Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Great Beefcake Festival (a.k.a. Why Women should give "300" a Chance)

I happened to unearth my DVD copy of 300 last night, and, because I had nothing better to do, I decided to watch this hard-core guy movie again for the third time (or is it the fourth?).

Hard to believe, as I was the lone voice of dissent when two of my best girl friends picked this to be our detox movie of the week when it first came out last year. From the reviews I'd heard, I knew that with its requisite blood, gore, and body count - it was eons away from my usual fare of neuroses-inducing romantic comedies or intelligent thrillers. I was completely befuddled by my friends' vehemence to see it, but so outvoted, I let them usher me into the theater like a lamb to slaughter.

And actually found myself glad that I did. But not just for the reasons you might think.

300 is a film adaptation of a graphic novel of the same title by Frank Miller starring as the warrior-king Leonidas. It is based loosely on the , where 300 soldiers held off the might of a much larger army coming to conquer the Greek nations. The outcome of this lopsided battle is a foregone conclusion, but the Spartan warriors' valor in this battle takes the fight out of the Persians, who eventually give up their plans of conquest.

Fearing this would be another incarnation of , I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie had a completely different feel. The surreal rendering, done to stay as true as possible to the imagery of the graphic novel, made the violent battle scenes less gory and more palatable. There wasn't much room for three dimensional character development but the movie never made that promise from the start.

Besides, who really needed character development when there is so much eye candy to go around?

And the man-candy is definitely one good reason for why any living, breathing female should watch this film. Which, I discovered during our post-movie powwow, was my movie buddies' ulterior motive to begin with. (But they insist to this day that the story was still the primary draw - yeah, right.)

It was a veritable feast for the eyes. The actors playing Spartan warriors were one and all flaunting six-packs and well-defined chests and legs - because for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, all their fighting uniform consists of is a helmet, a cape, sandals and shin guards, and a leather codpiece. Great way for medical students to study the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, I must say. Hurray for minimalism!

Don't get me wrong, being a fairly intelligent person, I didn't miss the point - you know, the one about courage against overwhelming odds, never surrendering, and so on. In fact, I even enjoyed the storytelling. The beefcake parade was a nice bonus, that's all I'm saying.

I don't know if there is a guy in existence who hasn't seen this uber macho flick, but for them, it's the blood and gore and super battle scences that make it worth the cost of the DVD.

But for the women out there who scratched this movie off their list when it first came out, I highly recommend taking it for a spin. Because, as my friend V bluntly puts it, "Sa dami ng mainit pandesal, kulang na lang ang palaman." ("With all the hot buns available, all one needs is the butter.")

Okay, enough said. :)


Ann said...


I loved it when it came out. And I really did watch it for the blood, gore and battle scenes. :p

dr_clairebear said...

i actually enjoyed it. beefcake aside. really. :)