After what seems like a very loooong absence from the movie theatre, we finally got back to it in style this week. We went to see 300 at the Imax theatre – actually our first time seeing a Hollywood film on Imax, so we thought, why not see a film that's supposed to be visually stunning to get the full effect.
After the viewing, we had our doubts about whether the Imax screen made a difference. Yeah, it's big, but once you're there, after a few minutes, it just seems like a normal screen. Maybe once we go back to a normal-sized screen we'll change our minds, but it's not so over-the-top wonderful that we feel every movie should get the same treatment. The sound was crystal clear, but deafening, and really, most theatre sound is already top notch – so no added points there.
As for the film itself, it's a visual treat. The Director has put something new on the screen, which isn't easy to do. It's stunning, although you do get the sense after a while that you're watching everything in slow-mo, which does get a bit tiresome.
Unfortunately, the plot is a little thin – 300 Spartans defend Sparta against a jillion Persians. That's pretty much it. So lots of battle scenes – which are lovely to look at, even if they are terribly violent. The rest of the film is pretty much toss-away: the acting (when there is some) is pretty hackneyed, and the plot (there's a little bit of politics happening between the Queen and the Senate back in Sparta) relies pretty heavily on cliché. Still, worth seeing once for the beautifully realized action sequences – if that's your thing (i.e. if you're a boy).
One last note, this is based on a graphic novel (okay, okay, comic book) and it is very faithful to the source material. There's a bit of story added to it, but where it draws from the source, it draws DIRECTLY. It's really neat to see comic book panels come to life (Sin City had pretty much the same effect). So if you're a comic book fan, you'll prolly like this film too.
Not something we'd likely go to the theatre to see again, but worth a viewing for sure (as long as you don't mind loads of blood and guts … and semi-naked muscle-men).