Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vid Game Cinema

Something’s gotta be missing (or lacking) in me, for sure. I just don’t get 300 (Warner, $29.98, 116 minutes), the box office- boffo Zack Synder adaptation of brilliant graphic novelist Frank Miller’s retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, with the Greeks going extreme mano a mano with the Persians, and the gory hound Spartans leading the way. Am I not fanboy enough to appreciate the virtual look of all it all- even though it’s as arresting and white hot as a videogame? Am I not gay enough to appreciate the thoroughly homoerotic undertone that the film bathes in? Am I not special effects-friendly enough to go hog wild about the CG-enhanced imagery, enough CG-juice to cause a special effects junkie to OD? I am not macho enough myself to truly dig the perpetual bloodbath the movie lovingly details? All of it seems (to me) to be empty and mindless, a pure exercise in tone, movement, and color-with nada underneath. I never felt my personal call-to-arms, never felt truly stirred, only vaguely puzzled, occasionally repulsed, and slightly transfixed by the nonsensical strurm and drang on display.

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