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13 March 2007 @ 01:52 pm
300, I hardly followed ye. Although, what with the liquor, that may have been my own fault.  
I didn't plan on seeing 300. Really. I wanted to see The Host, about a wacky Korean family battling a giant mutated trout creature in the South Korean sewers. I read the reviews and I read the spoilers and I didn't feel the need to see 300. I did, however, feel the need to see a movie, and sit in the dark eating popcorn that way I do when I'm alone at the movies, which means smother it in butter and salt and then poke my tongue in the bag and eat whatever kernels stick to it when it comes out.

And the only theater near me was renovating and had ONE damn movie showing and that movie was 300. But, knowing that a movie that started with ghastly child abuse and ended with a slaughter wouldn't be a big bunch of kicks, I decided to prepare.

I really can't tell you about the objective merits of 300. I wasn't really up for that, but let me tell you, 300 watched while steadily drinking an entire bottle of champagne squirted into your mouth from an emptied-out gatorade bottle is absolutely frickin' fantastic.

Except the part where I threw up on the light fixture.



In case you have been living under a rock, 300 is Frank Miller's interpretation of the Battle of Thermopylae. In it, King Leonidas of Sparta rounds up three hundred of the bravest men ever to don banana hammocks and leads them to fight the vast, transexual, pansexual, and mansexual Persian army, led by the God-King-Living-Piece-of-Chainmail Xerxes.

Once again, I've only seen the clips and read the reviews sober, so I can't exactly give you a rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of the film, but I still think that the key is watching it drunk. The effects look too monotone and too much like a video game? I can barely focus my eyes! What do I care? The slow-mo sequences and bombastic speeches drag on too much? Fine. I needed that time to use Champagne to french up my soda or catch up on the important questions, like, who's fighting who again, did that battle-rhinoceros just explode, and did I just drop popcorn down my shirt. (The answers are the Spartans are fighting the Persians, no it didn't explode, they just used the rhinoceros's wipe-out to sweep into the ninja-Persians with hand grenades montage, and yes I did, I found two kernels that night when I showered.) They also say there are plot holes to the point where the story doesn't make any sense. . . . . There is just so much alcohol I can absorb.

It's good to start drinking a little early (like surreptitiously from a ceramic mug in the office) so you're good and buzzed when you see the, as I said, ghastly child abuse at the beginning. I love how they continuously make speeches about Sparta being the home of light and reason when the first shot is a priest inspecting a newborn over a gigantic ravine full of baby skeletons.

After that things take a turn for the lighter, when we see lil'Leonidas being beaten by his father for dropping his sword, being whipped so that he learns to bear pain without showing emotion, and then being tossed out in the snow barefoot to kill him a wolf. He returns and becomes king, and after that we jump forward to a time when he can beat the hell out of his own son.

Now we're about half the bottle in on a small salad for lunch, so . . . um . . . it got a little hazy and I'll have to give you out of sequence impressions.

It's interesting seeing them try to split the difference between showing Spartans as extreme badasses and not losing the audience's sympathy. So when they show Leonidas sparring with his son he just does a gentle judo throw (really, it was pretty sweet) instead of using his father's method of punching his son in the face. Then he smiles, gives him a 'buck up little killing machine' speech and smooches his head.

Before going out to literally kill the messenger. I kid you not. Let this be a lesson to those Persians. Just attack cities without any warning, declaration of war or attempted negotiation – it's better. (Although considering Persian tactics, it's not a lesson they could learn.) Also, it's okay, because the Persian messenger makes a sexist comment about Queen Gorgo and there's nothing (snerk) we hate more in this movie (snerk snerk) than sexism. The messenger asks how a woman can speak in front of men. Gorgo replies that only Spartan women give birth to Spartan men. I guess that's what the Spartans call a zinger, but it doesn't rate much on the old GloriaSteinemometer. There was an old suffragette song, She's Good Enough to be Your Baby's Mother, And She's Good Enough to Vote With You. Spartan women have the first part down.

But don't worry, we don't see how any Spartan children come out of women when we can have much more fun seeing how they get in there in the first place. The night before Leonidas marches out to certain doom, we get treated to the most slow motion bare boob jiggling you could possibly see outside of a soft-core porno. Or a French film. (Speaking of, what would the proper name be for champagne and soda? Choke? Chamoke? Cokagne? Uh oh.)

