300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Review

by     Posted 42 days ago

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When Zack Snyder’s 300 was released in 2007, it was a vibrant explosion of exhilarating bloodshed and goofy earnestness.  Although its impact has been somewhat diminished by imitators and a more widespread reliance on predominantly CGI environments, it’s still a memorable picture, and providing a sequel isn’t completely unwarranted.  However, 300: Rise of an Empire has trouble expanding beyond “300 with boats”, and while it’s still packed with fun kills and a similar tone, some of the key elements are missing, and all it really has to add to the mix is a delightful performance from Eva Green.

Watch a New Featurette about the Villains of 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

by     Posted 49 days ago

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With director Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire opening March 7th, WB. has released a new featurette that focuses on the villains.  In the sequel to Zack Snyder’s 300, Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.  The film also stars Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Igal Nao, Callan Mulvey, Jack O’Connell, and Andrew Tiernan.

I caught a screening a few days ago and am happy to report the sequel kicks a lot of ass.  The fight scenes are extremely well done, the 3D actually adds to the story, and Eva Green’s performance is worth the price of admission.  While many might have wondered if we needed a sequel to 300, I’m very happy they made it.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette and here’s all our previous coverage on the film.

Over 40 New Images from 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Starring Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton, Lena Headey, and Rodrigo Santoro

by     Posted 55 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a slew of new high-resolution images from director Noam Murro’s upcoming stylish actioner 300: Rise of an Empire.  The story takes place before, during, and after the events of director Zack Snyder‘s 2006 film 300, centering on the naval battles between Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) and the latter’s control over Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).  These new images give us a look at the expanded 300 universe, from Xerxes’ origin to the intense naval battles between Artemisia’s army and Themistokles’ crew.  We also get a brief look behind-the-scenes by way of a few official set photos, confirming that there is indeed a lot of blue screen involved in bringing Rise of an Empire to life.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Lena Headey, Jack O’Connell, Hans Matheson, David Wenham, Igal Nao, and Andrew Tiernan300: Rise of an Empire opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on March 7th.

WB Screens the First 13 Minutes of 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE; Here’s Our Recap and Thoughts on the Footage

by     Posted 71 days ago

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Back in the distant past (err… 2007), Zack Snyder’s 300 hit theaters and became a surprise hit, grossing over 300 million dollars domestically whilst also igniting heated cultural and political debate.  Deep in the midst of the Iraq war, 300 became a lightening rod for both liberal and conservative agendas.  Was the film a celebration of war jingoism or were it’s very excesses satirizing such displays of patriotism?  The film’s reach extended far beyond mere water cooler talk though, it’s potent hyperkinetic visual palette (much of which was taken panel for panel from Frank Miller & Lynn Varley’s graphic novel) serving as ‘inspiration’ for a bevy of imitators – Immortals, Clash of the Titans (2010), and, hell, even Frank Miller’s own The Spirit.  So it’s shocking to think that it’s taken nearly seven years for a sequel to finally reach the big screen.

Originally scheduled for release late last year, 300: Rise of An Empire finally hits the big screen March 7th.  Last night in anticipation/promotion of the sequel’s impending release, Warner Brothers hosted the first thirteen minutes of the new film in front of a screening of 300.  For a full report on just what to expect from the first thirteen minutes of 300: Rise of An Empire, hit the jump.

New Trailer and Posters for 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Starring Sullivan Stapleton

by     Posted 87 days ago

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A new trailer for Noam Murro’s Spartan sequel 300: Rise of an Empire has dropped today.  The latest cut features quite a bit of footage from the Greek hero Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) along with the odd decision to remix Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in the midst of all the bloody battles.  At this point, I feel like audiences are already decided on whether or not they’ll be checking out the film, so I don’t know what else the marketing team can do to sell it.

Also starring Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O’Connell and David Wenham, 300: Rise of an Empire opens March 7th.  Hit the jump to check out the final trailer and two new posters.

New Trailer for 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Starring Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton

by     Posted 134 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for director Noam Murro’s action sequel 300: Rise of an Empire.  The story takes place before, during, and after the events of 300, centering on the naval battles between Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) and the latter’s control over Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).  This trailer shows more of what we’ve seen from the previous trailers, highlighting the slow-motion action and rousing speeches.  I was pleasantly surprised by the extended footage that Warner Bros. showed off at Comic-Con this summer, so hopefully Murro delivers a film that does the legendary Battle of Artemisum justice.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  300: Rise of an Empire also stars Lena Headey and opens in 3D on March 7, 2014.

PELÉ Biopic Adds Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney and Seu Jorge at Start of Principal Photography

by     Posted 197 days ago

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Principal photography on Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s biopic Pelé started earlier this week, and an extensive cast list has been revealed.  Vincent D’Onofrio (Men in Black) and Rodrigo Santoro (300) are in final negotiations to join the picture.  D’Onofrio would star as the Brazilian team’s World Cup coach, Vicente Feola.  Other additions include Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels), who would play George Raynor, the Swedish World Cup coach.  Newcomer Kevin de Paula will play Pelé from age 13-17.  Hit the jump for more.

Rodrigo Santoro Finds FOCUS with Will Smith; Bobby Cannavale Joins ANNIE; Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk and Ian Roberts Join KITCHEN SINK

by     Posted 241 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each film.

