Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Sat AAR

First off, sorry for sort of dropping the ball on the Alamo screening of 300. This project at work is kicking my butt, and I just wasn't able to spare any clock-cycles for planning.

I'm hoping to read some great session reports from games, but at least I can report two coats of white on the ceiling and one coat of light blue on the top third of the walls. Tomorrow we hope for a 2nd coat of light blue and one or two coats of dark blue. We'll do any touch ups during the week.

We went to the Alamo for the 1:30 show of 300 and had lunch. I forgot to mention one of the best things about the drafthouse: the pre-show. They often have funny, entertaining videos before the show, and this time they were playing some documentary about the making of 300. They had interviews w/ Frank Miller, the director, etc. They were offerring a "Greek special" for lunch, but it included feta, a no-no for pregnant women. I had the "Wild at Artichoke Hearts" pizza, while Meredith had the "Blue Hawaii." If nothing else, the drafthouse is efficient. We're able to easily fit in dinner and movie on weeknights.

What a visually stunning movie. My favorite part was the rhino charge. A spartan chucks a spear and hits the rhino. The massive beast continues to bear down, while our hero is standing there sort of like he's thinking: "Nothing but net, baby." The camera cuts to behind his shoulder, watching the beast continue unabated. Then the camera slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y pans down the guy's back, filling the screen w/ a cape such that you can't see the rhino. I bet that pan took like 10 seconds to get to the guy's feet where it stops. Just as it stops, the dead rhino slides into the frame. The soldier never moved. Amazing.

I was also interested in the philosophy underlying the movie. Frank Miller's imagination is fevered to say the least, but he's got some interesting substance. In Miller's Sparta everyone is expected to carry their weight. If you can't, then, nothing personal, but you're out. Xerxes's philosophy is quite a contrast: "Leonaidis asks that you stand. All I ask is that you kneel."

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At 10:40 PM, March 10, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I'm glad to hear you liked the movie, Ted. Your post made me seriously hungry just reading it. We'll have to do the group geek movie watch at the Drafthouse next time...

At 4:19 AM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Simon said...

I saw it tonight with Dayna at the IMAX. FYI, the Palladium IMAX at La Cantera is most definitely a regular sized movie screen (what up with that?). On to the review:


As for the movie, I'm upset that it wasn't historically accurate. I'll have to check Wikipedia, but I don't think trolls and half goat lyre-players were employed in the Persian army at that time period.


Sorry, I just can't help myself when a critic is seriously stupid enough to point historical inaccuracy out as a flaw. "No sh*t, Sherlock." In all reality, 300 is about 1000% true to its source material, right down to the faults in the mediocre dialog and general over-the-top flair. The visuals are insane though, so it's more eye candy than philosophical meditation. Enjoyable, but nothing earth-shattering. I suppose I would recommend it if you like the comic movie genre.

What got me most excited was the preview to Spiderman 3. Let’s just say my deepest quandary regarding a certain obligatory character has been officially put to rest.

At 6:29 AM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

You mean Venom?

I think the graphic novel is awesome, and if you view the movie as a companion piece to that work, I think its quite nice. I found all the additional stuff added by the movie about the wife to be pretty tiresome, and I actually fell asleep twice during these sequences (due to early board gaming no doubt).

If you do have an interest in the actually more compelling, gritty, and tragic original source material on this subject, then I heartily recommend reading a copy of this:

Herodotus not only puts the battle in its larger context (for instance describing what the Athenians were up to at this time), he also adds a bunch more detail into the battle itself that was ommitted by Miller.

At 11:40 AM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Ben wrote:
"I found all the additional stuff added by the movie about the wife to be pretty tiresome, and I actually fell asleep twice during these sequences..."

Never having read the original, I'm not sure which parts were added, but I don't share your sentiments. I found the politics back home to be an interesting part of the story, even if the wife was not politically savvy.

And to be sure, there was at least one sequence w/ the wife where I was in *no* danger of falling asleep.

At 2:07 PM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Ted, niiiceee...

At 10:29 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Kendahl said...

Ted, maybe I missed something (here or in a previous post) but is your wife expecting? If so, congratulations bro!! May I suggest the name Ted "Theodore" Logan if its a boy...

At 11:58 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Kendahl: Yes, Meredith is pregnant. See a pic at

Click on "Show original post" then "photo."

At 12:08 PM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Regarding the wife, it dawned on me that she follows the same arc as the King. She is every bit as fierce, idealistic, and loyal as he is. They are a perfect match for each other.

Knowing that she has almost no chance of victory, she chooses to confront the council. She makes a desperate gamble. Both she and the king offer their body for Sparta, and both are undone by betrayal. Though they each lose their gamble, they achieve a victory in a certain, larger sense.


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