Contradicting Popular Opinion: 15.03.07

Contradicting Popular Opinion:
An Enquiry Concerning Why Your Favorite Movie Sucks

Intro, Lists, etc

We’re a little short and scattered. Regular readers will note the regularity with which such a column occurs here at CPO.

But, as the fella says, when the wind is southerly I can tell a hawk from a handsaw.

At any rate, today’s issue is a bit like Confirming Popular Opinion: An Enquiry Concerning Why Your Favorite Movie Rocks, but us IP U of C guys can’t be negative all of the time.

Even Eric Szulczewski. (This is the first time I spelled that without looking it up.)

7 reasons to see 300

Ideally, we would include 300 reason to see 300, but it’s not like I’m getting paid.

Reason 1:Americans love a good historical myth
Whether it be Betsy Ross sewing the American flag, Paul Revere’s midnight ride, people starving at Valley Forge, or George Washington’s cherry tree, Americans love good historical fiction.

It’s about legend, not truth itself but perhaps what we’d like the truth to represent.

At any rate, the flick is still more historically accurate than Braveheart, but not so much so that the Spartans actually wear their armor or anybody is brave enough to say Thermopylae.

Reason 2: Do it for the Germans!
300 is packed with these moments of extreme lighting, reminiscent of German Expressionism. Only, in this film, we have computers to push the boundaries even further than what could be done practically in the silent era or in classic film noir. The movie is worth seeing just for the its interplay of shadow and light.

And if you dig that, you are bound to dig the film’s pallette which evokes Lynn Varley’s watercolors. The colors are washed out, yet at the same time vivid by means of contrast.

Reason 3: I just thought it was some bad ass shit to say to a motherf*cker before I popped a cap in his ass …

When Xerxes offered to spare the lives of Leonidas, his 300 personal bodyguards and a handful of Thebans and others who volunteered to defend their country, if they would lay down their arms, Leonidas shouted these two words back. Molon Labe! (mo-lone lah-veh)
They mean, “Come and get them!”

300 is full of ridiculously manly dialogue, taken in part from historical sources. This includes the “Then we shall fight in the shade” exchange shown in the trailers, “Spartan, return with your shield or on it”, and so on.

“This is madness; this is blasphemy!”

“This is Sparta!”

Reason 4: It’s a Comics movie …
And IP readers tend to see all those things anyway. Not only is it based on a “graphic novel” (which is pretentious for “comic book”), but in essence it is the tale of 300 super-heroes, each with their own big red cape. These are bold men, single-minded and confident, each trained in a regiment that would put Batman to shame. They are bred and raised to be Ubermensch.

Besides, Spider-Man 3 is still over a month away.

Reason 5: The Oracle Scene
Visually, this is one of the most interesting movie scenes in years. We see the oracle surrounded by swirling, billowing smoke, indistinguishable from her own swirling, billowing, somewhat diaphanous gown. The sequence manages to be beautiful, mesmerizing, disturbing and depressing, simultaneously.

Reason 6: The Drive-in totals!
Are you ready? Here is just a sample of the unofficial drive-in totals:
Approximately thousands of dead bodies,
Dead elephants,
Dead rhino,
Approximately a dozen breasts,
Multiple heads roll,
Hands roll,
Plethora of stab and puncture wounds,
Neck spurting,
Hunchback fu,
Arrows and spears through just about everything,
2 walls of corpses
Mutant lesbian orgy,
Giant wolf with fireball eyes,
and so on…

Reason 7: It will get you ready …
… for next week’s special feature here at POPCORN JUNKIES: The Greatest BadAsses on the Big Screen

Now, I’m not going to pretend that 300 is a perfect movie. Some of the battle scenes drag, and the film reaches it’s emotional peak at the end of the first act.

But goddamn, it has been a long time since I have seen something which so demanded a giant screen experience.