump his first Sin City story in that category since it's so derivative of film Noir. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no editorial supervision at all on Dark Knight 2, considering how awful it was.

I hear he's making a Batman story about fighting terrorists... I'm sure that will be another understated exercise in instructing us that terrorists are evil. I guess we can't figure that one out for ourselves.

Mr Goodson said...

I've changed my mind. It was pretty good. Everyone go see it.

Surly Bird said...

Hah hah. Why the change of heart?