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Author Topic: 300: Rise Of An Empire  (Read 916 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

300: Rise Of An Empire
« on: October 18, 2014, 07:54:20 PM »
So... I watched 300: Rise Of An Empire today.

My impression? My God  :o

From strictly cinematic point of view, this movie is empty shell: one scene of people hacking each other after another. Some of the shots are quite pretty, but that's it. There's no real story in there...

And from historical and point of view? It's just offensive. Seriously, the movie states it outright that the Persian king Xerxes had some sort of deal with the powers of darkness. Also, he is apparently a 10 ft giant... who is still a coward and doesn't take park in his battles. Another historical character, Artemisia, has all of her real biography replaced with Red Sonja's origin story. Come on. And don't get me started on the whole idea of ancient Greeks being champions of freedom...

And speaking of offensive: all of the Persians in this movie wear black. All. Of. Them. So that the viewer doesn't forget that they are eeeeevil...

There are some good things in this movie, true. Eva Green is actually fun to watch as an evil female warrior - historical inaccuracies aside, her "Artemisia" could be an interesting character, if given more character development. In fact, this whole movie could work, if remade into a fantasy story set in some fictional world and being allowed to explore the fantastical elements more (like, say, Xerxes having actual supernatural powers). But as it is, this movie is really dumb and offensive. And as I said, it has not much of a story. It's just a collection of combat scenes...

Have you seen this movie? Any thoughts, if so?

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 08:05:59 PM »
I heard that there was an anachronistic use of gunpowder too, lest we think for a moment that historical accuracy was involved.

Offline Melusine

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 08:10:25 PM »
As a greek person, the idea that my ancestors were champions of democracy and freedom (especially the Spartans, of all greek city-states!) has me in stitches. I just can't help rooting for the Persians. Yes, they were conquerors, but serves the assholes Spartans right to be conquered after they themselves conquered the native populations. At least the Persians had banned slavery.

The movie (like the original) is rife with unfortunate imagery...then again, it's Frank Miller. We all know what to expect of him, and it's not any kind of sensitivity or nuance. Or historical accuracy.

I'm just sad about Artemisia. There was a great opportunity for a interesting woman of history to come to life...and they kinda mangled it. At least it's pretty?

Offline Oniya

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 08:13:06 PM »
The original 300 was just about as far removed from the actual battle of Thermopylae - I wasn't expecting 'Rise of an Empire' to take a sudden shift towards realism.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 08:35:55 PM »
The original 300 was just about as far removed from the actual battle of Thermopylae - I wasn't expecting 'Rise of an Empire' to take a sudden shift towards realism.
Well the first one used the excuse that it was in the spirit of the Greek storytelling (the stuff you found on the sides of urns). The Greeks of old were not--to be fair--in favor of presenting their battles with 100 percent tactical accuracy. So it was literally meant to look pretty. :P

In terms of Frank Miller's pseudo-fascist fetish... the less said the better.


Offline Oniya

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 09:21:54 PM »
Well the first one used the excuse that it was in the spirit of the Greek storytelling (the stuff you found on the sides of urns). The Greeks of old were not--to be fair--in favor of presenting their battles with 100 percent tactical accuracy. So it was literally meant to look pretty. :P

In terms of Frank Miller's pseudo-fascist fetish... the less said the better.

I don't think it was even accurate to the Greek retellings of the battle.  O_o

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 09:26:28 PM »
I heard that there was an anachronistic use of gunpowder too, lest we think for a moment that historical accuracy was involved.

There was a Persian ship that looked like an oil tanker... and its role in battle was to spray some flammable liquid around. Was that supposed to be the Greek fire? If so, why weren't the *Greeks* using it?

Oh, and there were Persian suicibe bombers  ::)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 11:19:09 PM »
Its ONLY a movie there are historical documentaries for accuracy. But Knights Tale was BS but my niece got into learning about knights and stories of the period so that was good. This one is not for kids but I pulled the old movie 300 Spartans which was more accurate but still BS for her then a documentary about the real battle which was a good account.

Looking at this movie its meant for fun. I will note the two women characters were strongest and well acted and like the Spartan Queen being proud of Spartan men who were still bad asses, they were, no one disputes that historically.

One thing though didn't all the Greeks wear far better armor than the Persians which had leather and wicker shields aka practice dummies that moved for any Greek man in combat?

