This is Sparta! (or not)

I went to see 300 today with my father-in-law. It's the first movie I've seen on release day since Belle was born. The movie is unabashedly gory and not particularly insightful or thoughtful. It wasn't meant to be. It's basically eye candy for that brutish part of men that likes large dramatic battles and defiance against all odds. It taps into that part of us that admires sacrifice and a willingness to lay down one's life for others. There are some brief speeches about freedom and whatnot, but the movie doesn't pretend to be much other than what it is - an adaptation of a graphic novel story about a bloody battle. It was very clearly a comic book adaptation - and it had excellent cinematography. The movie marketers didn't even both with the whole "based on true events" angle, nor did they include those epilogues that talk about how the wonderful characters in the movie made the world a better place in the end. The movie makes no pretensions at being actual history.

Still, some people see fit to criticize 300 because of its lack of historical accuracy or deep dialogue. One review, which I have forgotten the location of, actually suggested there was some racist overtones in the fact that the Greeks are white and the Persians (badguys) are brown and black. Please, people. Can we just enjoy a mindless/dramatic action movie for what it is and not be pompous and demand complete historical accuracy from our entertainment? Seriously, some critics need to get a grip on themselves. If a movie doesn't claim to be historically accurate then we can't criticize it for not being so. If people are dumb enough to accept it as history it's not the fault of the story, it's the fault of the people. And calling the movie racist? Critics are some of the most self-righteous, self-important, snobby people. So often I read reviews that rather are laments about how the movie wasn't good enough for the magnificent critic. And I'm a history buff, I love history, I was a history major. I can still appreciate a movie like this for what it is.

Anyway, for what it is, I think 300 was pretty sweet.

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