The Day Style Became A Genre

When was it that style became a genre? Was it The Matrix? Was it Kill Bill or Sky Captain? Or was it 300?

I can’t believe 300 got 8.3 out of 10 on – unless for some reason…the internet is populated by nerds? 300 comes across like it was made by 17-year-old boys for 17-year-old boys. I’d say that there was a romantic angle thrown in for the women, but actually it was just a sex scene. This is one of those films where I hear people say “it’s good for what it is supposed to be.” And they’re right – if you like pretty crap, this is some of the best. But I’m tired of qualifiers. If it’s a movie about zombies, I want a good movie about zombies If it’s a movie about dancing CG penguins, give me a good movie about dancing CG penguins. And if it’s a movie about 300 Spartans vs a million Persians…well you know. Give me some good acting. Give me a character I can identify with (any character! PLEASE! Don’t make me root for the traitorous hunchback because he evokes the most pathos). Give me some character development (don’t show me a boy fighting a CGI wolf and then have a voiceover telling me “this boy is fighting a wolf”). A bit of clever or meaningful dialogue and a story with more than one layer would be an added bonus.

Here’s my problem with 300 in a nutshell: those elephants are way too big. Don’t give me Lord of the Rings and tell me it’s Greek history. I’ve seen enough elves surfing down castle stairs on shields while firing volleys of arrows. I’ve seen plenty of music videos.

Sometimes less is more. And sometimes more is less. A lot less. At least The Matrix for all it’s flair had a human element to it.

I will give it one thing: they didn’t use the often-used and never-should-be-used shakey, blurry, quick-cut action scene style. They showed me everything and everywhere that the swords were going, and I applaud that.

They could have done so much better by making it more human.

3 Replies to “The Day Style Became A Genre”

  1. The style was straight out of the comic, including the size of the elephants. The story was meant to be larger than life. It’s true that there wasn’t a lot of character development because the Spartans got that taken care of early on in life.

    I don’t think 300 was only “good for what it was supposed to be”, I think it was an excellent, visceral, stylish entertainment that was accessible without talking down to the audience. Much like the Spartans themselves it didn’t hold anything back, and it didn’t make excuses.

    As for a character you can identify with, I can certainly see how there aren’t any for you to choose from. The pacifists that would be in that story were already enslaved by someone else. 😉

  2. Well if it’s going to be a big cartoon – why not make it a big cartoon? I know plenty of voice actors who could have done a way better job than those actors did.

    ps – by “accessible” do you mean lowest common denominator?

  3. I agree Toren poor acting and no character or story development. I thought it was too cartoonish and woud have been better done in CGI instead of a live action feature. Not well done in my opinion.

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