Saturday, January 12, 2013

This Video Game Nonsense about '300'

I really don't get this video game comparison everyone is tossing around about '300'.

Usually it is old fogey reviewers complaining about it's 'video gamness' because
they lack the vocabulary or the balls to admit their natural resistance to
advancing film technology (much like parents hating the new-fangled
Rock-n-Roll in the 50's). They don't dislike it because it is too much
like a video game. The dislike it because they are close-minded old farts.
Especially Edelstein on NPR - I hate that guy.

Back to the video game comparison. Maybe a lifetime of gaming has prepared
us to watch hyper-stylized action such as '300' but that's as far as I'm
willing yo go. The movie is very ungame like. It is a classic battle
movie, the type of which has existed long before video games, being made
with the best visual tech available (as all new movies should be - push
the medium).

If we want to stretch it we could say the waves of attacks by different
soldier types is like game levels. If that is why it is video-game like
then so is 'Zulu' with Michael Caine from the 60's. Pong wasn't even in
living rooms back then.

As for the bare-bones plot - what more does this story need? It is a
story based on historical legend and archetype. The character and plot
elements speak-for-themselves. Actions speak louder than words. Pictures
are worth thousands of words. This movie combines action and pictures like
no other in recent years. That's excellence in film-craft not video game

***Spoiler Warning for next final Paragraph***

'300' is also very un-gamelike in the way it ends. If a game ended where
you cut the big-boss's cheek and then die in a hail of arrows it would be
known as the worst video-game ending in history. However in a movie that
kind of ending can be the stuff of legend. It works in a movie does not work in
a game. At all.

***End Spoiler***

Originally posted on March 16, 2007 on Myspace.

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