Google+

Higher Body-Count Sequel Trumps the Original

 

300: Rise of an Empire

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

imagesHigher Body-Count Sequel Trumps the Original

 

The bloody epic 300 (2007) chronicled the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. when a badly outnumbered band of 300 soldiers were sent on a suicide mission to defend Sparta against a horde of over 100,000 Persian invaders. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, that minimalist, monochromatic adventure was shot almost entirely against blue screens on assorted soundstages.

300: Rise of an Empire is one of those rare sequels which actually improves on an original’s formula. This relatively-expansive, higher body-count affair arrives replete with sweeping seascapes and panoramic mob scenes. It also ups the ante in terms of sensuality, especially by exploiting the visual appeal of Eva Green.

At the point of departure, we find the previous picture’s triumphant King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) plotting to lead the Persian army against forces led by Greek General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton). The play-by-play is narrated by Sparta’s Queen Gorgo (Headey) who devotes considerable time to a detailed lesson in ancient history to set the table for the wanton slaughter about to ensue.

Among other things, we learn that the commander of the Persian 1,000-ship armada is the warrior goddess Artemisia (Green), a Greek traitor who turned against her own people for good reason. In her youth, she’d been brutally raped and sold into slavery after being forced to witness the murder of her entire family.

The revenge-minded orphan was freed and raised as a warrior by Xerxes’ late father, Darius (Yigal Naor). Today, she has blossomed into a ravishing fighting machine as likely to subdue an adversary with her womanly wiles as with her sword. In perhaps the movie’s most memorable moment, she decapitates a foe before planting a kissing on his skull’s lips.

Such gruesome displays are par for the course, as scene after scene seizes on any excuse for sensuality or stomach-churning depictions of torture and gore. A revisionist tale of female empowerment suggesting the fairer sex was the equal of any man even when engaged in mortal hand-to-hand combat.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and pervasive violence

Running time: 102 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

 

 

,

 

Entertainment

118801_gal1.jpg

Zach Braff Stars in Delightful, Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

Wish I Was Here Film Review by Kam Williams   Zach Braff Stars in Delightful, Dysfunctional Family Dramedy             As an actor, Zach Braff is most closely associated with the character J.D. from Scrubs, the Emmy-winning sitcom which enjoyed a nine-year run on network television from 2001 to 2010. As a director, he’s best known for Garden State, the quirky, semi-autobiographical feature film where he played a struggling actor who returns … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

3199xvJXWPLcrop.jpg

The Rise

The Rise Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery by Sarah Lewis Simon and Schuster Hardcover, $26.00 272 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4516-2923-1 Book Review by Kam Williams “This book is about the advantages that come from the improbable ground of creative endeavor. Brilliant inventions and human feats that have come from labor—an endeavor that offers the world a gift from the maker’s soul—involve a path aided by … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

unnamed.jpg

Walk on White, Thursday March 20th 2014

  For our March Walk on White, we will be feauring works by Elizabeth Devries, Coco Eriksen, Helen Harrison, Vera Vasek, and more of your favorite Harrison Gallery artists. Like us on … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

West Virginia’s Retreat on White Mountain Rock

  West Virginia’s Retreat on White Mountain Rock   Set high in the Allegheny Mountains, West Virginia’s premier Land Report Certified Community overlooks the world famous Greenbrier Resort. Ask any single owner why The Retreat on White Rock Mountain is now their home away from home, and the answers are guaranteed to run the gamut: the quick convenient drive from Washington, Baltimore, and other major city centers, the long … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

oleander.jpg

Hip Blog, Refinery 29, Recommends NeriumAD!

Hip Blog, Refinery 29, Recommends NeriumAD!   The word it out!  Bring on the BUZZ.  When a product gives you REAL RESULTS, friends tell friends.  And that is exactly how Nerium has spread across the country and now into Canada!   Check out what Refinery 29 has to say!  http://www.refinery29.com/anti-aging-cream#slide-5   With a track record of over $400 million in sales in just 30 months mostly with one product … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

in12j_3_.jpg

Reach for Gill Foul-Weather Gear When Fishing in the Rain

  Reach for Gill Foul-Weather Gear When Fishing in the Rain   Fishing in North America attracts recreational anglers at all levels and represents big business at the professional tournament levels. No matter which end of the spectrum an angler participates, foul weather can quickly spin tangles into fishing plans whether you're facing offshore thunder, a cold spring rain or a mid-winter snowstorm.   Whether you are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Bears_v._Colts_-_September_9_2012.jpg

Perhaps the NFL Should Skip Summer Vacation

Perhaps the NFL Should Skip Summer Vacation ~ Amy Lignor  The NFL is one of those institutions that brings excitement and entertainment to people across the country. They provide those unforgettable games and seasons that the largest percentage of sports fans wait impatiently for each and every year. Football is the mainstay…it is the most popular kid in school, and even though America’s Game is still given to the baseball realm, football – … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

bg-canada2.jpg

How Can YOU be Part of the GROUND FLOOR Mega Hit, Nerium, in Canada?

How Can YOU be Part of the GROUND FLOOR Mega Hit, Nerium, in Canada?  ~ Betsy R. Smith Sales hit $1 million in just 2 weeks as Nerium International hit the ground running in Canada!  And that was just in 2 provinces.  Now open throughout Canada, momentum is building and the operation is running smoothly.   Ever want to be in the right place at the right time?  This is it.  Check out some of the news from the Nerium Blog about Canada … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

photo-2.jpg

First Peoples Buffalo Jump

FIRST PEOPLES BUFFALO JUMP, Southwest of Great Falls, MT   The Interpretive Center wasn't open @ 8 a.m., I just drove on and found signs for the higher access to the Buffalo Jump off the rocks, over the ledge ~THE Buffalo ran and their legs, necks, backs were broken in many places and the People finished them off! I took many pictures and the first animal besides a small flock of Raven was a big fat Rock Chuck who posed for me, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

vets.jpg

Honoring Our Veterans with Green Employment

Honoring Our Veterans with Green Employment ~ Samantha Lewis  July 4th has just been celebrated. The rockets red glared and the bombs bursted in air…reminding one and all to honor the men and women who have and still bravely fight to keep our freedom intact. Of course, with all careers – including military – there comes a time when something else needs to be done. Veterans make up a large facet of our communities; men and women who are looking … [Read More its Good for You...]