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 05:38:31 AM »
Oh, I can understand that historical movies can be inaccurate... but this particular movie mangles history so heavily that I really have trouble stomaching it. Even worse, it really seems to propagate ideologically-inspired lies: that whole "Western civilizaton is freedom, Eastern civilization is tyranny" notion. Had I shown this movie to a young person, I'd really be worried what ideas would be left in their head afterwards...

As to the subject of Greek's armour, or rather lack of it... really, I tried very hard not to pay attention to it. I tried to rationalize it as a stylistic choice. But no, it really is just... stupid. Especially when the coupled with the fact that the Greeks in this movie have this habit of charging enemy ships in helmets... then *taking these helmets off* when they get into close combat. What???

Offline consortium11

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2014, 06:21:38 AM »
I'm not really sure why one would expect historical accuracy from a sequel to 300, based off an unpublished Frank Miller comic. The series has always been a massively over stylised romp that uses actual history as a mere launching point. It's akin to complaining about the Spartacus series (very much it's spiritual brother) for a lack of accuracy. It was clearly never intended to be a historically accurate film, merely one that used a historical setting and a few historical names. Perhaps one could complain about the original 300 not being historically accurate (although the trailers rather gave that game away even if one hadn't read the comics) but the sequel? I'm not sure why one would expect a widely inaccurate movie would have a sequel that suddenly stuck closer to history.

There was a Persian ship that looked like an oil tanker... and its role in battle was to spray some flammable liquid around. Was that supposed to be the Greek fire? If so, why weren't the *Greeks* using it?

While it's certainly not historical for the Persian's to use Greek fire, it would be equally inaccurate for the Greeks to have it. The term "Greek" fire is somewhat of an anachronism anyway; while there had been incendiary weapons before, what we call Greek fire was invented by the Byzantine Empire sometime in the mid-7th Century. Because the Byzantine's primarily spoke Greek the term Greek fire was used by the West when describing it (the Byzantine's used a number of different terms) but the Greeks of antiquity never used it.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 08:46:57 AM »
I'm not really sure why one would expect historical accuracy from a sequel to 300, based off an unpublished Frank Miller comic. The series has always been a massively over stylised romp that uses actual history as a mere launching point. It's akin to complaining about the Spartacus series (very much it's spiritual brother) for a lack of accuracy. It was clearly never intended to be a historically accurate film, merely one that used a historical setting and a few historical names. Perhaps one could complain about the original 300 not being historically accurate (although the trailers rather gave that game away even if one hadn't read the comics) but the sequel? I'm not sure why one would expect a widely inaccurate movie would have a sequel that suddenly stuck closer to history.

Well, I haven't seen the original 300, so Rise was the first contact with this series. That's why I'm complaining about it, not the first movie  ;)

Also, I don't quite understand the argument "It's based on a Frank Miller comic, so there's no point of complaining". Yes, it is based on Frank Miller comic... So? Does Frank Miller have some sort of permission for being inaccurate and offensive?

Quote
While it's certainly not historical for the Persian's to use Greek fire, it would be equally inaccurate for the Greeks to have it. The term "Greek" fire is somewhat of an anachronism anyway; while there had been incendiary weapons before, what we call Greek fire was invented by the Byzantine Empire sometime in the mid-7th Century. Because the Byzantine's primarily spoke Greek the term Greek fire was used by the West when describing it (the Byzantine's used a number of different terms) but the Greeks of antiquity never used it.

Ah, I see. Good point.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 08:48:04 AM by Beorning »

Offline consortium11

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 08:59:50 AM »
Also, I don't quite understand the argument "It's based on a Frank Miller comic, so there's no point of complaining". Yes, it is based on Frank Miller comic... So? Does Frank Miller have some sort of permission for being inaccurate and offensive?

No, but it's akin to complaining that Chinese Kung Fu movies aren't a realistic portrayal of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms period or that Heroic Bloodshed isn't an accurate depiction of crime and policing in Hong Kong or that Commando is a realistic depiction of how a special forces soldier operates or that a Michael Bay film is a realistic portrayal of anything. Miller isn't a writer interested in historical accuracy... he's never shown any interest in it beyond using it as a loose basis for a setting. Expecting a film based on his work to be realistic and historically accurate is a fool's errand, just as expecting a cheesy 80's action movie to be a realistic portrayal of fighting and combat is a mistake.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 09:11:37 AM »
Well about the lack of armor if your going to nitpick that was what gave the Greeks the advantage leather/cloth with wicker shields against heavy bronze backed with leather padding. And Sparta had shields that were weapons heavier still and training far over any Greek state.

