SPARTANS! TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!!!

sixties film was a typical sword and sandals effort, but with a bit of an ' up ' budget.. Starred Richard Egan [ a wee bitty past his prime ] as Leonidas and Sir Ralph Richardson as the Athenian leader.. gave a better balanced view historically and, if you disregard the sappy young love sub-plot, actually told a better story than the Frank Miller Epic now being flouted and touted as ' metaphor' for the Iraq/Iran/Afhanistan dustup.

The Whole Miller extravaganza was filmed in an aircraft hanger/warehouse in Montreal with green screen and other 'special effects' so that it matched and reflected the comic book[ they even used the same settings, and ' angles' in many instances ]..

What has the Iranians upset is not the ' innacuracies' of the battle/outcome but the way in which their ' history' is being portrayed.. Xerxes as a giant ladyboy with body piercings and a fey attitude, the ' goat-herder' who betrays the Spartans as a a hunchback dwarf' rejected' by Spartan society for being less than perfect and the ' elite' Persian troops as being all ' dark,swarthy mercenary types with no ideals' just blood lust...

most of the Spartans were ' enhanced ' with digital abs and CG nipples and the idea of them trouncing about in little leather nappies instead of the bronze armour and greaves of the day rubs a few the wrong way.

All the fights were staged like a ballet and the blood and gore and severed limbs were ' added in post '..

historically its shiteycrap and even the inclusion of a couple of lines from the original King himself can't save the film as ' high art ' but, it sure will sell a hell of a lot of popcorn and the ' ideal demographic ' those beer swilling 18 -34 year olds will flock to the cineplex and smuggle their younger siblings in as well.. Video game writ large [ and sure to follow ]

The US Marines are already trying to capitalize on the flick as a recruiting opportunity and are handing out ' informatrion packets' at certain mall locations where the movie is unspooling in the megaplex.. good drills..

Still, don't think this will make it onto the must see over and over again list for most squaddies in the same way that ZULU is ' required viewing in the mess '..

edited to add: in true Geek fashion, I do have the ' deluxe hard cover edition' of Miller's tome...
 
I always had my doubts about this "300 vs the Persian hordes" malarkey.

Greek society was very much stratified and nobody of consequence went anywhere without an entourage. The Spartans were incredibly minimalistic about life especially after Lycurgus rearranged their society, but still I doubt a nobleman would have gone into battle without his backup.

This and the habit poets had of ignoring the nobodies as everyone would assume they were present, and it's probably more like 300 nobles and fahsands-an-fahsands of peons vs the Persians.

There's some good stuff on Sparta in Herodotus' Histories but bear in mind he was writing some time after the events and had an anti-Persian agenda of his own. I particularly liked the idea that Spartans should aim to say the most with least words. Westminster: compare and contrast...
 

lastresort

Old-Salt
Dunno Smartascarrots - the real battle seems to have been a fairly simple affair, but the Spartans were not alone on the day - there were 400 or so Thespians (I bet they didn't settle for rubber nappies, either) who also fought to the last man. there were some Thebans who surrendered - but then they were taken by the Spartans as sort of hostages so that the city of Thebes - notoriously unenthusiuastic about the war, and directly to the rear of the battlefield - didn't cut the Spartans off. Like you I'd be surprised if the Greeks - well, the Thespians at least - didn't have a horde of REMF guys nearby, but surely they would have been sold off/sent back before the last battle?

A quick look at the map (pauses to take a draw on his pipe) reveals that a lot of Greece is actually North of Thermopylae, and had thus already either gone over or been abandoned.... and - SPARTA WAS NOT A DEMOCRACY.

H'mm, time for my Scotch...
 

radioactiveman

Old-Salt
Just to add to Lastresorts comments. Thermopylae undoubtedly paints Sparta in a good light, but these were the same people who didn't turn up at the (arguably) more important battle of Marathon where the real democrats of Athens beat the Persians. The Athenians beat the Persians again in the sea battle of Salamis. They may not have had nice red cloaks and long oiled hair but the Athenians were the reason that we can debate this today :
Athens loses - no democracy created
No template for the Roman Republic
European civilisation does not develop based on Rome

For all those interested in a geopolitical overview and a rollicking good story, read 'Persian Fire' by Tom Hollander.
 
I wasted £6.75 watching 300 during the week. Someone wasted an awful lot more than that on paying people to produce that tripe.
 

Machristo

War Hero
watched it today, what a f*cking fantastic film.
 

BADAJOZ

Old-Salt
For all those interested in a geopolitical overview and a rollicking good story, read 'Persian Fire' by Tom Holland.

I'll second that, "Persian Fire" is a very good book on the Graeco-Persian Wars, 499-448 BC, I would highly recommend it for further reading.
 

lastresort

Old-Salt
Haven't read Persian Fire, but can add to the chorus of voices recommending Gates of Fire (despite the post-Madras jokes) - now that is an excellent book.

To pick up a thread from earlier on, the most telling line in the Iranians' comments as reported here is "American cultural officials..."

This is a different language, spoken by people unable to imagine that a film might be produced which has nothing to do with the government....
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
Is it filmed in the same sort of format as Sin City then? I saw a trailer for it somewhere and couldn't make out if it was in some sort of cartoon format.
Yes and no, its a proper movie but unashamedly uses CGI in an almost too obvious way. It works very well though. I can see a cinematography Oscar going this way.

