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Posted: Fri January 9th, 2009, 11:03 pm
by Belili
[quote=""keny from prague""]theres no evidence of the teamwork the spartans used to their advantage. it was usually the spartans running forward and killing guys on their own.[/quote]

Yeah, they didn't show enough of the phalanx formation (which is historically what they should have been in 100% of the time). The Persians said afterwards that they only saw a Spartan when he was dead.

But this, as well as the fact that Leonidas should have been one of the first to die, is something I could overlook because there was a dramatic purpose for doing it.
all in all, i think i tend to make allowances for historical inaccuracies in cinema that i dont really tolerate in HF books. its probably not fair but films are meant for the masses and HF books are meant for intellegent people like those who visit this site :-)
IMO, you can get away with a much looser narrative arc in a book than in a movie and still have it be enjoyable. Generally when history is changed in movies, it's to provide buildup and a climax. Like in this example, if Leonidas had been one of the first guys to die in battle and the two sides had fought over his body - in film that's anticlimactic, but it doesn't have to be in a book. They're just, you know, different mediums.
and worst of all the attempts to "look cool" as the warriors liked to "strike a pose" as they hurled a spear
That's funny, 'cause I think that the gloriously oiled Spartan bodies were the best part of the film. :D

As much as I have talked about making accuracy sacrifices for drama's sake here, the movie still sucked in an artistic sense: "Freedom isn't free." "No retreat, no surrender." (And how can anyone believe that's NOT a parallel for modern day/neo-con propaganda piece? Hasn't Bush said those exact same things?) Dialogue was total tripe.
how about the guy with monster blade arms?
Which is, again, an attempt to make the Persians look "monstrous."
as for the racialist aspect it is there, although one could argue that against the historical story itself. in the story the "good guys" are greeks and the "bad guys" are persians.
I know a reasonable bit about Greek history, so I knew that coming in. The Persians being the "bad guys" (or antagonists) isn't the issue... but making them look like literal monsters? And then making the Spartans not only FAR more honorable than they actually were, but using the word "freedom" everywhere? Spartans wanted sovereignty. They were one of the least "free" societies EVER. I mean, we're talking about people who sent their small children on slave-killing missions, slaves that they did not even regard as human beings.

Oh, and the accusations of the Persian "army of slaves" and the Spartan "army of free men" were freaking ludicrous, too, considering that in real life, the 300 Spartans were joined by (read: forced at swordpoint) about 15,000 helots that were sent into the front lines just to be slaughtered and keep the Spartans alive as long as possible.

That's what I thought was the worst - first, the movie skates over the bad things that Spartans did. Then, they EMPHASIZE how "awesome" the Spartans are for not doing those things, like in the aforementioned slavery example and the sneering comments to the Athenians about how they were soldiers and the Athenians were farmers (yeah, who do you think did all the farming? SLAVES!). Then, there was all the "freedom" propaganda crap that just spit the inaccuracy right into your face. AND not only is it xenophobic, it makes the story and conflicts simplistic and weak. Epic fail.
on the reverse of that look at a film like "kingdom of heaven" that got trashed for showing sympathetic portayals of muslims at a time when that view was not popular.
Ironically, while KoH had some inaccuracies involving the characters of Balian and Sybilla (Balian - way too young; Sybilla - after the council of Jerusalem forced her to divorce King Guy on the condition that she could marry whomever she chose to be the king matrimonial, she remarried Guy), the other dynamics were totally accurate. Baldwin and Saladin were the good guys; Guy was the bad guy. Saladin was such an honorable dude and treated his opponents so well after he won that Europeans named their children after him for several generations.

ETA - I hadn't read 300 before seeing the movie, but that was a happy accident resulting in the fact that the graphic novel costs $30 and none of my friends had it. I've read his Batman: Year One, Dark Knight Returns, some of his random work at DC, and most of Sin City, and other than the fact that he is so fond of inserting ninjas into narratives where they don't belong, I've always liked his writing a lot. So I really was looking forward to this movie.