Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., Feb. 17
300: Rise of an Empire
Zack Snyder, who has made a couple of comic-book movies of his own (300, Watchmen), wrote the script for this, perhaps his most comic-book movie to date. Some clarification is of course in order: "comic book" here indicates: a complete detachment from the actual constraints of physical reality (cascading sheets of blood, pitch that burns like napalm and explodes like gunpowder, slave-driven warships that handle like racing boats, and of course, women as strong as men fully twice their size); reams of expository narration like you might see in a box in the upper left-hand corner of a comic-book panel, complemented by laughably portentous and/or stupid dialogue ("ROCKS!"); adolescent sexuality (sex as combat in which harder=better, a veritable orgy of abs); and a developmentally stunted delight in rape and gore. Beyond that, it's a stormy CGI tribute to anti-Muslim sentiment. Why do the Persians attack the Greeks? Because they are annoyed by the idea of Greek freedom and democracy. How do the Persians take out Greek ships? Suicide bombers. Etc. ad nauseam. 2014.
- "Try this one weird trick to enjoy 300: Rise of an Empire" • March 7, 2014