300, besides being the minimum number of barefoot runs to do this year (I did 299 last year and need to beat that), it is also the name of a movie that just came out a week ago and I finally saw tonight.

The movie 300 is loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae, and from what I’ve read on line, is somewhat truthful to the original story. That battle is actually fairly well studied and it often used as an example of the benefits of military training, use of terrain and equipment to maximize the effectiveness of an army[wiki].

I’ve seen the movie has been getting mixed reviews and wasn’t really sure how good it would be. I did know it was going to look good. The story is of the battle of 300 men defending their country from invaders. It has just enough story to give the reasons for the battles and little bit of the politicking going on back in Sparta while the battles are being waged. And I thought it did a good job. Kept me interested, the two hours flew by and I thought it was a pretty decent movie. Nothing Oscar worthy like Gladiator, but definately entertaining. If you like action movies, go watch this one on a big screen.

I saw it on the IMAX screen and it looked phenomenal. Visually, it doesn’t get much better than that. It was filmed with real people against blue-screens and then the backgrounds and effects were added latter and they did a really good job of this (they might get some Oscars for technical/special effects). The people fit in with the background nearly flawlessly. The soundtrack, taking a different approach from other recent movies featuring big historic battles backed by classical type music, has more of a rock/metal edge. One thing I did notice was that unlike Braveheart where it had blood hit the lens of the camera (very unusual for a mainstream movie), this one didn’t. Kinda unbelievable given the amount of blood shown, but even though it was all digitally superimposed, it would have been nice to have some superimposed on the camera lens.

Finally, this movie is not without controversy. Some people cite its lack of complete historical accuracy while others complain about the portrayals of the Persians. I personally prefer Warner Brothers statement about the controversy… “The film ‘300’ is a work of fiction inspired by the Frank Miller graphic novel and loosely based on an historical event. The studio developed this film purely as a fictional work with the sole purpose of entertaining audiences; it is not meant to disparage an ethnicity or culture or make any sort of political statement.” [Variety.com]

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