Comic-Con: Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton and Director Noam Murro Talk 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

by     Posted 269 days ago

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While at Comic-Con this weekend for a presentation in Hall H, co-stars Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton and director Noam Murro spoke to the press about 300:  Rise of an Empire, their exciting action adventure based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel, Xerxes.  Told in the breathtaking visual style of 300, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield — on the sea — as Greek general Themistokles (Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god, Xerxes (Santoro), and Artemisia (Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

During the interview, they talked about how the distinct visual style of the first film informed the second one, how technology allowed them to create a world stylistically that wasn’t possible six years ago, the complexity of shooting a naval movie that happens in the water using green screen and creating epic sequences in post, how the cast felt about returning to characters they’d played before, having a strong female role that’s unapologetic, the awesome trailer that blew up all over the internet, Zack Snyder’s involvement, the musical choices that carried over from the first film, and more.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Comic-Con: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Panel Recap; Cast and Crew Show off Impressive Naval Battles and Discuss Connection to 300

by     Posted 271 days ago

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The wait for a sequel to director Zack Snyder’s 300 has been lengthy, but the follow-up 300: Rise of an Empire finally hits theaters next year.  Director Noam Murro takes the helm this time around, as the pic takes place both before and during the events of 300, centering on the naval battles between Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green).  During the film’s Hall H panel at Comic-Con today, Murro took the stage with Stapleton, Green, and Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes) to show off some footage from the pic that actually turned out to be quite promising, not to mention intense.  The panelists also talked about the flashback elements of the film and revealing Xerxes’ backstory, Artemisia’s drive for vengeance, shooting the naval battles, differentiating the film from 300, and more.

Hit the jump for my full recap of the Comic-Con panel for 300: Rise of an Empire.

First Trailer for 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

by     Posted 309 days ago

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The first trailer for director Noam Murro’s sequel 300: Rise of an Empire has been released online.  If you loved the first movie for all of its oiled-up muscles, slow-motion battles and endless bloodletting, then it looks like the sequel is going to be right up your alley.  The trailer, expertly narrated by Lena Headey during what appears to be the aftermath of 300′ultimate battle, reveals that the look and tone of Rise of an Empire appear to be quite consistent with the original.  This time around, however, we get new looks at Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) on his home turf, General Artemisia (Eva Green) in all her fury and leagues upon leagues of sea battles.  And if I’m not mistaken, is that some dialogue from Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan) we hear?

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Starring Sullivan Stapleton300: Rise of an Empire opens on March 7, 2014.

Antonio Banderas, Martin Sheen, and Rodrigo Santoro to Star in Chilean Miner Film, THE 33

by     Posted 333 days ago

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Remember that really uplifting story back in 2010 about the Chilean miners?  The 33 miners in Chile who were trapped for sixty-nine days underground but all managed to survive?  To not make it into a movie would be a crime, and today, Variety is reporting that Antonio Banderas, Martin Sheen, and Rodrigo Santoro (300) are set to star in The 33.  Directed by Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna) and written by Mikko Alanne and Jose Rivera, the movie will dramatize the already dramatic events of the miners’ struggle for survival and the international rescue effort.  Santoro will be playing Florencio, the first miner to surface in the rescue.  Banderas will play the role of Mario Sepulveda, the charismatic miner known as “Super Mario.”  I’m not sure how he earned this name, but presumably he got it from his ability to collect coins and devour giant mushrooms.

Last year, producer Mike Medavoy (Apocalypse Now) picked up the “miners’ exclusive life rights last year and developed the project in collaboration of the miners, the rescuers and their families. He had lived for a decade in Chile.”  Production is set to begin in Chile this fall.

First Logo for 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

by     Posted 1 year, 46 days ago

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The official Facebook page of the comic book sequel 300: Rise of an Empire was updated with a new image showcasing the film’s title in typical Spartan fashion.  The title image shares many similarities with its predecessor, the Gerald Butler blockbuster 300, but fails to offer any new information aside from indicating that they intend to stick to this title (the follow-up was previously called 300: Battle of Artemisia).  300: Rise of an Empire is set to hit theaters August 2nd 2013 and stars Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton, and is loosely based on the comic ”Xeres” by Frank Miller.  Hit the jump for the full res image and for more information on the spin-off/sequel.

TOP 5: THE LAST STAND, Live-Action Remake of TOY STORY, UPSTREAM COLOR, MAMA, Sundance 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 88 days ago

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This time last week I was two movies into the triple feature I teased the last time we met. While I can’t say I was overly impressed by Gangster Squad, both Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained made their respective cases as qualified Best Picture nominees. Of the two, Zero Dark‘s unrelenting final act not only made it my top pick of the day but also provided some of the most sustained tension I can remember experiencing in a movie theater. Having now seen it for myself, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with those who have voiced their disbelief at Kathryn Bigelow‘s Best Director Oscar snub.

Zero Dark Thirty praise aside, on tap in this week’s Top 5 are The Last Stand interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, and more, a live-action remake of Toy Story, a new trailer for Primer writer/director/star/almost literally everything else Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color, Mama interviews with Guillermo del Toro and more, and all of our Sundance 2013 coverage to date. For your reading pleasure, a recap and link to each awaits after the jump.

Rodrigo Santoro and Forest Whitaker Talk THE LAST STAND, Their Character Approach, Working with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Their Upcoming Films

by     Posted 1 year, 90 days ago

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Though they don’t have a lot of screen time together, Rodrigo Santoro and Forest Whitaker play two characters on opposite sides of the law who band together to fight a common evil in The Last Stand.  The Kim Jee-woon action picture sees a rag-tag bunch of sheriff’s deputies go up against a ruthless drug lord and his well-armed militia bent on crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.  In a recent video interview, Santoro and Whitaker talked about their approach to playing their characters, what it was like to work with action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and teased a little about The Butler and 300: Rise of an Empire. 

Also starring Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzman, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stormare and Zach Gilford, The Last Stand opens on January 18th.  Hit the jump to watch our video interview with Santoro and Whitaker.

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