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300: Rise of an Empire Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, time for another fresh film review and this one comes in the form of 300: Rise of an Empire. The 300 was fun at the time of its release but after a while I really started to dislike it and thought it was fairly overrated. Now I had zero interest in watching this film, I thought it was an unnecessary film to cash-in on the original’s former success, plus since every film since 300 has borrowed the same kind of visual style and action sequences I questioned whether it was really worth revisiting this world again. But for better or worse the sequel is here so let’s talk about it.

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So the story goes like this:

“After its victory over Leonidas’ 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes’ army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by admiral Themistocles. Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land.”

I thought the story was serviceable as it was neither completely bad or really good either. The film presented some engaging and interesting storylines to check out beyond the plot of the last film. I think it was a neat idea to try and do a non-linear kind of film with multiple character stories taking place before during and after the events of the last film, but the execution isn’t as well done as well as other films that have attempted th same style of storytelling. It also doesn’t help that this film has a LOT of exposition that can become quite tiring at points.

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When it comes to the characters only a handful of them are worth mentioning as most of the cast are pretty unremarkable and don’t leave that much of a lasting impression. Firstly Sullivan Stapleton is good as Themistocles, as the main guy in this film he had a lot to live up to because of Gerard Butler’s performance and while Stapleton doesn’t have the same kind of screen presence or charisma as Butler, he is still pretty hardcore. Eva Green as Artemisia is a bit of a mixed bag, while Green is gorgeous, deadly and unforgiving, at the same time she is over-the-top, constantly moody and not as cool as I hoped she’d be. Plus Green’s fight scenes were pretty disappointing, they lacked any proper movement, style or unique traits. Lena Headey is still awesome as Queen Gorgo, I think I’ve really warmed Headey since watching her in Game of Thrones, she has a strong, dominant and awesome screen presence and she carries that over to this film to great effect. She was probably my second favourite character because she was cool, beautiful, courageous and could kick ass too in style. And then there’s Rodrigo Santoro who returns to do a good job as King Xerxes, the character still looks pretty ridiculous, but somehow has a very deep and manly voice.

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As for the presentation it is decent enough, though there are some flaws. This film preserves the 300 look pretty well, everything is dark, brown-ish and low in shadows. The film is also full of all the violence and slow motion you remember from the previous film… However the slow motion has increased by like fifty percent! I swear everything is in slow motion, people walking, fighting, turning, jumping, sharpening swords, dripping blood or sinking in water, all of it is in slow motion and it gets really old, really fast. About 85% of the film is in slow motion, it is absurd. The action sequences are pretty cool and is one of the film’s highlights, though the green screen doesn’t look as effective as it did before and the CGI blood just looks bad.

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In conclusion 300: Rise of an Empire is alright, as follow-up to 300 it is pretty decent. It basically introduces some new characters and story but keeps everything similar in the tone and atmosphere to the last film. If you liked the first 300 then you’ll have fun with Rise of an Empire, however if you’re overly interested in the last film then you won’t find anything new here.

Rating: 6.5/10 (The film mainly works thanks to its over-the-top fight sequences)

So what did you think of 300: Rise of an Empire? Have you seen it or are you gonna see it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Films to look out for in 2013 Part 3

Hi people of the interweb, its been a while since the last time I did this. But anyway welcome to the third and part of Films to look out for in 2013! If you haven’t read the previous parts check them out here and here. Today’s set of films will be taking place from summer right up into Christmas, so let’s get started!

Despicable Me 2

Release Date: July 9 (US), October 15 (UK)

If the first teaser trailer didn’t get you in the mood for Despicable Me 2 then this one has to, it’s great. As bad as this may sound to some people, I only got around to watching Despicable Me a few weeks ago. I initially was never interested in the film because I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way when I saw the trailers for it. But surprisingly I actually liked the film. The story was nice, those Minions were hilarious and the soundtrack by Pharrell Williams was great. So now with that knowledge in mind I am curious to see what happens in this sequel, what’s going on with Gru and the girls? What kind of other villains will be lurking around? Will Vector return from the moon? Will Mr. Perkins try to get back at Gru? So many questions need answering. I guess we’ll see later on in the year!

Pacific Rim

Release Date: July 12 (US & UK)

Before seeing the trailer for this film I wasn’t too bothered about the film, the only thing that held my interest was the fact that Guillermo del Toro wa directing it. Luckily the trailer that came out last month and confirmed that this film would be one to look out for. Here we have a world where people pilot giant robots and battle giant monsters who come from the ocean. The concept alone sounds awesome and the trailer makes it look even cooler. YouTube reviewer Jeremy Jahns described the film as a cross between Power Rangers, Real Steel and Godzilla and to be honest that’s a pretty accurate description. Now obviously monster movies can either be good or bad but since del Toro is behind this one it has to be at least worth a look right?

The Wolverine

Release Date: July 26 (US & UK)

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Ah yeah time for some more Wolverine! Now while the last Wolverine film disappointed me beyond belief I find myself once again getting hyped up for another one. This time the filmmakers are adapting a classic storyline from from the 1982 limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, here the title character travels to Japan, encounters people from his past and gets to duke it out with the Silver Samurai! All of this sounds automatically way better than the previous film. The film seems much more character-driven and story-based along with more action too. Naturally I have reservations and I’m trying to keep my excitement levels in check, but Hugh Jackman and James Mangold are continuously making this film sound epic, so here’s hoping Marvel and 20th Century Fox don’t let us fans down again.

