Film Reviews by None

Welcome to None's film reviews page. None has written 3 reviews and rated 59 films.

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300

300

(Edit) 30/06/2008

Want action and visual spectacle rather than a strict history lesson? Then 300' is the film for you. From the same stable as Sin City, the film uses a mix of live action and CGI to bring the Battle of Thermopylae vibrantly to life in graphic comic form.

The opening shots set the scene effectively, introducing the harsh tradition that formed the Sparta warrior, as well as foreshadowing events to come. Gerard Butler is an imposing as a cartoon version of Leonidas, King of Sparta. Convincing despite the incongruous Scottish accent, he leads his select band of Spartan warriors to certain death and a place in history as they hold off the might of the Persian army to save their homeland and the whole of Greece.

This is not a subtle film. Nor is it aiming to be historically accurate. Motives are not analysed. The action is all. Each side is clearly polarised and effectively so. The Spartans, worryingly underdressed for the battlefield and unprotected save for their helmets are portrayed as witty, brave and properly heroic. The Persians, on the other hand, are suitably depraved as befits the dark side; either sinister or effeminate. Xerxes is portrayed as an effeminate tyrant with a penchant for body piercing. His henchmen are dangerously sinister bullies.

Atmosphere is beautifully created with light, golden scenes for an idealised Sparta whilst the advent of war is signified by darkening stormy skies of black and red. The fight scenes are stunning; beautifully choreographed at all times. The slow motion sequences are so elegant that at times it is as if you are watching a type of ballet rather than a scene of carnage. Somehow, this softens the violence, making it seem less gratuitous than if the battles were all out and dirty looking. Certainly it makes it much more watch able.

Whether you buy or rent, 300' is well worth a watch or two. Don't expect to be particularly emotionally engaged or cerebrally challenged. Do however expect to be entertained. You will be carried along effortlessly by the spectacle of it all and who knows, you may learn a little about history too.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Shrek the Third

One Shrek too many

(Edit) 30/06/2008

Trilogies of films are rarely a good idea. When a film is successful, it often spawns a sequel. Some exceed the achievements of the first. Some don't. But third films are generally speaking a film too far. Shrek the Third is such a film.

Shrek was an inspired idea. The idea of turning an ogre, the traditional villain of so many fairy stories, into the bad tempered, bald green hero who gets the girl was wonderfully subversive. Shrek Two followed suit, once again making the worthwhile point that you don't have to be good looking to deserve a happily ever after. The film did not simply to replicate the first. The action was taken away from the swamp to the Land of Far, Far away, allowing for more fairy tale puns and the introduction of new characters to capture the affections such as Puss in Boots. In short, it still entertained, it still raised laughs. It was still vital.

In comparison, Shrek the Third is painful. The plot is thin, mainly because the first two films had used up everything worthwhile. To compensate, the writers and producers resort to Schmaltz. The whole story is centred on Shrek's coming to terms with fatherhood, something he finds daunting because he has issues'. However, when he takes Arthur, the true heir of the Kingdom under his wing, he realises how rewarding parenthood can be.

It's probably so nauseating because precious little distracts the viewer from how obvious this is. After showing so much promise in the second film, Puss doesn't get much further than being an amorous but cute sword fighting cat. The three little pigs, the gingerbread man and the wolf all turn up again for no particular reason. The medieval high school is frankly dull. Probably the only vaguely amusing part was the fairytale princesses. But only vaguely. They after all were only being feisty because the pregnant Fiona couldn't be.

All that the film demonstrates is that a strong character needs a strong vehicle to take him anywhere. The wheels have well and truly fallen off this one. Shrek the Third was a sad finale to an otherwise great set of films. At least I hope it is.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Stories of Lost Souls

300

(Edit) 30/06/2008

Want action and visual spectacle rather than a strict history lesson? Then 300' is the film for you. From the same stable as Sin City, the film uses a mix of live action and CGI to bring the Battle of Thermopylae vibrantly to life in graphic comic form.

The opening shots set the scene effectively, introducing the harsh tradition that formed the Sparta warrior, as well as foreshadowing events to come. Gerard Butler is an imposing as a cartoon version of Leonidas, King of Sparta. Convincing despite the incongruous Scottish accent, he leads his select band of Spartan warriors to certain death and a place in history as they hold off the might of the Persian army to save their homeland and the whole of Greece.

This is not a subtle film. Nor is it aiming to be historically accurate. Motives are not analysed. The action is all. Each side is clearly polarised and effectively so. The Spartans, worryingly underdressed for the battlefield and unprotected save for their helmets are portrayed as witty, brave and properly heroic. The Persians, on the other hand, are suitably depraved as befits the dark side; either sinister or effeminate. Xerxes is portrayed as an effeminate tyrant with a penchant for body piercing. His henchmen are dangerously sinister bullies.

Atmosphere is beautifully created with light, golden scenes for an idealised Sparta whilst the advent of war is signified by darkening stormy skies of black and red. The fight scenes are stunning; beautifully choreographed at all times. The slow motion sequences are so elegant that at times it is as if you are watching a type of ballet rather than a scene of carnage. Somehow, this softens the violence, making it seem less gratuitous than if the battles were all out and dirty looking. Certainly it makes it much more watch able.

Whether you buy or rent, 300' is well worth a watch or two. Don't expect to be particularly emotionally engaged or cerebrally challenged. Do however expect to be entertained. You will be carried along effortlessly by the spectacle of it all and who knows, you may learn a little about history too.

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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