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300: Rise Of An Empire Review


OK

Fans of the 2007 Spartan war romp 300 probably won't care that this spin-off is even more chaotic and much murkier to look at. It still features armies of scantily clad muscle men grunting idiotic declamatory dialogue as they charge into cartoon-style battles against all odds. No, this isn't particularly subtle filmmaking: it's loud and brutal. And good for an unintentional laugh.

At the same time as Spartan King Leonidas (a briefly glimpsed Gerard Butler) is leading his 300 men to battle against Xerses (Santoro), Greek General Themistocles (Stapleton) approaches Leonidas' wife Gorgo (Headey) for help facing Xerses vengeful military commander Artemisia (Green) on another front at sea. Themistocles' main officers are Aesyklos (Matheson) and Scyllias (Mulvey), whose son Calisto (O'Connell) secretly joins the army as they set sail for an epic ship-based battle against Artemisia's fearsome forces. And there are two more watery conflicts to come, each more outrageous than the one before, as Artemisia taunts Themistocles seductively while dispensing fiery death and destruction at every turn.

The addition of two strong women adds a bit of interest here, but the focus is still on the bare-chested men, even if only three or for of them actually emerge into proper characters. Headey's chief contribution is a rambling voiceover narration explaining everything for us, while Green's wry smirk and momentous glower let her steal every scene. By contrast, the men seem rather feeble. Stapleton is manly and commanding, but not hugely charismatic. Rising-star O'Connell barely gets two decent scenes. Santoro is hilariously grouchy eye candy. And everyone else is clearly expendable.

Continue reading: 300: Rise Of An Empire Review

300: Rise Of An Empire - Clips


When Leonidas and his valiant army of 300 Spartans were wiped out by the vast forces led by Persian God King Xerxes, the rest of Greece now feel that their country has gained honour following their tragic loss. However, their battle is not over yet as Persia is rapidly sailing in for another invasion. Rival cities Sparta and Athens are forced to set aside their bitterness towards each other if they have any hope of victory - though with Xerxes on their tail with immortal power, their lives teeter on the edge. Nonetheless, the Greeks remained filled with a fierce determination following Leonidas' heroism and so Themistocles of Athens leads his naval fleet to war while Sparta's army prepares for another fight. How can they survive against a seemingly impervious God King and his female ally, the just as ruthless, sword-wielding Artemisia? Outnumbered and overpowered once again, there is still hope.

Continue: 300: Rise Of An Empire - Clips

300 Rise Of An Empire - Alternative Trailer


Following Leonidas' honourable though inevitable death alongside his Spartan army of 300 at the hands of Persian God King Xerxes, the rest of Greece cannot help but feel a certain pride at the valiant effort. Now, with Persia quickly threatening invasion, rival cities Sparta and Athens must throw aside their differences and rally together to defeat their forces - but with an all-powerful king like Xerxes, their chances of survival look minimal. Nonetheless, filled with a newfound determination after Leonidas' heroic venture, Athens' naval fleet led by the admiral Themistocles set out to bring Persia down, as Sparta's army prepares another brave attack. They may be outnumbered yet again, but hope is the last thing Greece is going to give up.

Continue: 300 Rise Of An Empire - Alternative Trailer

Lena Headey And Eva Green Ensure '300: Rise Of An Empire' Has A Strong Female Presence [Trailer]


Lena Headey Eva Green Zack Snyder David Wenham Hans Matheson Jack O'Connell Sullivan Stapleton Andrew Tiernan Callan Mulvey

300: Rise of an Empire promises to have a stronger female on-screen presence, which isn't exactly a difficult feat considering 300, released in 2007, was nothing but wash-board abs and a host of handsome men.

Lena Headey
Lena Headey at Elle's Women in Hollywood event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in L.A.

The sequel's list of equally butch men includes Jack O'Connell (Skins); Sullivan Stapleton (Gangster Squad); Hans Matheson (Sherlock Holmes) and Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty). David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan and Rodrigo Santora are reprising their roles from 300.

Continue reading: Lena Headey And Eva Green Ensure '300: Rise Of An Empire' Has A Strong Female Presence [Trailer]

300: Rise Of An Empire Trailer


After a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attack by Leonidas' army of 300 Spartan men on Persia's much larger army led by the 'God-King' Xerxes, the rest of the Greeks are at war with Persia determined to end their invasion and bring down their so-called God once and for all. Athens and their strong naval fleet, led by the admiral Themistocles, are forced to team up with Sparta, their civil rivals, and their formidable army though the Greeks are still ultimately outnumbered on a massive scale by Persia. However, with a determination instilled by a national pride in the sacrifice of Leonidas and his men, the Greeks enter in their new battle gladly and with a significantly reduced fear of their enemy.

'300: Rise Of An Empire' is the gritty, action-fuelled follow-up to 2007's '300' directed by Zack Snyder ('Dawn of the Dead', 'Watchmen', 'Man of Steel'). This sequel has been adapted from the graphic novel 'Xerxes' by Frank Miller and directed by Noam Murro ('Smart People'), though Snyder does make his return alongside Kurt Johnstad ('Act of Valor') on the screenwriting credits. With a multi-award winning epic to beat, 'Rise Of An Empire' looks to be a thrilling addition to this war saga and it is set to hit screens in the US on March 7th 2014.