If  I was to complain most is why didn't they have more sex and nudity like the Queen comforted by a woman lover, which historically she would have had in real terms a girl but for sake of legality and decency could just have been a bit younger than the Queen.  ;D

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 09:23:42 AM »
No, but it's akin to complaining that Chinese Kung Fu movies aren't a realistic portrayal of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms period or that Heroic Bloodshed isn't an accurate depiction of crime and policing in Hong Kong or that Commando is a realistic depiction of how a special forces soldier operates or that a Michael Bay film is a realistic portrayal of anything.

I see nothing wrong with complaining about sillier aspects of some genre. And I definitely see nothing wrong with complaining about individual creators' output.

Did I expect Rise to be historically accurate? Of course not, I've seen the trailers :) Still, when actually watching, I *was* put off by the enormous mangling of history there. Especially that this mangling made the story not only silly, but also potentially harmful.

Offline Lord Mayerling

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 10:58:53 AM »
Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a show; I should really just relax."

Offline Oniya

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2014, 11:03:05 AM »
The point is that the source material for the movie isn't history.  It's a comic book.  The comic books gave a vague nod to history and then continued in the direction that comic books usually do.  Frank Miller isn't a historian and doesn't give a flip about anything more than telling a graphically exciting story.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2014, 11:19:09 AM »
Yeah, but this story *is* referencing real-world events and people. So, there are people who might confuse the movie with reality.

Frank Miller isn't a historian and doesn't give a flip about anything more than telling a graphically exciting story.

When you are using real historical events as a basis for your story, you *should* give a flip about keeping the basic details right. It's wrong not to do so.

Also, considering Miller's political attitudes, I wouldn't be surprised if there was more to this movie than "exciting story". Knowing the guy, I can actually see him intending this whole thing as a metaphor for modern Western-Eastern relations.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:22:58 AM by Beorning »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2014, 01:41:09 PM »
You didn't see 300 they had explosives, a battle Rhino, elephant combat units and such so the second movie followed the same trend.

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2014, 02:37:40 PM »
Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a show; I should really just relax."

This.

I LOVED IT. I loved the first 300. I loved it for it's over stylized everything. When I go to a movie, I'm going to see major action on a big screen, not for historical accuracy. I want explosions, and blood, and nifty over the top stuffz.

If I want historical accuracy I'll watch History Channel.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2014, 04:02:43 PM »
Okay, so... would you be okay with a movie about, say, the American war for independence with broadswords and machine guns? And with the British being portrayed as barbarians ruled by a demon-worshipping king?

After all, this movie would definitely look awesome...

Offline Melusine

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2014, 04:30:32 PM »
Okay, so... would you be okay with a movie about, say, the American war for independence with broadswords and machine guns? And with the British being portrayed as barbarians ruled by a demon-worshipping king?

After all, this movie would definitely look awesome...

This movie exists, and it's called The Patriot.  :P

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2014, 04:35:40 PM »
I've heard bad things about The Patriot, but I really don't think it shows the British monarch as a literal demon-worshipper  :-)

Let's say that someone makes a movie like that. Would it still be excused with the "It's just a movie" rationale? Or maybe it would be okay for the British people to be offended?

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2014, 05:08:27 PM »
If I want historical accuracy I'll watch History Channel.

Mild accuracy there.  ::)

Okay, so... would you be okay with a movie about, say, the American war for independence with broadswords and machine guns? And with the British being portrayed as barbarians ruled by a demon-worshipping king?

After all, this movie would definitely look awesome...

I might have paid attention in history class to the American War for independence if it had been like that. >.>

Personally, unless the movie is claiming to be historically accurate, I take everything in the theatre as 99.9% imaginary and exaggerated.

If all the movies were historically accurate, then what would the people on youtube have to make videos complaining about?! We can't shut them down. It can't all be kitten and puppy videos.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2014, 05:53:09 PM »
The most historically accurate movies I've seen lately have been:

The Wolf of Wall Street and Pain and Gain. :P

Proof that sometimes historical accuracy is actually quite depressing I suppose. XD

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Re: 300: Rise Of An Empire
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2014, 10:54:29 PM »
Okay, so... would you be okay with a movie about, say, the American war for independence with broadswords and machine guns? And with the British being portrayed as barbarians ruled by a demon-worshipping king?

After all, this movie would definitely look awesome...

Yup. Totally.