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GRAPHIC WARRIORS

The Baltimore Sun

With 300, a blood-strewn retelling of that apotheosis of Spartan military glory, the Battle of Thermopylae, cinema has once again proven its ability to incorporate every other mass-media art form. Director Zack Snyder and his computer wizards have made the best example yet of the movie-as-comic-book.

Based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, whose testosterone-soaked storytelling has made him a genre favorite, 300 captures not only the look and feel of its source material, but its essence as well. Much as Robert Rodriguez did with 2005's Sin City (also based on Miller's work), Snyder does more than bring the story to the big screen; he replicates the storytelling technique - the emphasis on action, the shifting visual perspectives, the constant posturing, the incessant wisecracking, the pulse-pounding visuals, the violently impressionistic backgrounds.

300 (Warner Bros.) Starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West. Directed by Zack Snyder. Rated R. Time 117 minutes.

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