Courtesy of Hugh I spent Friday evening at a freebie screening of The 300. 300 was about the number of people in the audience too – a little different from the more intimate preview of Hallam Foe. Bloggers were definitely in the minority here surrounded by (I think) a mixture of press and a large helping of graphic novel enthusiasts.
I had fun being a fish-out-of-water in a crowd I’d not normally be in, watching a movie I’d probably not normally go see.
When it ended, Fredd Kambo asked me that I thought. I said I didn’t really know, but I enjoyed it. Uber-violent, in a comic book way, it’s an utterly, unapologetically boys film (as BarryD points out). You could nitpick over the plot but the overall visceral experience was powerful (the director was right to insist at the start that it be played very loud.) Lots of movies bore me through their excessive effects. This was almost all shot bluescreen, but I wasn’t bored. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but thinking about it now I think it’s because the actors were so clearly not bored or lost (compare and contrast with the Star Wars prequels).
Barmy though the plot was, the cast played the whole thing with full-on passion and conviction. Almost certainly because the director did. In a chat afterwards he brimmed over with geeky enthusiasm, and a paradoxical mixture of shy shamelessness.
I think if I’d not seen it in these circumstances, I might have been a bit more snarky about it… and I think that’s interesting. These bloggy initiatives rip down some of the barriers between creator and audience; because the director was there, I thought more about the work that he’d gone through in making it, saw his passion for the work, enjoyed his quirky anecdotes about the challenge of getting it made. I made connections. In my eensy-weensy way I felt part of something. I like that.
Afterthought: What the heck would it be like on IMAX?
Update: Londonist loves the movie – and also fancies seeing it in IMAX