Leonidas sets out with only three hundred soldiers because the Ephors (hideous deformed old men) consulted the Oracle (hot young woman who, the narrator makes clear, they are totally banging) and said that he could not go to war. To be fair, it is clear that Leonidas hates the Ephors, their superstition and their teenager-rape, and only tolerates them because it is the law. If it were up to him, he'd get rid of them and spend the night at home, planning a slaughter and whipping his son.

Still off he marches to battle, with his soldiers, and on the way, we get a look at Persian Tactics, Part Une. The Spartans march from Sparta, to the "Hot Gates," where the Persian army is camped out. On the way they see Athens, which is burned to the ground, and all its citizens except a little boy, killed, by the Persian army. Let me say that again. ON THE WAY to where the Persian army is camped out, they see a city destroyed by the Persian army. So the Persians came in, conquered a city, and then retreated over the ground they had just conquered to a point where they could be strategically held off. How do these guys tie their shoes, let alone conquer half the world?

Now is the fun part. Battle time! Attack rhinoceroses. Rhinocerous. Rhinoceri. Elephants. Huge guys in chains. Swordplay. Women belly dancing. In chains. Leapfrog attacks (on guy uses another guy's back to jump up and over the first wave of opponents). Slaves carrying soldiers. In chains. Seriously, it's like the Folsum Street Fair, but with be-headings and bad teeth.

There's also a rather sweet father-son relationship between the captain of the guard and his adolescent son who is a soldier but, as Leonidas said, hadn't truly known "the warmth of a woman."

"Yeah, the warmth of a woman." the rest of the soldiers snicker. "That's how we roll."

Of course, although it provides the emotional center of the fight, you know, what with the massacre being the point of the movie, it can't end well. It also provides a fascinating hole in Spartan training. I won't reveal all, but let's just say that I was raised on gentle suburban schoolyards and even we had worked out an established protocol for "Heads."

Oh, and there's creative use of enemy dead. A wall. A barricade. A wave with which to crush more enemy soldiers. Unpleasant close ups. Probably food, since I didn't see any of the Spartans carrying anything to battle they couldn't store in their leather speedos.

Meanwhile, back in the city-state, Gorgo is having something of a time convinces the senate (?) to send more troops. The only hope is a slimy guy named Theron, who says he will only support her if he has long, un-enjoyable, S&M sex with her. She agrees, out of loyalty to Leonidas, and he double crosses her in the senate chamber, at which point she stabs him in the gut and in doing so revealing a purse of Persian gold coins that shows he is a traitor. All well and good, and I don't criticize anything she did. The double-cross was predictable, but she had to try. Still, it seems that that wasn't the job for a Queen so much as for an investigative reporter. She could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she'd been less fertile Myrtle and S&M Sally and more Lois Lane. The senate decides to fight the Persians. Too late.

Way, way, way, too late. Because after the 300 make their last stand, make Xerxes bleed, and go down under an arrow-darkened sky (very cool effect, I imagine, even when one is sober) while still vastly outnumbered, we skip to the time that has become notorious for DC Comics readers, One Year Later. Here the Persian army is being held off by 10,000 Spartans. Still at the Hot Gates.

Which leads us into Persian Tactics, Part Deux. What the hell, people? You just slaughtered the last of the people who were defending a strategic point, you still have a ton of soldiers left, and you DON'T march through? You hang around for a year? Or do you march into Athens and retreat again? What? What! I, at one point, was lurching through the theater so buzzed I was unable to focus on the signs pointing me to the restrooms, and seriously considering peeing on the floor, and I still managed to think of a better strategy than that.

And yet, as I came out into the sunlight, giggling quietly, I felt elated. Somewhere between the exploding rhinoceroses and the weird sandal and slow-mo fetish porn, they crammed it quite a fun action movie.

Of course, this morning I wasn't feeling too good. I'm going to blame it on leather-withdrawal.

 
 
 
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
rotting amnesiac zombie angel: Laughtersockich on March 13th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
I already knew I'm not going to watch this in a theater (no way am I giving money for this), but now I don't think I'll even download it because it'd probably be impossible for any movie to top this review. Maybe I should get drunk, too? *ponders*

Seriously, though, this made me lol. Awesome. *g*
mildredmilton: superpotatomildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
The movie is at your discretion. The drunkening? That I recommend. (Less than a bottle, though.)

