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Lady Sheridan goes down on 300 at BNAT!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with the stunning Lady Sheridan's look at 300 from Butt-Numb-A-Thon 8. For those of you that attended BNAT - feel free to write in on your takes on the various films that struck you at BNAT. We were showing quite a few very very early screenings and it's good to go into detail on some of these films. So pick a film you most want to talk about - and send it on in to the site. And now - here's Lady Sheridan...

My review of 300 for you all... It's kick-ass. Unlike Sin City, I don't feel it is style over substance--it very much keeps the drama and serious "this is for freedom" tone of the book. You could title this "Frank Miller's Braveheart" and not be far off. In a weird way, I wasn't as blown away as I expected--NOT because I was let down by the film, but I felt like I had actually watched it before because of seeing so much behind the scenes footage and the huge promo at ComicCon. I wish I had gone in a little more blind. So if it has been off the radar for you, keep it that way! The sepia-filled camera work is just stunning and it feels organic. I never felt like I was watching something CGI or green-screened, it honestly feels like they are outside, on the ocean, in the Hot Gates. There was only one shot they simply *must* fix and that's where Xerxes has his hands on Leonidas shoulders--Santoro is shorter than Butler, so they shot it seperately and superimposed it. And you can tell, it has that hideous circa 80's blue screen effect. Snyder said they were still touching scenes up and I really hope this is one of them. I was disappointed in the score--a little too "Gladiator" and not enough NIN. It had to be hard to live up to that NIN song, but I am disappointed they chose to use the "female wailing vocalist" so much. The choral bombast (what you hear in the new trailer is the new score) is interesting, a little overpowering at times but it does work within the tone of the film. And there were some nice electric guitars during some of the most modern action scenes. But all these styles also make it a bit uneven--choir, electric guitars and Gladiator...should have picked one and stuck with it. I think everyone turns in a solid performance. I really liked Lena Headley as Gorgo, she was sexy and tough and I think will walk away as being one of the most memorable characters in the film. I think the expansion of her character was a wise one, she gets to deliver the real-life Queen Gorgo's line "Only Spartan women give birth to men" and I loved it. However, her storyline with Dominic West's corrupt senator was very clunky. You can tell this isn't in Miller's original storyline, particularly because when he reveals his "master plan," it goes against real-life Spartan history that it just comes off silly, even in a superhero-hyped Sparta. The subtle love story between Gorgo and Leonidas is really touching. Butler and Headley had great chemistry and you really feel they are husband and wife. When Butler does his final "My queen--my love" scene, I sighed. David Wenham really isn't in the first half of the film much except for his narration. He has some really great fight scenes though--it's nice to see Faramir kicking some ass! He comes in big towards the end though and you just cheer. And now, for my Gerard Butler. He is the perfect Leonidas, he's the sarcastic, determined and slightly mad hero of the book. I would follow him into battle and die at his side without question. Snyder really toned down all the "the king thinks to himself" scenes from the book so that you don't watch the whole film thinking "It's Leonidas--and a few other guys who follow him." He is the Spartan King, but he isn't front and center throughout the film which was smart. Another director might have cheesed that up. That said, I think this will prevent Butler from becoming too much of a household name. This is a movie about the 300 Spartans, not King Leonidas and the 299 Spartans. I don't see general audiences walking out and making him Russell Crowe, post Gladiator. I think it will raise his profile, particularly in the industry, but he won't be gracing the cover of People Magazine. And because I cannot disappoint--he looks really fucking hot throughout this movie and I was utterly hypnotized by the movement of his muscles. But I am afraid Grande Rojo is right and they did hear my squeal of joy throughout the theatre. I imagine Butler himself probably heard it over his morning and went "Och, keep it doon Lady Sheridan! People are watchin' a film there!"
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