Monday, November 30, 2015

300 Film Review

by The World Weary

Director: Zack Synder
Cast: Gerard Butler, David Wenham, Len Heady, Rodrigo Santoro
Series: 300
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 117 Minutes

Buy on Amazon!


Frank Miller really likes the Battle of Thermopylae. Not only does he reference it in his Sin City story, The Big Fat Kill, but he also (for those of you who didn’t know) adapted it into a five issue miniseries called 300. The actual battle consisted of 7000 or so Allied Greeks facing down hundreds of thousands of invading Persians. Led by King Leonidas of Sparta, the Greeks held off the massive Persian invading force while simultaneously, General Themistocles of Athens prepared to face the massive Persian navy in Artemisium. Staking a defensive position in a narrow path known as “The Hot Gates”, the Allied Greeks held the Persians off for five days. Using superior tactics, the Greeks dealt a crippling blow to Persian King Xerxes I. Sadly though, a Greek traitor, Ephialtes of Trachis, revealed a hidden path that lead behind the Greeks, allowing Xerxes to move some of his army around and crush the Allied forces. After hearing word of Ephialtes’ betrayal, most of the Greek force left. Only 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and 400 Thebans remained behind to slow Xerxes’ advance. Most, if not all were slain, technically making the battle a Persian victory, but the word of how the soldiers held a vastly larger force against seemingly impossible odds spread like wildfire, and still echoes across history as one of the most extraordinary displays of patriotism and valor the world has ever known.

With a story that good, it’d be hard to mess up right? Well…

The Blade Itself Book Review

by The Wanderer

Author: Joe Abercrombie
Publisher: Orion
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery
Series: First Law Book One
Pages: 515

It’s more than fair to say, the word “good” has lost all meaning on Joe Abercrombie’s characters. All the major narrators will employ at least one of the following negative archetypes: they violently assault others, passionately hate the world, sneer contempt at people below their station, viciously torture people, or, of course, they do a fair amount of killing.

There are elements that make the major characters sympathetic but the bad always seems to outweigh the good.  And yet, this book is completely engrossing.  Watching the major characters trainwreck other innocent and seemingly good-natured people in this book can get depressing, but when they start to trainwreck each other the book’s cynicism is enjoyable.

The Blade Itself is a dark story, that brings fantasy characters together in a way that really hasn’t been done in the genre before. Abercrombie’s trilogy has a promising beginning.