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March 08, 2007

Awesome: Amateur Leftist Webzine Slate's Politically-Corrupted And Pussified Reviewer Hates "300" With A Passion Usually Reserved For Bush

Ah, the twitty little snots at Slate, all trying so hard to ape Michael Kinsley's snideness without having the deftness or talent to carry it off charmingly. Where every book, tv show, and movie is evaluated entirely according to how it flatters, or discomfits, their left-liberal mocha-marxist politics.

What's the matter, Dana? Did the big bad men scare you?

Please. Grow up, and stop being such an insipid, screechy girl for Christ's sakes.

If 300, the new battle epic based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, had been made in Germany in the mid-1930s, it would be studied today alongside The Eternal Jew as a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war.

Opening sentence and she's already calling the film Nazi propaganda. No need to run the scales for a bit first -- she starts belting out those high notes right away.

Since it's a product of the post-ideological, post-Xbox 21st century, 300 will instead be talked about as a technical achievement, the next blip on the increasingly blurry line between movies and video games.

The left this idea that everyone thinks war is a "pushbutton" affair due to our decisive victory the Gulf War. Even though no one ever really thought that, and even though no one could possibly still harbor such delusions, she has to make that quick "dumb righties think war is just a videogame" connection right off.

Meanwhile, you know who it is who really knows what it's like in the suck? Why, amateur leftist webzine movie critics like Dana Stevens, that's who.

She saw The Thin Red Line.

She still has cold-sweat nightmares about that horror.

Actually, pretty much anyone who saw it does, too. But I digress.


The comic fanboys who make up 300's primary audience demographic aren't likely to get hung up on the movie's historical content, much less any parallels with present-day politics. But what's maddening about 300 (besides the paralyzing monotony of watching chiseled white guys make shish kebabs from swarthy Persians for 116 indistinguishable minutes) is that no one involved—not Miller, not Snyder, not one of the army of screenwriters, art directors, and tech wizards who mounted this empty, gorgeous spectacle—seems to have noticed that we're in the middle of an actual war. With actual Persians (or at least denizens of that vast swath of land once occupied by the Persian empire).

Ah, but maybe they did notice that, and that's what bothers our troubled young anti-war pamphleteer. Wait, I meant, "online movie critic."

What she means, of course, is not that this movie sends no message about war, but that it sends the wrong message, or at least refuses to adequately send the message she craves -- the bold message of a courageous artist willing to put his career on the line to challenge conventional opinion and explore forbidden ideas in ways hitherto unimagined.

You know what I mean -- the exact same message as in every other fucking movie ever made. Just as daring and fresh in every new movie as it was in the six bazillion movies that came before it.

In interviews, Snyder insists that he "really just wanted to make a movie that is a ride"—a perfectly fine ambition for any filmmaker, especially one inspired by the comics. And visually, 300 is thrilling, color-processed to a burnished, monochromatic copper, and packed with painterly, if static, tableaux vivants. But to cast 300 as a purely apolitical romp of an action film smacks of either disingenuousness or complete obliviousness. One of the few war movies I've seen in the past two decades that doesn't include at least some nod in the direction of antiwar sentiment, 300 is a mythic ode to righteous bellicosity. In at least one way, the film is true to the ethos of ancient Greece: It conflates moral excellence and physical beauty (which, in this movie, means being young, white, male, and fresh from the gyms of Brentwood).

Hah. Yes, Dana, surely this is the first movie that makes its heroes more attractive than its villains.

What's the rule in a romantic comedy? Oh yes-- pick out the two least attractive actors, and they must, of course, be the stars of the film, destined to find true love by the picture's end. All the pretty people in the movie are minor characters or villainous obstacles for the plain-but-plucky pair to overcome.

More importantly, she flat out says: no anti-war sentiment = bad movie. It's that simple. She said it right there. A movie is required to flatter her cherished left-liberal beliefs or else it's a bad, mean, awful movie.

A movie that provokes interesting questions about the nature of sacrifice? Nah. Just a bad movie. Automatically.

