Via Hugh I went to see a preview of 300 last night, followed by a Q&A with the director Zac Synder. The film was billed as

... a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings Miller's ('Sin City') acclaimed graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale.

I loved how incredibly stylish Sin City was so I wondered how a greatly more violent story would come over. I was rather impressed at how cinematically beautiful it was even though there was an obscene amount of digital blood all over the show. It is such a boy film, battle after battle, an ancient Greek version of Hamburger Hill or Full Metal Jacket, with the odd glance of nipple or fantastic monsters (harkening back to Jason and the Argonauts that I watched every Christmas); but the violence is there to support the story, not an add on for giggles. Of course the story itself is very stylised and rewrites the historical view of Sparta (for example they say they're fighting for freedom and democracy whilst history tells out the Spartans had slavery and the endemic bisexuality was skipped over completely (Zac did comment that the studio had banned any shots of dangling genitals).

It's a film to see on the big screen, a glorious panorama and soundtrack of battle and blood.