In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. Persian King Xerxes lead a Army of well over 100,000 (Persian king Xerxes before war has about 170,000 army) men to Greece and was confronted by 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and 400 Thebans. Xerxes waited for 10 days for King Leonidas to surrender or withdraw but left with no options he pushed forward. After 3 days of battle all the Greeks were killed. The Spartan defeat was not the one expected, as a local shepherd, named Ephialtes, defected to the Persians and informed Xerxes that the separate path through Thermopylae, which the Persians could use to outflank the Greeks, was not as heavily guarded as they thought. Written by
Key to Leonidas' strategy was the fact that the beach passage at Thermopylae narrowed down at three points (the "gates") to only about 100 meters between the cliffs and the Malian Gulf. However, due to sedimentation, the gulf is now several kilometers from the cliffs, and the land surface on which the battle was fought is now buried under roughly 20 meters of soil. See more »
(at around 11 mins) When Leonidas is talking with the Xerxes messenger, you can easily see his plait change position between shots. See more »
When the boy was born, like all Spartans, he was inspected.
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The opening Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and Virtual Studios logos are made of stone and appear in front of a brown, cloudy sky. See more »
I somehow missed the hype on this one, and the trailer really didn't excite me, but I got a chance to see an advance screening and the other reviewer here who said "It blew me away" hit the nail right on the head.
I generally hate going to the cinema - preferring to wait until the DVD or HD-DVD are available because I'm fed up of shoddy prints, poor sound systems, ignorant members of the public with their ringing phones, late arrivals, noisy popcorn etc. My home system is so much better. But not for this movie! It needs to be seen on the big screen (preferably an Imax - I'm hoping to catch it a second time on IMAX) with a good sound system. The images are consistently breath-taking, the sound is staggeringly good and note-perfect throughout, and Gerard Butler is barely recognisable as the guy from "Dear Frankie" (a great, under-rated movie) and "Phantom of the Opera".
Highly recommended. I've given it a 9, and I don't think I've given a movie that high a score for over a year (and I average about 6 movies a week). This makes "Gladiator" look like a cheap kid's cartoon.
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