jayes_musings: (historical -- rome domina)
[personal profile] jayes_musings
o a week or so ago, the hubby and I went to the movies and we saw:

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (2014)
Format: Theatrical Release
Director: Noam Murro
Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey. Rodrigo Santoro

I went into this with somewhat low expectations as I couldn't see how they could equal what had been done with 300. But then, when I heard it was the story of Themistocles, and the next major battle against the Persians, my hopes rose. Well, what I discovered was that it fell far below my initial expectations. First the things I liked: That it, in part, ran parallel to the original film, including a few flashbacks to Leonidas, and even a glimpse of Stelios.

As for the rest.... Yes, they call it 'fantasized history' but there is only so far I can stretch my suspension of disbelief, and this film snapped it. I don't mind some freedom being taken with actual events, and I like strong women, but there has to be some believability and the fact that Xerxes is manipulated by a female general who commands his fleet. Sorry but kickass Eva Green aside, just...no.... And all because Themistocles could get a brief sexytiems when he goes to parley. And then because...well, I have no idea because...Queen Gorgo, who is awesome just how she is leads the entire Spartan army into battle....no...no...no! And, I should say something about the main character, Themistocles, who was a pretty great general in reality...and this one was meh, nothing about him really grabbed me about him. And even the stylistic effects seemed to lack what there was in the original.

I'm guessing the weaknesses in the story stems back to the fact that this was not based on a Frank Miller story, but instead was written by Zack Snyder.

All in all, a very disappointing 4/10

And then today, I had a whole better experience.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Format: Theatrical Release
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, and many more.

This is a wonderful quirky, humourous film, and in some respects a dark comedy, in others a nostalgic journey into a better time and the shaping of a young man. Set in a fictional central European country, the elderly Mr. Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) recounts the story of his youth to a young writer (Jude Law). Hired as a lobby boy by the colourful concierge, M. Gustave, Zero learns much from following in the footsteps (nearly literally) of his mentor. An elderly, and wealthy, former lover (Tilda Swinton) of Gustave dies and, at the reading of the will, the lawyer (Jeff Goldblum) announces that she has left him a valuable painting. Of course, he son (Adrien Brody) doesn't like this and his hired thug (Willem Dafoe) is dispatched after him. Before long, Gustave is thrown in prison by the local police chief (Edward Norton), and it is up to Zero, and his love Agatha, to help break him out. There is, of course, more involving a second will, but this is just a strange, funny, and bittersweet romp of one young man's journey. It's certainly not a film that will appeal to everyone's taste, but it certainly did mine, and I loved the surprise (to me) cameos.



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February 2015


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