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Monday, March 10, 2014

Movie Review - 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, 8.6 Stars, Spoiler Free

I went into the movie not expecting as much as what was delivered in the original Zach Snyder 300, but was pleasantly surprised! Noam Murro hit the nail on the head with it - though I don't know the extent in which Snyder has his hand involved (he co-wrote the screenplay from Frank Miller's original graphic novel and also produced).

Speaking of Miller's graphic novel - it was entitled XERXES and quite frankly his role was minimal so I'm thinking that they are holding him back for the second sequel which I'm sure is going to happen now with the stellar box office RISE OF AN EMPIRE is enjoying - $45 million and $88 million overseas for a total opening frame of $133 million.

3D screenings accounted for a very strong 63% of earnings which is a huge victory for the format. 3D clearly is the way to see this movie and audiences agree. If you are going to check this movie out - and I do recommend it if you saw the original and enjoyed it, definitely go 3D.

Make no mistake, this is a rated R movie. Blood and gore abound but it is needed in this period piece of a very bloody era, however fictional it is. I was impressed with Eva Green's performance; she showed me a side that I didn't know was there.

The standout aspect of this movie for me is the visual effects which dominated the screen in just about every shot if you think about how much green screen was used here and the cinematography / directing which had to integrate everything together. Again, if you saw the original, you would expect this level of VFX wizardry.

Click to enlarge
The score and sound effects were brilliant too. A great package.

Last but certainly not least, the 3D delivered the goods. I thought the "floatees" were a bit overdone (sparks and dust particles were omnipresent), but I enjoyed them nevertheless. 3D was amplified were needed - long courtyards, etc and was reduced for more intimate scenes allowing your eyes to rest. Well done. Not perfect, but well done. Keep in mind that the vast majority of environments and effects were digital so 3D can be rendered natively which helps a great deal.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. “300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Overall a must see in my books and deserving of 8.6 stars! Go see it. 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE is now playing.



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