Wonder if they would be happier with a movie around the battle of Qaddisiyah portaying a heroic, noble, honourable Persians fighting bravely but eventuially going down to defeat at the hands of the evil, savage Muslim hordes. I suspect not ....
LOL

BTW, the heroes -- Spartans-- look incredibly Anglosaxon while the bad guys -- Persians-- look very dark skinned. Coincidence?)
How about utterly wrong? Spartans, as we all know from Stavros the kebab bloke outside (insert army barracks name here) are dark and swarthy. Persians, are as white as you can shake a stick at, for an example of a Persian pure blood line look at Zoroastrians (its as close as remains). No Arab hook noses and as white as The Queen of England.

You could argue either way. Are the spartans representing todays islamic fighters who are willing to fight to the death, even against overwhelming military might? Or are the Spartans americans, master warriors and defenders of all things good?
I would argue that they are Spartans in a hollywood movie based on a comic book

I'd be more worried if I was a Spartan as apparently this is being touted as one of the all-time best GAY movies ever!
My mate explained he'd had to wait to see this movie as he didn't want to take his bird as it wasn't a chick-flick. 5 minutes into it and all the Spartans are dressed in leather Y fronts and a cape and that is all I pointed out to him that this was very much a chick flick… or at least an arse-bandit-flick.

gerry butler who played Leonidas had a couple of Sean Connery moments in the film. Hope he did them on purpose cause it seems the americans liked his accent AS OPPOSED TO all the complaints about the strange irish accent of Colin Farrell's Alexander had and his mum Angelina Jolie's italian accent
Absolutely noted that, complete with Scottish accent! The problem with Fcking Farrell's outing is that ALL his co-stars were speaking in dodgy Paddy accents. I thought it made the movie laughable.

But surely the 'win' was an extremely short-lived one? The film suggested that the killing of the King allowed the rest of the Blue Oyster Club (led by the Welsh Spartan with one eye) to gang together and go and bash up the remaining Persians; or did they?
Are you confusing Rhys Ifans from Notting Hill with the Aussie David Wenham? Because I did, but the Aussie sitting next to me set me right - though his face looked as if I had burned his national flag and shat on his mum's grave.

The Whole Miller extravaganza was filmed in an aircraft hanger/warehouse in Montreal with green screen and other 'special effects' so that it matched and reflected the comic book[ they even used the same settings, and ' angles' in many instances ]..
Saves on a story book and script writing… Sin City was shot without a script. Just the original comic book - simple but genius.
Overall I enjoyed the movie but it suffered from the same problem that all movies of this type face, there is only so many ways you can dispatch a bad guy with a sword, after that, its all a bit same-old same-old. But worth seeing.
 
Rocketeer said:
The US Marines are already trying to capitalize on the flick as a recruiting opportunity and are handing out ' informatrion packets' at certain mall locations where the movie is unspooling in the megaplex.. good drills..
Please dont tell me thats really true? LOL
 
Bought gates of Fire, what a cracking book it is indeed
 
edited to add: in true Geek fashion, I do have the ' deluxe hard cover edition' of Miller's tome...[/quote]

Me too, Uber Geek me it's signed
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Saw it today. It was dire, but strangely watchable.

No-one actually spoke, they all proclaimed in best Brian Blessed stylee. Especially Leonidas who appears to have been the Sean Connery of antiquity.

The CGI were obvious to the point of obtrusiveness (fair enough for a comic book remake, I suppose)

Historical liberties all over the shop.

Wasted an afternoon I suppose.
 
One of the BEST movies I've EVER seen.

Historically accurate - who gives a fcuk? The Romans were even bigger b@stards than the Spartans. Did'nt stop me from enjoying Gladiator.

What the movie gets right is the sheer hard-b@stardness of the Spartans, who would make today's elite troops look like a bunch of boy scouts.

Fantastic one-liners, with "This is SPARTA!" my personal favourite.

Unintentionally funny at times; the "It's only an eye" scene was way too close to Monty Python and the Holy Grail's classic Black Knight scetch.. And Butler's accent slipped a few times; I half expected him to give the order "Get intaethum! Chib the bams - Spartans ya Bass!"

As for political messages - again, who gives a fcuk? It's just a MOVIE. Iranians - get over it. You've got nothing to be proud off, and far bigger things to worry about. After all, the Spartans did'nt have tac. nukes.

Just be grateful Bush has'nt turned your third-rate little country into a glass carpark. Yet.
 
As an action flick it was a good film but please it was about as accurate as The Patriot. The Spartans lived in a martial society but were not supermen! They lost many battles and there attempts at foreign conquest were very patchy and when the Athenians embraced democracy they had a power who could and would stand up to them.
An excellent book which covers the greek-Persian wars is Persian Fire.Looks at all the players in this conflict and really gives a feel for the period ,people and ideas alive then
 
I found it mildly amusing, but if you really want to see archers knocking the feck out of the opposition, try Laurence Oliviers Henry V. Filmed just before D Day, watch the frog cavalry, err I mean our brave FFR comrades, drop like frogs with lots of arrows in them.
Distinct lack of tit shots but hey, those 40's censors. Nonces the lot of 'em
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
I have to admit swinging a sword and jumping around for a few hours might knacker the fittest of warriors.. Still, shouldn't let that get in the way of a good movie.
 
It was a good film to watch - not brilliant, although the effects where good.


but I cant help but think it was a bit 'gay', all those oiled up greek adonaces

a bit like the chippendales with attitude
 

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