Thanks for responding!
rubynye: Bullboy (baranduin)rubynye on March 14th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
Now that I'm done hiccuping with laughter, I should totally send you my ticket price fot 300. You've earned it.

*also sends aspirin for your head*
mildredmilton: superpotatomildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
hee hee hee. Profitting off somebody else's work. I live the dream.

*my head is better, now. but that light fixture will never be the same again*
chibi_squirt: Classicistchibi_squirt on March 14th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Okay, if I didn't already have you friended, I would *totally* do it for this. Mildred,you're amazing. I'm reccing this.

Also? When it comes to campus and I can watch it for free, I definitely have to do so. With a bunch of Classics friends. And mock. A lot.
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
I've been recced! Yes!

Oh, you'll have a lot to mock. Begin with any aspect of Persian culture and work your way out.
Mia: Clean Underwear (Bart - Teen Titansv3)miakun on March 14th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC)
In it, King Leonidas of Sparta rounds up three hundred of the bravest men ever to don banana hammocks and leads them to fight the vast, transexual, pansexual, and mansexual Persian army, led by the God-King-Living-Piece-of-Chainmail Xerxes.

That is the best summary I've ever seen for it. I think that should be the trailer.

consulted the Oracle (hot young woman who, the narrator makes clear, they are totally banging)

Oh good lord. *groans* That has so many things wrong with it I can't even begin to describe.

This reaffirms that I don't want to watch this movie, but I might just get smashed and see it now, because it sounds hilarious in your epic retelling.

FIVE STAR REVIEW!
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
That is the best summary I've ever seen for it. I think that should be the trailer.

Thank you! I've always had a knack for summarizing.


This reaffirms that I don't want to watch this movie, but I might just get smashed and see it now, because it sounds hilarious in your epic retelling.


Get smashed and see something else. Is The Host playing in your neck of the woods?

*****
chibi_squirt: Busychibi_squirt on March 14th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
We've got "Happy Feet" this week... *ebil grin* That was mockable even *without* the boozahol! (I personally enjoyed it a lot, though, because I was constantly in the "Animated dancing penguins, yay!" space.)
Mia: en garde! (Suki vs Yue - Avatar)miakun on March 14th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
Animated Dancing Penguins are LOVE! I loved Happy Feet (except for the preaching).
Mia: Bat Hug! (Batman and Superman)miakun on March 14th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)
No, but I'm excited to see Reign Over Me in a couple of weeks. There's always the movie store!

I've seen Van Wilder drunk, but it was less funny and more me trying to be anaylitical while slurring big words and then realising I slurred them and being able to do nothing about it.
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Aaaaah. Nothing like debating the merits of what to watch while drunk.
Robyn Fleming: OoaK OMG YAY!revena on March 14th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
This may be the best movie review I've ever read.
mildredmilton: superpotatomildredmilton on March 14th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Move over, Roger Ebert.
Anti-penetrite!teh_no on March 15th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Still off he marches to battle, with his soldiers, and on the way, we get a look at Persian Tactics, Part Une. The Spartans march from Sparta, to the "Hot Gates," where the Persian army is camped out. On the way they see Athens, which is burned to the ground, and all its citizens except a little boy, killed, by the Persian army. Let me say that again. ON THE WAY to where the Persian army is camped out, they see a city destroyed by the Persian army. So the Persians came in, conquered a city, and then retreated over the ground they had just conquered to a point where they could be strategically held off. How do these guys tie their shoes, let alone conquer half the world?

To be fair, they made it clear that the slaughter was done by a Persian scouting party. The main force was on the ships, which had yet to land.

Which leads us into Persian Tactics, Part Deux. What the hell, people? You just slaughtered the last of the people who were defending a strategic point, you still have a ton of soldiers left, and you DON'T march through? You hang around for a year? Or do you march into Athens and retreat again? What? What!

Again, not that the movie did the best job of explaining this, but the Persians retreated after the battle (owing also to a naval defeat in the Battle of Salamis, which the film didn't cover). A year later, Xerxes attacked again, which is what the OYL is all about.
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 15th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
To be fair, they made it clear that the slaughter was done by a Persian scouting party. The main force was on the ships, which had yet to land.
Fine, spoil my fun. Although, it remains a problem. Must have been a huge scouting party to take down a city-state, and yet we see none of them. (Unless they were the wall that the Spartans built, but the kid mentioned the Immortals (Persian Ninja Force) and the Spartans made it clear they didn't see those until the second day of battle. WHich means the Immortals marched to Athens, burnt it and killed everyone, and then went back to the ships. Maybe they like the salt air?

