Thursday, November 10, 2011

300th Post Special

So, I completely forgot that I actually planned Tuesday to do this post yesterday, but I'm happy with what I did yesterday anyway, so it doesn't matter.  Only reason I'm bothered at all is because I scrambled for an hour at least to find something to write about and then completely forgot that I already had an idea until I hit post and it told me the post was successful.  Right at that moment, even; "Post Successful!" "Damnit, I had an idea."  I briefly considered doing an immediate Bonus Post for this, but then decided to just roll with doing it today, hoping I'd get a little more in mind with the subject here sometime between last night and posting tonight.  I didn't, really, but I've watched 300 enough times that I remember enough.

Anyways, yesterday was my 300th post on here and while I've said I don't want to make a big deal about every iteration of 50 or so, there's kind of a stark difference here between "Yay, I have 150 posts" and "Man, 300 posts already".  I'd venture a guess to say the same gap is present between 300 and 500 and 400 will likely go by without so much as a whimper.  Maybe, I don't know, we'll just have to get that far first.  Anyways again, the idea with this post is that, since it's the 300 301st post, I will spend a little time talking about making 300 posts and then move on to the movie 300 which I am pretty happy with.  I probably won't get as into it as a Popcorn On, but more than just a passing mention.

I really don't know why, but 300 feels like a really important number to me when it concerns the amount of posts I've done.  Maybe it's because it's actually right there on the side that confirms, yes, 300 posts, or maybe it's because 300 is pretty close to 365; the amount of days in a general year.  While I've missed days here and there, I still think 365 posts is a good day since it means, irrefutably, that I definitely kept up my New Year's Resolution and stuck with this for at least a year.  Not out of a sense of obligation or anything like that, but just because I actually, really enjoy doing it and exercised a little responsibility in ensuring that I kept doing something I enjoyed.  Which, while it doesn't sound difficult, I'm pretty sure there are those out there who understand that it really is not easy to keep up with something even if you enjoy it.

Regardless, that's enough of me saying "Yay, 300 posts is cool", time to move onto saying "300 the movie is pretty cool."

So, longtime readers might know that I really value plot and story above all else in such a way that I'm willing to forgive other short-comings if something offers me something well-thought-out, well-performed, and/or is just very good.  Obviously, 300 does not fall into this camp as the story is pretty much history but kind of dumb.  On the other hand, 300 doesn't need to be smart because it makes no attempts at thinking it is more than eye-candy; not in the most obvious way of course, but in the way it's so stylized and the way it unfolds.  An overabundance of  slow-mo either annoys you or brings up that primal satisfaction hiding within us all as slow-mo is pretty much when all the awesome things happen.  Spears impaling enemies, a heroic deathmarch by one of the main protagonists, etc., the slow-mo is there to highlight the moments that might go unnoticed otherwise, for better or worse.

For those outside of the know, 300 was based on the historic battle of Thermopylae in which a small group of soldiers (More than 300, of course, some sources would number the entire force of about 7,000 men, though the affiliations were varied; some Spartan, some Thespians, etc.) under the leadership of King Leonidas of Sparta, survived an attack of the expansive Persian army for seven days before being surrounded and, later, routed.  Though the initial force was in the thousands, after the second day of combat, Leonidas dismissed the bulk of the forces when he learned that they had been betrayed which would ultimately lead to their demise.  Thanks to the strategic location of the Hot Gates, even the small force of ~1,400 troops was apparently able to last quite a while, resulting in a fantastic last-stand tale if nothing else.  Were a road not basically handed to the Persians that allowed them to destroy that strategic advantage, it's difficult to say just how much longer they could have lasted.

Obviously the only thing the movie really captures in relation to actual history is the spirit of the battle and some characters involved, but, well, when it comes to movies not really much else is needed.  When you just want to sit down and watch a badass action movie, that's all you want to do and you sometimes just need to have certain things that fill that niche.  300 will do that and do it well, provided you aren't against fast-forwarding through parts that....really have no bearing on the movie whatsoever and are unfortunate inclusions that serve to only bring the overall product down.  For every scene involving Leonidas' wife, for instance, we could just have more scenes of Persian death and that's what we want from this movie, nothing else.  But again, I make no claims that this movie is perfect, merely a clear choice for someone who wants to sit down and watch a stylish combat movie that doesn't pretend it has a 'deep, involving' plot.

So there's that.  Happy 300 posts to me and such.  I finally found a way to talk about 300 (the movie) without doing a Popcorn On for it, and it's actually double-topical since, on top of the post count, in less than an hour, theaters all across the East Coast will start showing The Immortals which is, if you didn't know already, made by pretty much the same team who did 300 and is kind of the same idea.  In that it just wants to be a badass action/war movie.  So there you go.  Coincidence or carefully crafted plot?  You decide.

(It was a coincidence.  A happy one.)

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