March 21, 2007

Prepare for glory

March 13, 2007

After a number of disappointing trips to the Cineplex–the latest being the shameful waste of time and money that is Ghost Rider300 delivers on the promise of its enticing advertising and marketing.

I admit I went in with high hopes, despite myself. But, when the theatre brightened, after the end credits rolled, I sat in my seat thoroughly wowed. 300 paints a gorgeous canvas and conjures a thrilling and satisfying adventure. Most of all, it captures the exhilaration of reading Frank Miller’s graphic masterpiece on which it’s based. Not let that sway you from seeing this film. You don’t have to be a Miller fan or have read the source material (or looked at its cinematically drawn panels) to enjoy this celluloid excursion.

We’ve seen before filmmakers push the boundaries of actors-against-green/blue screen creations, manufacturing the hyper-reality pseudo-photo world of comics in CGI. 300 owes much to Tron, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and last year’s Sin City (Miller’s other triumph). Like those films, 300 foregoes settings on location with its actors in real environments, instead it digitally heightens performances for dramatic effect and inserts backgrounds, landscapes, and its blood and mayhem.

What 300 surpasses in accomplishing is not only to render Frank Miller’s artistry in motion effectively, but also to reinvent classical mythic storytelling as few films have achieved. It’s played with all the force and verbosity of a Greek tragedy, sumptuous and imaginative with both its digital and practice production design, cast with actor who not only look the part but also can act, and does not shy away from the blood and carnage a against-all-odds movie like this must have.

Curious about critics’ reviews, I checked out Yahoo! Movies’ 300 webpage. Needless to say, the number of negative and mixed critiques disappointed. Many critics acknowledge the visual mastery of 300 but condemn its characters as underdeveloped and its tone as over-the-top and stilted. They rail against the testosterone portrait of the Spartan ethos.

These critics miss the point that it’s a mythic story (actually, one of the great literary archetypes) of legendary larger-than-life heroes. Though based on actual events, at its core 300 is a morality play about loyalty, sacrifice and defiance when freedoms are threatened. It is not history. It is the stuff that inspires others to shape history. It’s the campfire story told on film—and if you see the movie, the filmmakers demonstrate this point literally.

Critics and their opinions aside, I believe generations to came will be watching 300 and filmmakers will be forever attempting to recreate it.

Directed by Zack Snyder
Produced by Gianni Nunnari
Mark Canton
Bernie Goldmann
Jeffrey Silver
Written by Screenplay:
Zack Snyder
Kurt Johnstad
Comic Book:
Frank Miller
Starring Gerard Butler
Lena Headey
David Wenham
Dominic West
Rodrigo Santoro
Andrew Tiernan
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Larry Fong
Editing by William Hoy
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) Flag of Greece March 8, 2007
Flag of United States March 9, 2007

Flag of Australia March 22, 2007
Flag of United Kingdom March 23, 2007

Running time 117 mins.
Country Flag of United States United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Profile: Seneca

March 12, 2007

omegaMarat Seneca
The accident changed her life.

In the flash-ignition of plasma, when the drive of the flying barge exploded over open ocean, Seneca lost nearly her entire family. She too might have died had not her mother sacrificed the only life preserver to save her favored pre-adolescent daughter.

Seneca emerged from the experience with a new appreciation of the preciousness and frailty of life. Haunted by her mother’s sacrifice and the fact she alone survived the crash, Seneca set her mind to making the most of herself.

She traveled widely.

Over seven years she journeyed to places a maiden of her wealth and position would never dream of venturing. Seneca spent months providing relief aide in the ghettos of the Juda-Hon. She toiled on the plantations of Tar Iota Daafar. She joined the nomadic caravans of the desert-clans. She prospected precious metals in off-world Free Townships.

And Seneca recorded her experiences.

She wrote of the peoples she encountered. She spoke freely of the ever-widening disparate conditions and attitudes across Aideena.

Almost immediately Seneca’s publications became the subject of examination and debate at all levels of society.

Like the flash-ignition of plasma, Seneca’s writings sparked a fire in the minds of the privileged and the common alike. Her observations and sentiments flew in the face of convention. She was only nineteen and omegaMarat Seneca was being anointed the voice of her generation.


March 12, 2007

In her grand and voluminous epic poem, Apocrypha, thetaSummer Catherine attempted to chronicle human experience on Aideena. The work divides history into eight epochs. These epochs became the standard calendar. Later scholars continued to amend and make additions.


March 12, 2007

An archaic term, it means both damned and outcast.

Juda-Hon applies to a clan of the zeta who betrayed the House during the Clan Wars. The crime was so heinous and lead to such bloodshed that, after they were put down by the Knights Templar, The Twelve Great Houses excommunicated the clan and their descendants forever.

Juda-Hon have no rights to land or property and no protection under law. Members can not marry legally outside their own group. For hundreds of years they have wandered from place to place, forbidden to set down roots. Their numbers saturate the ghettos of many cities.

The Houses do not recognize them as human beings. Faith permits prayer but not communion. The Guilds use Juda-Hon for cheap labor, but they are forbidden from attending their academies. Recently, social reform movements have called for tolerance.

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