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Ariza | 17 March 2007, 1:14am

300 Cover Layout

Like most of you my introduction to the world of Frank Miller was through "Sin City" Robert Rodriguez's strange cinematic experience. Frank Miller was the writer of a graphic novel on which the movie was based and was supposed to be incognito, someone who should have appeared in the credits, at the premiere pictures and then at the academy awards clapping for the winner. But that maverick of a man Rodriquez slapped him on as the co-director because he said that the source could not be distinguished from the product. The whole thing caused a controversy where Rodriguez refused to bow down and the academy in tow with the director's guild refused to acknowledge the movie. Who was this Frank Miller? and why in the bloody-hell was he so important?

For those who are trivia interested he is the priest in "Sin City" but principally known as the comic book illustrator for Daredevil, X-men -- Wolverine and the Batman series. A man whose books are referred to as Graphic-novels and for those of us who have seen these as movies "graphic" means sex, crime, blood and violence. In short a dark dreary vision. Little wonder it drew Rodriguez and the-never-too-far-off-from him Tarantino to it. 300 comes as Zack Snyder's wannabie to this world.

It tells the story of how 300 Spartans fought against a million. Now, in history whenever you read something like that you must expect a lot of dead people and 300 throws that reality in your face. The Spartan king Leonidas (Gerald Butler) rejects an offer to bow to the Persian king and decides to go to war. Prevented by a corrupt oracle and a superstitious council to take the entire Spartan army and aided by his own war bred idealistic self he decides to fight the million strong Persians with just 300 men. With the pretence of this story over Zack Snyder (Dawn of the dead) gets to the real business of this movie: war.

For those of you who havent watched the trailers: watch them to see what I mean! The war sequences are spectacular. An all male theatre testifies to the heightened levels of adrenalin pumped onto the screen as you witness one massacre after the other. The Persians with their bodies pierced and their strange oriental manners are just prey - numbers to be piled on. Each sequence is beautifully choreographed and even though you are aware of the technique it never takes you away from the awe.

But 300 does not hold. Yes, I get the tragic and heroic tale of 300-people-against-a-million part and I get the fights but in the end I still didn

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