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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mr. Peabody and Sherman, 300: Rise of An Empire

Can you still remember The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show? Or even the movie? In the show is a segment about a boy and his intellectual doc - Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It was not until the end credits that I was able to remember the show. 
In this recent Dreamworks offering, follow the not-so-normal life of the dog wonder and his adopted child, Sherman. Sherman is in his first day of school and it is not complete without the insecure bullies which he has to face. This caused trouble not only to Sherman but to Mr. Peabody as well, questioning his parenting skills. To fix things out, Mr. Peabody invited Penny, the bully, to their home for a dinner which surprisingly becomes a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. With the aid of the time machine, WABAC, they rescue Penny from marrying King Tut to aiding Achilles in the Battle of Troy. 

The film is fun beyond expectations and brings out the child inside in each moviegoer. The film does not boast of any twisted tail but delivers a handful of soul and heart which makes it one of the charming animated films ever made. Helmed by Rob Minkoff, director of The Lion King, this wonderful tale of friendship and patriarchal love is a gem for all ages. 


300: Rise of an Empire is a follow up of the 2007 hit 300 and is based upon the unreleased graphic novel Xerxes by Frank Miller. When Zack Snyder made 300, it was breakthrough cinema. It was an inspiration for other graphic novels such as Sin City and The Spirit to be viewed in the silver screen with the graphic novel feel. 

The film follows the events which took place before, during and after the movie 300. Audiences may find lost in the film as there were no superimposed texts that would guide them. In this film, we see less of the Spartans and more of the Athenians with Themistocles as their leader. 

The film contains several flashbacks of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and Artemisia (Eva Green) and the rise of the Persian Army and its motivation to annihilate Greece. While these flashbacks gives satisfaction, the remainder of the plot proved to be lackluster as this flick is merely a filler for a planned trilogy. Audiences who came to see the film as a closure to the events that led after 300 may feel disappointed and unsatisfied with this installment. 

Noam Murro who subbed Zack Snyder for this sequel provides the familiar theme but was lost in the way up to the end credits. Snyder should reconsider doing the sequel (if any). The first film is a classic and maybe, just maybe, Snyder can pull it off if he will helm the 3rd installment.

While Rise of an Empire contains strong performances from Santoro, Green and Lena Headley, the lack in character depth for Themistocles being the main protagonist failed the film. There is more to 300 than just a income generating franchise. There should be more to it.



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