Here are just a few of the categories that are not-so-vaguely conflated with the "bad" (i.e., Persian) side in the movie: black people. Brown people.

I do believe the Persians were somewhat darker hued than Greeks, and furthermore, given that their Empire extended far into Asia and Africa, they would tend to have darker foreign conscripts as well.

Disfigured people. Gay men (not gay in the buff, homoerotic Spartan fashion, but in the effeminate Persian style). Lesbians. Disfigured lesbians. Ten-foot-tall giants with filed teeth and lobster claws. Elephants and rhinos (filthy creatures both). The Persian commander, the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is a towering, bald club fag with facial piercings, kohl-rimmed eyes, and a disturbing predilection for making people kneel before him.

"Disturbing prediliction for making people kneel before him" = "covert suggestion he's a predatory faggit looking to rape straight white men and who must therefore be beaten to death."

Or, you know-- maybe he's just a king. I sorta hear they were big on that whole "kneel before me" thing.

I already knew I would get racist caricatures of brown people. Now you're telling me I'm getting all this fag-bashing at no extra charge?

Are you sure you're not just a studio shill trying to trick me into seeing this movie like fifteen times?

Incidentally, you know what else the movie defines as "bad"? An invading force determined to conquer a free people. Now Dana would usually find "invaders" and "colonialists" rather objectionable, but given that these invaders and coloinalists have somewhat swarthier skin-tones than the people they would subjugate, she's suddenly conflicted -- hey, who's to say these damn Greeks shoud get to keep all that rich goat-land for themselves? Maybe they sort of brought it on themselves by not sharing the goat wealth, you know?

Hegemony-- the Greeks made up that word. You can look it up and everything.

...if Spartan law is defined by "whatever Leonidas wants," what are the 300 fighting for, anyway? And why does that sound depressingly familiar?

There, there, darling. Just close your eyes and think about Little Miss Sunshine.

She's a Super-Freak, a Super-Freak

Yahhh, she's Super-Freak-ey...

Remember how adorable Olive was? Rowrrrr. Just think of her. It will all be over soon.

Stupid bint can't go 120 minutes without falling into a waking nightmare about the Patriot Act.


Theron wants to persuade the Spartan council not to send reinforcements to the desperately outnumbered 300 (what is he, a Democrat?).

Probably, Dana. Just like 90% of the villains in all the movies you so adore are probably Republicans. Remember what you always tell conservatives who get pissed off by this: It's just a movie.

Or maybe he's just a cowardly or unpatriotic sort. Odd how you link that type with Democrats. But that's your baggage, honey, not mine.


In a classic example of the epic understatement known as litotes, Variety's reviewer observes that the picture's vision of the West as a heroic contingent of sculpted badasses and the East as a cauldron perversion and iniquity "might be greeted with muted enthusiasm in the Middle East." Replace the words "muted enthusiasm" with "a roadside bomb," and you've got yourself a tagline for the Baghdad premiere.

Ah. See, she supports the troops. She fears this movie will make trouble for them in Baghdad!

How noble of you, Dana. You support the troops so damn much you insist that every movie made conveys the relentless message that war is always unnecessary, always futile, and the men who sacrifice themselves to protect their homelands always do so in a vain gesture of "wasted lives."

Thanks to Allah. Sorry I just swiped your post, dude. You know how I feel about these screechy fourteen-year-old-girls Slate calls its movie and tv critics.

Monochromatic? She calls the movie "monochromatic." Is that the right word to use for a movie featuring, you know, more than one color?

Maybe it's a term of art in the film world for "dominated by one color," but the movie doesn't seem dominated by copper or any other color. What it seems like is that, depending on the scene, most color has either been desaturated or "pushed" to one color (like copper, or gray, or brown) while some color, such as the blood red of the Spartans' capes, has been super-saturated or pushed further to the red (or whatever color is being super-saturated).

I don't know. Maybe she's right. I sure hope she is. I sure the hell hope the amateur leftist webzine Slate has a movie critic who actually knows more about color processing that an internet jackoff like me who's never developed a photo in his life.

digg this
posted by Ace at 10:53 PM

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