300: Rise of an Empire

Release Date: August 2 (US & UK)

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Now while I used to think 300 was badass when I was 17, over the years I grew up and the film really didn’t hold up very well for me. So now we have 300: Rise of an Empire, a prequel film with loads of action and new stories to tell. I don’t really know much about this new film and honestly I don’t think it’s entirely necessary, 300 was good on its own. But hell we’ll see what happens with this prequel when August comes around.

Elysium

Release Date: August 9 (US), September 20 (UK)

Elysium is another one of those films that I’ve heard about but don’t really know what it’s about. the only info I have on this film is that it’s the next big film from District 9 director Neil Blomkamp and it stars Matt Damon. Those two reasons alone make me want to watch this film, I loved District 9 and I love Matt Damon so it’s a win-win situation for me. The plot basically states: “Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.” Sounds pretty interesting, can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Riddick

Release Date: September 6

Oh yeah finally the return of Riddick! Vin Diesel finally returns to one of his most famous roles in Riddick, the third film in this film series. The plot sounds pretty cool too: “Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick’s past.” It seems like the filmmakers are going back to basics by making this film more in line with Pitch Black and giving it an R rating too. He’s hoping there’s still some interesting tales to be told in the life and times of Riddick.

The Tomb

Release Date: September 27 (US & UK)

I remember when the first image for The Tomb was first really, and there was all this buzz about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone being in the same film together (outside of The Expendables). I knew from that one image that this film would be something for me to check out. The film will follow Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone), a structural engineer who is wrongly convicted of a crime, and is incarcerated in a prison of his own design, aided in his escape by his cellmate Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Any film with Sly and Arnie in it is worth my time, I just hope it has enough action to meet my requirements.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Release Date: October 4 (US)

Alrighty then here we have Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, the sequel to the massively successful 2005 comic book film Sin City. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller return to co-direct the long-awaited sequel. This is the film with the ever-expanding cast, I swear the number of people in this film just keep increasing! The cast includes Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson, Alexa Vega, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert. And then add Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple and Julia Garner… Jesus Christ! Too many damn people! With all these people it makes me wonder if this film with finish production on time, I guess we’ll see later on this year.

The World’s End

Release Date: August 14 (UK), October 25 (US)

Alright a new film from Edgar Wright, any film by him is a mandatory watch. I’ve been looking forward to The World’s End for a while. This is the final film in the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” along with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.The film stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Oliver
Eddie Marsan as a group of friends who reunite after twenty years to reattempt an “epic” pub crawl from their youth.

Ender’s Game

Release Date: October 25 (UK), November 1 (US)

I’ve heard a lot about Ender’s Game and the main reason I’m watching it is because of Harrison Ford. As far as I’m aware he hasn’t been in agood serious film for a while now so here’s hoping that he gets a chance to shine in tis film. Based on the best-selling, award-winning novel of the same name the film will star Asa Butterfield as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future alien invasion, along Ford, the film also includes Ben Kingsley, Aramis Knight, Hailee Steinfeld, Jimmy Pinchak, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.

Thor: The Dark World

Release Date: October 30 (UK), November 8 (US)

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Like with Iron Man 3, I don’t think I have to tell you how hyped I am for Thor: The Dark World. I am beyond hyped! I loved Thor back in 2011 and I have been impatiently waiting for the sequel for a while now. It seems like in the sequel Thor and company will have a much bigger battle on their hands that involved all of the Nine Realms as he takes on Malekith and the Dark Elves and also tries to continue his relationship with Jane Foster. I can’t wait to see what Alan Taylor brings to the film as the new director, I seriously want to be blown away by this film. With all of the actors, practical sets and much larger scale story I think Thor: the Dark World is set to be a really great sequel.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Release Date: November 22 (UK & US)

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I enjoyed the The Hunger Games for what it was, Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful as the lead character and I liked the story and action involved. Loads of people complain about the way in which the book was adapted to film and there was controversy about the violence and race of specific characters. But it was all just blown out of proportion. All I know is that the film was good and I’m interested to see what happens in Catching Fire. In the sequel Katniss and Peeta’s victory is cut short as the Quarter Quell puts them back into the Hunger Games for the second time.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Release Date: December 13 (US & UK)

Yes, this what I’m talking about, The Hobbit Part 2! I really enjoyed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and it looks like in December this year we get to continue the fun in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In this film Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continues his journey with Gandalf the Wizard (Ian McKellen) and the thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor and take on Smaug the dragon.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues

Release Date: December 20

While not much is known about Anchorman 2, all I know is that the first film was awesome and they better not fuck things up with this sequel. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was a great comedy film, one of the best I’d seen in years, there was no need for a sequel. But hell it’s happening anyway. The cast have all returned and the one minute trailer seemed alright so here’s hoping this new film is worth the wait.

Last Vegas

Release Date: December 20 (US & UK)

This last film I’d never heard of until I saw it on a film guide on another website and since I liked the cast members involved I thought it’d be worth a watch. Last Vegas features Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as four old friends who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single.

Well that’s it, that’s all of my picks of the films you should be looking out for in 2013. My god just trying to put this list together over the last two blog posts has just been so long you don’t even know! But anyway hopefully you enjoyed my picks and tell me yours in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Films, Media

 

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