Again, not that the movie did the best job of explaining this, but the Persians retreated after the battle (owing also to a naval defeat in the Battle of Salamis, which the film didn't cover). A year later, Xerxes attacked again, which is what the OYL is all about.
But Salamis was at Athens, which wasn't sacked until AFTER the battle of Thermopylae. Oh, let me have my fun. They have my money.
Weo!biscocho on March 15th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
Uhm, would that be the Sundance Kabuki theater on Polk and Fillmore?
mildredmilton: superpotatomildredmilton on March 15th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Shhhhhhh! No identifying details until I'm ready to go forward with the "Where Mildred Wrote" Walking Tour.
Weo!biscocho on March 15th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
lmao mum's the word.

psssst, if you ever have the "want" to go through all that again, ask for Leo(moi), she can get you in for free, plus free popcorn :o
Heiress of the Empire: straight not narrowtechnocracygirl on March 17th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
I found this post through When Fangirls Attack, and I just had to post a link in my journal to this post. Thank you for braving the horror show and bringing back such a beautiful piece of writing. If the rest of your posts are as hilarious as this one, I hope you don't mind me friending you.
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 17th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
Well, I didn't so much brave as voluntary go (true - limited options but) of my own accord. Still. I like being called brave.

To be honest, most of my posts are extremely perverted DC porn, but I drum up the will, once a week or so, to pick up a comic or watch a movie and then tear somebody else's hard work apart on the internet. If you wish to friend, absolutely go ahead.
Tor Segundo: Glowpig!stsisyphus on March 21st, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
You are my fucking hero. I had mentioned that I was meaning to watch 300 while getting hammered, but forgot my Cokagne at home. I got here from When Fangirls Attack, & will also add a link into the comments from the post.
mildredmilton: superpotatomildredmilton on March 26th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Hey there! I must have missed your comment before. Thanks for the kind words! If I realized I would get this much credit for hammering a movie I would have done it long ago. Thanks for the link!
chinedum ofoegbu: LOLzrazorsmile on March 25th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
Saw it, liked it.
Came here via sisterwolf.

You are *so* friended.
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on March 26th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Re: Saw it, liked it.
Hi friend!
the Jackbuggery on August 25th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
This review is made of so much awesome.

Incidentally, I find that it also serves as a useful and entertaining review of *drunkenness*, speaking as someone who's only been drunk one and a half times and never anywhere near *that* drunk.
the Jackbuggery on August 25th, 2008 08:23 am (UTC)
And here's Moore's aforementioned commentary on 300:
Moore said, "I had a lot of problems with [300], and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them: [that] it was racist, it was homophobic, and above all it was sublimely stupid."

Quote courtesy Wikipedia's article on the forthcoming Watchmen film, of all things; only the first set of brackets is mine, clarifying the referent of the original 'it'.
mildredmiltonmildredmilton on August 25th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC)
Re: And here's Moore's aforementioned commentary on 300:
Thank you.
mildredmiltonmildredmilton on August 25th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend being that drunk. Like I said, it made me pretty cheerful, but then I threw up on a light fixture. Most humiliating death, ever, especially if I were still clutching the ticket stub for that movie.
the Jackbuggery on August 25th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC)
That one time I got all the way drunk was accidental, I assure you -- I've experienced quite enough vicarious drunkenness not to consider the state a goal, as opposed to something best avoided. In case you weren't aware? Sake is dangerously easy to drink, to the point that you have no idea how affected you are until you're already over the line into tipsy. (And that wasn't just my lack of experience -- though I drink plenty for someone who doesn't do it with the intention of becoming intoxicated -- Te, who used to have legendarily high alcohol tolerance back during her college partying days, fell into the same sake trap I did that night.)

On another note, you haven't lived until you've had to semi-successfully steer someone drunk on Southern Comfort mixed with root beer away from puking on the floor of your dorm room. Ah, college.
Pere-chan: tim hahpere_chan on August 29th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC)
I can't believe you made me enjoy 300. I HATED that movie. Only RiffTrax could ever make me enjoy that movie.

*dies of bwah*
mildredmilton: ultimate fightmildredmilton on August 30th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh, so the alcohol *was* the key to enjoying it.

Thank you!
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )