March 7, 2007, - 2:05 pm

“300” Not a Commentary on Bush, But a Decent, if Gory Movie

By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
I saw the much touted “300,” last night. And, believe me, it is NOT the commentary on Bush some are saying that it is. It has absolutely nothing to do with Bush, and I get the idea that promoters are silently getting that message out in order to sell tickets.
If anything, it is the kind of message we should all take with us about the Muslims we are fighting today. While Spartan King Leonidas, the film’s hero, knows his 300 Spartans are vastly outnumbered by Persian King Xerxes’ troops, he knows his Spartans have a spirit and ethos that Xerxes’ legions do not.
Leonidas also repeatedly states throughout the movie that it is better to fight and die a free man than live as slaves. It’s also about commitment and hard work–the training the Spartan boys go through at such a young age makes them real men, not soft, wimpy, feminized girlie-men. The beautiful Spartan queen is committed to liberty and the fight to the end ethos, too.

300movieposter.jpg

The New York Times wrote about the debate regarding whether Bush is like Xerxes or Leonidas. The answer is: neither. Bush’s pandering to Muslims and bending over backward to show them that we’re tolerant is not the way you win a war. It’s a sign of weakness, a sign that both Xerxes and Leonidas would exploit. They had no tolerance for the enemy whom they recognized as wanting to eliminate them. Bush has far too much tolerance: our porous borders and rampant illegal alien menace, his pandering to Muslims who hate us–none of that would happen under either a Leonidas or a Xerxes.
While it was a little more gory and bloody than I’d prefer–lots of up-close, graphic beheadings–that’s war. The battle scenes are pretty good (aside from the gore). I thought it was overall a pretty good movie, if you can stand a lot of graphic violence, sex, and blood. It ain’t for the squeamish. (I was shocked to see a man brought his very young daughter who looked to be about 7.)
Could have been a lot more accurate than this comic book version, which is based on a graphic novel. And I don’t get making it so real, but then having this comical villains and fighters with lobster claws as arms and other fictional characteristics. Ditto for the portrayal of Xerxes as a bizarre, bejeweled transvestite with the voice to match–which has no basis in fact. The real Xerxes was mercurial and not smart, but hardly a girlie-man.
This movie certainly bears little resemblance to real history and the real Battle of Thermopylae, a significant event reduced to high-style cinema for the lumpen movie-tariat masses. But still an overall valiant epic movie.
Stay tuned for my full review on Friday.
**** UPDATE: Reader Ari writes:

The real spartans WERE girlie men. Okay, yeah, they were great warriors, but they were all having sex with one another. In fact, Sparta had population problems, because they could not get any of their “non-girlie-men” to actually have sex with real girls.
So, it makes me kind of queasy when anybody refers to spartans as “real men.”

Ari has a good point. I stand corrected.
On the other hand, reader Erich writes:

Leonidas 2008” . . . maybe we should put that on a bumper sticker?

Not a bad idea.

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9 Responses

Bush like Xerxes or Leonidas? He is more like PeeWee Herman!
3,000 dead from 9-11 and America is still sleeping. I fear it will take an atomic bomb, going off in New York city, from a Jihadist, to awaken “we the people”.
The Spartans were more akin to S/S Nazis. And of course, freedom is never free.

Dr.Dale on March 7, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Why would anyone compare the Spartans to the Nazi SS? Would you compare the Mongols to the SS as well? Nazi thi, Nazi that, Bush is a Nazi, everyone’s a Nazi! Shit, you have Nazi on the brain. The Nazi regime was morally corrupt like the Democrat party of modern times but they aren’t Nazis in the same cense of military might and dominance because their cowards in my eyes. The Rhinos ar ethe same way which means we are all in deep dung

warpmine on March 7, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I read the story of this battle in, historical fiction novel, “Gates of Fire” ;
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0553580531/ref=dp_olp_1/105-8025076-1283640
Great review Debbie.
My sons and I will see it Friday night.
I bite their thumbs when I catch them stealing food. just kidding.

Walt from michigan on March 7, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Rent the original version with Richard Egan. Excellent movie. It came out in the mid to late sixties if I recall.

Rich B on March 7, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Well, warpmine, you lack historical insight if you don’t see parallels between S/S Nazis and Spartans. They both practiced random executions of slave labor, selective breeding, homosexuality, and were believers in take no prisoners warfare, to name a few similarities. Have you been hitting the bottle a little lately?

Dr.Dale on March 7, 2007 at 11:29 pm

If anyone is ever interested the History Channel did a pretty good show about the “final stand” of the Spartans. They also added computer graphics showing terrain layout and troop movement and how a certain Greek name(sorry I forget) is associated with treason much like our use of Benedict Arnold and Judas. Enjoy :)

DetectiveMoose on March 8, 2007 at 2:31 pm

I just have to defend this movie against accusations that it is not historically accurate just because it has all those lobsterhanded creatures and other kind of monsters. They just show the world through the eyes of Spartan conteporary to whom all those fantastic creatures were a reality.
PUH-LEEZE. BUT YOU GET POINTS FOR A CREATIVE ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN THE ABSURD AND STUPID. CHILDREN, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

sk on March 11, 2007 at 2:22 pm

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