So Tuesday night I caught an early screening of 300, the upcoming sword-and-sandal-and-CGI action flick loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., in which 300 Spartan soldiers battled an onslaught force of millions of Persian warriors. It’s based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, and much like the adaptation of Miller’s Sin City, the movie was filmed mostly with live-actors against green-screens that were later painted over with an onslaught force of millions of computer-generated pixels to represent the Grecian battlefield.
I’ll reserve sharing my personal opinion of the film lest I steal the thunder of EW’s film critics, but suffice it to say I’m really curious about how successful this movie will be when it opens on March 9. Other than the Star Wars prequels, very few almost-entirely-green-screened films have broken the $100 million mark at the U.S. box-office. (Sin City took home $74 mil; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, just $34 mil.) There are no movie stars in the flick, except for maybe Gerald Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) as King Leonidas, leader of the Spartan soldiers, but he’s barely recognizable behind a giant, regal beard. Also, there’s the whole ancient history lesson thing; "Battle of Thermopylae" doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
On the other hand, it’s saturated with stylized, video-gamesque violence and fanboy geek-out visuals. Not to mention that it has both half-naked, uber-buffed-out men and half-naked, lithe women (nipples all around!)—in other words, something for everyone. Then again, will the adolescent and twentysomething straight guys this film seems to be targeting be comfortable with the movie’s unmistakable male body worship?
No, seriously, I’m asking: Are you keen to see this film? Are your friends talking about it? Does its lack of stars and its ab-tastic, mostly male cast bode well for its success or portend a box-office bloodbath?