Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today I shall be mostly pretending to be Jonathan Ross

Last night we watched 300, which was a rip-roaring, bloody tale of the Spartan resistance to Xerxes. It has a lot of rather muscular chaps running about mangling other muscular chaps, which was nice... Not the mangling so much.

It uses the deformity=bad guy card, which I find troubling and it's such an old and suspect filmic device, it should really be put out to pasture. The decadent "bad" Persians (although led by very tall demi-god/king) accept within their ranks the less than physically perfect, while the Spartans do not. This leads to rejected wannabe-Spartan warrior, Ephialtes, betraying his people and causing the 300's defeat. The priest caste's corruption is reflected in their appearance and sickness, too. Of course, the rejection of physically disabled children probably reflects the realities of Spartan times; however, I'm uncomfortable with the depiction of the Persians as morally bankrupt while the fascistic military state of Sparta is heroic. But leaving aside these problems of East vs West and so on, it was visually a very impressive and well-told film.

Our viewing pleasure was somewhat compromised by the DVD deciding to play only in black and white, and so, knowing it should have been in colour, we were a tiny bit miffed throughout. I wonder whether viewing it in black and white affected the potential shock/gore value and whether I would have felt differently about it, for as it was, I enjoyed the film. I had been concerned that I might have to leave the room as I had done with Gibson's Apocalypto (hawk, spit). But then 300 was rather cartoonish and did not involve violence to children. Only after we'd watched the whole thing did M decide to have a jiggle of the connecting wires, whereupon we got to watch the credits in colour.

This caused some hilarity, and we repented of our grumpy thoughts towards the DVD vendor.

Then we watched the X-Men's Last Stand, as M had run mad with DVD purchasing desire, and it was good fun. M is still cross about it ending with Magneto wiggling a metal chess-piece, however, just as he was the first time we saw it.

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