International Writers Magazine: Film
All silliness aside.
Ill try to sort every main point out before I get to the history
lesson. Historical fact is not what we came to see. What we came to see
was quite possibly the gayest film since Brokeback Mountain. The
homoeroticism is thick enough to cut with a knife, and its obvious
that Spears and Swords werent the only phallic objects the Spartans
were very familiar with! Its not that theres anything wrong
with it, its just when we hear the Spartans calling the Athenians
"Boy Lovers" its hard to take them all that seriously.
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Gerard Butler
historian Frank Miller (Sin city, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
enlightens us all on what really happened at the battle of Thermopylae.
I am not a history buff myself, but I was certainly fascinated to
learn that the Persian army actually used giant armoured Rhinos
and that Spartan soldiers could jump twenty feet in the air, their
flight presumably powered by Racism
Thank God the Nazis
didnt work out how to do that as well, we would be living
in a much blonder world today!
Right, with that out of the way, lets get back on track and discuss
the CGI. Following in Sin Citys footsteps, the entire film is shot
on bluescreen. Which results in a dreamlike, comic-book quality to the
shots that I absolutely loved, Zack Snyder uses it to full effect in the
fight scenes as well; creating shots that couldnt physically have
been done with Cameramen unless you drip-fed them with amphetamines in
This was an extremely faithful adaptation of the comic which seems to
be the done thing right now, which would be nice except I have absolutely
no reason to read the original comic now. I guess anything that saves
me ten quid cant be that bad. The pity is that the comic could have
done with a bit of adaptation
I hate to tell you this, but Frank
Miller isnt that good a writer! I mean, seriously, did anyone actually
listen to the dialogue in Sin City?
I went to the cinema knowing nothing of the real events of the battle
of Thermopylae. And I left the cinema knowing more about them than I realised.
For those of you that dont know, in 480BC a massive army from Persia
actually did try to invade Greece. And three hundred Spartan soldiers
actually did block the Persian army
But the other two thousand five
hundred soldiers from the rest of Greece that were also there were conspicuously
absent in the film, but to be fair, 2800 probably wouldnt have been
such a catchy title.
I was surprised by how much of it remained true to the facts, whilst also
being surprised by how badly the Persians were portrayed. The Spartans
were muscular white men who used the word "freedom" every second
sentence, while the Persians were all swarthy middle-eastern looking spear
fodder who used the word "slavery" every second sentence, when
in fact, almost half the population of Sparta were slaves, and Persia
hired all their soldiers fair and square from anywhere that offered
If it makes you interested enough to check out what really happened, then
the film isnt a total failure as a period piece after all. But all
that really matters is that we got to see a kick-ass film with some kick-ass
fight-scenes with a whole lot of titties in it as well. And thats
all you can really expect from Frank Miller!
© Jack Clarkson November 2007
by Alan Moore
Art by Dave Gibbons
An introduction to Watchmen
Jack is studying Creative Writing and Film at the University of Portsmouth
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