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Clash Of The Titans Review


Good
The studio clearly couldn't resist the chance to digitally revisit the creatures so memorably animated by Ray Harryhausen in the 1981 original. The result is an unnecessary remake that's loud, chaotic and mildly entertaining.

Perseus (Worthington) is a demigod who has been raised by humans and now finds himself at the centre of a war between man and the gods Zeus (Neeson), Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (a blink-and-you'll-miss-him Danny Huston). Accompanied by a handful of plucky warriors from Argos (including Mikkelsen, Cunningham, Hoult and Matheson) and his spirit-guide Io (Arterton), he heads off to find the secret to defeat Hades' feared Kraken so he can save Princess Andromeda (Davalos).

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Clash Of The Titans Trailer


Watch the trailer for Clash Of The Titans.

Continue: Clash Of The Titans Trailer

Sherlock Holmes Review


Excellent

Raucous, rough energy infuses this film from start to finish, carrying us along even when the slightly over-egged script starts to feel somewhat slender. And it's the terrific chemistry between Downey and Law that makes the film worth seeing.

In Victorian London, private investigator Sherlock Holmes (Downey) is about to lose his partner John Watson (Law), who's moving out to marry his fiancee (Reilly). But the case they've just finished, involving a series of secret-society murders carried out by Lord Blackwood (Strong), just won't end.
Now Holmes' ex Irene (McAdams) is on the scene as well, and things are getting increasingly freaky with more murders and a conspiracy that could lead to a takeover of the whole government. But Holmes' fierce powers of observation are on the case.

The producers blast new life into fusty cinematic stalwarts with their canny choice of director and stars. In many ways this feels more faithful to Arthur Conan Doyle's stories than the dry, cerebral films we're used to. Downey perfectly combines the character's edgy physicality, brainy powers of deduction and sardonic wit. And he and Law are like an hilarious bickering married couple that has lived together just a little too long.

No one else in the cast quite registers. McAdams and Reilly at least play strong-minded women, while Strong glowers satanically from the shadows and Marsan (as the chief inspector) tuts amusingly. The script is mostly smoke and mirrors, weaving in all manner of Holmes' lore, from the original story details to playful references to previous film incarnations (although Holmes never says "elementary", and he never wears a deerstalker).

And if the script isn't nearly as smart as it thinks it is, at least it contains a few nifty twists, including one of the more enjoyable resolutions in recent blockbuster memory. But what we're here for are the fireworks between Downey and Law, a couple of feisty-sexy women and Ritchie-isms like nasty slo-mo fight sequences, witty editing and suggestive lighting. He also offers plenty of refreshingly abrasive vigour to go with the cool effects and a zingy Hans Zimmer score. Bring on the next case.

Still Crazy Review


Weak
Imagine if the cast of Trainspotting started a rock band in the 1970s which faded away, then 30 years later they got together for an old-fogies reunion tour. Okay, that movie would be a whole lot more fun than Still Crazy, which plays like a Roger Daltry nightmare filled with bad jokes about being an old, half-stoned, washed-up rocker. Completely full of itself and filled with self-importance, this is more of a eulogy than an homage to a late, great era.

Les Misérables Review


Very Good
Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel--and likely the last to star Claire Danes. I've never read it and I've bever seen the play, but it's a good enough flick, I suppose. The tale of Jean Valjean, a paroled criminal who tries to make a new life for himself, and Javert, the obsessed inspector who's always one step behind him, is a good one. But it flags in the third act, only to revive itself for a killer ending.

Continue reading: Les Misérables Review

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Bruce Springsteen will release music from 1966 in new album

Bruce Springsteen will release music from 1966 in new album

Bruce Springsteen will release rare tracks from 1966 in new album 'Chapter and Verse', which will accompany his autobiography 'Born To Run'.

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Hans Matheson Movies

300: Rise of an Empire Movie Review

300: Rise of an Empire Movie Review

Fans of the 2007 Spartan war romp 300 probably won't care that this spin-off is...

300: Rise Of An Empire Trailer

300: Rise Of An Empire Trailer

When Leonidas and his valiant army of 300 Spartans were wiped out by the vast...

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300 Rise Of An Empire Trailer

300 Rise Of An Empire Trailer

Following Leonidas' honourable though inevitable death alongside his Spartan army of 300 at the hands...

300: Rise Of An Empire Trailer

300: Rise Of An Empire Trailer

After a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attack by Leonidas' army of 300 Spartan men on...

Clash Of The Titans Movie Review

Clash Of The Titans Movie Review

The studio clearly couldn't resist the chance to digitally revisit the creatures so memorably animated...

Clash Of The Titans Trailer

Clash Of The Titans Trailer

Watch the trailer for Clash Of The Titans.Perseus lives his life like any other man...

Les Misérables Movie Review

Les Misérables Movie Review

Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel--and likely...

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